National Indigenous Peoples Day

 
In Canada, June 21 is officially recognized as National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is a day to celebrate the outstanding contributions and achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada, while also taking time to appreciate their diverse cultures and unique heritage.
For generations, many Indigenous peoples have celebrated their culture on or near this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year. It was for this reason that the Government of Canada, in cooperation with Indigenous organizations, chose June 21, the summer solstice, for National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Benefits Update

Further to our bulletin last Friday regarding Health Benefits for those members laid off, the Company has now provided full details on its updated benefits offering for those on layoff status. Before providing details on the Union sponsored plan, we were waiting to see the final cost details of the prescription drug plan offered by both Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge. Upon our review we are happy to see that the employer’s new prescription drug only plans are more cost effective than the plans the Union was intending to offer. As such we will not be moving forward with those plans and encourage you to review the updated employer offerings.

For Mainline:
An email notification will be sent to your Air Canada email address by June 20, 2020 advising that a new Benefit Status Advice (BSA) has been prepared for you.  In order for benefits to be maintained, your intention to continue coverage must be received no later than July 3, 2020 at 0800 EDT and your cheques must be sent to Air Canada Group Benefits. For those of you that have already made your selections as to whether or not to maintain benefits, your selections have been voided in order to ensure everyone has the opportunity to review and select the option that is best suited to their needs.

For Rouge:
An email notification has been sent to your Air Canada email address with more information. Members must complete the NEW Layoff Benefits Continuance Form, even if you have completed the old form.  The deadline for Rouge members to advise of their intention to continue benefits has been extended to June 26, 2020 at 0800 EDT.

Questions:

I have already submitted my options for the Layoff Benefits Continuance. Do I need to re-submit? Yes. Given the new options available, the previous options are null and void. Everyone must re-submit if they want to maintain benefits.

I already submitted my postdated cheques, but I changed my selection, what do I do?
If you have already submitted cheques, we will review your file pursuant to your revised elections and communicate with you accordingly.

I already submitted my postdated cheques and I will not be changing my selection; do I have to send new cheques?  
No, you do not need to resubmit cheques as the total cost of your benefits would remain the same.

In solidarity,

Recall Notices

The Union is happy to announce that the Company has just advised us that there will be 338 recall notices going out.  These notices will take effect with the July 2020 block month.  The Company has also confirmed that these recalls are all for Air Canada Mainline positions. In addition, those recalled will be recalled back to their home base.

All members being recalled will be notified via a 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 call.

We have also had confirmation from the Company that the block hours for July will now be 80 hours and not 85 as planned.

Many of you have reached out regarding the next steps in the process of returning to work.  There has been much information floating around and we wanted to update you on what to expect and what your requirement is in the process.

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 days to reply to the employer, from the date the letter was post marked.  We have been advised that the letters will go out June 19, 2020.

What happens if I am due for training?
When you are recalled, you will be put into a training class.

Can I be recalled to a base, other than the base I was laid off from?
Yes, as per Article 17.16.03 and 17.16.05, you can be recalled out of base, however you are not required to accept the position.  If you choose not to accept a position out of base, you must reply, in writing, within 14 days from the date the notice was sent.  Failure to reply within this time limit will result in his/her being removed from the seniority list and thereafter s/he shall be deemed to have resigned without notice. 

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 for clarity on the process or any concerns you may have.

In solidarity,

COVID-19 Update – Face Coverings

In recent weeks we have had excellent discussion and collaboration with management on the topic of personal protective equipment (PPE). Many of you have reached out to us recently expressing confusion or concern regarding what needs to be worn when or that wearing PPE may come across as unprofessional or uninviting to our passengers.

We have prepared the following bulletin to address some of these issues, which have been discussed with the company. Should you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us directly, your Health and Safety Committees or Safety Management.

A new normal:
We mustn’t feel uncomfortable or ashamed of wearing our PPE. It may feel strange or silly and it can certainly make social interactions more difficult, but these are merely new challenges that we must and will overcome. As our new Vice-President of IFS, Jon Turner, stated in his most recent message “… Seeing your PPE gives our customers great comfort knowing that you are trained safety professionals”.

As PPE becomes more ubiquitous, it’s not so much a source of concern for the public as it is a welcome sight and comfort. So, wear both your uniform and PPE with care and pride, like the safety professionals that you have always been!

Cloth face coverings for crew:
As announced in the weekly IFS newsletter on June 12th, the company will be providing all crew with two branded cloth face coverings. These had been requested by many of our members and may be more comfortable for use while in areas off aircraft where physical distancing is easier to achieve, such as waits in the airport, layover hotel etc. You must sign for your pair at your local crew centre.

  • Cloth face coverings do not meet the criteria for personal protective equipment (PPE) and therefore cannot be used anywhere onboard the aircraft.
  • Cloth face coverings may retain moisture after prolonged use and need cleaning to prevent growth of bacteria. For your safety, as well as that of others around you, at the end of the day your mask should be washed with warm soapy water, thoroughly rinsed to remove any soap residue and hung to dry for use the next day.

Surgical masks and N95 respirators are mandatory onboard for all crew:
Since we are employees, and cloth face coverings do not meet the criteria for PPE, the company provides two options for use onboard the aircraft: surgical masks or N95 face respirators.

  • As stated in Insert 293, all cabin crew MUST wear a surgical mask or N95 respirator at all times while onboard the aircraft – regardless of location. This means in the galley, crew rest, cabin, washrooms, and flight deck etc. The only exceptions are when eating, drinking, taking medication, for medical reasons as cleared by occupational health services or during any emergency procedures.
  • A plastic faceguard does not provide the same protection as a mask and cannot be worn alone. If it were a mask, it would be called a mask!

Face coverings onboard for passengers:
As outlined in Insert 293, passengers are required to wear a face covering at all times onboard. Exceptions do exist, but they aren’t a free pass! In a time of rapidly changing policies, it’s more important than ever to know and apply the various sections of the FAM together.

For example, if a passenger expresses having trouble breathing, there is an exception allowing them to remove their mask. But remember breathing difficulty would be considered a medical emergency. You therefore need to follow procedures to request medical assistance and contact STAT MD.

  • A general exemption exists for special needs or unforeseen circumstances at the crew’s discretion. This isn’t license for passengers to disobey Transport Canada mandated policy, but rather an acknowledgement that it is impossible to foresee every possible onboard situation and that you as crew need to be able to exercise critical judgement and adapt accordingly during exceptional circumstances.
  • As a general rule, any medical reason for not wearing a mask must be cleared by MEDA prior to departure or Stat-MD once in-flight.
  • As a general rule, a customer who doesn’t have a valid reason not to wear a mask and who doesn’t comply with crew instructions requires following procedures for disruptive unruly passengers FAM 3.6.1. Remember: the goal is to apply conflict management techniques and achieve compliance without escalating the situation.
  • Appropriate paperwork needs to be filed for any situation where a customer becomes unable to wear their mask during flight (medical forms incl. clearance card / disruptive pax report etc.).

TIP!      Cloth face coverings may make breathing more difficult over time as they get humid from the user’s breath. Offering the choice of a disposable surgical mask instead may be an appropriate solution.

In Solidarity,

Happy Pride Month!

Each year in June we celebrate the LGBTQ2+ community.

Everyone deserves to feel respected, accepted and empowered to be themselves. So, let’s continue to embrace diversity and inclusivity and push for continued progress and equality.

While Pride month will look a little different this year as events take place virtually, the celebrations will still continue.

Happy Pride!