Different pay methods for urban vs. rural deliveries unfair, says Canada Post union

With all the online ordering going on during the pandemic, Canada Post is extremely busy delivering parcels, and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers says the way some carriers are being compensated for those deliveries is unfair.

Canada Post has said the last two months have been busier than Christmas. Pearl Gillis-Palmer said she has never seen it this busy in her 31 years as a mail carrier. 

“We’re flying all day long,” she said.

Gillis-Palmer is a rural suburban mail carrier in the Belle River – Belfast area of P.E.I., and president of the Charlottetown local of CUPW.

These busy times have highlighted an inequity in the way rural and urban carriers are paid, Gillis-Palmer said. Parcels that haven’t been delivered during the week can be delivered Sundays. For that work, said Gillis-Palmer, urban carriers get double time — $54 an hour — while rural carriers get $1.22 per parcel plus mileage and driving time.

Gillis-Palmer said a previous arbitrator’s ruling said there should be pay equity for urban and rural delivery, but somehow this practice has slipped through.

“We have the pay equity, we should be paid the same amount of money as an urban member,” she said.

“It’s not the work itself. It’s just that we’re not getting paid properly or equal to our co-workers.”

In an emailed statement to CBC News, Canada Post said it believes the system is fair.

“Our employees are doing a great job serving their customers and we compensate them fairly through our collective agreement for the work they do,” the statement said.

“That includes additional payment for the delivery of extra parcels.”

Canada Post said the matter is now before an arbitrator, so it would not comment any further.

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