Single Point Communication

2018:SOS update for September 29, 2016

Air Wisconsin Pilots:

Last week we announced that due to recent events at American Airlines’ wholly-owned regional subsidiaries and no clear indication of our futures beyond 2018, the ARW MEC was transitioning our 2018: Sunrise or Sunset campaign to 2018: SOS. It’s clear to us that events in the fee-for-departure industry, especially among the AAG subsidiaries, are moving much faster than anyone had previously anticipated.

To recap those recent events, both PSA and Envoy Air have ratified letters of agreement with dramatic pay increases and retention bonuses for their pilots, including new-hire pay rates of $38 or more. AAG’s third wholly-owned regional, Piedmont, is moving forward with similar plans.

In this message we would like to contrast that positive movement at PSA, ENV and PDT with the challenges we continue to face at ARW, looking at the facts that lay before us which may cue us in on what exactly is happening up in ATW and better allow us to make an educated decision about career expectations at ARW. We all need to take a clear-eyed view of our situation, come to our own conclusions about the outlook, and make measured decisions about our future(s). Here are a few facts that show why we are sending out an SOS.

The Declining Quality of Hotels.

There is nothing to be said here that isn’t already a painful truth for all of us, but let’s delve into some other facts concerning our hotel issues that are lesser known. We have a clear, defined contractual path for hotel approval. For as long as we have had a union contract, hotel selection requires both the Association and ARW representatives to agree on what properties are acceptable. Unfortunately, the company has recently placed us into a hotel that was not approved by either AFA or the Association — the Comfort Inn in BDL — and we had to file a grievance that remains unresolved.

In another case, we have been working to get crews moved out of the Holiday Inn GSP, where the nature of construction appears to have been downplayed or obfuscated during the hotel selection process. Upholding our hotel standards for safety, security, cleanliness and needed amenities has been an uphill battle and we urge everyone to stay active with hotel complaints so we can build a case for change(s) and potential grievances.

Air Wisconsin’s Recent Push to Hire “Instructor Management Pilots.”

A brochure at the AWAC OBAP conference booth indicates that the company is seeking to hire instructor management pilots. The MEC finds this alarming, since it appears to be a measure to attract pilots outside the boundaries of our contract and provide them with a path to build time (in some cases PIC time) in a salaried position. The starting salary offered is $45,000 per year, which is significantly higher than a new hire First Officer under our current CBA. Besides appearing to be a way around the contractual first-year pay rate, the company seems to think that they can allow these pilots to fly as Captains when their seniority wouldn’t otherwise allow such an upgrade. This is very disturbing indeed, especially those who are looking to progress their careers as a Captain (which is nearly everyone) or who are striving to become part of the Training Department.

Negotiations.

As we approach our seventh (!) year of contract negotiations, ask yourself if that lengthy delay indicates that we work for a company motivated to recognize the pilot group and invest in employees and the future of the airline.  While we have made progress in reaching agreements on many of the non-economic items of the contract, much of it is due to the fact that your negotiators have often been able to build upon the previous TA language and not start over again from scratch. It remains to be seen whether the company is really interested in a deal, or if they are going through the motions to give the perception that things are getting done. Ultimately, your leadership urges everyone not to take the passing of TAs in rapid succession as evidence that a full TA is certain to be around the corner. At the end of the day, we may get there and we may not.

So, while other carriers are making great leaps forward, AWAC appears to be standing still, with less than 18 months to go before our airline’s only contract with a mainline carrier expires.

In this climate of uncertainty, it would be very understandable for anyone to become discouraged and possibly complacent about their jobs. The fact of the matter, however, is that the one thing we all can control is the quality of our own work. No matter what transpires here at AWAC, we bear the responsibility of providing reliable and most importantly, safe service to Air Wisconsin and uphold the American Eagle image. That’s what professionalism is all about.

Fly safe and fly the contract.

In Unity,

ARW MEC

Ken Reinert, September 30, 2016




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ARW Blog

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2018:SOS update for September 29, 2016

Air Wisconsin Pilots:

Last week we announced that due to recent events at American Airlines’ wholly-owned regional subsidiaries and no clear indication of our futures beyond 2018, the ARW MEC was transitioning our 2018: Sunrise or Sunset campaign to 2018: SOS. It’s clear to us that events in the fee-for-departure industry, especially among the AAG subsidiaries, are moving much faster than anyone had previously anticipated.

To recap those recent events, both PSA and Envoy Air have ratified letters of agreement with dramatic pay increases and retention bonuses for their pilots, including new-hire pay rates of $38 or more. AAG’s third wholly-owned regional, Piedmont, is moving forward with similar plans.

In this message we would like to contrast that positive movement at PSA, ENV and PDT with the challenges we continue to face at ARW, looking at the facts that lay before us which may cue us in on what exactly is happening up in ATW and better allow us to make an educated decision about career expectations at ARW. We all need to take a clear-eyed view of our situation, come to our own conclusions about the outlook, and make measured decisions about our future(s). Here are a few facts that show why we are sending out an SOS.

The Declining Quality of Hotels.

There is nothing to be said here that isn’t already a painful truth for all of us, but let’s delve into some other facts concerning our hotel issues that are lesser known. We have a clear, defined contractual path for hotel approval. For as long as we have had a union contract, hotel selection requires both the Association and ARW representatives to agree on what properties are acceptable. Unfortunately, the company has recently placed us into a hotel that was not approved by either AFA or the Association — the Comfort Inn in BDL — and we had to file a grievance that remains unresolved.

In another case, we have been working to get crews moved out of the Holiday Inn GSP, where the nature of construction appears to have been downplayed or obfuscated during the hotel selection process. Upholding our hotel standards for safety, security, cleanliness and needed amenities has been an uphill battle and we urge everyone to stay active with hotel complaints so we can build a case for change(s) and potential grievances.

Air Wisconsin’s Recent Push to Hire “Instructor Management Pilots.”

A brochure at the AWAC OBAP conference booth indicates that the company is seeking to hire instructor management pilots. The MEC finds this alarming, since it appears to be a measure to attract pilots outside the boundaries of our contract and provide them with a path to build time (in some cases PIC time) in a salaried position. The starting salary offered is $45,000 per year, which is significantly higher than a new hire First Officer under our current CBA. Besides appearing to be a way around the contractual first-year pay rate, the company seems to think that they can allow these pilots to fly as Captains when their seniority wouldn’t otherwise allow such an upgrade. This is very disturbing indeed, especially those who are looking to progress their careers as a Captain (which is nearly everyone) or who are striving to become part of the Training Department.

Negotiations.

As we approach our seventh (!) year of contract negotiations, ask yourself if that lengthy delay indicates that we work for a company motivated to recognize the pilot group and invest in employees and the future of the airline.  While we have made progress in reaching agreements on many of the non-economic items of the contract, much of it is due to the fact that your negotiators have often been able to build upon the previous TA language and not start over again from scratch. It remains to be seen whether the company is really interested in a deal, or if they are going through the motions to give the perception that things are getting done. Ultimately, your leadership urges everyone not to take the passing of TAs in rapid succession as evidence that a full TA is certain to be around the corner. At the end of the day, we may get there and we may not.

So, while other carriers are making great leaps forward, AWAC appears to be standing still, with less than 18 months to go before our airline’s only contract with a mainline carrier expires.

In this climate of uncertainty, it would be very understandable for anyone to become discouraged and possibly complacent about their jobs. The fact of the matter, however, is that the one thing we all can control is the quality of our own work. No matter what transpires here at AWAC, we bear the responsibility of providing reliable and most importantly, safe service to Air Wisconsin and uphold the American Eagle image. That’s what professionalism is all about.

Fly safe and fly the contract.

In Unity,

ARW MEC

Ken Reinert,




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