The Canadian Federal Pilots Association (CFPA) is a bargaining agent representing the approximately 450 professional pilots whose activities include federal government aviation inspections, pilot flight testing, licencing, enforcement, certification of operators, aircraft certification flight testing, development of operating standards, Coast Guard helicopter operation, aviation accident investigation, safety analysis and promotion, and the design, monitoring and regulation of the air navigation system. CFPA members are employed by Transport Canada, the Transportation Safety Board, NAV CANADA, and the Department of National Defence (Royal Canadian Air Force).
Our members are typically qualified at the check pilot, supervisory, or company management levels prior to their starting their careers in service to the public and, as a result, they bring a wealth of expertise and professional experience to their organizations.
The Canadian Federal Pilots Association is dedicated to improving the working conditions for our members and is committed to maintaining high standards of professional qualification and aviation safety on behalf of the Canadian public.
What is the Canadian Federal Pilots Association (CFPA)?
With few exceptions, individuals hired by either the Government of Canada or NAV CANADA will normally find that they are assigned to specific bargaining groups.
Since the position you have been hired for requires a high degree of professional pilot experience, you are automatically placed with the CFPA which works diligently on your behalf for your present and future interests.
The primary aim of the CFPA is to strive toward increased compensation, better working conditions, safety in the work environment and protection of members’ careers including flying qualifications.
Why should I be a member?
It is definitely to your advantage to belong to the CFPA especially when employed by such large organizations as the Government of Canada and NAV CANADA.
Having to fight on your own for better wages, working conditions and advancement would be extremely difficult to achieve in such large organizations. Instead, you have at your disposal a group with common backgrounds and purpose who understand your needs and are working for you and your colleagues in these areas.
You have the power of numbers, even though those numbers may be relatively small compared to some of the other unions. The role you play in the safety of Canadian aviation is extremely important and the CFPA recognizes this in its representations of member issues.
Who are the Members?
Our members work for the Government of Canada and NAV CANADA, specifically as Civil Aviation Inspectors (CAI) for Transport Canada and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, Engineering Test Pilots (ETP) employed by Transport Canada and Helicopter Pilots (HPS) also employed by Transport Canada but seconded to the Canadian Coast Guard. At NAV CANADA, our members are employed as Flight Inspection Pilots (FIP), Service Design Pilots (SDP) and Procedure Design Specialist (PDS).
Where is the CFPA located?
The National Office is located in Ottawa as a majority of our business is conducted through the Government and NAV CANADA headquarters.
In order to be able to deal with local member concerns, the CFPA has established regional executives and sub-group representatives all across the country. You can acquire the names of the representatives and their locations by accessing the contact page on the CFPA web-site including telephone numbers and e-mail addresses.
How does the CFPA negotiate a contract for me?
All members are polled concerning their concerns well in advance of commencing negotiations with the employer. Recommendations are gathered and submitted for consideration to a bargaining team which is selected well in advance by the Executive Board.
The issues to be presented submitted to the Executive Board for approval. Once approved, the list of proposals is provided to the membership and forwarded to the Employer.
The bargaining team is selected by the Executive Board from a list of volunteers to represent the broadest spectrum of sub-groups and Regions as possible. The team remains intact until the completion of bargaining and a contract is secured.
The National Chairman acts as team lead at the table.
Bargaining is normally conducted in Ottawa and the team is brought in to be at the table for all preparations and sessions.
What does the CFPA bargain for?
Many items are negotiated into your contract which can be reviewed either through a personal copy issued to you by the Employer, or through the CFPA website.
Generally, the items which take the longest time to resolve are wages, overtime, travel, allowances and hours of work.
Important member concerns such as your health care plan, dental plan, travel expenses, pension and a myriad of other such provisions are dealt with through committees made up of volunteers from all the affected unions who negotiate with the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada or Nav Canada through the National Joint Council (NJC) or NAV CANADA Joint Council (NCJC) respectively.
The NJC and NCJC provisions also form part of your contract.
Has the CFPA ever gone on strike?
There are times where contract negotiations have necessitated strike action from our members, however it has never been prolonged, nor has it been necessary to place many members “on the line” at any one time. The CFPA strike plans have been very effective, however strike action was used very judiciously.
How else does the CFPA help me?
There may be times in your career when you require assistance because of a dispute which results in a potential grievance against another party. Often such disputes become complicated requiring professional assistance for resolution. Many issues can often be settled amicably without having to launch formal grievance processes. Your representatives are available to guide you through such events and the CFPA is available to offer additional services as required.
There may also be occasions when you are competing for a position and encounter some form of difficulty. Such challenges are called appeals and again your representatives and the CFPA are there to counsel and assist.
Periodically there are issues which affect the group as a whole and it becomes the responsibility of the CFPA to protect the membership by addressing these concerns through the most effective means possible.
This often requires dealings with senior officials, department heads, politicians and in some instances the media.
What other member benefits are there?
An important aspect of membership are the meetings with your representative(s) where you have direct access to information and can offer your input.
There is a comprehensive website for the use of the membership which affords some access by the public, but only allows members into the restricted areas. The website is a living document in that it is continually being improved upon and strives to keep you informed on current issues.
There is a frequent newsletter on the website which also keeps you up to date on CFPA activities and items of interest.
The CFPA has established specific insurance packages especially designed for the needs of professional pilots and access to a worldwide network of medical specialists known as Best Doctors.
Finally, your representatives are always available to discuss employment issues with you at any time. Contact them.