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    Categories: Local News

Canada Post and union reach tentative deal

Mail service continued without any disruptions Wednesday as Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers reached a tentative agreement.

In a bulletin to members, the union stated that it had not achieved everything it wanted, but that it was successful in negotiating on key issues, such as pensions and pay equity.

The union forced the Crown corporation to back down on implementing a defined contribution pension plan and different benefits for new employees.

“We protected our defined benefit pension plan for all current and future plan participants,” reads the bulletin. “We prevented an increase in the premium costs for retiree extended health care and dental benefits. This guarantees a secure retirement for our members.”

CUPW is the only remaining employee group that has a defined benefit plan for new employees.

The agreement in principle also establishes a committee that will review the issue of pay equity for Canada Post’s mostly female, rural carriers.

The pay equity committee will issue a final decision in 19 months.

The new collective agreements will last just two years – half the usual duration of a contract.

“The issues facing the Corporation, with declining mail volumes and a growing pension obligation, are complex,” said Canada Post in a statement issued Tuesday. “This approach provides more time for thoughtful discussion and analysis on how to best address these issues without the ongoing threat of a work disruption.”

The tentative collective agreement must be ratified by a majority vote of members from each bargaining group – for rural and urban employees respectively.

No details have been released on when this vote will take place.

Both parties had been working with a federally appointed mediator since Friday. Talks were extended twice since the weekend to avoid a disruption to postal service planned for Monday.

CUPW planned to implement a rolling overtime ban beginning in Alberta and the Northwest Territories Monday morning.

Mandatory overtime hours, caused by routes that are too long and inadequate staffing levels, was one of the main concerns raised by the union during negotiations.

Last week, Canada Post expressed concerns over the anticipated job action, stating it could “no longer guarantee a fully operational network.”

The new collective agreements avert a work disruption and bring certainty to customers ahead of the holiday shipping season said the Crown Corporation.

“Canadians can now use the postal system with confidence,” reads the statement.

Michelle Ferguson: