August 8, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Since our last bulletin, the Unifor Bargaining Committee has been pursuing and closing-out issues with the Company. Below is an update on some of the issues that have been raised.
The Union identified when travelling on a JSA pass that economy seat selection is not available, even if the flight has more than 10% of the seats open. The JSA pass holder will only get seat assignment at the gate after cut-off, should there be no J seats available. An employee travelling on a C2/Y10 pass will likely be able to select better seating 24 hours prior when they check-in. The Company indicated that it required a programing change and are still investigating the cost.
The issue of contingent's double listing was also raised. Members will now see on the Employee Travel website that there is a notice advising people not to double list and the potential consequences of doing so.
CRC (Cycle Rotation Committee) PBS (Preferential Bid System) and Airport Scheduling
In 2016, the Union appointed a PBS Committee to explore and identify the pros and cons related to moving to a PBS at airports. Instead of bidding over many days, PBS would have automated the process. The Committee worked with the Company and went over the entire Collective Agreement in depth. After a thorough review the Committee identified multiple issues and scenarios that would require changes to the Collective Agreement. The Committee felt that since most of the changes would be detrimental – and not benefit the membership – there was no incentive to move forward with PBS.
On April 12, District Chairpersons from the airports were brought together at a special meeting to discuss the current challenges with scheduling. Several concerns were identified at the meeting and an action plan was created. One item brought forward was training of the cycling and rotation committees (CRC’s) as well as more comprehensive schedule training for members who identify an interest in scheduling. With additional retirements in the near future, we must ensure that the current individuals who have an extensive knowledge-base of scheduling, stacking and un-stacking, building schedules from infancy and ultimately the rotational plots, that this knowledge is passed on to the remaining members.
The Company has agreed to meet with the Union and discuss the various scheduling related concerns that have been raised.
MOU4/MOU8 – Duty to accommodate/ Innocent absenteeism Program (IAP) letters
There have been many accommodation requests and it appears that there is some confusion about the obligation of the person requesting an accommodation. Similarly, there are members whose predictability of coming to work may be impacted by a chronic medical condition. An accommodation could be as simple as no pushing wheelchairs up ramps or it can be more complex. Likewise, a chronic illness may lead to absences of one or two days at a time which eventually add up to more than the Company’s attendance threshold.
One issue that has come to light is that some members do not understand their obligation to substantiate either circumstance. A disabled member is entitled to an accommodation of their disability, but it is not just the employer who has to accommodate the member. The member must take reasonable steps to accommodate the disability. This means when a member who wishes to stay employed must return to work when they are able to work with or without an accommodation, and an opportunity is provided. Naturally individuals worry about confidentiality. All medical information is confidential and is sent to OHS (Occupational Health Services).
The group of individuals at OHS (although employed by Air Canada) are bound by the same rules regarding confidentiality as any other medical professionals. Unless there is a release signed for others to have access to their medical records, they will not divulge any information to Air Canada management. They will only release what workplace restrictions are substantiated. Sometimes our members do not believe that they must comply. The matter has been repeatedly arbitrated and the consensus among arbitrators is that there is an obligation to comply fully and cooperate with the accommodation process. If OHS advises that a medical condition or accommodation is not substantiated then the Union will verify. If we believe all necessary information has been provided, then we will follow the normal grievance process to resolve the dispute. Cooperating with the process includes accepting an accommodation that is consistent with what a member’s seniority enables them to hold unless there is no position left that they can work within their restrictions. There is an obligation to balance the seniority rights of the member requiring accommodation with that of the overall workforce in the location.
On June 26th, a meeting took place with the ESS/Streamline group to discuss a few issues including adding identifying icons for those members on GHO/STAT shifts, response times for email queries, route language assignments, shift trade pool and various other shift trade and display issues (ie. the little umbrella icon used to identify those on vacation).
We are waiting for a response to what changes can take place and how quickly they can be implemented and will keep you updated.
Negative Passenger Interactions
At the December 2016 UMHQ, the Union raised the issue that there is a lack of protocol on how agents are to deal with aggressive/disruptive passengers. This is increasingly becoming a concern with a rise in the frequency and severity of the situations. The Company presented a comprehensive plan which is still in the development stage. The presentation was encouraging and the foundation for the process/SOP will be a benefit to our members, particularly with the rise in the number of incidents.
Air Canada has mailed out pension statements to members. This is an obligation under the Pension Benefits Standards Act. It is important to review the information provided and report any errors in age or accumulated service to avoid future problems.
Unifor Air Canada Bargaining Committee:
Tammy Moore – Atlantic Region
Benoit Lapointe – Eastern Region
Frances Galambosy – Central Region (Chairperson)
Joanne Goulet – Western Region
Steve Murphy – Pacific Region
Euila Leonard – President, Local 2002
Leslie Dias – Unifor National Staff Representative
Please ensure that you have subscribed to Unifor 2002's e-news service.
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