Bargaining between Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)/Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE) and the Vancouver Airport Authority have broken off and a Federal Conciliation Officer has been called in to help get a new contract.
Key bargaining issues include wage rates, variable hours of work, protections against harassment and bullying, sick leave and medical benefits.
“We tabled a fair proposal that reflected the value of the work our members perform at the airport. Unfortunately, management declined to meaningfully discuss the issue,” said Bob Jackson, PSAC Regional Executive Vice President for BC. “The Airport Authority flat out refused to consider an increase that was in line with other airports. Instead, they gave our bargaining team an ultimatum and left us no choice but to apply for conciliation.”
Conciliation is expected to begin in January 2017. The PSAC/UCTE bargaining team is hopeful a new contract can be achieved but warns that a labour disruption at the airport in the spring of 2017 is a possibility.
“Vancouver Airport was recently named the best airport in the world, is highly profitable, and prides itself on being a good corporate citizen,” says Dave Clark, UCTE Regional Vice President, Pacific. “Our members are disappointed management is not interested in ensuring their wages keep up with workers at other Canadian airports, particularly given the high cost of living in the Lower Mainland.”
Approximately 300 members of PSAC/UCTE Local 20221 are directly employed by YVR and provide key services such as emergency response, domestic and international arrivals customer care, runway and baggage conveyor maintenance, airfield & approach lighting, passenger loading operations, and administrative services at the airport.