May 30, 2013

Your Rights – Urban Permanent and Temporary Employees

Full-time and part-time employees

New Employees

The union has the right to meet with new employees for fifteen minutes during work time (Article 6.03 of CPC-CUPW contract). During this meeting, a union steward or representative will provide you with basic information about the CUPW and invite you to play an active role in the union. They will also ensure that you have filled out the application form for becoming a CUPW member and paid the membership fee of $5.00. Membership is mandatory under the CPC-CUPW contract.

Probation

There is a three-month probation period for newly hired regular employees (Note: This does not apply to people who have already worked 480 hours as a temporary employee). During a probationary period, management will evaluate your work, attendance, etc. Management may dismiss employees who receive negative evaluations. You have a right to refuse to sign probation reports if you do not agree with them. You also have a right to formally object by writing comments on probation reports. The employer must give notice of a probationary interview and advise you of your right to be accompanied by a union steward.

Training during probation

The employer must give new employees “sufficient and adequate” training to do their jobs (Article 40.05 of CPC-CUPW contract). It is difficult to justify a dismissal if an employee has not had proper training during the probationary period.

 

Holidays and Leave

Paid holidays

You have a right to the eleven paid holidays that are outlined in Article 18.01 of CPC-CUPW contract. Part-time employees are paid based on Article 18.04.

Paid vacation leave

You are entitled to take vacation leave after six months of continuous employment (continuous employment is the amount of time you have worked at Canada Post). This leave is provided to all employees who are entitled to receive pay for at least ten days in each calendar month of a vacation year. An employee’s entitlement will be decreased by 1/12 for each month that he or she works less than 10 days. A vacation year starts the last Monday in March or the first Monday in April.

Note: You use your seniority (seniority is the amount of time you have been a regular employee) to bid for vacation leave.

  • 3 weeks per vacation year with less than 7 years of continuous employment.
  • 4 weeks per vacation year with 7 years of continuous employment
  • 5 weeks per vacation year with 14 years of continuous employment
  • 6 weeks per vacation year with 21 years of continuous employment
  • 7 weeks per vacation year with 28 years of continuous employment

Sick leave

Full-timers accumulate 1 and 1/4 days of sick leave credits every month. Part-timers accumulate 5 hours when entitled to 40 hours of pay in a month. They accumulate an additional hour for each additional 20 hours worked in the same month, up to a maximum of 10 hours per month. (Article 20.02 of CPC-CUPW contract).

You can use up to 10 days of sick leave credits each year without a medical certificate as long as you are not on sick leave for more than five days at a time. You need a medical certificate after 5 days on sick leave. You are required to contact your supervisor when sick.

Bereavement leave

You are entitled to take up to four days special leave with pay when a member of your immediate family dies (see definition in contract). The leave may be extended if you have to travel. (Article 21.02 of CPC-CUPW contract)

Special leave

Canada Post may grant you special leave with pay for absences that are beyond your control (e.g. due to a sick child). The employer cannot unreasonably withhold this leave. (Article 21.03 of CPC-CUPW contract).

 

Health and Well-being

Health and safety

You have rights relating to accident investigations, medical examinations, noise levels, weight limits, etc. (Article 33 of CPC-CUPW contract). You also have a right to refuse to do work if you have reasonable grounds to believe that it will endanger your or a co-worker’s health and safety (Article 33.13).

Accidents and injuries

Report all accidents and injuries, no matter how small, to your supervisor as soon as possible. Ask your union steward to help you fill in injury on duty and/or workers’ compensation forms.

No discrimination

You have a right to work without being subject to discrimination, interference, restriction, coercion, harassment, intimidation or stronger disciplinary measures because of your age, race, creed, colour, national origin, political or religious affiliation, sex, physical or emotional handicap, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, conviction for an offence which has been pardoned or membership in the union (Article 5 of CPC-CUPW contract).

No harassment

You have a right to work in an environment that is free of harassment. If you are being harassed, tell your shop steward or another union member you trust. The collective agreement prohibits any harassment that is based on race, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, marital status, family status, disability or a conviction for an offence that has been pardoned. You can learn more about your right to file a harassment complaint by reading Article 56 of the CPC-CUPW contract.

 

Discipline, Grievances and the Collective Agreement

Disciplinary and attendance interviews

Canada Post must give you 24 hours notice of an interview related to discipline or attendance. The notice must give the reasons for the interview and whether it involves your personal file. It must also tell you that you have a right to be accompanied by a union representative. Do not go into any interview without a union steward or representative (Article 10.04 of CPC-CUPW contract).

Transfers, promotions, demotions

All regular employees have the right to obtain a transfer, promotions or demotions (Article 13 of the CPC-CUPW). Talk to your steward or local president.

Grievances

You have a right to have grievances submitted on your behalf when the employer violates your rights under the contract. Your steward has the right to meet with you and prepare grievances during work time (Article 9.04 of CPC-CUPW contract). Canada Post is not allowed to harass or intimidate you if you file a grievance.

Obey now, grieve later

In general, you should follow the “obey now, grieve later” rule. That is, you should obey an order from a supervisor, even if it violates the collective agreement, and then file a grievance that explains the violation. Of course, there are exceptions to the “obey now, grieve later” rule. For example, you have a right to refuse to do any work that is a serious threat to your health and safety.

May and Shall

Canada Post is required to take particular measures when the contract uses the word“shall”. The word “may” indicates that the employer has a choice about taking a measure. The conditions for making a choice are sometimes spelled out in the collective agreement. To use an example from above, the contract says that Canada Post may grant employees special leave with pay for absences that are beyond an employee’s control. The contract goes on to say that Canada Post cannot unreasonably withhold this leave.

Note: If you have questions about hours of work, overtime, breaks, work schedules, uniforms, lockers, pay, or other contract issues, please see your steward.


 

Temporary employees

Note: The following does not apply to temporary employees who are hired “for the sole purpose of fulfilling Christmas period requirements”.

Most of the provisions that apply to temporary workers are found under Article 44 of the CPC-CUPW contract. A summary follows:

 

New Employees

The union has the right to meet with new employees for fifteen minutes during work time (Article 44.32 of CPC-CUPW contract). During this meeting, a union steward or representative will provide you with basic information about the CUPW and invite you to play an active role in the union. They will also ensure that you have filled out the application form for becoming a CUPW member and paid the membership fee of $5.00. Membership is mandatory under the CPC-CUPW contract.

Probation

Temporary employees are on probation for 480 hours. Canada Post evaluates work performance during probation. It may terminate your employment during this period if you do not meet the requirements of the job. You may grieve any decision to terminate if it was made without just cause.

There is no probation for temporary employees who move to regular positions provided they have worked 480 hours. If temporary employees have not worked for 480 hours, the probationary period is equal to the difference between the time they have worked as a temporary and 480 hours. (Article 55.02 of CPC-CUPW contract).

Discipline and rights (after probation)

Canada Post must give an employee 24 hours notice of an interview related to discipline or attendance. The notice must give the reasons for the interview and whether it involves the employee’s personal file. It must also notify the employee of his or her right to be accompanied by a union representative. Do not go into any interview without a union steward or representative.

Training

Canada Post must provide any newly hired temporary employee with sufficient training. As well, the corporation has to train any temporary that is assigned to duties requiring new knowledge. Talk to your union steward if you don’t think you have received proper training.

 

Wages and Hours

Pay

You get paid the minimum hourly rate for the work you are performing (see Appendix A of CPC-CUPW contract). You should keep track of the different kinds of work you do and the length of time you work so that you know what Canada Post owes you.

Overtime

You get paid time-and-a-half (fifty per cent more than the normal rate) for all hours worked in excess of eight hours and double-time (double the normal rate) for all hours worked in excess of ten. If you work on your day off, you get double-time. You need a supervisor’s permission to work overtime.

Shift and weekend premiums

You are entitled to additional money (premiums) for working on afternoon shifts, midnight shifts and on the weekend. See Article 16 for more details.

Rest periods

You are entitled to paid breaks. You can find out when your breaks are by looking at your schedule or the header boards on your letter carrier case if you are working as a carrier. You can also ask your union steward.

Five-day work week

If you work more than five days in the same week (Sunday to Saturday), Canada Post has to pay you double time (double the normal rate) for all hours worked on the on the sixth or seventh day. But you cannot be forced to work for more than five days in a week (Sunday to Saturday) barring exceptional circumstances.

 

Seniority and Work

Seniority

Your seniority as a temporary is based on your first date-of-hire as an employee within the CUPW bargaining unit. You use your seniority to get work and permanent positions.

Getting work as a temporary

Your name and the names of other temporary workers are kept on a call-in list in order of seniority. The more senior qualified temporary employees are called in for work before less senior qualified employees. In some locations, there is one call-in list while there are three or more lists in other locations (See additional information below under ‘Less than 20 days of work’, ‘20 days or more of work’, ‘Work and bumping rights’).

Moving from one list to another or one city to another

You can move from one call-in list to another if Canada Post requires additional employees on a list. You can move from one city to another if the Canada Post requires additional employees in a city. You have to make your request to move to a list in writing and you must stay on this list for 12 months. If the number of temporary workers applying to be on a list exceeds the need, the most senior employees will be placed on the list.

Less than 20 days of work

Canada Post has to offer this work, in order of seniority, to unassigned temporary employees on a call-in list. (See additional information under ‘Getting Work as a Temporary’). You must have the appropriate qualifications for some work. If you are not qualified to do a work assignment, the employer will offer the work to the next unassigned qualified employee on the call-in list.

20 days or more of work

Canada Post has to offer this work, in order of seniority, to qualified temporary employees on a call-in list. You can use your seniority to obtain a work assignment of 20 days or more, even if you already have an assignment.

Changing assignments

If you get a new assignment in the middle of one week, it will start at the beginning of the next week.

Work and bumping rights

When your assignment is finished you can use your seniority to bump the most junior employee on the call-in list (but not the 2nd, 3rd most junior, etc.). That is, you can use your seniority to get his or her assignment as long as you are qualified. This practice is commonly referred to as bumping.

Getting work as a regular employee

If there’s a vacancy for a regular position and no regular employee is interested, a temporary will be offered the position based on their seniority. You will not be appointed a permanent position unless you have submitted an application to become permanent. If there are several temporary call-in lists in your location, the lists will be merged to form a master hiring list. You have to have worked at least once during a 12 month period to maintain your status on a call-in list.

Job loss

You may lose your temporary position if you haven’t worked for 12 months. You may also lose your position if Canada Post can demonstrate that you have not “demonstrated reasonable availability” for any six month period that follows the signing of the contract between CUPW and CPC (Article 44.11 of the CPC-CUPW contract).

 

Holidays, Leave and benefits

Paid holidays

You will be paid for the holidays that are outlined in Article 18.01 of the CPC-CUPW contract at the rate of 1/20 of the regular wages you earned during the last two complete pay periods (preceding the holiday).

Bereavement leave

You have the right to take bereavement leave if a member of your immediate family dies (see Article 21.02 of CPC-CUPW contract). Payment for this leave is calculated in the same way as payment for paid holidays (see above).

Vacation pay

You get vacation pay equal to six per cent of your earnings for the previous calendar year. This has to be paid before the last Friday in March.

Supplement in lieu of benefits

You get a supplement of four per cent of your basic hourly rate in lieu of insurance plans and paid leaves. This supplement is added to your paycheck.

Sick leave

You receive the above supplement instead of paid sick leave.

 

Health and Well-being

Health and safety

You have a right to work in a safe and healthy environment. You have all rights under Article 33 of the CPC-CUPW contract, with the exception of night workers’ leave. See your steward if you have concerns about your health or safety.

Injured at work

Immediately report any injury to your supervisor and shop steward. You may be entitled to workers’ compensation.

 

Uniforms

Once you have passed probation, you have a right to an initial issue of clothing if your job requires clothing. See Article 34.01 of the CPC-CUPW contract. You must submit a written request for clothing.

If you have not passed your probation, you still have a right to job appropriate apparel. Canada Post has to give you access to clothing at work, including aprons, rain capes, rain suits, quilted jackets and insulated jackets. This clothing must be returned at the end of your shift

Boot and glove allowance

If you are working as a letter carrier, mail service courier, mailhandler or mail despatcher, you are entitled to a boot and glove allowance of 13 cents per hour. If you are not working in one of the aforementioned classifications but are working in an area requiring steel-toed boots, you are entitled to an allowance of 12 cents per hour.

Note: See Article 44.17 for a list of additional contract provisions that apply to temporary employees.

Note Temporary Employees in Group 3: All the provisions