Toronto Screeners

The Checkpoint (Volume 1, Issue 2)


Temporary Pandemic Pay: Breaking down the Facts

Over the last few days, Grand Lodge officers have met with members to find out key issues our members face at Pearson Airport. Temporary Pandemic Pay was a key concern and it is clear there are questions about eligibility of workers. The IAM has been advocating for the safety and protection of airport screeners throughout this pandemic, and it’s important to clarify our advocacy efforts on this matter and address questions about eligibility. Temporary Pandemic Pay is administered by the Ministry of Health, which oversees the health sector in Ontario.

Pre-boarding screeners work in air transportation, a sector administered by the federal government, and also falls under federal labour laws, unlike healthcare, which is overseen by the province.

Moreover, pandemic pay is a sector-based initiative and does not include all health care workers.

The Ministry of Health in the province of Ontario oversees pandemic pay in hospitals, at homes and community care organizations, mental health and addictions services, emergency management services and public health. Workers who are employed in these settings must have reported to work between April 24 and August 13, 2020, and worked 100 hours in a 4-week designated pay period.

Pandemic pay is not all-encompassing. Even workers who are employed in eligible workplaces are not approved to receive the pay. For instance, diagnostic and lab service technicians are excluded from receiving pandemic pay, as well as, social workers, pharmacy workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and related services, and speech-language therapists.

Workers employed in emergency medical services, such as patient transfer, vehicle/craft maintenance, materials management staff, air ambulance, volunteer medical response teams and ambulance communications offices are also excluded.

To date, many eligible workers have not yet received pandemic pay, and in cases where employers have issued the pay, workers have received only half.

It’s an ongoing battle for unionized and non-unionized workers to hold the province accountable to spend the money it received for purposes they agreed to. Members have also raised questions about the eligibility of screeners given that ward clerks and security in hospitals are eligible to receive pandemic pay. Ward clerks and security in hospitals triage patients and are the first point of contact when a patient arrives in a hospital. Much like nurses, ward clerks and security are likely to come into contact with known cases of COVID-19.

The IAM continues to monitor the spread of COVID19 throughout international airports, and we have advocated from the very beginning for the precautionary principle and safety of screeners. We sent in a team to conduct a risk assessment with a set of recommendations, which are legally binding, and secured personal protective equipment on behalf of the screeners across the country.

The IAM will continue to be a strong voice for screeners in Canada

Negotiations team getting ready

On Tuesday July 28, 2020 your Negotiations team met internally for training and to develop a strategy for the upcoming round of negotiations. “We will be ready” stated an excited Trustee Keith Aiken. “Our team worked hard and developed internal ground rules, talked about strategy and approved our bargaining survey. Our negotiations team will be going through the workplace next week talking to members about negotiations and asking them to fill out the survey”. Once the surveys are completed by the membership we will be sending them back to our Strategic Resources department for processing. Our goal is to have the information from the surveys for our week long training session in late August.

During that training sessions we will be building proposals based upon what the wishes of the membership.

“I am excited about our negotiations team. All of the committee persons came ready to learn, worked hard and contributed to the process” said Aiken.

Please look for our negotiations team in the workplace next week distributing the surveys. It is your chance to let your voice be heard!

Do you get an annual pension statement?

Do you receive an annual pension statement? If not, it may be an issue with not having an updated address on file. You can update your address by contacting the following:

IAM Multi-Employer Pension Plan
703-331 Cooper St,
Ottawa, ON, Canada
K2P 0G5

The IAM multi-employer pension plan (MEPP registered July 23rd 2013) is run by labour and management trustees that give IAM MEPP locals a low-cost alternative to a single-employer defined benefit plan or an RRSP. The IAM Plan provide a defined benefit pension based on negotiated contribution rates.

Scan this QR code to go to the MEPP website