In our continuing effort to ensure that you are kept informed we want to provide an update on matters which the Union is currently addressing.
VACATION OVER PAYMENT
As many members may be aware there have been Vacation Over payment letters from the employer sent out to those the company believes have been overpaid for vacation. There are different reasons that are being given for the recouping of this vacation pay. As you may recall the Union filed Grievance CHQ-21-11. This grievance is disputing the fact that for those on Off Duty Status, the Company chose to recognise any vacation period as time off while on ODS (and in receipt of CEWS/CERB), however they did not agree that it came with pay. These members may have been awarded their full allotment of vacation and may have taken it. If they opted for CEWS or CERB, the employer determined they would not be paying for the vacation days. This is one of the reasons that is being given for a repayment requirement. We have grieved this and are actively moving forward with this grievance to get a resolution.
There are also those who Air Canada has deemed to have taken vacation despite not having accrued it. We are especially incensed by this because it would have been preferable for our members not to have been awarded this vacation if they did not have an entitlement to it. It is the duty of the employer to advise and inform its employees of these circumstances. We are also disputing the assertions of the employer that some members were not entitled to this vacation. As with all things of this nature we will be relying on the members to assist and remedy this to any degree possible. We recommend that anyone who has been impacted by this write to the employer to request a complete and detailed breakdown of why and how it can be that they are required to pay this vacation time back. This includes a breakdown of all the vacation days, as well as a breakdown of the statutory days. You will also want to confirm the wage rate being used. Armed with this information we recommend that you provide it to your local Union office who will then review the detailed breakdown to determine next steps. It is not acceptable to be told by any organisation, bank, or institution that you owe money and must pay it back if a clear explanation of this alleged debt is not provided in great detail. Further we have been made aware that the deductions started prior to the explanations being given. We would not accept this from anyone else and strongly believe that the employer must do a better job of outlining the specifics of the overpayment as well as advising members in advance of removing pay.
ALEX HABIB TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT
The Component Secretary-Treasurer, Alex Habib, has accepted a temporary assignment as a CUPE National Servicing Representative. This assignment will run for six weeks. In his absence Local 4091 President Guillaume Leduc will be providing support to the Component to ensure that the duties of the Component Secretary-Treasurer position are carried out. Local 4091 Vice President Natasha Stea will ensure that the Component Executive has full representation at all ACCEX meetings. This is in accordance with the Air Canada Component Bylaws to ensure a smooth running of the Component finances.
Meetings with the Council of Unions continue in relation to the Share Trust Agreement.
As noted in our previous updates this is a very involved process which requires attention to detail and numerous approvals. It is also a highly complex undertaking and the Council of Unions, and their advisors continue to work through it for the betterment of their respective memberships. Until a full agreement is reached, agreed to, and confirmed, further information is not available on this, but once it is, the membership will be made aware.
FLOW THROUGH TO BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY
The Union has been advised that flow through offers went out yesterday. We are also aware of the error with the list and have been assured that the Company is working to rectify this error as quickly as possible. In addition, we are anticipating this offering as well as increased flying this summer will trigger recalls to Air Canada Rouge. This will involve the return of Air Canada Rouge flight attendants who are temporarily working at Mainline, as well as the return from layoff for those who didn’t accept the temporary assignment at Mainline. Once we know the timing and numbers for recalls, we will be sure to advise.
We have had the pleasure to be able to communicate with some of our new members. They are part of a new hire class which was scheduled to be online mid-February. Unfortunately, Air Canada has advised them that they are not required until the commencement of the March block month. This has resulted in a loss of pay for an entire two-week period which as you can imagine has created a hardship for them as finding work for a two-week period is limited. We are sure that many of them gave up jobs to come to attend this training in good faith. We consider this sudden reversal of their online assignment date to be a terrible way to commence a long-term career with Air Canada and we will be continuing to address this and ask that Air Canada reconsider their approach.
NEW HIRE TEMPS COMING SOON
We have also had the pleasure of meeting some of the new hires who will be coming online as temps. We encourage all members to reach out and show the generosity of spirit and solidarity that we all share by welcoming them to the fold. We can all recall our first days of flying and the trepidation that we felt. We can also remember the kind crew members who welcomed us and showed us the ropes. It is through small acts that we can make a big difference for all new members. In the words of Aesop “No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted”.
Your Union leadership has been consulting with the experts at CUPE National and will be consulting with the Council of Unions and the employer to establish the process for aligning and implementing Pay Equity. As of August 31, 2021, the Federal government’s new Pay Equity Act (“Act“) and the accompanying Regulation are in effect. This new legislation enables proactive enforcement of the fundamental human right to gender equality in compensation – equal pay for work of equal value. The Act recognizes that systemic wage discrimination exists in the workforce. The first deadline was November 1, 2021, when the Employer was required to post a notice in the workplace setting out its obligations to establish a pay equity plan. You can see this notice if you log in to HR Connex link in Aeronet. It can be found under the Pay and Compensation heading. The pay equity plan must be completed no later than September 3, 2024. Any pay equity adjustments owed must start to be paid out no later than September 4, 2024. We will be working our way through this process and will provide regular updates.
LOU 27 of the Collective Agreement states that :
“The Company will undertake to ensure that a certain bank of economy seats are held as “last sold” for the purpose of crew rest on all aircraft except the B747. These designated economy seats will be made available to revenue passengers or contingent passholders only after all other seats have been filled. The number and location of this bank of seats will be determined by the Company.”
It was brought to our attention that the “last sold” seats were not being provided to crew as per this Letter of Understanding. Thanks to feedback from the membership outlining when and where this was happening, we were able to pinpoint some areas of concern in the system. Air Canada did work to remedy this via bulletins to our colleagues at Unifor and other third parties and to date we have not had any further complaints from crew. If you operate a flight and find that this language is not being respected, please bring it to our attention by filling out the online report HERE. These seats were the result of years of bargaining and are crucial in allowing us to have a decent place to sit, away from passengers. We cannot allow this crucial Collective Agreement language to be watered down. We thank you in advance for working with us to make sure that we monitor this.
ASSIGNMENT NOTIFICATIONS UPDATED IN GLOBE INFORMATION SYSTEM
The Union has raised the concern with regards to the recent bulletin advising members that assignments would be sent through globe and the requirement to call is no longer. There has been much confusion from those on reserve and reassignment as to when you need to call or not call. We are seeking clarity as the bulletin appears to indicate no calls are required at this time. This is confusing as we have specific “call in times” noted in the Collective Agreement specific to reserve and reassignment.
As many of you know we have members that have been removed from flying due to their vaccination status. Like all members working as cabin crew at Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge, these members have the opportunity to file grievances if they feel their request to remain active through an accommodation has not been met. We have spent countless hours consulting legal, researching data on the viability of the grievances, and moving them forward from Level 1 to Level 2. We have secured our April Monthly Review date to commence the process of mediating these grievances.