Dear Sisters and Brothers,
On April 28, 2022, PDGC Dave Flowers and I met with Air Canada regarding EAP Funding. Due to a change made by the Government of Canada, Air Canada and the IAMAW no longer qualify for the Government’s Employee Insurance Reduction Plan. The EI Reduction plan has funded the EFAP for the past 20 years.
Before January of 2021, companies applying for the EI Reduction required a Short-Term Disability plan (STD) that commenced after the fourteenth day of leave. The Government changed the eligibility to those companies with STD programs that begin after the seventh day. For this reason, the EFAP did not receive funding for the 2021 year.
For many years, our members have enjoyed the comfort of chatting to a peer for assistance with their concerns. Sometimes this was a need to vent about the work environment. Other members’ needs were far more intricate and required the help of a professional. The EFAP has helped our members at all hours without fail, and the team of caring individuals wants to continue to support our friends and colleagues. Currently, there is enough funding to continue our EFAP work. However, our program will terminate early next year without additional EI Reduction monies. I have met with the Negotiations Committee about their thoughts on bargaining to change our current STD to the required seven days. I didn’t receive any indication if the committee would pursue this line of negotiation or not. Also, I am not sure that Air Canada will want to negotiate this item.
Air Canada has offered to add IAMAW members to the company-funded EAP they use. The program consists of LifeWorks and Maple’s online app. LifeWorks is an equal program to Homewood, and Maple is essentially a 24/7 online medical walk-in clinic. We are unaware if the union members you know, and trust, will have a role in this program. Given our forty-plus years of working with our members, I believe our program exceeds anything the company can offer.
I realize this bulletin may generate many questions. Questions that we may not have the answers to right now. I will continue to update as I have more information. Today, we are business as usual, and your EFAP is still available to you for the foreseeable future.
National EFAP Coordinator Transportation District 140, IAMAW