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

President’s Message – June 2008

I would like to first apologize for the late distribution of my President’s Message for June 2008.

As you can imagine, with Air Canada’s recent announcement of layoffs, it has been an extremely busy couple of weeks for your Union. Not only this, your Union is preparing for the second hearing in regard to the “at least” 250 VSP Arbitration, now confirmed to take place on July 25 2008. The Company had asked for an adjournment of this date and the Union strenuously objected. Arbitrator Herman subsequently denied Air Canada’s request.

Union Mitigation Committee

Your entire Component Executive (Three Component Officers and six Local Presidents) comprises the Union Mitigation/Planning Committee established under Division lX of the Canada Labour Code. We are united and strong in our efforts to mitigate any and/or all projected layoffs and together we will do everything we can to protect our members’ employment. As you know Air Canada has classified these layoffs as permanent and the number one permanent solution for mitigation is additional VSP’s, which saves the Company money. Your Union has made this perfectly clear to Air Canada yet they claim it costs them money!

LOU 23 – Job Security provides for further mitigating options such as Leaves of Absence and Reduced Block Programs. We will keep you informed as discussions progress.

VSP Clawback

As previously explained to you, the Company has to provide its calculation of the VSP clawback as per the Collective Agreement. We have now reached the cumulative threshold of over 500 VSP’s since 2004 which now obligates Air Canada to provide to the Union the wage increase calculation. Arbitrator Teplitsky ordered the Company to provide this calculation to the Union by mid July 2008. Once verified by our forensic accountant, we will be able to determine if there will be a wage increase and if so it will be applied retro-active, with interest, as of July 01 2008.

Wage Re-opener 2006 – Jolliffe Award

The Jolliffe Arbitration decision was rendered on April 2007.

As part of the wage re-opener clause everyone will receive a 1.75% pay increase effective July 01 2008. This increase will appear on your August 17 2008 pay cheque.

CUPE Wage Indemnity Plan (WIP) – Contribution Holiday

A bulletin was distributed to everyone last month by your WIP Board of Trustees. Just a reminder that due to an experience refund of over $1.5 million dollars you will be receiving a contribution holiday. Therefore there will be no WIP deductions on your September 17 2008 and December 17 2008 pay cheques.

Claimsecure and Your Benefits

In April 2008, the Company changed its administrator of your health benefits to Claimsecure from Great West Life and Manulife. With this change over it was confirmed to the Union that there would be no changes to your coverage that could negatively impact you. If any of your claims are being denied, please let your Local Union Office know in order for us to investigate further.

Rumours, Rumours, Rumours

With the recent announcement from AC of impending layoffs and as we march towards negotiations in 2009, rumours will be rampant. In order to remain focused, strong and united, we mustn’t listen to fabricated hearsay. For clarification on any subject or issue, please feel free to contact me by email, phone, website blog or drop by at our Belfield Office anytime.

Wear Your CUPE Pin!

As a show of solidarity and unity, I urge you all to wear your CUPE pin. Divisive tactics and competitive strategies by the Employer are beginning (YVR – SYD issue) and will most likely continue through Bargaining. Now is the time to make your statement known that you will not tolerate these tactics. We are more than 7,000 strong! Wear Your CUPE Pin!

Sign up for Electronic Bulletins

In January 2008, Component Bulletins, for the most part, went paperless. In order to receive up to date information, please sign up now and receive your bulletins electronically. Our distribution list has increased to approx. 4,800 members, up from 3,200 in January 2007. We have approx. 7200 members. Please keep informed. Knowledge is Power!

To sign on for electronic bulletins, please go to and click on the “Join Our Email List” link on the left. 

Paper copies are still available at your Local Union Office and in the Communication Centres.

Component Committee Appointments

Doug Hay, WSIB Committee Chairperson

Bernadette Jean, Health and Safety Chairperson as of October 2008

Katherine Thompson, Hotel Committee Chairperson

In unity,

Lesley Swann


President, Air Canada Component of CUPE