ACFAS - Letter to the Union sign now

Dear Pamela,

this letter is a formal request on behalf of the undersigned to get concise answers regarding issues that affect flight attendants, more junior ones specifically.

We as a group have come together to ensure that our voices are heard and taken into consideration, because we feel that juniors are as valuable to this membership as any other members.

There has been a general sense of discontent among us lately. Brought on mostly by the recent implementation of PBS and the resulting loss of 100 hours to reserves. We understand this is all contractual and must make sense in the larger picture, however the general feeling is that the working conditions of juniors have been sacrificed. In other words even the "little bones " we had, have been taken away. Unfortunately this is reflected by the reality of our considerably lower pay cheques.

Perhaps we are not as informed as we should be. It is true that many of us find it difficult to attend union meetings, either because we are flying, commuters, or busy working at our other jobs. But in this computer age, we feel it shouldn't be difficult to keep us updated via a website, in fact we would like to have better access to new and existing contractual information.

Just because we may not able to attend meetings doesn't mean we are not interested, quite the contrary! Voting is held online so why can't the disclosure of information be done that way also?

When the changes came into effect with PBS it would have been very helpful to have had a heads up, as for some, the sudden and unexpected loss of finances resulted in the inability to meet monthly payments.

As for the FAs who opted to go on the purser list and are now flying as reserves, loosing those extra hours as well as the expenses they were earning as block holders, has equalled a major pay cut. Is this how they are being rewarded for taking on the extra responsibility?

We understand that there are personal choices that affect people's lives and that our union can't be expected to avert these outcomes, but we know that the union is here to support us, hear us out and inform us, ensuring that everyone is treated fairly. Yet all too often the general sense is that anything pertaining to juniors is last on the negotiating table... We feel it is up to you as our representative to change that perception.

What we are asking for is a detailed explanation of why the changes that came into effect with PBS were negotiated and how these changes make sense.

We would also like to request a more supportive environment as far as being able to address any concerns we may have. Perhaps new FA information packages should be created. FAs need to know things like meal allowance periods, legal duty day lengths, etc. In lay men's terms, many of us don't even understand all the details on our pay cheques. It is a sad but true fact.

Our contract is not readily available and it has so may revisions that it is difficult for the untrained to understand their rights as flight attendants and which ones still do or don't apply.

Finally, we would like to know what the union is doing to improve the financial losses we have all incurred now that the wage negotiations have re opened.

Brand new FAs are making less than FAs hired 6 years ago and the cost of living has certainly not decreased. Granted, everyone has lost 10 \%
BUT 10 \% of $25 (previous base pay) is only $2.50, so the rate of pay should be at least $22.50 per hour to start.

As you know it takes one full year for brand new FAs to get their first raise, as opposed to the 6 months it used to take.

Due to PBS there are also the additional losses I.E expenses. A salary of roughly $1 522.50 a month ($21.75 times 70 hours) minus taxes, union dues, uniform expenses etc. etc. Actually falls below the poverty line ($21 200 in 2004 according to the Income Security Advocacy Center) so a brand new Fa's yearly salary totalling at less than $18 300 per year translates to roughly a 20 \% pay cut for a brand new junior FA, compared to 6 years ago. How is this justifiable since the costs of living have only gone up?

Doesn't lowering the base pay lower the value of all Flight Attendants as safety professionals, overall? As well as devalue them as human beings by placing them below the poverty line?

It would be good for the morale and for the pay cheques, to see everyone getting some of that "claw back" this summer. But the juniors specifically, as that is the part of our membership that gave up the highest percentage overall.

Thank you for your time and we look forward to your response as well as to working together to make improvements when our contract reopens in 2009.

We have received a lot of feedback regarding top issues of concern and would really like to share this information with you.

ACFAS(Air Canada Flight Attendant Solutions)

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Corine AndradeBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
Petition target:
CUPE

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