A long-standing pay equity dispute has resulted in an arbitrator to release a ruling stating that rural Canada Post carriers a sizable pay increase as well as increases in benefits.

CBC News reports that a spokesman for Crown Agency has stated that a preliminary review of the ruling indicates suburban and rural postal workers could possibly see a 25-percent rate hike in their wages and benefits.

Maureen Flynn, the arbitrator in the case, has issued the ruling to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and Canada Post on Thursday after both sides failed to make an agreement with each other by the August 30 deadline.

The bulk of the argument on the side of the postal union, most of whom are women, was that the women are making less money than their male co-workers.

The ruling comes right in the midst of negotiation contract talks between union workers and CUPW under a September 25 deadline at midnight for a strike or faces a lockout.

Second quarter financial results from Post Canada are showing that the dispute could bring a price tag to the corporation in the tune of a quarter of a billion dollars.