In our busy lives, work-life balance is important. We all work hard to get to and from work in time to prepare meals, get our children to lessons or games, maybe spend a little time with our partner and friends, and even just to relax a little and recharge before going back to work.

Doing all that relies in no small part on how your employer sets your work schedule. In Unifor workplaces, we follow three basic principles when we negotiate collective agreement language on scheduling.
  • Predictability
  • Flexibility
  • Fairness
With predictability, you can plan ahead. With flexibility, you can easily swap schedules when need be. With fairness, you can rest assured that favouritism doesn’t decide who gets the best shifts. For Unifor members at Air Canada and Jazz, this means:
  • Schedules set six months in advance
  • A minimum two consecutive days off a week
  • The right to trade shifts easily, including partial shifts
  • The right to work several days in a row, as a way to front-load several days or weeks off in a row
  • Guaranteed days off with pay for bereavement
  • Rules on scheduling enshrined in the collect agreement to ensure fairness over favouritism
  • A union committee overseeing the scheduling process
  • A grievance procedure when disputes arise
As WestJet workers know better than anyone, this is not how things work at WestJet. In fact, schedules rarely seem to take life outside the airport into consideration. Changing schedules is next to impossible and subject to favouritism. Even time off for bereavement can be difficult to arrange, and may have to be made up in future shifts – which is just cruel.

WestJet claims that its outdated top-down approach to scheduling is needed to meet operational needs, but the scheduling rules in place at Air Canada and Jazz - thanks to their Unifor contracts - show that treating workers fairly is a good business model.

The fact is, employee satisfaction increases with good scheduling. As frontline workers for WestJet and the face of the company in airports, it is simply good business for WestJet to take proper care and attention when it schedules shifts.

With a Unifor collective agreement, workers can set out a fair and reasonable process for setting work schedules. In the end, that’s good for the worker, and for WestJet.

If you have any questions, please contact your local organizer.

Billy O'Neill, Unifor
[email protected] | 416-605-1443

Bruce Fafard, Unifor
[email protected] | 587-341-0945

British Columbia
Murray Gore, Unifor
[email protected] | 604-671-9141

Patrick Murray, Unifor
[email protected] | 506-850-7996


Unifor is a Canadian union with a modern, inclusive approach to serving members and improving our workplaces and communities. // Unifor est un syndicat canadien qui a une approche moderne et inclusive pour servir ses membres et améliorer nos lieux de trav