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Old 09-14-2015, 08:20 AM   #1  
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Default Dissenting LEC votes speak for me

I do not mean any disrespect to the fatigued-by-the-RLA-process NC committee, but after finally reading through the entire TA, I feel pretty raw about repeating the "my NC speaks for me" slogan like a blind sheep. Had I known what was going on in negotiations, I would not have been repeating that catchy, false phrase. I take solace however, in the fact that across the seniority spectrum, LEC reps were able to see this TA for what it is. Just pasting their thoughts here:

From Block 1 Rep: With apologies, the communication I had hoped to send to you no later than yesterday is delayed until next week. In part, this is so that new information can be incorporated, and also because access to costing data and personnel at ALPA National's offices—vital to the dissenting elected representatives on your MEC for the purpose of verifying information presented by the Negotiating Committee—has been denied. I have faith, however, that our MEC officers will resolve the issue soon.

Accurate, unfiltered information is the oxygen of your democracy, and unfettered access to that information is its lifeblood. Your patience in the matter is appreciated.

Meanwhile, here's some food for thought: While $1.7 Billion worth of claimed improvements in this TA sounds like a large number, some perspective is in order. That's less than 1/2 of one percent of the company's projected revenues from the amendable date through the end of the TA. One half of one penny per dollar of revenue.

For additional perspective: To cover increased costs, the company raised prices 4.9% earlier this year across the board—ten fold the entire amount gained in this TA. This follows a similar pricing move in 2012 and fuel surcharges which have been increased even as fuel prices decline.

Do you still think there's "no money available" to improve your retirement A plan?
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:21 AM   #2  
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From Block 11 Rep: While I agree there are improvements in many areas of the TA, I believe this agreement is short of what we could have obtained had we continued to pursue leverage-enhancing strategies. Unfortunately, we repeated the same mistake we made in 1998. We blinked. We were told of dramatic wet leasing and trucking in the 4th quarter. The NMB would not assure us that additional mediation time would be allocated to our case in the near future, and reported that we could not count on the Board's serious consideration of self-help options any time soon. We allowed these factors to get us off of our game and we settled for too little. For these reasons, I voted to not end negotiations. My specific reasons for voting against acceptance of the TA are:

Section 8 Deadheading: Section 8 A. 5. c. “Higher Class of Service:” Allowing a lay flat seat to determine a higher class of service could lead to deadheading in coach and reduced deviation banks as airlines expand their use in economy plus. There is no language in the TA providing a “no less than business class” provision.

Section 24 Filling of Vacancies: Our current agreement provides you with a “bid to relieve an excess” option whereby you can bid to any aircraft and any seat anywhere in the system with an excess posting. This option is now eliminated under the TA. If we vote for this agreement, you will only be able to “stand in” for a junior pilot who is being excessed. In other words, you cannot exercise your seniority like you can today, rather you can only go where the junior pilot can go. In addition, this provision provides a reduction in training cycles for every posting. In fairness, this will also lead to less unwanted seat movement for a junior pilot during an excess.

Section 25 S. Trip Revision: Just like in our current agreement, a reserve pilot in this TA still does not receive the same disruption pay protections as a non-reserve pilot in the same cockpit. We should have changed this to provide the same pay for the same work regardless of a pilot being on reserve.

Section 27: The lack of a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) for the Buy up option leaves pilots who are post-retirement but pre-Medicare vulnerable to large out of pocket costs for insurance and thus acts as a disincentive to retirement before 65.

Section 28: As we have written before, having both a Defined Benefit (DB) “A plan” and a Defined Contribution (DC) “B plan” is the optimum way to provide for retirement security. Our passenger brothers and sisters had their A plan taken in or facing the threat of bankruptcy/distressed termination otherwise they too would enjoy an A plan today. American’s A plan is frozen not terminated and I believe will re-emerge as an option for their pilots in future bargaining as interest rates rise. Our A plan is off-property, in trust for you, and is well funded. In addition, there are approximately 219,000 participants in our company’s DB plan. It is a safe and secure plan and should be retained.

Under current IRS rules, you are limited in the total amount one can put in a B plan. Congress and the White House have flirted with reducing and establishing new limits for DC contributions as a way to raise tax revenue. This means we should not consider putting all of our retirement eggs in one basket.

Keeping all of our current and future pilots in the same retirement plans prevents a “B” scale retirement from undermining our union long-term. However, the A plan remaining unchanged with a $260,000 cap and the B plan increasing only 1% at DOS with an additional 1% four years later is insufficient. We have the leverage to increase these amounts and we should keep fighting to address this issue.

Section 31: A 6-year contract is too long given the issues listed above. Given the time it takes to negotiate agreements, this could be a decade-long agreement.

If you decide to vote this TA down, what happens next?

I would consider a rejection of this TA to be a mandate to rebuild, revise, and re-engage. Your volunteer committee members in Negotiations, Pilot to Pilot, the Strategic Planning and Strike Preparation committees have worked hard to get us to this point. When you see them on the line, be sure to thank them for their service. If we reject this agreement, some of these volunteers may want to take a well-deserved break. Strengthening these key committees with experienced volunteers from prior negotiations would help build bridges among our union leaders. I would suggest we poll to identify your key reasons for rejecting the agreement as well as develop additional strategies to enhance our leverage.

There is risk in this path, but we have been here before. In fact, we were “at will” employees at that time without the protections of a contract. The timeframe to renegotiate this agreement is uncertain and will vary based on management’s motivation to get a ratifiable agreement. Using the offices of the NMB would be optimal for further talks, but their absence does not preclude negotiations if we are successful at encouraging management to bring more to the table.

If you have specific questions about my reasons, please call. This is your future and I look forward to working on your behalf regardless of the outcome of this vote.
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:23 AM   #3  
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From Block 6 Rep: I feel like I was kicked in the gut when I realized that this was our TA. I have been sick to my stomach ever since, with a feeling that I did not meet our pilot’s expectations. It feels as if I personally let the majority of you down.

The perfect storm was brewing. The smell of Peak was in the air. Company manning was alarmingly low. Our pilots were engaged and alert. It was our time to rise above this industry and achieve a TA that would make us all proud to be FedEx pilots once again. I expected to hand you a TA that included:

Retirement improvements for both the A and B Plans
Quality of life enhancements
Better healthcare
Clearer contract language with fewer grey-areas
Pay raises that reflected our value
Protections for our benefits that had been previously negotiated
That is not how history will be written. It is my opinion that a substandard offer from the company was approved by your MEC, in order for our pilot’s to “see it.” I was hoping that we would continue negotiations to make this deal acceptable. I wasn’t ready to quit. However, I failed to make a difference in our discussions and debates. Resultantly, I am now handing you a TA that falls short of my expectations.

My job thus far was to represent you and your interests. My job moving forward is to help answer your questions, offer perspective, and if you want, give you my opinion. It is not my job, however, to tell you how to vote. It is now your turn to make the choice for you:

Does this TA make you proud?

Feel free to stop reading here, unless you want my opinion. I feel that we fell short of our goals at the last hour. This TA is simply under-whelming and anemic. It is the FedEx pilot’s lost decade to COLA. Yes, there are some gains (if you watch the videos, participate in a call-in or go to a Road Show you will hear all about those gains). My concerns are the gives:

Inflationary pay raises are simply inadequate
By failing to protect the best retirement in the industry, we are creating our pension’s spiraling death, which is a disservice to both the young and the old
With no A Plan enhancements, a 2% increase in the B Plan in a period of 13 years is insulting (2006 until 2019)
Insurance premium increases over the life of this 6-year contract could be essentially half of one of your 3% raises (for any First Officer)
Instability in the junior ranks, if a downsizing occurs, due to the “bump & flush” vacancy system in Section 24
With an agreement to disagree, there is no contractually binding solution for 4.A.2.b. if a furlough occurs in the side letter of Section 4.A.2.c
In 1999, we gave up a day-off of work for First Class service and in 2015 we are giving up that First Class service, but not getting that extra day in return; resultantly deadhead banks will suffer
Deviation flexibility will be reduced because of lower deviation banks and earlier check-in windows
The 8 in 24 “company efficiency” will make most of the domestic daytime west-coast layovers shorter
6-week bid periods weaken our wet-lease scope protections, could significantly reduce the number of SDP and override payments paid to pilots and instructors, and weaken our vacation flexibility
Due to increased trip and reserve conflicts, the utilization of the Secondary Working Window will be higher, forcing more pilots into the Secondary System which is a PBS-like system
Fewer PDO bumps from our instructors and more trips being sought in the Secondary Working Window with the new currency system in Section 11
New definitions in Section 8 that inhibit 6 day (3 and 3) “hotel in lieu of” benefits for our FDA brethren
An overall lacking of expected clear language and contractual cleanup
As many have asked, is this TA a “One Section” deal for me? No, this TA is an “all section” deal. It is simply inadequate when looking at the total package.

No matter if this TA is ratified or not, I am prepared to stand strong with my pilots. We will either be signing a TA together or rallying in a fight for what we are worth. While FedEx could agree to meet with us outside of the NMB, we will still be under NMB mediation and meet according to the NMB’s schedule should FedEx choose not to schedule meetings with us. Either way, I do not fear the unknown.

Please take the time to read the TA for yourself. Attend a road show, send your questions to... or call/email me. I will do my best to give you factual information so that you can make up your own mind. Does this TA represent your worth for a decade of work? Does this TA make you proud?
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:46 AM   #4  
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I'm thankful for the dissenting voters speaking up so people can make their own decisions based on all the information. Just a reminder the union now has an official position and is actively doing their best to convince us to vote for this TA. In order to defeat this we have to work against a funded (by us), professionally organized union with professionally produced videos, talking points, and organized meetings where they control the agenda. The dissenters are providing the critical other side of the argument that we need to consider before voting. I'm a definite No vote, but i want to thank the other No votes for having the courage to stand up for us line pilots. Cheers.
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:53 AM   #5  
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There are other ways to get a pay raise (and significant bonuses!). I suspect that many of us are AT LEAST as qualified as the last guy that had this job?


You have to agree to sell the pilots "down the river." Oh ... and I forgot, you also have to agree to mismanage staffing so badly that there's a need to cancel flight every day?

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Old 09-15-2015, 05:33 PM   #6  
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From LEC 79: The Tundra Tidbits

14 SEPT 15

Dear Fellow Far North Flyers,

Hopefully by now, everyone has had a chance to read the TA, watch the videos, watch the webcasts and read the Q & A’s.

There are many good gains in this TA, but I believe there are too many concessions or no movement/improvement.

It was promised to poll often to keep the NC/MEC appraised of your desires in a new contract. I can only remember two in over four and half years, one in 2010 and one right before the amendable date this year. Not often in my opinion.

It was said, many times, that we would stay within the structure of the current CBA and not re-invent the wheel. Well, how many sections saw major re-writes???

Section 3: Is a 3% slope a pay raise or COLA?? You be the judge. There are several different websites that have different numbers for cost of living increases between 2006 and 2015. Anywhere from 1.5 to 4.9 is what I found.

Section 4: So much added/changed that we had to have a side letter just to get a contract. This didn’t fix 4.A.2.b.

Section 6: At least it says we (ANC pilots) get a paid move back if the base closes.

Section 8: Lots of changes here—some good, some not so good. We gave up a day of pay for first class and we give up first class for what??? Where was the costing for this section? The higher class of service for over 2.5 hours vs. first class for lay flat seat. No mention of business lay flat. In my experience, when I upgraded to the higher class of service in Asia on my own, it cost me $100 at most vs. $10,000 difference between first class and business class.

Earlier final check-in?

The webcast said that the approved carrier list was the one on Medex, but no mention of the first paragraph saying the current approved list of April 29, 2014.

Too many more to list here.

Section 11: What do you think instructors and LCAs?

Section 24: Pretty much a complete re-write.

Section 25: What can I say??

Section 27: Where are the improvements? Oh, the cost went up and the max the company can raise rates year-over-year went from 6 to 10%.

Section 28: No “A” plan gain at all. Modest “B” plan improvement. So, we went up 3% in the “B” plan from 2006-2021, 15 years worth. No cash over cap is problematic.

SLAB. In my opinion sick should never be part of retirement. Cash for over full DSA has only encouraged flying sick. This will also.
For us Anchorage-based pilots, retiring on the 31st of Dec will be a big tax burden. Per state law, when we retire the company has to pay us what is owed. Therefore, we will get all our accrued vacation pay, two years worth paid with our last paycheck. Unlike TN-based pilots who get the vacation pay the next year.

These are my highlights, at least the major ones. There seem to be too many to mention here.

Were cornerstones met? Did we get improvements in retirement? Insurance? Secondary lines? 4.A.2.b.? The vague wording that was open to interpretation and re-interpretation? What were you looking for in this TA? Remember, we will have to live with this for 6 years minimum.

Please attend a roadshow if you are able—it doesn’t have to be ours.
Read and re-read the TA and ask questions.

Please bring all your questions to the ANC Roadshow to be held on the 16th of Sept., 1200-1430...Fly safe, stay informed and enjoy life.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:49 AM   #7  
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From Block 1 Rep:

What You Put Up With, You End Up With
What You Tolerate, You Give Permission To Exist

Why did I vote "NO" on this TA?

Fair question. Understand that explaining my own actions and opinions below—why I voted against this TA—is not the same as telling you how to cast your own vote. I won't do that. Before I go further, invest a couple of extra minutes in your future. Review this video from last summer.

That moment was a show of strength, the likes of which has never been seen on this property. That moment was a powerful demonstration of negotiating capital. That moment should have been replicated manifold this year, but when the crunch time came, you were denied any further opportunity to leverage your Unity, participate in the process, and influence this TA for the better.

I voted "No" because at the very moment when you were ready to go to the wall and fight for what you deserve, your MEC was ambushed with a stunning capitulation which we never saw coming. Because this document encumbered your MEC with a bad option and a worse option, but no good ones.

I voted "No" because I have faith in the strength you've shown throughout this process. Because I have more faith in you than this TA does. Because I believe this TA abandoned you—the most unified pilot group in our company's history—on field of battle. I voted "No" because you asked me to fight for you, I promised you that I would, and when I leave the fight it's supposed to be on my shield, not my horse.

I voted "No" because if I'd told you just one month ago that I'd consider the elements of this TA as acceptable, you'd have recalled me. Because this TA is bad for older pilots and even worse for younger ones. Because the A-Plan increase is AWOL and the B-Plan increase is insulting. Because this TA actually has less than the claimed retro pay and less than the claimed 3% year over year raises, and because if even that simple math isn't right then I have cause to worry that there are undiscovered mistakes in other, more complex sections.

I voted "No" because the small pay increases that do exist will be largely cancelled out for basically having to fund your own retirement from this point onward while paying as much as $2000/year extra for your healthcare. Because there are unadvertised concessions in the new work rule sections. Because the sum total of this mediocrity is locked down in a six year TA, which means you will probably have to live with it for 8 years at the very least.

Most importantly, I voted "No" because this is fixable.

I don't heed the fear mongering. When I hear "The company drew a line in the sand," I take a deep breath, recall the Unity you've shown, and say...So? When I hear "If we don't take this crummy deal now it could be a while before we get a better one," I say...Our pilots would rather wait one year for the right deal than live with this one for eight.

Will the economy be a lesser one next year? Maybe. Will the NMB take a break for a bit? Maybe. Those are considerations. Understand though, that they are only considerations. Those aren't unassailable monsters hiding under your bed at night, as some would have you believe. Understand that there's a bit of fear mongering going on, brought to you by those who are emotionally invested in this TA for having created it, and who will suffer great embarrassment should you reject it in confirmation that they fell short of the mark.

Please also understand; Basic human nature dictates that anyone who creates a TA and is charged with presenting it to you in webcasts, videos and road shows is unlikely to say that there were mistakes made. They are not likely to tell either you or your MEC that there was money left on the table. It's basic human nature to say, "If we didn't get it, it couldn't be gotten." Personally, I don't believe a word of that because my faith is in you—the pilots who are the power in that video above.

You Are The Solution

Again, I'm not here to arm-twist your vote. I'm here to explain mine and to reassure you that the world doesn't end if you reject this TA. If you stand firm, you aren't going to be stranded in a negotiating desert. If you turn it down and send us back to the table, your MEC will have a mandate to:

Poll you
Learn what needs to be fixed
Fix it
That might happen in a month or it might happen a year, but if you want it then it will happen, because you will make it happen.

If you don't reject this TA? Well, we will all just live with it. Exactly what it is (and isn't) will be the subject of a series of comms to follow.
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Old 09-16-2015, 11:22 AM   #8  
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It's guys like Don Ray (block 1 rep) that allow me to keep the faith. I think his letter indicating why he voted not to accept this t/a should be distributed to all. Thank you, Captain Ray!
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Old 09-16-2015, 12:51 PM   #9  
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This TA is insulting on all levels. I read all the data from the actual TA. The information being provided via Roadshows and the YouTube Videos DOES NOT provide data regarding many areas of "grey matter" and blanks. This TA is concessionary at best!

Pilots questioning these areas and concerns are either discounted, ignored or redirected.

Roadshows were nothing more than a "sale" job. Why were the LEC members that did not vote in favor of this TA be allowed to present their opinions and answer questions side by side with the NC Chairman and the SME's? Why weren't the dissenting LEC members permitted to post videos to the membership explaining serious flaws in the TA? Why did the dissenting LEC members have to take refuge at the back of the room with their "booth" to present data which was then drowned out by loud music? What sort of Union does that to their membership? What sort of Union puts a "spin" trying to sway the membership in a direction that may not be in the best interest of the entire pilot group? Why has the MEC Chairman not taken a "position" as to the TA yet LEC has?

Unless you read the entire TA, cover to cover you will not have the "TRUTH" If you form your opinion based on the "Immediate Carrot" (money) in your face and the Videos, you are selling yourself and your fellow pilots short. God forbid we have to live with this for what will likely be 10 YEARS! I commend those LEC leaders who did not vote in favor and posted their reasons why. I cannot understand why they are being inhibited by the very Union that is suppose to represent us. What gives?
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:42 PM   #10  
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What gives is what has always given. The no voters get their one ALPA email to send out, and then their voice is stifled. Same political BS that goes on everywhere.
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