Arbitrator chooses Canada Post's proposal

Includes defined pension, higher wages

Arbitrator Michel G. Picher has accepted Canada Post's proposal in the final-offer selection process to reach a new collective agreement with the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association (CPAA).

Key changes include a defined contribution pension plan for new employees represented by CPAA.

"Canada Post is appreciative that the arbitration process efficiently expedited the resolution of difficult bargaining issues," said Canada Post president and CEO Deepak Chopra.

Except for employees represented by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), every employee group at Canada Post has a defined contribution pension plan for newer employees.

It was negotiated with the Public Service Alliance of Canada/Union of Postal Communications Employees for employees hired after May 2014.

A defined contribution plan was also negotiated with the Association of Postal Officials of Canada for supervisors and employees in supervisory support groups hired after February 2015.

The new agreement with CPAA also includes changes to entry-level wages. There is also an increase in employee contributions for post-retirement benefits, from 25 per cent to 50/50 cost-sharing with the employer. The package includes wage increases.

Canada Post proposed binding arbitration July 8, 2016, when negotiations were at an impasse. CUPW rejected the idea that day.

Under final-offer selection, either party may refer matters to an arbitrator if negotiations reach an impasse. The arbitrator then must choose only one proposal and he did not have the latitude to blend elements from both.

CPAA represents more than 5,000 postmasters and assistants in rural post offices across Canada.

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