DATE:Sunday, March 29th 2020
SUBJECT: Leave of Absence
As most of you may know your Executive Board has been hard at work diligently working to secure a deal with the company to allow our members to take leave in the next few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company presented us a package for Voluntary Short Term Leave (VSTL) for the month of April. VSTL is different than CCL. This MOA would have allowed members to take the month of April off and potentially other months while still retaining their Medical, Dental, Continue to Accrue Sick Time and Flight Benefits AND most primary Importantly secure additional pay for our members. These negotiations have been a difficult back and forth process.
Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in securing this agreement as the company would not agree upon the terms of compensation. IBT was able to secure compensation for the Pilots. We do not expect many Pilots to accept that offer. TWU577 members make significantly less hourly pay so we felt that it was equitable for us to ask for additional incentive as our pay is much lower overall than the pilots to encourage those that would like to take leave for the month of April.
We are greatly saddened that our company will be receiving funds from the Government via the Stimulus package were unwilling to use those funds dedicated to employees to protect jobs for the next six months as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal was to ensure that our members would be incentivized to stay home as part of the VSTL program to take care of themselves and their families without worry. What they were offering was 'not' adequate enough and would have required you to pay your own portion of medical premiums for this type of Leave with little pay coming in to cover that cost. Our Company is in one of the best positions financially to ride out this pandemic coupled with the Stimulus package, yet they were still unwilling to meet us at industry standards.
We will continue to work with the company in the coming days for further enhancements where possible. In Unity, Executive Board