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The Helicopter Association of Canada “…is embarking on a project to help mitigate the risk of scrutiny from Labour Canada in the following ways:…”. Apparently Labour Canada has recently issued Orders which operators feel are contrary to their interests. This issue is closely tied to the impending changes to the Flight and Duty Time regulations.

 

Without knowing precisely the position of Labour Canada on the issue, they may be of the opinion that pilots are only “at work” when they are actually flying. This interpretation sticks in the craw of many pilots and helicopter pilots in particular when they are directed by their employers to standby for as many as fourteen hours a day without flying, only to find that when issued a Record of Employment at the end of the season that none of these standby hours counted as hours worked. This can have drastic effects on the amount of Employment Insurance benefits to which a pilot may be entitled to collect. Considering the seasonal nature of the industry, this is important

 

Some jurisdictions define “work” to mean anytime an employee is under the direction or control of his employer even during periods of standby. The CHPA website goes into detail about this on the page entitled How Should Waiting Time While On Duty Be Considered? Of special interest is the way the United States Department of Labor defines what it means to be at work.

 

The CHPA website also has an application which enables pilots to determine their hourly rate of pay when standby time is considered. This can be viewed at How Much Money Should a Helicopter Pilot Earn?.

 

Averaging is a contentious issue. If a pilot is considered to be at work whenever he is away from the comforts of his home and the companionship of his friends and family and if those days are each 14 hours in length, then a 2 week tour of duty must be followed by 2 weeks free from duty for the total hours of work (14 * 14 = 196) to equal the 48 hours per week over the averaging period allowed by the Canada Labour Code (4 * 48 = 192).

Pilots who are concerned they are being taken advantage of are urged to write or email the Lisa Raitt, Canada’s Minister of Labour at lisa.raitt@parl.gc.ca or talk to a labour officer at your local Labour Canada office.

 

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A simple solution to this problem is to ask your employer: "What are my hours of work?" or "When do you want me to report for work?"or "What are my work related duties and resposibilites?" Put the ball in your employer's court and ask them to tell you when you are "Working" This information should be included in your Emloyment Agreement.

 

The only other way is to go to Small Claims Court. This is a legal issue! Let a judge not a government worker decide!!!

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So how is this closely tied to flight/duty time regulations?

 

Perhaps you have stumbled upon how this will save the operators money, if the pilot only works the limited amount proposed by the new regulations thus paid only on those hours the operator will be paying about half then for a pilot as now.....hmmmm.

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What pilots need to do is what i did, get off the "paid by the flight hour" tread mill. When i signed up with the company i am now with i said here's how it's going to be: I need to make this much money in a year, i don't care how you do it but that's the bottom line. So the deal i have is this, i get paid about three times as much in the "working season" than i do now when i am "off" but i get a pay cheque year around from my employer and there is a provision for flying in the off season too. I do not get paid for flight time, i work when there is work and sit when there isn't but the clock is always ticking. The industry has it all backwards and it's been going like this for so long they can't see it any other way. You're NOT paying for my flying, you're paying for my TIME.

 

No Mr. Skullcap, you don't share the money between the two pilots, you charge back a fair salary to your customer for BOTH pilots or you sell your machines and someone else will do it for you, that is where things are headed or SHOULD be.

 

Have a nice day! I am going snow shoeing today...and the clock is still ticking. BIG smile!

 

Whitestone.

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What pilots need to do is what i did, get off the "paid by the flight hour" tread mill. When i signed up with the company i am now with i said here's how it's going to be: I need to make this much money in a year, i don't care how you do it but that's the bottom line. So the deal i have is this, i get paid about three times as much in the "working season" than i do now when i am "off" but i get a pay cheque year around from my employer and there is a provision for flying in the off season too. I do not get paid for flight time, i work when there is work and sit when there isn't but the clock is always ticking. The industry has it all backwards and it's been going like this for so long they can't see it any other way. You're NOT paying for my flying, you're paying for my TIME.

 

No Mr. Skullcap, you don't share the money between the two pilots, you charge back a fair salary to your customer for BOTH pilots or you sell your machines and someone else will do it for you, that is where things are headed or SHOULD be.

 

Have a nice day! I am going snow shoeing today...and the clock is still ticking. BIG smile!

 

Whitestone.

That is my point, Mr Whitestone. Why there is the thought process that pay and regulations are related is beyond me. Are wcb and labour canada linked, not to my knowledge.

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Well that's just the thing, pay and regulations are related. For years and years owners have used the regulations to cheat their employees, citing Provincial versus Federal and you are governed by this and not by that. And no you don't get overtime you are a salaried employee and no travel time to the job site is on YOUR time (it's a leisure activity after all). The only reason was to cheat on pay in any way they could. You only get paid while flying, don't discuss the "deal" you have made with other pilots. Most guys think it's to protect their pay but it's just so you won't all get together and say WTF !!!!! i am making less than the guy i am flying around who spends his day at the end of a shovel. Aren't you all tired of that?

 

I love my job that i have now, love my boss and would do anything for him because he TREATS ME FAIRLY. Every paycheck in the bank on time, all expenses paid and no outrageous demands. For my part he gets 100% dedication, i take care of my fuel supply, ops gear, the machine and our customers like they were my own. At the end of the season i even stayed in camp by myself to finish up the project, one week sitting in the snow waiting and one week flying crews who came back to finish up. It's a two way street! My bosses success is also mine and i will do a good job, my best in fact, but i am finished working for free and it's about time everyone pulled their heads out of their a$$es and did the same.

 

I hear there is a western operator (not "scullcap helicopters") who is being challenged on the overtime by former employees but it's being kept very quiet, has anyone heard anything about that? Will be interesting to see if they win and maybe all the others will come looking for back pay. Anyone care to comment on that? Now there's some fodder for a new thread! LOL

 

Whitestone (Mr., if you please... :) )

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Well that's just the thing, pay and regulations are related. For years and years owners have used the regulations to cheat their employees, citing Provincial versus Federal and you are governed by this and not by that. And no you don't get overtime you are a salaried employee and no travel time to the job site is on YOUR time (it's a leisure activity after all). The only reason was to cheat on pay in any way they could. You only get paid while flying, don't discuss the "deal" you have made with other pilots. Most guys think it's to protect their pay but it's just so you won't all get together and say WTF !!!!! i am making less than the guy i am flying around who spends his day at the end of a shovel. Aren't you all tired of that?

 

I love my job that i have now, love my boss and would do anything for him because he TREATS ME FAIRLY. Every paycheck in the bank on time, all expenses paid and no outrageous demands. For my part he gets 100% dedication, i take care of my fuel supply, ops gear, the machine and our customers like they were my own. At the end of the season i even stayed in camp by myself to finish up the project, one week sitting in the snow waiting and one week flying crews who came back to finish up. It's a two way street! My bosses success is also mine and i will do a good job, my best in fact, but i am finished working for free and it's about time everyone pulled their heads out of their a$$es and did the same.

 

I hear there is a western operator (not "scullcap helicopters") who is being challenged on the overtime by former employees but it's being kept very quiet, has anyone heard anything about that? Will be interesting to see if they win and maybe all the others will come looking for back pay. Anyone care to comment on that? Now there's some fodder for a new thread! LOL

 

Whitestone (Mr., if you please... :) )

 

 

 

Well, lowering hours worked, FDT etc. Could be the catalyst that operators need to go to customers and demand higher rates and stop the spiral to the bottom. Increase crew costs legislated by law could be a big boost or at least be a factor in stopping the low rate war??

 

P5

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