Vancouver Local UPDATE – November 27, 2017

I’ve been handed a 24 hour notice, now what? | Have you moved? | Are you a New Letter Carrier? | Steps to fixing route issues | Abeyance (9.106): What does it mean? | Article 6.03 – Did you get one? | Groups 1 & 2 Compensatory time | Bill C-27 an attack on your pension

I’ve been handed a 24 hour notice, now what?

It’s bound to happen at some point in your career: a supervisor hands you a 24 hour notice of interview to discuss something that Canada Post alleges you have done. What you do from that point onwards will have an impact on the outcome. Here’s some simple tips to help you through this difficult process.

Before the interview:

  • Don’t say anything to Canada Post. Canada Post may attempt to use something you say when you’re handed the notice against you later. This is not the time to argue your point, and nothing you say will cause Canada Post to rescind the interview.
  • Get a shop steward! NEVER go into an interview alone. If you’re unsure of who the shop stewards are on your work floor, you can ask a co-worker, or you can get an updated list at www.cupw-vancouver.org
  • Request your personal file. As soon as you are handed the 24 hour notice of interview, make a request for your complete personal file in writing so you can review it beforehand. Keep a copy of this request for your records. No unfavourable report on your file older than 1 year can be used against you or as a basis for progressive discipline.
  • Prepare yourself. Write down as much as you can recall about the alleged incident and ask your shop steward to request copies of any document or photo they bring up during the interview

During the interview:

  • Remain calm. Getting upset will not help. Be sure to stick to the subject on the notice of interview and if your supervisor attempts to divert the subject, simply state “That’s not what we’re here to discuss.”
  • Just the facts. Don’t speculate or guess. Stay on point with the facts and sequence of events. Canada Post may ask the same question twice to see if you give a different response.
  • Where’s the proof? The burden of proof rests on the employer. In some cases, such as a complaint by a customer or co-worker, they may withhold the identities or exact wording of the complaint. However, Canada Post cannot speculate or base their assumptions from second hand stories. (Art. 10.01)
  • Document everything. Both you and your shop steward should be taking notes on what questions are asked and the responses given. This will help you greatly if you need to grieve any potential outcome.

After the interview:

  • Save your paperwork. Keep the notice of interview. You may be given a letter with the outcome, if any. Save that as well as any notes you have taken and have your steward request copies of any documents or photos used during the interview.
  • Grieve it!  Immediately file a grievance if you are disciplined or receive a letter placed on your file. Even though letters are removed after 12 months, they may be used as a step towards progressive discipline. If you are interviewed again for a similar incident, the letter may be used as grounds for a suspension. Grieving a letter on file is quick, easy, and will help you later if needed. If nothing happens after 12 months, the letter is removed from your file and the grievance is dismissed.

Did you know?

Did you know if you move and change your address with CPC that they don’t share that information with the Union office?  Make sure our Union Local has your current address.  Please call our office at (604) 685-6581 ext. 0 to update our files.

Are you a New Letter Carrier?

When you’re first assigned to a route for the day or even several days you may not be able to complete the entire route in the same time as an experienced carrier who’s done the route before.  You might find juggling sorting the mail, collating the householders, organizing the mountain of parcels and trays of sequenced mail.  Asking your Supervisor for help in collating householders, or even having a section of delivery removed from your day is reasonable if you feel you may incur overtime.

If you’re already on route and know you will be doing overtime to complete the route contact your Supervisor to make the decision if you are to continue delivering, incurring overtime, or if you should bring the undelivered mail back to the depot.  If you work overtime make sure to log your hours worked.  Make sure to take all your entitled breaks.  Rushing or skipping breaks can lead to fatigue and a higher risk of injury.  If your Supervisor requires you to fill out a “15:08” form make sure to keep a copy for yourself.  Parcel counts above your routes average, high volumes of householders, bad weather, and any other delays that are unaccounted for (waiting for a taxi, construction, unusually heavy traffic, mechanical issues, etc) can all contribute to your day taking longer than 8 hours.

Steps to fixing route issues.

Are you tired of fixing the errors on your route, daily, to “make it work”?  Do you shake your head and say to yourself “why on earth did they build it this way?” Or maybe you struggle on a daily basis with any of the following; unsequenced mail, case strips that don’t match the delivery, flaws in the line of travel you’re expected to follow, or obvious violations of health and safety?  As a relief do you rely on notes from the carrier to have any chance of finishing the route without pulling your hair out?  Why not work together with the LCRMS (Letter Carrier Route Measurement System) Committee to help fix your route problems?  First obtain your full route kit  (make this request in writing and keep a copy of the dated request for your files)  A complete package will con   sist of the following forms (081, 071, 038’s, 098, 103, 108, Special Allowance form, Route Activities form, as well as a route map)  Your edit book is a good tool for general updating, but has key information missing about your route that can only be seen with your complete route package.

Abeyance (9.106): What does it mean?

Often, as a warning preceding a suspension, management will issue letters of reprimand or an unfavourable report on file to be used later. The Union strongly recommends that grievances are filed concerning any letter given to you by Canada Post; but what happens after that grievance is filed? In a nutshell, it can take over a year for a grievance to be heard before an arbitrator. By that time, the letter would have been removed from your file in accordance with article 10.02 c) of the Collective Agreement. So, to keep the grievance system from becoming backlogged, any letter that does not impose financial consequences is held “in abeyance” rather than being scheduled for arbitration. This means that if no further action is taken by the employer, the grievance is considered resolved after twelve months; however, if further action is taken by the employer, the grievance can be reactivated and may proceed to arbitration along with the grievance relating to subsequent discipline imposed.

Basically, grieving a letter means that if you are suspended later, and the letter is referred to as grounds for imposing the suspension, the grievance for the letter would be heard along with the grievance for the suspension. This means that the suspension imposed   could be reduced or dismissed entirely if the letter was found to be unwarranted, improperly placed on your file or improperly referenced in the letter imposing the suspension. On the other hand, not grieving a letter or any form of discipline may suggest that you agree with it, and may allow the Corporation to apply progressive discipline which would be more difficult for the Union to refute.

Remember: Grieve any letters on your file as soon as you get them!

Article 6.03 – Did you get one?

One what? A collective agreement! Often, with the influx of workers around the holiday rush, this provision is often overlooked. Regardless if you are a casual or permanent

employee, you should be provided a copy of the   collective agreement. These are the terms and conditions of your employment and it spells out your rights in the workplace. If you don’t have one, demand one!

Groups 1 & 2 Compensatory time

Do you bank your overtime? Do you want to be paid out for some of your banked overtime? Under 15.32 of the collective agreement banked overtime (compensatory time) can be paid out 3 times a year upon request.

In addition to the payout at the end of each leave year, an employee has the option, on written request as per the rules set out by the Corporation, of having some or all of their compensatory time as at July 1st, October 1st, and January 1st of each year, paid out.

Please submit your written request to your supervisor. Make sure you date it and KEEP A COPY for yourself.

Bill C-27 an attack on your pension.

Almost a year ago Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau introduced Bill C-27 into Parliament. This Bill is aimed at giving employers, like Canada Post, the right to change our pension from the more secure Defined Benefit Pension to a less secure target benefit pension.

Currently, all CUPW members and retirees have a Defined Benefit Pension. This means our pension is based on our earnings, our years of service and the age when we retire. The health of the stock market has no bearing on the amount we receive. But, in a Target Benefit Pension Plan the amount of pension you receive at retirement is just a target –if the stock market goes down so does your pension.

Bill C-27 is bad for the following reasons:

  • It makes our pensions less secure
  • It allows the pension plan to cut benefits to survivors (widows and widowers) if the plan is in bad shape
  • It does not protect the pension contributions we have already made
  • It allows Canada Post to go one by one to current workers and pressure or intimidate them to give up your Defined Benefit Pension in favour of a Target Benefit Pension.

The good news is that Bill C-27 still has not passed second reading in Parliament.  This is because Unions (including CUPW) have strongly opposed this bad bill.  Retirees are also working very hard to stop this Bill.

Recent news articles have pointed out that Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s company — Morneau Sheppell could profit if Defined Benefit pension plans are changed into Target Benefit Pension Plans.

You can help to protect your pension.

Write or email Finance Minister Bill Morneau at: bill.morneau@parl.gc.ca and tell him to withdraw Bill C-27 immediately.

la/CUPE-3338