Unpaid Company Groundschool

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Fivebars
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Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by Fivebars » Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:08 am

I currently work on the ground for a [starting out] airline. I've been on the ground for some time, and working towards a flying seat. Recently I was informed that I was put into a groundschool on my week off. (My sched is 7 on 7 off, working 80 hours on my week on.) I was initially happy with being put into a groundschool, as it shows a potential flying spot in my future. I was also told that the groundschool would be unpaid if it was on my week off. The company is having a few groundschools, and coincidentally each groundschool has only people that are on their week off. Hmmm.

Should prospective pilots be ok with this ? The thing is you can't really do anything about it. Groundschool is a requirement for training in order to get a PPC on the airplane. If you decide to not attend you will be axed to fly for the company forever I would imagine.

Maybe this is industry standard now.

Just looking for insight as it is my first company groundschool.

Thanks
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by I WAS Birddog » Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:10 am

Aviation...what's your dream?
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by mbav8r » Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:10 am

Hi Fivebars, unfortunately this is a practice that is somewhat normal in this industry. Perimeter used to do this, they would invite potential pilots to their ground school and put them in a pool based on how they did on the test. It was voluntary and as far as I know legal because you weren't offered a job until after the fact.
There are also companies that don't pay your salary during training until after you're cut loose, this is most likely not allowed under labour laws but until we as pilots stand together against these types of free labour practices, it will continue.
I don't recommend you take a stand as I'm sure there are 10 more willing to take your place, I wish I could be more optimistic but two decades in this industry has left me quite jaded.
I'm willing to bet this company you work for has an upfront training bond, please tell me I'm wrong.

To this company I will say this, I hope the pilot shortage hits you HARD!
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by Sendit » Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:30 am

As per the Canada labor code, if it is mandatory required training you MUST be paid for it. This is a violation of the Canada labor code. It's up to you to decide what to do from there...
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by Meatservo » Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:30 am

You should put your foot down and refuse to participate. Send an E-mail to the ops manager explaining how come. Then, while all those other suckers are in ground-school, make extra money picking up their shifts. Win-win. It will be a super start to your career as a professional ground-services agent.
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timel
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by timel » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:10 am

I remember doing quite some research on the topic. Enjoy the reading.

http://internassociation.ca/what-is-the-law/


http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/esdc/acts_regu ... 1454692073
1. Subject
Determination of the relationship between training time and hours of work pursuant to Division I, Part III of the Canada Labour Code.

2. Issue
There is a need to clarify (a) the status of training time as constituting hours of work and (b) the wage rate for the training time.

3. Questions
When an employee is required to take training as imposed by law or by his or her employer, is the training time considered to be hours of work for the purpose of Division I of the Code?
If so, does the employer pay the employee the established rate of wages (or 1.5 the rate if the training hours take the employee beyond 40 hours in the week)?
4. Conclusion
Generally, "work" is given a broad definition as using or engaging the services of another.

Furthermore, it can be said that an employee is at work when he or she is at the disposal of the employer and under the employer's direction at the place of work.

Given the wide interpretations of the meaning of work, one can conclude the following:

Training required by law (e.g. hazardous products training) does constitute hours of work.
Training required by the employer (e.g. additional instruction for a new aspect of the employee's job) does constitute hours of work.
Training initiated on the volition of the employee or developmental voluntary training which prepares the employee for another job does not constitute hours of work.
This interpretation does not affect the operation of s.11 of the Canada Labour Standards Regulations, concerning registered apprenticeship programs.

This interpretation does not apply to pre-employment testing of short duration, where hiring is contingent on successful completion of the test. However, this should be distinguished from training of longer duration, where the candidate is learning and performing certain aspects of the job. In this latter situation, where a de facto employment relationship has been established, the time constitutes hours of work. Common sense should prevail in distinguishing these situations.

The following examples are provided for purposes of illustrations only and do not constitute hard and fast applications of the interpretation:

The employer observes the candidate hooking up a truck and tractor, manoeuvring the unit in the yard and driving it on a short run. This takes half a day. This would not constitute hours of work.
The employer requires the candidate to accompany another driver for a week. During this time, the candidate may drive the truck, assist in loading and unloading, and learn company procedures. If things work out, the candidate will be offered a job. This week constitutes hours of work.
In the circumstances where training does constitute hours of work under Division I of the Code, the employee is entitled to be paid at the regular rate of wages (or overtime, if the training hours put the employee in excess of the standard hours of work).
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by cncpc » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:18 am

The poster who referred to the Labour Code is right, and the posters who said if you stand your ground now, you'll be screwed are right.

It is certainly an implied condition of any employment contract that time on any business at all of your employer which takes away from your own leisure time must be paid time.

What you can do is take the hit now, and go to court or labour standards when you are leaving, or better yet, if you want to set a trap for them to fire you for suing them. By you picking the time for action, you take away the imbalance of power that exists now. If you adopt this strategy, remember there are limitation statutes that prescribe time limits for various types of action. In this case, it would be breach of contract and the Labour Code. Where are you. If its the Territories, the limit for an action is six years from when the cause of action became known.

Was there any discussion of this when you were hired, or any discussion at all?
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by Fivebars » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:16 pm

The company is perimeter. No training bond, no. All you can do is bend over and take it I guess ! The groundschools in the past were paid I'm told.


Boo ya aviation !
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by AOW » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:30 pm

timel wrote:...

Training required by law (e.g. hazardous products training) does constitute hours of work.
Training required by the employer (e.g. additional instruction for a new aspect of the employee's job) does constitute hours of work.
Training initiated on the volition of the employee or developmental voluntary training which prepares the employee for another job does not constitute hours of work.
This interpretation does not affect the operation of s.11 of the Canada Labour Standards Regulations, concerning registered apprenticeship programs.
...
Sounds like they're covered as long as the training is voluntary. If they tell you that you need to take the training in order to keep your job, then they must pay you for it; but if the tell you that you need to take the training if you WANT a flying job, then they are within the code.

That doesn't mean that I agree with it, but I would be cautious before taking them to the labour board...
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by Sendit » Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:12 pm

AOW wrote:
timel wrote:...

Training required by law (e.g. hazardous products training) does constitute hours of work.
Training required by the employer (e.g. additional instruction for a new aspect of the employee's job) does constitute hours of work.
Training initiated on the volition of the employee or developmental voluntary training which prepares the employee for another job does not constitute hours of work.
This interpretation does not affect the operation of s.11 of the Canada Labour Standards Regulations, concerning registered apprenticeship programs.
...
Sounds like they're covered as long as the training is voluntary. If they tell you that you need to take the training in order to keep your job, then they must pay you for it; but if the tell you that you need to take the training if you WANT a flying job, then they are within the code.

That doesn't mean that I agree with it, but I would be cautious before taking them to the labour board...

Company ground school is not voluntary training. It is required training. Does not matter if you asked to be trained on the airplane or not. What would be voluntary is let's say the company put on a first aid course for anyone who wanted to take it free of charge. That would be Voluantry training.

You have a couple options here. Either way DO NOT REFUSE TO DO THE TRAINING. Do the training but email the company and state that it is a requirement of the labour standards that all of you are paid for it. Furthermore you can call the federal labour board and ask them your self. You are protected under the code against unjust dismissal if they choose to terminate you because you complain about not being paid. It would look very suspicious to the board if one got terminated after filing a complaint with them.
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by altiplano » Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:35 pm

Suck it up, but document it. Get what you need - ppc, flight time, etc...

Then, when you quit to move on, ask to be paid for it. If they deny you then take it to the labour board... You'll likely win...

That is if you still give a shit by then... Chances are you will be just as happy to put a scabby company in your rearview mirror and try to forget about all the shit.
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by mbav8r » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:04 pm

In the case of Perimeter, I can tell you that over 13 years ago they offered me a spot in the ground school with the possibility of a job in the future, it was voluntary and although not stated specifically, it was implied that the only way to gain employment with them was to have the ground school and be placed in the pool. I had over 3000 hours, mostly turbine multi-pic and remember thinking, well let's say unkind thoughts.
Needless to say, I have never worked for perimeter and have never regretted it.
I think they treat it as employment screening and voluntary because they don't offer you a flying position until after you complete the GS. I kind of remember some guys saying they didn't get paid for the initial GS but because they had waited for a few months before an offer, they had to retake it and they were paid for that.
In any case, you could do worse and I wouldn't turn this down on principle, I just hope the supply curve changes and Perimeter suffers the consequences, they have treated pilots like crap for years and deserve what they get.
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by co-joe » Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:06 pm

I did a groundschool with Borek that was unpaid and was a "no promises but if we need a guy and you have the groundschool you're top of the pile" kind of deal. It was 90, 99, 100 in 2, 8 hour days, plus company ops training, and SOP,s. Brutal!

Opportunities like this don't come along every day, and they are EXACTLY what you have been waiting for. Do the fucking groundschool, and ACE IT! No Fucking around. Study like a mofo. Get the manual early, get the SOPs, and QRH. Come to class well rested and keen. Ask questions, stay alert and engaged, sit upright with an attentive posture. Dress smart casual, buy the AFM, paper, pens, highlighters. Learn from your teacher and class mates, and help your class mates. Be a team player, show work ethic, attitude, and aptitude. Don't whine about money, or days off.

This is what you have been waiting for. Perimeter is one of the best stepping stones there is. Virtually all the advice before is junk. Don't sue them or take them to the labour board. I'd bet there are hundreds if not thousands of ex green lawn dart pilots at the majors. They all know what a shitty place it was, yet if you slag it you are the one who looks bad.

Why are you working there if not to get a groundschool and the opportunity to fly, aaaaaannd good references to back it up?
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by bobm » Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:18 pm

Sendit wrote:As per the Canada labor code, if it is mandatory required training you MUST be paid for it. This is a violation of the Canada labor code. It's up to you to decide what to do from there...
This is 100% correct. Even if they are trying to do this you might want to consider another employer. I can't believe some company is trying this.
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by mbav8r » Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:54 pm

co-joe wrote:I did a groundschool with Borek that was unpaid and was a "no promises but if we need a guy and you have the groundschool you're top of the pile" kind of deal. It was 90, 99, 100 in 2, 8 hour days, plus company ops training, and SOP,s. Brutal!

Opportunities like this don't come along every day, and they are EXACTLY what you have been waiting for. Do the fucking groundschool, and ACE IT! No Fucking around. Study like a mofo. Get the manual early, get the SOPs, and QRH. Come to class well rested and keen. Ask questions, stay alert and engaged, sit upright with an attentive posture. Dress smart casual, buy the AFM, paper, pens, highlighters. Learn from your teacher and class mates, and help your class mates. Be a team player, show work ethic, attitude, and aptitude. Don't whine about money, or days off.

This is what you have been waiting for. Perimeter is one of the best stepping stones there is. Virtually all the advice before is junk. Don't sue them or take them to the labour board. I'd bet there are hundreds if not thousands of ex green lawn dart pilots at the majors. They all know what a shitty place it was, yet if you slag it you are the one who looks bad.

Why are you working there if not to get a groundschool and the opportunity to fly, aaaaaannd good references to back it up?
Well, if you're not part of the solution, co-joe's advice is to go full tilt as part of the problem!
Also once you're done the free ground school, might I suggest you approach the CP and tell him you will work for half of what they are paying new hires, should all but guarantee a job flying them green machines.
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by Sendit » Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:44 pm

A company I worked for in the past used to do the same thing. Not pay for initial training. A complaint was filed to the federal labour board (not by me) and they were ordered to pay RETROACTIVLY all employees who were not paid. This was maybe 5 years ago. Now they pay for initial training. All the new people who are there are none the wiser to the fight that there was so that THEY would be paid for their training. I have a current legal battle against a former employer about similar things. Sometimes you have to fight the good fight.
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by co-joe » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:48 pm

Well, you could always ask the CP if they would consider paying you. Never hurts to ask honestly and with integrity for money.

But, Bring that inflated sense of entitlement or better yet, bring the labour code with you and I guarantee the ramp work you've done that got your foot in the door will be for naught.

Do you want to be right, or do you want to be a pilot?
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by ahramin » Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:34 am

Personally, I would keep my mouth shut, wait for the flying spot, wait a couple more months, then call labour relations anonymously and have them look into it. Maybe you'll get some back pay.
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by springlocked » Sat Feb 06, 2016 7:18 am

From what you are saying your company considers that you are not paid on your time off. Your pay is based on hours or days worked (at 80/ week and working 2 on and 2 off you still don't even qualify for overtime federally) It is your time off and if the company indicates it's optional to do the ground school you have no basis to ask for money. If they say it's mandatory then you have a case but i'm sure they would never say this and simply give your spot to someone willing to donate days off towards getting ahead. Maybe this is morally wrong but not illegal. It goes down the road of training bonds for aircraft upgrades after being with the company and working through your first bond. I think to the letter of the law this could be illegal but once you sign the contract you are done. Too many ways to submarine a "trouble maker" so on it goes. Advocates very rarely get ahead in this business, especially at the entry level.

Sad but so very true
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by Aviatard » Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:21 am

co-joe wrote:Bring that inflated sense of entitlement
It's not an inflated sense of entitlement, it's what the law says is required. You need to get yourself some more outrage, son.
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by Rookie50 » Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:42 am

co-joe wrote:Well, you could always ask the CP if they would consider paying you. Never hurts to ask honestly and with integrity for money.

But, Bring that inflated sense of entitlement or better yet, bring the labour code with you and I guarantee the ramp work you've done that got your foot in the door will be for naught.

Do you want to be right, or do you want to be a pilot?

This the point right here. In an industry that appears like its full of willing applicants, going through some labour code exercise as a newbie might bring some satisfaction, and hey you might even win. Yeah, and it's going to put you at the top of that choice job's list down the road, too. Not.

It's the same in my industry, where, (and I'm not calling the poster or anyone this -- so chill) snot nosed 22 year olds with fresh MBA's arrogantly feel entitled to 100K jobs right off the bat with Goldman Sachs. They are everywhere.

It's a hard lesson when they find out they know absolutely nothing and are barely qualified to sweep a floor. Entitlement gets you no where but labled, which is extremely hard to shake once it happens.

Pay your dues, ace the groundschool, stand out as an exceptional employee. You'll get noticed and promoted as that's a rare quality. So rare from my experience it's likely to fall on deaf ears.

I'm a business owner. I'm telling you the way it is,like or not.

And why I am in business still, after 18 years? Because I worked my tail off at every job I ever had prior, back to cleaning toilets, long ago.
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Last edited by Rookie50 on Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:45 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by PROC_HDG » Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:42 am

Just when you think the green machine can't get any sleazier.

PROC_HDG
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by teacher » Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:51 pm

co-joe wrote:Well, you could always ask the CP if they would consider paying you. Never hurts to ask honestly and with integrity for money.

But, Bring that inflated sense of entitlement or better yet, bring the labour code with you and I guarantee the ramp work you've done that got your foot in the door will be for naught.

Do you want to be right, or do you want to be a pilot?
....and this is exactly why we are where we are today.
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by cncpc » Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:57 pm

teacher wrote:
co-joe wrote:Well, you could always ask the CP if they would consider paying you. Never hurts to ask honestly and with integrity for money.

But, Bring that inflated sense of entitlement or better yet, bring the labour code with you and I guarantee the ramp work you've done that got your foot in the door will be for naught.

Do you want to be right, or do you want to be a pilot?
....and this is exactly why we are where we are today.
Yep. Because of enablers.
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Re: Unpaid Company Groundschool

Post by Sendit » Sat Feb 06, 2016 3:04 pm

springlocked wrote:From what you are saying your company considers that you are not paid on your time off. Your pay is based on hours or days worked (at 80/ week and working 2 on and 2 off you still don't even qualify for overtime federally) It is your time off and if the company indicates it's optional to do the ground school you have no basis to ask for money. If they say it's mandatory then you have a case but i'm sure they would never say this and simply give your spot to someone willing to donate days off towards getting ahead. Maybe this is morally wrong but not illegal. It goes down the road of training bonds for aircraft upgrades after being with the company and working through your first bond. I think to the letter of the law this could be illegal but once you sign the contract you are done. Too many ways to submarine a "trouble maker" so on it goes. Advocates very rarely get ahead in this business, especially at the entry level.

Sad but so very true

This is not ENTIRELY true. You can not be paid below the minimum standard as set out by law. EVEN IF YOU AGREE TO IT! Let's say minimum wage is $10/her and you sign a contract that says you will work for $8/hr. You are still entitled to the extra $2/hr. You can not agree to earn less then the minimum standard. Some people figure "ooooo I signed to it so therefore I guess it's what I get". No! It doesnt work that way.
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