Your Component Executive and Company representatives have been in discussions regarding various issues relating to the COVID-19 virus on an ongoing basis. One of the topics of discussion was the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), which would provide a 75 per cent wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020. Air Canada advised us that they had been involved in conversations with the government about this program for its employees. They provided details and we took it back for discussion to your executive body (ACCEX).
Your Local Presidents and Component Officers discussed the proposed program and we unanimously voted in favour to move forward.
An agreement was reached earlier this week between Air Canada and its unions (CUPE, ACPA, UNIFOR, IAM, CALDA) which will see the CEWS program implemented at Air Canada, subject to its adoption into law substantially as announced. The employer is now working on all of the facets of this program on an expedited basis.
The program and its benefits would be retroactive to March 15, 2020. If implemented, all of our members who are currently on Off-Duty status will immediately be returned to the payroll, retroactively. This means you will not show ODS for any duration at this point, and any income owed under the plan will be payable. You will be paid 75% of your hourly wage to a max of $847.00 per week. This will include continued participation in benefits and pension plans. Air Canada will continue to contribute to the pension plan as will each employee. This will continue until June 6, 2020 or when you are recalled, whichever is earlier.
The pay calculations will be based on 75 hours for Mainline members (Block holder and reserves) and 77.5 for Rouge members, up to a maximum of $847.00 a week. These calculations will be based on April 1, 2020 wage rates.
There may be some of you who have already applied for other programs through the government. You will be required to contact Service Canada to advise them that you are now going to be returned to the payroll. We have asked for more information about the best way to approach this and will provide information as it becomes available. We appreciate that there will be many questions related to this but we promise that when we know about it, you will know about it. We understand how difficult this time is and will work to ensure you are well informed.
There will be a new bid to follow that will allow all members to indicate their preference to either continue to work or to be in receipt of the CEWS program benefits. As you can imagine this is time-sensitive, and you will hear more information in the coming days. We thank you for your patience during this time as there were many things to clarify and to understand about how this program would affect our membership. We will continue to be here to support and inform the membership and will work with our local offices so that our collective knowledge is solid and consistent.
One way to keep yourself informed of new information is to download the Air Canada Component Mobile App. You will receive all bulletins straight to your phone.
Your login information for our mobile app is the same as your login for the Air Canada Component website, www.accomponent.ca. If you have not signed into the website since we updated it in 2019 you will need a password, which can be obtained by clicking on the “Forgot Your Password” link at the bottom of the website’s sign in section. If you have not received your password reset in 24 hours check your junk email folder. Please do not submit multiple requests in the 24-hour time frame.