Dear Mainline Reserve Members,
As you aware, there has been a long standing dispute between the Company and the Union regarding what counts towards the two (2) standby limit found in Article B8.20.02.
The matter proceeded to arbitration on May 24, 2023. Although the outcome is not what we hoped for, we are happy that we now have clarity on how the Collective Agreement is to be interpreted. In a nutshell, airport standby counts towards the limit of two (2) only when that is what you are assigned at the outset. If you are already at the airport because you are assigned to operate a pairing, and are then placed on airport standby because you are no longer required for that pairing, (i.e. cancellation) that airport standby does NOT count towards the two (2) airport standby limit.
An excerpt from the arbitration award states as follows: (Click HERE to see full award)
“The collective agreement is clear: there is a limitation on being required to report to duty for standby at the airport. Absent the trigger, Air Canada cannot require Reserve Blockholders to report to the airport to go on standby more than twice in a month. The reason for this restriction is obvious. When required to report to the airport, the Reserve Blockholder must actually go to the airport – that is what report to the airport means – to leave where they were, attend at the airport in uniform, with crew baggage ready, etc., and be on standby to wait for assignment. This is a completely different situation than a Reserve Blockholder at the airport who has their flight cancelled and is placed on standby. One cannot be required to report to the airport when one is already at the airport (which appears to have been the case with the individual grievors).”
Collective Agreement Language
B8.20 AIRPORT STANDBY: A Reserve Blockholder may be required to report to the airport to remain on standby for possible flight assignment. The duty period, for limitation purposes, will begin at the required reporting time. If a flight is operated, the duty period will be applicable for pay purposes.
B8.20.01 Airport standby will be rotated among Reserve Blockholders to effect time balancing but will NOT be assigned to the same employee on more than two (2) consecutive days.
B8.20.02 An employee will not be required to report for airport standby more than twice in any block month unless all other reserve at that Base have in that month been required to report for airport standby twice.
B8.20.03 Airport standby will be for a maximum of four (4) consecutive hours. Assignment may be made to a flight departing within or after the four (4) hour period. If no assignment is made s/he will be released for a legal rest.
B8.20.04 If s/he does not operate a flight, an employee shall receive a credit of one half (½) of the actual time involved in the duty period with a minimum credit of four (4) hours. This credit will be applicable for both pay and limitations.
As a reminder to our reserves, Article B8.20.02 still specifies a limit of two (2) and you can only be assigned a third airport standby AFTER all other reserves (at your base in that block month) have been assigned airport standby twice. Ensure to ask scheduling if other reserves at your base have been assigned twice before they assign you to your third airport standby.
Please contact your Local Union Office immediately if you are assigned a third airport standby if other reserves have not been assigned twice, and the company has not removed it after it was brought to their attention.
Your Component Grievance Committee