Canada Post should think outside of the box.
Instead of taking away services like door-to-door delivery, the corporation could be finding new ways to increase revenue and encourage growth, says the Local 842 CUPW (Canadian Union of Postal Workers) president.
Back in town after recent union meetings in Victoria, Ingrid Tyson explained CUPW will soon begin contract talks and its membership has a few proposals.
“The union is about to start negotiations,” she said, referring to the collective agreement which ends Jan. 31 , 2016. “And our suggestions for expansion of services including postal banking, would help ensure CPC (Canada Post Corporation) continues to be sustainable now and in the future.”
Described as a “bank for everyone” the union maintains Canada needs a postal bank to service rural towns and villages across the country.
Until 1968 post offices did offer a national saving bank, and CUPW says bringing back that service could increase financial inclusion, fund economic development and generate revenue to preserve public postal service and jobs.
Canada Post’s announcement that its controversial community mailbox program is ‘on hold’ is a step in the right direction, Tyson says, but any forthcoming decisions should be broader based and involve everyone who buys postage and sends by mail.
“The suspension of CPC’s misguided plan to eliminate door-to-door is a good thing for our communities,” she said. “And (we) hope the new government will ensure this is not a temporary measure, but will quickly hold a public mandate review to ask Canadians what their priorities are for the future of the public post,” Tyson reiterated. “There are many other ways to increase CPC’s revenues and we are encouraging positive expansions instead of reduction of service.”
There was no official information on how many jobs would have been affected Trail’s 18 employees and 12 letter carriers had the community mailbox area entered the city.
But Tyson says there would have been at least a 50 per cent reduction of letter carrier jobs in the city, had door-to-door- delivery been eliminated.
Following discussions with the new Liberal government, Canada Post released a statement Oct. 26, reporting temporary suspension of the controversial community mail box program.
Canada Post spokesperson Anick Losier said the corporation will work collaboratively with the government of Canada to determine the best path forward given the ongoing challenges faced by the Canadian postal system.
“Efforts are now underway to place the comprehensive program on hold in an orderly fashion,” Losier said. “This involves roughly 460,000 addresses across the country which are currently in the process to be converted to community mailboxes.”
CPC cited competition from couriers, technology and growing popularity of paying bills on line were behind a growing deficit.
Postal workers, including Local 842, were blindsided two years ago when Canada Post made the announcement that within five years, 6,000 to 8,000 positions would be eliminated as home delivery was phased out and replaced with community mail boxes.
“Our system is emptier than it use to be,” Losier told the Trail Times in an earlier interview. “This company was built on letters and an affluence of letters across the country.”
She said company has seen a rapid decline of letters and increased loss of revenue since the introduction of the tablets (Apple) in 2008.
“I understand the union’s concerns but our business has changed dramatically.”