Preparing Your Householders: What you’re Actually Entitled to and What Canada Post isn’t Telling You

The summer is upon us and flyers – now known as neighbourhood mail – are at record highs again this year. Combine this with Postal Transformation (PT) and you now have a recipe for disaster.

Now fully engulfed in PT, we have experienced many changes with the way we normally do our work. Most noticeably is the introduction of sequenced mail and the multiple bundle delivery method. Both new work methods have affected how we prepare and deliver our flyers.

In the past, Postal Workers had the ability to manage their flyers according to the needs of their route. Some would “run them in” or “back-hand”, others would collate them. In any event, the point is that YOU had the final say in how you delivered your flyers. And why wouldn’t you, it’s your route.

Fast forward to today, flyers exist in a new-fangled world. It seems the direction from Canada Post varies depending on which depot you’re in. This sounds ludicrous. How is such a well-established organization such as Canada Post not consistent with its own policies? Well, the fact of the matter is they’re about as consistent as a game of roulette. Due to undervalued and overburdened routes, many of us struggle with flyer delivery on a daily basis. Notwithstanding the difficulties with delivery in a multiple bundle world, the majority of Postal Workers have little to no time in their day to prepare their flyers.

Many of us may have experienced the employer denying overtime to prepare your flyers, usually citing things like; “We don’t pay overtime to collate flyers”, “There are time values built into your route”, “What you are doing is not the process”. In all cases, they would be incorrect.

Time Allowance for the Preparation of Flyers
In reality, there is no time value for flyer preparation, however there is an allowance. This allowance is calculated using averages taken from the National Householder Database and these averages are calculated every six (6) months in April and October, and then are applied to your route. So what does all this mean? It’s simple, every route receives an allowance to prepare flyers, that is subject to change every six (6) months. This information can be found on the 081 form, row 8 of your route package. Ask your supervisor.

How to Prepare Flyers for Delivery

There seems to be many schools of thought on this process. As described earlier, that process could vary depending on which depot you work in. Would it shock you to learn that there is a twenty-nine (29) page document in place outlining these methods? There in fact is, it’s called the Corporate Manual System (CMS).

Specifically, section 1202.29 point 7 describes the guidelines surrounding flyer preparation:

7.1.2 Recommended preparation process for Door to Door points of call (see PDF, Exhibit 1)

7.1.3 Recommended preparation process for centralized delivery (see PDF, Exhibit 1)

Further to the information contained within the CMS, Appendix D 7.3 (a) on page 422 of the Collective Agreement stipulates:

Time will be provided for the preparation of householder mail, in excess of three (3) sets as determined by each Daily Householder Mail Standard, in accordance with the procedures relating to the time allowances in the Letter Carrier Route Measurement Manual.

In the event you are faced with a Supervisor telling you they won’t compensate you for extra time to prepare flyers or they threaten not to pay you to collate, direct them to Canada Post’s own Corporate Manual System, Canada Post’s Labour Relations March 20, 2008 Bulletin: Time Worked is Time Paid/Householders (see PDF, Exhibit 2) and the Collective Agreement.

Unaddressed Admail at present seems to be a sticking point for the Employer. Auditors for Canada Post have been visiting depots explaining the importance for successful flyer delivery, and so they should. However, if they want better success, perhaps they should focus on standardizing their process and EXPLANING it to workers and PAYING us for the time it takes to do it. What a novel concept.

Also, don’t you think a jibe towards the workers about following process is a bit trite, coming from a company that is unable to follow its own process?

In Solidarity,

Chris Zukowsky
1st Vice-President