Canada Post workers make new proposal and hold off strike notice

Employee pension plans are the top sticking point as sides continue to negotiate

A Canada Post mailbox is seen near Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday May 5, 2016. The government announced it will review Canada Posts operations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

(Adrian Wyld, CP) 

The union representing postal workers says it has presented Canada Post with new offers, and workers won’t be striking before Wednesday at the earliest.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers must give 72 hours notice of any job action by its 50,000 members and it hasn’t done so.

Canada Post is also allowed to lock out its workers but it also hasn’t served notice of a lockout.

The two sides both say the number one sticking point in negotiations involves changes to employee pension plans.

Canada Post made new contract proposals a week ago, and on Friday, the union came forward with a counter-offer.

The union is proposing wage hikes, and rejecting Canada Post’s suggestion that new employees get a pension plan that operates like an RRSP, called defined contribution, instead of the defined benefit plan for current employees that guarantees a set level of retirement benefits.

A representative from Canada Post says in a written statement that the union’s proposed plan would add “at least $1 billion” in costs over the next three years.

The statement also says that two other unions representing Canada Post workers have agreed to the pension changes, and only CUPW is holding out.

The two sides were continuing to negotiate, the union said Saturday.

The last time Canada Post experienced a work stoppage was in 2011, which included 10 days of rotating strikes and a lockout before employees were legislated back to work by Ottawa.


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