February 21, 2007



The Scarborough Local Executive met on February 21, 2007 to review the Tentative Collective Agreement between CPC and CUPW. The Local wanted to have an informed debate with the actual words that were signed off and not just bulletins from Ottawa. This followed a National Presidents meeting in Toronto in early February 2007 were the message from the Locals and Regions across the country were made very clear to the National Union. The consensus of that meeting was “NO” to the Corporate Team Incentive (CTI) and there were insufficient gains for Group 1 relief staffing levels. Despite the wishes of the delegates at that meeting, the National Union reached a tentative agreement with the CTI and no relief formula for Group 1.

This caused an unprecedented division at the National Level of the Union with seven FT National Officers voting “YES” and seven FT National Officers voting “NO” and recording the ir dissent. Gerry Deveau, the National Director for the Ontario Region (which covers our Local) voted “NO”. This forced the National President to cast a second and deciding vote to break the tie. Never before in the history of CUPW has the National been split on a contract agreement/recommendation to this magnitude. This in itself is enough to take a step back and look at the details and ponder the impact on the members.

The executive had an all day meeting on the actual words signed off and had a hard time finding big gains for the members beyond a couple of items, and had some serious concerns.

There are increases in pay, but no greater than anyone else across Canada in a similar large union shop. There are increases in shift and weekend premiums, which will have an impact on mostly Group 1 and no impact on Group 2 unless you are already getting paid. There are small increases in house holder payments from 2CTS to 2.3CTS, and increased relays boxes/values to a small number of routes. There is to be a job creation project at the YDC involving Group 3 members to contract in MMHE repairs and preventive maintenance.

The Executive was strongly opposed to the principal and application of the CTI. This was enough on it’s own to make the executive recommend you vote “NO”. Unfortunately there were additional reasons to reject this tentative agreement. The lack of movement on Group 1 Relief staffing was a real concern for the Executive as there was a letter indicating an Appendix T project to eliminate the barriers between Group 1 and Group 2 in the Letter Carrier Depots. No wonder the employer deletes Group 1 positions as they become vacant and uses modified duty Letter Carriers.

The executive was also unhappy with the rollback requiring fifteen (15) years of service instead of ten (10), to be eligible for retirement benefit plans. Depending on the demographics in hiring, which varies across the country, the impact varies. Locally, members hired who have plans to retire based on the current scheme, may no longer have access to benefit plans based on their date of hire, age and their personal plans on a retirement date. Article 54 was drastically changed, removing many provisions, rights and processes and allowing the employer to act unilaterally in some cases.

There were a large number of cosmetic changes and / or changes that have no impact on the Local or it’s members.

After a lengthy discussion on the pros and cons of the tentative agreement, the Local Executive voted unanimously to recommend to the Local members that they vote “NO” to the tentative agreement.

All sides have positions in this debate about our future, open, responsible and respectfully debate is a healthy thing and is part of our democratic collective system, call a Union. You, the members will ultimately decide and you should be presented with the pros and cons, to allow you to make an informed choice.

Voting on the tentative agreement will likely take place in late March 2007. Prior to the voting you will be provided with information bulletins and a draft newsprint copy of the Tentative Collective Agreement.


In Solidarity

Mike Duquette
Scarborough Local