The Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) is the federally certified bargaining agent for pilots employed at Air Canada. The Association was founded to further the best interests of the Air Canada pilots and is organized and directed by the membership, for the benefit of the membership.
ACPA was founded on the principle of providing each member, to the maximum extent practical, an opportunity to direct the association's leadership in the conduct of its affairs. Accordingly, the association is dedicated to ensuring an equal voice for all pilots in the management of our relationship with our employer, regulatory bodies and the public in the continued efforts to promote the well-being of our membership and their families.
The association's Constitution seeks to establish a system of checks and balances that will allow each pilot's voice to be clearly heard, yet ensure the goals and responsibilities of the association can be accomplished effectively and efficiently.
We, the pilots of Air Canada, recognize that our first and greatest responsibility is the safety, well-being and comfort of the passengers entrusted in our care. With this responsibility in mind, the Air Canada Pilots Association embraces the motto Safety with Integrity and adheres to the principles set forth in this statement.
Pilots employed by Air Canada who do not perform permanent managerial duties for that airline are eligible for active membership in the association, with full rights and benefits including the right to vote and hold elective office. Pilots who hold permanent managerial positions are eligible for Executive Active membership, but may not vote, hold elective office, attend meetings or be represented in matters governed by the collective agreement.
ACPA membership is voluntary and eligible pilots do not have to join. However, under the Rand formula, non-members also pay dues as they benefit equally from the association's work.
ACPA was founded by pilots to improve their professional lives and advocate for the highest levels of air safety. The association continues to be governed by pilots with the same aim. The association is a representational democracy in which the ultimate power lies with its individual members. Its organizational structure is built on a framework of checks and balances that provides a ladder of elected pilot representation leading directly from the individual to the highest level. There can be no unilateral decisions, no minority rule and no arbitrary establishment of policy. Instead, the identity of the individual is maintained, with channels for the expression and fulfillment of his opinions and desires, while preserving the unity of the organization through adherence to its Constitution and policies.
Very simply, it is the members of ACPA who govern the association and its activities. ACPA's strength lies in the voluntary participation in association affairs by its individual members, whose interests it protects.
The Local Council is the basic participatory unit of ACPA. All Active members employed by Air Canada and based at the same location constitute a Local Council which has the authority to decide all matters of a purely local nature, to vote on all issues presented to it, and to elect its leadership. Local Council meetings, held at least quarterly, are the fora of the general membership.
To govern their Local Council, members elect from amongst themselves a Local Executive Council (LEC) consisting of a Chair, Vice-Chair and a number of Councillors. The LEC manages the affairs of the Local Council and represents its members, meeting monthly. The Chair and Vice-Chair are members of the Master Executive Council, who are ACPA's governing body.
It is the responsibility of the newly elected Local Executive Council to review their Local Committee appointments and confirm their status for each two-year term.
The Chair and Vice-Chairs of all LECs form the Master Executive Council (MEC). The number of Vice-Chairs depends upon the size of the base; the larger the base, the greater the number of Vice-Chairs. Currently, the MEC has 13 members, three from Vancouver, two from Winnipeg, six from Toronto and two from Montreal.
A Chair is elected from amongst MEC or the membership at large for the term of each council. It is the responsibility of the newly elected MEC to review their Master Committee appointments and confirm their status for the next two years.
There are three executive officers in ACPA: The President, Secretary-Treasurer and Master Executive Council Chair. The President and Secretary-Treasurer are elected on alternate years to Local Executive Council (LEC) and Master Executive Council (MEC) representatives. The MEC elects its chair for two years on a term that alternates with the President and Secretary-Treasurer. The relatively short term of office ensure a responsive leadership, while the alternate election years allow for continuity of experience. The term of all elected officers is two years, with no limitation on re-election.
Only active members in good standing may hold elected office. All officers at every level of representation, including the President, continue to maintain their aircraft proficiency to fly the line. This ensures that the leadership of the association remains closely in touch with the daily realities of the airline piloting profession and is able to truly reflect the needs and wishes of the membership.
The President is the Chief Executive Officer of the association and its principal spokesperson with external audiences. He is responsible to the membership for coordinating the activities of the association within the policies established by the MEC and for signing all legal documents, including collective agreements, in the name of the association. As President, he is a member of the Administrative Executive Committee, which oversees the administrative affairs of the association.
The Secretary-Treasurer is responsible to the MEC for executing the financial policy of the association, maintaining its documents, and membership records, as well as effectively managing the fiscal policy and accounting system. The Secretary-Treasurer is also responsible for performing related other duties as may be assigned by the President, in conjunction with the MEC. The Secretary-Treasurer is also a member of the Administrative Executive Committee.
The MEC Chair is responsible to the MEC and is the chief spokesperson in all matters directly related to the contract. The MEC Chair is a member of the Administrative Executive Committee and co-signator to the Collective Agreement with Air Canada.
ACPA has over 40 committees on which members can serve and play an active role in directing the association in the achievement of its objectives. National committees, appointed by the MEC, address areas such as safety, negotiations, crew manning, preferential bidding, etc...
Each Local Council has its own committees working on matters of local interest, such as scheduling or local air safety issues.
All committee work is done by volunteer pilots and reflects the "grass-roots" democratic nature of the association.
ACPA's activities are divided between its members' professional and industrial interests, between safety and contractual matters. With over a half-century of experience in promoting and protecting pilot interests and concerns, ACPA's efforts have benefited the airline industry as a whole, the travelling public and the profession. ACPA takes an active role in shaping the future of Canadian aviation.
Air Canada's pilots have been instrumental in bringing about the following improvements to the profession in Canada:
- Advocating for a safety management system in Canada.
- Maximum flight and duty times, working conditions and safety rules.
- Proper aircraft proficiency and medical standards.
- Improved insurance and retirement benefits.
- Better training.
- Safe transportation of dangerous goods by air.
- Federal legislation under which problems can be solved, grievances processed and jobs protected.
- Airport disaster planning.
- Aviation security.
- Accident investigation.
ACPA provides its members with fair representation in collective bargaining and the administration of the employment contract, in order to protect the pilots' interests and to ensure fair and equitable treatment of individuals.