As you may be aware by now, the Employer issued a Globe Message yesterday evening advising that they were providing a VE premium of 100%, allowing members to exceed 100 hours, and allowing members to waive days off. The shock and dismay we are hearing from members is shared at our level as well.
Here is a breakdown of events:
• The employer reached out on Wednesday evening to attempt to reach an agreement to allow the waiving of the VE cap, GDO removals for reserves, and minimum days off to go to 0.
• The Union immediately looked into this with a counter proposal that included their request with limitations and a permanent short crewing premium for ALL flights. The current short crewing premium only applies to B14, LOU 18 and LOU22 flights, so this was to include ALL B5 flights, overseas and domestic, wide-body and narrow-body. Our view was that this would actually be no cost proposal to the Employer if they maintained adequate staffing going forward. We could not entertain a short-term fix, to what we are seeing as a long-term issue.
• The Employer said No.
Bottom line, yesterday evening the Company moved ahead with their proposal and willfully violated our Collective Agreement.
The Union wants to remind you of the following:
• The Employer did not maintain members on the CEWS program. The intent of this program was to keep employees connected to their employer and ready to return to work when business activities resumed.
• We have a grievance out on Members that were denied the right to seek outside employment while on layoff, the company wanted you to stay on EI instead or not work in the industry that you are qualified in.
• We have many members denied Educational Leaves.
• Do we need to remind you of the COVID-19 Leave fiasco and the hoops we had to jump through to ensure the code was being followed?
Further, the COVID Tracing Process, something in place for your safety, is completely at the brink of collapse. Yesterday we notified the employer of 26 new flights, as well as reminded them of the 111 outstanding flights. If Safety First is our priority, how is it that this process is so far behind? Our members have worked tirelessly through this pandemic, and yet the Company is more focused on beer and wine in economy than COVID being passed to our Cabin Crew.
The Union completely understands the confusion on this and wants to ensure you are well aware that this is VOLUNTARY, the company CANNOT fly you into GDO’s on reserve intentionally, they CANNOT draft you when you are maxed out, and CANNOT waive your days off, these are your contractual rights.
We have filed policy grievance CHQ-21-18 – Violation of Articles 2 and Block Rules (Voluntary Extension Process). Please click HERE for a copy of the grievance form. We continue to review other options to address the continued staffing shortage.