Fellow Member,

I am writing you to update you on our Institute grievance that was filed on March 23, 2018 to address the company’s refusal implement the agreed flex work provisions in the collective agreement ratified on July 28, 2017.  

The parties have agreed on Arbitrator Keller to hear our grievance and we are expecting confirmation shortly for dates in March 2019.  Your Group Executive, Sub-Group Executives and Stewards have been working constantly to resolve this very important issue since the grievance was filed in March.

I am disappointed to report that progress in on this file has been very slow.  The company is struggling with the application of this provision.  I believe the biggest part of the issue is the unknown impact it will have for managers who are already overwhelmed with trying to balance tight project deadlines and effective resource management.

Your group executive has met with all levels of management and Labor Relations in an attempt to resolve this issue. On October 12, 2018, we heard directly from Neil Wilson, President and CEO that NAV CANADA supports these provisions where appropriate and possible.  Yet in spite of this, managers fear the impact of granting Flex Working Arrangements.  (ie. If I approve it for one person, everyone will want it).  It’s fair to note that some arrangements have been granted, but unfortunately others remain questionably denied
As your group President I take responsibility for my ownership of this situation. .  But while I own this, NAV CANADA must also own it. NAV CANADA has to do their part and has not.   I put complete trust in NAV CANADA and their written commitment to implement this provision.  I include them as equal owners and now we are left with an important issue to resolve before the next round of negotiations. 

Flex Working Arrangements will be a fundamental component of a healthy relationship between labor and management for many years to come.  Today’s technological advancements have created a workplace and workforce that enables employees to work from anywhere and at any time of the day.  Obviously, there will always be circumstances and job requirements where Flex Work Arrangements will not be possible. 

Although it is taking longer than anticipated, I am still hopeful that our group of professionals will be able to work with management and agree on the level of thoughtfulness given to requests in order to ensure they are not unreasonably denied. 

Your group executive has scheduled meetings with Senior Management at the end of November to review all the Flex Work requests that were previously denied or have since expired to ensure the spirit of our collective agreement and letter of understanding are respected.  It is important at this point that if you have been waiting to submit a request for a Flex Work Arrangement that you do so now.  This will give both the union and management a better understanding of the volume of requests to expect and any implications it will may have on resource scheduling.

We are committed to continuing the talks with NAV CANADA until our scheduled arbitration dates in March even though it is possible we will not have a settlement and will have to go to the arbitration to get a declaration.  I will update you on any developments that arise in this case.


Michael Simard
PIPSC NAV CANADA Group President