2023 finally ushered in a “new normal”. As part of this, many policies have been relaxed or removed. But there were some lessons learned during the pandemic and we would like to remind members of what we have maintained in the workplace:
- Will remain available for crew on an ongoing basis.
- These can be found in the crew centres, as well as onboard in the satchel (in reduced quantities). Members are encouraged to stock up in crew centres.
- It is crucial to file a health and safety complaint e-report if supplies are insufficient or if there is a problem. This has already allowed the committees to request that onboard quantities be revised (more).
- Work is underway to re-integrate information about PPE into the regular ePub.
- Reporting to work sick
- Prevents you from recovering and is unfair because it gets your colleagues ill as well.
- If you have signs or symptoms of illness, there is an expectation to stay out of the workplace: ACAeronet > Spotlight > Infectious Respiratory Diseases.
- Contact your union local if you have any questions about sick leave provisions or insurance. Remember that we now have access to the Maple / LifeWorks Telehealth service, which can help avoid wait times in clinics or the ER should you need to consult a physician.
Physical Health and Safety:
Your health and safety representatives have worked hard to continue addressing physical health and safety issues in the workplace. This is a difficult task, involving many stakeholders. Some of the recent efforts include:
- Hosting a two-day ergonomics training at our head office in September run by the Workplace Safety & Prevention Services. This was attended by all Air Canada Component of CUPE OHS reps, as well as AC Mainline safety management, AC Mainline ergonomist, and a safety rep from the Canadian Flight Attendants Union (Jazz).
- Ongoing work to address issues raised through various channels about challenges with aircraft, including the 737.
- Participating in a review and revamp of the Physical and Cognitive Demands Assessments for our roles as flight attendants and service directors. These documents serve as important guides for various stakeholders including safety when reviewing hazards, processes and generating solutions. They had not been updated since the early-mid 2000s.
Psychological Health and Safety:
In 2019, the Canada Labour Code Part II changed to include both physical and psychological aspects of safety. With the resumption of a more regular workflow in 2023, your reps embarked on several projects:
- Creation and continued work to develop a psychological health and safety program at AC Mainline, through work at the Policy Health and Safety Committee. This is currently at the stage of a department-wide hazard assessment.
- Ongoing discussions at the ML Policy Health and Safety Committee about psychological health in the workplace and how to integrate it into daily operations.
- ACC OHS Chair and YVR base president began a second professional certificate program at Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences focusing on mental health in the return-to-work environment.
- The ACC OHS committee, as well as various ACCEX members, EAP committee members and Airline Division union representatives attended a two-day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). The goal was to gain a better common understanding of the issue of suicide to be able to build better support for members across the various branches of our Union.
- The results of the Stress Assess survey, completed by 4,700 members from AC Mainline and Rouge were reviewed in detail with ACCEX, the ACC Occupational Health and Safety Committee with the assistance of experts at the Ontario Health Clinics for Ontario Workers.
- The AC Mainline Employee Safety Pulse Survey results were reviewed in detail with the company, with various goals set in place to improve. These discussions have also included and benefited from Stress Assess results.
- Work has been conducted into developing a critical incident response program (CIRP) at the Airline Division of CUPE, spearheaded by work at Air Canada Component:
- Outreach and consultation with partner unions.
- Extensive research into past CUPE CIRPs as well as programs in existence at other unions and workplaces.
- A 27-hour training for CIRP project leaders in individual and group crisis intervention by the International Critical Incident and Stress Foundation.
- A detailed project management plan with an end goal of launching a CIRP by summer 2024.
Help drive change – Report:
Reporting is a crucial obligation and right that drives all the company’s safety work – including ours at the committees!
- More than ever, your reports are being used to generate data that drives work at safety committees, as well as within the AC organization.
- If you are unsure whether to report – report!
- Health and safety work takes time. If you wonder what’s happening with your report or file, ask us! We’ll be happy to provide you an update, explain the process, listen to any frustrations, and even introduce you to the committee and management.
Your Component Occupational Health and Safety Committee