Get on board! This time last year, WestJet Mainliners took off.

hpouliot Uncategorized

Did you know that this time last year was when the WestJet Mainline union campaign really started to take off? That’s right, December and January were two of the most active months in their organizing campaign.

You can help supercharge our campaign as well, by sharing this message with a colleague or friend today!

What was happening for Encore flight attendants at this time last year? We were waiting to see what would be in the new WCCA agreement and holding our breath. Turns out we waited for empty promises. Let’s take a look back at a few of them.

  1. Pairing rig

Flight attendants were promised a minimum four-hour daily guarantee. But instead we got an “average daily guarantee” worked out over a whole pairing. That’s like a lump of coal!

CUPE flight attendants have bargained at least a minimum daily credit of four hours, or better. We deserve better as well.

  1. Pay grades moved, and work reduced in value

Pay grades were moved from four steps to two, now stopping at step two ($28.64) instead of step five ($30.70). WCCA and WestJet agreed to reduce the full value of our work. Having fewer steps to go through can be a good thing. But not when wages are being cut. This is made worse knowing that flow to the Mainline is anything but clear, transparent or fair. A real, legally enforceable contract with CUPE can change that.

  1. Time and a half if you pick up a shift from open time pairings

A CCM shall earn credits at one and one-half (1.5) times for picking up a pairing on a day off from Crew Scheduling.

Seems clear to us. But apparently that was only true if you pick up the open flying and the scheduler explicitly tells you that it is being offered at time and one-half. With a clear, transparent and enforceable contract, you won’t have to ask to get that kind of promise in writing every single time – your collective agreement will ensure you already do.

This December, let’s not hold our breath waiting to see what the WCCA and management will come up with in January. Let’s get this done. Help your coworkers sign their cards and answer their questions. Share the CUPE weekly updates with friends and on Facebook. Let’s launch a wave of card-signing that gets us the union we need and deserve!

Visit encore.cupe.ca or email us at encore@cupe.ca for more info.

 

Sleepless in… Thunder Bay?

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Want better layover provisions? Sign your card to join CUPE today!

Encore flight attendants have schedules that are difficult enough without having to deal with challenging layovers or inadequate hotel accommodations. One of the best ways to make sure you’re rested and ready to go after a layover is to have collective agreement provisions that can be relied on and enforced.

Know an Encore FA who hasn’t yet signed their CUPE union card? Pass this information on to them so they too can become a card signer today!

How can CUPE make your layovers better? CUPE FAs with other airlines already have some answers to this timeworn airline question.

  1. Equip your Hotel Committee representatives with all the information they need to make good decisions on your behalf. At Air Transat, the CUPE representatives on the committee can access hotel sourcing lists, request-for-proposal summaries, crew care summary reports, and the corporate security audit report.
  2. Establish meaningful criteria for all hotels. At Sunwing, CUPE FAs can rely on hotels with private, single occupancy; black out curtains; no ground floor rooms; and a hotel restaurant or 24-hour room service. The CUPE collective agreement with Canadian North has specifications for hotel rooms that include internet connection, dead bolts and flip-locks, and access to gym facilities.
  3. Make sure your hotel is safe and accessible. CUPE FAs at Sunwing stay at hotels in the downtown zone for layovers of 20 hour or more and in the tourism zone for southern destinations.
  4. Ensure minimum rest periods. If Air Canada Rouge moves CUPE FAs to another hotel, the minimum hours of rest don’t start until the FA has checked in at the new hotel.
  5. Have a means of resolving and preventing problems. CUPE FAs at Air Canada who have a concern about hotel accommodation can immediately send a report which goes directly to the Union Chairperson and the Component President and requires a response from the employer. Air Transat must pay CUPE FAs a non-conformity premium of $100 for the first night stay, $125 for the second night stay, and $150 for the third and all subsequent nights in a hotel that doesn’t meet Collective Agreement requirements.

Encore FAs need and deserve sufficient rest at safe hotels which offer all the necessary provisions. Don’t be kept awake at night by elevator traffic or the clink clank of ice dropping into ice buckets all night long. Don’t let the bed bugs be the only ones getting a good meal!

Rest easier after you sign your CUPE card today.

Visit encore.cupe.ca or email us at encore@cupe.ca for more info.

Contracts aren’t child’s play

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Eeny, meeny, miny, moe
Change the agreement as you go
If it works for you
Let it go
But if not,
Then change it so…

Okay, maybe a bit of a silly start for this week’s message, but we have heard from so many of you about how you feel like management just changes the agreement to suit their needs without consulting you. And we thought this child’s rhyme perfectly captures what you’re dealing with when you don’t have a legally binding contract or a union to enforce it.

Whether it’s rules about how you can be called in from reserve, how you are paid for picking up open flying, or how you are accommodated when there are long delays, you’ve told us that there’s a wide gap between what the contract says and what happens in the real world. On the other hand, we also know that when it suits WestJet, what’s written in the contract is followed to the letter.

With CUPE, you’ll have a legally binding contract. Management won’t get to pick and choose what parts of the agreement get followed and which do not. It’s that simple.

No more child’s play with your working conditions.

If you’ve already signed your card, great – now it’s time to sign up a friend or colleague! Forward on this email to someone you know who needs more information about the union – we need to join together to make this drive a success.

Visit encore.cupe.ca or email us at encore@cupe.ca for more info.

 

Got bills? Unionized flight attendants bargain better pay

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We all know that the cost of everything is going up and we think our wages should increase too. The fact is, unionized flight attendants can bargain better wages than their non-union counterparts doing the same work.

We have heard from many of you that you’re scraping by and sometimes working two jobs. It doesn’t have to be that way, and by working together, Encore flight attendants can make better wages their priority.

There isn’t any magic to it. Standing together in a union gets results. Have a look at what other flight attendants represented by CUPE have negotiated, and see for yourself:

Air Canada Mainline: 2018 rate with a published increase every year until 2024

Y1: $26.66
Y2: $29.10
Y3: $32.56
Y4: $40.48
Y5: $43.23

Rouge: 2018 rate with a published increase every year until 2024

Y1: $23.45
Y2: $24.52
Y3: $26.67
Y4: $33.58
Y5: $36.75

(When Rouge flows to mainline they flow at the closest Mainline pay rate)

Air Transat: 2018 rate with a published increase every year until 2020

Y1: $28.38
Y2: $29.55
Y3: $30.80
Y4: $33.79
Y5: $40.46

Encore: 2018 rate with a published increase every year until 2022

Y1: $25.78
Y2: $28.64
Y3: $28.64
Y4: $28.64
Y5: $28.64

(When Encore flows to mainline they flow at the closet Mainline pay rate)

Questions? Give us a shout at encore@cupe.ca

Together, Encore flight attendants can do better!

Share this information with a friend who you know could use some encouragement and a living wage!

Sign up a friend or co-worker up today and start bargaining better with CUPE!

For more areas of comparison between WestJet flight attendants and unionized flight attendants you can check out this comparison chart from the WestJet Mainline drive. It’s full of eye-opening differences that having a union can make.

What’s the difference between a Union and an Employee Association?

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Lately we have been getting questions from Encore flight attendants asking what’s the difference between a union and the existing association (EWCCA).

The simplest answer is, with a union, you get a legally binding contract that does not change whenever its convenient for management. A union is accountable to you not the company. And with a union, decisions are made transparently and democratically.

With CUPE, you are the union. The strength of the union comes from its members. Union staff are accountable to members – meaning you and your fellow flight attendants. Unlike EWCCA, CUPE doesn’t have to answer to WestJet management, and our funding doesn’t depend on keeping management happy.

With CUPE, you are empowered to make decisions which improve the well-being of flight attendants and push for policies that make sense for a cruising altitude of 23,000 feet, not at a desk at ground level.

These important differences between CUPE and an employee association are especially important right now as EWCCA prepares to “negotiate” a “contract” in the new year. Encore flight attendants need to negotiate a real legally-binding contract to protect their rights at work.

We’re ready for a real union at Encore!

Help your colleagues make real change that works for you. Sign a friend up today!

CUPE Non-unionized employee groups
Has collective bargaining rights protected by legislation (Canada Labour Code) YES NO
Can, through legislation, compel the employer to bargain YES NO
Covered by provisions to assist with achieving a first collective agreement YES NO
Bargains collective agreements that are enforceable and binding YES NO
Employer cannot unilaterally change the terms and conditions of a collective agreement – must have the agreement of the Union YES NO
Accountable to its members YES NO
Members approve the bargaining proposals before the bargaining committee starts bargaining YES NO
Bargaining committee reports back to members on regular basis YES NO
Members approve the collective agreement YES NO
Has an enforceable dispute resolution process with timelines and the ability to refer to an independent arbitrator (grievance procedure) YES NO
Has decades of experience negotiating collective agreements for flight attendants in Canada YES NO
Has the resources and expertise to meet the employer on a level playing field when negotiating a collective agreement YES NO
Dependent on the employer to provide resources for bargaining (and general operations) NO YES

Check out the PDF version here.

Go with the Flow

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Whether you intend to flow or not, flowing and related issues affect every Encore flight attendant.

Many Encore FAs who started their flying career with a plan to flow to Mainline were told it would take about 18 months. For many, that was almost three years ago. Encore’s penchant for operating with minimal staffing capacity can make flow a distant goal for those who want it.

We’ve also heard from you that Encore is your preferred carrier and flow is not on your radar. But poor planning for flow and understaffing can hoist the burden of an unreasonable schedule on to each Encore flight attendant. Having a legally-binding collective agreement that has clear, enforceable provisions about flow, scheduling, and staffing can benefit everybody.

Is Encore going against the flow?

As FAs get to the top of the list, there are reports of feeling intense scrutiny. We’ve heard from some FAs who were held back from flowing for use of sick days, minor lates, and grooming concerns. It seems like things that were not treated as urgent problems before are becoming very serious concerns only when it’s time to flow. Right now, whether or not you flow is controlled completely by the employer. You have no control at all.

It’s time to take the “ebb and flow” out of flow.

Signing a CUPE union card can take the mystery and uncertainty out of flow and put Encore FAs en route to fair scheduling, clear and transparent working conditions, and the knowledge that someone has your back while you’re 20,000 feet off the ground. Flow through to the Mainline is something that can be bargained into a contract so that you can have certainty about how and when you will be able to flow.

Join your fellow Encore FAs and sign your CUPE union card today!

If you have already signed up, great! Talk to a friend or colleague about signing a card so you can all get the contract you deserve.

 In full flow?

And if you’re slated to flow, do your part to wrap up this organizing drive before you go. At Mainline, you’ll be a member of a CUPE bargaining unit. Encore FAs should have the same legally binding collective agreement provisions to rely on. Leave Encore better than you found it – get at least one other FA to sign up before you go.

There’s nothing spookier than flying without a union!

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Wondering who’s got your back? 💀 Halloween can be spooky, and there’s nothing spookier than flying without a union!

Meeting one-on-one with your boss can give you the goose bumps! 🧛 But with CUPE, you’ll have dedicated union representation whenever you need it so you’re never alone.

Tired of feeling like a zombie at the end of a horrific schedule? 🧟 Flight attendants represented by CUPE have negotiated strong language around scheduling and fatigue prevention into their collective agreements. With CUPE, WestJet Encore flight attendants can too!

Have a spook-tacular Halloween but don’t ghost your colleagues! 👻 Sign your card to join CUPE today!

Welcome On Board, Encore!

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CUPE’s flight attendant family of 15,000 is eager to welcome on board Encore FAs! Here’s what they have to say:

Air Canada (CUPE Local 4095)
I’m so excited for you to experience the opportunities, fairness, and growth that will come your way when you unionize with CUPE. Your voices will finally be heard and there is so much that can be achieved through collective agreement negotiations to improve your work/life balance!”
-Service Director, Tracy, 17 years Air Canada

Rouge (CUPE Local 4098)
“I flew with Rouge and was then able to utilize the newly negotiated language in our collective agreement to transfer to Air Canada with all my service and seniority intact. Flowing through enabled me to keep the job I wanted and advance my career while improving my working conditions but without having to start over somewhere else. All my seniority quickly put me in line for a promotion which didn’t exist at Rouge and which provided even better scheduling and pension contributions. I’m so happy to have had a clear and reliable flow-through process in our Collective Agreement. For me, flowing was the difference between “living to work” and “working to live.”
-Service Director, Kyle, 6 years Air Canada (previously Rouge)

Air Transat (CUPE Local 4047)
“As an active CUPE member, I’ve had many opportunities to improve my work life at Air Transat through Union education and by representing Flight Attendants at community and labour events. I’ve always valued the democracy of CUPE and that everyone has their say and vote.”
 -Flight Attendant, Tracy, 25 years Air Transat

Cathay Pacific (CUPE Local 4088)
“We look forward to welcoming Encore and SWOOP Flight Attendants to join CUPE’s Airline Division.  The support and training we received from CUPE is invaluable, particularly during negotiation of our first Collective Agreement and subsequent ones.”
-Inflight Services Manager, David, 21 years Cathay Pacific

Flair Air (CUPE Local 4060)
“Prior to unionizing, we each had to face the employer on our own. In difficult situations, that was daunting and in some cases impossible. Now that the FAs at Flair Air are unionized with CUPE, we stand up for each other and we have a CUPE Staff Representative helping us do that at each base. I’ve been through a unionizing campaign and encourage you to continue the important work you’re doing – it’s worth it!”
-Flight Attendants, Amy, 5 years Flair Air & Patti 2 years Flair Air

WestJet Mainline (CUPE Local 4070)
“I look forward to the day when CUPE represents all WestJet flight attendants.  Each  FA deserves career progression and the ability to flow from the props to the jets with certainty.”
-Flight Attendant, Cynthia, 14 years WestJet Mainline

In addition to the airlines above, CUPE represents flight attendants at Air Georgian, Calm Air, Canadian North, and First Air.  With CUPE’s extensive experience and knowledge of the airline industry you’re in good company and ready for take off.

Encore: what’s the CUPE advantage?

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Better wages and benefits. Better working conditions. Clear rules and fair process. These are just some of the benefits of being a member of CUPE. Read more to find out how unionizing with CUPE can improve your job and your life.

Footwear allowances

Flight attendants represented by CUPE have bargained a variety of benefits in addition to better wages. You’re on your feet all day. Why not get paid a shoe allowance? Air Canada flight attendants get $120/year for shoes and an allowance of $45/month for dry-cleaning their uniforms.

Promotions

Promotions should be based on your ability to do that job, and if you bargain it, seniority should factor in too. Who gets promoted shouldn’t be based on who you are friends with. CUPE bargains contracts that create transparency around who gets promoted and why.

Management Meetings and Discipline

WestJet managers just love to call people in for meetings. Right now, no one is there representing WestJet Encore flight attendants. With a union, you’ll never be alone, and you’ll have strict guidelines for reasonable discipline so there is no variation based on your manager’s mood.

Fatigue and Health & Safety

Managers don’t always understand the human factor in being a flight attendant. Health and safety is a very real concern in this industry and Encore flight attendants are not being heard. That can change with a union. CUPE provides training for health and safety advocates in the workplace. And, as the biggest union of flight attendants in Canada, CUPE is making sure you are protected by tracking concerns and working for legal change in the industry.

Wage Increases

We all know that the cost of everything is going up. But we aren’t sure when our wages will increase, and profit sharing isn’t a reliable source of income. When you have a union, your wage increases are negotiated in a legally enforceable contract. You always know what you are going to get and you can plan for the future.

Flow

Flow through to the Mainline is a huge issue. But WestJet doesn’t provide a clear timeline on when you can move over if you want to. Wouldn’t it be great if we could have clearly defined numbers and time lines? Air Canada Rouge flight attendants have a flow program, which CUPE has helped them clearly define in their collective agreement to facilitate a smooth progression with no guesswork.

If you haven’t already signed your card to join CUPE, you can get all the info you need on our website. And if you’ve already signed your card, forward this to a friend and encourage them to join today!

Encore: Fair pay for work means more efficient pairings

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You’ve heard about contract rules and how they can make flying more productive but what does that look like?

Let’s take some common pairing problems and apply some of the Collective Agreement rules that CUPE has helped negotiate for its flight attendant members at Air Canada and find out:

“I operated YYC-YVR today and my total flying credit for the day was 1:17.” The minimum credit at Air Canada would be four hours. You didn’t fly four hours, but you came to work. This is called a minimum daily guarantee.

“I only deadheaded today. Does the daily minimum apply?” Yes. If you arrive at work, regardless of what you fly, you get paid four hours.

“My duty day is never-ending and all I do it sit around.” No problem but you represent the company while in the airport so should be paid accordingly. The length of your duty day minus four hours, or your flying credit, whichever is greater, is a good option. For example, let’s say it has taken you 13 hours to fly YYC-YVR-YYC-YVR. This is approximately four hours of flying credit. But all that airport appreciation time should count. A 13-hour duty day minus four hours = nine hours of flight credit.

“I thought I was next up for flow? I haven’t called in sick and have no discipline. I asked my manager but she can only show me my position on the list.” Being a part of CUPE means having all positions and awards posted clearly with applicable dates and all the information easily available. And when you have a question about how a decision was made, there is more transparency when you get an answer.

So what does this all mean? It means that you will be paid fully while you are at work for the time you put in. This will increase your productivity resulting in fewer days of work.

Any more questions? Email us at encore@cupe.ca, or check out our website and sign your card today!

Want to help take our drive for a union at Encore to the finish line? Forward this post to a friend (or two or three!) who hasn’t signed a card to join CUPE yet.