I had an idea of a new way the unions could approach pay, but not real sure how well it would go over. Instead of pay being based on a per hour basis, have it instead be a salary, that is based on a formula, similiar to now, but based on per seat. Do away with hourly rates, and bring in a salary.
For example, you would negotiate the per seat pay, which would then be plugged into a formula, to derive a salary, doing away with the need to negotiate rates for each and every year, and per hour. You just pay the pilot a flat salary. Lets say it is negotiated to $1.75/ per seat. A formula something along the lines of:
($1.75 per seat)*(50 seats)*(75 hours)*(12 months) = ~$79K
You would base the FO rate off of 60% of the captains rates, thus the FO in the above situation would make ~$47K.
If it were a 70 seat airplane, the salary would jump to ~$110K for captain, and ~$66K for the FO, based on the formula.
You could also negotiate longevity raises, such that for every 5 years of service, you receive a 10% raise, so the scale would look something like this.
ABC AIRLINES:
EMB 145/ CRJ2:
CA Year 1-5: $79,000
FO Year 1-5: $47,000
CA Year 5-10: $87,000
FO Year 5-10: $52,000
EMB 170/ CR7/ Q400:
CA Year 1-5: $110,000
FO Year 1-5: $66,000
CA Year 5-10: $121,000
FO Year 5-10: $73,000