2019 Bargaining Re-Opener – Interest Arbitration Award

We wish to advise that the Union received the interest arbitration award for the 2019 Re-Opener from Arbitrator Vince Ready late Friday afternoon.  We have been reviewing the award in detail over the weekend.

The Union sent six proposals forward to interest arbitration, four for Mainline and two for Rouge. The Employer also put forward four concessionary proposals for Mainline.

Through interest arbitration, we have achieved the following:

  1. Vacated vacation proposal for Mainline.
  2. Duty overtime premium of $100 per hour above 14 hours for Rouge.
  3. Fended off all four of the employer’s proposed concessions.

In addition, any previously agreed to items during the bargaining and mediation phase of the re-opener form part of his award. They include:

1) Clarity that a Mainline reserve blockholder is entitled to 12 hours crew rest before/after training sessions or travel to a training session.

2) Provide further flexibility to Mainline reserve blockholders on the minimum number of GDOs within PBS.

3) Comprehensive Proposal on Reserve at Air Canada Rouge:

  • Switch to a regular blockholder and reserve blockholder framework like Mainline
  • Increase MMG to 80 hours for reserve blockholders.
  • Ability to waive certain blocking rules regarding days off pattern for both regular and reserve blockholders.
  • Increase to minimum GDOs and UDOs for reserve blockholders.
  • Increase to minimum crew rest at home base for reserve blockholders.
  • Elimination of ability for crew rest on layover to be reduced to nine (9) hours.
  • Ground Duty Credit for Air Canada Rouge.

4) PBS Committee and PBS Enhancements for Air Canada Rouge.

5) Housekeeping proposals to fix grammatical errors or omissions from previous rounds of bargaining.

We are also very gratified that the arbitrator determined that Air Canada’s concessionary proposals were not appropriate.

Though he dismissed the Union’s preliminary objection at the beginning of the award, he set the stage for his treatment of the Company’s proposal at page 26:

  • That being said, however, I note that other employee groups at Air Canada that have concluded collective agreements during the pandemic have not been subject to permanent concessions and have, in [s]ome cases, even won modest gains. Also, I am very cognizant of the fact that the Employer was clear in bargaining that it was not going to pursue its proposals on their own, but rather, they were available to the Union if it wished to agree to one or more of them in exchange for their monetary proposals to achieve cost neutrality. Thus, I have fully considered the financial information submitted by the Employer along with all other relevant factors in applying the replication principle to the proposals as set out below. “

He further stated in regard to the concessions at page 59:

  • “Applying the principles of replication, I find it difficult in these circumstances to find a basis to award any of the Employer’s Mainline proposals. Indeed, I am not persuaded that the Employer in free collective bargaining would have pushed its proposals once the Union’s monetary proposals were withdrawn, nor that it would have been successful in this endeavor had it chosen to do so. In so finding, I note the Employer did not pursue (nor achieve) comparable concessions from other employee groups. “

A copy of his full award can be accessed by clicking HERE.

The Union will now turn our minds to working with Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge to implement these changes into the Collective Agreement. In addition, the Union will be hosting virtual meetings in the coming weeks to review the award and Collective Agreement changes in more detail and answer any questions you may have. Please stay tuned for more information about these meetings.

In solidarity,

Your ACCEX