Building Your Local

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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 (



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!

Flow: will you stay or will you go?

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We have heard directly from WestJet Encore flight attendants that Flow Through has been on your minds for a while. It’s frustrating, slow, and unpredictable. Even with proposed changes that add four to eight people per class, we’ve heard you say that isn’t good enough.

A collective agreement will give you real and reliable expectations about the Flow Through process, and won’t change on a whim when it suits the employer.

For example, CUPE flight attendants at Air Canada Rouge have their Flow Through conditions guaranteed on an annual basis, regardless of sick days and with clear pay scale improvements. This allows them to plan their lives and understand when they will transition to mainline. They are not left waiting for a course that is never called.

That’s the kind of difference a collective agreement negotiated by CUPE can make in your life. Unionization creates opportunity to make real, tangible gains in your work life that you can rely on.

You deserve better. You deserve the option for reliable and transparent Flow Through.

Together, you can improve your working conditions right now and pave the way for the next generation of Encore flight attendants by signing up to learn how to join CUPE. Encourage your friends to sign up too!

What other issues are on your mind? We would love to hear from you about working conditions and your experiences with WestJet Encore. Shoot us an email at

Do you have friends at Swoop? Help us build one big union family by encouraging them to get in touch with us at

Your time, your life: CUPE will help improve your schedule

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The ups, the downs, the days on, the days off. How your schedule gets built determines where you go, when, and how soon you’ll be able to get back home. In other words, your schedule is your life.

You’ve told us you want predictability, efficiency, and fair compensation in your work schedules. We know you want productive pairings that keep you sharp, engaged, and alert while working. And we think WestJet Encore Cabin Crew deserve no less.

Flight attendants across Canada represented by CUPE have faced the same struggles. Through their union, they’ve been able to bargain strong collective agreements that improve their schedules and compensate them fairly for their time away.

This includes guaranteed daily minimum credit, not RIG averaged over a pairing (four-hour minimum daily credit). It also includes language that encourages efficiency or offers compensation for low productivity (total duty day minus four).

With CUPE, you will have the power to make your schedules work for you. After all, it’s your time and your life!

To learn more about how CUPE can help make your scheduling fairer and more predictable, or to ask any other questions about what a union can do for you, check out or email us at

If you’re ready to improve your schedule, your working conditions, and your time spent at work, then sign up today to learn how to join CUPE today and invite a friend to do the same.

Update on certification and what’s to come

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It’s been a bit over a week since CUPE received an interim certification to represent WestJet mainline flight attendants – but our work hasn’t stopped. Here’s where things lie at the moment:

  • The Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) has laid out a process to determine the status of Onboard Operations Team – Cabin Crew Leader and Cabin Manager positions within our bargaining unit. Even though these positions are included in flight attendant bargaining units throughout the airline industry, WestJet is objecting to these positions being included and causing some unfortunate delays as a result.
  • The CIRB is receiving written submissions on the status of the bargaining unit. WestJet has until today to make their submissions and CUPE will have until August 20 to respond. Rest assured, we are fighting hard to make sure everyone is included. The CIRB will make its decision some time after that.
  • Once the bargaining unit is fully defined by the CIRB, we will proceed with the important process of supporting you as you set up your union local with an executive, bylaws, committees and staff!

Like you, we’re eager to have this issue resolved so we can help you start building your local. In the meantime, this is a good opportunity to start thinking about what you want your local union to look like. What role do you see yourself having in your union? What kind of supports do you want to see from your union to make your job better?

We know there may be situations where you may have questions about workplace issues and representation. Please send urgent matters to and we will get back to you.

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!

After certification, what’s next?

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What a week!

You did it. Because of the determination of so many activists working together all across Canada, mainline WestJetters now have a strong, independent union to make their jobs and their lives better. That’s huge!

But our work doesn’t stop here.

At CUPE, we’re now focusing on the next steps, working hard to help you put together the new union local, elect an executive, set up a bargaining committee, and get ready to negotiate your first-ever collective agreement.

We will continue sending you updates as they come. We’ll also be reaching out to get your feedback on the kind of local you want, and the kinds of priorities you want to see your local focus on during bargaining.

Our journey isn’t over, but the energy and excitement of our victory this week is going to keep us going strong.

We are hearing that some WestJetters do not know how to get a hold of CUPE. Please advise your friends and colleagues that they can get in touch with us at, and find more info and sign up for updates on our website. We want to be able to communicate with everyone but in these early days of certification, we only have contact information for people who give it to us.

UPDATE: Important info on the CIRB review

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As you know, over the past few weeks, the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) has been conducting its review of CUPE’s application to represent flight attendants at WestJet. Today we learned through the CIRB’s process that it is WestJet’s intention to use every means possible to thwart the wishes of the majority of their employees to be represented by CUPE.

We know many of you are keen to know the final results of the CIRB’s review – we are too! Here are a few points on the review to keep you up to speed.

The CIRB has spent the past few weeks going over the cards that CUPE submitted as part of its application. Some of you may have received calls from an Investigation Officer. Please call them back as this may help speed up the process. The CIRB is also gathering info from CUPE and WestJet, and hearing from both sides about the proposed bargaining unit for WestJetters.

All that information is then forwarded to a specially-appointed Vice-Chair at the CIRB headquarters in Ottawa, and they have the final say on CUPE’s application. Since the Vice-Chair doesn’t have an official deadline to complete their review, we do not know exactly when we will have a decision, but we certainly hope it is soon.

We’re as eager as you are to see this process wrapped up and to get to work bargaining a strong collective agreement.

As mentioned above, we have learned through the CIRB’s process that it is WestJet’s intention to use every means possible to thwart the wishes of the majority of their employees to be represented by CUPE. Far from respecting employee wishes about representation, WestJet has decided to delay and frustrate this process.

We want you to understand that any further delay is the result of WestJet’s refusal to accept your wishes. But we are not going to let this diminish our energy. We will continue organizing, signing cards, and building our strength towards a first collective agreement. Together, we will get our union!

Here are three things you can do while we await a final decision at the CIRB:

  1. Sign up a friend at Encore! We are on our way to filing an application to represent WestJet Encore Cabin Crew and with your help we can finish the job. (Just remember they will need to pay the legally-required $5 membership fee)
  2. Talk to your friends and colleagues about the improvements to their work life they will enjoy after they are unionized with CUPE – even if they never signed a card supporting unionization
  3. Keep signing cards with mainline WestJetters so we can continue to grow our network of supporters for a strong first collective agreement. (Mainline WestJetters no longer need to submit the $5 membership fee)

Representation by CUPE vs. Non-unionized employee groups

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CUPE Non-unionized employee groups
Has collective bargaining rights protected by legislation (Canada Labour Code) YES NO
Can, through legislation, compel the employer to bargain YES NO
Covered by provisions to assist with achieving a first collective agreement YES NO
Bargains collective agreements that are enforceable and binding YES NO
Employer cannot unilaterally change the terms and conditions of a collective agreement – must have the agreement of the Union YES NO
Accountable to its members YES NO
Members approve the bargaining proposals before the bargaining committee starts bargaining YES NO
Bargaining committee reports back to members on regular basis YES NO
Members approve the collective agreement YES NO
Has an enforceable dispute resolution process with timelines and the ability to refer to an independent arbitrator (grievance procedure) YES NO
Has decades of experience negotiating collective agreements for flight attendants in Canada YES NO
Has the resources and expertise to meet the employer on a level playing field when negotiating a collective agreement YES NO
Dependent on the employer to provide resources for bargaining (and general operations) NO YES

Check out the PDF version here.