April 15, 2016
In This Issue:
Q FAA ASAP Information Leak
Q Fly The Contract
Q Committee Activity for March 2016
Q ALPA Fee-For-Departure Committee (FFDC) Interview Workshops on April 20, 21, and 22 in Herndon, VA
Q Contact Information Update Drive
Q ALPA-PAC & C2A Participation Update
Q ARW-ALPA Community Involvement Committee (CIC): A Small Team, Making an Enormous Difference
Q March 2016 Resignation
Q Upcoming Dates
FAA ASAP Information Leak
By Graham Hoff-Downing, MEC Secretary-Treasurer
Today, Friday April 15th, two of your ARW-MEC’s Officers partook in a conference call with the FAA and all of the stakeholders to discuss an inadvertent disclosure by the FAA of ASAP information. This information was disclosed as a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from a local Los Angeles Fox News reporter. The FAA inadvertently included information from the ASAP program in the response to that FOIA request. . In total, there were approximately 75 pages and 1,000 pilot’s ASAP data disclosed improperly. These reports, as we understand it, were all from 2015 and no other time period. Contained therein were pilot names, associated airline, and the disposition of the case (administrative action, suspension, etc.). What was not included was data from the actual ASAP reports, such as the “pilot narrative”. We have been told there are NO ARW pilots on the list.
Although the leak is highly troubling, keep in mind that submitting an ASAP report doesn’t necessarily equate to pilot wrongdoing, as many reports are submitted with the goal of improving th safety of the operation. An example of this would be filing an ASAP report to obtain notice of and improvements to poor airport signage or lighting. As such, it is highly probable that the data the FAA leaked would be insignificant to other airlines making hiring decisions.
During the call, the FAA informed us that the Fox News reporter agreed to delete/destroy the entire file that included the ASAP data, since that information was not integral to her reporting. The FAA sent another file that had only the pertinent data to the report she is developing. That data she was focusing on were files related to alcohol and/or drug abuse cases that resulted in revocation and/or suspension of piloting privileges. These are not matters typically found in any ASAP report.
The FAA has assured us that they will send out a letter to all of the approximately 1,000 pilots affected. Again, there should be zero Air Wisconsin pilots affected by this leak but if you receive a letter concerning this matter, contact one of your union representatives.
The FAA has ensured all the stakeholders that they are working on methods to prevent this from happening in the future. In the short-term, this includes more oversight prior to sending out FOIA data. In the longer-term, the FAA is working to completely separate the ASAP files from enforcement action files into two databases. We will update you as we receive more information. If you have any questions in the interim, do not hesitate to contact one of your union representatives.
By the ARW Negotiating Committee
Recently it has come to the attention of your MEC that there may have been some instances of the Company and/or the pilots one or both parties to offer to pay something over the contractually-allowed 150% premium to pick up flying from daily open time. Everyone understands that we go to work to get paid and more money is better, but this type of individual bargaining outside of our contract is not allowed under our contract or by the Railway Labor Act and is harmful to our bargaining process for several reasons.
We have a hard-fought labor contract with our Company that requires both sides to perform according to the bargained terms of that contract. If the Company or our pilots engage in “let’s make a deal” behavior outside of the provisions of our contract, the ARW Pilots are the ones harmed in several ways.
Hiring pilots is now the challenge of our industry: As the Company needs more pilots it will have to pay pilots (you) more to incentivize pilots to come work here. In addition, it should go without saying that it is cheaper for an airline to operate with fewer pilots so long as it can cover the flying, and if it can cover the flying by bribing individual pilots to do more flying (even at a premium), then they get by with fewer pilots. The fewer Pilots the Company hires, the fewer upgrades will be available.
Current Contract Negotiations
We are currently (for almost six years now) in contract bargaining. The current pay shortage in our segment of the industry is helping us to argue that the Company must meet us at the bargaining table so that they can obtain the tools they need to attract pilot candidates. This is likely to involve providing higher pay rates for all pilots. We have no interest in allowing the Company to address their concerns over staffing pressure without also addressing the urgent needs of this pilot group. Your Negotiating Committee will not present another TA that is not acceptable to you.
It goes without saying that paying some pilots 150% for open time and other pilots 200% is not fair or reasonable – and it is prohibited by our Contract. No ARW pilot should help the Company violate our contract by requesting or accepting more than what we are all bound by in our contract. Our Crew Schedulers do not have the authority to make arbitrary decisions as to what a trip should pay on a given day for a given pilot. Anyone with information as to any instances of a Crew Scheduler offering to pay more (even an entry into a raffle for a free dinner or an iPad) should immediately bring that information to their MEC Representatives as this is not authorized and is a violation of the bargained-for rates of pay, benefits and work rules in our Contract. The only way for these to change is through bargaining with our Negotiating Committee.
Our contract is not negotiable by our individual Pilots or by the Company on a daily basis in the course of daily operations. Now is the time to become united and strong as we bargain in an environment of scarce pilots. We want our Company to operate successfully through the end of our current Jet Services Agreement with American Airlines and for a long time into the future, but to do so we have to have a Pilot Contract that rewards all the ARW pilots fairly and provides a career opportunity that is worth our time and talent.
Stay in touch, stay informed, and STAY UNITED!
Committee Activity for March 2016
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 discloses that five pilots are on Short-Term Disability (STD). The STD Bank balance is at $49,000 and will remain turned off, as required by 27.G.10.a. of the CBA.
Negotiating Chairman Bob Burgess and the rest of the negotiating team got spooled up in March. Captain Burgess attended the ALPA Leadership Conference and the entire Negotiating Committee participated in the MEC meeting in Herndon, VA. At the MEC meeting, Reed Donoghue was elected as a new member and Bob Burgess was elected Chairman. Additionally, negotiating strategy was discussed with the MEC and Labor Relations Counsel David Holtzman. Later in the month the committee met for the first time with the Company since the rejected TA in San Antonio, TX with the federal mediator. Pilot needs for a new TA were discussed with the Company and bargaining dates for later in May were scheduled. Also, a small-group meeting was held this week in Appleton to work on contractual language. Lastly, Chairman Burgess wrote an X-Ray (negotiations update) and recorded a podcast. For access to these, check http://arwalpa.org.
Scheduling Chairman Abdullah Bawagad provided us with some reminders to disseminate this March and are as follows:
There is some confusion in regards to the pilot rest with the 117 rules.
117.25 Rest Period states that before beginning any reserve period or flight duty a flight crewmember must be given at least 30 consecutive hours free from all duty within the past 168 consecutive hour period.
What the above rule means is if you are trying to figure out if you have received the proper rest required, before you start flight duty period or reserve you must look back 168 hours to see if you have 30 hours of the rest provided. Pilots pick up trips on their days off and may work seven days in a row and be still legal with the above rule as long as they have the 30 hours of rest.
No min day trips will only appear during line construction of a three or a four-day trip and will be on either the first or the last day of the trip but not both. If the pilot is originally scheduled to check in at or after 1500 local time or originally scheduled to report off at or before 1200, then the no min day provision may apply.
Communications Chairman Ken Reinert worked through some issues with the new arwalpa.org website and started on the next issue of the Wiss-key. The committee is still seeking content for this issue. Please email Ken at Ken.Reinert@alpa.org if you would like to contribute to the content of the next Wiss-key.
Chairman of the ASAP committee, Chris Fuson reports that they currently have a staggering 67 reports open, with ASAP meetings conducted on March 2, 9, 23, and 31. The committee plans on having weekly meetings into the foreseeable future due to the number of open events.
Chairman Josh Schmitt and the rest of the Fatigue Risk Management (FRM) received a record amount of fatigue reports in the months of February and March. The committee is currently having to run two event review calls to catch up on the reports. The committee thanks you all for your dedication to safety and professionalism by calling out fatigued, even in light of the regrettable fact that there is no mechanism for you to recoup your pay loss.
According to Chairman Ken Nesbitt, the Grievance Committee had a pretty standard March. Jimmy Abdalla worked our issue forms and answered questions from pilots. Quite a few issues were sent to the Company; however, only a couple were able to be rectified. The Grievance Committee has some time off during April and is planning a meeting in MSP where we hope to close out several issues, as well as make a long-term plan for resolving issues with the Company. Stay tuned for updates following their April MSP meeting.
Grievance Committee Member Dave Anderson and Jimmy Abdalla are 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 Rich Clarke and the Retirement and Insurance team report that they held their first quarterly meeting of 2016 in March. The retirement plan is in good shape and the committee saw some minor changes as senior pilots leave AWAC and take their relatively large balances out of the account. That did cause us to fail the IRS Non-Discrimination Test this year. Consequently, approximately ten pilots received money back from their 401(k) salary deferrals. This is not an uncommon occurrence, although we have not failed this test in many years. For more on Non-Discrimination Testing, please use the following link.
Additionally, T. Rowe Price has lowered the fees we will all be paying. In the past each pilot has paid $85 annually to participate in the plan. That fee has been lowered to $81. Also, T. Rowe Price has pledged an additional $5,000 a year to cover administrative costs associated with managing the plan. In aggregate this should equate to a $5 or $6 decrease in plan costs per participant in coming years.
In March, the Hotel Committee travelled with the company and AFA to inspect hotels in 6 cities: DTW, CLE, CLT, PWM, GSO, and GSP. This trip resulted in great new hotels for our crews. Of considerable note is the change in hotels in CLT to a Sheraton Four Points. We think crews will be very happy with these properties. The committee is aware of the challenges involved with pleasing everyone with the selection of hotels, and we feel we have done a great job providing clean and comfortable accommodations with additional amenities such as workout facilities and good dining options.
The Hotel Committee also wants 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 www.arwalpa.org website, as those reports go directly to ALPA personnel and can be dealt with accordingly. 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 Greg Killeen of Professional Standards reports that his team worked three cases last month. Pilots continue to contact management with issues prior to contacting a Pro Stands committee member. Management has been good about directing pilots with issues to pro stans without intermeddling, but be aware that management largess may not always exist in these matters and disciplinary issues may arise by getting them involved.
Jumpseat Committee Chairman Joe Cetrone has been extremely prolific with his committee on many projects. The Jumpseat Committee cemented a new reciprocal jumpseat agreement with Eastern Air Lines. You can list either at the gate or on the phone. The phone number for listing on EAL is (305) 908-8400. To see schedules and more information on listing with EAL visit www.ealjumpseat.com. The password is ealjumpseat737.
The committee is also finishing up agreements with SkyRegional and Air Georgian. In addition, by June, we expect to have agreements with all Air Canada express carriers, bolstering our current agreement with Air Canada.
The committee has had a few issues of pilots bumped off the jumpseat at certain outstations. This is primarily due to the merger and gate agents who are ignorant of the proper procedures to list and verify jumpseaters in the new AA system. Please be patient with them and give one of us a call if needed. The committee addressed an issue with pilots riding the jumpseat after calling in fatigued. This is ill-advised, as most of us recall that we are a required crewmember while jumpseating.
The Community Involvement Committee (CIC) Chairman Robbie Fogelsanger reports a month filled with service to our various domiciles. Please see the report below for more details on the “giving back” that the CIC was involved in last month. Remember to check your email for updates on future events and the CIC calendar via FastReads and ARWALPA.org. Lastly, don’t forget to “like” ARW-ALPA on Facebook, where the CIC frequently posts updates.
Chairman Aric Newstead of the CIRP reports that it was a busier than normal month for the committee, which he attributes to some weather and an incident involving aircraft damage. Crew contacts were made for the aforementioned issues.
Captain Nathan Perry, the new Chairman of the Membership Committee, has been very busy in fulfilling his vision for his team, which includes new members Rodney North and Fareed Guyout. In March, the committee visited two small new hire classes in ATW. Looking to the future, the committee will be heading to ALPA National HQ to produce a series of informational videos to show the new hire classes.
Jay Killen is the Chairman of the Veteran’s Affairs Committee. Please contact Jay with any of your veteran-related concerns at 850-525-4622 or at James.Killen@alpa.org
ALPA Fee-For-Departure Committee (FFDC) Interview Workshops on April 20, 21, and 22 in Herndon, VA
By Graham Hoff-Downing, ARW-MEC Secretary-Treasurer
What is the FFDC? As per the description provided on ALPA.org, the Fee-For-Departure Committee’s (FFDC) mission is to identify and develop strategies to counter threats and capture opportunities in the piloting profession. Assisting in career progression is one of priorities of the committee and the FFDC website is packed with information to help pilots transplant themselves from the FFD segment to other airlines, such as DAL, FDX, etc.
One career progression resource that is offered is the FFD-sponsored interview workshop. The next workshop is going to be held at ALPA National headquarters in Herndon, VA, where representatives from Cage Marshall Consulting will discuss many subjects related to interviews, such as background checks, logbooks, flight times, paperwork, and applications. While you are in attendance, they will even review your resume for free, which is usually a $49.00 service!
For additional information and to register, you must first complete your career progression profile on the following link within the FFDC website. After the profile is complete, you can register for any of the three dates, April 20th, 21st, or 22nd. If you cannot attend this event, there will be another held in Denver on May 24th, 25th, and 26th. The work that the FFDC is currently doing is exciting and ever-evolving. Keep your finger on the pulse of the FFDC by regularly checking their website for future events and new career progression resources.
Contact Information Update Drive
By the ARW MEC
In order to ensure that everyone gets timely updates from the ARW-MEC, as well as ALPA at large, it is important to make sure that your contact information is completely up to date. This is a simple process and only takes a few minutes. Below are the instructions to ensure that you receive Pay Day Hotlines, Podcasts, X-Rays (the negotiations update), and other important communications from ARW-ALPA:
Shortly after updating your information, you should start to receive all of the pertinent communication from your MEC and from ALPA. If you should have any questions about the process, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or one of your ARW-ALPA representatives.
ALPA-PAC & C2A Participation Update
By the ARW MEC
With so many legislative challenges on the horizon, ALPA-PAC is working to expand and continue the tremendous growth they saw this past year. For 2016, the PAC’s goal is to reach 24% participation and $2 million. Reaching this goal will help bolster the pilot partisan voice on Capitol Hill, making clear our stance on issues such as the health care excise tax and the nefariousness of lithium battery shipments.
ALPA-PAC runs a Campaign every year seeking to enlist every elected representative in ALPA to support the PAC. In 2015, 100% of the ARW-MEC’s elected officials gave to the PAC. In addition, 26 ARW pilots signed up for the PAC in 2015, bringing our total participation to 11.61%. That makes us 9 out of 22 MECs by participation. Our request is that you give any amount that you can, which will be used to bring our pilot voice to a crescendo inside the beltway. Click here to be taken to the ALPA-PAC contribution page. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of our 2015 PAC stats:
In 2015, ARW ranked 3 out of 22 MECs by participation in ALPA’s Calls to Action, or C2As. Below is a breakdown of how our council performed in 2015. We finished third behind only Delta and United in C2As on a percentage basis. That is quite an accomplishment and we hope our pilots continue to participate and move us up to number one.
While these numbers are encouraging, we’re requesting that 100% of the ARW pilots immediately click this link to support ALPA's C2A. It will only take a few minutes and can make all the difference to affect positive change in our industry. ALPA C2As are form letters that highlight the particular issue, thereby making the process quick and easy. Moreover, using membership data, the form knows the pertinent congressman and auto fills those and other fields. The only actions the pilot has to take are selecting the topic of the letter and clicking send. By participating in C2As and making monetary contributions, we demonstrate to the rest of the industry that we are pilot leaders, that we are involved in our communities, and that we are willing to take steps, however small or large, to make great strides within our industry.
ARW-ALPA Community Involvement Committee (CIC): A Small Team, Making an Enormous Difference
By Robbie Fogelsanger, CIC Chairman
In March the Community Involvement Committee held events in all four domiciles. The committee has been prolific since its inception and we are pleased to be establishing ourselves as a civic-minded organization, willing, with alacrity, to give back to our communities.
On March 26th, Philadelphia CIC coordinator Adam LaPierre organized volunteers at The Friends of Liberty Lands for spring cleanup day. Adam was joined by Philadelphia Captains Eric and Ming Nielson, as well as First Officers Chris Sigley and Andy Abbot.
On March 24th Coordinator Matthew Inkel, accompanied by pilots from the DCA domicile, once again volunteered their time at the Manna Food Center to sort food donations for the needy. Joining Matt were FO Ross Ridenour and Captain Geoff Stern, along with Geoff’s wife, Ilana. Manna and CIC have become partners for helping the community and both look forward to teaming up once again in the future.
In March LGA CIC coordinator, Paul Marcs, teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to help repair a home that was damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Volunteers did a lot of painting, but also got to remove some old flooring and baseboards. They all enjoyed doing their best Bob Vila impressions.
Finally, in Norfolk we held our fourth cleanup of the Marshview Park Trail in Virginia Beach. I was joined by my wife, Christina, First Officers Tradd Gralak and Stacy Winslow, and former AWAC Captain, Kristin Brown. The committee sincerely thanks you all for coming out to help.
Remember to check your email for updates on future events from the CIC via FastReads. There will also be CIC updates posted to ARWALPA.org. Lastly, if you “like” ARW-ALPA on Facebook, you can receive additional updates.
March 2016 Resignations
By the ARW Membership Committee