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The Week in Winnipeg

July 17th to July 23rd, 2022



It was really hot this week. I hope letter carriers were able to stay cool and that management agents were reasonable when it came to delivering in the heat. When the temperature reaches body temperature, 37 degrees centigrade, it is unsafe for people to be working. If it gets that hot, don’t push it. 



On Thursday, July 28th, at 6:30 p.m., the local will be hosting an information session for RSMCs and anyone who is interested in what the union is doing about the rising cost of fuel.

There have been some questions raised about what the union has done, is doing, and what we are planning to do in the near future regarding this issue, and this should be a good venue to get some answers. 

National representatives Rona Eckert, Barb McMillan, and Nicolas Presne, will be panelists for this discussion. All three have been working on this file, advocating for a rise in the non-taxable Canada Revenue Agency rate for mileage compensation.

If you have specific questions you would like to be raised at this meeting, please email them to before midnight on July 26th. That way, the panelists will be able to prepare an accurate and thoughtful answer. There will be space to ask questions at the meeting as well, if you don’t have one until after listening to the information being shared.

Here is the link to the meeting:

There have been parliamentary petitions asking the government to raise the CRA rate. There is a great tool on the national CUPW website right now that allows you to put in some information, and it will email a message about the struggle currently facing RSMCs, and you can find that tool here: Fill out the form, hit send. It really is an easy way to support RSMCs at this difficult time.



On September 6th, there will be a Canadian Tire flier going out for delivery. National union officers have consulted on this mailing and increased the pay for these flyers if they are delivered in two days.

From the bulletin on the matter:

Two-day delivery: Compensation will be 4.5 cents for each item of neighbourhood mail.

  • If one third of items are delivered by another employee, compensation will be based on the collective agreement, 2.5 cents per item.

  • If more than 50 per cent of items are delivered on the same day, compensation for these items will be 4.5 cents per item.

Three-day delivery: Compensation will be based on the collective agreement, 2.5 cents per item.

Essentially, Canadian Tire would like to have these flyers delivered over a two-day period instead of three, and is willing to pay more for the service. 

Do not feel pressured to deliver these flyers in only two days. If you want to take three days to deliver, that is acceptable.

If you do choose to deliver in two days to get the extra pay, keep watch of your pay statements to ensure you got compensated at the correct rate. Little items like this have slipped through the cracks in the past. Don’t let it happen to you.



We’ve all got a problem we need to contend with going forward in this world – extreme summer temperatures. This year, massive heat waves have struck India and Europe, causing wildfires and deaths. Last year, the heat dome over British Columbia claimed more than 600 lives. B.C. coroners conducted a study:

Many of our members work in the heat. The local is trying to address this issue when the corporation is not interested in making changes that could help prevent health issues related to heat exposure. We are trying to inspire management agents to get mail and parcels to the letter carrier depots earlier in the day so letter carriers can do the majority of their work in the morning, when it’s cooler outside. This video is not easy to watch, but this is what we’re trying to avoid here:

New delivery vehicles are not equipped with air conditioning. Stupid. Health and Safety Officer Reggie Taman has expressed his disappointment in this and is advocating for installation of air conditioning in these vehicles. It takes forever to get the corporation to do the right thing, but we hope they come to their senses soon.

It doesn’t hurt to review some things and be mindful about working in the heat. I know letter carriers are champions of working outside, but here are some helpful tips anyway:

If the temperature outside is 37 degrees or higher, you are at an extreme risk of heat stroke if you continue to work. 

Stay cool, stay safe. The local executive is continually having conversations with local management agents about putting people’s health and safety first, and not forcing folks to work in unsafe conditions. You have health and safety clauses in your collective agreements and in the Canada Labour Code, and do not be afraid to use them to protect yourself.



The local received an email from United Way Winnipeg this week that announced their 2022 Walk This Way campaign. From the announcement:

This year, we’ll have six days to reach a new goal of 100,000 kilometers! From September 11th to 16th, walk, run, cycle, roll–in your yard, around the block, or along the streets of your neighbourhood. Move by yourself, with family, or a group of friends. However you choose to move is up to you.

Log your daily distance in our app to boost our final tally, and when we collectively reach 100,000 kilometers, our amazing sponsors will contribute $100,000!

Postal workers walk a lot. I would put money on letter carriers putting in more steps in a day than our members who work in the plant, but PO-4s walk a whole lot on their shifts as well. If a good number of us download the app and do all the things, we could definitely help the United Way reach its goal. Learn more here:



We are going back to school. The local will be hosting another Taking Back Our Workfloor class on August 17th at the Viscount Gort. I will be visiting every facility and shift that I can over the next couple of weeks to find members who are interested in participating. If I don’t catch you at work, email with your particulars and say you would like to apply for the class on the 17th and we will add you to the list. 

We have so many people interested in taking this class that we will have to run it a couple more times and we’ll have to run one for Shift One WMPP employees and it’s looking like we might find time to do that in September.

The education committee will be choosing August 17th participants in early August, so get your applications in as soon as possible.

Also, there are some regional education opportunities coming up in the near future. From September 12th to 16th, the region will be hosting an Advanced Shop Steward class in Gimli. Participants will spend the week at the Lakeview Gimli Resort and are required to attend every session. All shop stewards are encouraged to apply. Email Education Officer Tyler Nielsen for an application, or look for one in your workplace. Application deadline is August 8th.

If you think you might want to teach some CUPW classes in the future, consider applying to the joint Prairie-Pacific Facilitator Training class. This class will be taking place in New Westminster, B.C. in the first week of October. Participants will learn the secrets of labour education techniques and be called on to teach local and regional classes in the future. Apply for this class no later than August 19th, 2022 to take advantage of this great opportunity.



The corporation released a plan for Covid mitigation this week. It’s called the Tactical Pandemic Response and it outlines what happens when a certain number of the corporation’s employees report they have contracted Covid.

For small facilities of 20 to 49 employees, when more than 10 per cent of people have Covid, the mitigation policies will be applied. Same goes when five per cent or more of people in a facility of 50 to 149 employees report Covid, or when more than two per cent of people in a facility of 150 to 1,000 report.

If a workplace has reached its threshold over a two-week period, there will be a 21-day mitigation period. These actions will be mandatory:

  • Level 2 medical mask wearing;

  • Physical distancing;

  • Staggered start times;

  • Enhanced cleaning and sterilization;

  • On-site rapid testing clinics or at-home tests will be distributed;

  • Possible work-from-home scenarios for administrative functions;

  • No non-essential in-person training or meetings;

  • Gyms and multi-faith rooms will be closed;

  • No visitors allowed other than essential safety inspectors;

  • No non-essential contract work;

  • Updated signage and targeted communication.

Covid cases are on the rise, and it is entirely likely this 21-day mitigation could be coming to a work floor near you sometime in the coming weeks. Keep wearing the superior N95s until the boss forces you to wear a less effective Level 2 mask. Sigh.



I asked the local’s workload structure officer, Sean Tugby, and local route measurement guru Tyler Oswald how they thought the restructuring of the routes in Southwest was going. In short, it’s not good. Due to a computer error, more than 100 routes are going to be seriously out of synch when the restructured routes go live on September 19th.

It’s a bit of a complex problem. Parking spots for park and loops have been identified, and that’s fine. However, we’re used to parking near the first point of call on the loop. What is happening is the computer is identifying the first point of call quite far from the parking spot, and no deadwalk time is credited to the route. 

Lately, the corporate team tasked with building these routes has not been open to the idea of correcting this issue. We are trying to appeal to national route measurement folks both in the corporation and in the union because of the lack of interest locally.

Header boards won’t be accurate. Sequenced mail could be presented in reverse order. Case strips could also be backwards. The affected routes have lines of travel where letter carriers are delivering on the right side of the street exclusively, which is in conflict with road safety rules. Route holders will likely be able to figure it out after a couple of weeks, but it will be absolute mayhem for temps and relief carriers. 

Talk to your supervisors. Ask to see the new routes and the lines of travel. You’ll see we aren’t making it up. It’s a real concern and it has to be addressed before September. We’ll keep working on it, and having some support from the carriers in the workplace will help immensely.



If you have called the local office at some point over the last couple of weeks and left a voicemail for someone, we haven’t received it. We don’t know if there was a power outage in the building or something, but on July 5th, something happened to the voicemail server. We’re working with MTS to try and figure it out. It’s annoying and it’s a mystery, and please email us if you really need us to know something urgently.


Keep enjoying the sunny days, everyone. 



2022 General Membership Meeting Schedule

Saturday, September 10th, 9:00 a.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