Masks Now Mandatory!

As of today, masks are mandatory in all Canada Post facilities. This will better protect our members and customers from COVID-19.

The CPAA has been pushing to make masks mandatory at labour-management meetings and we are pleased that our efforts have been successful. Management agrees that the health and safety of our members requires this protection.

We thank our members who reached out with their concerns – your voices were heard and they made the difference.

We know that members will have additional concerns about enforcing the mandatory mask policy with customers in all post offices and we are continuing to work to get some guidelines on proper enforcement.

National President’s Message

The following is an edited version of the report delivered by the National President at CPAA’s Annual Meeting in October. For a full copy of this report, please contact the National Office.

This year has certainly been one for the history books and has presented many challenges for our members and for the Association as we, along with the rest of the world, faced the COVID-19 pandemic which has to date taken the lives of over ten thousand Canadians and more than a million people worldwide. This global pandemic demonstrates the importance of public services such as health care and postal service to our communities. We can only hope that this will be remembered for many years to come.

From the very beginning, the government stated that post offices were part of Canada’s pandemic plan response so our members remained as frontline workers on the job while others were staying home. The pandemic meant that online ordering skyrocketed, and our members are still struggling to cope with ongoing Christmas-level volumes of parcels.

During the first days and weeks of responding to the pandemic hitting our country, the situation was changing by the hour, creating a great deal of uncertainty and confusion. CPAA Officers were in constant communication with Canada Post, both at the National and Branch levels. We continually pressed management on the urgent need for safety and protective equipment. Our offices, and communications platforms were flooded with questions, comments, and concerns from our members. We kept track of everything coming in and made sure our members’ concerns and demands were raised with management. We sent out information about special leave and quarantine leave, the relevant Health and Safety legislation, and Public Health directives.

The Association continued to demand Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while remaining cognizant of the fact that sorely needed medical supplies and protective equipment stocks were depleted the world over and were being reserved for frontline health care workers. By the end of March, Canada Post had begun to ship out gloves, sanitizing lotion, barriers and then face masks to our post offices. Some members found the PVC barriers were flimsy and overall, the lengthy wait for this protective equipment created a great deal of stress.

While our members were waiting for this equipment, they devised their own creative and memorable ways to try to keep safe. We are grateful to all our members who shared their stories and photos with us and with each other to keep our spirits up. I continue to have weekly calls with Canada Post and all the union leaders to discuss all COVID related issues in our post offices. This has proved to be very helpful with resolving issues quickly.

At the National Office, Officers and staff at first worked from home, except for myself and Sylvie, the Office Manager. Since we are an Ontario
workplace, in July, it was deemed by the government safe to bring everyone back into the office. I must say it was nice to see the whole team again. It certainly has been a steep learning curve for everybody to conduct our meetings virtually via online platforms such as Zoom. However, the
teleconferences and online meetings have been quite successful to date. We have also saved our Association a great deal of money that would
otherwise have been spent on travel.

We all know that meeting online is not the same as meeting in person for some events. Unfortunately, the pandemic has forced us to postpone our Just For You educational sessions. We hope to be able to deliver those in 2021. Similarly, we have had to pause our election process for Health and Safety representatives. The pandemic is far from over and we are facing a resurgence of cases heading into the colder months. I hope we can continue to stay safe and look out for each other. As a Union, that is our job.