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The Voluntary Departure Program – a first step

Last week, The Canadian Press announced that it wishes to reduce staff numbers in its operations in the province of Québec. In order to minimize or avoid involuntary layoffs, CP has proposed a voluntary departure program (VDP) to the Guild. We are in the process of negotiating the details of the program and hope to complete those discussions within the next few days. The details will be communicated to you as soon as they have been finalized.

Employees who are accepted for the VDP will receive the same severance pay as they would if they were being laid off, plus some incentives. These enhancements are expected to include some additional pay, as well as continuation of some benefits for a longer period than would otherwise be the case. We expect that payments under the VDP will be done as continuance of salary rather than as a lump sum.

Involuntary layoffs would only occur if there aren’t enough volunteers for the VDP. The company hasn’t yet announced any specific targets in terms of dollar amounts or numbers of positions.

We encourage you not to make any decisions until the details of the program have been made public. Between now and then, please do your best to ignore any rumours that you may hear in the workplace. For accurate information, wait for communications from CP and/or the Guild.

Once the plan has been launched, we will be holding membership meetings and will do our best to answer your questions. We know it’s difficult to be patient, but we want to ensure that the process is done as fairly and respectfully as possible.

Jean-Philippe Angers, secretary
Charles-Philippe Giroux, French Services representative
Michel Lamarche, president
Peter Rakobowchuk, treasurer
Nelson Wyatt, national vice-president, CP branch
Terry Pedwell, national president, CP branch
Keith Maskell, CMG Staff Representative

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