October 14th 2021
By now, most if not all of you will have all heard about the vaccine practice introduced by Canada Post following the Federal Government announcement that mandates proof of vaccination for all federal employees as well as Crown Corporation employees, including those who work for Canada Post.
When Canada Post first presented CPAA with a draft copy of the vaccination practice it was stated at that time that employees who were not attesting to being vaccinated would be able to use rapid testing twice a week and remain at work. After the Government announcement requiring Crown Corporations to develop policies to mirror their own, Canada Post has just informed us that rapid testing kits will only be available to employees that fall under a human rights ground or are in the process of being vaccinated. All employees that are not fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or unable to be vaccinated (accommodation) will be placed on leave without pay as of November 15th.
CPAA wants to assure you we are working in your best interest and with your safety always in mind. Canada Post Corporation will be sending a letter to you regarding the upcoming practice. Once all documents are finalized, we will be able to share with all members.
Please stay safe and strong during this challenging period in history.
Pay Equity Updates
CPAA members have been more than patient with the many delays while we wait for pay equity money. The Corporation is now mailing successful claimants an agreement (NDA) to not disclose the amount of the settlement and following receipt of that signed agreement, it should take around 8 weeks for the cheque.
A mailing was sent to eligible applicants during the week of May 17, 2021. It contained each applicant’s work history during the period from September 1, 1992 to March 31, 1997, and a non-disclosure agreement. Applicants were asked to sign and return the non-disclosure agreement by June 4, 2021. Due to production delays in issuing the mailing, documents will be accepted after the deadline, though these payments may be delayed.
Please continue to email your questions and concerns to CPAAequity.equiteACMPA@canadapost.postescanada.ca
Letter to the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, on December 6th, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women
On the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women, I am writing on behalf of the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association to request concrete support for rural Canadian women, who comprise 95% of our membership.
Women’s shelters everywhere are feeling the pressure of the pandemic, especially in rural parts of the country. ln September of this year, a report from Women’s Shelters Canada pointed to a lack of funding and resources for women and their children fleeing abusive relationships, particularly in rural, remote, and Northern areas.
A disproportionate number of women seeking shelter from abuse in rural Canada are lndigenous. According to Statistics Canada, in April 2018, around 20% of women and children in non-lndigenous shelters identified as First Nations, M6tis or lnuit, compared to an overall population count of 4% of Canadian women (age 18 and older) and 8% of children as a whole.
Just a few days ago, on November 25th, Women’s Shelters Canada confirmed that rising rates of abuse are emerging from pandemic conditions, with isolation and COVID restrictions being used by abusers to control, silence and confine women’ The organization stated that “The demands on shelters – in terms of capacity and in dealing with more severe cases of abuse – have only increased as the pandemic continues.”
As Postmasters and Assistants who live and work in over three thousand rural communities, we are constantly looking out for our neighbours and their families. We are deeply concerned with the lack of funding and resources for emergency and second stage shelters, as well as the distances that rural women must travel to access them. Canada can and must do better for our rural families.
ln both your capacities as Minister for Women and Gender Equality, and as Minister for Rural Economic Development, our Association urges you to work with organizations such as Women’s Shelters Canada to increase funding and resources for women’s shelters in rural, remote, Northern and lndigenous communities.
We would like to renew our request for a meeting with you and look forward to hearing from you.
National President, The Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association
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.