days until our Collective Agreement expires, we are preparing, we are united and we will make change.

Health & Safety Update – Customs Metering & Fatigue

As most of you have experienced firsthand, fatigue is common within the airline industry, and it is a serious concern because it leads to impairment. In a survey of the members in 2015, 78% of Flight Attendants reported that they felt fatigued to the point where they were concerned about their ability to remember work procedures, and almost more than three quarters of Flight Attendants surveyed reporting that level of fatigue at least three times per year.  Most commonly, too many flights in the schedule or too little time in-between multiple pairings, were cited as the cause.

Recently our members reported that crew rest both on layover and at home is being eaten away by CBSA metering delays on arrival. They also reported that the crew rest they got wasn’t sufficient to cover what ends up becoming a much longer duty day than planned.

Our SOPs as outlined in the flight attendant manual require us to report for work fit for duty.

In some cases, like when customs metering delays your ability to leave the flight, the cause of fatigue may be directly linked to your work.

If, as a direct result of your work, you find yourself in a physical and/or mental state that renders you unfit for duty:

Follow the injury-on-duty process including:

  • Book off injury-on-duty
    • And calling Medaire if away from base
  • File a work-related Illness/injury e-report (at Rouge ID your safety report as such), being clear
    • It is critical in to document the following in your report:
      • Work factors leading to fatigue
      • Mental as well as physical impacts rendering you unable to report for your next shift
      • Impacts on safety and SOP’s
  • Seeking prompt medical evaluation, noting it is work-related
  • Following through with the injury-on-duty process. See your local union office for assistance

If you feel that something in the workplace is causing fatigue and could pose a hazard or risk to safety:

File a health and safety complaint e-report, ensuring to document:

  • Work factors leading to fatigue
  • Mental as well as physical impacts
  • Impacts on safety and SOPs

Reporting is crucial to document workplace issues (for example customs metering) which, with the proper information, can be addressed through various forms of policy change.

How to report:

Remember that we cannot effectively monitor social media, including Yammer. It is not an effective means to raise safety issues.

At Mainline: or ACaeronet > Safety > Submit a safety report/SIMS

  • Sign in using your Aeronet login credentials
  • In the report menu at the top right of the screen, scroll down and select the appropriate report.

 AC e-reporting app for iOS

  • On in-charge iPads
  • Downloadable for FA’s ACAeronet > IFS > ePub > Administrative Procedures > cabin mobility > iMenu

At Rouge:

 Follow e-reporting process as outlined in your PUB.

What is your Union doing?

Once you have filed an official report, please ensure to send a copy to the union to keep us in the loop.

Although things like customs metering may start out as unforeseen events, they rapidly become an ongoing and known issue. You shouldn’t have to choose between working exhausted and taking an “illegal” crew rest or losing credit hours because of an issue that’s well documented.

Various options are being explored. We will again be raising the fact with the Company that changes should be applied to duty days when on board with passengers in such circumstances. It’s the safe thing to do.

In solidarity,

Your Air Canada Component of CUPE Health and Safety Committee