February 4, 2023
HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE! On behalf of Erica, Keaton, Maria-Jose and the entire Unifor team, we wish you all nothing but health, success, and peace for 2023.
For those who've experienced our winter IROP season, we made it through again! And for those that had their first taste of winter peak, we truly hope this has made you stronger, wiser, and more apt to take on challenges as they come your way. On behalf of the Bargaining Team, we want to acknowledge everyone's contribution to the team in YYZ; we APPRECIATE YOU. Your hard work, long hours, and unwavering dedication has truly been inspiring.
As our peak season transitions into a slower season, we strongly encourage you to take a moment to focus and care for your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. We take on a lot of stress in our roles at YYZ, so it is always important to recognize that we need to ensure we care for ourselves. We encourage you to contact us should you need information, resources or support. Your well-being should be your top priority!
We know you are eagerly and not to mention patiently, you are waiting to see this collective agreement come to fruition. It is a lengthy process, and we understand it can be frustrating. Though we are limited in what we can share, we ask that you consider reaching out and sharing your concerns, frustrations, ideas and suggestions with us via [email protected]. With your voice, we can bring concrete matters forward to the bargaining table and ensure we are seeking the best solutions for our base.
On January 9th-11th Unifor and WestJet reconvened and resumed bargaining conversations. We continue to discuss non-monetary matters actively.
This past week we had some very candid conversations regarding these items. Again, we cannot stress enough that as your elected bargaining team, we genuinely care and always remember your top priority regarding this base. We cannot share with you what our next round of negotiations may look like, but we know our fight to ensure your priorities are heard will not stop! We wish to make progress and talk in-depth about the monetary items; however, we must agree on most, if not all, of the non monetary items before proceeding.
Please, team, familiarize yourself with the [email protected] email. We cannot stress this enough because we cannot communicate directly with you via our WestJet emails as it is an improper protocol or confidential. Should anything arise regarding you at WestJet, be it, Medical, Meetings or "conversations" with GSMs or ESA, we encourage you to include us or keep us in the loop for documentation sakes, safety and wellness. We cannot assist or protect you if we are not kept involved.
Once we reach a collective agreement, we will form our district with representatives to adhere to the needs and concerns of our base. While we do not have a finalized collective agreement, a Unifor Rep (Erica Kelly, Keaton Cole, and Maria-Jose Bouey) will be on rotation in Wednesday's support. Be it for any meetings or concerns you want to bring forward. Please email [email protected] for any help needed.
Since negotiations began, the Bargaining Committee has met with the Company frequently. The Bargaining Committee has been making positive progress and has reached agreements with WestJet on several topics. However, negotiations have begun stalling on key issues for our base. We have reached an impasse in the current round of negotiations, and as a result, Unifor filed a notice of the dispute to the Federal Minister of Labour on February 1, 2023. Once a Conciliator has been appointed, the conciliation process will begin.
WHAT IS CONCILIATION?
- Unifor files a Notice of Dispute to the Federal Minister of Labour
- Minister will appoint a Federal Conciliation Officer within 15 days
- The Conciliator will meet with the Union and Employer over 60 days to facilitate negotiations
- The parties may agree to extend the conciliation period if negotiations are progressing
- The Conciliator files a report to the Federal Minister of Labour once the conciliation period is complete
- The parties enter a 21-day "cooling off" and mediation period
- At the end of the 21 days, if no agreement has been reached, the Mediator will file an additional report with the Minister of Labour
- While in the conciliation and the "cooling off" mediation period, the Company may not lock out employees, and the Union may not take strike action. Strike action is only ever taken as a very last resort and only after conditions (such as a strike vote and 72 hours advance notice) are met.
Let us be clear: this filing does not mark an end to our bargaining efforts, and it demonstrates our commitment to negotiating the best possible deal for YOU, our members, during these challenging times. As your elected Bargaining Committee, we feel that requesting conciliation will help our Union move the bargaining process along. Once the minister appoints a conciliator and provides dates of the conciliation process, we will advise the membership.
Thank you for electing us to represent you and fight for your concerns. We are truly learning, growing and applying all our knowledge to this process as we aspire to come back with good news.
We thank you for your unwavering support and patience! We do this for you and with you!
The YYZ Bargaining Committee
Erica Kelly, Keaton Cole, Maria-Jose Bouey
Unifor for WestJet
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