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CP/BN Bargaining Update

We met with CP management last Wednesday for the first time since we tabled our wage proposal. It was 1% on October 1 and 1% on December 31, 2005. We felt this recognized the company’s financial position and the need to ensure our wages remain competitive.

The company says it now recognizes the need to “do something” for staff in 2005. However, they want to be further along with budget preparations before they make any commitment. We will meet again after the 3rd quarter review on October 18, 2005.

CP also raised the suggestion that we extend the collective agreement due to expire December 31, 2005 for 1 year to December 31, 2006. Both sides agree that 2006 remains uncertain in terms of pension costs but also in terms of enhanced revenue streams.

Although our original mandate as a bargaining committee was to negotiate the 2005 wage re-opener, the CP Branch Council has agreed that discussing both 2005 and 2006 makes sense. Of course, if the agreement is extended for a year we must ensure once again that our wages do not fall behind others in our industry during this extended period.

There is a lot on the agenda at the moment ? the ongoing pension design review, the Strategic plan review and some work that has begun at the joint Employee – Employer Committee. If we can succeed in getting fair increases for both 2005 and 2006, we will be able to focus more time and energy toward these other issues.

Like all contract proposals, anything agreed to at the table will be subject to ratification by the membership.

Thanks, your bargaining team,
Scott Edmonds
Karine Fortin
James Stevenson
Kathy Viner

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