September 15, 2015 ARW Pay Day Hotline

                                                                                              

MEC Unanimously Approves Tentative Agreement Resolution

By Graham Hoff-Downing, MEC Secretary-Treasurer

 

A Special MEC meeting was held via teleconference on September 14, 2015 where the MEC unanimously passed a resolution to send the Tentative Agreement to the pilots. The resolution is attached to this email.  The next step in the process is to send the Full Language Tentative Agreement out for member ratification.

 

 

Get and Stay Informed About the Facts of the TA

By ARW MEC and Negotiating Committee

 

Pilot voting on the Tentative Agreement is set to begin this Friday, September 18, with balloting concluding on October 7. Ratification voting will be conducted via the internet or telephone, and voting instructions will be sent to you from ALPA’s Membership Department. Only ARW members who are classified as active and in good standing as of September 17 are eligible to participate in the ratification process.

 

The Full-Language TA document is available now and can be downloaded here (1.4MB PDF file). There is also an index to selected topics that can be downloaded here (114KB PDF).

 

Just posted on ARWContract.org is a series of videos with Negotiating Chairman Mark Lockwood, which will explain in greater detail many of the changes in the TA. Also look for a calendar for TA roadshows, family awareness events, crewroom visits and other events to be published on the website shortly.

 

 

Repeal the Excise Tax on Employer-Provided Health-Care Benefits

By Jeffrey Woodham, Legislative Affairs Chairman

 

An onerous excise tax on employer provided health care plans will take effect on January 1, 2018 if we fail to change the existing law.  Under the current law, a 40% tax will be levied on every dollar of total premiums paid above $10,200 for individual health plans and $27,500 for family plans. ALPA continues our strong opposition to the excise tax on employer provided health benefits because our pilots deserve affordable, comprehensive benefits that they can depend on. Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Representative Frank Guinta (R-NH) have introduced bills to fully repeal the excise tax. ALPA is working with them and others in Congress in a bi-partisan effort to fully repeal this atrocious tax. Now is the time to let congress know that health care taxes are not the answer to our budget woes.

 

Please contact your representative and ask him/her to consider co-sponsoring H.R. 2050, The Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act or H.R. 879, Ax the Tax on Middle Class Americans’ Health Plans Act.  Congress needs to hear from you on why these bills are a common sense, bi-partisan approach to addressing the excise tax. The excise tax will impact approximately 21,425 pilots (40% of our membership) as soon as 2018 and by 2022, every ALPA member will be subject to this overreaching tax.

 

The original intent of the excise tax before the Affordable Care Act was signed into law was to affect some employer sponsored healthcare plans that are viewed as luxury, called “Cadillac” plans. In actuality, this tax is much further reaching. On paper the excise tax is charged to the employer, but the reality is it will be passed down to the individual in the form of higher premiums and/or lower benefits. Many employers are already preparing for the tax by increasing employees share of premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. ALPA members should tell Congress that healthcare is a necessity, not a luxury.

 

Economists and actuaries from a wide array of backgrounds have published research proving that this tax will diminish healthcare coverage and force more people into public health insurance exchanges. At ALPA we are already seeing the effects of the excise tax at the bargaining table and we need to take action now.

 

Keep up the fight in protecting your healthcare benefits by participating in our call-to-action today!

 

http://www.alpa.org/advocacy/tax-and-regulatory-reform

 

 

HIMS Seminar in Denver, Colorado August 31st-September 2nd, 2015

By Ricky Vetick

 

The content of the seminar was generally the same as previous years, but a fantastic refresher, with the most important message being the prohibition from taking Benadryl or any drowsy type of antihistamine 60 hours before operating aircraft.

 

Notably, and on the second day, American Airlines mentioned that they host monthly meetings for all pilots who are in the HIMS program for American, as well as the wholly owned carriers. They promulgated that they would now allow any of the American FFD carriers to attend, a great benefit for information sharing.

 

This was the biggest HIMS seminar thus far. Every seat was filled and approximately 80% were newcomers. Because the amount of attendees is expected to be higher in the following years, Dr. Quay Snyder mentioned that next year they plan on having a new venue. Its location is TBD. Finally, it was announced that there is going to be a new HIMS National Chairman, Corey Slone from United, and we look forward to working with him.

 

 

Jumpseat Committee Update

By Nick Chichester

 

It was reported that once Air Wisconsin makes the transition to operating as American Eagle, pilots who wish to jumpseat will need to make the request on myidtravel.com. We will no longer be able to walk up to the gate and fill out a jumpseat request form without listing in advance. This will be true even if jumpseating on an Air Wisconsin aircraft. Please contact me with any questions that you have concerning the transition.

 

 

Erratum for the Wiss-key

By Ken Reinert, ARW Communications Chairman

 

As you are aware, the latest issue of the Wiss-key is available online and in the crewrooms. As we have described in the past, putting this together is a collaborative effort of ARW pilots and ALPA staff, which makes the process that much more challenging as much of the interaction between all involved is done via email and other means of communicating, with very little face-to-face time.  That said, there are instances where something will slip through unnoticed until we have the print edition in our hands – such is the case with this issue.

 

In our Leadership panel on page 55, we incorrectly titled Carl Fleming as the LEC51 F/O Representative, and Jared Alexa as the Captain Rep. As we have listed in the directory immediately preceding the Leadership panel, Carl is the Captain Rep, and Jared is the F/O Representative.  We sincerely apologize for this oversight.

 

 

Committee Activity for August 2015

By Graham Hoff-Downing, MEC Secretary-Treasurer

 

This article provides you with an overview of our committees, building on updates from past MEC communications, including Facebook and other media. Our ARW ALPA volunteers do an incredible amount of “heavy lifting” for our pilot group, ALPA, the MEC, and Air Wisconsin (that’s right, we’re trying to help Air Wisconsin become a better company).

 

While it’s important for you to know about the work that’s being done, it’s equally important for you to understand the role each committee has in helping the MEC fulfill its mission. This is a summary of the work of your fellow line pilot ALPA volunteers.

 

Aeromedical Chairman Jack Roback reports four pilots out on Short-Term Disability (STD). The STD bank is approximately $59,900 and will be turned on for 9/15/2015 and off for October, all per the CBA §27.G.10.a. Please give Jack a call if you have Aeromedical, Short-Term Disability, or FMLA questions.

 

As you all know, Negotiating Chairman Mark Lockwood, as well as members Bob Burgess and Graham Hoff-Downing, was extremely busy last month. The committee is deep into “end stage” negotiations, which includes writing final contract language, presentations to the MEC, and drafting a myriad of communications. Moreover, they have been fielding many of your questions via direct contact, as well as indirectly through the Q & A email arwcba@alpa.org. Answers to the numerous and diverse questions they have received are posted on www.arwcontact.org. The members encourage you to carefully parse the full-language TA, and the TA frequently asked questions, in order to provide measured follow-up questions or concerns to the committee.

 

Scheduling Chairman Andrew Laskey had a meeting with elements of Air Wisconsin leadership in ATW to learn about and discuss the process of line construction. Andrew learned about the computer software that is utilized and the inputs the company uses to generate our schedules. These conditions range from FAR's, contract adherence, and showtime consistency, to cost savings and crew utilization. In addition to training, Andrew advocated for the pilots on scheduling concerns and brought these to the attention of management. One of the key issues broached is the need for consistent showtimes, which curtails fatigue and improves QOL. The company made no specific commitments on this issue, but did listen intently.

 

In a positive development, it was made known to Andrew that the company is implementing software that is designed to significantly reduce aircraft swaps. In the near future, crews should begin seeing a noticeable change in the quantity of aircraft swaps. Andrew asks that you do not hesitate in contacting him with concerns or questions regarding schedules and scheduling.

 

Communications Chairman Ken Reinert had an unusually frenetic month, largely due to the communications efforts as a result of the Tentative Agreement. Ken has also been appointed to a special committee, called the Strategic Steering Committee (SSC), which is responsible for TA-related communications, scheduling of various TA related events, such as contract roadshows, and other sundry duties. As part of those duties, Ken attends all of the MEC and SSC meetings. Moreover, working alongside ALPA Senior Communications Specialist Rusty Ayers at ALPA National, Ken developed the www.ARWContract.org website and is the point man on maintaining its content. Lastly, Ken has been prolific in the drafting of FastReads, weekly X-Rays, and finishing the summer edition of the award-winning Wiss-key.

 

CASC Chairman Dan Lehenbauer, and the rest of ALPA CASC, is available to you at any time. Their contact information is provided in the ARW ALPA directory and is always attached to the Pay Day Hotline.

 

Chairman of the ASAP committee, Chris Fuson reports that new member, Aaron Milton, is spooled up as an ERC secondary representative. ASAP meetings were conducted on August 6, 10, 18, and 26, with 19 ASAP reports currently open. In addition to regular ASAP meetings, the Aviation Safety InfoShare conference will be held over the week of September 14th, 2015. More information will be provided about InfoShare during the next Pay Day Hotline.

 

Chairman Josh Schmitt and the rest of the Fatigue Risk Management (FRM) committee would like to remind pilots to try to be as detailed as possible when providing a narrative in fatigue reports, as this streamlines the review process. 

 

Chairman Ron Stocki of FOQA reports that a great deal of work was done over the last few weeks. The committee continued the validation of the ACARS database cube, which is jargon for the database of ACARS FOQA and the associated interface. The database cube is an IT project that has been in the works for a few years, and is finally in a format that the gatekeepers can access. As a result the gatekeeper can now see data without having to go through a company intermediary. Ron and the committee have also been monitoring the new system daily for significant events. This is chiefly for practice with the new system and will be of critical importance down the road.

 

The committee also held various teleconferences over the last month with the company, ALPA National, and ALPA Legal. Noteworthy was the FMT Conference call held 8/13 with Gregg Syring, Ron Stocki, and Christine Carnie. The discussion was centered around events found in the data and steps for the updating of several plan documents, including the I & O plan (Implementation and Operations). The Implementation and Operations Plan is the FAA-approved document that gives FAA blessing upon a FOQA program. Traditionally this defines the three parties with program interest and voice as Airline, Union, and the FAA. Our current plan was submitted and approved without the Association.

 

According to Chairman Ken Nesbitt, the Grievance Committee had a relatively slow August in terms of new issue forms. There is a docket of issues as well as filed grievances that are on the table right now and the aim is to have them settled this month. The committee is currently scheduled to meet with the Company late September to discuss the docket with the goal of resolving them before voting closes on the TA. We will keep everyone updated on the progress. If you have a filed issue form, please be patient with the committee in resolving these, as there are quite a few.

 

Grievance Committee Member Dave Anderson is in charge of the issue form branch of the Grievance Committee. If you receive a call or e-mail from Dave regarding your issue form, please make his job easier by calling back or responding to the e-mail as quickly as possible. Issues are resolved through an organized and time-critical process, during which the issue form filer needs to be actively engaged.

 

Also, when filing an issue form, provide as much detailed information as you can about the alleged contract violation. Please include a copy of your schedule, a description of the event with applicable names and times, why you believe the contract has been violated, and under what section. Please be patient with the Grievance Committee as they work through your issues and attempt to get you made whole.  This issues form and grievance path is unfortunately not a timely process, and if you do have questions about an outstanding issue you filed with committee, please email them with your issue number, date you submitted, and/or topic of your issue in the email so they can reference it in a timely manner.

 

Chairman Charlie Mader reports that the Training and Testing Committee reviewed and submitted feedback on the new hire systems examination. Through this process, the committee and the company were able to vastly improve on the questions currently included therein. In addition, the committee worked with the company on a host of issues and compered a new hire orientation lunch on 8/25.

 

Hotel Chairman Captain Kenneth Honneffer and the rest of the Hotel Committee want to remind crews to take the time to submit their hotel reports whenever they have something notable (positive or negative) occur on an overnight. This is best done through the CSS site, as those reports go directly to AWAC and can be dealt with accordingly; however, the ALPA hotel form goes to the committee members and we can follow up as well. Also, PLEASE take cabs when you reach 30 minutes past block in. It is unfortunate that crews are forfeiting valuable rest time standing and waiting at the curb because the hotel says they are “on the way” or “close.” It is not your obligation to wait even if the van is a few minutes away. Get the cab and get your rest.

 

Chairman of Professional Standards Greg Killeen and his team worked five cases last month with positive outcomes.  Since Greg was elected chairman, Captain Steve Zimmerman has also joined the committee. Steve has been with Air Wisconsin for 28 years including five years as a BAE ATP instructor, Line Check Airman, and Designated Examiner. While Steve was on furlough from Air Wisconsin, he was instrumental in the beginnings of an air carrier called UFS, Inc., where he also acted as Line Check Airman and Designated Examiner. With his wealth of experience, Steve is well suited to administer his duties and we all look forward to working with him.

 

Jumpseat Committee Chairman Nick Chichester fielded multiple questions about jumpseat procedures from the pilot group last month. Nick reports that Atlas has a new online system to simplify listing for jumpseats. The URL for listing is:

http://www.atlasair.com/aa/confirm1.html

 

Community Involvement Committee Chairman Robbie Fogelsanger reported that no events took place in the month of August, but the CIC did meet with Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation to discuss adoption of a trail in the local region. On September 12, the CIC was involved in the Red Shoe at the Zoo event in Norfolk benefiting the Ronald McDonald House. Lastly, on September 17 the CIC has coordinated an event with Manna Food Bank in Washington D.C. to distribute food goods to those in need. Please contact Robbie if you have any questions about any of the planned or future events.

 

Legislative Affairs Chairman Jeffrey Woodham, and the rest of the committee, would like to remind all volunteers to back the PAC and participate in the calls the action (C2A). Congress is returning to D.C. this week and legislative outreach efforts are vital to accomplishing our goals on the Hill. Current calls to action include items such as FAA Reauthorization and repealing the excise tax on employer sponsored healthcare. Pilots can review current calls to action on ALPA's advocacy page.

 

Pilot Assistance Committee Chairman Aaron Fry chronicled that Ricky Vetick attended the annual HIMS Seminar in Denver, CO and reported his findings to the rest of the committee. Lastly, the committee took many phone calls from various sources, including the company and pilots.

 

Over the last Special MEC meeting in Washington D.C. on September 8th-9th, 2015, Chairman Chris Suhs appointed Matthew Chadwick as interim Chairman of the Veteran’s Affairs Committee. Please contact Matthew with any of your veteran-related concerns and stay tuned for the announcement of a permanent chairman. There will be an election at the next scheduled MEC meeting in October to fill the seat, per the ARW ALPA Policy Manual.

 

 

August 2015 Resignations

By ARW Membership Committee

 

Emp #            Name                                                 Resign Date

13261         Jay                 Baum                8/10/15

14448         James             Higginbotham    8/2/15

14458         Danny             Admonis            8/18/15

16928         Cody               Courtright          8/13/15

17893         Jonathan         Rich-Shea          8/18/15

18152         Mohammad Ali Ketabchi            8/27/15

23080         Christopher      Schmidt             8/6/15

24610         Lori                 Kelley               8/31/15

24627         Marcelino         Garcia               8/12/15

25003         Samuel           Hoffman            8/7/15

25024         Meredith          Brotherson         8/19/15

25115         Robert            Kessel               8/27/15

25853         Michael           Sierra                8/4/15

26089         Michael           McIntyre            8/21/15

26236         Richard           Harowicz            8/21/15

26237         Greg               Adair                 8/10/15

26368         Daniel             Luke                 8/21/15

26430         Hassane          Sako                 8/10/15

26455         Cheyne           De Sousa          8/9/15

 

 

Upcoming Dates

2015 Dates

 

September 18

Ratification voting opens

September 20

TA roadshow -- DCA; Family Dinner -- DCA

September 21

Family Dinner -- ORF

September 22

Family Dinner -- LGA

September 23

Family Dinner -- DCA

September 24

TA roadshow -- DCA

September 28

TA Roadshow – PHL; Family Dinner -- PHL

September 29

TA Roadshows -- PHL

September 30

TA Roadshows – PHL; Family Dinner -- PHL

October 7

Ratification voting closes

October 12-16

MEC Regular Meeting, Chicago

October 21-22

Executive Board Meeting