Who are we?
Quite simply, we will soon be a trade union comprised of WestJet and Swoop pilots once our application is approved. Legally we will exist under the same rules as our current union, defined under Part 1 of the Canada Labour Code and seek to represent the pilots of WestJet and Swoop in order to focus exclusively on furthering our collective interests through direct and focused representation. Much like the Air Canada Pilots Association or the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association.
In character we are unique. Our history has been written by each of you and the collective breadth of experience within our pilot group is vast and varied. Within the ranks of our steering group alone we have many decades of leadership and involvement in over a half-dozen unions and pilot associations.
We are not:
- A large conglomerate of employees all with different interests
- An organization headquartered outside of Canada
- An employee association with connections to management
And will not:
- Be an organization that is characterized by top-down management styles and communications
- Send nearly 2% of your salary south of the border
- Charge dues on overtime, our cash equivalent payment, profit share or performance bonuses
- Avoid accountability by keeping survey results secret or refusing to answer questions
Can we change unions?
Yes, we can. The Canada Labour Code addresses the need for employees to have a democratic choice for their union representation. The Code provides for the replacement of a union at certain intervals, generally near the end of an existing collective agreement. In our case, the opportunity exists during the last three months of 2021 with another opportunity occurring during the last three months of 2022. After that, the next opportunity will not likely occur until nearing the expiry of the next collective agreement. This is your time to exercise your democratic right – the right to choose your union representation going forward.
What will not change:
The legal framework under which we operate will remain the same – Part 1 of the Canada Labour Code. The difference is that the United Pilots of WestJet (UPW) intends to become your certified bargaining agent which is the union that represents you.
Benefits and/or liabilities which currently exist under the Canada Labour Code will remain. Bargaining rights, the right to representation, grievance processes, access to arbitration, and dues collection will not change, except dues will drop by roughly half of your current cost, as specified in our constitution.
The current collective agreement will remain in force until a new one is negotiated and ratified by our pilots or arbitrated. The United Pilots of WestJet (UPW) will inherit the right to enforce, modify, amend and re-negotiate our collective agreement in accordance with the Canada Labour Code. If another concessionary MOA is negotiated prior to the United Pilots of WestJet (UPW) being certified as the bargaining agent, those terms will remain in place as part of the current collective agreement.
How will we be different?
- Our own constitution with a focus on accountability, amendable by WestJet and Swoop pilots
- Open and honest communications
- No interim changes to compensation without the consent of the pilot group (PILOTS WILL VOTE on MOA’s)
- Timely responses to questions and concerns
- Survey results that will be released to the members when appropriate
- Lower dues – 1.25% of base salary with all of the funds staying in-house
- Executives elected and recalled by members – not by other Executives
- Timely and transparent communications