As you may recall just prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union was set to commence the mediation stage of our 2019 Reopener as outlined in the 10-year Collective Agreement MOA. This process was triggered as a result of the parties’ inability to reach a tentative agreement. There was a (90) day period of direct bargaining with Air Canada as is required but no agreement was forthcoming and therefore mediation was necessary. The Union and the Company both agreed at that time to postpone the mediation stage, so that we could deal with the immediate impacts of COVID-19 on our membership.
We are now in the process of resuming the mediation stage and will be meeting with Arbitrator Vince Ready next week for some preliminary discussions to see where the parties are at. We have also secured dates for mediation the week of November 7th and will book more dates as required. If the parties are unable to reach a mediated tentative agreement, then either party may refer a maximum of 10 items in dispute to interest arbitration.
We also wish to remind members that if interest arbitration takes place, there is a requirement for cost neutrality for Air Canada Mainline and Air Canada Rouge, except for certain items which could result in an increase in cost for Air Canada Rouge. Please review the MOA which can be found in the front pages of the Collective Agreement, or by clicking HERE, for more information on the reopener process and limitation.
Your Bargaining Committee is fully committed to achieve some gains despite the restrictions of the language. We will update the membership again following our first week of mediation in November.