days until our Collective Agreement expires, we are preparing, we are united and we will make change.

An Update From Your President

Coalition of Flight Attendant Meeting

The Air Canada Component of CUPE was recently invited to the Coalition of Flight Attendants Unions in Dallas, Texas.  Our Component Vice President, Theresa Mitchell and I have been passionate about building bridges with other flight attendant unions in North America.  Along with the Air Canada Component, APFA, TWU, IBT and the GCAQE were present to discuss various topics such as Cabin Air Quality, Fatigue, Rest Periods, as well as Labour Negotiations.  As this took place during our current negotiations, we were fortunate enough to have Jordan Bray-Stone, Health and Safety Chairperson, and Nicola Schnell, Mobilization and Engagement Chairperson, attend on our behalf.  They will be sending out more information to the members, and came back engaged, excited and mobilized!

OBSM Reporting
On a daily and sometimes hourly basis, your Union receives disturbing reports related to the OBSM programs.  Each report is followed up on and shared with the company.

We are happy to report that:
1. We do not have demotions happening as we once did;
2. Our members are not being forced to take a massive pay cut as they once were; and
3. Discipline has not started at one of the most extreme levels as it previously had.

The Union unfortunately was advised that the next phase of OBSM SD Assessments is underway.  We were advised when it would start and were given a debrief on the changes made to the program; the open communication and advance notice is appreciated.  As we can all agree, neither the Union, nor its members, are accepting a program where a managers only job is to come onto our aircrafts and evaluate us with an iPad and limited communication.

As your Component Officers often say – how is this effective?  How is it that the company can allow a behaviour that it feels is not appropriate to continue on a flight, and then document and follow-up on it post flight?

The Union is again reviewing the current OBSM SD assessments and discipline, it is never ending, but we hear you loud and clear, and we appreciate all your feedback.

The Union will never be happy with a program that focuses more on service timing, grooming and cabin lighting than it does on the once genuine service we all personally strive to offer.

Offering Glowing-Hearted Hospitality is only worth 4.5%, the same as Cabin Lighting.

Cabin Air Quality
Your Union takes Cabin Air Quality seriously.  We reach out each time we are advised of an issue to ensure you know the protocol and process.  Remember you can email anytime you have a fume event or air quality issue and immediately have valuable information at your fingertips.  Please report any issues or findings with cabin air to your union for immediate review and follow up.  Remember, safety lies with each of us, and in reporting issues as they arise, we are helping the next crew and ourselves in a safer work environment.

The Union met last week with the employer.  There is not much to report other than we go back December 9, 2019 for a planned full week of bargaining.

Minimum Wage Rouge
The Union had met with the employer on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.  The day was an incredibly long day, where we discussed the minimum wage grievance at Air Canada Rouge.  There was unfortunately no resolution and we are booking another date to move this very important issue forward for a final settlement.  Minimum wage is a minimum standard, and currently the Union believes its members in Ontario are not making the minimum while in training or doing ground duties.

Deadheading in Cabin Jumpseat 
The Union has received multiple reports over the last two weeks regarding members either being assigned jumpseats for deadhead travel, or being requested to travel in a jumpseat, and forfeit their seat for additional passengers.  The Union maintains that ALL members deadheading are to deadhead in an assigned passenger seat.  You are traveling as a passenger and are entitled to a proper seat to maintain your comfort.  If you are requested to, or are assigned a jumpseat, please report this to your local union office.

Bill C86 – New Personal Responsibility Leave provisions
The Company recently advised the Union on how the new provisions for Personal Responsibility Leave under the Canada Labour Code will be managed.

This leave is intended to provide workers with time to address personal illness, health care, care of family members, or education-related responsibilities.  The new Code provisions provide that the first three days are paid, and the fourth and fifth days are not.  In general, the leave days used are recorded in 24 hour increments.

All Mainline and Rouge members are entitled to the full five days, the first three of which will be paid based on each member’s cycle or pairing.  A single duty day pairing that touches two (2) calendar days with less than 24 hours away from home base would be the equivalent of one (1) day of leave.  A pairing that has more than 24 hours but less than 48 hours 1 minute would be the equivalent of two (2) days of leave, and so on.  Please see below for examples.

***If you are assigned a 3-day SYD worth 33:00CR, you will be paid for the pairing and will utilize three (3) days of leave.  This is because the SYD pairing is away from home base for 57 hours (so, more than 48:00 but less than 72:01).  If you take the full five (5) days of leave, the next two (2) would be unpaid.

***If you are assigned a 4-day pairing worth 20:00CR and you take five (5) days of leave, you will be paid for the flight credits contained within the first three 24 hour periods.  The 4th and 5th periods would not be paid.  This is akin to running out of sick days mid pairing.

Essentially, the leave days are calculated in increments of 24 hours or less, beginning from the report time of the missed pairing.  Please note that you will need to reach out to your manger to request the leave. Please reach out to your local if you have already taken this leave and believe the payment was handled differently than described above.

Air Canada Component Legal
At the beginning of the term, your Component Officers decided to venture down the path of hiring our own, independent lawyer to join us at Belfield.  We wanted someone to grow with our vision, monitor the flow of grievances, and be specialized in dealing with a range of issues specific to flight attendants. We have been incredibly fortunate to have Kim Veller join us full time in September 2019. Kim has been assisting us all on many fronts, from bargaining to monthly review and regular day to day grievance handling.

Online Survey
For those of you that have filled out the survey, thank you, your comments are reviewed and we are actioning them daily.  For those of you that have not, please feel free to click this link and fill it out.  Please note the survey closes at 4:00pm EST on Friday, November 22, 2019.

Name Brevets – Rouge
We understand that the recent bulletin regarding Name Brevets went to all members and has resulted in some confusion amongst Rouge members.  We would like to point out that the information in that bulletin is specific to mainline members only. Although your union is not in agreement, wearing a name tag is still a company requirement at Rouge.

December Flying
Having been the Reserve Committee Chair for many years over the busiest month of the year, I know many of you will reach out, and for some it will be the first time contacting your local office.

If you are on Reserve for December, you can find your Reserve Handbook HERE.

If you are a Blockholder, you will be able to find your Collective Agreement HERE.

Focus in on your reassignment language, please click HERE to a view a reassignment bulletin that the union previously issued.

For a list of contact information, click HERE.

Lastly, all this and more information can be found on the Component Website at

Wishing each of you an amazing December 2019, reach out anytime,

Wesley Lesosky
President, Air Canada Component of CUPE