On May 1, WestJet CCMs got a two per cent bump on their Meal Cost Replacement (MCR) rate to $3.2581 per hour for Canada and the mainland United States and $3.4422 per hour for International flights. But when we look at what other flight attendants represented by CUPE have negotiated, we see once again that WestJet CCMs are getting shortchanged.
For example, CUPE members at Air Transat are paid an hourly per diem of $4.63 in Canada, $5.98 for the United States and Europe, and $6.62 for Ireland and the UK – on top of employer-provided crew meals. These amounts are scheduled to increase each year of the collective agreement. Per diem is calculated from engine start or originally scheduled flight departure up until the actual time of return to home or seasonal base at the end of the pairing.
CUPE members at Air Canada have negotiated a per diem of $89.57 per day for meals and incidentals for Canada and the United States. On International flights, per diem rates are based on the destination, are negotiated by the union and get adjusted every 6 months based on the real cost of meals in that location. For example, the current per diem for Air Canada flight attendants working to London is $160.92 per day for meals.
On top of per diems, CUPE members have negotiated fair cleaning and footwear allowances. Air Transat and Sunwing flight attendants receive a dry‑cleaning and footwear allowance of $85 per month. Air Canada flight attendants receive a footwear allowance of $120 per year and a dry-cleaning allowance of $45 per month.
The key difference? Having a real say over your working conditions.
These rates are the product of legitimate collective bargaining process. CUPE flight attendants have negotiated different per diem and allowance systems, and ultimately it will be up to you and your membership to decide which system works best for you. Per diem and allowances are crucial components of our compensation as flight attendants. WestJetters deserve decent rates that stack up with industry standards.
If you haven’t already, sign your card to join CUPE. And if you have signed your card to join CUPE – bravo! Talk to a friend about signing theirs today!