Every year the Union requests a shift bid under Article 13.26 of the Collective Agreement. On November 27, 2017, the Union met with the employer to have an initial consultation regarding the 2018 annual shift bid. We will need to meet again and at this point nothing has been completed.
Under Article 8 of the Collective Agreement,
“The Corporation and the Union recognize that constructive and meaningful consultation is necessary in order to reach agreement on all the subjects mentioned in this article”.
We want to be clear that just because we consult with the employer does not necessarily mean we agree with them. If your supervisor /superintendent ever says, “we consulted and the Union agreed” chances are there may have been a consultation but there may not have been agreement.
In their proposal Canada Post put forward significant changes to some sections of the plant, specifically the Annex, VES, LCP, and Finals/S&L manual. Even though we had not yet consulted on the shift bid we wanted to try to minimize the negative impact these changes would have on our members. We did this by requesting that the employer have a November monthly bid. Having this bid would allow the members who were going to be displaced, due to their sections shrinking/moving, to bid to somewhere else. That way if they needed a specific shift for child care/elder care/other needs, they would have an opportunity to try and obtain that. If they were just displaced they would be subject to being backfilled and at the whim of the corporation. This bid would be on paper only and no one would move until the implementation of the shift bid. This way at least many of these members would be eligible to bid in the shift bid.
One of the other topics of discussion was around Article 54 and the Duty to Accommodate. In these discussions the parties need to balance Article 54, Human Rights and the emerging case law around the Duty to Accommodate, as this case law is ever changing.
There appears to be some willingness by the corporation to enter into discussions with the Union and follow the language in 54.01 (f).
“The parties may agree to designate and reserve certain assignments for employees requiring accommodation”.
At this time nothing has been finalized on this topic.
We have made it clear to Canada Post that we are willing to work with them. The Union recognizes that the annual shift bid is the time of year where Canada Post can realign their operations to suit their needs. The Union wants to ensure the negative impact of this realignment is mitigated, as much as possible.
One of the things the Union asked for today was consistent messaging to come from the employer. Instead of having a number of different supervisors/superintendents giving information or possibly misinformation we have asked for Canada Post to designate a spokesperson. Our thought was that this spokesperson would go to the different sections with a Chief Steward or Shop Steward and provide the same information to the members. They have not confirmed that they will agree to our request.
The follow up meeting has not yet been scheduled but we are hoping to meet before the end of the week. Any further info we have we will provide either through the stewards or by way of a bulletin.