CANADA POST CEO DEEPAK CHOPRA: IN LINE FOR REWARD?
According to a report published in the Ottawa Citizen on June 28, 2011, the President of the Treasury Board is preparing to recommend pay raises for executive officers of Crown Corporations such as Canada Post’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Deepak Chopra. The entitlement to extra pay will be determined by the “successful achievement of objectives”, corporate-speak that translates into bottom line results.
There can be little doubt that Chopra stands to personally benefit from corporate-driven initiatives such as two-tier wages and pensions and the stripping of our short-term sick leave benefits because the implementation of those cutbacks will assist Canada Post in achieving its goals in terms of offloading its labour costs.
By the same token, Chopra is almost certain to personally benefit from Bill C-6 (“Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act”). Bill C-6 is the return-to-work legislation inked by the Harper government that came into effect on June 27, 2011, just days after Canada Post shut down Canada’s mail service by initiating a nationwide lock-out. While mail delivery could have been restored by simply ordering Canada Post to rescind its lock-out, Bill C-6 has a far more insidious purpose. Bill C-6 imposed wages that are less than what had been proposed by Canada Post at the bargaining table and effectively stripped postal workers of their right to collective bargaining as provided by the Canada Labour Code. In stripping postal workers of their rights, Bill C-6imposed a form of final offer arbitration that is heavily biased towards Canada Post and will virtually ensure the imposition of cutbacks.
As it currently stands, Chopra earns a salary of $497,000.00 plus perks that include an additional 33% Personal Performance Bonus. With his personal performance bonus, Chopra earns $661,000 per year, the highest amongst federal civil servants and more than Prime Minister Steven Harper, who inked the legislation that will likely ensure Chopra’s reward.
BILL C-6 EXTENDS COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT RETROACTIVELY
Commencing on May 30, 2011, Canada Post discontinued its premium contributions to our Extended Healthcare, Dental, Vision/Hearing, Disability Insurance, and Life Insurance.
Bill C-6, which came into effect on June 27, 2011, has explicitly extended the term of the collective agreement to include the period commencing upon the expiry of the Collective Agreement (in this case, beginning on February 1, 2011 and ending on the day that a new collective agreement comes into effect).
To no surprise, Canada Post has now announced on its website that that it has resumed the premium coverage of the above health benefits as applicable to members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (Urban Postal Operations) for the period of May 30 to June 27, 2011, inclusive.
This move reflects Canada Post’s obligations under Bill C-6 and should not be misinterpreted as an act of corporate benevolence.
In the meantime, there are a variety of unresolved disputes including but not limited to the following issues:
- Denial of reimbursement for unresolved Extended Health (i.e. prescription drug coverage), Dental, Vision, or Hearing claims;
- Denial of pre-scheduled Vacation Leave and/or accrual of Vacation Leave credits (during June);
- Denial of paid Sick Leave (Canada Post has indicated it will only honor Sick Leave benefits during the period of June 3 - 14, 2011); and/or accrual of Sick Leave credits (during June);
- Denial of payment of Rest Period Allowance; and
- Refusal to credit Night Workers’ Leave
In the event that any of the above issues apply to you (or if you have issues with other matters not specifically mentioned) please speak to your shop steward and/or file a grievance without delay.
Regional Grievance Officer