Convention 2019

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Clarion Hotel & Suites  May 4th, 5th & 6th in Winnipeg

Convention 2019 was a success!  We have 2 delegates going to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in October!

Congrats to Carey Guy, Rorkton and Mary Anne Bursey, Carman!

Presidents Report - Janet Johnson

I would like to start by welcoming everyone to this year’s 96th Annual Convention.

I am always grateful to see all the members and special guests that take the time to come and join us year after year.

We have again had a very busy year with CPAA. I would like to take a moment to thank and recognize all the hard work that goes into making this weekend happen. Your Branch Board has spent a lot of time in hopes that you will leave here this weekend equipped with new information and of course have a bit of fun while you are here.

I thought I would try and do something a little different this year. I remember being the last one to get up and make my speech every year and I had a hard time to come up with things that hadn’t already been covered. I know the last thing we want to do is repeat the same thing over and over. So, I have written this speech over many times in hopes that I don’t take away anything from each one of my fellow board members. They have each worked very hard in representing our members and I am very proud to work together with them.

I am the chair of the By-Laws and Policy Committee and I sit on the Training and Education Committee at National. I had the honour of training members from Ontario and Manitoba in Ottawa last year for the Just For You Training Course. This is a course that is held Nationally to teach members about CPAA. I am so pleased to see that we have some people here today that attended. I will be calling on them a little later to share their experiences. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves and brought back a wealth of information.

As you all know it is an election year, so there will be no Just for You in October. Instead, we will be having our Triennial Convention in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. With this being an election year, you have the opportunity to run for any position as well as vote in your Manitoba Branch Board. We will also be looking for 2 people to represent us as delegates at the National Convention.

In 2018, we lost a total of 39 Hours. This included 2 part time positions being deleted and the closure of 1 Post Office.

So far, as of May 1st, 2019, we have lost a total of 17 hours. This includes 1 Post Office closure. Now for the first time we actually had hours added into a couple of offices. We gained a total of 19 hours in two offices. Let’s hope this continues to be the trend.

We have had 3 grievance in Manitoba in 2018. One is still ongoing with the other two being resolved. Unfortunately, we have had to file the same grievance again now in 2019 regarding staffing a Senior Assistant position. Canada Post just refuses to follow the collective agreement when it comes to this issue. We will continue to fight to have the positions posted correctly.

As you are aware, our collective agreement expired December 31st and I am looking forward to our National President’s Report on an update on our negotiations. I know many of you have had questions that hopefully we can get some answers to.

Canada Post has recently released the fact that they will be conducting audits at post offices based on high-risk indicator reports, random selection and concerns about observed irregularities in their inventory. If your post office is selected, members from Internal Audit, Retail Inventory Management and the Retail Service Centre teams will come to your post office unannounced to perform inventory counts.

I need to remind everyone that we are responsible and in charge of all corporate assets. In some cases, we are talking large amounts of funds and inventory. I can’t express enough that these funds are not there for our own personal use. There have been cases where Canada Post is investigating and finding that corporate funds or inventory has been mishandled. I am begging you to please be diligent and on top of your inventory. I know that it has been asked that you are keeping track of your inventory on a monthly basis. This could include picking a different product to count every month. So for example, you would count all bubble mailers one month and say booklets of stamps the next. If something doesn’t look right or you believe that there is a problem, contact your manager immediately. Remember that we are only the keepers of these funds and we are responsible for what happens in our offices.

Staffing for the most part is moving along well. Canada Post are trying to have positions staffed quickly, instead of waiting months. We have seen an enormous amount of movement within the company this past year with many retirements.

This past year we also lost a long-time member from our CPAA family. Arnold Eyford passed away this past year. For the people here who didn’t know Arnold, he was a long-standing member of CPAA that we recognized last year for attending our convention for 30 consecutive years. He was a huge supporter of the Children’s Hospital or any children’s charity for that matter. As a tribute to him we will be making the Children’s Hospital donation this year in his name, so for anyone wanting to throw in an extra few dollars, I am sure he will be smiling down on us.

We have created a brand new CPAA Manitoba website and we encourage everyone to check it out. Here you will find useful information, forms and things to keep you in the know with your Manitoba Branch. There is a contact page if you would like to send us a message or let us know what you would like to see. I would love to have a section with pictures of our post offices. If you would like to have your office on our website or you have anything you would like to share, please feel free to send them to me.

I need to make sure and mention the support of this amazing team and Juanita, who I have left to hold down the fort. I couldn’t do it without you all.

Something to leave you with to ponder:

Life is too short to be anything but happy.

So, kiss slowly, love deeply and forgive quickly.

Take chances and never have regrets.

Forget the past but remember what it taught you.

Thank You,

Respectively submitted

Janet Johnson, President

Vice Presidents Report - Raymond Bonk

Manitoba Branch Convention Report

May 2019

Good morning fellow members, Manitoba Branch Board, National Vice President Dwayne Jones and guests.

It is always nice to see some new faces with us for this occasion. I hope you have a great time this weekend and remember to spread the word to others around your area and have them come next year; the more the merrier.

This is an election year so all positions are open for you to put your name forward for a position on the branch board. We will also hold an election for delegates to attend our national convention that will be taking place this fall in Saskatoon.

Doug Ettinger is the new CEO that was appointed to Canada Post he replaced the interm CEO Jessica McDonald who will be remaining as chair of the board. Mr. Ettinger claims that one of his top priorities is to improve labour relations at Canada Post.

As you all know our collective agreement came to an end Dec. 31st in 2018, but everything stays the same until our New Collective Agreement comes out. Negotiations are under way for both CPAA and CUPW although theirs has gone to an arbitrator for a ruling.

This year was the first for some offices getting more hours added to their schedules which is a huge move forward from the loss of hours over the last few years.

This past Christmas season was a bit different with the rotating strikes taking place. A lot of customers were confused whether to mail a package or not, or if the package they had ordered online would still arrive. Fortunately, the only time that we were really impacted was when Winnipeg was on strike. For the rest of the season we were lucky and did not feel many effects of the rotating strike.

We were also one of the offices that received extended hours through the peak season. We have not heard the outcome of the extended hours or whether they will be offered again for this coming season. There was also a lot of confusion as to how these hours were offered to each office. It was great that we were given the extra hours, three on Saturday and two for Tuesday and Thursday evenings. There wasn’t a plan as to how they were to be put into our schedules. If you are working Saturdays by yourself, you now need a lunch break. You can’t work 6 hours straight without lunch. What time were we suppose to close to do end of day? Monday to Friday we were given 15 minutes; what about Saturday? These were all issues we had to work out, the circumstances varied from office to office, depending who was working the extra hours.

There has been talk of civic addressing some of our mail boxes in offices. This has already happened in another province in a few locations. Customers would change their PO box to a civic address but would get their mail delivered to a PO box within our offices. Not sure as to how or when this may get implemented, but is a rumor so keep an ear out. We just finally got customers to put mail box numbers on their mail, now we may have to turn around and say we want their civic address not their PO box number.

We are also hearing a lot of wrong information coming from our LAS’s in all areas, if it doesn’t sound right call one of your union reps and we will check it out.

Janet and I continue to meet 4 times a year with management to discuss Labour relation and Health and Safety issues that arise in offices. This past year there has been more of a focus on health and safety, making things safe and making it home without incident. Management is looking at setting up committees to get everyone in the same direction on the health and the safety aspects for our offices.

Ask yourself, “Has there been any INJURY ON DUTY in my office? If so, has it been corrected? We have one office where a member had an injury to her shoulder because the scale that was sitting on the counter was too high. This happened over a year ago and still, nothing has been done to the counter to rectify the situation. Report things like this to your LAS if nothing has changed, don’t wait for another injury. Then the next step is to talk with one of your union reps if the LAS is not taking any actions to resolve your situation.

One thing that everyone needs to remember is if you are injured at work you must report it to your LAS and WCB. If it feels as though it isn’t a big issue don’t wait for a week or more to pass by only to have it cause problems in the future. You have to create a file with WCB when the injury happens, big or small. Should you have problems later, you now have a file # to fall back on. This should not be a STDP claim.

The end of June is fast approaching, all group offices have to have their forms in for the supplemental allowance.

There is a shortage of casuals in areas, talk to your LAS or LAM. The process is long to hire for a grade office so the sooner you get started the better. If you get started now you should have them trained and ready to go by Christmas. In my office we started the beginning of July last year and it wasn’t until mid-December that they were ready to go. They have to have their training before they can start working in an office, both online and in an office.

We all have to read and phone in saying that we have read the respect and violence in the work place booklet. There are still offices out there that are not showing respect for one another. You don’t have to be best of friends but you do have to work as a team to get the job done. Value each other's differences and what those differences can bring to the work place.

I continue to get calls on the interview process when someone is applying for a position. Remember the more you prepare the better the outcome on the interview. If anyone would like some assistance please don’t hesitate to call me.

In closing, I would like to thank the Manitoba Branch Board and the National office for their support. Special thank you to you the members for giving me the opportunity to help with the questions you have and for reporting issues out there that need to be dealt with.

Respectfully Submitted

Vice Pres. Raymond Bonk

Secretary Treasurers Report - Hope Toporowski

Good Morning and Welcome to the 96th Annual Convention of the Manitoba Branch of CPAA.

National Vice-President Dwayne Jones, Members, Guests, and Fellow Board Members.

It seems like only yesterday that I stood here and gave you my annual report – time does have a way of clicking the clock away and yet, another year has gone.

Over the past year your Board has attended to many Labour Relations issues, office consultations, Health & Safety meetings, and office conflict resolution meetings.. The relationship between CPC and CPAA is a good one but we can never let our dukes down. It seems that some issues just never go away, and one hurdle crossed, another one comes to light. At a recent meeting with our Local Area Manager there was some discussion on setting up Local Health and Safety Committees with Canada Post and local Postmasters. This may assist in addressing and resolving issues before injury and /or time loss to our members.

As 2018 came to an end, it seems one is never prepared enough to complete the year end processes as required by our Auditors and National Office. I guided the other branch S/T’s in the year end procedures as well. I have continued to be a support worker for some of the S/T’s, sometimes a few minutes, but sometimes several calls and several hours. It is nice to be able to share ideas, thoughts and processes although some vary from Branch to Branch. One S/T called me and asked for assistance after their year end was done as that was when she realized that the bank account was off balance. A sharing of flash drives and several hours of ledger and computer work, we both were grateful for screen shots and fax machines as 10 hours later we were able to resolve her issue. I can now really appreciate the Canada Post helpline workers as it is not easy to assist one when you can’t see what the other member is looking at on their page. With a few sighs of relief and usually a good laugh we turn the page and move on. Thanks to the other S/T’s for their patience as I continue to learn as I go – teaching the Quicken program as it has been personalized for our Branches needs. And we have Sherry Lee s/t Nfld, Labrador Branch who on a few occasions called me to ask me to send her file back to her --- as she was not able to locate it on her screen????? We’ve had a few laughs….

Thanks to Vice President Dwayne and the team @ National Office for offering me the opportunity of teaching the Quicken accounting program – I was finally able to fulfill my dream of being a teacher, and it has been a pleasure.

Financially, your Manitoba Branch is in a healthy situation. We have continued to pinch where we can. Many times issues are discussed on the phone or documents are shared by email &/or messenger instead of meeting face to face with the Corporation on delicate issues. Welch & Company of Ottawa, our auditors have reported that the books of the Manitoba Branch have been maintained professionally and meet all the audit standards required. The auditor's report which I will present to you in a few minutes gives the actual values at year end 2018.

As of March 31, 2019 our bank balances are:

Savings Account $ 54,741.72

Chequing Account $ 58,460.21

Term Deposits $126,116.88

for a total cash value of $239,318.81

All of the Branch funds are located at Fusion Credit Union, Winnipegosis Branch.

Our outstanding liabilities for Union Leave Without Pay at National office as of the end of March is only $13,090.86 showing our overall cash available at $226,227.95.

2019 is our Triennial Year – which means elections of officers to represent you, the member. There will also be an opportunity for 2 members at large to be elected as Delegates to attend the National Triennial which will be held in Saskatoon in Oct. Also, it has been customary for Branch Officers to visit other Branch Conventions to assist them in their electoral duties so those costs were incorporated into the 2019 budget. We spent a considerable amount of time before the final budget was set as we felt this was not the time or place that we should be dipping into the Savings Account.

In a few minutes I will present the 2020 Proposed Budget. We will continue to represent you the member at the lowest possible costs, so we can stay within our budget.

A huge thank-you goes to my fellow Board members, Janet, Raymond, Kim and Christine, who have been very supportive. National Vice-Pres Dwayne – thank you for answering my many questions as they always seem to be “ I need to know now” situations, and please convey my thanks to the Officers and support staff at National for their guidance over the past year.

Thanks to you, the members, for taking an interest in your Association and making us aware of situations out in the field. You are our eyes and ears and without your calls the Branch Board may not know what CPC is up to in your area. We cannot resolve issues if we are not aware of them.

I would also like to extend a very big Thank you to my term, Wanda. She does a great job of holding down the fort.

This concludes my report and I hope you enjoy your Convention.

Respectfully Submitted by

Hope Toporowski, Sec Treas

Directors Report - Kim Houston

Good morning National Vice President Dwyane, visiting CPAA Directors and fellow CPAA members-

“It seems the speed of 2019 is increasing”- I read that phrase the other day and thought – Wow, that is so true. It’s seems like just last week; my husband and I were at my brothers in California for Christmas and now it’s the 5th month of the year (Don’t shoot the messenger here)

This past year has seen quite a few things happen throughout our area- One of the ones that stands out is the CUPW strike, during what is usually our busiest time of the year and coincidentally right around when Cannabis became legal in Canada. I would like to thank you for the incredible job you and your fellow employees did to combat any questions and concerns that our customers may have had during this time. I recently attended a Prairie Regional meeting with President Johnson. At that meeting Fred Pollard, who is the General Manager of Delivery Operations in the Prairies, went over some of the numbers from that time period and thanked CPAA offices for doing such a great job in handling this situation. That speaks loudly for the pride and commitment to your job and your customers.

This year saw the creation of a uniform bank- One of the things that comes up from offices is that ‘our casuals don’t have a uniform’- There are uniforms available here this weekend as well as you can contact me directly. We also have a list of what is available on our MB branch website. At this time, we are no longer accepting pants, but if you have any extra uniform shirts taking up space in your office or home, that are in good condition, you can send them to me as well.

Training and education are also on the list of things that we as a board try and incorporate throughout the year- I feel that this is pretty important as it gives us tools for handling different issues, that we are able to pass on to you the member when you contact us. This year, we did a mental health in the workplace course. The movement to bring a positive view of mental health is gaining ground and that is great. Did you know that Homewood, who is our EAP (will explain what that means) provider has a lot of great resources on their website?

Before I forget- I would just like to thank those of you who took a minute to fill out the survey I emailed out – Getting your feedback helps us plan for the following year.

One of the items of feedback we received was people are interested in knowing what kind of concerns we receive throughout the year- due to confidentiality I cannot go into specifics however, working relationships with fellow employees and procedures in regards to staffing seems to top the list. Some of those include vacation scheduling and how available positions or extra hours should be staffed. Our Collective agreement is where we turn to help you answer those questions, its available through a link on our website as well as we should also have one in our offices. The thing I really like about the online version is that you can search a term- so if looking something up in the book kind of freaks you out, check out the online version. You might be surprised- its also mobile friendly.

Last fall CPAA Manitoba went to the Banjo Bowl in Winnipeg- It was our first “non-work” event- Do I love football? Nope

Do I understand football? Also, nope

Am I going to go again? Absolutely!

Everyone in attendance seemed to have a great time- We get an awesome deal on tickets for a game that sells out and gives us a chance to just have some fun with the other members. If city driving is not for you, don’t let that influence your decision- there are lots of free shuttles from different areas as well as some of the hotels have a Ride and Stay package. I hope to see you there and if you actually understand this game and don’t mind answering a bazillion questions, please sit beside me.

In September, Canada Post released Salute to First Responder stamps as well as a program where offices could request a plaque version of the stamps to present to the service providers in their communities. Due to the inquiries I received after I posted our presentation on social media, I reached out to CPC about getting some extras so that I could bring them here for anyone interested in doing a presentation- I know that the Fire Department and the Ambulance in our town was very appreciative and surprised that there was such a thing available. If you want to check out some of the presentations search #salute2responders. Come see me before the weekend is over if you would like one for your community.

In closing, I just want to remind you about the importance of self care and that if something doesn’t feel right, please get it checked out. Your job is at max 8hrs of your day and your life outside work uses the rest. We tend to adopt the mindset of “it was nothing major” “Oh the joys of getting old” or “suck it up and keep working because I have a job to do” just to name a few- This past summer I stepped in a pot hole on my way to teach a class and felt a pain. My thought? I’ll just walk it off, it’ll be better tomorrow. I continued to teach my aquafit classes, it continued to hurt but I was sure it was because of my shoes so I improvised and kept going because I had a job to do and I couldn’t let people down. I was in pain, so I wasn’t sleeping and if you ask my family, they might tell you I was a little cranky. After a few weeks, I decided to go get it looked at after hearing about someone else having much the same issues. The result- a fracture in my ankle and I spent the rest of my summer in a boot. Fun times. I have no way of knowing but I am guessing that had I have gone and got it checked sooner, I may have been able to salvage some of my summer. “I can’t take vacation or personal time because I don’t have anyone to call” is something I have heard frequently- Talk to your LAS/LAM about your concerns, call around to other offices nearby to get their Term employees contact information and give them a call. You are entitled to the time off; you don’t get any further ahead working through it and getting it paid out or carrying it over.

In closing, I want to thank you for another great year, I can’t believe that its been 3 years since I was standing up here asking you to elect me to your board of Directors – it’s a continuing learning experience for me and I feel that as a board, we really do work well together. This year, I do plan on asking your to once again put your faith in me to be part of your Manitoba Branch Board.

Thank you for coming out this weekend, we really hope you find some takeaways with the items presented to you. Enjoy the rest of your convention and if you haven’t already, give some thought to running as a Delegate to come to the Triennial Convention in the fall.

Directors Report - Christine Ott

Good morning fellow CPAA members, National Vice President Dwayne Jones, past Mb branch president Julie Hughes, guests and of course Mb branch board.

It’s always nice to be here for our convention and get together to share our stories, learn some new things and get a whole lot of information to bring back home. Great to see everybody here and hopefully you are enjoying your weekend. We have lots of awesome things planned for you.

I can’t believe I’ve been on this board for 3 years already! Where did the time go? One term went by just like that! I remember when I was growing up it was in a household that was against unions. I never heard any good words said about unions at home. I wasn’t even sure what a union really was. Yes, that’s how anti-union I was brought up. When I started working for Canada Post I was aware that there was a union involved but I didn’t really pay much attention to it. James Roszell tried to talk me into putting my name in for Just For You. At first I didn’t really want to but then I thought, hey, it’s a trip to Ottawa! But boy oh boy, did that ever open my eyes when I was picked and got to go for Just For You. That’s where I finally learned what a union is really for and why it’s so important to have unions. And look at me now, I’m on our union board (which my parents still don’t like). Yes, I definently turned into a pro-union person!

So, in my eyes (now) I think it’s really important to know what unions are, why they are around and what they’re good for. That’s why today I would like to talk to you a little bit about unions.

A trade union, also called a labour union, is an association of workers in a particular trade, industry, or company created for the purpose of securing improvement in pay, benefits, working conditions or social and political status through collective bargaining and working conditions through the increased bargaining power wielded by creation of a monopoly of the workers. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts (collective bargaining) with employers. The most common purpose of these associations or unions is "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment". This may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety and policies

Unions were illegal for many years in most countries. There were severe penalties for attempting to organize unions, up to and including execution. Despite this, unions were formed and began to acquire political power, eventually resulting in a body of labour law that not only legalized organizing efforts, but codified the relationship between employers and those employees organized into unions.

The origins of trade unions can be traced back to 18th century Britain, where the rapid expansion of industrial society then taking place drew women, children, rural workers and immigrants into the work force in large numbers and in new roles.

Trade unions were finally legalized in 1872, after a Royal Commission on Trade Unions in 1867 agreed that the establishment of the organizations was to the advantage of both employers and employees.

Unions in Canada

Nearly 30% of Canadian workers belong to unions, including, nurses, teachers, journalists and professional athletes, as well as the more traditionally unionized occupations like retail store clerks, manufacturing workers, miners, electricians and other construction trades workers. All in all, about four million Canadian workers belong to a union.

Unions in Canada are regulated by federal and provincial legislation. They are required by law to be democratic and financially accountable to their members. All unions have constitutions that must be registered with government labour boards. There are well over a hundred different unions in Canada.

How Unions strengthen the Canadian Economy

Many historians attribute unions to the rise of Canada's middle class and the general prosperity of the country. By helping more workers make decent wages with more job security, unions are largely responsible for stabilizing the economy and stimulating its growth. Because of unions, more working people can afford houses, better food, clothing, cars and other consumer goods. Increasing demand for these things creates more jobs and even more economic growth.

Workers who are paid well and enjoy job security can afford to pay taxes to support the growth of public services like schools, roads, clean water, police services, electricity and health care. In this regard, even people who have never belonged to a union benefit from the existence of good union jobs in their communities.

Union workers make more money, spend more money and create more jobs with that spending. The health care benefits enjoyed by union members (dental, prescription drugs, optical, physiotherapy, etc.) means healthier families and less of a burden on the health care system. And union pensions mean workers and their families can retire comfortably and continue to contribute to the economy in their golden years.

Union Dues

Unions in North America started nearly two hundred years ago as "mutual aid societies." They are still like that today. Everyone who belongs contributes a small portion of their income in return for the protection of the group as a whole. That's what union dues are. Every union member contributes to a common fund of money that is used to protect the interests of all.

It's a lot like insurance. In fact, many people view union dues as "job insurance premiums," though that only tells half the story. Union dues are used not only to protect jobs but to fund negotiations for better wages and working conditions, to pay for professional advice when needed, to organize more workers and make the membership stronger, to train stewards and health and safety committee activists, and to work for better laws for workers and their families.

I know you were aware of most of these facts already but I thought it would be good to refresh you on why our association is so important for us and our families. My life has changed a lot since I’ve been working in a unionized job, I feel more secure in my work environment and I feel like I have a voice instead of just being a number.

I’m very thankful for the last 3 years working together with 4 great fellow board members and the awesome bonding and helping each other out. So, thank you Janet, Raymond, Hope and Kim and hopefully we’ll get to work together for another term.

Respectfully submitted


Christine Ott