National Seniority List Proposal

Firebird2XC

Well-Known Member
AIR LINE PILOTS ASSOCIATION, INTERNATIONAL
102ND REGULAR EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING
September 9-10, 2008


SUBJECT
National Seniority Protocol

SOURCE
UAL MEC

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
See proposed resolution.

PROPOSED RESOLUTION
WHEREAS the Air Line Pilots Association has been at the forefront of pilot labor representation in the airline industry since 1931, and has consistently been the champion of safety protocols that assure our passengers have the safest transportation system possible, and

WHEREAS the 77 year history of ALPA is replete with examples of bold decisions made by ALPA leaders in order to assure that measures, necessary to protect the economic bargaining rights and professional interests of its members, have been instituted and that the best interests of the profession have been secured, and,

WHEREAS opportunities to make significant and enduring policy changes that enhance the professional opportunities of every ALPA member come along rarely and are often precipitated by industry destabilizing events like those brought to bear on ALPA members with The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, the September 11th acts of war, the bankruptcy era, and the current manipulated inflation of the price of petroleum, and

WHEREAS the most unfulfilled professional benefit, recognized by all airline pilots and by ALPA members specifically, is the lack of a policy, derived from fundamental union principals, that enables and enforces the individual members’ ability to transfer their seniority, longevity, and operational experience as professionals from one airline employer to another, thereby allowing a manipulation of their entire career path by the actions of the very same capitalist cabal whose fundamental goal is to limit, degrade and minimize the essential role of pilots to the airline industry, and

WHEREAS parochial company loyalty, historically embraced by ALPA pioneers of previous eras, has been perverted and used against ALPA members as a capitalist leveraging tool that stifles the inherent right of professional pilots to collectively negotiate an economically sound and stable ratio of pay and work rules for identical job responsibilities using the continual underlying threat of losing the earned seniority benefits derived from their professional longevity at a particular airline while being compared to the economics of another airline (whipsawing), and

WHEREAS the fundamental principal of national seniority does not conflict with the current or future job prospects of pilots but instead extends a common system of advancement to be used at every ALPA carrier and bonds all ALPA pilots to the profession instead of to an individual airline; a national seniority list would assure a logical and rational adherence to a measurable, protected status of those pilots from a commonly defined starting point in their professional careers regardless of how many airlines may exist, regardless of the skill and economic acumen of the managements that run them, and regardless of the transient political influence of the day, and

WHEREAS the career security of any pilot who was able to transfer his seniority to another air carrier would liberate ALPA pilots and forever eliminate the ability of management to whipsaw or erode ALPA unity based on loss of job threats, economic fear or arbitrary merger awards, based on a perceived surviving carrier analogy, thus enabling ALPA to negotiate wages and work rules at all airlines based on the pilots’ collective evaluation of their true contribution and economic value to an air carrier,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Executive Board acknowledges this historic and momentous opportunity in time when several key air carrier contract amendable dates are so closely aligned, and which could be coordinated as part of this undertaking, that will launch a historic, new career security protocol for all ALPA pilots and by design, realign the true interests and career expectations of every pilot represented by ALPA both now and in the future, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the development of a national seniority protocol be assigned to a select National Seniority Committee (NSC) consisting of the President of ALPA; one pilot from each represented pilot group within group A, to be appointed by the Master Chairman of each MEC of the group; and one pilot representing each group designation: B1, B2, B3, B4 and C, each of whom shall be appointed by a consensus of the MEC Master Chairmen from each of the pilot groups represented within a classification; for a total of 11 members, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Seniority Committee will establish a single national seniority protocol that will be used to establish two separate lists reflecting the Canadian ALPA pilots and the United States ALPA pilots, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the protocol for an ALPA national seniority list will be developed by the NSC under a rigid timeline with a specific date for completion in 2009, and using a simple and transparent methodology that defines a starting point common to all professional air line pilots from which all seniority benefits and longevity will derive, and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that without discrimination to any pilot, the NSC will set and fix a methodology recognizing “benchmarks of career achievement” with associated “exercise rights” in order to minimize unrealistic windfalls/detriments to any pilot unless and until those common benchmarks have been met, regardless of whether the benchmarks have been achieved at an ALPA carrier or not, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that upon completion of the protocol, the NSC will present a single, unified explanation of the developed protocol to all ALPA members, and all other represented professional pilot groups, using all available communication tools before preferably submitting the NSC proposal for ALPA-wide membership ratification, Roll Call by the governing body, or the applicable rules as stipulated in the ALPA Constitution and By Laws, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that upon adoption as ALPA policy by the proper authorizing internal ALPA mechanisms, the national seniority protocol will be enforced as of that date and no ALPA Collective Bargaining Agreement will be signed by the President of the Association without full inclusion of this policy as a part thereof.
 

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
You know, I like the idea, but it's rather hypocritical of the UAL MEC to only be interested in this now that their guys are facing the street. 3 years ago when this was floated by some of the regional MECs, United pretty much told them to #### off.
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
Hate to quote myself, but I really don't want to dignify this little proposal with a whole new response. . .so. . .here goes.

surreal1221 said:
Yeah. . .um. . .mighty nice that all A group companies get one representatives, but then us B goons are only allowed ONE person from our respective B-grouping.

Nah-uh. . .No thanks. One voice from all, not just A group.

Usually don't say this, but I sure as hell don't want mainline deciding my personal professional placement on a NSL all by themselves.
 

Velocipede

New Member
I've always been a proponent of NSL. Here's my idea (if you have seen it before, read no further!).

Your ALPA number is assigned to you at your first ALPA carrier. That is your position on the NSL.

Let's say you're a military aviatior. You opted to get free flight training while the taxpayers paid you a salary. You're not involved in airline aviation in any way, shape or form, so therefore, when you get out, your ALPA number at your first carrier (usually a legacy) is your position on the NSL.

Now, let's say your a civilian guy. Your first ALPA carrier is a regional. You're assigned an ALPA number. You begin paying ALPA dues. 4 or 5 years down the road, you get hired at the same legacy carrier our military aviator friend does. You're in the same class.

However, your regional ALPA number makes you essentially 4 years senior to him. Since you both changed jobs voluntarily, you are placed on your legacy seniority list at the bottom. You, as a fomer ALPA pilot should go ahead of him based on the NSL and the fact you have been paying ALPA dues 4 years longer rather than based on age, SSN or any other goofy method airlines have of ranking new hires.

Now, lets say your airline merges with another ALPA carrier a year after you were hired. You, based on your Regional ALPA service, should be merged into the new list with 5 years seniority whereas your military counterpart has only 1 year of ALPA seniority.

Why? You've been paying ALPA dues for 5 years. He hasn't.

Now, remember, I was a military guy with 11.5 years of active duty before I got hired at my carrier. The reason I don't think that should be credited toward the NSL? My military experience essentially let me skip all of the CFIing, night check flying and the whole Regional airline experience. Additionally, I earned a very comfortable living courtesy of the US taxpayer while I was on active duty. I didn't have to work for welfare wages like you civilian guys did nor did I pay one penny of ALPA dues.

On top of that, virtually all military aviators go directly to the legacies unless they have some kind of skeleton that prevents them from getting hired.

ALPA service whether at UAL or Mesa needs to count for something on the NSL. And that service would only come into play in a merger scenario.

That's my idea of how an NSL should work? Your comments are welcome.
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
I dig it, and could accept something like that. Build the list, but postpone it's activation for say 5 or 10 years. Or even 50 years, so that only the NEXT generation of airline pilots can benefit from it. That would negate any attempts by rogue MEC's trying to "jump" ahead of everyone else before their ship sinks.

Velo,

How would your solution work in a furlough situation?
 

Velocipede

New Member
Since furloughs are by individual carriers, the furlough would happen in inverse seniority at that carrier.

As an example, say I got hired in a class with 5 regional guys. They would all be placed on our seniority list ahead of me, even though I was older than all of them.

In '92 my airline sent out 140 furlough letters. Half my class would have been furloughed and I would have been the second junior pilot on the system seniority list. Had my NSL proposal been in place, I would have been junior to the regional guys in my class so I would have gotten the letter. As it was, we were placed on the list by age and I was the 3rd oldest in the class, so they got the letters.
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
Right, gotcha.

Pay would be based off of our time with an ALPA carrier?

What about those individuals who spend 5 years with an ALPA carrier (regional), then 5 years away from an ALPA carrier (regional) (for who knows whatever reason), then they are hired again with a new company that is ALPA (major).

When would his ALPA date start? Considering he left the association.
 

SpiceWeasel

Tre Kronor
Right, gotcha.

Pay would be based off of our time with an ALPA carrier?

What about those individuals who spend 5 years with an ALPA carrier (regional), then 5 years away from an ALPA carrier (regional) (for who knows whatever reason), then they are hired again with a new company that is ALPA (major).

When would his ALPA date start? Considering he left the association.
When I left my job at Albertsons, the union gave me a card that basically was a "get back in for free" type deal, since you always have to pay INTRO union fees to UFCW if you don't have the card. So, perhaps, ALPA could have a "leave" status card, that would allow him/her to retain ALPA number and potentially seniority, but depending on number of years out of an ALPA carrier, would drop back X number of slots. Potentially could still go up if others leave, but would be in a sort of "suspended animation". lol, no better description than that, I'm afraid.
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
That sounds like a good solution to me.

As much as I'd like to say - Too bad, you start back at zero considering you went and worked for a non-ALPA company, I know that's the extreme and certainly wouldn't be supported by the population.

A pro-rated period that, if not hired again by an ALPA company within 7 or 10 years, you will start back at 0 if you end up getting hired by an ALPA company beyond the 7 or 10 year period. Otherwise, each year that you're not with an ALPA company to the 7 or 10 year mark, you'll lose a half a year worth of longevity with ALPA.

EH?
 

Firebird2XC

Well-Known Member
Alrighty then...

Just to clarify the understanding for those reading (especially myself)
so if a group of pilots get furloughed or laid off because their carrier has cutbacks or just folds..

... They apply to a different ALPA carrier. They get automatic preference over non-ALPA prior hires, correct? This also includes other airlines that were not ALPA, right?

.... They're hired by the new ALPA carrier. At this point, they have the same seniority date as all other class new hires, but seniority for the class is determined by prior ALPA tenure. Or, is their prior tenure carried over to the point where they become senior to previously hired pilots at the new carrier?

In other words- could a pack of pilots get hired on at my company and then displace me in terms of equipment, schedule, or quality of life simply because they came knockin'? Or have I misunderstood this concept?

Furthermore- does seniority and tenure apply to payscales? If so, how do we get the companies to follow along with this?


I'll be a full member of ALPA momentarily. If I have to take a position on this issue, I'd like to know exactly how this works.
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
Won't happen. Next?
You're part of the IBT right? So yeah, won't happen . . . the trucker union won't be invited I'm sure.

Sorry though ;)

Now, if you guys managed to ditch the Truck group, I'm pretty sure ALPA would be more than happy to lend it's College Bargaining arm in assistance in bringing you guys up to par with the rest of the industry.
 

aloft

New Member
I also support the idea of seniority portability, but the more I think about it, the less likely I believe it to be.

Why? Why would a carrier hire someone with lots of ALPA seniority/longevity, who they'd have to pay senior rates to, over someone with lower seniority/longevity? They just wouldn't hire guys like that.
 

kellwolf

Piece of Trash
I like the idea of a NSL, but I'm with Ethan. It's pretty hypocritical for the United boys to be pushing for this now when it'll benefit them when they were so opposed to it when things were going well.
 

Rocketman99

Frozen Guppy Manipulator
UAL aside, if we can manage to get it started who cares? Honestly, does that really matter if before they were unwilling and now they are? It would be a good thing to have.
 

Velocipede

New Member
Pay would be based off of our time with an ALPA carrier?
No. Pay is based on the individual Company payscale and your longevity at that Company. The NSL would ONLY apply in a merger/acquisition scenario.

What about those individuals who spend 5 years with an ALPA carrier (regional), then 5 years away from an ALPA carrier (regional) (for who knows whatever reason), then they are hired again with a new company that is ALPA (major).

When would his ALPA date start? Considering he left the association.
You never leave the association with respect to your number. Your ALPA number would be reinstated when you return to an ALPA carrier. Your ALPA number would be linked to your SSN and, therefore, would be yours for life.

Remember, the NSL only comes into play during mergers/acquisitions.

Now, a national pay scale/rate would be an entirely different kettle of fish. Don't expect to see that anytime soon.
 

Velocipede

New Member
All of you go back and reread my proposal.

You are an ALPA Regional pilot for 4 years.

You get hired by an ALPA legacy with another ALPA Regional guy (2 years), an ALPA furloughee (10 years) and a military guy. Here's how your class is ranked:

1. ALPA furloughee (10 years)
2. You (4 years)
3. Other Regional guy (2 years)
4. Military guy

All non-ALPA guys could be sorted by SSN, DoB or whatever system the Company wants to use.

You are all junior to the most junior guy on the system seniority list.

You all get paid new hire rates for your new Company.

So past ALPA membership gives you NO benefit at your new Company other than your position in your new hire class.

Now if your Company is subsequently merged/acquired by another Company, your 10 year ALPA classmate is going to jump ahead of you on the merged seniority list, just as you are going to jump ahead of your 2 year ALPA classmate and the military guy.

WHY? Because you've been paying dues longer than they have.
 

Firebird2XC

Well-Known Member
All of you go back and reread my proposal.

You are an ALPA Regional pilot for 4 years.
You get hired by an ALPA legacy with another ALPA Regional guy (2 years), an ALPA furloughee (10 years) and a military guy. Here's how your class is ranked:
1. ALPA furloughee (10 years)
2. You (4 years)
3. Other Regional guy (2 years)
4. Military guy
All non-ALPA guys could be sorted by SSN, DoB or whatever system the Company wants to use.
You are all junior to the most junior guy on the system seniority list.
You all get paid new hire rates for your new Company.
So past ALPA membership gives you NO benefit at your new Company other than your position in your new hire class.

Now if your Company is subsequently merged/acquired by another Company, your 10 year ALPA classmate is going to jump ahead of you on the merged seniority list, just as you are going to jump ahead of your 2 year ALPA classmate and the military guy.

WHY? Because you've been paying dues longer than they have.

Okay- I understand what YOU'RE saying.. what I'm asking is- what are the United kids saying? Frankly, it sounds like they're trying to change the rules in the middle of the game, and for their benefit.

Am I right about this?
 

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
Firebird, you are correct. The vision of the NSL that Velo is talking about is 100% ok in my book. The version the UAL guys want to see would slide you into what ever company you got hired to's seniority list per your NSL number. So if you are 4000 down on the national list, you would go between the guy who was 3980 and the guy who was 4010 at the company you get hired to and would inherit what ever bidding rights that gives you.
 

Firebird2XC

Well-Known Member
Firebird, you are correct. The vision of the NSL that Velo is talking about is 100% ok in my book. The version the UAL guys want to see would slide you into what ever company you got hired to's seniority list per your NSL number. So if you are 4000 down on the national list, you would go between the guy who was 3980 and the guy who was 4010 at the company you get hired to and would inherit what ever bidding rights that gives you.
Thanks for the help, Bob. That's what I was afraid of.

Velo's system looks very fair.

The UAL MEC interpretation of it seems more than a little slanted. Get real, guys!

All the same, you can't blame them for trying... sort of.

Perhaps we'll pass something that looks more like Velo's idea in the end.
At the very least, keeping Union pilots working first is the least an Union would do. Why ALPA doesn't already do that is beyond me.
 
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