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Arbitrator sides with Canada Post in contract negotiations

A mail box is seen outside a Canada Post office in Halifax on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. .
A mail box is seen outside a Canada Post office in Halifax on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

TORONTO – An arbitrator has accepted Canada Post’s proposal for a new collective agreement with its postmasters and assistants in rural offices across the country.

Key changes under the agreement include a defined contribution pension plan for new employees represented by the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association.

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There are also changes to entry-level wages for new CPAA members as well as an increase in the employees’ share of contributions towards post-retirement benefits.

Canada Post says there’s a “modest” wage increase for current employees – but details weren’t announced.

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The CPAA union represents 5,000 rural workers for the government-owned postal service. It had agreed to break a bargaining impasse by having arbitrator Michel Picher make the final selection after both sides presented their proposals.

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The Crown corporation remains at odds with its largest union, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), which is the only remaining employee group that hasn’t accepted a defined contribution type of pension plan for new employees.