October 2022 Update
Tick tock, tick tock, and we continue to wait. It’s been a month since the 2019 National Agreement expired and we are patiently waiting for an update on our next contract. Meanwhile, in our local installations, management is preparing their plans to deal with peak season and the ensuing increase in volume. Interesting times to be a Mail Handler. There is one thing for certain, the only way we’ll get where we’re going is by walking the path we’re on right now.
Following the expiration of the 2019 National Agreement, the National Union reported that negotiations would continue so long as the parties felt progress was being made. Well, we’re getting to the point where we should be hearing something soon. It will be either that a tentative agreement has been reached or that we will be proceeding to interest arbitration. Should a tentative agreement be reached, it will be subjected to a ratification vote by the Membership. I know I've mentioned this before but it’s worth repeating because it’s important. It is Union democracy in action. A ratification vote provides each Member with the opportunity to express their individual view over the terms of a tentative agreement. If a tentative agreement is reached and ratified by a majority vote, it will become the 2022 National Agreement. We will proceed to interest arbitration if the Membership rejects the tentative agreement. The decision of an arbitrator will be final and binding. There is no ratification vote over an arbitrator's decision.
Peak season is rapidly approaching, and management is preparing their latest plan to move the Mail. A peak season planning meeting has already been held at the district level and planning meetings are underway in each installation. Last year’s volume produced gridlock in several facilities. It appears that management is attempting to avoid similar situations this year. We’ll see how that goes as things develop.
Many big issues remain on the horizon, we will continue to deal with issues as they arise, and I’m confident that the Representatives of Local 323 are up to the challenge.