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

President's Message – September 2007

B777 Crew Complement

At our recent Union/Management (UMHQ) meeting held on September 19, 2007, the Union addressed the fact that there are not enough crewmembers on board the B777, on certain routes.  Unfortunately the Company does not agree.  Health and Safety are your top priorities, coupled with adequate crew rest/breaks.  Please ensure that you take time to do your job safely and not rush to finish the service, which could result in possible workplace injuries. 

When a crew meal is provided on board you must take the time to eat and be nourished.  Do not work for free.  Remember, you are not being paid until pushback and galley set up begins in the air.  The Company is unwilling to increase crew complement on this aircraft, therefore the Union urges you to make this a top priority for bargaining in 2009.

Policy Grievances – VSP (CHQ-06-64)

The Voluntary Separation Package (VSP) grievance has been reactivated following the recent decision by the Company to deny 21 VSP applications on the basis that their maximum of 250 VSPs for the year has been reached.  The Union has received no response to the open letter that was sent to Susan Welscheid on August 28, 2007.  This matter is scheduled to be heard by Martin Teplitsky on September 26, 2007.

Meal Expense Allowance Changes (CHQ-07-38)

The Union claims that the Company has violated the Collective Agreement when they unilaterally reduced the meal allowances for certain destinations.  The Union argues that the Company is prevented from implementing the changes at this time on the grounds of estoppel.

Estoppel in this case is the legal position that one party represented to the other, by word, action, or silence that they would not change the relationship between the parties.  It is the Union’s position that Air Canada’s failure to take action on this matter prior to now gives rise to a legal estoppel.

Gate Support

It has been brought to the Union’s attention that crewmembers on special assignment are being asked to help with boarding during irregular operations.  The Union believes that this is not within the scope of a special assignment and that the Company must cease and desist this practice.  A policy grievance will be filed.

Cruise Credits – Irregular Operations

Members are being penalized on pay credits when operating flights that subsequently change after initial pushback from the gate.  If your flight returns to the gate, please check via CRUISE that your duty period and credits reflect the original departure from the gate.  If CRUISE does not reflect this accurately, contact crew scheduling indicating the error in CRUISE.  If crew scheduling is unwilling to rectify the problem contact your Local Union Office.

Deadheading Priority (scheduled/reserve block)

When deadheading, you must not be deplaned by the gate agent.  If asked to deplane you must inform the agent that you are deadheading as per your scheduled or reserve block.  The Company has informed us that they will be issuing an internal bulletin to Ground Staff, as a reminder not to deplane crew.

Ordering Special Meals

When you initiate a request for a special meal to be provided, the Company provides you with a copy of the teletype request.  This information would be extremely important if the Union has to file a grievance on your behalf.  The Company only keeps this record for a period or 6 months, therefore we ask that you hold on to your copy for any future grievances. 

New Committee Appointments

The following new committee appointments have been made:

            Component PBS Committee Chairperson:           Eileen Warren

            Component Health & Safety Chairperson:           Karen Galanyk

Paperless Communication

The countdown is on and we hope to be paperless by year end.  In order to succeed, we must make sure that all our members are still reached and that this initiative does not detract from its purpose.  Communication is vital and must remain or be enhanced, therefore we urge you all to sign on to receive your bulletins via electronic mail.  To sign on, go to the Component website at and click on “join our e-mail list” which is located down the left side of the homepage.

Please note a small amount of paper bulletins will still be provided either in the Comm. Centre or at your Local Union Office.

In unity,


Lesley Swann

President, Air Canada Component of CUPE