Sisters and Brothers:
We are about to enter a new round of negotiations. For a majority of us, this will not be our first involvement in collective bargaining – a regular occurrence for Canada Post workers. Others will experience negotiations for the first time; and what a unique experience it is! We all know that the best way to experience negotiations is to get involved from the start, which means taking part in the process of preparing the demands to be submitted to the employer. As such, this discussion paper is first and foremost an invitation to all members to get fully involved in this process. The RSMC collective agreement will expire on December 31, 2015, and the urban collective agreement, on January 31, 2016. The negotiating process is the culmination of the Union’s day-to-day activities. It’s an extension of the work we do throughout the year to defend, represent, inform and mobilize our members. But it’s also an opportunity to take stock of the situation and negotiate needed improvements in our wages and working conditions. The next round of negotiations will present special challenges because we will be conducting negotiations with Canada Post for both units at the same time. That was one of the objectives we set in 2004, and is a major victory. It will increase and strengthen our balance of power with the employer, should we be forced to use our right to strike. Also, 2015 will be a federal election year. Will the elections take place in late spring or on October 19, the fixed election date? Nobody knows for sure, but what we do know is that it will have a significant impact on negotiations. This begs the question: what type of negotiations will we have if we are again facing a majority conservative government? That is why our “Save Canada Post” campaign is so important. We must force Canada Post to abandon its five-point plan and we must make this an election issue. The National Executive Board suggests approaching these negotiations based on protecting the universal public postal service. We have a vision for the future and it must guide us. We want a postal service that serves the public, is based on service expansion and the preservation and creation of good jobs across the country. Therefore, the Board proposes that we develop a global program of demands built on themes and principles. Such a global program would enable members of the Negotiating Committee to play their role fully and be creative in negotiating with the employer. The NEB is proposing a single discussion paper for both bargaining units. One of the reasons for this is that the impact of Canada Post’s decisions and changes in the organization of work are similar from one unit to the other. We therefore hope this document will assist you in your discussions, help you understand the specific context of these negotiations and enable you to adopt the demands you deem essential to protect the postal service, to protect jobs and improve working conditions at Canada Post. We also hope this document will help you make the membership participate fully in the discussions and involve them in negotiations from the very start.
The struggle continues.
On behalf of the National Executive Board