As you may be aware, the Wage Indemnity Plan (WIP) Board made required amendments to the Wage Indemnity Plan (WIP) effective January 2, 2021. The WIP Board was required to make amendments to comply with a reduction in the EI waiting period implemented by the Government of Canada.
The WIP Board advised of the upcoming amendments on November 28, 2020 which you can review here: https://mailchi.mp/6f2a0615e1dc/wip-effective-january-2-2021-wage-indemnity-policy-changes-compter-du-2-janvier-2021-modifications-apportes-au-programme-dassurance-salaire?e=2e397171ed
Please see the Union bulletin issued in mid-December: https://mailchi.mp/b121a7c3a8bd/effective-january-2-2021-wip-changesmodifications-apportes-au-pas-compter-du-2-janvier-2021?e=5318069517
Your Component Executive and the WIP Board met with the Company on Friday, January 8, 2021. The company indicated that it did not agree with the proposal and that it would provide a different proposal.
For over 40 years, the Company provided up to 14 days of paid sick-time. Without notice to the Union or the WIP Board, the Company unilaterally revised the waiting period from 14 days to 7 days and now requires medical clearance from the Company’s OHS in order to return to work from a sickness-related absence that exceeds 7 days. The Company issued an update on ePub.
The Union did not consent to the Company’s unilateral change of a long-established practice providing for a 14-day waiting period. To be clear, the Union did not accept the change prior to its implementation. As a result of the Company’s improper actions, some of our members are left in a situation in which they were completely unaware of this change in practice and needed to book off.
The Union strongly disagrees with this unilateral change in practice. The union is considering all appropriate legal steps, including filing a grievance immediately. Click HERE to view the grievance form. We will strive to have the grievance heard as expeditiously as possible.
In the interim, what does this mean for you if your book-off is longer than 7 days?
As noted above, the Union does not agree with this long established change in practice however in the interim we recommend the following:
- You will need to apply for WIP, as your sick days will only cover the first 7 days according to the new Air Canada policy, which is in dispute. This does require consultation with a doctor.
- To return to work, you will also need to be cleared by Occupational Health. We realize how onerous this is given the fact that we are in the middle of a pandemic however this is what is required under the Company’s new policy.
We are especially concerned about the timing of this change to practice as our members are already managing work and family responsibilities with such courage and fortitude during these challenging times. In the Union’s view, it is egregious that not only is the Company unreasonably requiring medical notes when the health care system is already at its breaking point, but more so that so many of our members are being denied medical care.
We sincerely believe that this is creating more stress and uncertainty for so many who are already facing financial challenges. We know that it is our members who do so much and take on so much each time they go to work, and we promise to use all resources available to us to fight this.
In order to defeat this policy change, it is of vital importance to hear stories from each and every one who has been affected. This is compelling information, and we ask that you send this information to us. We know that it is an additional requirement on top of all that you are dealing with at present, but it is the most effective way that we can show an arbitrator why this change is completely unreasonable. Please add as many details as possible, including any difficulties obtaining a doctor’s appointment or any hardship you suffer as a result of the change in policy.
If you have any questions at all, please let us know. We ask that you send your statements to us directly at the Component offices. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will fight this fight together and we thank you in advance for helping us put our best case forward.