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Air Traffic Controllers Receive More Layoff Notices While Management Receive Bonuses

December 9, 2020

Air Traffic Controllers Receive More Layoff Notices While Management Receive Bonuses

Today, NAV Canada served surplus notice to 49 IFR Controllers in 4 ACC’s (QX, QM, UL and EG). This is in addition to letters on Monday served to members in St. Jean Tower and TMU West (VR ACC). We want to stress that the letters received are a six-month notice only. A layoff cannot occur for at least six months from the day the letter was received.  Nevertheless, this action is an insult to our entire membership.

On Friday, the CATCA Executive Board (EB) and General Counsel met with NAV Canada to have our first meeting specific to the notice given from the Company on November 27th regarding the “IFR Environment.” During this consultation, NAV Canada took questions from CATCA, which was the extent of the Company’s participation in the meeting. It is CATCA’s position that Article 33 of our Collective Agreement has been violated. No meaningful consultation has taken place. In addition, seniority, which is at the foundation of our Union, has not been respected by NAV Canada. CATCA will respond to these violations by filing grievances regarding Article 33 as well as an Unfair Labour Practice with the Canadian Industrial Relations Board.

It is the opinion of CATCA that NAV Canada is moving with uncontrolled haste and has not been genuine or forthcoming with their motives. This latest move by the Company has the potential to erase the last fifteen years of work towards a collaborative relationship that has made NAV Canada into the world-leading company it is today. We are very concerned about our public image and what this could do to the flying public’s confidence. Every one of us understands that safety is being impacted, and, as stakeholders in this system, we cannot stand by and allow the Executives and NAV Canada Board to dismantle it.

CATCA has been and will continue to lobby the Government and Industry to save our Company. The Executive Management Committee (EMC), along with the NAV Canada Board of Directors are moving to destroy it. NAV Canada has stated they need to restructure, yet they refuse to lay off Management in Operations or Training in Ottawa or collaborate with their unions in any meaningful way. Everyone that works for NAV Canada can see the dismantling of unionized jobs that are critical to the Air Navigation System and the safety of the people that use air transportation in our skies. NAV Canada is putting finances before safety and using a pandemic opportunistically to advance their own business agenda.

NAV Canada has led us and those outside our company to believe that management has taken large wage rollbacks and have decimated their own corps.  With the exception of the Corporate Services branch in Ottawa, this is generally not the case.  They appear to be taking advantage of one of recent history’s worst situations while saying that this is in the “best interest of the Corporation and its Stakeholders”.

Today NAV Canada management received bonuses worth approximately $7 million dollars.  In our estimations, the potential cost savings for the 49 potential layoffs is worth a savings of approximately $10 million dollars for an entire year. NAV Canada continues to tell its employees it is losing close to $1.8 million dollars per day.  Why then risk the future of the company through layoffs for cost savings that would equate to 5.5 days of losses?

CATCA’s Executive Board is doing everything we can to eliminate the threats we are facing.  We are asking for restraint, patience and unwavering support at this time, as your Union works to defend our freely negotiated Collective Agreement from attack through fear-mongering and bullying by NAV Canada.  Knowing full well that a vaccine was approved today by Health Canada and is being distributed immediately, and that pent up demand for travel after a difficult year are reasons for optimism, the Company has chosen to accelerate the implementation of their plan at a time when a more prudent approach should be obvious.

Stay strong, and please respect each other.  Please do not point fingers at one another as this is NAV Canada behaving opportunistically by choosing finances over safety.  Please do not take actions that are intended to be divisive amongst our Members.  Be professional, and do not let this intimidate you. We will get through this together. Let’s do it the CATCA way as we always have.

In Solidarity,

CATCA Executive Board members

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