by Daniel L. Maheux

Changes to the collective agreement

CPAA members,

Please find attached the English language copy of a document which lists all the changes to the collective agreement. This document aims to help you answer your inquiries until such time that the new collective agreement is printed and distributed. Please note that the French version is not an official translation (we are still waiting for the official translation which must be provided by CPC).

We hope that this document will be of assistance,


by Brenda McAuley

Negotiations Update

On Monday August 15, 2016, arbitrator Michel Picher ruled in favor of Canada Post’s proposal in the final offer selection process.

Negotiations began almost 19 months ago. As mentioned to you in previous communications, the biggest barrier to our negotiations with the Corporation was the pension issue. CPAA did not want to agree to an inferior defined contribution pension plan for our new members. However with the arbitrator accepting the Corporation’s final offer, our new members will participate in the defined contribution (DC) component of the pension plan. All existing members will be grandfathered into the Defined Benefit Pension Plan.

The new four-year collective agreement will expire on December 31, 2018.

Highlights of new collective agreement


by Brenda McAuley

Negotiations (Update)

CPAA Final Selection Arbitration hearing dates were held on June 30, July 4 and 5th. Both parties utilized expert witnesses with respect to the most predominate issue our pension plan. Closing arguments were made by both sides; Arbitrator Picher has committed to make his final decision by August 15, 2016.

Until that date, our current collective agreement is still in effect.


by Daniel L. Maheux


Negotiation, as we all know, is a process of give and take. This particular round of bargaining distinguished itself from previous ones by the number of concessions demanded by the Corporation. Our team has met the Canada Post team over the last 14 months until an impasse was reached last November.

As was mentioned in our updates, the Corporation’s Chief negotiator wanted CPAA to negotiate against itself. The impasse was finally resolved in March with the Corporation agreeing to refer the issue to final offer selection arbitration. Arbitrator Michel Picher was agreed by both parties. With this important step behind us, the process is nonetheless far from over.

The following timeline has been agreed:
Final Offers were exchanged and presented to the Arbitrator on May 2nd. We have also agreed to hearing dates in front of Arbitrator Picher as follow; June 30th , July 4th, 5th , 6th , 7th. The task ahead is to prepare our expert witness to testify in front of Mr Picher. The Abitrator committed to render his decision by the end of July. In any event, we will update you, the members, of any development.


by Daniel L. Maheux


As communicated yesterday by Canada Post, negotiations with the Corporation are at an impasse and the parties have agreed to go to final offer selection arbitration as per Clause 60.03 of our collective agreement.

The next step is for the parties to agree on an Arbitrator so that Arbitration dates can be booked. While it is difficult to anticipate the duration of this process, we are hopeful that a new collective agreement can be in place before too long.

Throughout negotiations, CPAA has been steadfast in refusing to consider a defined contribution pension plan. Our rationale is based on the Corporation’s own representations. They admitted that their proposal wouldn’t do anything to help with any funding issues, and that it would mean both members and Canada Post would get less for every dollar spent on pensions . On the other hand, we know for certain that the Canada Post proposal will create a generation of impoverished retirees who can only subsist with social assistance, thereby being a burden on society at large.

The history of CPAA is that of an Association preoccupied with fairness and equality in the workplace. Our long standing tradition is not about to change.

We will provide regular update on the arbitration process.


by Daniel L. Maheux

Negotiations Update

Negotiations Update


by Daniel L. Maheux

Negociations Update

Spinning Our Wheels

Bargaining seems stuck in a drift without snow tires.

Over a month ago, Canada Post presented a final offer. When we asked whether that meant the Corporation was sending the matter to arbitration, we were asked to present a counter offer. When we did, Canada Post told us they didn’t like the offer and told us to present a better one.

We told the Corporation we had no intention of bargaining that way. No party bargains against itself in any proper negotiation. We said to Canada Post that we needed to have a counter offer, if there was going to be any progress for a new collective agreement.

We met with Canada Post on Monday November 16. At that time, we received another presentation on what the Corporation wants, so they can realize their model of “sustainability”. That’s code for cutbacks and no increases. After presenting this offer, they told us again that they didn’t like our last offer and that we should go back to the drawing board.

We have refused. Canada Post has two choices. Its committee can give us a counter offer, or they can tell us there is nothing further coming from their side. We are ready to bargain when Canada Post is.


by Daniel L. Maheux

Bargaining Update

This is an update on bargaining between CPAA and Canada Post.

After bargaining through the past months, the next scheduled meeting dates are at the end of October. We are waiting for Canada Post to respond to our October 1st offer.

Canada Post Wants Take-aways and a Two-tier Workplace

New Employees (incl. Terms not yet appointed to an indeterminate position):
Canada Post is asking to;
• reduce starting wages for new employees by about 18%
• lock new employees out of the defined benefit pension plan *
• make it harder for any new employees to get better vacation entitlements
• eliminate pre-retirement leave
• double the number of years it takes to have any job protection - from five years to ten

All Employees:
Canada Post is asking to;
• cut Injury on Duty pay by 25%
• increase the Post retirement insurance cost sharing to 50%-50%
• agree to no increase to benefits such as vision, hearing, para-medical
• agree to no increase in shift and weekend premiums
• agree to 0% wage increase for 2015 and 2016 **
• refuse to consider job security for Group Postmasters

* This would leave those new workers with a significantly poorer defined contribution plan that will dramatically decrease the amount those new employees will have to live on when they retire.

** 2015 APOC members got 1.25% increase plus a 1.5% non-pensionable lump sum signing bonus
2016 APOC members received no wage increase however on April 1 2016, they will receive a 1.5% non-pensionable bonus

Negotiations have progressed and the parties have agreed to some changes, but we are still a long distance apart.

We have told Canada Post that it is not appropriate to create a two tier workforce of 'haves' and 'have nots', based on whether someone happened to be hired after some arbitrary date. That would create resentment and very poor working relationship between those two groups. More importantly, it violates every principle of fairness in compensating employees. Finally, there are serious potential legal problems when some CPAA members are paid less than those in other bargaining units for work of equal value.

The Pension Issue
For several reasons, although the pension plan has no issue meeting its obligations now, there is a funding problem under complicated federal rules. To be clear, the Corporation's proposal on pensions would do nothing to improve this deficit. They have admitted that. In fact, the experience of similar pensions in the United States is that doing what Canada Post proposes is likely to make things worse. Working with experts, CPAA thinks we have come up with a solution. Part of that solution would be to agree that everyone will get the basic pension, but increases after retirement would only happen if there is enough money in the plan. Canada Post and CPAA seem to be making progress on this item.

Fixing the deficit is a reasonable thing to do. Dumping a good basic pension for members of CPAA in exchange for a second-rate voluntary savings plan is something we cannot accept.

Moving Forward
We will continue to bargain for wages and benefits as well as terms and conditions of employment that are fair for ALL members of the Association and reasonable for Canada Post. As long as both parties hold to those principles, we should be able to reach a collective agreement.

We will keep you posted.


by Daniel L. Maheux

Negotiations update

We wanted to let you know about the latest phase in bargaining in which we have begun our push to protect your pension and your retirement.

Time and again, Canada Post has warned CPAA ominously of a pressing need to contain costs, all the while telling us about a deficit that would happen if the plan was wound up today. The details are complex, but we are working with trusted, experienced experts to deal with these issues.

While telling us the sky is falling, so far, Canada Post Corporation has not tabled a single proposal that effectively deals with the real problem. What we have been presented with instead are proposals to gut numerous provisions of the CPAA Collective Agreement. They may be small in number, but the scope of what we are being asked to give up is breathtaking.

Faced with a difficult situation, the CPAA Negotiation team formulated a groundbreaking proposal to effectively address the Canada Post Pension Plan in a way that minimizes the effects on current and future pension plan members. The positive and lasting effects of our proposal on the Pension Plan solvency deficit are enormous. They are real and they will ensure the stability and sustainability of the Pension Plan for the present and the future.

Our proposal is the first step in modernizing the Canada Post Corporation Pension Plan. Canada Post told us they are seeking stability and CPAA is offering that very opportunity. When we cost our proposal, even prorating it to the percentage of CPAA members relative to other pension plan members, we have made an adjustment that should be projected in the range of billions of dollars in stabilizing adjustments in the plan's favour. That is a sizeable portion of the funding deficit.

While polite, the Corporation’s response so far has been dismissive.

As of now, and contrary to the Corporation’s assertion, CPAA has made three major concessions in this round of bargaining alone. The largest of these, taken by any measure, are the modifications to the Pension Plan. These proposals, taken as a group, add up to an unheard of sum of money offered to any employer in any round of bargaining. The fact that Canada Post chose not to entertain our proposals does not reflect on CPAA.

What all of this means is that we will set the agenda, and we will do so in a way that is realistic, reasonable and respects and protects all members of the Association – past, present and future.

The Corporation maintains its demand for major concessions and the introduction of a Defined Contribution Pension Plan for new members. It must be stated in the strongest possible way, that such a proposal does absolutely nothing to address the Pension solvency deficit. Canada Post’s own experts acknowledged this fact during bargaining.

We will not accept a plan that is inefficient and that will most likely leave a new generation of employees unable to retire with a reasonable level of pension income. We will also not lock our existing members into the current deficit without the proper means to create a real solution.

We told Canada Post that CPAA will not accept Defined Contributions nor will we accept pension “orphan clauses” for new members.

More information will be shared as soon as possible.


by Daniel L. Maheux

Update - Negotiations

The negotiating teams met from August 11th to 14th after a break for summer vacation. On August 12th, all of the Association’s requests had been submitted. Friday, August 14th, the Canada Post Corporation agreed to our requests for information, which finally allows us to begin preparations for the first global offer of CPAA. A partial bid will be presented on August 28th. Our offers relating to the pension will be presented at the beginning of September.

Once the global offer of the Association has been presented, the teams are only discussing items contained in these offers. At this stage, although it is possible to eliminate some items or certain demands, it is impossible to add anything.

The CPAA negotiation team is determined to preserve the largest number of acquired rights and benefits of our members. As soon as it is possible to provide more information, we will update the Association’s Web site.


by Daniel L. Maheux

CPAA-CPC Negotiation Update

Yesterday, Canada Post Corporation released a communiqué through RPS informing CPAA members that a global offer had been presented to the Association negotiation team. It is doubly unfortunate that the Corporation chose to table a global offer and to communicate that fact to our members at large.

To explain, as of writing this communication, the Association has not yet tabled several of its proposals on key issues such as Monetary and the Pension. Furthermore, we have yet to discuss important changes to the STDP and the Corporation has yet to provide responses to a number of questions we have asked. We have had virtually no discussion on several Association proposals.

Yesterday, June 3rd, we informed the Corporation that we did not intend to respond to their Global Offer. We will not be pushed toward an agreement that is bad for our members. We have told the Corporation that the Association will proceed with its remaining proposals. We will continue to seek discussions on issues of importance to our members’ working lives and economic well-being.

The goal is a collective agreement that is fair and reasonable for CPAA’s members while allowing Canada Post Corporation to continue to serve the needs of all Canadians. Further communication will be posted on the Association web site as bargaining progresses.


by Daniel Maheux

Negotiations 2015

On March 5, 2014, the Canadian Postmasters and Assistant Association (CPAA) informed Canada Post Corporation (CPC) that it was starting to prepare for negotiations. Last September, Canada Post informed CPAA that its negotiating team had been chosen. The respective parties worked on getting ready to meet and the formal negotiations commenced the first week of February.

In the meantime, CPAA members already know that our current contract with Canada Post expired on December 31, 2014. Members need to remember that all terms, conditions, Memorandums of Agreement, and Side Letters, which form part of the Collective Agreement that recently expired, are still in full force until a new agreement is ratified. It also means that for members who are at the top increment of their respective levels in the wage scale, no increase will be available until a new agreement comes into effect.

By the time you read this, CPAA and the Canada Post negotiating teams will have met during the last week of January, the first week of February and two weeks in March.

Our practice is not to send out detailed reports on the daily back and forth of bargaining, but we intend to make sure members are updated on significant developments. We can tell you, for instance, even before we sit down at the table, the Corporation made it clear that it would be seeking similar concessions to those obtained from APOC.

As the process evolves, please watch for updates on the Association’s Web site and in the Communiqué.