August 2022 Update
We continue to follow the ongoing negotiations as the expiration of our current contract quickly approaches. The 2019 National Agreement is set to expire on September 20th. Should our contract expire, its terms will remain in place until a new contract is reached. Our next contract will be determined by a negotiated settlement or by an arbitrators final and binding decision. Let's explore the possibilities.
The first question is a question of when. Will there be a negotiated settlement prior to September 20th? Considering the tone of the most recent contract update, it seems unlikely. To be sure, anything is possible; but history suggests that an agreement prior to contract expiration would be unusual. Most negotiated agreements have been reached after a contract has expired.
The expiration of the contract requires the parties to reconsider their bargaining positions, evaluate their options, and recommit themselves to reaching a negotiated settlement. It could be said that bargaining becomes more focused after contract expiration. There are limits of course. Bargaining will continue only if both parties are convinced that progress is being made. Should the parties find themselves at impasse, they will adopt procedures to resolve the impasse. This could include mediation or fact finding. But in the absence of mutually agreed upon resolution, the parties will submit their respective cases in arbitration for a final decision.
The National Union has a complete understanding of the issues, entered negotiations well prepared, and is committed to securing the best possible outcome for the Mail Handler craft. The Local Union supports their efforts during this difficult endeavor.
We will continue to wait for an outcome. Meanwhile, we have plenty of work to do here in the Local Union.