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Why do Women need their own Committee?
All levels of union leadership must actively promote representative participation in the Union as a means of ensuring that factors impacting on women’s place in the workforce are on the union agenda and find their way to the bargaining table, the legislative lobby and political action activities of the Labour movement.
Usual Mandates of Union Women’s Committees.
Women’s Committees promote the awareness of issues affecting women in the affairs of the union at all levels. Women’s Committees report to Local membership meetings, Executive meetings, and Conferences.
Some Gains for Women.
Issues such as childcare, pay equity, employment equity, harassment and family care leave once were not considered conventional workplace concerns, but have been pushed to the fore front by supportive members and leaders. Gains made in these areas have also benefited our male members.
Issues affecting Flight Attendants.
During C.C.A.A. our pay and working conditions came under fire. Members must now work more hours to maintain a living wage, leaving less time for family responsibilities. We need a significant raise in our wages. The Company needs to commit to a time frame to allow the Pay Equity Job Evaluations that need to be completed in order to bring our wages up to the fair level determined by the evaluation.
The loss of the three days of paid Family Care leave has caused problems for our members who are squeezed between responsibilities for young children and aging parents in poor health. Adding more pressure is the demands by the Conservative Government for cuts to social services, health care and the lack of a national childcare program. Paid Family Care Leave requiring little notice, for members to attend emergencies, illness and family appointments needs to be part of the bargaining agenda. The Labour Movement has identified the need for up to ten to twenty paid days in caring leave. Converting sick time to Family Care time should be allowed.
If we check the applications for Reduced Blocks each year, you will find that more members apply for them than are actually awarded. The minimum number of Reduced Blocks available each year needs to be increased.
Our reassignment clause has caused problems for our members with family care responsibilities. The restriction to reassignment to the same calendar day is not tight enough, particularly for members who work red eyes. Members may benefit by having the reassignment time restricted to a period that starts either 2 hours earlier than the originally blocked check in time or 2 hours after the original arrival time. This would help members who have to arrange childcare.
The constant late publishing of blocks needs addressing so members can organize childcare. Blocks have been published as late as 2 days prior to the month starting. There is no reason why our members should not have the next month’s block at least 5 days prior to the month start.
Our members on reserve need the right to be able to refuse assignments that run into days off. When members are flown into days off, an entire calendar day should be returned as opposed to pushing the day off by 12 hours after arrival.
We need clear language to cover Maternity/Alternate Work. Women on Mat/Alt work may be assigned work similar to work often designated as special assignment, however the pay for Mat/Alt workers is calculated differently. Someone being paid a shadow bid, and who can only hold reserve, pay level 9, working 21 days on Mat/ Alt will be paid $2380.95. Flight Attendants working Special Assignments are paid an average of previous work plus $750.00 plus 5%. If they averaged the minimum 70 hr. per month, they would be paid $2380.95 plus $119.05 plus $750.00 which equals $3250.00. Women on Mat/Alt work are also penalized if they take time for medical appointments. If these people were flying, they would be able to bid the time off.
Companies use economic times of uncertainty to put pressure on their employees to take cuts. We have seen times like this come and the economy eventually improves. Fair working conditions that reduce stress faced by employees and their families will assist the company to run more efficiently.
This is why a Women’s place is in her Union!