Earlier today, Arbitrator Maureen Flynn released her ruling on the question of pay equity between Canada Post’s rural and suburban mail carriers (who are predominantly female) and urban mail carriers (who are predominantly male).
In her ruling, Arbitrator Flynn has indicated there is more work to do. She has instructed both parties to sit down over the next 90 days, using her guidance, to reach an agreement on the matter.
Canada Post is therefore committed to acting swiftly and diligently with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers to find a meaningful resolution.
Gender equality is a basic human right and therefore pay disparity on the basis of gender is wholly unacceptable for Canada Post. This is fundamental to the values of Canada Post, just as it is to us all as Canadians.
A comprehensive review process
The ruling follows an expedited pay equity process which was agreed to between Canada Post and the CUPW during collective bargaining in 2016. A Memorandum of Agreement was signed ensuring “that the process set out herein will result in a final and binding determination of all allegations of gender based wage discrimination from January 1, 2016 to the date of the final outcome of the Pay Equity Review.” When looking at gender, rural and suburban delivery employees are predominantly female while urban delivery employees are predominantly male.
The joint committee worked diligently with the help of third-party expert consultants to fully analyze and study the issue. Following the analysis, the findings were shared with committee members and discussed thoroughly. After a number of discussions with Arbitrator Flynn, the arbitration hearing began in February 2018 to bring clarity and resolution to the matter. In her ruling, Arbitrator Flynn has instructed both parties to sit down over the next 90 days, using her guidance, to reach an agreement on the matter.
How we got here
Approximately 8,000 rural and suburban mail carriers (RSMC) deliver mail and parcels in rural and suburban communities across Canada. Up until 2004, these were contract delivery positions with Canada Post and often part-time to reflect the requirements of the routes. The first RSMC collective agreement was negotiated with CUPW in 2003 and took effect on January 1, 2004. A separate collective agreement is in place for roughly 34,000 urban employees represented by CUPW.
The compensation structures for employees in each collective agreement are unique. The urban pay structure is time-based while the RSMC pay structure depends on the characteristics of the route, such as the number and type of addresses and the distances travelled. The structures were developed years ago and negotiated over time to reflect the work involved in delivering mail in large and small communities across Canada. Comparing the two collective agreements in terms of pay equity is a complex task and has led to disagreements between the Corporation and the union. As a result, both parties agreed to a comprehensive review process.
Canada Post is committed to moving quickly to follow the instructions provided by Arbitrator Flynn to resolve this matter.