Air Transat flight attendants ratify contract
3 août 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011 After a series of general
meetings and an electronic vote, 65% of Air Transat flight
attendants voted in favour of a new collective agreement,
dispelling the possibility that pressure tactics might be used this
summer. The agreement in principle, reached on July 8, will be
valid for five years, from November 1, 2010, until October 31,
2015. Union representatives, who refused concessions demanded by
the company, claim to have obtained their major negotiating points,
namely substantial retirement plan improvements and adequate wage
As a result, the defined benefit retirement plan for flight
attendants will be bolstered. Employee and employer contributions
to the Multi-Sector Pension Plan (MSPP) will both improve from 2%
to 5% of annual salary. As for salaries, total lump sum and
recurring increases will rise to 12% over five years.
The maximum shift length will remain at 14 hours, as the airline
jettisoned its request for 15 hour shifts. Keeping a limit on working hours is good not
just for passenger safety but for our members who seek worklife
balance, said Nathalie Stringer, president of the Air
Transat Component of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
company is in good health, its normal for its first-line employees
to have attractive working conditions. Thanks to the support and
involvement of our flight attendants, our union was able to attain
its negotiating goals. Were particularly pleased with the
improvements in our retirement plan, Ms. Stringer added.
In mid-June, 95% of Air Transat flight attendants rejected their
employers previous offer, and voted 93% in favour of a mandate for
a general strike to be launched at the appropriate time.
The Air Transat flight attendants are emergency specialists whose
primary role is to ensure passenger safety. They are divided into
three local unions corresponding to their three bases: CUPE 4041
(722 members in Montreal-YUL), CUPE 4047 (approximately 570 in
Toronto-YYZ) and CUPE 4078 (226 in Vancouver-YVR). The Air Transat
Component oversees these three local unions.
In total, CUPE represents nearly 9,500 members in airlines,
including Air Canada, Calm Air, Canadian North, CanJet Airlines,
Cathay Pacific and First Air.
CUPE is the largest union in Canada with 600,000 members working in
health care, education, municipalities, libraries, universities,
social services, public utilities, transportation, emergency
services, communications and airlines.