Canada Post responds

Canada Post says a proposal that would reduce staff hours in rural offices will not affect the hours doors will be open to serve customers.

  • Jan. 18, 2011 5:00 p.m.

Canada Post says a proposal that would reduce staff hours in rural offices will not affect the hours doors will be open to serve customers.

The Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association pleaded for the public to contact their MPs and Canada Post if they did not approve of staffing reductions, which they said will in the end effect customers.

Out of the 44 offices in the Canada Post proposal that have staffing-hour reductions are Kaleden, Okanagan Falls and Keremeos.

Colleen Frick, Canada Post director of communications for area West, said there has been a decline in letter mail which has spurred the proposal being put forward to CPAA that will be discussed in a consultation between the two parties on Monday.

“It’s balanced with the fact our stats show us we have had a huge drop in letter mail,” said Frick. “Letter mail has dropped by 11.4 per cent in the last four years and it is continuing to show signs of decline.

“Obviously it means a lot of folks are not doing as much mailing of letters as they use to be and that was a lot of the bulk of our business. This means it has to equal something and we have to make some changes in regard to where we see that decline happening.”

The drop in letters being mailed has also resulted in a loss of revenue to the Crown run corporation of about $350 million over four years said Frick.

“We have to make changes to counterbalance that … we have a commitment to customers, that is what guides our decision making on this for us,” she added.

Frick said Canada Post revues, through the retail outlet point of sale equipment, where the peaks and valleys are over a business day.

“We are going to make sure our customers are well serviced. That is really important to us. We don’t want to jeopardize that at all.”

The proposal they will bring to the table on Monday submits 44 offices in B.C. and the Yukon could have changes to their internal staffing schedules.

Carolyn Elliott, vice-president of the CPAA in B.C. and Yukon, previously told the Penticton Western News the proposal of staff-schedule hour reductions have caused workers to be nervous and upset.

Elliott thinks reduction in staff hours will result in delays in delivery of mail whether that be direct mail, at the post office or on the rural route.

She believes the reductions could come as soon as Feb. 1 if the proposal is to move forward.

Canada Post representative, Frick, said on average offices would see a reduction of staff schedule hours of 7.5 hours per week.

“They have to put it out on the table and talk about it first, nothing is etched in stone at this point,” said Frick. “It could be (Feb.1), I don’t know. I can’t confirm that is going to be the case or not. They still have quite a few things to get through and to speak to at the consultation on Jan. 17.”