Postal Workers Could Get A 25% Pay Raise Following An Arbitrator’s Ruling

Canada Post’s rural and suburban mail carriers could get a 25% pay raise following an arbitrator’s ruling in a long running pay equity dispute.

In a statement, Canada Post said a preliminary review of an arbitrator ruling indicates that rural and suburban postal workers, known as "RSMCs," could see a 25% increase in their hourly wages, plus increases in other benefits.

Federal arbitrator Maureen Flynn issued the ruling Thursday after Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) failed to reach an agreement as part of their current round of collective bargaining by an August 30 deadline.

CUPW had argued that Canada Post's 8,000 rural carriers, most of them women, are paid much less than urban letter carriers and do not have equivalent benefits.

Canada Post said that settling the pay equity dispute could cost it $250 million. The arbitrator’s ruling comes as CUPW and the post office negotiate new contract under a September 25 deadline for a strike or lockout.

How the arbitrator’s ruling will impact ongoing talks at the negotiating table isn’t immediately clear. But CUPW, armed with a strong strike mandate, has said that its members will walk off the job at midnight on September 25 if a new contract is not reached by then.