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).

COVID Tracing Update – Effective August 8, 2021

We were informed a short while ago that the employer will be changing their contact tracing decision tree questions. While Air Canada continues to recognize that disclosure of vaccination status is voluntary, one of the first question you will be asked by the contact tracer is whether you have been fully vaccinated. Our understanding is that those who indicate that they are fully vaccinated will be identified to “self-monitor” and will continue flying.

Air Canada’s COVID vaccination policy states that:

“In order for the employer to assess future biosafety measures, all employees who are coming into the workplace are encouraged to notify Air Canada of their Vaccination status.”

Your Union recognizes the important role that vaccination plays in protecting the health and safety of Canadians, and in returning to the new normal. However, we also recognize the sanctity of medical privacy. At this time, a mandatory vaccination policy has not been adopted by our employer, and any disclosure regarding vaccination continues to be voluntary.

We recognize the sensitivity of this topic, and we will continue to support our membership while ensuring Health and Safety remains at the forefront. The purpose of this brief bulletin is to clarify the current employer policy on disclosure of vaccination status. Click HERE for a link to the Policy.

Staffing Update – August 6, 2021

Please see the staffing updates below:

Air Canada Mainline Recalls
The last batch of 148 recalls went out yesterday, August 5th, 2021. The deadline to accept these recalls is Thursday, August 12, 2021 at 23:59 EDT. This latest batch of recalls brought us to just over 50% of our members recalled.

Updated Seniority List
Your Union has updated the seniority list with the most recent recalls and retirements using information provided by Air Canada. Please remember that your seniority number will not change, only your ranking is updated on the list as members resign and retire.

*** Please note there may be errors or omissions, if you are aware of any please contact your union. You will also note that those members on leaves but senior enough to avoid layoff will be coded as Active. ***

Click HERE for an Updated Seniority List as of the August 2021 Block Month.

Retirements 
In addition, please see the current retirement numbers below, including the ERIP retirements.  You can also view full details over the past three years by clicking HERE.

Recall Notices – August 5, 2021

The Union is happy to announce that the Company has just advised us that there will be an additional 148 recall notices going out shortly for Cabin Crew positions at Air Canada Mainline.

All members whose point of layoff is at Air Canada Mainline will be recalled to their point of layoff in this batch. This batch of recalls also includes members whose point of layoff is at Air Canada Rouge. As such they will be offered a position at Air Canada Mainline and will have the opportunity to decline the recall and maintain their recall rights.

The recalls to Mainline will take effect on August 19, 2021 for Mainline members and August 26. 2021 for Rouge members and you must accept your recall within 7 days. The most junior member being offered a recall has a 2021 seniority of 25010.

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 5, 2021.

If your recall is to Air Canada Mainline and you are a Rouge member, you do not need to accept the recall but you must still reply to the recall notice. In this case you have up to 14 calendar days to reply to the employer advising that you are not interested in the recall but wish to be maintained on the seniority list for future recalls.  Failure to respond to the recall notice will result in your name being removed from the seniority list.

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.