March 5th to 11th, 2023
Hey, if you want some uniforms, we have some at the local office. Sweaters, shirts, pants, those big yellow rain ponchos, vintage, in-the-package, large, small, you name it, we have it. Please come and get it. We have too much now. I’ll also bring some of it to the local meeting on Wednesday, because why not? We’ve had a couple of generous donations from recent retirees lately, and it really should all be released back into its natural habitat.
Local officers appreciate the calls and questions that come to the office about positions in the WMPP that are not being backfilled at this time. We are aware the list is quite long. We are doing what we can to have this addressed.
The employer is unwilling to backfill positions this year. This is a national strategy to help the corporation adjust to declining parcel volumes, which are predicted to keep dropping.
Temporary workers are still called in daily, but we’ve also learned that the use of temporary hours in the WMPP is likely to decline in the near future as well. I don’t say this to scare people, but to prepare workers for some realities moving forward. If you’re a temp, you may not get many shifts this summer; this is your employer’s prediction.
We know that the economy is struggling because we’re struggling. Two bags of groceries, fill your car, pay your housing costs and there isn’t a lot left over anymore. Certainly less than there was just a couple of years ago. When working people have less money to spend, they buy fewer things and we’re in the things business.
But the thing is that the employer is so big, it can and should still staff to appropriate levels in all of its facilities. Deliberately understaffing leads to overwork and injury in our line of work, and that’s not acceptable. Postal workers don’t deserve to deal with understaffing when vacant positions are deliberately left unfilled. Mention the understaffing to your LJHSC reps, and to your supervisors. They will be asking you to do more work with less help, it’s fair to ask them to do more to get the positions in their sections filled.
END OF THE ST. JAMES ERA
RSMCs of St. James and Southwest, things are going to be changing soon.
We received official word from the corporation this week that the St. James Depot will be closing and the routes there will be moving back to the Southwest Installation on April 17th.
The change will bring more than just a move. The change will also bring in the Deerfoot Model of delivery for RSMCs. There is a downside in that there is a start time and shared cases, but there is also a way for RSMCs to claim overtime on a daily basis.
All hours worked should be paid, and until now, RSMCs have had limited access to overtime pay. The two-week-average system is stacked against the worker. There are too many variables for a postal worker to get consistency in the formula that currently exists, so the daily ability to claim overtime is a step in the right direction.
If we didn’t have Deerfoot and that access to overtime, the corporation still would have assigned start times to routes and forced the sharing of cases. Case sharing already happens at the Northeast depot and those RSMCs do not have access to overtime the same way Southwest RSMCs do.
None of it needs to be this confusing. Someday, somehow, someone at the corporation’s head office needs to figure out that just like letter carriers, RSMCs deliver mail, and they deserve to be paid for all the time they spend delivering said mail. If you work more than eight hours in a day, you need to be compensated for that. That’s the deal in this world. Amazing that they haven’t figured that out by now.
The Southwest Installation will notice the return of the RSMCs from St. James. There are almost 20 routes coming back to the facility on April 17th. More vehicles will be around the building, and more parcels, carts, flyers, and mail will need to be sorted in the building.
Enjoy the space while you can, RSMCs of St. James, because it’s all changing in a few short weeks.
We have meetings scheduled with your bosses again this month on March 21st.
If you have any questions you want us to ask them about anything, and I do mean anything, please send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll publish your question and the answer in The Week in Winnipeg for that week.
Get your question in by March 15th to ensure it gets on the agenda for the meeting.
This week coming, we have a general membership meeting on Wednesday, March 15th at 7:00 p.m. We’ll be having that meeting in-person at the Viscount Gort, and there will be a virtual option for those wishing to attend that way.
On Thursday, March 16th, the Urban shop stewards will be meeting for their first steward meeting of the year at the Fort Rouge Leisure Centre. At that four-hour meeting, we plan on checking in with your team of nominated stewards and see where we can make improvements in all aspects of support. What do they need from the local office, what do the members need from them, that kind of thing. We’ll take a look at some shop steward training material and go over some basic points at the meeting as well. A bit of a refresher as we start a new year, if you will.
On Friday, March 17th, RSMCs from around the local will be gathering at the Union Centre at 275 Broadway Avenue in Winnipeg to participate in an RSMC Know Your Rights course. The local will be bringing in CUPW facilitator Kim Livingstone from Calgary to teach this two-day course for RSMCs. I have taken this course once, and as an Urban Ops member, a lot of it blew my mind. RSMCs have a few interesting things going on in their contract, and this course is a great way to learn about it. If you’re an RSMC and you’re reading this, the application deadline has passed, but email me at email@example.com if you want to go and we just didn’t have a chance to run into you at work.
Tomorrow, Saturday, March 11th, I’ll be hosting an online workshop for contract demand resolution writing. Our contracts are expiring in less than 12 months, and we need to know where we stand on all sorts of issues influencing our workplaces and our work. If you’re interested in learning how to write a resolution or just in the process of how your contracts are written, join me at 10:00 a.m. for a brief overview of how it all works and how you can start getting involved. No need to register, no need to nothin’, just show up on time by clicking this: https://tinyurl.com/ycn3e73w.
Weather out there feels like we’re getting into spring. Stay tuned because the only thing that stays constant is change.