Postal union sounds alarm
Canada Post proposing adjustments in hours for local offices
The Newfoundland and Labrador branch of the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association (CPAA) is sounding the alarm about what it describes as an impending reduction in operating hours for rural post offices, including sites in Bay Roberts and Clarke’s Beach.
Officials with the association, which represents Canada Post employees in rural post offices, said they recently received notice that the corporation is “in the process of eliminating hours … in Marystown, Lawn, Harbour Mille, St. Lawrence, Bay Roberts, Clarke’s Beach, Placentia, Freshwater, Dunville, Topsail and Trepassey.”
The association said there are also plans to eliminate Saturday hours of operation in Bay Roberts, Clarke’s Beach, Lawn, Harbour Mille, Topsail, Paradise, Freshwater and Placentia.
“If the hours and the Saturday operations are eliminated in these rural post offices, there will be a negative impact on the services as well as the earnings of affected employees, the majority of whom are women,” the CPAA stated in a news release.
“It will mean a lost of income, which is vital to the social and economic well-being of our communities.”
The association said Canada Post reduced hours in 67 post offices in this province in 2011, and more reductions are coming in 2012.
“What is new this year is Canada Post’s intention to close post offices on Saturday, thus downgrading our level of postal service,” the CPAA news release stated.
A spokesperson for Canada Post, Lori Lancaster, confirmed that a “proposal” has been conveyed to the CPAA. She said no decisions will be made until consultations are carried out with the association and the affected communities.
“There was some communication between Canada Post and the union, and this is part of this consultation process,” said Lancaster. “So I think this is the first step into that. The next step will be the consultation within the community.”
Lancaster could to say when any final decisions will be made.
Meanwhile, Lancaster said the proposals are the result of an ongoing analysis of the operations of all post offices across the country.
“We look at the volume of people that come into the post offices, and we look at the volume of mail. And then what we do is come back with proposals for consultations,” she explained.
“The post office is not what it used to be,” she added. “The way people are using it is changing. Folks are sending less letters and receiving more parcels. So it’s important for us to consistently review our operations to ensure we’re being efficient so we remain viable and strong, especially in rural communities, which are a priority for us.”
According to the 2010 annual report of Canada Post, domestic lettermail business decreased by 4.5 per cent from 2009, marking the fourth consecutive year-over-year decrease in domestic lettermail volumes. Some other facts: • The Canada Post Group delivered 10.6 billion pieces of mail, parcels and messages to more than 15 million residential and business addresses in 2010;
• Consolidated revenue from operations reached $7.5 billion in 2010, an increase of 1.9 per cent from 2009. The increase in revenue was mainly due to price increases, but was offset by volume declines;
• Canada Post had about 69,000 employees in 2010.
Post offices in Clarke’s Beach (shown here) and Bay Roberts will likely see a reduction in operating hours, say officials with the Newfoundland and Labrador branch of the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association.