There have been some members who have shown an interest in attending the Interest Arbitration hearing that your Union Executive is currently engaged in. We recently issued a bulletin outlining where we are in the cycle of bargaining and which process we are undertaking. You can find that bulletin HERE. We are grateful for the interest of our members and are pleased to see that they want to be involved and attend the arbitration hearing. We have worked through procedural issues this morning as the Union has advocated for the members to be in attendance. Arbitrator Vince Ready heard the submissions of both parties and has ordered that our members are not able to be in attendance. We will share his written decision with the membership once we receive a copy.
We were clearly hoping for a better outcome. We want to assure everyone that your Bargaining Committee is fully invested in representing the membership at each and every turn of this process. We admit that it is frustrating to us that this is not a full round of open bargaining, however we are armed with excellent legal counsel, financial experts, CUPE National support and the wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and experience that your Bargaining Committee possesses.
Given the fact that we want to have a membership who is informed and educated, we thought this was a good opportunity to explain what Interest Arbitration is and the phase of this reopener that we are now in.
Arbitration is a process in which a neutral third-party hears evidence presented by both the union and the employer on issues in dispute, and hands down a binding decision.
In the context of these re-openers and the Memorandum of Agreement negotiated in 2015, Interest Arbitration establishes new conditions within a collective agreement.
In our Collective Agreement and the MOA governing this current round there are exceptions to items that may be included for Interest Arbitration.
Items which may NOT be included for Interest Arbitration are:
- Annual Wage Increase;
- Meal allowances;
- Term of this Memorandum;
- Article 2 in its entirety;
- Pension– any aspects other than improvements to the existing defined contribution plan;
- Job Security LOU in its entirety;
- Flow Through LOU in its entirety; and
- The duration of any of the collective agreements which will come into force pursuant to the Memorandum.
A maximum of 10 items that remain in dispute can be moved to interest arbitration by the Union or the Company.
COST NEUTRALITY AND EXCEPTIONS FOR ROUGE
For both Mainline and Rouge, the arbitrator will consider several things when rendering a decision about a Permissible Interest Arbitration Item, including the total cost of the proposal and its impact on total compensation. The Arbitrator will not issue an award that increases the cost of Air Canada or Air Canada Rouge’s obligations.
Exceptions to cost neutrality:
However, the following Rouge items can result in an increase in cost based on a comparison with the terms and conditions of employment of other comparable employees at Air Canada Rouge, at other low-cost carriers, or in Canada generally, and/or cost of living:
- Sick leave for Air Canada Rouge;
- Credits, guarantees, and premiums for Air Canada Rouge Cabin Personnel;
- Vacation for Air Canada Rouge;
- Article 14 (Scheduling and Planning) and 15 (Duty Period Limitations) of the Rouge LOU;
- Any other items that the Parties agree is of mutual benefit to them.
We thank the members for their support during this time and encourage you to reach out if you have any questions about this process. Our hope is that we will make small gains during this reopener and the next and slowly build momentum and support from within the membership. When we achieve these goals and can bargain openly and fully in 2025, we will have a strong and cohesive bargaining unit.
Collectively, we will not rest until meaningful gains are made for the entire membership and your voices have been heard loud and clear. Please stay tuned for new bulletins relating to a Bargaining Survey for the next reopener. It is through this means that you can communicate your concerns and shortfalls that you find need improvement in our Collective Agreement. Our promise to you is that we will listen, learn and once again, move forward in the next reopener with a full understanding of what the membership needs.