COVID-19 & The Right To Refuse Dangerous Work Right to Know, Right to Participate, Right to Refuse
With regards to the countless reports concerning grooming, no masks, no gloves and limited wipes, we remind you that the company has committed to boarding these and you have the power to request that these items be boarded prior to departure. Operations should not take precedence over the receipt of these precautionary and required tools that are there for your safety and the safety of our passengers.
Please continue to report any issues with the above through the proper Air Canada reporting channels as well as a copy to your Union.
COVID-19 has resulted in a high demand for information on the right to refuse dangerous work. Please take note that work refusals are intended to be a last resort.
It is highly advised, if possible, to file a health and safety complaint and follow up via email with a manager to attempt to resolve your concern PRIOR to arriving at work. This does not reduce or remove your right to refuse dangerous work. What it does is provide the employer extra time to try to fix the issue at the root of your concern, which is beneficial to everyone.
You can file a health and safety complaint by logging into ACAeronet > Safety > Submit a report/SIMS at Mainline or by logging into AQD at Rouge.
The company may be experiencing a high volume of reports, so we suggest following up with a manager regarding your formal complaint via phone or email
Let the Union know
Please take note:
YOU NEED TO BE AT WORK TO REFUSE and it needs to be in good faith. STEP 1 is between yourself and the company - As per the Canada Labour Code the Union will not be present at this stage. STEP 1 does not go on indefinitely. If the company is unable to resolve your concern and you still believe you’re in danger you may move on to step 2 at which point your union H&S reps will be involved alongside their management colleagues from the joint H&S committee (see bulletin mentioned below for details). NO ONE except for a safety official from Transport Canada or Employment Social Development Canada can tell you there is no danger (including making a decision about imminent or serious threat). Nor can anyone except such an official force you to go back to work. You cannot be threatened or disciplined. You do not lose pay (reassignment may apply) You have a right to be present for every part of the investigation including any conversations with other departments and any experts.
The Union’s work refusal bulletin contains more details and can be obtained by sending a blank email to email@example.com. We recommend that it be consulted in conjunction with the information in your manual at the end of chapter 2.
Throughout the COVID-19 experience we have received many emails asking what we are doing to address this virus at the Health and Safety Committee level. Our answer has been consistent: “We’re doing what the reports show we should be doing. Have you filed a health and safety complaint?” The answer is almost always NO.
This needs to change.
We will not forward emails addressed to the union to the company, or screenshot social media posts. In many cases we cannot even discuss these without identifying our members. This would be a massive breach of trust and confidentiality. What’s on FB stays on FB enjoy all the likes ...
This is why we need reports. They are submitted directly to the company, so we know we can refer to them and work off of them. They’re also trackable and generate crucial stats that carry a lot more weight when recommending a change to senior management than “things we heard on FB”.
Take a few minutes to give your committees the tools they need to represent you. If you have time to post on Facebook, or Yammer, or to write an email – you have the time to file a formal report.
Here’s how to send a health and safety complaint e-report:
ACAeronet > Safety > Submit a report/SIMS You will pass through two login screens Click on the e-report tab in the top left of the screen Select health and safety complaint from the menu on the right A pop-up will appear Remember to use your Air Canada email address Before clicking “submit” verify the “set department” button just to the left and ensure IFS DEPARTMENT is selected. We suggest typing the text of your complaint in a blank email so that it isn’t lost if there is a problem submitting. If you are an in-charge, you may file your health and safety complaint on your iPad. Your union H&S reps will be able to see your report in the safety system but send us an email to let us know you’ve submitted it with the report reference number.
Log into Aeronet and into AQD reporting portal Select an IFS Occupational Health and Safety eReport. Refer to chapter 2 in your PUB for instructions Ensure to provide a copy to the union by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re having trouble with e-reporting reach out to us. We’ll be happy to assist and/or to put you in touch with the correct manager.The Three Fundamental Health & Safety Rights
The Canada Labour Code Part II provides three fundamental rights to all employees covered by federal health and safety legislation. The law also protects employees from discipline when exercising their safety rights and/or duties as long as they act in good faith. This applies to all employees regardless of any probationary period.
Remember these three rights. They'll keep you and your colleagues safe when put to practice.
1. The right to know
Never feel silly to ask a question. It is your legal right to know about anything that could affect your health & safety in the workplace. The Federal Labour Program explains it like this:
Through the provisions of the Code, employees have the right to be informed of known or foreseeable hazards in the work place and to be provided with the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to protect their health and safety.
This right to know is strengthened by ensuring that the methods of communication are appropriate for all employees, including employees with special needs.
Through their health and safety committees or representatives, employees are given the right to have access to government or employer reports relating to the health and safety of employees, but do not have access to medical records of any person except with that person’s consent.
2. The right to participate
You participate by filing reports, health and safety complaints, and by being present for all elements of an investigation in a work refusal. You also participate by following the standard operating procedures provided by the company, which are intended to promote safety in the workplace. If you choose to refer a health and safety complaint to your local workplace health & safety committee, your Union representatives then participate on your behalf.
Remember that it is both your right and also your duty to participate by reporting all hazards, potential hazards and accidents/occupational illnesses to the company. It is much harder for the company to inform employees of hazards and for it to eliminate them, and for health and safety committees to do their work if they aren’t reported!
3. The right to refuse dangerous work.
Under the Canada Labour Code Part II, employees have the right to refuse dangerous work without risking or losing their wages and without fear of discipline as long as the refusal is made in good faith, and subject to certain conditions including measures to prevent placing other people at risk.
Refused Service in your Community?
We want you to know that as this pandemic unfolds there should be no shame or fear of reaching out for support if you fall ill and are diagnosed with COVID-19. Nor should there be if a family member is.
Please know that in a recent shift, the Union has NOT been advised of specific member details regarding recent confirmed cases. While we sort this out, please don’t be shy to reach out and let us know your situation so that we may assist in any way we can.
While it is understandable that our members may be referred to their provincial health hotlines and requested to visit special clinics if they are exhibiting symptoms of illness associated with COVID-19, the Union is very concerned by reports from healthy non-symptomatic members that they are being denied regular routine medical (including dental) services purely based on their profession as cabin crew.
We need your assistance IMMEDIATELY in order to address this issue with the relevant authorities and professional associations.
If you have been denied medical (including dental) services specifically because you are cabin crew, and you are not high risk (in self-isolation due to contact with someone who has COVID-19 or showing symptoms of illness) please email us at email@example.com with the following:
- Any specifics about the incident that you feel comfortable providing. We will respect your privacy. - The date, name of the facility, city and province.
COVID-19 - Filing a Workplace Insurance Claim
We are facing extremely challenging times not only personally but in our industry. We are all in this together and in the spirit of providing up-to-date useful information we have developed this communication and will be closely monitoring the situation and we will do our best to provide updated information regularly. We strongly recommend that you regularly check updated information using links included within. See below for info bases other than YYZ.
UPDATE: If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact or your local public health unit. Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000
Ontario has announced new measures to prepare for the spread of the virus in our province.
In an effort to keep COVID-19 patients away from the emergency rooms, the province is setting up dedicated screening facilities. Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency.
The first assessment centres will be established at the following hospitals and health facilities:
* North York General Hospital (4001 Leslie St, North York, ON M2K 1E1)
* Scarborough Health Network (3050 Lawrence Ave E, Scarborough, ON M1P 2V5)
* Mackenzie Health (Ilan Ramon Blvd, Vaughan, ON L6A 4P9)
* Trillium Health Partners (100 Queensway W, Mississauga, ON L5B 1B8)
* Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness (20 Lynch St, Brampton, ON L6W 2Z8)
If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact Telehealth at (1-866-797-0000), or your local public health unit.
COVID-19 symptoms range from common to severe respiratory illnesses and include:
• Muscle aches and tiredness
• Difficulty breathing
We also would like to inform you that the following COVID-19 Community Assessment Centres are / will be available to facilitate testing for possible cases of the coronavirus.
• As of March 12. 2020: Toronto's Michael Garron Hospital opened a COVID-19 screening and assessment centre for people with signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (825 Coxwell Ave.) – please see link, as you need to call first – by appointment only which they assess when you call: https://www.tehn.ca/programs-services/covid-19-assessment-centre
• Starting on Monday, 16-Mar-2020 Toronto Public Health will be doing on site testing for COVID-19 at St. Michael's Hospital Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute (38 Shuter St, Toronto)
• Women's College Hospital will also be a COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre site soon (76 Grenville St, Toronto).
WSIB ONTARIO – verbal direction from the WSIB (Mainline & Rouge Bases)
Follow the Public Health directives and self quarantine File a WSIB FORM 6 and upload it electronically or mail it to the WSIB https://www.wsib.ca/sites/default/files/2019-02/0006a_fs_09_15.pdf Contact the WSIB directly by phone and explain that you are a cabin crew member who has filed a FORM 6 but cannot file the FORM 8 yet as you are in quarantine
After the quarantine period has ended or testing positive for COVID-19 have your doctor file a FORM 8 https://www.wsib.ca/sites/default/files/2019-02/0008a_08_11_fs_rv_09_18.pdf Provide a copy of FORM 8 immediately to Air Canada Base Management, retain a copy for your records If you are having difficulty getting an appointment with a doctor or clinic to have FORM 8 completed call the WSIB immediately and seek directive Continue to keep the WSIB updated on your situation if you have filed a claim You have six months from the date of the accident or occupational disease, from the time you learn of the diagnosis to file a claim
Workplace Safety & Insurance Board 200 Front Street West Toronto, Ontario M5V 3J1 Telephone: 416-344-1000 Toll free: 1-800-387-0750 https://www.wsib.ca/en/contact-us
THIS IS WHAT WE KNOW TODAY, as the situation is rapidly changing:
FIRST - Follow Public Health Guidelines
If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact or your local public health unit. Health link British Columbia 811 Health Link Alberta 811 Telehealth Ontario1-866-797-0000 Gouvernement du Québec1 877 644-4545
HEALTH LINK BC https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-feature/coronavirus-disease-covid-19
BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool https://covid19.thrive.health/British Columbians can call 811 for free from anywhere in the province to speak with a registered nurse about their health, including the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. The hotline is for anyone who suspects they have the illness, are showing symptoms related to COVID-19.
Hotline 1-888-COVID19 or 1-888-268-4319, between 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, for the latest information on travel recommendations, social distancing, and supports and resources available from the provincial and federal governments.
HEALTH LINK ALBERTA https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/healthinfo/link/index.html If you have symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing and have travelled outside Canada or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, stay home and call Health Link 811. If you are not seriously ill, do not go to a physician’s office, a health care facility or a lab without consulting with Health Link 811 first. Call 911 if you are seriously ill and need immediate medical attention and inform them that you may have COVID-19.
YUL Mainline & Rouge Bases Gouvernement du Québec Santé Montréal https://santemontreal.qc.ca/en/public/coronavirus-covid-19/ If you think you have COVID-19 infection, call 1 877 644-4545 (toll free) first. A nurse will assess your situation and recommend what to do next. If a medical consultation in a specialized COVID-19 clinic is required, the nurse will book an appointment for you. If your state of health indicates that you require hospitalization, the Jewish General (adults) and Sainte-Justine’s (children) are the hospitals designated to treat confirmed cases.
SECOND - How to file a Workplace Insurance Claim due to COVID-19 exposure?
THIRD – Continue to follow Air Canada Sick Leave Policy and monitor Communications
Air Canada COVID-19 UPDATE Please pay attention to your health at all times and remain in communication with your Wellness Team. If you develop fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing, please seek guidance from your health provider and if directed to do so, self-isolate to be excluded from working flights until cleared.
We have a through and immediate process that we use to notify you if you have been on a flight with a confirmed COVID-19. We provide you with clear guidance and remove you from your flights with pay for up to 14 days beginning on the date you were exposed to a confirmed passenger. We remain fully committed to this process that helps limit the virus spread, protects privacy and ensures that you are made aware as soon as possible of any possible exposure.
Air Canada Mainline Sick Leave Policy E-Pub Home > About You > Performance and Expectations > Attendance
Air Canada Rouge Sick Leave Policy E-Pub Acaeronet > Rouge > Manuals-Forms > Cabin Safety and Inflight Service > ePub
COVID-19 & The Wage Indemnity Program (WIP)
For all COVID-19 only related claims Manion/SSQ will require the attached form be completed instead of the Attending Physician Statement. This is in an effort to decrease the demands of the health care system. We still require the Claimants and Employer statement of earnings to be completed as well. Note: the Employer’s statement is sent to Manion automatically after day 15 from your first flight missed. The attached form is only for COVID-19 cases and is to be filled out by the member and submitted to Manion for processing should you continue to be off work after 14 days from your first flight missed.
NOTE: There are 3 different types of elimination periods - Sickness, Hospital or Accident. For our WIP plan they all have a 14-day waiting (elimination) period. SSQ has asked us to use the hospital elimination period for any COVID-19 related claims. Members don’t actually have to be hospitalized, It just means that for COVID-19 cases members may use this form hat they are required to fill out rather than your physician.
We have been advised by SSQ to use this hospital elimination period/form of 14 days for all COVID-19 claims. Most cases shouldn’t extend beyond the 14-day elimination period, however if you continue to be disabled, then you must apply for WIP. Manion will also need a copy of the blood work, sputum test or any other acceptable medical evidence confirming the diagnosis as determined by your physician. Manion can request this on the member’s behalf or you can send it in for review if you have that information on hand.
WIP will not be covering cases for people who are NOT sick and are in self quarantine as prevention.
NOTE: For those that are in quarantine from the Company's directive, this falls under a work related claim.
Please note, to ensure your application is received during this fluid movement and possible shut down of business, it is best that you email your WIP application form to Manion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For regular WIP claims the usual WIP application found on the www.accomponent.ca website is to be used.
COVID-19 And Your Short Term Disability Program
Considering the latest developments on COVID-19, SSQ Insurance has revised its position.
Short-Term Disability benefits All disability claims related to COVID-19 will be treated in accordance with the terms of your short-term disability plan.
Is an employee in quarantine covered by the Short-Term Disability benefits? In cases where the insured person presents incapacitating symptoms of COVID-19, SSQ Insurance will cover the disability, as per the rules of your contract.
Do we need to provide all the documentation normally requested? In order to limit the traffic in clinics and hospitals, SSQ Insurance will accept the simplified form as medical information.
NOTE: All Policy Booklet information can be accessed on the Air Canada Component of CUPE web site www.accomponent.caor on the Mobile App.
Manion, Wilkins & Associates Plan Administration 626-21 Four Seasons Place Etobicoke, Ontario M9B 0A6
Medical Service and Testing for Coronavirus The Union is well aware that services are being denied due to our work and industry being regarded as “dangerous”. We are keeping track of this and sharing this with the Company. Please reply to this email if you have been placed in a denied treatment position. We need to know the date, city and facility name.
Postponement of ART The Company had advised that ART and Tempus training have been suspended for both Mainline and Rouge. The Company is working with Transport Canada to ensure this doesn’t affect your qualification as a Crew Member. We will update you once courses resume.
International Flight Suspension Changes to the Flight Schedule continue, the most up to date information can be found at www.aircanada.ca. This will have a great effect on April schedules. As such, new pairing will be published and the bidding deadline has been extended until Wednesday, March 25th at 00:01 EDT. The last full day of bidding is March 24th. Please see the PBS Bulletin for more information.
Profit Sharing Payment We have had many members reach out about their 2019 Profit Sharing payment if they were to take a Special Leave of Absence for the April 2020 block month. The payment is scheduled for your April 17th cheque and if you were on the payroll for the March 2020 block month you will receive the payment regardless of your status in April. Taking an SPLOA for April will not prevent you from getting the payment on your April 17th cheque.
Protective Equipment The Company has committed to increasing the supply of gloves, masks, and sanitizing wipes onboard with an additional supply for return crew clearly labeled and stored in the locked forward/J bar cart. We still encourage you to wear gloves always including time in the airport. The company sent out a memo regarding the fact that they will now be provisioning 1 N95 respirator per crew member.
Your health and safety representatives want to set the record straight. This change did not happen overnight and represents a long, long serious disagreement by the Union, its health and safety representatives, and its members.
It was only after many public calls for increased personal protection equipment onboard, many outreaches to the press, many conversations with Company representatives and the courageous efforts of certain members who stood up for their workers' rights that change happened.
You may have noticed a posting in your crew centre as of Friday evening notifying employees of a finding of DANGER from Transport Canada regarding social distancing onboard the aircraft. This follows the investigation of multiple work refusals. The decision reads:
Requiring Flight Attendants to come frequently into close proximity with passengers during the COVID19 outbreak, in order to provide regular service, with no possibility of social distancing presents a serious threat to their health.
Therefore, you are HEREBY DIRECTED, pursuant to paragraph 145(2) (a) of the Canada Labour Code, Part II, to alter the activity that constitutes the danger immediately.
The company has since announced a reduction in service onboard, and that an N95 respirator will be provided to crew. However, the Union has been advised by the Company there will be more masks available this week for those who need replacements. The Union acknowledges these efforts but feels that there is much more that needs to be done to protect our members.
The Union demands that the employer provide our crews with the full gamut of PPE required to safely conduct their duties and, in doing so, take care of our customers by:
Providing the regulatory-required fit testing to ensure N95 respirators are correctly sized to our members, ensuring maximum protection. Establishing an opportunity for on-site training to assist employees with understanding the do’s and don’ts of donning and removing this PPE. Providing a clear explanation of when the N95 respirator provides maximum benefit. Provide crew with the proper storage and advice should the mask get crushed. Provided clearer guidance on how to assess end of usefulness since these respirators are not good for unlimited use, even if not soiled. Remind employees that the front of the respirator should never be touched to prevent contamination of the hands. Establish a clear process for the replacement of N95 respirators. Make clear that proper donning and removal procedures must be exercised regardless of how short a period the respirator is off the face.
Providing the additional universal precautions equipment that is crucial to full protection over and above what is contained in the UPK kits - including additional eye visors and full-sleeve smocks which are used by other professionals when in close proximity to persons suspected of contagious disease.
The Union’s position is that this PPE should remain a staple of our onboard personal protective equipment ALWAYS so that we never have to put ourselves at risk for weeks on end in the future. We must NEVER turn our backs on this hazard.
Staffing Many of you have been reaching out with the recentannouncement made by Air Canada and Air CanadaRouge regarding massive decreases in our immediateflying schedule. We have just concluded a call with AirCanada and Air Canada Rouge, and shortly after withACCEX, and wanted to advise you of the following:The Company has advised that it was their intention toinvoke L60.06 of the Collective Agreement. This is aninvocation of the Force Majeure clause.As you know we have received word from Air Canada andAir Canada Rouge that they will be only maintaining limitedinternational service to 6 destinations. This is subject tochange. Transborder flights will be reduced to 13destinations. The company will also continue to provideservice to all provinces however it will be reduced andsubject to further reductions.There will be an overall reduction in capacity of at least80% in April 2020.There will also be reductions in capacity for May onwardand as soon as we receive information about them, we willkeep everyone informed.The approximate Mainline surplus for the month of April is3,600 members and Rouge will have all members, 1,549deemed surplus. Rouge will in effect have zero flyinghours for the month of April 2020.The Company will commence the process of callingmembers and placing them on “Off Duty Status” as early aswithin the next 48 hours as outlined in LOU 6. Off DutyStatus allows you to collect employment insurance andmaintain benefits, along with travel benefits. The Union'sposition is that this option should be offered to all membersas we have heard from many senior members that theywould like to voluntarily take this option. The company willallow the opportunity for members to volunteer for Off DutyStatus. More information will come out from the companyon this. The Union has also sought clarity for those of you onSPLOAs in reference to you being able to collectComponent President /Président de la email@example.comTheresa MitchellComponent Vice-President /Vice-Présidente de firstname.lastname@example.orgAlex HabibComponent Secretary-Treasurer /Secrétaire-Trésorier de email@example.comSubscribePast IssuesTranslateA Message From Your Component Officers / Un message de votre Offici... https://mailchi.mp/7ca5fdcdf81d/a-message-from-your-component-office...2 of 62020-03-19, 10:58 p.m. benefits. We have confirmed with the employer that thoseof you on SPLOAs for April 2020 will be converted to OffDuty Status enabling you to collect Employment Insurance.As of May 2020, Article 17 of the Collective Agreement willapply and the Union has proposed that we commencediscussions within the immediate future regardingmitigation options. Please reference Article 17 of theCollective Agreement and LOU 60.05. This outlines theprocess that we believe will be taking place for the May2020 block month onwards. As per L60.05.03.04, the Unionhas provided a list of all mitigation options we would like tohave them review. We have captured all mitigationsuggestions that the members have brought forward todate. Thank you for providing them as we know it isimportant for many reasons.We will keep you informed when new information comes tous and appreciate this causes many concerns and furtheruncertainty. We have many questions for the employer,and have sought much clarification, and commit that as weknow, you will be advised.Air Canada will be sending out all information through AirCanada email. Please ensure you have activated your AirCanada email; you can find the instructions on how to dothis by going onto ACaeronet.This is unprecedented, and not something any of us wantto go through. The reality is real, and we are workingaround the clock ensuring you are represented.
Onboard Service The Company has made some minor modifications to onboard service. The Union strongly feels this is not enough. Our members should not be required to serve passengers meal trays or beverages in the aisles. Furthermore, it is the Union’s position that the new service will create more opportunity for cross contamination as our members will now be picking up more garbage and service items that have been handled by passengers. The Union’s position is that onboard services should cease, and passengers be provided with beverages and snack boxes upon boarding.