February 25, 2021
Member Weekly Update – Edition #7
Please find the latest edition of weekly updates to the membership about ongoing Union business.
As communicated in Update #6, meetings with NAV Canada were planned to discuss matters currently of high priority for both parties. The Executive Board (EB) met with NAV Canada’s team on February 17, 2021, to receive information on staffing optimization, traffic forecast projections, and discuss the upcoming week’s agenda. On February 18, CATCA’s President, Executive Vice President and Legal Counsel, met with Sophia Trottier, Sheri King, and outside legal counsel to understand the upcoming agenda for meetings the following week in more detail. However, on Monday, February 22, NAV Canada advised CATCA that circumstances had changed, although no further details were provided. Therefore, the meetings planned for the past three days were cancelled by NAV Canada. When NAV suggested these meetings, CATCA had remained hopeful that we could work together towards solutions, as we believe this best serves both our members and the Company. As such, we were extremely disappointed in this development. As a result, the EB has been meeting to re-evaluate what our next steps will be. More information will be provided to the membership once it becomes available.
As previously addressed in our updates, CATCA received NAV Canada’s Response to our submission of an Unfair Labour Practice Complaint to the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB). Since receipt of NAV Canada’s lengthy Response, CATCA’s legal team worked to prepare and complete our Reply, which was filed yesterday with the CIRB. The parties will now await direction from the CIRB as to the next steps. Members will be informed of any new information regarding this complaint as it is received.
On February 18, 2021, an issue arose when certain DSC members were informed that a study was already underway to review their role and reduce the number of DSC positions required. With that information, it was indicated that CATCA had been informed and was in agreement with NAV Canada’s proposal. This is not accurate. Discussions did occur on February 2, 2021, where CATCA and NAV Canada met to discuss the role of DSC’s and NAV Canada’s intention to review that role. NAV Canada representatives informed CATCA of their plan to conduct this review, which is planned to begin in late February/early March and is to be completed sometime in August 2021. During the meeting, CATCA asked if there was intent to reduce the number of DSC positions required, and we were assured that this is not the intention of this review. CATCA was advised, “The alteration of the duty shift responsibilities is being off-set by the increasing pace of automation that is increasing demand for operational subject matter expertise, such as the DSC’s, to participate in the design and validation of the project work.” They further indicated that as the DSC role is reviewed to meet the new requirements of the position best, some reduction in requirements may occur as efficiencies are realized, but this would only happen through natural attrition and again was clearly stated that there is no plan to immediately reduce the current DSC requirements. It is also important to note that during these reviews, some DSC’s will be interviewed and be engaged in providing feedback throughout the process, and an RVP will be appointed to participate in the advisory group. This information was to be communicated jointly prior to the study beginning.
Further to our efforts, CATCA President, Doug Best, continues to meet with Government Officials to enforce CATCA’s message and inform these Officials about the impacts of NAV Canada’s decision to issue vulnerable and surplus letters. The message has been focused on the immediate short-term effects to our Members and what the psychological impacts of these decisions can have on safety, as well as the long-term effects on both the Members and the viability of the Company to maintain a safe operation as traffic increases in a post-pandemic recovery of the sector.
CATCA has produced a form letter attached to this B&F that will assist Members with outreach to your local Government Officials. We strongly recommend that “ALL” Members take advantage of sending this letter, in conjunction with any of your own words, should you choose to do so. It is vital that your elected Government Officials hear from you. Included with the form letter will be a link that will allow you to look up who your local Officials are in order to send these letters to the appropriate Officials for your area. The influence local Government Officials have on the Federal Government cannot be emphasized enough.
We realize the many stresses affecting our Members as a result of the current conditions surrounding the work environment (vulnerable & surplus letters, LOS studies, midnight time in position, leave, re-optimization, to name a few). This can have a significant impact on your ability to safely perform your job, and in addition, can have a significant impact on your personal life outside work. The effects on CATCA Members that have received vulnerable or surplus letters can clearly and easily be understood and recognized. It is incumbent on us to point out that not all Members may be aware of the effects the current environment is having on everyone due to the strained relationship between NAV Canada and the members of our Association. Members are encouraged to be cognizant of these external pressures and to contact their immediate manager(s) to inform them that you may not be physically or mentally able to perform your job safely. If that is the case, please request assistance to help deal with the issue(s) you are experiencing. In response to CATCA’s letter regarding the psychological impact these decisions are having on our Members, NAV Canada has indicated that they would work with everyone individually with respect to these matters. We urge CATCA Members to utilize this avenue if you are experiencing symptoms attributable to the current situation that could hinder your ability to perform your job safely. In addition, you should reach out to your RVP and utilize EAP services to provide additional support that may be required; please click here or here.
We continue to ask all Members to remain professional as we attempt to continue discussions with NAV Canada over these decisions and their negative impacts. Please remain respectful to management in any discussions or written transactions you may have regarding voicing your concern on this.
On Behalf of the Executive Board;
Doug Best Scott Loder
President Executive Vice President