Today, the Union secured an important victory for its members on long-term disability (LTD).
Today, Chief Arbitrator Kaplan issued an important decision that forbids Air Canada from terminating the employment of Cabin Personnel on LTD, as Air Canada had planned.
The Union is very pleased with this decision.
This legal saga began in 2016 when Air Canada announced that for the first time, it would begin terminating the employment of Cabin Personnel on LTD. The Union secured a cease and desist award that prevented the terminations from happening.
The IAM and Unifor lodged similar grievances as we did, although when those two unions arbitrated their disputes, they were not successful, meaning that Air Canada was permitted to terminate the employment of IAM and Unifor members on LTD.
Fortunately, the litigation between the Air Canada Component of CUPE and Air Canada did not follow the same course, and we are very grateful that some of our most vulnerable members have been protected.
A copy of Chief Arbitrator Kaplan’s award can be found HERE.
In short, Chief Arbitrator Kaplan found that the Collective Agreement prohibited employees on LTD from being fired and denied health benefit coverage. He also found that pension accrual and benefit coverage must continue because of the existence of an estoppel, although Air Canada can end pension accrual and benefit coverage for employees on LTD at the end of the next appropriate round of bargaining.
We are grateful to the members who contributed by providing witness statements and attended previous hearing dates. We also recognize the important assistance provided by representatives of the Air Canada Component of CUPE’s Wage Indemnity Plan.