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A number of questions have been raised in emails, phone calls and letters. Rather than trying to answer each one individually, this bulletin will hopefully address your question. If your question is not answered here, please contact Ken Hopper, ACC Administrator at administrator@accomponent.ca

Why were the Component officers for the Air Canada Component removed from their positions?

Arbitrator Rosemary Brown decided that the 2001 elections for Component President, Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer were null and void. As a result, the positions were declared vacant.

The reasons she gave are primarily related to the procedures that were used in the 2001 elections. In no way does her decision reflect on the conduct of the Component officers, nor does she make any claim that they acted improperly.

Why was administration imposed and when will it end?

The Component was put under administration because the Component officer positions were declared vacant as a result of the Rosemary Brown decision. The Component officers agreed with the imposition of administration in order that the collective agreement ratification vote could proceed unimpeded.

It is expected that administration will be lifted as soon as the Air Canada Component officer elections scheduled for January 2003 have been completed.

Why are the former Component officers continuing to help the Administrator?

It is in the best interests of the members for the Administrator to have as much information as possible. For that reason, it makes sense that he should seek the advice of the former Component officers who have been conducting the business of the Component over this past year.

Given that there has been no allegation of wrong doing on the part of the former Component officers either during the 2001 election or since the 2001 election, it is appropriate to use them as advisors.

The final authority for decisions and commitments, however, rests with the Administrator and CUPE National.

Does this have anything to do with seniority integration?

No, that is an entirely separate process. In 2000, the former AC and CAIL Components decided to refer the issue of seniority integration to arbitrator Kevin Burkett.

Why are the officers of the Locals still in place?

The arbitrator’s decision affected only the three Component Officer positions.

Did CUPE National hold a news conference on this issue?

No. This is a case of “don’t believe everything you see and hear in the news.”

On December 12th, the Globe and Mail published a picture of National President Judy Darcy with flight attendants. This is a file photo taken well over a year ago.

Other media outlets reported that the Component Officers were removed from their positions, leaving the impression that it was for some sort of wrongdoing. Again, this is not the case. Rosemary Brown determined the elections null and void because of procedural errors.

Where can I find more information?

To read the Rosemary Brown decision, click on this link.

It is important to know that the 2001 elections were held as a result of the Canada Industrial Relations Board ruling to consolidate the AC and CAIL bargaining units. CUPE National’s decision to proceed with elections was found by the CIRB (in its January 2002 decision) to be an appropriate way to merge the two bargaining units.

How can we move forward?

The members must be allowed to speak. They need to be able to vote on the tentative agreement and then to vote for their new Officers. The Component will then have the clear mandate to lead the members.

All members are urged to do their individual utmost to ensure both votes are conducted fairly and respectfully.

Judy Darcy
National President
Canadian Union of Public Employees