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Old 03-09-2011, 07:28 PM   #1  
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Default FDX TA-Issues surrounding grievance 10-02

A fellow pilot filed grievance 10-02, which was subsequently incorporated into the current TA up for passage. I didn't realize the significance of the grievance until I read the following letter and the grievance itself. Due to its length and to preclude me from entering my personal thoughts I have pasted it in its entirety for you to read. I apologize for its length. What say you?



To:

MEC: Scott Stratton, Thomas Manning, Sean McDonald,
Local Council 7: Jack Anzur, Brad Mahoney, Lloyd Ballard
Negotiating Committee: John Gustafson, Rick Irgens, Mike Williams
Grievance Committee: Coy Briant
FedEx Pilots Via Email and Internet

Subject: Settlement Agreement 10-02

Dear Captain Stratton, Alpa Officers, Lec Reps, Committee Chairman and FedEx Pilots;

After review of Administrative Grievance No. 10-02, it is impossible to understand how the Settlement Agreement in determination of PIC, on augmented crews in any way reflects the intent or content of the grievance or contract. Nor does it serve the rank and file pilot group. We have a seniority-based system. This is an abrogation of our seniority rights. This settlement specifically degrades seniority without any visible form of quid pro quo or other gains, and changes contract language. The contract language was fought hard and won in the passing of our last contract.

It is apparent from the language of this grievance that you cannot arrive at this settlement based on the structure of the grievance. The contract language is clear, seniority prevails, and the settlement offered removes the basis for this grievance by abrogating seniority.

The grievance itself was not included in the TA presentation. If it had, the degradation and attack on our seniority would be obvious, as well as the lack of merit in this settlement (or capitulation).

How did this grievance with seniority at its core, end up outside the Grievance Committee and on the desk of the Negotiating Committee? Let’s be clear! This is more than a grievance settlement. This is a change in contract language. The change by the Negotiating Committee is specific in its removal of seniority from contract language when two Captains fly together on a double augmented crew. One of the primary responsibilities of the Negotiating Committee is to protect seniority and the seniority rights of its member pilots. Seniority should not be given away to further some other agenda.

This grievance itself was about insuring that the Company follows the negotiated provisions of the contract. It provided a remedy, by compensating those individuals, which were aggrieved. It should not have been a capitulation to the company's position with some new arbitrary way to determine the PIC. We might expect that from an arbitrator, but not from our Negotiating Committee. This grievance should not have resulted in changes and removal of contract language, especially language that abrogates seniority.

Any Pilot that reads this should be appalled at any attempt by our union to do anything that degrades our seniority or our seniority system, even if the administration of a seniority issue is a complex matter. Removal of seniority in determining the PIC, on a double augmented crew, by this union opens the door to other attacks on seniority and our contract.

No one should be confused by the settlement language, which will now allow the company to bump the PIC for a check ride on a double augmented crew. That does not mean that the PIC is going to be bumped from the trip and stay home. It means per Section 25.U.3 that the PIC can be bumped into the RFO position. This has been what the Company has wanted all along, understandably, and it is what the Company did to me, which was the basis for grievance 10-02. It was what this grievance was about, "the protection of seniority", and this Settlement Agreement is a complete capitulation to the Company’s position period. No seniority, no training bump, no additional future compensation. Furthermore, the Captain that thought he was going to be PIC with the new language, "STANDARD CREW PAIRING", can now be bumped to RFO. How is that in our best interest?

Compensation for the aggrieved allows in my case 14 hours of make up at 150%. We traded seniority for my ability to go work on my days off for an extra 7 hours of pay. That is an expensive 7 hours for this pilot group.

As the sole named aggrieved individual in this grievance, with the sole flight leg referenced where I was to be the PIC, I feel compelled to address this matter to you.

I recently completed telephone conversations with ALPA over the last week about this Grievance and Settlement. In these conversations the representative from the Negotiating Committee was adamant that the grievance settlement about determination of the PIC for double augmented crews was proper because this grievance was not based on seniority. The grievance was about training, training bumps, and the administration of line checks. The representative referenced 25.U.3 using this as the basis of the grievance. Section 25.U.3 has always been the Company's position, not ALPA's. My complaint to ALPA was about violation of seniority on double augmented crews where I was removed as Captain with my status changed to RFO to facilitate a check ride. It was then explained that the grievance filed (10-02) was about two other Captains in addition to myself with seniority as only a minor factor as the other Captains status was changed unrelated to seniority.

If you read the grievance that clearly is not the case. The grievance is about only one pilot, one flight, and deals with only one issue, Seniority, Section 22.B.2.

The language ALPA used in this Grievance 10-02 was for the Company to "cease violating the Agreement and desist from any further designation of PIC's that violate Section 22.B.2 (Seniority)".

How was this Settlement Agreement arrived at out of that grievance language?

It has been the policy of FedEx since the inception of double augmented crews to use seniority in determining the PIC when two captains were present. This policy originated early in the MD-11 and predates both contracts. Several years ago, under our current contract, the Company tried to change determination of PIC. Their intentions were made widely known by Jack Lewis as System Chief Pilot. You might remember Jack’s email to the crew-force, "you can fly, or you can eat caviar and sip champagne". ALPA then vigorously defended this seniority issue against the Company's desire to change it.

I feel that both the Negotiating and Grievance Committees have misled me. I have been misled about the nature of this grievance, its purpose, and the nature of the settlement. What I have been told by the negotiating committee is contrary to what I understand about this issue from our current contract and from previous contract negotiations.

It was stated to me, without reservation, that if the TA fails the Settlement Agreement of Administrative Grievance 10-02 will be referred back to the Grievance Committee for implementation. Why?


Here is Administrative Grievance No. 10-02.


May 18,201



Re: Administrative Grievance No.1 0-02 Pilot in Command


Dear Captain Cassel:

Pursuant to the Agreement, this grievance is filed regarding the Company's violation of Section 22.B.2.

Captain Brad Phillips was scheduled for Trip 3014 MEM 77 03APRI O. On the trip, Captain Phillips was scheduled as a Relief Flight Officer. Section 22.B.2 requires that the designation of Pilot-in-Command(PIC)/Captain of Record on double crewed flight segments is determined by system seniority. Such was not the case on Trip 3014. Instead, on Flight 98 HKG-MEM 07APR10, the Company had (Captains name redacted) as the PIC, apparently believing that Section 25.U.3. permitted the Company to override the seniority protection in Section 22.B.2.

In remedy of the Company's violation, the Company should cease violating the Agreement and desist from any further designation of PICs that violate Section 22.B.2. Captain Phillips and similarly situated pilots should be paid a +50% premium for any trip in which they were not designated as the proper PIC on a particular f1ight segment.

Discovery Requests

Pursuant to Section 20.C. of the Agreement, the following documentary information is sought:

1. Trip History screens for Trip 3014, including earlier and later revisions, whether those revisions were a different trip number or not.

2. Trip History screens for all the pilots on Flight 98 HKG-MEM 07APR I 0, including earlier and later revisions, whether those revisions were a different trip number or not.

3. The voice recording when Captain Phillips notified (ACP name redacted) of the issue by telephone on April 2, 2010.

4. Communications (including emails and voice recordings) by Company employees, excluding those protected by attorney-client privilege, regarding the flight and/or who was PIC on that Fight before or after Captain Phillips notified (ACP name redacted) of the issue by telephone on April 2, 2010.

Please send a copy of all hearing notices, decisions, and discovery responses in this case to the undersigned and the FedEx MEC Representation Department at 1770 Kirby Parkway, Suite 300, Memphis, TN 38138.


(Coy Briant Signature)


First Officer Coy Briant
MEC Grievance Committee Chairman

cc:

Captain Scott Stratton, MEC Chairman
Terrence P. McTigue Jr., MEC Coordinator/Sr. Contract Administrator
John Maxwell, Managing Director, Labor Relations Law
William W. McDonald, Managing Director, Contract Administration



The following chronology is what led to my call to ALPA and request for their intervention on the issue of PIC.

On April 2, 2010 I reviewed the trip pairings in VIPS. There were notes from the IOE scheduler that the other captain listed on the complementary pairing was to receive an Activation Check on FDX 98 Hong Kong MEM.

Since the other pilot was listed as Captain and junior to myself I called the scheduler to discuss the issue of PIC with double augmented crews as stated in the FOM. He responded that this was his directive and that if I had an issue with it to contact my ACP.

I contacted my ACP and explained the issue to him. I explained that for this flight with this crew that both the CBA and the FOM were clear. The CBA clearly stated that seniority would be the determining factor for the PIC with a double augmented crew and the FOM reaffirmed the same with the only exceptions being if an LCA was conducting IOE. This was not an LCA IOE flight. It was my position that we should not be placed in a situation where other crewmembers or myself would be required to violate the FOM (2.39 Captain of Record, PIC) or to have to act contrary to the CBA (Section 22.B.2).

I explained, that we could make the change in PIC, if both captains were in agreement to make the change, which I would agree to if asked, or to use the provision that allows the Duty Officer to amend or waive any non-regulatory policy or procedure contained in the FOM (FOM 2.123 Duty Officer Authorization).

This was not the case, and I was not going to be bumped. The decision was then made from the ACP to remove me without pay from this trip and threaten me with a 19.(e) Administrative Hearing. I strongly objected and after further discussions with the ACP and ALPA I was returned to my amended pairing as an RFO with the revision clearly removing me as a Captain.

The follow up from ALPA was to file this grievance on my behalf in the form of Administrative Grievance No.10-02. The only issue raised in 10-02 is the contract language of Section 22.B.2 where seniority is the determining factor in determining the PIC where two Captains are on a double augmented crew. The only flight named in the Grievance is Flight 98 HKG-MEM 07APR10, which is the flight discussed above. The only pilot named is Captain Brad Phillips.

It is unfathomable and unconscionable that the settlement agreement proffered by FedEx ALPA is to remove the seniority language of 22.B.2 in determining the PIC and instead uses the company's preferences, and allows a PIC change to RFO for check rides.

Whether you agree with this contract language or not is unimportant. What is important is the protection of our seniority and seniority rights, and seniority system.

Supporting this TA with this specific Settlement Agreement, which degrades seniority, is shortsighted and if passed will endorse the ideology that the union can abrogate our seniority at their convenience or whim. They can do so at the direction of the MEC without polling or an informed input of the pilot group, and sends the additional message that this pilot group doesn't care about seniority, and that the membership indorses such changes.

It is clear that after the filing of this grievance, our union has decided to no longer protect our seniority rights and is willing to change contract language to prove it. That ALPA is willing to capitulate to the company's position if it is self-serving to the MEC, and have allowed a new type of bump without compensation. This is a complete capitulation on all points.


Captain Brad Phillips



Again, I have posted this because I didn't realize any ramifications of grievance 10-02, specifically, as it pertained to this TA. I certainly haven't heard any dialogue on the matter. The individual who filed the grievance apparently hadn't received any notification regarding his grievance until after the proposed TA was released. I feel it warrants discussion.
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:38 PM   #2  
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The following is the view from the Block 5 rep on this topic: from his letter


Administrative Grievance 10-02 (Pilot In Command on Augmented Crews): Settlement Agreement

Wrapped together with the TA’d CBA sections, the MOUs, and the LOAs are two grievance settlements. The first, Administrative Grievance 10-02, deals with the designation of PIC when two captains happen to be crewed together, and for some reason, the Captain captain with the highest system seniority is not the pilot in command. Although the affected pilots suffered no economic harm, they will receive an economic reward in the form of hours credited to their compensatory makeup banks, which allows them to pick a trip and receive compensation at 150 percent of the normal pay rate. The method agreed to for determining PIC is essentially the same as that which is published in the latest version of our Flight Operations Manual (FOM).
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:18 PM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4A2B View Post
The following is the view from the Block 5 rep on this topic: from his letter


Administrative Grievance 10-02 (Pilot In Command on Augmented Crews): Settlement Agreement

Wrapped together with the TA’d CBA sections, the MOUs, and the LOAs are two grievance settlements. The first, Administrative Grievance 10-02, deals with the designation of PIC when two captains happen to be crewed together, and for some reason, the Captain captain with the highest system seniority is not the pilot in command. Although the affected pilots suffered no economic harm, they will receive an economic reward in the form of hours credited to their compensatory makeup banks, which allows them to pick a trip and receive compensation at 150 percent of the normal pay rate. The method agreed to for determining PIC is essentially the same as that which is published in the latest version of our Flight Operations Manual (FOM).

You're right, the current FOM does state that. It appears that was changed in the recent change to the FOM. Which begs the question, how can the company put something into the FOM which directly contradicts our CBA, if it is not mandated by the FAA/FAR's, etc.? Let them wait for changes with the NPRM as we're willing to do for the complete TA.

The economic rewards you speak of require the affected pilot to fly on their days off. I feel extra compensation should be automatic. Better yet, forego the extra compensation and simply remove the pilot, with pay, from the trip as it currently is done. Why are we giving something up for what appears a windfall for the company? That being flying extra on our days off, albeit for 150%.

My biggest concern seems to be the apparent degradation of seniority. Our CBA is full of loopholes. Now we seem to be creating another. This could have subsequent implications. I certainly hope the NC and the MEC aren't facilitating the company in this degradation of our seniority.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:17 PM   #4  
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The Status 5 Rep is incorrect when he says "The method agreed to for determining PIC (in the settlement) is essentially the same as that which is published in the latest version of our Flight Operations Manual (FOM)." That is not true. What the FOM states now is for "Double augmented flight crews. The PIC will be the senior Captain". That is also what the contract says. This is miss-information being put out by the MEC and LEC's to get this TA passed. It is very hard to argue with miss information. ALPA in this settlement has changed the contract language to match the FOM. It is a capitulation on the part of ALPA to the company's position for settlement agreement 10-02.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:20 PM   #5  
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Originally Posted by Underdog View Post
You're right, the current FOM does state that. It appears that was changed in the recent change to the FOM. Which begs the question, how can the company put something into the FOM which directly contradicts our CBA, if it is not mandated by the FAA/FAR's, etc.? Let them wait for changes with the NPRM as we're willing to do for the complete TA.

The economic rewards you speak of require the affected pilot to fly on their days off. I feel extra compensation should be automatic. Better yet, forego the extra compensation and simply remove the pilot, with pay, from the trip as it currently is done. Why are we giving something up for what appears a windfall for the company? That being flying extra on our days off, albeit for 150%.

My biggest concern seems to be the apparent degradation of seniority. Our CBA is full of loopholes. Now we seem to be creating another. This could have subsequent implications. I certainly hope the NC and the MEC aren't facilitating the company in this degradation of our seniority.
Seems to me they have finally fixed the problem satisfactorily...as they have done with the latest FOM revision. If the senior Captain wishes to fly the trip as PIC, he can bid the line that contains the PIC pairing. I always viewed it as an unjust manipulation of the seniority system when a Captain was removed as PIC from a trip he bid for and was awarded so some Captain as RFO could DH in 1st class to Paris and then "steal" the leg/landing back to Memphis. If he wanted the leg he should have bid the trip. This may not be the example that launched the grievance...but it fixes it once and for all...hopefully. Bid what you want to fly and your seniority will hold.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:29 PM   #6  
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There is no such thing as a PIC pairing.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:53 PM   #7  
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Well, now I have a good reason to vote YES! on the TA. Bid it if you want to fly it, or serve coffee. This was always a scam for the privileged few!
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:57 PM   #8  
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There is no such thing as a PIC pairing.
Sure there is. It's the one that lists a Captain and an F/O. The other one lists and RFO. I realize the 777 is a different animal and has pairings that list a single Captain...usually #30xx lines I think. This was been a problem long before there were 777's on property. One that has been exploited by the senior of the senior.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:04 PM   #9  
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Thats why its called a seniority system.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:41 PM   #10  
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Oh, this was a 777 Captain?

Next.
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