Canadians rely on NAV CANADA to ensure aviation safety. Thanks to the important work of PIPSC members at NAV CANADA, we have an air navigation service that’s one of the largest and safest in the world. We are gravely concerned that the process for the recent layoffs at NAV CANADA violated the terms of our collective agreement. President Debi Daviau explained this in a letter to Neil Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of NAV CANADA.


Will there be more layoffs? 

NAV CANADA has not ruled out the possibility of future layoffs and this remains in their complete control. However, we are working collaboratively with them and other unions to minimize this possibility.

For surplus affected employees, who do I contact if I have questions about my pension, health benefits, access to Workday and paystubs etc.?

Contact the human resources representative you met with to review your surplus questionnaire. If you don't have that contact information, contact a steward at your worksite.

Are the surplus members still employees of NAV CANADA?

Yes, they are still employees of NAV CANADA and members of PIPSC during their surplus period.

What do I do if I see a manager doing the work regularly performed by our members because we are short staffed due to the work force adjustment (WFA) layoffs?

Contact the NAV CANADA group President or a member of the group executive as soon as possible with the details including date, time, and a description of the work being done. It will then be addressed with Labour Relations while keeping your identity confidential. If you believe your confidentiality will be at risk, we can simply document the incident for our files without notifying NAV CANADA labour relations.

If we win the seniority grievance, does that mean some surplus affected employees will return to work and others will become surplus in their place?

The outcome of a grievance arbitration can be unpredictable. However, we are optimistic that in the event of a favourable decision in arbitration, employees wrongfully placed on surplus status could return to work.

What governs whether a decision should be made by a staff person, the group executive, or a membership vote?

A membership vote is required to ratify a new collective agreement or when the terms and conditions of the current collective agreement are changed, including wage changes. A membership vote is triggered by Article 46 of the Agreement. To re-open the collective agreement, PIPSC negotiators would consider feedback from stewards, the group executive, and the PIPSC labour relations team.

Why did the union not consult us before NAV CANADA implemented the wage increases and retro pay?

There were no proposed changes or modifications from the group executive to present to members to vote on. The implementation of retro pay and wage increases is controlled by NAV CANADA and they simply fulfilled their obligation as Neil Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of NAV CANADA, stated in his address to all employees on September 23, 2020. 

Are we currently in conflict with NAV CANADA?

We maintain a professional and cordial relationship with NAV CANADA. We may not always agree on every single issue, like the application of seniority in our collective agreement, but we agree on the healthiest way possible to resolve our differences via the agreed-upon processes defined in the collective agreement under Article 17 and Article 18.

Will NAV CANADA lay off more employees in retaliation for us not foregoing our wage increase and retro pay?

No. We are not in conflict with the company. Decisions made by NAV CANADA are based on the needs of the company in order to fulfil their obligations under the Civil Air Navigation Services Commercialization Act. We continue to work in close collaboration with the employer to save jobs despite the lost revenues.

Did other unions at NAV CANADA forego their wages or retro pay?

No. All unions at NAV CANADA that settled their collective agreements prior to the pandemic have had their economic increases and retro pay scheduled to be paid.

Should we work overtime for free to help NAV CANADA?

The short answer is no. Working overtime for free can have negative impacts on how management evaluates the number of resources required. The Canada Labour Code has strict laws on how much overtime can be worked by an employee. The employer and the employee have an obligation under law to track and report the hours of overtime worked. Failure to do so can result in very hefty fines for both the company and the employee. 

Do we have to take vacation during this pandemic even if there is nowhere to go?

We recommend maintaining an appropriate work/life balance and to use vacation in the year it was earned.

Will we defer our May 1, 2021 and May 1, 2022 pay increases

There have been no discussions that suggest modifying the May 1, 2021 and May 1, 2022 pay increases. We will keep you informed if any consultation happens.

Why doesn’t the government move NAV CANADA back under Transport Canada?

Since inception, NAV CANADA has been a very successful organization operating under the Civil Air Navigation Services Commercialization Act, except for right now during the pandemic. For a change of this magnitude to happen, it would require an Act of Parliament and the political will of the current government. PIPSC is working with other unions to urge the government to take immediate and decisive action to support NAV CANADA by providing it with sufficient emergency funding to get through this crisis.

Is PIPSC working to prevent/reduce further layoffs at NAV CANADA?

We will continue to work in collaboration with NAV CANADA and other unions to prevent future layoffs. We are lobbying key decision-makers at the federal level and working with other unions to demand long-term investment in the air travel industry in order to recover from the pandemic. 

Are we working with the other unions to come up with solutions to save jobs?

Given that Canadians rely on NAV CANADA to ensure aviation safety, it is important that we don’t let the pandemic threaten our air navigation service. PIPSC is working with other unions to urge the government to take immediate and decisive action to support NAV CANADA by providing it with sufficient emergency funding to get through this crisis. Inaction will cost us the expertise that has kept our skies safe, and slow down the post-pandemic recovery for Canada’s air travel and tourism industries.

Our teams are also frequently meeting with NAV Canada representatives to share ideas and propose solutions that can save jobs.

Will we all be moving to Part B of the pension plan like managers are on April 1, 2022?

Any change to our pension plan must be done via collective bargaining. Our group is not scheduled to start the next round of bargaining before January 1, 2023.