Negotiations Update

March 28, 2024 - All TCRC Local Chairs – CPKC Eastern and Western Regions – Negotiations Bulletin 7

As communicated in the previous bulletin, conciliators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service were appointed to assist the parties in the context of our negotiations with CPKC. Meetings took place in their presence on March 27th and 28th.

We have made very little progress on negotiations. CPKC continues to advance their Options #1 and #2, while your negotiating committee has provided comprehensive demands for significant wage increases as well as improved work-life balance provisions.

You have all seen Options #1 and #2 and our communications regarding such. The problems with these offers are obvious and well documented. Not surprisingly, CPKC has amended these options by adding additional demands for concessions.

CPKC has rejected the majority of the Union’s demands for improved pay and working conditions.

Since the filing or our complaint with the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) on March 14th, 2024, as detailed in Negotiations Bulletin 6, the Company has implemented changes in your working conditions, infringing on your rights under the current Collective Agreement. We are, of course, referring to the new practice of applying Duty and Rest Period Regulation (DRPR) Reset Breaks at the Away From Home Terminal (AFHT), and the subsequent denial of Held Away payments. We want to assure you that your Union Executive understands the profound impact the Company’s actions have had and continues to have on the membership. These changes represent a violation of the statutory freeze period during negotiations, and your Union Executive is taking the appropriate steps seeking assistance from the CIRB, Transport Canada, and government in stopping this heinous action and violation of our members

In this effort, we have filed a second Unfair Labour Practice complaint with the CIRB on March 26th, 2024. In conjunction with that complaint, we have also filed an application to the CIRB for an Interim Order which would restore the status quo of applying Reset Breaks at the Home Terminal and compensating our members for time Held Away from the Home Terminal in accordance with the current Collective Agreement provisions.

In addition to the DRPR Reset Break and Held Away changes, the complaint filed and the application for an Interim Order also encompass other recent changes implemented by the CPKC, those being:

- The new unilaterally imposed Extended Service Runs (ESR) between London, Ontario and Welland, Ontario and Buffalo, New York and between Toronto, Ontario and Welland, Ontario and Buffalo, New York.

- Denial of the use of the Medical Hold provision for massage therapy and chiropractic appointments.

The employer is well-versed in the provisions of the Code and the requirements of the statutory freeze period. They well know that these significant changes represent a serious violation of these provisions. The Union’s complaint and application for an Interim Order seek to hold the employer to these requirements and accountable for their actions.

Along with the complaint and application, the TCRC Legislative Department is assisting in the Union’s efforts to put a stop to these actions. On March 25th, the National Legislative Director sent a comprehensive complaint to Transport Canada detailing the Company’s actions with respect to the Reset Breaks. The complaint contained the dozens of examples of Reset Breaks at the AFHT that had occurred up to that point. This information, along with a fulsome explanation of the negative impact on you, our members, has also been sent to the Honourable Minister of Transport, Pablo Rodriguez.

Furthermore, the Legislative Department is holding the employer accountable to their responsibilities to fully assess the risk and harm to the members being subjected to the ridiculously long lays at the AFHT, in many instances in very remote locations.

We are continuing to document the details of these changes and the impact on our members, and the General Chairs’ offices have provided the Local Chairs with grievance templates to file on behalf of the members affected.

We will update the membership immediately regarding any progress on these complaints and applications.

The next scheduled dates for negotiations in the presence of federal mediation and conciliation services are set for April 23rd and 24th. The Union remains available and willing to negotiate in good faith with the employer. However, we are not willing to concede the many conditions and protections that have been negotiated over many decades.

As indicated in previous communications, the Union is currently arranging a strike vote which will be held from April 8th to May 1st. The process will be conducted electronically without a mail out portion. Therefore, the TCRC must have an email on record for you to receive a ballot. The strike vote is an important part of the bargaining process and will provide the Union with a mandate to legally withdraw services in the event an agreement cannot otherwise be reached. The strike vote is not in relation to any offers presented by the employer. You have not been given an offer to vote on to this point, as the offers presented to date are not worthy of your consideration. If and when we have been provided an offer that addresses your demands, that offer will be presented for your consideration and vote. In the meantime, it is crucial that you cast your ballot in the upcoming strike vote.

We continue to remind all members to ensure that you have updated your full contact info (mailing address, email address, phone number) with your Division S/T who will compile and send it to the respective General S/T and/or National Office. Additionally, you can update your contact information through the TCRC App.

We remain committed to properly negotiating a Collective Agreement and will continue to vigorously advocate for and defend the members’ best interests

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

PDF Copy of this letter

We remain, In Solidarity,

Dave Fulton
General Chairman - CTY West

Greg Lawrenson 
General Chairman - LE West

Wayne Apsey 
General Chairman - CTY East

Ed Mogus
General Chairman - LE  East

Paul Boucher - TCRC President
Ryan Finnson - TCRC Vice President