REMINDER – Occupational Health and Safety Survey

After a tough year and a half and an incredible response from you our members in promoting our collective health and safety during the pandemic, we are looking to keep that momentum going. While we acknowledge the pandemic is very much still a concern, we are asking for your guidance for future initiatives. Linked below is a short survey that will help us create and guide future projects at the Air Canada Component Occupational Health and Safety Committee to benefit you, the members.

https://forms.office.com/r/yfjykk6N7K

The information is for follow-up purposes only and identifiable data will not be shared.

Thank you in advance for your participation and your continued commitment to safety.

*** This survey is for future use. If you have a current health and safety complaint, please file the appropriate health and safety report with the company, and feel free to reach out to the union.  ***

For information on how to report, consult the Union’s reporting bulletin HERE and reporting Q&A HERE.

In solidarity,

Your Air Canada Component of CUPE Health and Safety Committee

Coronavirus Update 39

As we unfortunately see a rise in cases of COVID-19 cases on flights as well as  amongst employees, we would like to remind you of some union initiatives as well as provide guidance should you fall ill.

For Rouge members, a version of this bulletin specific to your workplace will be issued shortly.

Mask Compliance:
Mask usage onboard remains one of the primary methods of source control. Masks protect others, so when customers don’t comply it puts you at increased risk. It’s for this reason that you have a requirement to report non-compliance to Air Canada/ Air Canada Rouge using a disruptive passenger e-report. This helps your H&S committees do their work and provides valuable data to the company and Transport Canada so that the problem can be monitored.

NOTE: The most recent IFS news stated that an individual e-report should be filed for each infraction. This is neither practical nor realistic for crew members who are routinely experiencing non-compliance in the high double-digits on many flights. Your Union will repeat its previous message, which also reflects discussions at the company health and safety committees: Any report is better than no report. If necessary, itemize multiple cases on the same flight taking care to make note of the flight number, seat, date and general description of the behaviour. Disruptive passenger e-reports contain many sections for information that you may not have. Complete what you know and submit.

The Union is also asking you advise us here of compliance issuesMask non-compliance form This will allow us to monitor the situation and to ensure we also have clear information on problematic routes and destinations.  This information will NOT be shared with the company in detail, and it does not replace the formal reporting process.

Resources and guidance including when it is appropriate to request compliance can be found on ACAeronet > ePub > COVID-19 Tile > Face covering policy

If you fall ill with COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms:

  1. You must not come to work if you feel ill. Use the company’s COVID-19 wellness check tool Main Page > More News > COVID-19 Updates>Wellness check tool
  2. Ensure to book off and take appropriate precautions if you develop symptoms and to contact IFScontacttracing@aircanada.ca if you could have been in contact with any company personnel within the 14 days leading up to illness. This will allow their team to notify any affected workers so that they can also take appropriate precautions. We strongly suggest copying the union contact@accomponent.ca .
  3. Ensure to file a work-related injury/illness e-report if you have reason to suspect you became ill due to an exposure at work (ex. If you were notified of an exposure on a previous flight). Only reported illness is tracked and investigated by the h&s committees.
  4. File for workers compensation / WIP if applicable.
  5. On layover, call Medaire (ML) or Allianz (RG) who will evaluate you and provide guidance and medical care if necessary.

Reporting:
A reminder that reporting is crucial to the health and safety process. The Union recently released two bulletins in response to many questions and comment from members. They can be consulted at the links below.

Reporting bulletin
https://mailchi.mp/3f6c6b64a7f7/reporting-tablissement-de-rapports?e=2008c96150

Reporting FAQ bulletin
https://mailchi.mp/8ebbaee0dc29/reporting-follow-up-bulletin-bulletin-de-suivi-des-rapports?e=ab1d70c598

Legal:
The Union continues to uphold its members rights by supporting them and has filed an appeal at the Canada Industrial Relations Board to a work refusal decision of no danger related to certain recent service increases.

The Union reminds its members that the right to refuse dangerous work is an individual right and decision. Further information about the work refusal process can be found by emailing rtr@accomponent.ca and consulting chapter 2 in the FAM.

In Solidarity,

Reporting Follow Up Bulletin

The Union needs your feedback about passenger mask compliance!

The Union is busy discussing the clear problems you have been raising about mask compliance and service issues onboard with the respective government agencies as well as management.

In order to best illustrate the problem and help us advocate on your behalf we are sharing the following link that will take you to a convenient form where you can advise the Union about mask-related problems onboard.

Remember this does NOT get sent to the company so you must still file all required reports.

Member Resources – AC Component – See forms section > Mask Compliance Form

Follow-up about reporting:

On July 19, 2021 the Union issued a bulletin about reporting (you can consult it HERE). Based on your feedback, we have created the following Q & A:

Q1:         The FAM says to complete an H&S Complaint eReport “if you believe on reasonable grounds that there has been a contravention of the Canada Labour Code Part II.” What does this mean? (FAM 2.1.3.1)
A1:         Employers are held to a high standard for safety. This is covered by a general duty clause in the law which states that “…every employer shall ensure that the health and safety at work of every person employed by the employer is protected.” (CLC Part II s124)

Simply put, anything that could negatively affect workplace safety and/or create a potential hazard is something that the company should address, and that should be reported using this report.

Q2:         When I select a health and safety complaint eReport, it suggests first discussing it with a manager. Is this mandatory? What if I wrote about it on Yammer?
A2:         The Canada Labour Code Part II (Code) states that a Health and Safety complaint can be filed verbally or in writing to the employer– it doesn’t specify any type of report. If you raise a complaint verbally or on Yammer then THAT is your complaint and the company must begin attempting to resolve it with you as of that point in time.

However, YOUR UNION strongly suggests documenting a verbal complaint or a Yammer post using a health and safety complaint e-report since this is the dedicated channel for these issues.  This ensures that things are documented, tracked in the H&S database and that you get proper follow-up. YOUR UNION Health and Safety representatives are also able to see your complaint as it is being responded to in the system.

To document a previously reported (verbal, Yammer, other) complaint:
1. The H&S Complaint eReport asks “Did you try to resolve the concern with your supervisor”.
2. Select YES
3. State when and with whom in your report.

If management is unable to resolve the issue with you or it has been more than 30 days, you can refer your complaint to the joint committee for investigation.

Q3:         When I click “submit” I get an “unknown error” message.
A3:         We have flagged this issue to the company. In the meanwhile, there is a fix that you only need to do once:

1. In the report window, click the “set department” button in the bottom right
2. Search for “in-flight”
3. Select “in-flight department”
4. Click submit.

Q4:         I got a response from my manager but want to refer the complaint to the health and safety committee. How do I do that?
A4:         Just below the box with the manager’s response it says, “click the following link to submit your answer”.

1. Click the link.
2. Select whether the complaint is resolved or not. Selecting that it is not resolved will automatically place the complaint on the workplace health and safety committee’s agenda.
3. The system will ask why it isn’t resolved, briefly state why.

Q5:         My in-charge or captain said they’d file a report. Do I still have to do one?
A5:         Yes. It is everyone’s responsibility to file reports – including disruptive passenger security e-reports. That’s why they’re included in our ART each year. You only need to jot down the basic facts. Someone can always follow up for more information, but they can’t do anything about an issue that hasn’t been reported at all.

Q6:         The Disruptive Passenger Security eReport asks for details I don’t have. Can I still file one?
A6:         Yes. Just input the information that you do know. For mask compliance the most important information is flight, date, seat number, brief description, name of the passenger (if you happen to know it). For a group of persons, itemize them all in the comment box.

Reporting

Recently we have been receiving an increased number of comments from members asking what is being done about certain issues. But when we verify if a report has been sent in, we find that none has. This bulletin is intended to set straight the value of reporting, what reporting is and isn’t, and how to report.

Reporting works!

On an individual basis you may not receive a satisfactory response or even notice change as a result of your health and safety complaint. However, behind the scenes, the number of complaints, and the information they share make a powerful difference.

When reporting works as intended, you won’t always notice the effects of your efforts. This is because change should and can happen before a process is implemented, product changed etc… The company proposed major service increases a few times this year. Each was either stopped or heavily diluted – in large part because our members did their part to report safety concerns. On the line, our members never had to deal with those changes. Proactive reporting is efficient when it happens in large numbers.

But lately we are receiving fewer reports. In the first two weeks of July, we have received a total of only 33 reports system-wide about the service increases despite hearing many comments and seeing many more posts on social media.

At the end of the day reporting isn’t just about your concern, it’s about our collective concerns. Your reports back us up, amplifying our voice as your representatives.

Who needs to report?

It is everyone’s responsibility under both SMS and the Canada Labour Code Part II, to report matters of health and safety to the company.

Don’t assume that someone else’s report captures your specific experience, concerns and observations related to an incident or potential hazard. These might be crucial to avoiding repeat events!

It doesn’t fall solely upon the in-charge or the captain to file reports for incidents, including but not limited to safety events, disruptive passengers, mask compliance events etc. Our members operating as in-charges are not there to file reports on our behalf.

Reports are protected from discipline:

Except for gross negligence or willful intent, you’re protected from discipline under the company’s safety reporting policy (see FAM/PUB Chapter 1) and section 147 of the Canada Labour Code Part II.

What reports do your health and safety reps see?

We are provided copies of:

  • health and safety complaint e-reports
  • workplace injury illness e-reports

We are not provided copies of:

  • cabin safety e-reports
  • disruptive passenger security e-reports
  • Hazard e-reports

If you file one of these reports, we recommend providing us a copy if you intend for us to be aware.

Posting safety issues on social media?
If you have time to post or reply about an issue on FB, you have time to file a report. Period.

With many different online groups in existence, crews posting on a 24-hour clock, and highly customized viewing experiences, it is impossible for your reps to effectively monitor social media for health and safety issues.

Reporting systems exist to receive and track those complaints in an official manner – use them so that we can do our jobs representing you.

Should you still file an e-report if you told a manager about your safety concern, posted on Yammer or wrote an email about it?

YES. The Canada Labour Code stipulates that the company must attempt to resolve your health and safety complaint with you as soon as possible and allows for reports to be made verbally or in writing. This means that the clock starts ticking as soon as you’ve told a manager about it – no matter how.

That said, we have no way of knowing about a verbal complaint, or an email sent to a manager.

A formal report is entered and tracked in a database. This means that we not only see your complaint, but also the company’s response to you and whether you consider this satisfactory and why. Your report also  gets associated to hazards and is used to calculate important statistics that help drive change. Finally, by e-reporting, you can automatically refer your complaint to the joint health and safety committee if the company is unable to resolve the issue with you directly.

To ensure we are aware of your concerns, and that your rights are upheld, follow up on any verbal or email report using an e-report:

  • When prompted, select that you have already raised the issue with your manager
  • In the summary, state how and when.

Important note: You do not have to raise your concerns with a manager before submitting a health and safety complaint e-report.

The employer must attempt to resolve your concern as soon as possible, which has been defined by TC/ESDC as 30 days from the time it was initially raised with the company. If you receive no response, or the company is unable to resolve the issue you may refer it to the joint H&S Committee for investigation.

What if I call the local union office?

Expect your rep to request that a report is submitted before having a discussion. This isn’t your union ignoring you, but rather ensuring that you are guided to the only process that ensures your rights are upheld as a worker when it comes to safety. It will be our pleasure to chat once a report has been submitted. Should you need assistance filing a report, we can help!

How to report:

At Mainline:

Sims.aircanada.ca or ACaeronet > Safety > Submit a safety report/SIMS

  • Sign in using your Aeronet login credentials
  • In the report menu at the top right of the screen, scroll down and select health and safety complaint e-report.

AC e-reporting app for iOS (Android coming soon)

  • On in-charge iPads
  • Downloadable for FA’s ACAeronet > IFS > ePub > Administrative Procedures > cabin mobility > iMenu

Paper-based forms are still available at the crew centres for use by flight attendants only.

At Rouge:

Follow e-reporting process as outlined in your PUB.

In solidarity,

Your Air Canada Component of CUPE Health and Safety Committee

Early Boarding Times

In January 2017, the Air Canada Component of CUPE launched a survey about the practice of starting boarding earlier than posted POS times. The results showed that our members found this challenging and unsafe in many cases.

Once again, the Union is hearing from its members that boarding is starting earlier, and that this is causing difficulties accomplishing the required tasks as well as undue stress during an already stressful time.

We are therefore re-issuing the bulletin on early boarding times, which has been updated.

Safety First Always: our culture, a right and the LAW:

Safety is not negotiated. It is regulated by the Aeronautics Act and the Canada Labour Code Part II. Under SMS, as well as the Canada Labour Code Part II it’s always our duty as cabin crew to report any safety hazards and comply with procedures designed to ensure a safe work environment for our fellow colleagues and customers. It is also the employer’s duty to ensure a safe workplace.

Both SMS and the CLC Part II offer protection from discipline when carrying out safety duties/reporting, as long as they are carried out in good faith.

This means that safety always gets addressed, no corners cut, no exceptions. You should never be pressured to knowingly skip published safety procedures, checks, or go below minimum equipment requirements for any reason including operational pressuresThat’s the law.

What to do you do if you feel pressured to skip or rush your checks, briefing or other required safety duties:

  • Confidently say that you need more time to complete your mandatory safety duties. The earlier you can communicate this to the right people (Captain, agent etc…) the better.
  • If passengers arrive, politely ask them to wait on the bridge.
  • If management follows up about a delay related to safety duties, make sure that they understand that. It’s important!
  • In-charges should also file the appropriate reports to document any delays. This assists management in supporting you.

Report safety issues related to early boarding:

  • If your attention to safety is not respected, report it to the company file a health and safety complaint e-report to ensure that your safety concerns get addressed!

At Mainline:

  • Sims.aircanada.ca or ACaeronet > Safety > Submit a safety report/SIMS
    • Sign in using your Aeronet login credentials
    • In the report menu at the top right of the screen, scroll down and select health and safety complaint e-report.
  • AC e-reporting app for iOS (Android coming soon)
    • On in-charge iPads
    • Downloadable for FA’s ACAeronet > IFS > ePub > Administrative Procedures > cabin mobility > iMenu

At Rouge:

  • Follow e-reporting process as outlined in your PUB.

Safety duties that must be completed prior to boarding passengers 2.10.1/ 2.10.2:

  • An In-charge must be assigned if none is present. Gate support personnel / management who are qualified as cabin crew cannot assume the role of in-charge but can act as crew even if they do not have a manual.
  • PIC briefing to in-charge must occur. If the in-charge changes, the new IC must receive a PIC briefing and briefing from the outgoing IC.
  • Crew positions must be assigned including any gate support or management acting as crew for boarding.
  • In-charge/Crew briefing must occur and cover all mandatory elements on the briefing package.
  • Cabin Crew carry-on baggage stowed in approved stowage compartments.
  • Cabin Defect Log verified by In-Charge and crew informed of inoperative or unavailable equipment.
  • Assigned jumpseat checked for serviceability.
  • Required pre-flight checks completed.
  • Water tanks levels meet required amount for the flight.
  • Waste tanks have been serviced.
  • Safety features cards correspond to the aircraft.
  • Safety Demo kit / Video System accessible and functional.
  • Circuit breakers are operative.
  • Security inspection, as applicable: Galleys inspected to assess that no suspicious items are found in units/trolleys/ovens/bun warmers.
  • Lavatories and cabin are free from packages, unaccounted baggage, notes and other possible security risks.
  • Tamper-evident seals in lavatories are in place. If red dots are seen, advise the PIC immediately.
  • Medipak required appliances are in specified location and PIC informed that Medipak is onboard or missing.
  • Galley equipment secured, latched and operative.
  • Door areas are clear and available during boarding for emergency use.
  • Emergency Positions and Safety Equipment Checklist submitted to PIC.
  • Cabin dividers / curtains opened and secured.
  • IFE system ON.
  • Video monitors are functional.

Safety duties that must be completed prior to aircraft movement  2.10.7:

  • Submit the OSL displaying the Customer Weight & Balance to PIC whenever a non-required jumpseat position is assigned.
  • All cabin baggage stowed in designated and approved area before aircraft doors are closed for departure
  • Galleys and service equipment stowed and secured.
  • Overhead bins and coatrooms closed and latched.
  • All doors, exits and aisles free from any obstructions.
  • Passenger chair tables stowed, chair backs upright, extendable footrests/leg rests stowed.
  • Business Class armrests down.
  • 737 and A220 Business Class aisle seat armrests up.
  • Large portable electronic devices are turned off and stowed.
  • Headsets/earphones, including Bluetooth/wireless headsets are removed for safety video/demo, unless they are connected to the IFE system.
  • Passenger seat belts fastened.
  • Special Attention Passengers, such as infants, UM’s, etc., briefed
  • Overwing window, unmanned door/exit and A321 emergency exit (Doors 2 and 3) passengers briefed.
  • Lavatories/Crew rest areas are vacant/free from packages, notes and other
  • possible security risks.
  • Door, emergency/overwing window exit window blinds opened or dimmed to the “clear” state.
  • All passengers have visibility of safety video. Prepare for live safety demo
  • as required.
  • Personal televisions or cabin screens/video monitors deployed, then stowed
  • upon completion of the safety video.
  • Boarding music off.
  • Wings are free of adhering contamination.
  • Windscreens opened if applicable.

Safety Duties that must be completed for cabin secure/door closing 2.10.71:

  • All cabin baggage stowed in approved stowage areas;
  • Special Attention Passenger, overwing window, unmanned door/exit and
  • emergency exit briefings;
  • Passengers are seated, and cabins and galleys secured;
  • Flight Attendants have confirmed to the In-Charge that all passengers are
  • seated and cabins and galleys are secured for Taxi, Take-off and Landing

In solidarity,

Your Air Canada Component of CUPE Health and Safety Committee