Prior to the arbitration, the parties had agreed on a number of issues, which will also be included in the collective agreement, as follows: in 2018, the September arbitration award also resulted in an important conclusion on the central issue of pay equity. As I said, gender equality is a fundamental human right, and that judgment is fundamental to the way we pay for RSMCs. The RSMCs will see their salary increases from the January 2019 judgment. The full vote and payment will be made in the fall of 2019, retroactive to January 2016, in accordance with the judgment and agreements reached by the parties. We had a difficult year in which we worked on all of these issues. While we were on a positive financial path during the first half of the year, we have since lost a significant share of our customer base and parcel volume has not increased as expected. Instead, the quantities of parcels during the holiday period were lower than in the previous year. Across the company, there has been a tremendous amount of work to deal with delays and I would like to thank everyone for their contribution to these efforts. A collective agreement is a written law contract covering workers grouped into a bargaining unit. The contract is concluded through collective bargaining between the union and the employer. We have made many efforts to resolve these negotiations and return to normal operations. We had to find a difficult balance because we also have a duty to keep the postal service strong and financially viable, not only for today, but also for future generations. In our efforts to reach an agreement, we have done everything in our power to be fair to the staff while being accountable.
The line of application to protect workers from unfair treatment, to have a collective agreement. It gives us a say in the workplace, allows us to improve our working conditions and provides us with a fair way to address and solve problems in the workplace. In an email to Benefits Canada, the CUPW negotiating committee noted that the increase would be significant but small.