Benefits Committee

The Benefit Committee is an Ad Hoc Committee established under Section 9.2 of the Air Canada Component of CUPE bylaws.

1. Work with the Component President to ensure that the Collective Agreement is upheld and implemented by the employer and that issues affecting the members are addressed.

2. Report to ACCEX in writing quarterly and keep the Component President apprised of all matters related to the Committee.

3. Draft membership bulletin information, if required, for submission to the Component President

4. Ensure the proper functioning of the Component Benefits Committee.

5. Ensure that Local officers are informed of any issues relating to benefits that would affect them and work to assist the local officers with any benefit related matters.

6. Manage the approved Committee budget in cooperation with the Component SecretaryTreasurer, in accordance with the Component Bylaws and policies.

7. Confirm all verbal communications with the Company in writing. All written Committee communications should be copied to the Component President. The Committee has no authority to make decisions binding on the Union.

9. Purpose of the Committee:

a) Inform, support and advise Local Officers and Component Officers of any issues relating to benefits;

b) Promote and further the rights of employees with benefits related issues within the context of their rights under the Collective Agreement and Human Rights legislation;

c) Promote through education, a solid knowledge of benefit entitlements for all of the Air Canada Flight Attendants.

10. The composition of the Committee is;

a) One (1) Committee Chairperson appointed by the Air Canada Component President

b) Committee members as required.

11. Committee Member Duties

a) The Chairperson;

i) Ensure the leadership and the coordination of the affairs of the Committee;

ii) Carry out any tasks entrusted to her or him by the Committee;

b)       i) Act as liaison between the Committee and the Local Union offices

ii) Share their expertise in order to function and / or reach the goals of the Committee;

iii) Carry out any tasks entrusted to them by the Committee.

12. Meetings The Committee shall meet as required and as determined by the Committee members.

Women’s Committee

Chairperson: Cassandra Shum

– – – – –

Why do Women need their own Committee?
All levels of union leadership must actively promote representative participation in the Union as a means of ensuring that factors impacting on women’s place in the workforce are on the union agenda and find their way to the bargaining table, the legislative lobby and political action activities of the Labour movement.

Usual Mandates of Union Women’s Committees.
Women’s Committees promote the awareness of issues affecting women in the affairs of the union at all levels. Women’s Committees report to Local membership meetings, Executive meetings, and Conferences.

Some Gains for Women.
Issues such as childcare, pay equity, employment equity, harassment and family care leave once were not considered conventional workplace concerns, but have been pushed to the fore front by supportive members and leaders.  Gains made in these areas have also benefited our male members.

Issues affecting Flight Attendants.
During C.C.A.A. our pay and working conditions came under fire.  Members must now work more hours to maintain a living wage, leaving less time for family responsibilities.  We need a significant raise in our wages.  The Company needs to commit to a time frame to allow the Pay Equity Job Evaluations that need to be completed in order to bring our wages up to the fair level determined by the evaluation.

The loss of the three days of paid Family Care leave has caused problems for our members who are squeezed between responsibilities for young children and aging parents in poor health.  Adding more pressure is the demands by the Conservative Government for cuts to social services, health care and the lack of a national childcare program.  Paid Family Care Leave requiring little notice, for members to attend emergencies, illness and family appointments needs to be part of the bargaining agenda.  The Labour Movement has identified the need for up to ten to twenty paid days in caring leave.  Converting sick time to Family Care time should be allowed.

If we check the applications for Reduced Blocks each year, you will find that more members apply for them than are actually awarded.  The minimum number of Reduced Blocks available each year needs to be increased.

Our reassignment clause has caused problems for our members with family care responsibilities.  The restriction to reassignment to the same calendar day is not tight enough, particularly for members who work red eyes.  Members may benefit by having the reassignment time restricted to a period that starts either 2 hours earlier than the originally blocked check in time or 2 hours after the original arrival time.  This would help members who have to arrange childcare.

The constant late publishing of blocks needs addressing so members can organize childcare.  Blocks have been published as late as 2 days prior to the month starting.  There is no reason why our members should not have the next month’s block at least 5 days prior to the month start.

Our members on reserve need the right to be able to refuse assignments that run into days off.  When members are flown into days off, an entire calendar day should be returned as opposed to pushing the day off by 12 hours after arrival.

We need clear language to cover Maternity/Alternate Work.  Women on Mat/Alt work may be assigned work similar to work often designated as special assignment, however the pay for Mat/Alt workers is calculated differently.  Someone being paid a shadow bid, and who can only hold reserve, pay level 9, working 21 days on Mat/ Alt will be paid $2380.95.  Flight Attendants working Special Assignments are paid an average of previous work plus $750.00 plus 5%.  If they averaged the minimum 70 hr. per month, they would be paid $2380.95 plus $119.05 plus $750.00 which equals $3250.00.  Women on Mat/Alt work are also penalized if they take time for medical appointments.  If these people were flying, they would be able to bid the time off.

Companies use economic times of uncertainty to put pressure on their employees to take cuts.  We have seen times like this come and the economy eventually improves. Fair working conditions that reduce stress faced by employees and their families will assist the company to run more efficiently.

This is why a Women’s place is in her Union!

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Uniform Committee

The Component Uniform Committee is comprised of a Component Uniform Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and Local Uniform representatives from each base.  The Uniform Committee participates in all required meetings with the Company under the provisions of Article 7.03.01 of the Collective Agreement including the Company’s Uniform Design Working Committee and other such joint committees.

The Committee monitors and addresses with the Company all issues surrounding the flight attendant uniform’s colour, material and style (e.g. durability, wear-ability, safety, etc.).  Where necessary, health and safety issues related to the uniform are identified co-operatively with the Union’s Health & Safety representatives, and if necessary appropriate action and resolution are taken.

The Union’s Uniform and Health & Safety representatives work co-operatively to ensure that our members receive the best possible uniform meeting all appropriate safety standards. We are also there to help facilitate any issues members might have regarding the uniform, and to ensure it is maintained to the same specification that was agreed upon during negotiation.

Although it is almost impossible to please everyone, we are always available to assist with questions and problems that arise from time to time.

Committee members

We can be contacted at:

Wesley Lesosky & Theresa Mitchell

Local 4091:
Francis Cayer

Local 4092:
George Barelos
Nicole Proulx

Local 4094:
Dorothy Stauffer
Geoff Trimpol

Local 4095:
Jeannine Gillis

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Tabulating Committee

The Component Tabulating Committee is comprised of a Component Tabulating Chairperson, and Local Tabulating representatives from each base.  The Tabulating Committee abides by the Component By-laws to oversee elections, ratification votes, etc.  It prepares information and bulletins to help aid in the voting process.   It also deals with any appeals that may arise after an election.

We have made numerous changes to the voting process since its inception, including the introduction of electronic voting (website and phone) vs. manual voting (the physical ballot).   This could not have been accomplished without the dedicated assistance and support of your administrative staff in the Head Office of the Air Canada Component of CUPE.

We will continue to review the process and make the necessary changes required to better serve the membership in this regard.  Your support is vital to ensuring our voice is heard.  Our union is only as only as strong as its members.

We enjoy working on your behalf, and welcome any comments or suggestions regarding your right to vote.

Committee Members

We can be contacted at:

Anuschka Elkei
4094 YVR


Sandra Jodoin-Battaglieri
4091 YUL

Jennifer Young
4092 YYZ

Carlos Fonseca
4095 YYC

Stephanie Falotico
4098 Rouge

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Reserve Committee

This committee consists of one member from each Local, appointed by the Local President and one Component appointed member. Each Local Component Committee member, in turn, heads up the Local Reserve Committee, under the direction of the Local President.

The first project on the Committee’s agenda is to receive training on the Netline awarding system in order to have the ability to use this system to track violations of award assignment and illegal changes to reserve members’ schedules.

The second project will be the development a “Reserve 101” seminar to teach members about reserve rules. Once developed, this seminar will be available at each Local to offer as needed – when new hires join the family or when layoffs force more senior members on reserve and they need a refresher on the rules.

In conjunction with the new component website, the Committee will participate in an online chat forum for Reserve. We will also further develop the concept of AM/PM reserve, monitor Call in to Reserve conversion rates and ensure that each base creates and maintains the overseas assignment list provided for under article B8.19.

Reserve has undergone many changes this year, due to the implementation of bidding for reserve days in PBS. Gone are the pre-set block patterns which made it easy to predict if you could hold a day off. Unstacking, previously only applicable to regular block holders, is now a reality for reserve block holders as well. We recognize the hardship this has created for those members at the very bottom of the list, whose chances of receiving the days off they bid for are greatly diminished. Unstacking proved especially challenging with the October block month, with many junior members on vacation – unstacking (especially on Thanksgiving) reached far up the reserve seniority list.

Reserve is not what it used to be and our support for our Members on reserve must be more proactive. It is our hope that this new committee will be an invaluable tool not only in the preservation of reserve rights under the Collective Agreement, but also be the driving change for improvements in reserve during the next round of bargaining in 2011. This committee will provide reserve members with a voice and encourage the participation of an often-disenfranchised group in the Union. While we do not pretend that this new Reserve Committee will be able to solve all these problems, we hope to create a forum for new and creative solutions to be discussed and developed.

We encourage anyone interested in participating in this important initiative to make your interest known to your Local.

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