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The Week in Winnipeg

May 29th to June 4th, 2022



It is Pride Month! In the month of June, we celebrate people’s love for one another, no matter who that is. Our society hasn’t always embraced love, and there are still some people out there who don’t approve of two people loving one another. There are countries in this world where loving someone could mean prison or death. That’s shameful, and the reason we should celebrate our progressiveness.

Local CUPW members will be gathering with many, many other groups on the front lawn of the Legislative Buildings on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. to listen to speeches, and then we will be picking up our flags and joining in the Pride Parade at noon.

Come down and find us, grab a flag, and march along if you’re so inclined! We hope to see you there.

Nationally, the union published a bulletin celebrating the unfair and discriminatory ban on gay men donating blood in this country. That ban never should have existed and the ruling class, if it had any shame, should be ashamed of itself for implementing it in the first place.



Hey, there is no shift bid at the plant.

This week, through unofficial channels, local officers discovered the boss is planning a national reduction in hours for inside workers. The boss claims there isn’t enough mail, letters or parcels, to keep staffing the plants with as many workers as they have been.

The local has not been officially approached to start a consultation on a mid-year shift bid. The collective agreement clearly states that there is to be a shift bid once a year at the beginning of the calendar year. We had a mid-year shift bid in 2021, then the annual one at the beginning of 2022, and now the boss thinks it’s cool to mess with your schedules again. 

Well, it’s not cool. It’s really disruptive, and we have to have a shift bid annually in six months anyway. We are not impressed. 

We know that all backfills are ending right now. People who have been covering long-term absences received word this week they would be back to their home schedule starting on Sunday. This is the first attack on our hours and staffing levels. By not filling vacancies, the boss will surely save on hours. But this puts pressure on everyone else in the section to get the work done. When your resources are depleted but the expectations for your performance stay the same, an imbalance is created. The boss wins in this scenario, and we all pay for it.

The local office will do what it can to stop another pointless mid-year shift bid. Let us know your thoughts, and we will take your ideas forward when we get the chance. Stay tuned to find out if this unofficial business ever turns into something a little more concrete. It’s possible, but it hasn’t happened yet.



Volume counts continued at the Southwest Installation this week. It’s not a great time for a volume count. Mail volumes are low as we head into summer, and routes that are built on summer volumes are challenging in November and December. But, we have a great team observing all of the corporation’s agents who are rebuilding the routes.

Today, we had an important meeting regarding the memorandums of agreement we want to have that outline some of the local rules on the style of preparation and delivery we will use in the Southwest installation when the new routes become active in September. 

We have reached a decision for the letter carriers and should have an agreement ready to sign by the end of the day on Monday.

The RSMCs, however, are a little trickier. Isn’t that always the case? We’re still in discussions with the employer regarding how to apply the new style of preparation, delivery, and remuneration for one depot of RSMCs operating out of two buildings which will be merged in April, 2023. There are some good options on the table, and we have another consultation for this scheduled for next Friday. Hopefully I have more information for you then.



At the general membership meeting in May, we elected members to sit on all of the local’s committees. The local bylaws say the local president has to schedule inaugural meetings for committees within seven days of the May meeting, and that was done. Last week, the Education Committee had a meeting because there is a lot of neat educational stuff coming up. Also, the Communications Committee and the Good and Welfare Committee met last week. This week, the Human Rights Committee met on Thursday evening, and on Wednesday, the Organizing Committee met to talk about some plans for the year.

These were initial meetings, but I have to say I’m excited to see what these committees can get done over the year considering what was discussed in these meetings.

A lot of the local’s activity can be directed through these committees. They can plan actions and events, suggest the local perform some advocacy for whatever the committee decides is important. 

We didn’t get a lot of action out of the committees last year, and I really blame myself for a lot of that. I didn’t follow up with people all the time if they weren’t coming to meetings. If the committee didn’t make a report every three months to a general membership meeting, I didn’t worry too much. This year, I am trying to give every committee an idea to bat around in the first meeting and I’ll be suggesting dissolving a committee if it doesn’t produce a report every three months. Oooh, harsh! 

However, from what I’ve seen from attending these meetings over the last couple of weeks, I’m not worried about having to dissolve a committee.

Yesterday, at the Human Rights Committee meeting, Brother Luke Klassen stated, “I got involved with this committee to do something.” That may not be an exact quote and I hope Brother Klassen doesn’t mind me misquoting him, but I think I captured the sentiment of what he said. I’m sharing it because I like that kind of attitude. He put his hand up because he wanted to do something. Let’s do things! Doing stuff is better than being idle. 

We have more committee meetings scheduled for the next couple of weeks, and I’ll make sure to give them an idea to get them rolling, and I’ll be following up a lot this year.



Last week, I mentioned the local will be hosting Local Convention sometime in late summer. At that local event, we will be debating constitutional resolutions that will get scrapped or moved on to the regional level. 

But how do we create resolutions for that event? We write them!

If you want to learn about how to write resolutions or just learn what they are about, I encourage you to attend a resolution writing workshop on June 16th. I’ll be hosting it, it will be open to CUPW members from coast to coast, and because of time zones and work schedules, I may host more than this one. I’m even making a Power Point presentation for this, and I don’t even want to tell you how excited I am for that. I know that makes me seem like a huge nerd, but what can I do? I’m actually excited about a Power Point presentation. Sigh. Will it be as good as the 70-slide Power Point I created to explain how to watch football to my partner? Maybe! You’ll have to attend the workshop to find out. 

If you’re really keen, message me at to get some ideas about what you could start writing resolutions about. And crack the constitution and give some of it a read. You can write resolutions on our rules (white pages) or our policies (yellow pages).

The union needs good ideas. It is built by the members, and is a reflection of what the members have wanted for themselves. You have the chance to build it into something you want it to be, and this is one of the ways you can do just that.

Hey, complaining about the union is one thing. Working to improve it is another. The door is open, and you get to choose if you walk through or not.



Applications for Taking Back Our Workfloor are coming in at a steady clip. I’ll be visiting many more work floors looking for the students in that class, maybe even putting an application form directly into your hand. Look for application forms at work, or email your interest in attending to

Train the Trainer (June 23rd) and Taking Back Our Workfloor (June 24th) will be hosted at the Viscount Gort Hotel, and lunch will be provided. You will not have to use a personal day for these events, participants will be booked off from work and receive a day’s wages. There is a reimbursement agreement between the corporation and the union; you won’t even receive a second cheque, the pay will just appear on your pay stub as normal. Except for temps. Temps are different. 

Keep the applications coming in. We are not going to be able to host everyone in this first class, but if interest is high (and it currently is) we will run another class soon. 

There is a general membership meeting on Wednesday, June 8th at 7:00 p.m. You must register for this meeting before you can attend. Here’s the registration link:

The July general membership meeting will be on Zoom, but in September, we are going to switch back to in-person meetings.

The local office has a bit of an issue, and this presents a bit of an opportunity for you. We have a building committee that is looking at new office spaces. Currently, there are a lot of good office spaces available in the city and the current office we have is not adequate in a few ways. The windows don’t open, there was a mouse problem in the winter, and the rent is too high.

But the local also has a lot of old paper documents and an excellent computer server with terabytes for days.

We need folks to come in and help us with some digital archiving. If you’re interested in doing some data entry for the local, email me. It’s a big project that will likely take two or three weeks to complete, and we may have a few applicants. Good luck!


That’s about it for this week, 856. Sorry this report is coming late, I just had a heckuva week, but it did all happen. Enjoy the weekend, you earned it.



2022 General Membership Meeting Schedule

Wednesday, June 8th, 7:00 p.m.

*Meeting schedule subject to change due to living in a difficult-to-predict world.
Email to receive a registration form.

Copyright © 2021 Canadian Union of Postal Workers Local 856.
All rights reserved.

The Winnipeg local is Located at:
207-83 Sherbrook Street Winnipeg, MB R2C 2B2

Call us at: 204.942.6323

Our mailing address is:
Box 62 Winnipeg, MB R3C 2G1

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Canadian Union of Postal Workers · 83 Sherbrook Street · Suite 207 · Winnipeg, Mb R3C 2B2 · Canada