July 22, 2022
CATCA BULLETIN 2022-07
CATCA’s new executive board had their first official board meeting from July 4th to 7th. Once again, we’d like to thank outgoing RVP Gord Howe and interim outgoing RVP James Legein for all their contributions and the time and effort they put in over the last months and years. The job has been seven (7) days a week since the onset of COVID. On behalf of the entire membership, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to both Gord and James for putting in that time in those roles.
The seniority bid for this year is now closed. A separate update will be coming regarding that soon.
The convention resolution regarding a CATCA referendum on our affiliation with Unifor was addressed at our July meeting, and we’re developing a plan to carry this out. Unifor has been advised, and we’ve had some preliminary discussions with them regarding the matter and associated logistics. Our goal is to get this done as soon as practical without negatively impacting our collective bargaining process, and we are hopeful for something in the spring. Members will be kept advised.
Also, from the convention, CATCA has requested Nav to provide for another RVP for the Edmonton FIR. No definitive reply has yet been received, and we will continue to pursue the matter.
COLLABORATION WITH GLOBAL AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS ALLIANCE (GATCA)
We would also like to advise the membership that we have recently made the decision to refocus our international Relationships and collaboration with the Global Air Traffic Controllers Alliance (GATCA), which includes the following founding member countries – Canada, United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia and Spain, and will discontinue our membership with the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA). It is obvious that we’re better served by collaborating with our GATCA partners at this time and developing that relationship. Although our influence with ICAO is important for both CATCA and NAV Canada, we see no reason why this cannot continue as before, and we plan to retain our representative to ICAO, JF Lepage.
Traffic levels continue to recover, and numerous towers have already experienced pre-COVID numbers. North Atlantic oceanic traffic recently experienced its highest level ever. The pace of recovery has been more than what NAV Canada and most others in the industry projected, which has placed an incredible strain on our resources. Controllers are paying the price, and although CATCA foresaw this potential eventuality, that does nothing to ease the burden for those left having to do the work now with too little help and support available. We are continuing to press the company to accelerate and increase the training of new controllers, demanding that they explore all possible mitigations to reduce the impact on our controllers in the near term. We don’t relish serious service disruptions. However, safety is paramount, and there comes the point where this is unavoidable. Any member placed in a position of having to work in a manner they consider unsafe should immediately contact their branch representative or RVP. CATCA cannot tolerate any compromise on safety.
Over the last two (2) years, the company approach and decisions and the overall pressure this has placed on our workforce have created a very high level of discontent and frustration among CATCA members. We recognize this and know that many members have questions and concerns. In an effort to speak to those directly, we have organized Q&A sessions in various buildings across the country. It’s important that we hear directly from our membership and also benefit from the ideas and suggestions you could make. The board has identified accountability as a high priority, and we will commence these meetings this week. A schedule and itinerary will be sent separately.
We know this is a tough summer for controllers, and morale might be at an all-time low, but we are hoping that as many of you as possible can attend our Q&A sessions so that we can hear from you and let you know what we have been doing on your behalf and how our perspective looks.
On a happier note, we seem close to coming to an arrangement on recommencing our Fam Flight program. The Fam Flight program has not yet been finalized, but we hope to be able to share something with you by the end of the week.
Thanks to the entire membership for all of your support. A special thanks to all of our branch executives and stewards. We recognize that it is very demanding to work under these conditions. Thank you.
On Behalf of the Executive Board;
Nick von Schoenberg Scott Loder
President Executive Vice President
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