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

President's Message – November 2008


The Netline grievance (CHQ-06-20) is scheduled to be heard on December 2, 2008, in front of Chief Arbitrator Teplitsky.  The Union has always maintained that this system be equal to or greater than CRUISE in respect to our members having access to pertinent information (i.e. access to all crew members’ duty plans). The Company is well aware of CUPE’s position in this regard.  The implementation of Netline has always remained an agenda item during regular Union/Management (UMHQ) meetings.  I have also written to Michael Nicholas, Director of Crew Scheduling, reminding him of some of the key issues in dispute.

Trip Hour Guarantees (THG) and Duty Period Guarantee (DPG) Pay Credits

It has just recently come to the Union’s attention that the Company has unilaterally changed the past practice of applying THG and DPG pay credits based on the scheduled pairing.  It is now applying credits based on actual time.  From the examples we have been provided, crew members are seeing several minutes being “shaved” off their pay credit.  Air Canada is generating a lot of savings when they apply this potentially to all crew members. 

The Union was not informed of this change and a grievance has been filed.  The Union will argue on the basis of “estoppel” as Articles 6.03.02 and 6.03.03 have not been applied through several past Collective Agreements.

December 2, 2008 Teplitsky Hearing

Some very important grievance hearings are being held on December 2, 2008 in front of Arbitrator Teplitsky.  Included in these are:

  • VSP Clawback – CHQ-08-10

The Company refuses to do the calculation for the VSP Clawback as ordered by Arbitrator Teplitsky.  We will be presenting the Union’s own calculation of the wage increase owed to our members.  Legal counsel will present our case.

  • Shepell – CHQ-08-23 – Telephone Calls from Shepell

The additional requirement to accept a call back in three (3) days constitutes an obligation over and above that contemplated in Article 9.06 containing the doctor’s note requirement.  Our members earn sick days and reserve the right to use them. This usage of sick time should be completely free of harassment. 

  • Voluntary Draft List – CHQ-08-24

The Union is insisting that the Company follow Article B9.03.02.01 to the letter.  The Union’s position is that a separate list of volunteers must be maintained by the Company and that when called for a draft under this Article, members can either accept or refuse.

  • LOU 27 – Last Sold Seats

The Company is continuing to violate LOU 27 of the Collective Agreement and putting passengers in the last row of seats when other seats in the cabin are still available.


Last month, I reported to you that I enforced the Collective Agreement for this pairing under Article B14.  These flights are scheduled to begin in December 2008, with one pairing overlapping from November.  We took this issue to Teplitsky, at first as a discussion item because of tight timelines.  At this hearing the Company advised us that the flight time for the December pairings would be 11.25 hours not 11.35 hours as was indicated on the November overlap flight.  The Company proposed, on a without prejudice basis, to crew the November pairing with 8 crew members (2 In-Charges).  The Union has filed a grievance as this “change” in flight time, we believe, was done purely to circumvent the Company’s obligation under the terms of B14 of the Collective Agreement.   The Union will be closely monitoring flight times for these flights.  We would like to ask for your assistance as well.  Please retain copies of the flight forecast sheet given to you by the Pilots and drop them off at your Local Office.  The evidence will be a key element in our pursuit of our entitlements.

E.I. Top-Up with HRSDC for the Reduced Block Mitigation Program 

We have just been advised by Air Canada that they have sent all of the pertinent information to HRSDC for the joint application for E.I. top up.  We will keep you advised of further developments.

December 3, 2008 Hearing with Arbitrator Keller

The Union is meeting with Division IX Arbitrator Brian Keller to finalize some areas of his Award that are in dispute with the Company.  We will be seeking clarification on the following issues:

o   The $500,000 to be given to the Union for re-training / counseling fund:  The Company has yet to provide these monies to the Union although we have made several attempts to secure these funds.

o   The Union has asked Air Canada that commuters be able to claim an equivalent amount to that provided for commuter hotels for commuter apartments; Air Canada has said no.  The Union is putting the matter to Arbitrator Keller.

o   The Union has a list of individual mitigation award adjustment requests that have been denied by Air Canada.  The Union will be seeking for these adjustments to be made by Arbitrator Keller.

Bargaining Survey

The Component Executive continues to meet and compile your submissions into bargaining proposals.  Needless to say, it is a very time consuming and arduous task.  Care must be taken to extract all proposals to ensure you receive a full and comprehensive survey.  Through this survey, you indicate to us your priorities as ranked.  This survey becomes the Union’s mandate for negotiations in 2009.  Remember, notice to bargain can be given by either the Company or the Union, 4 months prior to the expiry of the Collective Agreement.  In our case that would be February 28, 2009, as per the Canada Labour Code

CUPE Calendar 2009

The 2009 Air Canada Component of CUPE Calendar will be on its way to you shortly.  You should receive it in your mail folders prior to year end. 

CUPE Wage Indemnity Plan (WIP) – Contribution Holiday

A bulletin was distributed to everyone in May 2008 by your WIP Board of Trustees.  Just a friendly reminder, that due to an experience refund of over $1.5 million, you are receiving a contribution holiday.  The first contribution holiday (no WIP deductions) was realized on your September 17, 2008 pay cheque.  There will also be no WIP deductions on your December 17, 2008 pay cheque.

Component Committee Appointments

As some of you may know, Lorraine Crevier retired on October 1, 2008, and therefore, has stepped down from her position as the National Coordinator of EAP for CUPE. On behalf of all of our members, I would like to thank Lorraine for her hard work and dedication to the EAP Program during the last 7 years.

I would also like to introduce, as the new National Coordinator of EAP for CUPE, Mary Keough.  Mary has been a flight attendant for 28 years and involved with the EAP Program as a Peer Coordinator si
nce 2005.  She has participated in the organization and development of EAP Training Programs as well as contract negotiations with our EAP Provider Wilson Banwell. 

Mary will be supported by Western Coordinator Mimi Reppen-Jeffers, Central Coordinator Mary-Rita Dunning and Eastern Coordinator Francine Rivest as well as the Peer Referral Coordinators located at each base.

I have great faith that Mary will take this program to new levels.  She is caring and hard working with many great ideas for promoting EAP. She will be working closely with the Union and Management in her capacity of EAP National Coordinator.

Rumours, Rumours, Rumours…..

With the recent layoffs and base closures, and as we march towards negotiations in 2009, rumours will be rampant.  In order to remain focused, strong and united, we must not listen to fabricated hearsay.  For clarification on any subject or issue, please feel free to contact me by e-mail, telephone, website blog or drop

by our Belfield office any time.  My e-mail address is and my telephone number is (416)798-3399 Ext. 236.

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. 4,600 members, up from 3,200 in January 2007.  We have approx. 6,500 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. 

A limited number of paper copies are still available at your Local Union Office and in the Communication Centres.

In unity,

Lesley Swann

President, Air Canada Component of CUPE