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

President’s Message – June 2007

Meet the Component Officers – YYZ Comm Centre on Saturday June 16 / 07

Honouring my commitment to you to be accessible and available as much as possible, the Component Officers will be at the YYZ Comm Centre on Saturday June 16 / 07 between the hours of 11:00am and 3:00pm.  Traditionally on the last two days of bidding, Comm Centre activity increases for finalization of bids, and at this busy time, we would like to be available to as many members as possible.  This is a practice I intend to commit to across the system.

Dublin Layovers Beginning July ‘07

The Union requested that the Company take a look at the feasibility of changing the layover station on the YYZ-DUB-SNN-YYZ from Shannon to Dublin based on member feedback.  The Union is happy to report, along with the latest update from the Component hotel committee that this change will be effective for the July block month.

E-Fix / E-Briefer

The Union is meeting with the Company on June 12 to discuss the contentious issue of our members being continuously made to work for free through different means, and disguised as technology!  It is entirely unacceptable for the Company to expect us to work more and more at home and on our free time to enable Air Canada to advance their technology. 

The Company has every right to upgrade their systems and I am sure we will agree that it is beneficial to all.  However, in our willingness to accept changes in the workplace for advancement, we will not extend our workdays for free.  The Union believes in changes for the better, but Air Canada has to make these changes within the confines of our Collective Agreement check-in, check-out times.  No more working for free!

AC / E-Mail Address for Crew

The Union firmly believes that this is an attempt by the Company to circumvent your Union’s role of representing you to our fullest capacity.  It is a way to establish a direct link with the employees that the Union has very grave concerns about.  The Union is willing to work with the Company on these contentious issues to make sure that during these new systems-initiatives, the Company adheres to strict parameters and does not further erode our working conditions. 

F/A Move-Ups to I/C Position

The Union wrote to Michael Nicholas on May 14/07, addressing our concerns of illegal move-ups of F/As prior to using B9 draft of qualified personnel in the I/C classification.  The Union’s letter was very clear that we will not tolerate the continuance of violating our CA in this respect.  There have been only two documented complaints regarding this issue, and grievances have been filed.  Member participation at the onset would greatly solidify our position and we ask that you fully document any occurrences.

Training for New In-Charges

The Company just finished training 64 new I/Cs across several bases and has plans for an additional 64 to be based in Toronto.  For your information, in-charges are remunerated under Article 6.04.03 (combination of scheduled days on/off and “shadow” bid for the month(s) involved).

Component / Airline Division Head Office – Building Purchase February 26/06

Certain by-laws and proper procedural paperwork were not adhered to during the purchase of the new Component office.  Article 4.9 of the Component by-laws was not followed.  There should have been a membership referendum vote to either proceed with a mortgage or not.  Trust agreements were required in order to secure the building in trust for the members.  None were drawn up.  Building ownership for Unions is a rather complex, legal undertaking as technically Unions are not legal entities per se; therefore certain additional documentation is required.  Rest assured nothing improper or illegal was entered into.

I would like to inform you that from this point on everything is being done to remedy this, and you can be assured to know that the building will now be legally kept “in trust” for our members.

New MOS (Memorandum of Settlement) – How Union Officers are Paid

In keeping with transparency, I would like to inform you of an MOS signed recently which now forms part of our Collective Agreement.  Under Article 20.01 – Union flight releases and further under Article, Component President and Vice-President and all base Presidents and Vice-Presidents are now paid a salaried amount in order to alleviate the need to shadow bid every month, based on union position held, and not the individual’s ability to “top up” based on seniority.

The Union believes in a level playing field for all union positions, and this MOS paves the way for new junior members who wish to become involved in the Union who would otherwise be prevented from maximizing their income potential under the previous way.  Full time Union presidents and vice-president work extremely hard and in most cases, in excess of 50 hours per week in addition to weekends, etc. and should be remunerated in kind.  The Component Officers have not received an increase in pay under this MOS.  For the record, we are paid exactly the same amount as our predecessors in the same positions, as per the by-laws.  The MOS actually saves the Union’s budget approximately $90,000 over the two-year term of office.

The Component Executive voted in favour of the MOS and for your information it will be posted on our website for your viewing under “Collective Agreement” (MOUs).

Training for Union Officers

The Component CUPE National Legal Rep has committed some of her time to furthering the education of our Union officers specifically in the area of collective agreement language.  Collective agreements in general are very complex and can sometimes be extremely difficult to interpret wholly.  Our new officers will learn how to read our CA effectively understanding how to read clauses and sub-clauses conjunctively without misinterpretation which comes from not reading sections in their entirety and in isolation of one another. 

WSIB Committee – Our “Unsung Heroes”

I would like to take this opportunity to inform our members of the important work this Committee does notwithstanding the importance of all our committees, of course. 

For over 30 years, the WSIB Committee has been in place working diligently on behalf our members who get injured on the job, and not enough is said in appreciation and recognition.  Mr. Eddie Cheung (YVR) has been the Chairperson of this committee for 30 years and Mr. Walter Giesen for 27 years.  The rest of the committee including Mr. Jean-Jacques Israel (YVR), Mr. Claude Lord and Mr. Mario Mailloux (YUL), and Mr. Doug Hay and Ms. Amy Ng (YYZ) are close behind in accumulative years of service to this committee.  What most of us are unaware of is that these committee members do this on a volunteer basis, unpaid, apart from a small amount for expenses.

The committee is in desperate need of new members, as very soon some of these un
sung heroes may be retiring, but would be willing to stay on to train those who may be interested in being appointed to the committee.  If you would like more information on the WSIB committee, or would be interested in a committee position, please let me know.  In the meantime I would like to say thank you to the WSIB for their continued hard work and dedication

Committee Appointments

I am pleased to inform you that Shantih Feenstra has been appointed as Co-Chair of the Uniform Committee.    

President’s Hotline Message, Phone Line

We have had some technical difficulties in the last couple of weeks, but are pleased to inform you they are now fixed.  For updates please call 1-800-735-2676 or locally 416-258-1175

In unity,


Lesley Swann

President, Air Canada Component of CUPE