UPCE president speaks to Parliamentary committee about Task Force on Canada Post

On September 21, National President of the PSAC component Union of Postal Communications Employees Francois Paradis appeared before a House of Commons Standing Committee where he testified about our union’s concerns regarding the recently released discussion paper from the Task Force on Canada Post.

Paradis noted that in 2015, Canadians voted for change. However, the Task Force is recommending more of what we saw under the Conservative government: cut services, cut jobs, raise prices, repeat.

Outsourcing, executive costs not addressed

Paradis told the committee he was concerned the discussion paper doesn’t mention the outsourcing taking place at Canada Post.

“Outsourcing not only sends profits offshore, it does so at the expense of stability and quality of the job,” said Paradis.

Another issue absent from the report is the cost of Canada Post’s management structure and executive compensation.

Closures and privatization

The Task Force acknowledges that Canadians living in rural areas have expressed concerns about the effects the closure of post offices would have in their communities.

However, their response to these concerns is to either close all of Canada Post’s remaining outlets – including those in urban areas – or to convert them to franchises.

Closing or franchising means a loss of services as well as a loss of quality jobs in our communities.

Pension plan

Paradis also spoke about the options the Task Force is suggestingfor the pension plan. One of the suggestions is a permanent exemption from the solvency funding payments required by the Pension Benefits Standards Act. These requirements were introduced partly to respond to insolvencies of private sector employers.

“We believe the solvency funding rules are unnecessary and counter-productive,” said Paradis. “Like many other public and broader public service entities, there is a very low risk that Canada Post will wind down anytime in the foreseeable future.”

Canada Post – a public responsibility

“Canada Post isn’t just another business. It has a public responsibility,” Paradis concluded. “It also has a role to play in providing stable employment, offering new opportunities for future generations that are better than precarious jobs.”

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October 3, 2016
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