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CP bargaining update – Talks focused on pension and setting priorities

On balance, the two days we spent with management this week were productive.

The company remains firmly focused on financial issues – notably the pension plan – almost to the exclusion of everything else. As we have said on numerous occasions, we are prepared to help the company find some savings where we can, but for us the goal of collective bargaining is not solely to save money for the employer. We need to make sure that the needs of our members are taken into consideration as well.

We spent some time grouping some of the bargaining issues, in the interest of concentrating on the major items and moving the others to a joint employer/employee committee – that would in turn be given a broader mandate. The difficulty with this approach is that we don’t always agree on which issues are important. We have four days of talks scheduled next week, and part of that time will be spent continuing to narrow the issues.

On the pension plan, we believe that the company’s proposal of last week was too far-reaching; we presented a counter-proposal that at least partly addresses CP’s concerns, while recognizing the principle that the money in the Employee Participation Plan belongs to the employees and has to be repaid – with interest.

As always, feel free to contact any of us if you have questions or concerns. We appreciate the valuable input that many of you have provided to us so far.

Your bargaining committee:

Riaz Ladha
Michel Lamarche
Terry Pedwell, President, CP branch
Keith Maskell, CMG staff representative

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