Hello and welcome to the new Grievance Committee Website. We are very excited about our new home and feel that this will allow us to interact directly with our Members and give them guidance and information about the grievance process. We also want to provide you with updates regarding the grievances and/or arbitrations that our committee is involved with. The grievance committee consists of a Chairperson, Carmela Iermieri, and additional members as required. We are all flight attendants and have experienced many of the things our members experience every day. We take great pride in the role that we have and feel strongly about the fair and equitable treatment of all of our Members.
WHY DO WE HAVE A GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE AND WHAT IS ITS ROLE?
The Component Grievance Committee is the centralized Headquarters of all Mainline and Rouge grievances. We work on grievances through the assistance of any affected members by gathering evidence and writing a brief for each case. We work on all types of rouge and mainline grievances as follows:
- Grievances that start directly at level 2:
- Policy grievances (which affect the membership system wide), and
- Individual Termination/Suspension Pending Discharge grievances), and
- Individual/group grievances that are denied at level 1 and are sent with all required evidence from the 5 local unions (locals 4091, 4092, 4094, 4095, and 4098 (rouge)) for review in the hopes that the grievance can move to the next step of the grievance process.
The Component Grievance Committee also:
- assists the local Presidents and Vice Presidents with grievance handling,
- assists the Component Officers with grievance research and history, and
- works directly with legal counsel when preparing cases for mediation and arbitration.
The purpose of the Grievance Committee and the grievance procedure is to establish a fair and agreed-upon method of resolving disputes arising over the interpretation or application of clauses in our Collective Agreement and/or Air Canada policy. A fair grievance procedure is the historically proven method of avoiding protracted and mutually antagonistic conflicts between employees and their employer.
WHAT IS A GRIEVANCE?
Our Agreement defines a grievance as “all differences concerning the interpretation, application, administration, or alleged violation of the Collective Agreement”. In short, any violation of our contract, of the law, of the rights of our Members.
EXAMPLES OF COMMON GRIEVANCES
Experience has shown that certain problems occur often. Everyone has been in a situation wherein they feel that they were entitled to a Voluntary Extension flying award, yet it was given to someone else. Some of our hardest working Members are our reserve flight attendants and we see violations of their rights too. We also see numerous grievances involving discipline issued to our members.
In general, you are likely to have a grievance if you are being treated in a manner that appears to be different from the norm and contrary to that required by the Collective Agreement.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
If you believe you may have a grievance you should immediately contact your Local office (Union office at the airport). Please do not delay; there are time limits within which a grievance must be formally filed. Please ensure you provide your local with all evidence, i.e. a written statement of the event (a must for all grievances), screenshots, pictures, written witness statements, names of Company representatives you spoke to (who, when, where, what), emails/letters between yourself and Company representatives and any other relevant evidence you can think of or your local requests from you. Unfortunately, many grievances have been lost because of an individual’s reluctance to seek resolution through the formal grievance procedure or to provide a statement and evidence to support their grievance before the time limits have passed. Be sure to contact your Local office as soon as possible for assistance with determining if you have a valid grievance and how to go about defining and resolving it.
THE ARBITRATION STEP (Last Step of the Grievance Process)
Any member can approach the Union requesting that a grievance be filed on his/her behalf however the Union has carriage of all grievances. The Union has the discretion to file or not file a grievance, will process a grievance through the initial steps and has the legal authority to pursue or not pursue a grievance to arbitration. At any point prior to arbitration the parties can mutually agree to a settlement of the dispute and end the process. If, however, Air Canada refuses to be reasonable, the Grievance Committee in conjunction with our Legal Department will review the case and discuss its merits to furthering it to arbitration.
As outlined in s. 37 of the Canada Labour Code, employees do not have the absolute right to demand a grievance be filed, or if one is filed, that their grievance be referred to arbitration. A union may decide not to file a grievance or not to pursue a grievance, or may settle a grievance without the employee’s agreement, as long as the union’s decision is not arbitrary, discriminatory or made in bad faith.
ENFORCING THE CONTRACT
A strong grievance procedure vigorously enforced by the Union is necessary to ensure equitable treatment under the contract. We recommend that all Members periodically review their Collective Agreement and become familiar with their rights.
Contract enforcement is the most demanding, time-consuming, and expensive task that the Union performs for you. Without enforcement, a contract is worthless. We must maintain constant vigilance, especially in this climate of financial duress, to ensure that our hard-won gains are not eroded by management any further than they already have been. Your Grievance Committee prides itself on having built a strong grievance process which operates democratically for all of our Members. Keep in mind that we need your help to make it work. We will use this new website as a means to communicate important issues to you and also to provide a way for you to keep our finger on the pulse so to speak. We rely on you to be our eyes and ears out there. We have the brightest and most resourceful group in the unionized work force and we shall build on those strengths together. We look forward to hearing from you!
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