Postal union calls for increased federal mileage rates amid high fuel costs

·2 min read
Some mail carriers who use their own vehicles say the federal mileage rate is not keeping up with the price of fuel. (CBC - image credit)
Some mail carriers who use their own vehicles say the federal mileage rate is not keeping up with the price of fuel. (CBC - image credit)

Rod Farrell travels roughly 100 kilometres a day to deliver the mail in Cape Breton, N.S., with stops along many paved and dirt roads.

As a rural and suburban mail carrier for Canada Post, Farrell drives his own vehicle and pays out-of-pocket at the pump.

With gasoline prices climbing to more than $2 a litre in recent weeks, Farrell said people like him are losing money.

"The cost of gas can go up multiple times in one week alone," Farrell said. "It's costing me to deliver a lot of this stuff. I'm not being properly reimbursed for the time and effort and expenses."

Costs nearly double 

Farrell uses a hybrid vehicle for mail deliveries and typically spends about $35 per week on gas. Now, he's spending nearly double that price.

There are roughly 9,000 rural and suburban mail carriers using their vehicles for Canada Post deliveries, according to Martin Prud'homme, president of Local 117 of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, based in Sydney, N.S.

And Prud'homme said the federal mileage rates impact far more than just postal workers.

Each year, the Canada Revenue Agency sets reasonable allowance rates for mileage. For 2022, the rates are 61 cents per kilometre for the first 5,000 kilometres and 55 cents per kilometre driven after that.

Petition launched

Prud'homme said the CRA last updated its pricing at the start of 2022.

He said CUPW is now encouraging people to sign a petition asking the federal government to adjust its mileage rates to "something that is more reasonable."

Prud'homme said in other cities where Canada Post relies on corporate vehicles, a shipping surcharge is used to help cover rising fuel costs, but he said it doesn't extend to carriers like Farrell.

"They don't receive any money on that. They do the same job, deliver the same kind of parcels, so why don't they receive any help for their gas?"

'Unprecedented territory'

Canada Post did not respond to an interview request, but in an email statement, the federal Crown corporation said it has discussed fuel prices with the union and is reviewing elements of its collective agreement with them. It did not say whether an increase to rates is likely.

"Fuel prices are in unprecedented territory and have impacted the entire industry. Canada Post is adapting to increased costs across many aspects of our operations," said Canada Post spokesperson Phil Legault.

"We are aware of concerns raised regarding the increased cost of fuel and how this is impacting rural and suburban mail carriers."

CBC News sent an interview request to CRA but it did not respond by deadline.

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