Third week of bargaining
On Monday, the Company hosted a “Technical Update” presentation (requested last time by the Union). Vice-President of Operations Rudy Kellar and Director of ATS System Integration Bill Crawley briefed both committees on a variety of ongoing and upcoming initiatives. The Union has an interest in being involved in and fully aware of such projects, so as to be able to focus on potential benefits for everyone, as well as being able to forecast and minimize any possible adverse effects on controllers. The briefing was well received and talks will continue.
Discussions then resumed on this week’s agreed-upon agenda:
- Hours of work: This heading combines a broad and complex range of issues where both sides have interests and concerns, including the possibility of new shift cycles (days on and days off); improving access to weekends and partial weekends; possibility of more days off per year; variations in the current standard 8.47 hour shift length and in the 36-hour work week; a review of the impact of introducing the 34/22 cycle; opportunities for local input into scheduling and local variations; the 10-hour rule; the current 56-day averaging period and possibilities for longer advance publication of schedules. Based on these initial talks, a working group was established to model some possible options and report back. Also canvassed were issues relating to non-operating members, primarily the access to EDOs (compressed work week) and the duration of the work week. It is essential to note that all these talks have been without prejudice, in the spirit of exploring as many options as possible which will meet the needs of both sides.
- Premiums: The Union presented its views on the need for enhanced shift and weekend premiums (as well as the way they are applied); OJI premium; premium pay for short notice shift change; and operational language recognition. ATC premium and acting pay will be discussed later.
- Leave: The Company raised concerns about the effect of Care and Nurturing Leave on scheduling, especially during the summer months, in some units. The Union, for its part, provided an initial explanation of its interest in seeing improvements in lieu leave and statutory holidays, birth and adoption leave, bereavement leave, and ‘personal days’. Still to come are issues surrounding annual vacation leave, maternity and parental leave.
Meetings will resume February 7 in Winnipeg. The focus will be reports from working groups, responses to issues already raised, and further exploration of topics which have only been introduced in summary form.