McBride Post Office's Cancellation Stamp
McBride Post Office’s Cancellation Stamp

By: Korie Marshall

Canada Post is considering closing the McBride office on Saturdays. The union that represents employees who work in rural post offices wants to know what you think about that.

Canada Post is proposing extending hours on Wednesdays to 6 pm, and closing on Saturdays. Current hours for the McBride office are Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 5 pm, and Saturdays from 9am – noon.

Carley Smith, spokesperson for Canada Post, says the changes would not affect access to post office boxes, as lobby hours would not change. She says no employees would lose their jobs as a result of these changes – “our employees have job security as part of their collective agreement.”

However the union says the change may affect service to a community where many residents work away from home during the week.

Carolyn Elliott is vice president of the BC and Yukon Branch of the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association, the union that represents over 6,000 Canada Post employees who work in rural post offices, as well as over 5,000 term employees. She says the changes will mean a loss of four hours for the part time employee and changes to the full time employee’s schedule, though she’ll remain at 40 hours per week.

But that is not the only issue.

“Our biggest concern is that in the rural areas there are a lot of people that don’t live right in the town or maybe work outside of town,” says Elliott. “Saturday is a pretty important day for those people to be able to get in to the post office, pick up parcels, or if they are having any issues with their mail delivery.”

Elliott says Canada Post is really trying to grow their online delivery services, and if you order something online that arrives on Thursday, it may sit on the shelf until you can pick it up the next Wednesday. That isn’t good for the customer or the office.

“We keep saying Saturday is an important day for rural areas, and it is not necessarily a revenue generating day,” says Elliott. She says the corporation is often just looking at the bottom line, what income they are bringing in.

“It’s not all about revenue; we need to provide a service to the community as well.”

Elliott says the union is sending out a flier to the community, asking their thoughts on a Saturday closure. It
will decide how to go forward with the corporation based on the community’s feedback. If you don’t get a flier, you can send your comments to Barb Lincoln, President of the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association, at 7519 Sechelt Inlet Rd, Sechelt BC, V0N 3A4, or email [email protected]

“Unfortunately what we are seeing in a lot of cases is the decision has been made already and they are just going through the formality of consulting with the union,” says Elliott.

Smith says Canada Post’s consultation with the union is set for mid-July, and they’ll know more about the changes after that.