Go Back   Airline Pilot Central Forums - Find your next job as a Pilot > >
Cargo Part 121 cargo airlines
 

Welcome to Airline Pilot Forums - Connect and get the inside scoop on Airline Companies

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ. Join our community today and start interacting with existing members. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free.


User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-17-2013, 06:33 PM   #1
New Hire
Thread Starter
 
Joined APC: Oct 2008
Posts: 8
Default MEC votes to bring B-Scale to FedEx?

An interesting discussion on the Jetflyers page of Facebook concerning the LOA introducing the B-Scale at FedEx:


Pilot A-
The proposed 767 LOA firmly entrenches the “B-Scale” at FedEx and places at risk the career expectations of the majority of our pilots. I urge my fellow pilots to study and understand the implications of this agreement on our future.

Anyone familiar with the monthly SIG notes is aware the number of credit hours and regular lines can vary widely from month to month and bid-pack to bid-pack. What does not vary so widely is the number of Captains and First Officers assigned to each base and bid-pack. In order to change the number of Captains and First Officers assigned to a base and bid-pack a clear procedure is outlined in the CBA Sec. 24. This LOA eliminates the need for that pesky procedure.

It gets worse…

The LOA specifically erases the protection of CBA Sec.9.A.1 (See LOA B.6):
“All revenue flying covered by this Agreement shall be performed by pilots on the master seniority list. No pilot may fly a revenue flight in a crew position he cannot hold by his seniority” (Emphasis added.)
This LOA constructively erodes our rights under the CBA Sections 22 “Seniority” and 24 “Filling of Vacancies”. This is the basis for the creation of a “B-Scale” and reduced career expectations. I define a B-Scale WB pilot as a NB pilot flying WB aircraft but only occasionally earning WB pay. Alternatively, an A-Scale WB pilot always earns WB pay.

Let me explain. We all know there are certain times in the year the company has more pilots in a seat than it needs for a particular month’s flying. Other times the reverse is true. As a cost of doing business the company pays for a WB captain in months they could probably do without him in order to ensure availability in the months they do need him.

As seniority holders we know we will eventually fill one of those slots as retirements and system expansion occurs. Further, once we have attained a WB seat the CBA provides protections and procedures to prevent our arbitrary removal from that position and rate of pay (See CBA Sec 24.E.6.) The LOA removes these protections as well because the “B-Scale” WB Captain and First Officer (a 757 pilot that occasionally flies a 767 flight) is not an “A-Scale” or awarded WB Captain or First Officer.

Here are the implications to our future:
1) The company can AND WILL optimize the 767 WB slots to the minimum necessary to support low month projected flying. In higher CH months, the company will simply dip into the NB pool of pilots for “out of seniority” wide body flying (protected by the waiver of 9.A.1)
2) As a result, ALL pilots and 757 pilots in particular can expect much slower upgrades.
3) WB 767 pilots can expect fewer choices for vacation bidding (still need to cover the core flying and fewer pilots means fewer slots), virtually no VLT/DRF (vastly expanded pool of NB pilots in reserve), and similar reductions in training slots.
4) The company WILL need few WB reserves because NB reserves are always available at less expense.

The optimizer has a new set of clothes!

Here are the probable implications to our future:
1) 777 purchases will be reduced and replaced by more 757s and 767s. Why? Most of those pilots are only paid WB rates some of the time and the 777 pilots are paid WB rates ALL the time. Besides the range of the 777 is not necessary for most of the emerging market sectors of the next 2 decades (India, Brazil, intra-Asia). A re-evaluation of future aircraft acquisition as a result of this LOA is highly likely.
2) As the airbus is phased out it is unlikely to be replaced by another “pure” WB aircraft with the concurrent reduction in “A-Scale” WB seats. The same is already announced with the replacement of the MD-10. It is likely the MD-11 will follow suit.

There are too many other implications to include in this forum but the elimination of synthetic time is an important one. (e.g. a 3 city bid-pack has a possible combination of 6 city pairs whereas the addition of just 3 more cities increases the number of possible city pairs to 720!) Adding 757 airports to 767 airports will create new efficiencies in optimized pairing generation. If the past is our guide, this will undoubtedly result in the reduction of time off away from home to contractual minimums and vastly increase the circadian disruptions we WILL experience. The SIG and our CBA are ill-equipped to address these issues. ALPA’s effectiveness and, dare I say, enthusiasm in addressing cargo work/rest issues is even worse.

Finally, a quick word about an arbitrated 767 pay rate. Despite our abysmal record in arbitrations, an arbitrator would remove the thin fiction of fairness to go against an accepted industry standard and rule the 767 is a narrow body. Hence the LOA gains us very little and actually risks a lot.

Vote against the B-Scale, Vote for your seniority and career, Vote down the 767 LOA!

---

Pilot B responds- Thanks for your well thought out opinions on the B767 LOA that is in front of us for a vote, good debate and discussion is both healthy and warranted to ensure that we all are educated to make the best informed vote possible. While I expect that more detailed information will be provided by the MEC and the NC on the details of this LOA, the fact is that the agreement is out in the public now and we all like to read into it what we think will occur and where we think the gremlins are possibly hiding, so against my better judgment I will wade into the debate waters as I am sure they are “fine”. I recommend that anyone taking the time to read these posts on FB or any other “non-ALPA” site not use any of these discussions as their sole basis for an up or down vote; if you have questions on this agreement I strongly suggest that you seek answers/verification through your official ALPA channels.

The requirement for separate crew position awards (CBA section 24) and separate bid packs is the most critical part of this LOA to me. In a base with both the 767 and 757 each aircraft will have its own bid pack which includes regular, secondary and reserve lines and seniority lists. There is no option to change the number of pilots awarded the B767 or bidding on the B767 bid lines, other than via CBA section 24. The waiver for section 9 is required in order to allow the B757 pilots to fly the B767 (paid at WB rates) due to the new concept of a combined “base” with pilots paid different pay rates, but does not subvert the section 22 or 24 processes, more on that later. Equally as important is the fact the open time is partitioned off for all bid line adjustments, including volunteer. This will prevent one group from hoarding the others open time and vice versa. If a trip must be filled by draft, the seniority lists will be combined and the CBA draft procedure will be followed. There will be no disadvantage for a B767 pilot to get a volunteer trip at least not more so than any other crew position based on staffing levels. If you are on the volunteer list they have to assign volunteer among the B767 and/or B757 pilots only before combined draft.

Vacation bidding and recurrent training bidding will all be done within each bid pack and CBA section 7 requires that vacation slots be available as in any other bid pack, hence no “limiting” reduction can occur for our 767 pilots can occur beyond what can be done for any other current crew position. (From CBA section 7: “A sufficient number of vacation slots shall be available for bid to cover all anticipated vacations in each crew position. Available vacation slots for a month for a crew position shall not be less 3% of the total annual vacation time to be awarded for that crew position; provided, however, that there must be at least 1 slot available for bid in each crew position each month.”)

When a trip (from either bid pack), is forced into the reserve assignment window the reserves will be treated as one list. This is obviously an efficiency gain however it also introduces some interesting scenarios, for example if the pilot first on the leveling list is a 767 pilot, yet the only trip currently open is a 757 trip, they assign the 767 pilot and thus utilize a WB pilot for that B757 trip and if the next trip that opens up later on in the day is a 767 trip and the next pilot for assignment is a 757 pilot, he gets assigned the trip and is paid the WB rate.

The main advantage I see to the combined reserve option is that it should help ensure that if one bid pack or the other is tight on manning that the reserve forecast model and max open time matrix will be measured against a net larger reserve force than if they were separate. Hopefully the combined list will help with the dreaded “insufficient reserves” message when trying to make a bid line adjustment, in either bid pack. At the very least it ensures an even playing field for both the 767 and 757 pilots so one group is not hurt by a lack of reserve manning more than the other.

The SIG really has nothing to do with this entire procedure other than building the 767 lines and pairing reviewing duties as in any other bid pack, the Company must build all B767 flight segments and whatever B757 flight segments it needs into B767 pairings that reside in the B767 bid pack. The SCH ratio looks like it is a safety net or floor to ensure that the number of pilots awarded B767 Crew Positions is consistent with the same number awarded the B757 (e.g. not skewed so that one aircraft has X pilot per aircraft or CH on the other has Y). FedEx does not appear to rely on traditional “staffing formulas” (like X crews per aircraft that you see at some carriers) rather it is gauged by credit hours as evidenced by this LOA. If for some reason the ratio fails the SCH test there is a penalty, on a 2 for 1 pilot basis that they publish WB paid extra WB R24 lines in the B757 bid pack.

Does this mean we can expect yoyo like system bids in order to move people in an out of 767 WB seats when hours are down seasonally? I think not, our section 24 is not conducive to excess bids (bid to relieve, FEPP etc) and the Company can’t force a 767 pilot to simply downbid into the 757, they can go where they can similarly when it might be time to “rebid” those 767 seats when hours are higher there is no guarantee on who will bid into those seats, it could be an all new group of non 757/767 pilots requiring ITU. At the end of the day, it appears the goal of the system bid procedure, pay structure and staffing test is to ensure that we retain as many WB paid positions for the 767, just as if it was say an A-330 standalone base and I think the agreement comes as close as we can to that short of not allowing mixed 767/757 flying which is not industry standard. I personally think the Company would be well served to staff the 767 seats with a few more pilots than they contractually require from the SCH ratio because they can blend in as much 757 flying as they need to make the 767 pairings and lines efficient for the actual number of pilots they have activated in the 767 seats, because alternatively they have a pretty severe penalty of creating, possibly unneeded, R24 WB reserve penalty lines.

While I personally would liked to have seen an agreement that found a way to raise the current B757 to WB rather than concentrate on work rules for combined ops at different rates but the MEC elected to go this route and I fully support their leadership and direction. So, what is the alternative to this LOA? A CBA Section 26.K agreement or the 26.K arbitration route would determine the B767 pay rate category, relatively simple on face value and really not concern to me. Having been one of the ALPA System Board Members in the B777 Arbitration Case I also tend to agree with Mike that the past pay rate arbitration’s (MD-10 and B777F), history alone fully supports that an arbitrators decision should be that the B767 fits squarely in into the WB category…but what protections do we have from the methods that may be used in a split rate (NB/WB) “common aircraft type” bid pack that is implemented vice negotiated? So the choice(s) are we either agree to ratify a negotiated front end agreement (this LOA) or we “wait and see”. If we do not like what happens in the “wait and see” concept then we are back in the grievance world. Short of the Company sustaining a grievance we may file, we will be right back to the system board of adjustment and at the mercy of another arbitrator for a decision on much more than “what category of pay does the B767 rate”?.

No deal is perfect, this one included, but in my opinion our NC and MEC have secured an agreement that does an excellent job of securing the items that are critical to our careers. The B767 will be staffed via section 24 system bids, paid 100% at WB and some B757 pilots can and will be paid more than they are today. Is there stuff in this LOA that is beneficial to our Company? Of course, negotiations are rarely a one way street and this LOA should represent a positive, emotion free, business decision.

Many of the points made by Mike are completely valid regarding business model changes etc., but at the end of the day we have little control, if any, on those types of decisions as I do not think this LOA will modify or change that behavior. I simply do not believe that the core FDX business model rises and falls on how we pay and work the B767. Bottom line for me is that I like having control of my future all the while avoiding the pitfalls of the past and this is why I support this LOA and will be voting in the affirmative.

---

Pilot A replies-
I appreciate your perspective and experience. However, I respectfully disagree with the basic assumption upon which many of your points rest. That is, the company will populate the 767 at historic WB levels or something approaching those manning levels. I am absolutely convinced the company will not. It is unlikely the company would change spots and not use the optimizer to maximum advantage and populate the WB 767 base to the lowest level it can; this is likely to be the low bid month of the year utilization. Let’s investigate the implications of this outcome.

In contractual sleight of hand, the LOA (Sec.B.4.a) suggests that VLT “…shall be considered separate, without any ability to cross between them” suggesting the usual opportunities for extra flying within the WB population. Unfortunately, VLT is assigned after RSV (See CBA 25.G.3.b) emasculating any chance of extra flying for the WB pilots! LOA Sec.B.4.b specifically states, “… the B757 and B767 reserve pilots shall be considered a single pool of pilots.” Clearly, VLT/DRF opportunities for WB pilots will be limited by the large supply of NB pilots in the “single pool”.

A smaller 767 WB population will have fewer vacation options and recurrent training opportunities as a direct result of the smaller group. In a small crew base the most coveted vacation periods may be limited to a single slot (contractual minimum) reducing the WB pilot’s choices to that of far more junior pilots in other WB aircraft. The same would hold true for recurrent training.

On to the more worrisome aspects of the proposed LOA as this new manning model is embraced: the creation of a WB B-Scale and reduced opportunity for upgrade. Our industry has always defined the situation where two pilots operating the same equipment from the same seniority list are paid unequally as an A-Scale and a B-Scale. Isn’t this the case here? Won’t the NB pilot actually be a WB pilot paid mostly a NB rate of pay except for the part time work in the WB pilot’s seat? Further, that NB pilot is not in an awarded WB seat and is not protected by the provisions of the CBA section 24 which formalize procedures for pilots excessed to a lower pay scale. In other words, the B-Scale WB pilot (formerly known as a NB pilot) has NO contractual protections to the extra earning power of his B-Scale seat. This creates an unnegotiated, unmonitored constructive pay rate not listed in section 3 or protected by the CBA. In the case of an unruly FDA pilot group, the company would be able to whipsaw the B-Scale WB (NB757 pilots) against the A-Scale pilots in domicile by withholding the 767 flying.

FedEx bean counters are fully aware of the cost benefits associated with the Wal-Mart model of employing part time workers. The model allows for fewer full time (higher paid) employees supplemented by a far greater number of part time (lower paid) workers. While not easily transferable to a pilot seniority list, a clear similarity can be discerned. If FedEx mans the 767 crew base at a minimum level and supplements it with the part time WB pilots available in the NB fleet, aren’t they doing the same thing? If true, can any other conclusion be drawn that fewer WB seats available will result in slower upgrades? You may argue the “ratio” will prevent such an outcome. My response is simply that the company controls all the figures and data used to makeup the ratio and we have NO contractual right to check their numbers or methodology. This harkens back to Rudi’s poignant statements concerning trust.

Finally, CBA 9.A.1. is an incredibly important seniority protection and its discard should not receive such short shrift. This provision prevents the company from agreeing to a pay rate and simply adding the 767 to the fleet. True the obstacle could be overcome by a series of system bids but that process is both cumbersome and costly to the company.

Bottom line is we could do better than this LOA. The LOA does not “honor seniority”; it destroys it. How is seniority honored by allowing the waiver of Sec 9.A.1 and the creation of a B-Scale where junior pilots fly more senior pilot flights, have greater opportunity for vacation slots, training slots, and schedule flexibility. The LOA does not have “clear and un-concessionary” language as the ratio discussion is every bit as confusing as the current GPE language. We cede total control over how the ratio is determined to the company and their optimizer. This is not the way to proceed forward with the 767 integration ESPECIALLY during RLA section 6 negotiations.
steamgauge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 06:35 PM   #2
New Hire
Thread Starter
 
Joined APC: Oct 2008
Posts: 8
Default

Did Our MEC really vote 13 - 0 to do this to us?
steamgauge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 06:41 PM   #3
Part Time Employee
 
MaxKts's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jul 2006
Position: Dispersing Green House Gasses on a Global Basis
Posts: 1,917
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by steamgauge View Post
Did Our MEC really vote 13 - 0 to do this to us?
I don't know! Have you read the LOA or just taking one mans opinion on the issue?

Also, you do realize the company wanted a combined bidpack and only pay WB rates when a 76 was flown. Reserve, training and vacation would have been at NB rates. Decide for yourself which is better.
MaxKts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 06:47 PM   #4
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Jan 2008
Position: A300
Posts: 120
Default

you should probably order your 32% sticker now before the rush.
Lucky7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 06:53 PM   #5
New Hire
Thread Starter
 
Joined APC: Oct 2008
Posts: 8
Default

I'm afraid I don't understand your logic...what the company wants matters as little as what I want. It is what we negotiate and unfortunately later take to arbitration that matters. The language has to be strong and unambiguous. Not the case here in my reading of this LOA. I ask you in turn, did you read it and understand the implications of our rush to agree with the company? Besides the thread is not about me but about this questionable LOA and the introduction of the B-Scale to our pilot force!
steamgauge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 07:13 PM   #6
Part Time Employee
 
MaxKts's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jul 2006
Position: Dispersing Green House Gasses on a Global Basis
Posts: 1,917
Default

The company says:

"We are going to create a common 75/76 bidpack and only pay WB rates when a pilot flies a 76."

Show me in the CBA where they cannot do that.


We ask for the loaded baked potato with all the fixens

The company says "No soup for you!"

We end up somewhere in the middle

It is what it is
MaxKts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 07:24 PM   #7
"blue collar thug"!
 
iarapilot's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Nov 2006
Position: A proponent of...
Posts: 1,598
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky7 View Post
you should probably order your 32% sticker now before the rush.

Have mine already.
iarapilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 07:53 PM   #8
Gets Weekends Off
 
Gunter's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,931
Default

If you fast forward to a legal battle - an arbitrator will not support us forcing an incredibly inefficient way of operating common type planes on management. We couldn't even get a deserved pay rate bump for the 777.

Last edited by Gunter; 03-17-2013 at 08:08 PM.
Gunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 08:46 PM   #9
gets every day off
 
Nitefrater's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Mar 2006
Position: Retired MD11 Capt
Posts: 675
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by steamgauge View Post
An interesting discussion on the Jetflyers page of Facebook concerning the LOA introducing the B-Scale at FedEx:
...

Pilot B responds- Thanks for your well thought out opinions on the B767 LOA that is in front of us for a vote, good debate and discussion is both healthy and warranted to ensure that we all are educated to make the best informed vote possible. ...

Pilot A replies-
I appreciate your perspective and experience. However, I respectfully disagree with the basic assumption upon which many of your points rest.

Are you CRAZY?!?!??!

Civility such as this has no place on the APC vent-a-thon.

What the HE!! were you thinking in reposting this?!?!?!?

(sarcasm off....)
Nitefrater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 10:42 PM   #10
Gets Weekends Off
 
TheBaron's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Aug 2007
Position: MD-11 FO
Posts: 608
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by steamgauge View Post
I'm afraid I don't understand your logic...what the company wants matters as little as what I want. It is what we negotiate and unfortunately later take to arbitration that matters. The language has to be strong and unambiguous. Not the case here in my reading of this LOA. I ask you in turn, did you read it and understand the implications of our rush to agree with the company? Besides the thread is not about me but about this questionable LOA and the introduction of the B-Scale to our pilot force!
You guys use a lot of big words and legal sounding terms, but I don't see the B-Scale. A pilot senior enough to bid the 767 will only be paid W/B pay. Someone junior that can only hold the 757 (or senior that chooses the 757) will be paid N/B pay...except they will receive W/B pay when/if they fly the 767. Sounds like a normal A-Scale 767 W/B pay rate and an A-Scale+ N/B pay rate. Some narrow body gets paid more, no wide body gets paid less.
TheBaron is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
 

 
Reply
 



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Any "Latest & Greatest" about Delta? Guard Dude Delta 193808 Yesterday 05:14 PM
FedEx, USPS team up for new returns service ⌐ AV8OR WANNABE Cargo 2 09-10-2009 04:10 PM
fredex attempts to blackmail the government nightrider Cargo 39 03-28-2009 07:26 AM
NWA/DELTA Roadshows Ferd149 Mergers and Acquisitions 112 05-15-2008 03:33 PM
FedEx bets big in pilot offer? Freighter Captain Cargo 3 05-16-2005 07:00 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:09 AM.


vBulletin® v3.9.3.3, Copyright ©2000-2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.3.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©2000 - 2017 Internet Brands, Inc.