Groups 3 and 4: Some Progress, But Obstacles Remain

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Wednesday June 8 2016
2015-2019/111
Negotiations Bulletin No. 18

Members working on Groups 3 and 4 issues at negotiations

Members working on Groups 3 and 4 issues at negotiations.

From left to right: Vishnu Siew (EL5 Foreman, Vancouver), Robby Jouhal (MAM-11, Chief Shop Steward GL&T, Toronto), Cathy Kennedy (National Union Representative and member of the Negotiating Committee), Robert Galayda (EL5 Foreman, Shop Steward, Winnipeg), Robin Castonguay (MAM-11 C-3, Montreal), and Norm Burns (EL5, Shop Steward, Edmonton)




At the beginning of negotiations, we presented our demands of special relevance to Groups 3 and 4 members. These included the creation of a new classification for heavy duty vehicle mechanics, protections from the use of Maximo for the purposes of discipline, and a special pay adjustment for all Group 3 and 4 members.  For their part Canada Post management submitted a number of demands concerning the work of Groups 3 and 4 members. Most significantly CPC proposed that all plant maintenance workers be scheduled for twelve (12) hour shifts and all members would be required to work on every weekend. Also CPC proposed new job descriptions and statements of qualifications and the elimination of the apprenticeship program.

 

Some Progress

The CUPW negotiating committee, with the help of a five-member working committee comprised of Group 3 and 4 members, pushed back hard against the proposal for 12 hour shifts. The Group 3 and 4 members also explained the problems resulting from Maximo.  As a result of our interventions CPC has dropped their proposal for 12 hour shifts. Also we have come to an agreement that for Groups 3 and 4 members pre-established time scales, such as Maximo, cannot be used for disciplinary reasons.

 

More Obstacles

Despite these positive developments many serious issues remain unresolved. The union's demands for a new classification for heavy duty vehicle mechanics and the pay adjustment are not resolved. For its part management remains determined to require more weekend work. The issue of job descriptions and the statement of qualifications remain outstanding. And management is still determined to eliminate the apprenticeship program and replace it with a scholarship program where employees undergoing training would be required to take leave without pay instead of receiving their wages from CPC.

 

Major Issues Also Impact Groups 3 and 4

It is important to remember that the major rollbacks being demanded by CPC also apply to Group 3 and 4 members. Management's demands for elimination of the paid meal period, imposing a defined contribution pension for future service, eliminating the seventh week of vacation leave, increasing retiree benefit contributions, and weakening job security are all important issues for every Group 3 and 4 member. Likewise CUPW's demands for a decent wage increase,  job security, no contracting out of work, service expansion, equality for RSMCs, improved health and safety provisions and better working conditions are all important for the long term future of workers at Canada Post.

 

Solidarity Between Groups

We make progress when we support each other. Just as it is important that all groups support Groups 3 and 4, it is important that maintenance workers support all CUPW members including letter carriers, postal clerks and RSMCs.

 

By standing together we will make improvements for everyone.

Sylvain Lapointe
Chief Negotiator, Urban Unit
George Floresco
Chief Negotiator, RSMC Unit