March 18, 2022
CATCA Bulletin 2022-03
The roll-out of the fatigue management program continues to be problematic at best. Phase 1 of the roll-out requires published schedules to be fatigue-compliant, but other rules of the fatigue management program are not yet in force (with the exception of the 3-hour time-in position on midnights rule). As a result, members may adjust schedules provided no rules of the Collective Agreement are violated.
Implementation of Phase 1 has not been uniformed across the country, as several units are not even subject to this requirement yet. In addition, phase 2 – the complete application of the rules of the fatigue management program – has not yet been scheduled for implementation. Several program terms and conditions still have not been defined, and the obvious impact on staffing requirements has not yet been acknowledged, much less addressed.
Official staffing requirements for many units have been increased to reflect the return of traffic, which only means that units are now officially more short-staffed than they were before, precisely as CATCA predicted. Even though the new staffing numbers are still inadequate, there is still no comprehensive program to train new staff to meet these requirements. The Company remains too slow to react to changes in requirements or the evident shortfalls created by rising traffic, new fatigue rules, and the usual attrition, especially when employees with other options see no reason, and have no desire, to continue working in the current conditions.
DSC Role Review
Discussions between CATCA and the Company over the DSC Role Review are ongoing and still have much ground to cover. The Company has published a report that outlines a direction that they would like to go that involves several changes in the role of the DSC position. Many concerns have been raised about these changes and the ongoing relationship between the DSCs and Operations, and all of these need to be addressed. The focus is currently on re-establishing an organized and ongoing training program to meet the accumulated need for courses that have developed over the last several years. No other changes are proposed for the immediate future, and further discussion, and consultation with the DSC group, will continue.
The seniority bid program is (finally) winding up, with most offers having been sent out and many decisions on deferrals having been made. However, there are still some offers and deferrals to be sent out. This process has been prolonged and drawn out, partly due to the size of the bidders’ list, partly due to the absence of staff from their offices in the units, and partly because many of the people involved in the program were new to the process. There will be discussions with the Company about improving the process, but hopefully, the lessons have been learned since the next national seniority bid for training in 2023 will start in 3 months.
Support for Ukrainian Controllers
Our Ukrainian colleagues are going through terrible, trying times, and we can at least try to make a small difference. CATCA, in collaboration with IFATCA, is encouraging members who are willing and able to donate to provide support and assistance to Ukrainian refugee controllers and their families. Members can send this support through the following IFATCA platforms already in place:
PayPal: for those who have a PayPal account, a wire transfer can be done directly to the IFATCA PayPal account using the following username: @IFATCA.
Credit Card: it is also possible to donate using a credit card through the IFATCA Square account at the following address: https://ifatca.square.site/.
eTransfer: those who prefer an Interac transfer can do so using the following address: UkraineFund@ifatca.org.
IFATCA will use these funds to support Member Associations and other organizations that directly assist our Ukrainian colleagues and their families.
Executive Board Meeting
The Executive Board will be meeting in Ottawa for the week of March 21-25, with many issues on the table and ongoing preparation for the 2022 Convention. In addition, it is hoped that a meeting with senior company management will be arranged to address significant issues, such as staffing, training, and fatigue management, which have a daily impact on our members.
Preparations are continuing for the CATCA 2022 Convention in Quebec City, held May 2-4. Given the uncertainty created by COVID and other circumstances, it has been particularly challenging to get everything done under tight timelines this year. With the lifting of many of the COVID protocols, participation at the Convention has been expanded to include Official Observers. However, this has created significant additional workload and logistical challenges and no companion programs or organized social events will be planned other than the closing banquet.
Nick von Schoenberg Scott Loder
Interim President Executive Vice President
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