We are providing this bulletin in an effort to update you on recent developments and to provide answers to some of the questions that we have been receiving. This is the time that we want to make sure that the constantly evolving landscape is one in which our members are well informed. There are many choices to be made and, in some circumstances, very important ones. If you are armed with knowledge it provides an opportunity for you to make an informed choice. We will continue to be here for all of the membership.
EI Works Share Program – Reduced Block Program (Mainline Air Canada)
We have received an update from Air Canada with regards to the EI Top Up for those on RBPs. Air Canada has confirmed that they will not participate in the EI Work Share Program as it is too costly. The Union has had multiple conversations with the government and was assured that they would assist Air Canada in applying for the Work Share Program for our members if Air Canada was interested. We have spoken to Air Canada about this numerous times and find that we are perplexed as to why the EI Work Share Program is not able to work for them considering it has in the past and the government is willing to assist them.
Initially the Company was planning to recover any balance owing from the final pay cheques of our soon to be laid off members. We followed up with Air Canada and asked that these deductions not take place due to the added financial stress this deduction could have for those on layoff. Air Canada has agreed, and any remaining balance will not be deducted from your final pay. We consider this to be a small relief for some.
Benefits Status Advice – (Mainline Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge)
For those on layoff status at Mainline you should have a received a Benefits Status Advice email from HR. This will show you the options and cost to maintain your benefits for the next twelve months.
For those of you on layoff status at Air Canada Rouge, you should have already received an email outlining your options for benefits in your company email.
Air Canada Cargo Discount
Many members have reached out to inquire about a cargo discount. This would help them to get personal items back “home” from their commuter homes or temporary homes while they were awaiting a transfer back. As we know the industry often has us uprooted from our homes to start our career. This can be a huge cost for many. The cargo discount is currently only available to active employees and once laid off this discount stops. We have had conversations with Air Canada about this as it makes sense to allow those laid off to access this discount. We are hopeful Air Canada will be able to offer the discount for a period of time. As soon as we have more information, we will let you know.
April 2020 Wage Increase – (Mainline Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge)
As you are no doubt aware, the 2020 pay rate adjustment was incorrectly processed and as a result your Union has identified that some were underpaid for flight or reserve duty, sick time, vacation, or other protected credits on April 1 and/or April 2, 2020.
We approached the Company on this issue and were advised that members would need to pay claim for missed time, this was for both Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge. We decided to see if we could pull and build a file for all members, across all bases to capture what they are owed. We had our Central Site Reps Karen and Tyler build a list and captured over 1.5 million minutes of owed time to our members. This underpayment affected 3963 members and was a monumental task. We want to provide a big thank you to Tyler and Karen for their hard work on this initiative. Now, instead of requiring our members to file individual claims, the company is moving forward with our list. They are verifying it and hoping to have it finalized in time for the July 17, 2020 pay. For those of you that will not have any pay coming from Air Canada on July 17, 2020, your pay will be held back, and payable upon request. This is being done to avoid creating any potential issues for those of you who may be in receipt of CERB or EI.
I am Laid Off how do I find out what I can qualify for?
The government has set up a link that will walk you through all available options Federally and Provincially:
We truly believe that we will weather this storm together and that our greatest strength lies in the unity that we have created. Through constant communication and cooperation our Union and its members will find our way through this together and will emerge stronger than ever. Please reach out to us if you have concerns or questions. We want to make sure that all members have the knowledge and the tools to navigate these uncertain times and have confidence that their Union has their best interests at heart.