The role of the Technical Inspectors (TIs) is to ensure the safety of the travelling public. Over 10 years ago, Transport Canada put this work group under the TI classification acknowledging that it was not an accurate fit and with the intention of resolving the discrepancies to the classification at a later time. To date, this has not happened. Currently TIs are placed in an occupational group that does not reflect the work that they do. At the heart of this issue is the fact that the Aircraft Operators (AOs) group performs essentially the same work as the TIs. The problem is that the AOs are required to carry a pilot’s licence and receive a significant increase in pay when compared to the TI counterpart. Classification exists that more accurately reflect the work performed by the TI group. However, classification and occupational group standards are established by Treasury Board Secretariat. As a result, the union can not bargain this.
Although the principal of “equal pay for equal work” is central to this matter, this issue is not covered by Pay Equity Legislation. Also, this can not be fought as a discrimination issue since it does not fall under the Charter of Human Rights.
Tied to this issue are the amendments to the Aeronautics Act which ingrains Safety Management Systems (SMS). Industry self-regulation, which is at the heart of SMS, poses great concerns to our members and the Canadian public. The work that we have been doing is to put safeguards into the Aeronautics Act around SMS to provide for greater safety and security.