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Update on Fatigue Limits

November 1, 2022

Update on Fatigue Limits

There has been a lot of confusion surrounding the Company’s inconsistent implementation of their fatigue rules throughout the country.  We are hoping to clear a few of those issues up a bit with what the current set of rules is and how they are being adhered to at this time (Bold comments are for clarity):

Area of Impact


Fatigue Limit


Time between shifts


Minimum rest between shifts is ten (10) hours. However, a unit or individual may elect to reduce time between shifts to a minimum of 8 hours once per cycle on a voluntary basis. Article 16.04 of the CA permits members to reduce time between shifts to 8 hours once every 72-hour period.


Total hours of work


The maximum consecutive calendar days of work is eight (8) days or maximum of seventy-two (72) hours of work in a defined work period, whichever occurs first. These rules do not apply when OT is involved, at this time.


Recovery time


The minimum non-duty time between work periods is one (1) calendar day off, provided the last shift worked ended before 22:30. In the event the last shift worked extends beyond 22:30, the first shift following the calendar day off must not start before 06:30. The 10:30pm rule does not apply if OT is involved, at this time.


Night duty shifts


The maximum consecutive night duty shifts worked is three (3) shifts, unless the work period consists of a block of night duty shifts, which are limited to six (6) in a row. This does not apply if OT is involved, at this time.  Night duty is defined as any shift with any number of hours occurring between the hours of 00:31am and 05:29am.


Night duty shift recovery


The minimum non-duty time after three (3) consecutive night duty shifts is one (1) calendar day off and the first shift following the calendar day off must not start before 06:30. In the event the work period consisted of a block of night duty shifts, the minimum non-duty time between work periods is two (2) calendar days off.  Night duty shift recovery rules do not apply if OT is involved, at this time.


Start and end times


The minimum start time for a shift is 05:30. The maximum end time for a night duty shift is 08:30.


Shift length


The maximum consecutive hours of work in a shift is twelve (12) hours, exclusive of handover duties. Article 20.04 is inclusive of handover duties.


Time in position


Time in Position will be limited to 4 hours before the provision of a meaningful break. In locations where workload is continuous and cognitively intense, time in position is restricted to a maximum of 2 hours. Most workplaces are cognitively intense when it comes to ATC.


What we find troubling is the Company’s implementation of their fatigue rules.  They admit that members may work pretty much whatever they wish if OT is involved, but will be prevented from doing so if it’s only straight time involved.  So, members are not permitted to work a cycle that goes M,M,M,D,D but they may work a cycle (with OT) that goes M,M,M,M,M,D,D,D,D.

There may be situations where deviations from these rules need to be made in order to run the operation.  As long as though those deviations are reflected properly in ESS, then they will be properly tracked.

Your National Executive is working with the Company to make changes to help minimize the negative impact these rules have caused.  There may be some changes to the fatigue rules in the future, but in the interim members are required to comply whenever possible.

The initiative is creating confusion for all, including schedulers and managers – if members encounter issues with their schedule that do not seem right, they are encouraged to contact their union representative.

On Behalf of the Executive Board,


Nick von Schoenberg                                                                         Scott Loder

President                                                                                             Executive Vice President

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