On June 10, 2013 the National Office of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers issued a pension bulletin stating that it will contest the arbitrary decision of Canada Post Corporation to unilaterally change the level of financial contributions to the pension something which they say is disrespectful both to the employees and to the union.

Currently employees pay contributions that equal 40% of the cost of the Canada Post Pension Plan and the employer`s contributions amount to 60% of the cost.  According to the bulletin, the 40-60 ratios were established in law when the Canada Post Pension Plan was created and Canada Post employees ceased to be part of the Federal Superannuation Plan.

On May 29, 2013 postal workers received a letter from Canada Post stating that, effective July 1, 2013 the employee contribution rate for the Canada Post Pension Plan will rise by 0.7% of pensionable earnings.  It stated further increases would occur in 2014 until the rate of contributions for employees would be 50%, the same as that of the Corporation.

The bulletin points out that the decision by Canada Post to raise the rate of employee contributions was taken unilaterally by management without consultations or agreement with the union.  The union argues that this is a clear violation of clause 37.01 of the urban collective agreement which reads as follows:

37.01 Conditions not covered
(a) The existing working conditions concerning the payment of premiums, the payment of an allowance or the payment of any other financial benefit that are not covered by this collective agreement shall remain; in effect until such a time as they are otherwise renegotiated between the parties.

The union also says that management failed to recognize that all the money that goes into the pension fund, both the employer`s contributions and those made by the workers, constitute deferred wages that belong to the workers, not management.

The bulletin further points out “that it is the workers of Canada Post who have been responsible for CPC being profitable for 17 of the last 18 years.  It is our work that has resulted in CPC paying the federal government over $1 billion in taxes and dividends during this period.  Management has absolutely no right to unilaterally take decisions that reduce our pay cheques without consultations and agreement”.

The bulletin on the pension was written by Denis Lemelin, national president of the CUPW.  It is not clear whether a grievance has been filed.

In Solidarity,
Danielle Desormeaux

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