Air Canada’s Mandatory Vaccination Policy

Dear Members,

As you’re likely aware by now, Air Canada released its mandatary vaccination policy on Wednesday which covers our members at Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge. The policy was released following the federal government’s announcement on August 13, 2021 that COVID-19 vaccinations would be mandatory for federal employees and those working in federally regulated industries, including the aviation sector, no later than the end of October 2021.   In addition, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced that the vaccination requirement would also extend to travelers.

The Union is aware that mandatory vaccination policies represent a variety of competing interest, rules, and sensitives.  However, we are in agreement with the medical and scientific communities that vaccines are critical to providing a safe work environment for our membership and promote the continuing recovery of our industry.   We continue to encourage all of our members to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their colleagues, and their families.

The Union had some concerns with the timelines applicable to cabin crew in Air Canada’s policies as the government mandate is not planned to come into force until October 31, 2021. However, upon further discussion with Air Canada it is clear that those not vaccinated with a first dose by September 8, 2021 will not be subject to flight removal until the start of the November 2021 block month.

Air Canada’s policy states that “failure to be fully vaccinated by October 30, 2021 will have consequences up to and including unpaid leave or termination”. The policy acknowledges the duty to accommodate under medical and religious grounds which we are pleased to see. We expect that those who claim either exemption will have to provide pre-existing evidence that they meet these criteria.

The Union will challenge any discipline issued to a member who elects not to comply with the vaccination policy as we believe alternative accommodations should be made. As always, the grievance procedure will be followed for any discipline issued to our members.

We had previously provided the membership with a legal opinion that we obtained with the Jazz Flight Attendant Union, CFAU. This was done in order to ensure that you have the necessary information to make your choice as to whether or not to comply with the mandatory vaccination requirement as it could have consequences to your ongoing employment. You can click HERE to review again.

Now that we have Air Canada’s policy on COVID Vaccines, your Union is once again having Legal Counsel and CUPE National review the terms and will file a grievance where the policy is found to be unreasonable or discriminatory.  We have received feedback from many members, both for and against the vaccine and want to once again assure you all, that we are looking at all angles and avenues to ensure that each member is respected and represented though this process.

As always, we will continue to provide updates to the membership as we move closer to the October 30, 2021 deadline.

In solidarity,

Your ACCEX

Self Identification Survey

In keeping with their commitment to create a workplace where diversity and inclusion is valued, Air Canada’s People, Culture and Communications branch has launched a self-identification survey. According to Air Canada, the purpose of the questionnaire is to “collect information about its workforce to ensure barriers to employment that disadvantage members of the designated groups are removed.” The information collected, will be used to develop initiatives and measures to promote Diversity and Inclusion at Air Canada as well as to comply with the Employment Equity Act.

The Component Diversity Committee encourages you to participate by completing the questionnaire. The information collected will remain strictly confidential.

The questionnaire was sent to all employees via their Air Canada email. Please check your inbox for the email. You can also complete the questionnaire from inside the Air Canada network by clicking here or from outside the Air Canada network by clicking here (after logging into ACaeronet).

Delegates to the 2021 Airline Division Convention and CUPE National Convention

The Air Canada Component has completed the “Call for Nomination” process for the 2021 Airline Division Convention and CUPE National Convention.

The following delegate will be attending on behalf of Local 4095 (YYC):

Nicola Schnell

 

Local 4092 (YYZ), has two available delegate spots and three members submitted nomination papers, therefore an election will be required.  Details regarding the election will be sent to Local 4092 members shortly.  The three members running for the two available Local 4092 (YYZ) delegate positions are:

Michelle Duhaney
Da Hyen (David) Lee
Marc Roumy

In solidarity,

Your Component Tabulating Committee

Recall Notices – August 24, 2021

he Union is happy to announce that the Company has just advised us that there will be an additional 208 recall notices going out shortly for Cabin Crew positions at Air Canada Mainline. Those recalled to Air Canada Mainline will be recalled back to their home base.

The recalls to Mainline will take effect on September 7, 2021 and you must accept your recall within 7 days. The most junior member being recalled has a 2021 seniority of 31725.

All members being recalled will be notified via registered letter.  Please note that due to COVID-19, there may be some delays in these letters reaching you. To compensate for this the Company will also be advising all those recalled via Company email and a courtesy phone call.  Please check your recall notice for more details. To ensure delivery of your recall response we suggest using your Air Canada email account.

As a reminder the Collective Agreement says the following about recalls:

17.16.02  An employee on laid-off status shall be notified by the applicable company, of the first available assignment either at Air Canada Mainline or at Air Canada Rouge to which his/her seniority entitles him. Failure to advise the applicable company within seven (7) calendar days of the registered postmark date of his/her desire to be considered for the assignment shall disqualify him for the assignment.

Recall notice shall be sent by registered mail to the last address filed with the company.

The Company will reach out to you via registered letter to the last address you have listed with the employer.  You have 7 calendar days to reply to the employer if you intend on accepting your recall, from the date the letter was post marked.  We have been advised that the letters will go out today, August 24, 2021.

Do I have to accept a position back to my home base?  Can I decline the recall coming back to where I was laid off from?
As per Article 17.16.04 the following is applicable:

17.16.04  If the employee is notified of a permanent assignment at the point of layoff, s/he must accept, and report for duty within fourteen (14) calendar days from the date notice was sent. An acceptance of permanent assignment at other than the point of layoff shall be optional for the individual concerned; however, should s/he accept, s/he shall report for duty within twenty-one (21) calendar days from the date of registered postmark. This time limit may be extended by Air Canada or Air Canada Rouge, as applicable, under extenuating circumstances.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for clarity on the process or any concerns that you may have.

In solidarity,

Continued Staffing Shortage

Without Prejudice

Dear Members,

As you may be aware by now, the Employer issued a Globe Message yesterday evening advising that they were providing a VE premium of 100%, allowing members to exceed 100 hours, and allowing members to waive days off. The shock and dismay we are hearing from members is shared at our level as well.

Here is a breakdown of events:
• The employer reached out on Wednesday evening to attempt to reach an agreement to allow the waiving of the VE cap, GDO removals for reserves, and minimum days off to go to 0.
• The Union immediately looked into this with a counter proposal that included their request with limitations and  a permanent short crewing premium for ALL flights. The current short crewing premium only applies to B14, LOU 18 and LOU22 flights, so this was to include ALL B5 flights, overseas and domestic, wide-body and narrow-body. Our view was that this would actually be no cost proposal to the Employer if they maintained adequate staffing going forward. We could not entertain a short-term fix, to what we are seeing as a long-term issue.
• The Employer said No.

Bottom line, yesterday evening the Company moved ahead with their proposal and willfully violated our Collective Agreement.

The Union wants to remind you of the following:
• The Employer did not maintain members on the CEWS program. The intent of this program was to keep employees connected to their employer and ready to return to work when business activities resumed.
• We have a grievance out on Members that were denied the right to seek outside employment while on layoff, the company wanted you to stay on EI instead or not work in the industry that you are qualified in.
• We have many members denied Educational Leaves.
• Do we need to remind you of the COVID-19 Leave fiasco and the hoops we had to jump through to ensure the code was being followed?

Further, the COVID Tracing Process, something in place for your safety, is completely at the brink of collapse. Yesterday we notified the employer of 26 new flights, as well as reminded them of the 111 outstanding flights.  If Safety First is our priority, how is it that this process is so far behind?  Our members have worked tirelessly through this pandemic, and yet the Company is more focused on beer and wine in economy than COVID being passed to our Cabin Crew.

The Union completely understands the confusion on this and wants to ensure you are well aware that this is VOLUNTARY, the company CANNOT fly you into GDO’s on reserve intentionally, they CANNOT draft you when you are maxed out, and CANNOT waive your days off, these are your contractual rights.

We have filed policy grievance CHQ-21-18 – Violation of Articles 2 and Block Rules (Voluntary Extension Process). Please click HERE for a copy of the grievance form. We continue to review other options to address the continued staffing shortage.

In solidarity,

Your ACCEX