In addition, the Company obtained a rate extension with ACPA on a cost-neutral basis for a 21-month period, similar to the agreements with IAMAW, CAW Local 2002 and CALDA. The contracts of the four unions stipulate that wage rates and the level of pension benefits must not change during the extension period. The contract renewal agreement and the moratorium agreement on pensions are subject to ratification of membership. Pension agreements remain conditional on Air Canada and CUPE concluding an extension of the collective agreement on terms satisfactory to each of them, and these discussions are ongoing. The arbitrator noted that the “collective agreement regulates” and noted that the provision guaranteeing health benefits to LTD workers essentially excludes the dismissal of these workers, since the termination would have the effect of depriving them of these benefits. The contractual obligation was for Air Canada to continue health care during the period of illness or injury, even if there is no end to that period, the arbitrator said. A group of Air Canada employees with disabilities is protected from termination by a provision of the collective agreement that requires the airline to continue its health care indefinitely, an arbitrator has ruled. “In general, workers with disabilities may be dismissed, who terminate health care such as those discussed, but not here because of the inclusion in the collective agreement of the language, for the current right to the LTD, a distinguishing feature of this case, a distinguishing feature of the case,” said the arbitrator.” In other words, the members of the group concerned – the people of the LTD – cannot be terminated as long as their rights are provided in the collective agreement during the transfer of LTD – right to health insurance. A moratorium on retirement savings was also signed by Air Canada Pionairs, an association that serves more than 15,000 Air Canada retirees and its predecessors but does not bind. In addition, the collective agreement included the airline`s supplementary health insurance and expressly provided that Air Canada would continue to provide additional health care to workers who receive one due to “injury or illness.” The airline has just signed interim agreements on a moratorium on pension funding with all of its unionized employees in Canada, after reaching an interim agreement with its three unions, Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), International Association of Machinists and Civil Aviation Workers (IAMAW) and the Canadian Airline Dispatchers Association (CALDA), on June 8, 2009.
The union deplored the dismissals and indicated that the dismissal of the group`s workers would lead to the termination of their health benefits, which did not go against the protection of the collective agreement for THE workers of the LTD – the union members could not be dismissed if they were deprived of their contractual rights, according to the union. CUPE also submitted that Air Canada failed to communicate to air Canada during negotiations on its intention to change long-standing practices that allowed fully disabled workers to continue to receive dental money, life and accident insurance and eligible benefits. Air Canada had never attempted to terminate an employee who was receiving WIP benefits.