February 22 UPW Update
Thank you to all of you who signed a card for the Pilots’ Advocacy Society (United Pilots of Westjet), and also to those who contributed financially to this endeavour. Since we are entirely self-funded, we simply could not have proceeded without your support.
The card drive is now over and the window has closed for application to the C.I.R.B. to represent Westjet pilots as a bargaining unit. Unfortunately we have not met the minimum number required to trigger a vote for certification (50%). While this is disappointing, we have laid a strong, principled foundation for our pilot group, should you wish to avail yourselves of it. The UPW website will remain running, since we may run another card drive in the future when the next window for application to the C.I.R.B. opens, provided that sufficient support exists.
Now that the 2021 certification window has closed, its a good time to consider our successes and any lessons learned. Above all, it should be clear to every WestJet Pilot that we are not “stuck” with our current union. An opportunity was identified, and a democratic alternative built and presented. The legal and organizational steps were completed, requiring only that a majority to pilots to sign cards to trigger a certification vote.
The entire platform, from funding, to democratic principles, to constitution and bylaws was profoundly approved by those who took the time to read, understand and ask questions. Thank you especially to those who provided suggestions and ideas. The final product is all the better for your input. The UPW remains justifiably proud of the near-universal endorsement given by WestJet pilots to each concept and principle presented and codified.
We clearly faced some challenges in communicating our message. Covid 19 prevented the normal interface between our pilots to a great degree. Furthermore, moral choices were made by us which had some impact: the entire purpose of the UPW was solely to improve the lives of our pilots rather than simply gaining certification (and dues) for any other purpose. Any process, system or message had to serve this purpose.
The UPW Steering Committee undertook the task of developing and presenting a viable alternative to our current situation. We depended heavily on the majority of disenfranchised WestJet pilots to share the message that an alternative exists and to direct others to it. We deem that this threshold of personal investment by our pilots is the minimum required to bring about the change you so clearly desire.
We, the UPW Steering Committee have painstakingly conceived, built and bought a vehicle for you, the pilots of WestJet. It can take you to wherever you wish to go, in control of all of your funding, your constitution, and your relationships with your fellow pilots, your Company, and the industry. If you truly endeavour to get off of your present trajectory, contact us though this website, and most importantly, bring others so that they will also know that there is a real alternative.