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Canada Post, CUPW given 90 days to settle rural, urban pay equity dispute

An arbitrator has given Canada Post and its biggest union until the end of August to reach an agreement in a pay equity dispute that could end up costing the post office millions of dollars.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is hailing the ruling as a victory for women, but thousands of men employed as carriers outside the big cities stand to benefit as well.

In a ruling issued Thursday, Maureen Flynn has given CUPW and Canada Post 90 days to negotiate a settlement in the complicated dispute, which is rooted in perceived pay inequities between urban carriers and their rural and suburban counterparts.

If no settlement is reached by Aug. 31, Flynn says she may impose one.

CUPW has argued that the Crown agency’s roughly 8,000 rural and suburban carriers — most of whom are women — have been underpaid for years compared with their mostly male urban cousins.

Canada Post has maintained the compensation structures for the two sets of workers are unique in that urban carriers are paid by the hour while rural and suburban employees are paid based largely on the number of delivery stops they make and how far they have to travel.

The Canadian Press

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The Canadian Press

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