Encore: CUPE will fight for cabin air quality

hpouliot Uncategorized

We’ve heard loud and clear from Encore flight attendants that you’re exhausted after long, unproductive pairings. There are also concerns about cabin air quality.

Engine lubricants and other chemicals can enter the cabin through the air pressurization process and can pose serious threats to the health of cabin crews and passengers. Despite evidence to the contrary, many airlines still deny that toxic fumes pose any serious threat.

CUPE and other unions support the research being done at the University of Washington to produce a scientifically reliable blood test to measure exposure.

But prevention is the key and CUPE is a leader there as well.

CUPE has called on the federal government to immediately improve regulations to eliminate toxic fumes in airplane cabins. We also continue to call on the federal government to restore the 1:40 ratio of flight attendants to passengers.

CUPE’s work on safety in the airline industry goes back to the 1980s when CUPE flight attendants started a campaign against tobacco smoke on airplanes. We were successful in getting positive results for airline workers then and, with your participation, we can do it again!

Joining CUPE means joining 665,000 workers, including 15,000 flight attendants working at 11 different airlines across Canada. We are leaders in health and safety for the industry.

But there are still some Encore flight attendants who haven’t signed their CUPE union card. Just like you put your own oxygen mask on before helping others, now that you’ve signed your CUPE card, find a co-worker who hasn’t yet signed their card and help them to do so. Send them this link today!

And if you have friends and colleagues at Swoop, encourage them to sign their card to join CUPE today too!

Join the call for  better in-flight air quality by signing CUPE’s Safer Skies petition today.


CUPE Alberta Uncategorized

MAINLINE – CUPE will be using electronic voting for a series of votes coming up among our membership at WestJet. These votes may include:

• Approval of local by-laws
• Election of local officers (President, Treasurer, etc)
• Bargaining surveys
• Bargaining proposals
• Ratification of a contract with WestJet

In order to participate in these votes, we need a personal email address from you. We will not be using WestJet email for CUPE business on an ongoing basis.

Register to vote at this link with your personal email address.

If you do not register by September 30th at 5:00 pm MDT, you may miss important votes and elections going forward.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,

Lou Arab
Acting Chief Returning Officer
CUPE WestJet Local

Updates Since Certification

ccooper Uncategorized

CUPE was certified as the bargaining agent for cabin crew members on July 31, 2018.  On August 27, 2018 notice to open bargaining was sent to the employer and a response received on August 28, 2018 confirming receipt of the notice.  This notice solidified the statutory freeze (no changes to the conditions of employment) until a collective agreement is signed.

A meeting was held with the employer on August 31, 2018.  Present on behalf of CUPE was Ella Henry and Aneen Albus.  At this meeting the following items were discussed:

  • The employer addressed the need to start recruitment for the 787 widebodies.  CUPE stated that recruitment for cabin crew members on all of WestJet’s fleet is a bargaining issue.
  • CUPE addressed issues with reserve call in and stated that it was our understanding the practice was that junior employees were called in first.  The employer stated that in fact the 1st criteria is best fit not seniority for reserve call ins. CUPE is still investigating this issue.
  • CUPE addressed concerns with alleged changes to non-medical accommodations being relayed to employee’s that is to be implemented as of October 1, 2018.  The employer committed to follow-up on this issue with CUPE.
  • CUPE addressed issues with special day off requests.  The employer stated they recognized an issue as these days used to be administered with WCCA and have staff members in place to work on the requests.
  • CUPE addressed representation at meetings with employees.  Our position is that every employee covered by CUPE has the right to have representation at any meeting called by the employer.  The employer’s position is that representation will only be allowed in investigation or discipline meetings.

A follow-up meeting will be scheduled with the employer on the outstanding issues.

Utilizing the Individual Dispute Resolution

Is there an issue or practice at the workplace you would like resolved? Have you been unfairly disciplined or not selected for recruitment? If so, take a look at Section 6 of WestJet’s Dispute Resolution Policy and Procedure.  You have the right to dispute the interpretation and/or application of any WestJet policy.
If there is an issue requiring resolution, take the following steps to initiate the “Individual Dispute Resolution” process. You have the right to include your CUPE representative at every stage of the process.

  1. Send your PSM an email within 14 days of the incident (and copy your CUPE servicing representative), stating that you would like to utilize the Individual Dispute Resolution process and that you would like to schedule a follow up meeting with the PSM and your union representative as per Step 1 of the process.
  2. Your PSM will reply to your email with a link to the WestJet “Dispute Resolution Form”; however, look to see whether your CUPE representative has been dropped off the email chain.
  3. Forward the email to your CUPE servicing representative.
  4. Fill the form out yourself or consult your CUPE representative to do so together.
  5. The people department will have seven (7) calendar days to acknowledge receipt of the complaint and make contact with you to initiate the first steps.
  6. If a discipline or dismissal is not resolved through the Dispute Resolution Process, CUPE can, based on the merits of the case, proceed to arbitration.

Remember, WestJet routinely drops the CUPE representative from email chains, so it’s up to you to keep us in the loop!

Interim stewarding

Friday, September 14th is the last day to volunteer to be a CUPE interim steward! If you’re interested, send an email to the CUPE servicing representative serving your base:

Non-mandatory request to let CUPE know if you’ve applied to the 787 program

It has been a week since WestJet announced how they plan to recruit for their expanded fleet and we wish to thank the many members who have written and expressed a diversity of views on this significant matter.

CUPE’s position is that with minor training, all flight attendants are qualified to work on all flights, regardless of the airplane model.  We believe all staff should have equal opportunity to bid on these flights, with details to be worked out after consultation with members.

Further, the best way to solve this issue is by negotiating a good contract that treats all flight attendants equally.

If you have applied to the program, consider letting CUPE know so that we may compile and track the number of applicants. The data compiled will allow us to have a strategic conversation about the issue in the lead up to bargaining. Please note there is absolutely no obligation or requirement that you do so. This is completely at your discretion. If you choose to, send an email to the CUPE servicing representative serving your base:

And as always, encourage your friends to sign up for updates on our website. And if you have friends and colleagues at Encore or Swoop, encourage them to sign their card to join CUPE today!

Encore: why join CUPE?

hpouliot Uncategorized

Encore flight attendants have been working hard for months to unionize with CUPE. Perhaps you haven’t yet signed your union card but you’re curious about what motivated your co-workers and friends to sign theirs.

Here’s why some of your Encore co-workers have signed a card to unionize with CUPE, in their own words:

“I came across an unsafe situation, approached the people who are supposed to know what to do and I got conflicting information. I followed that up with an email to management and was given a semi-satisfactory response that made me realize that they didn’t really care about us or our safety. That’s when I decided signing a union card was in my best interest and in the interest of every Encore FA” – YYC Encore flight attendant.

“I used to be one of those people who was adamantly against unions. I gobbled up the WestJet anti-union stance without question and I continued to be against unions up until our new agreement was released. In the months leading up to the release, the company said promising things like ‘We hear you! This is going to be groundbreaking!’ And when it was released, I thought it was such a slap in the face. It just showed me that yes, the company does hear us, but is simply choosing to continue giving us breadcrumbs in exchange for horrific schedules. The fact that they kept making amendments and we can do nothing but take it, that’s what made me decide to sign a union card” – YYZ Encore flight attendant.

I was 10000% against unionizing for a long time…but when I found out that I owed money to WJ after I had an injury while flying, I immediately signed a union card. I tell anyone that will listen all my experiences with WJ and the reasons why I finally chose to sign a card” – YYC Encore FA

Every Encore flight attendant has their own reasons to sign a union card, whether that’s flow, safety, benefits, pay, transparency, dependable working conditions, and on down the list. By signing a card, you are taking control of your working life and future.

Signing a card is saying ‘yes’ to positive change, and saying ‘yes’ to moving on from the status quo. Join your fellow Encore FAs – sign a union card and say yes to positive change at Encore.

You can take the next step by getting in touch with a CUPE organizer to sign your card today. Find us online or send us an email at encore@cupe.ca.

And if you have friends and colleagues at Swoop, encourage them to sign their card to join CUPE today!

WestJet is proceeding to recruit Boeing 787 flight participants

ccooper Uncategorized

CUPE’s position is that with minor training, all Flight Attendants are qualified to work on all flights, regardless of the airplane model.  We believe all staff should have equal opportunity to bid on these flights, with details to be worked out after consultation with members.

Until there is a new contract in place, WestJet has the right to have a separate system for selecting Flight Attendants for separate airplane models.  MOU #14 of the Cabin Crew Agreement foresees this issue, and gives WestJet the ability to implement the flight selection model they are currently using.

The best way to solve this issue is by negotiating a good contract that treats all Flight Attendants equally.  As we move forward surveying the membership and negotiating with WestJet, we want to hear your thoughts on this and other workplace matters.

And as always, encourage your friends to sign up for updates on our website. And if you have friends and colleagues at Encore or Swoop, encourage them to sign their card to join CUPE today!

Important information regarding Boeing 787 recruitment

hpouliot Uncategorized

The Company put out a notice earlier today stating they are acquiring Boeing 787 Dreamliners and will be looking to train Cabin Crew for those aircraft. We are excited to learn that WestJet is expanding its capacity. We would also like to clarify CUPE’s position, as outlined to WestJet on August 31, 2018, which is that each and every Cabin Crew Member should be afforded the opportunity to be trained on each aircraft in the Company’s fleet. CUPE is committed to addressing this issue in bargaining.

Your CUPE rep is here to help

hpouliot Uncategorized

Being called in for a meeting with your PSM? Remember you have a right to request that you be accompanied by your CUPE union representative to any meeting with your PSM, for any reason – whether it’s coaching, discipline, or any other matter.

When informed about a meeting, you should always email your PSM and copy your CUPE representative stating the following:

  • You would like to have union representation
  • You are copying your union representative

Keeping your CUPE representative in the loop will help clarify the nature of the meeting and provide everyone with a record.

And as always, encourage your friends to sign up for updates on our website. And if you have friends and colleagues at Encore or Swoop, encourage them to sign their card to join CUPE today!

CUPE can help Encore flight attendants boost their health benefits

hpouliot Uncategorized

We have been hearing regularly from WestJet Encore flight attendants that health benefits are a major source of concern. Whether it’s dealing with insurance companies or finding out too late that a service or product you need to stay healthy enough to work isn’t covered – we know how frustrating this can be. And we never know when we might need to fall back on our health plans if things take a bad turn for you or your loved ones.

Below are some of the ways that unionizing with CUPE can help secure strong health benefits!

  1. Grievance procedures to ensure disagreements about benefits entitlements are addressed fairly, so that you don’t have to square off against insurance giants all by yourself.
  2. Protections against unilateral changes or decreases to health benefits without your consent.
  3. 100% employer-paid benefits: in the collective agreement that CUPE negotiated with Air Canada, all premiums for health, dental and group life insurance and costs of vision care are fully employer-paid and that will always remain the case.
  4. In-house benefits reps and committees are found in some CUPE locals to assist members in accessing benefits, and navigating claim disputes and poor treatment by insurance companies.
  5. Access to training and researchers who work with you directly to help constantly improve your benefits plans in your collective agreement.

Health benefits are not “fringe” benefits. Many of us count on them to keep us healthy so we can support our families and thrive in our day to day life. You can take the next step by getting in touch with a CUPE organizer to sign your card today. Find us online or send us an email at encore@cupe.ca.

And if you have friends and colleagues at Swoop, encourage them to sign their card to join CUPE today!

Get involved with your Union

cbrenchley Uncategorized

Hello WestJetters,

Thank you for being so motivated in setting up your Union with the Canadian Union of Public Employees. As we move forward in building your Union, it is important that an *interim* CUPE Stewards Committee be established at each base. This interim Stewards Committee will ensure that you and your colleagues are appropriately empowered and represented at any meetings with the Employer.

You are encouraged to contact the CUPE Servicing Representative serving your base to volunteer for the role of interim Steward. You will be able to do this by sending an email to the CUPE Servicing Representative serving your base:

Please ensure the following information is included:

  • Your full name
  • The base you operate from
  • Your personal email address and telephone number

Volunteers will have until September 14, 2018 to indicate their interest.

Once each base has an interim Stewards Committee, CUPE Servicing Representatives will coordinate and schedule training sessions for the interimStewards. In the meantime, please take a look at the following online resource which will give you a flavour of the work involved in being a Union Steward: https://cupe.ca/resources-stewards

We look forward to meeting you soon.

In solidarity,

Sanford, Aneen, Faiz

PS. Know someone who isn’t on our Updates mailing list? Have them email westjet@cupe.ca to be added to the list.

Building Your Local

cbrenchley Uncategorized

Your local union building is about to begin!

In the coming weeks, we’ll begin the process of building your local union. In the mean time, a team of CUPE staff representatives are in place to help you deal with urgent questions and workplace issues (westjet@cupe.ca).



Sanford Lee





Aneen Albus





Faiz Ahmed




CUPE staff will now request the charter for your local union from CUPE National. The charter is recognition that your local is now part of CUPE. The basic structure and governance of chartered locals is established in Appendix B of the CUPE National Constitution. Beyond that, you can build on the constitution to tailor the structure of your local to your own needs by creating bylaws.

To help us prepare for this next stage of helping you build your local union, tell us what’s important to you by using this survey!