The interim agreements must now be ratified by the 50,000 mail workers across the country before becoming the new treaties. As you all know, since the fall of 2017, we have been trying to negotiate new collective agreements with the Canada Post. We worked with mediators and conciliators for over a year before we invoked our right to strike on October 22, 2018. We thought we were close to collective agreements, but then CPC simply stopped the negotiations and prompted the government to pass labour legislation. As part of this labour law, the government has appointed a mediator/arbitrator to resolve the contentious issues. We tried to reach an agreement in December 2018, but we did not succeed. We started arbitration in January 2019 and are nearing the end of that process. The agreement is subject to ratification by PSAC-UPCE members across the country. After ratification by the parties, the agreement has an expiration date of 31 August 2024. If no agreement has been reached before 31 January, the Mediator would make recommendations for liquidation.
If they are not adopted by the parties, a binding arbitration procedure would be put in place. Canada Post and PSAC-UPCE have agreed to begin egg negotiations at an early stage in order to obtain a new collective agreement before the current expiry date in August 2020. These contracts expire about 18 months later. Looking ahead to 2019, I`m thinking about my first year at Canada Post. I know that this great company has a strong future for Canadians. But to succeed, we must find new avenues of cooperation, listen to each other and be open to new solutions. I`m determined to find that path. As the CUPW collective agreement process moves to arbitration, much remains to be done from January to rebuild our future together. There is still a long way to go, but this stressful chapter at Canada Post is coming to an end. If we move forward, I recognize that there is still a lot of work to be done to repair many relationships – with customers, with Canadians, with unions and especially with employees.