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

Arbitration Award Re: OBSM Policy Grievances

The union proceeded to arbitration before Chief Arbitrator William Kaplan for these matters starting in July 2018, and the hearings concluded in December 2018.  We are pleased to advise you of the outcome, please click HERE to read the details.
The union was largely successful overall, and it appears that the company will have to take steps to reform the program to ensure compliance with Arbitrator Kaplan’s award.
CHQ-17-39 Interference with Union Representation Rights (OBSM’s, Performance Meetings)
On the union representation grievance, CHQ-17-39, the arbitrator dismissed outright the company’s assertion that the OBSM performance reviews were not subject to Article 14.02.01.  He held that the “union is entitled not only to attend, but to participate at the base OBSM debriefing.” This means that the company will have to reform that aspect of the OBSM program to ensure that there is union representation at the base OBSM performance review meeting.
CHQ-17-66 Abuse of Management Rights (OBSM Assessment reports)
On the failure to provide the OBSM assessment reports, CHQ-17-66, the arbitrator found that failing to provide the reports was “by definition unreasonable and it was completely contrary to the stated purpose of providing Service Directors with an opportunity to meet standards”.  Please let the union know if you are not receiving these reports.
CHQ-17-38 Violation of Article 14 (OBSM’s, Discipline, Demotions)
The arbitrator partially allowed and partially dismissed CHQ-17-38 (OBSM demotions).  Subject to the specific findings in his award, Kaplan found that the program “in general” met the reasonableness test however cautioned that automatic demotions in every single case of failing to meet expectations on the second assessment would be “contrary to the just cause provisions of the Collective Agreement and governing principles of progressive discipline” … ”employees must be told what they need to do to improve and what the consequences will be if they fail to do so”.
The arbitrator allowed the grievance insofar as the company’s failure to advise about the weighting of 15 Touchpoints:  “… as a best practice, and consistent with the overall objective – improving performance – the union and its members should have been advised which parts of the 15 Touch Points are given the most weight and the exact standards that have to be met to pass. Air Canada is directed, forthwith, to inform the union and individual Service Directors of the weighting and grading. To this extent, this grievance is allowed and a declaration issued”.
CHQ-17-23 Abuse of Management Rights – OBSM’s Using Crew Rest Facilities
The arbitrator however did dismiss CHQ-17-23 (crew rest).  He found that there was no entitlement in the Collective Agreement to exclusive access to crew rest facilities however he did find that there is “absolute priority” of Service Directors and Flight Attendants to “priority access for their contractual rest”.  Please let the union know if you are ever denied priority access to contractual rest.
In solidarity,
Marie-Hélène Major
President, Air Canada Component of CUPE