The End Of Severance

A Postie With The Mostie
Re-inventing Canada Post
Canada Post 2013
The 2011 Postal Strike
Top Ten Anti-War Songs
Striking For More
Work Before The Post Office
The Best And Worse Of CUPW Strikes And Negotiations
Who Is CUPW Guy?
The Corporate Team Incentive Dispute
Ten Good Reasons To Move Forward
The End Of Severance
The CUPW Universe

Is Severance The Forgotten Issue?

Below are blog entries and letters that I posted and sent during the 2003, Severance Rollback Dispute.

Replacing Article 28 With A Severance Reward System

Dear Sister Bourque,
What about a reward system helps a CUPW member address employer concerns over "sick leave abuse" and "declining employee productivity"?
This would be an incentive program for employees to save sick days and increase productivity.  " As mentioned before, profit dividends would go into a fund that would accumulate interest over a postal worker's career. He/She would then get this back as a "severance reward" at retirement.
" Added to the above, would be a pay-out for unused sick leave credits. It, also, would be part of the severance reward at retirement.
CUPW members often worry about roll-backs and pension viability. (Look at the problems with the Ontario Teacher's Plan.) Obviously, CPC health through individual and group negotiations eases one's concerns about the future. Hopefully, something call be found to replace Article 28 that rewards rather than rolls back. I look forward to positive negotiations in the fall.

Top Ten Ways Canada Post Can Save Money
1. Looking for the spots where mail is double or tripled handled and fixing it.
2. Bringing back seminars on "downtime activity" and getting everyone's input on this subject
3. Discontinuing seminars that don't accomplish anything like the recent supervisor's seminars that lasted three months but didn't change anything on the work floor
4. Locating mail that has inadequate postage or letter bills
5. Discontinuing or reducing the royalty payment to the Government. There is no further need for the Post Office to be a "cash-cow" for the Liberals. The deficit seems under control, so what's the big problem in directing some of this money back for improved service and to its valued employees?
6. Reaching an acceptable agreement with CUPW without going on strike and causing hundreds of millions of dollars of lost revenue
7. Adequately staffing and managing facilities like South Central and the BMF, so that hundreds of thousands and even millions aren't going for ridiculous overtime (It's still going on.).
8. Reaching an agreement with CUPW on how future pension surpluses and profits that can help pay for severance packages and other benefits like retirement health and dental premiums.
9. Asking for bids from competing insurance companies to replace the overpriced premiums from Great-West Life and Sun Life
10. Having a bonus program in place for CUPW members as well as management. All inclusive productivity bonuses will mean higher morale and better service to our customers.

Dear Sister Bourque,
I don't believe that many members are aware of the different phases that negotiations go through to reach a settlement. At some points, there are few concessions from the employer and at other points, there are quite a few concessions. It is necessary to make this process come alive so the members can see it for themselves.
There is also the militant myth that the only way a union can get a decent contract is by going on strike for a long time and forcing CPC into major concessions by uncompromising confrontations. Without a doubt, brother Killy and sister Susan Kolompar come from this school. (It's motto is: "No Retreat And No Surrender.")
As you know, when CPC faces militant CUPW positions, it will ask the Government to step in and solve the dispute through binding arbitration.
" With a fall strike, negotiations turn into a confrontation and few or no further gains are obtained by the members. The results are there in black and white from the enforced settlements of 1987, 1991, and 1997.
1. Binding arbitration as in the 97 and 91 strike can mean losses for the membership
2. Each new negotiating session can have more ROLLBACKS that the negotiators have to handle. This is "The CPC Hardball Negotiating Style" and can cause the union a great deal of trouble.
3. CPC complains to the press and the Government that CUPW is trying to bankrupt them. This can create "bad press and enemies for the union
There would be no negotiating session extensions after  Aug/18/03
* The MPs were on summer vacations and maximum pressure would be on Canada Post for concessions
* CUPW locals and the NEB were united on a strategy to get big gains for the membership
* On my staff, there seemed to be a high acceptance of this approach from the rank and file
As you know, the solidarity on this plan disappeared when a tentative agreement appeared later in July. Will there be a strike debate in the near future? I guess it depends on more nays than yeas.

Does the "no side" have a consensus as to what is an acceptable "package" for a tentative agreement? Did they get together and work something out? I don't think so. Local presidents are like most members. They look rather than act. They react rather than plan. They wonder how negotiations work and think they can do better without really knowing how.  The weakness of the union lies with the passive non-participating locals who are still in mystery as to how collective bargaining works with Canada Post. Reminding them to what produces gains for the membership and what doesn't is important.

The History Of The Canadian Union Of Postal Workers