It is this letter’s objective to keep the membership informed of the latest developments and is a response to STAS’ letters sent to everyone in mid-January.
The employer in its “State of negotiations” letter describes the union’s monetary demand as excessive and representing a 12.8% wage increase. This is a negotiation tactic used by STAS to shake member’s belief in their bargaining committee.
Our demands were shown and very well explained during the last bargaining assembly held on January 8th 2013. Our demands represent a 9% raise over 3 years :
- 3% - April 2012
- 3% - April 2013
- 3% - March 2014
Rise in the cost of living has been for the last few years just under 3%. Without a wage increase that reflects the increase in the cost of living, members would see their buying power reduced, year after year. Our demands are directly in line with the increases in the cost of living.
As for the numbers given by Securitas, it is important to mention that they included the wage parity with Toronto as if it was a bargaining demand. It is imperative for everyone to understand that the wage parity with Toronto is something that is in our current collective agreement, the one agreed by STAS in November 2011. Wage parity with Toronto is NOT a bargaining demand but a collectively bargained right we’ve had for many years. Screeners and coordinators in Montreal deserve the same wages as their counter-parts at Toronto Pearson airport.
Screeners in Toronto currently earn 21.37$/hour (L3.4), compared to screeners in Montreal who are still at 18.81$/hour (L3.4). If STAS honored the wage parity provided in the collective agreement, SCC/TPL would now earn an hourly rate of 24.04$.
Following STAS’ refusal to honor the wage parity with Toronto since Nov 1st 2012, 2 grievances were done (1 for screeners and 1 for SCC/TPL) and an arbitrator has now been named to hear these cases. We are still waiting on an hearing date in order to plead our case and ensure that are rights are respected.
As soon as we have a hearing date for the wage parity grievance, we will let you know.
In its final offer, STAS was proposing a wage increase as follows to our members :
- No wage parity with Toronto Pearson screeners and coordinators
- 1% - April 2012 (0.18$/hour - L3.4)
- 2.5% - April 2013
- 2.5% - April 2014
STAS’s proposition was rejected by 100% of the members present at the January 8th assembly. In it’s 2012 annual report, CATSA was expecting a 2.9% increase in the hourly billing rate. This projection is far from what Securitas was offering us.
UNIFORM – SUSPENSIONS
As you already know, the visibility tactics have been suspended at the end of January.
Following STAS’ decision to break the deal previously struck concerning uniforms and the disciplinary measures, members adopted a motion during the January 21st assembly to suspend the visibility tactics. The motion was adopted almost unanimously by the members who took the time to attend one of the assemblies help at YUL.
Reasons leading members to vote in favor of putting the uniform back on were primarly to make sure all of us would be protected against future suspensions and also to maximise our chances at getting the best possible collective agreement by pursuing our fight on two fronts :
- Essential Services - debate at the Canadian Industrial Relation Board (CIRB)
- Grievance – Wage parity clause of the collective ageement (Arbitrator)
By choosing to bring our battle to the CIRB and pursue our right to strike, members had to revert back to the uniform to ensure STAS could no longer discipline anyone.
In total, 64 grievances were filled to contest all of the suspensions given by STAS and to claim back all of the lost wages, including benefits. To temporarily cover the financial losses of affected members, the Lodge’s Executive unanimously voted in favor of issuing checks to cover these losses. In total, 38 checks have been issued, with a couple more to come.
During the visbility tactics period, we managed to make progress with the employer on many different points but other major points remain to be settled.
The debate currently in front of the CIRB is based on article 87.4 of the Canadian Labor Code, the right to strike and the essential services. This debate is historic and has never been done by any other union representing screeners and coordinators in Canada. Our members will once again write a page of screening history by fighting this fight for all other screeners and coordinators across the country.
Before going on a legal strike, there must be an agreement between the parties on the minimum operational service that must be carried out during a strike. In case no agreement is possible between the parties, the CIRB must intervene to decide. The CIRB will rule on this debate and determine if we have the right to strike or if we are an essential service that must maintain a certain percentage of workers in place at all time.
The employer is requesting that staffing levels remain at 100% while this union is arguing in favor of having the right to have rotationnal strike covering 20% of the workforce.
Hearings have already been held on February 12th and March 4th 2013. During these hearings, many preliminary questions were settled. The CIRB has already made a couple of decisions in regard to this case and they are as follows:
- The CIRB recognizes the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) as an intervenor in this debate. This implies that CATSA will have the right to bring forth testimonies, examine and cross-examine witnesses and will be able to submit documents. CATSA is of the same opinion as STAS on this matter, meaning they are seeking a 100% staffing level at all time.
- The CIRB also recognized the Internationnal Association of Machinist, the Internationnal Broterhood of Teamsters and the Nationnal Airline Companies Council of Canada as partial intervennors in this debate. These organisation will be able to submit written positions and attend all hearings but will not be able to call in witnesses.
- The CIRB also recognized the United Food and Commerce Workers (UFCW) the same status as the other unions. The UFCW however decided to withdraw their intervention demand after they settled their own negotiations.
- The CIRB ordered a confidentiality agreement linking all the parties in this hearing. The testimonies, as well as the content of the documents discussed during the hearings will remain confidential.
On the very fisrt day of hearing, Garda had sent one their representative to take notes and attend the hearing. Garda for the time being did not make an intervenor status demand.
In that same first hearing, CATSA asked the CIRB to statute on a preliminary question that would have declared all screeners across Canada to be an essential service. CATSA’s demand was based on article 27 of the CATSA Act. This article deems pre-board screening to be an essential service. In it’s January letter, STAS was referring to that part of the CATSA Act, passed after the September 11th attacks by the Parliament of Canada.
On March 4th, CATSA’s demand was rejected by the CIRB and the essential services debate will take place. The CIRB will hear our case on April 30th, May 1, 2, 3, and 6th as well as from July 9th to 11th if necessary 2013.
The bargainning and executive committees will meet next month to discuss the nexts steps to be undertaken. This meeting is organized by Local Section 1976 and District 5 of the United Steel Workers.
As soon as any developpements occur, you will be kept informed as usual. To make sure you are up to date on all the issues, visit us at AC-SO.ORG. You can also follow us on Facebook on the « AC-SO » and « YUL Employees » page. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.