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Old 09-25-2015, 06:49 AM   #11  
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Default I'm Still Voting NO

I agree it is a well-written and rational post. I see the reasons why HE may vote yes. Everyone should put the same level of thought into their own voting decisions. But, as with everything, some things are more important than others--and this is different for every pilot.

I have several thoughts on his post. Albie speaks of the additional 10k in education for his single child family as a huge deal. What happens if you have a family of two kids? A lesser improvement. Three kids, no improvement. He's "lucky" to score a big win because of his family composition. And, he somewhat dismisses the HILO changes that affect the FDA because he can pay for hotel and per Diem costs out of his raise. But, MANY people used that HILO. It's value to those who use it frequently is well over $10,000 so it's a huge deal also. One of the reasons to move to CGN on narrow body pay is to see Europe. This TA takes many thousands out of pocket for those that were using it. Losing it eats up most of the payraise for the CGN guys and gals who use HILO. Also, the company has all the data. Don't you think they wanted this change as it was costing them a lot of money? If it was costing them a lot of money, that strongly implies many people were using it, so it's not a minor change.

I also note there seems to be a lot of talk about the company booking you in business, but you getting the first class bank. Thus, you could deviate, book yourself on the same flight in first class, then undeviate per the new rules as you're on the same flight? I know the NC put out comments saying this (getting first class bank, but booked in business). But, the language is very convoluted in this section. My read on the plain, written language doesn't agree. Anytime the language is convoluted, I am very cautious as the company wanted the change, so they have plans to get cost savings. After all, we certainly understood what was negotiated, intent, etc of 4.A.2.b and the company turned the process on its head. Fool me once....

Another point is this notion that we will re-engage with the company on retirement. Maybe we will, but maybe we won't. I can't consider this possibility in my voting decision. Also, I don't like the thought of changing retirement outside of a section 6 negotiated package. Part of my decision making process weighs the good/bad of retirement in conjunction with the ENTIRE TA. Let's say we do a retirement LOA and we freeze A fund and put in a big B fund. It gets a 51% vote because it's structured just right by the company to entice the junior guys who are the most costly as they haven't earned their high five yet. Now, the 49% retiring within 10 years are hosed. And, if they would have known of the freeze/change in the TA they would never have voted for it based on the entire package. A retirement LOA will be weighted by the company to remove costs that ERISA and FAS haven't mandated as sunk costs--it will divide the pilot population worse than if we had just done away with the A plan for new hires and indexed the A plan for those on property.

If we have so little negotiating power in section 6, why should I think we will get anything I like in a retirement LOA? An LOA will likely be even worse as there is no counterbalance in other sections of the contract. If you feel the TA is poor, I would doubt an LOA could be any improvement. Fool me twice......

I look at my no vote as having the emotion taken out of it too. I am not voting no on my pocketbook and solely because of lost $. I'm voting no because:

1) did we meet cornerstone of work rules improvement--NO. For everything fixed, there are sections completely rewritten and huge amounts of blue writing with all kinds of new loopholes for the company. Sick leave notes not fixed, reserve not fixed (who cares if someone now has visibility on being screwed, they're still being screwed), etc.

2) did we meet the cornerstone of improved pay? No, but I can see the possibility of a slight yes. I say no because when I looked at the pay rates, I thought they were anemic and therefore I would find something in the TA I really liked to balance that. I didn't--so No.

3) did we meet the cornerstone of improving retirement? No, and I don't count status quo and keeping new hires on A plan as an improvement. The increase B % is offset by not having cash over cap which reduces its value greatly...by 2021 to be about an effective 7% to 7.5% B plan for a wide body captain. I think this is the major area that would change if this TA were voted down. I think repolling would show that A plan is so important for those on property that we, as a group, would assent to ending the A plan for new hires in return for a substantial B plan for new hires. And, it would provide an OPTION to convert for anyone on property wishing to do so.

4) did we meet the cornerstone of improved insurance....no. While you may have some Geo Blue improvements and purple CDHP is interesting for those who are healthy and don't have any Rx drug costs, keeping our traditional buy up plan for significantly increased premiums isn't an improvement. I don't consider keeping something we have invested negotiating capital in over time and something I've traded other portions of the contract to maintain and improve over the years as a win. Going from 13% cost share (per ALPA Q&A) to 20% cost share in the buy up plan isn't a win. The increased premiums in the buy up over 10 years essentially eat up your "bonus". And, people overlook the doubling of costs for prescription drugs--that has the potential to be more costly than even the premium increases. Also, if you're on a purple or orange CDHP, you think your doctor visits don't cost that much so those out of pocket maximums are unreachable. Wrong. If you or your family go on a SINGLE non formulary or even non preferred drug for the year, you'll pass the sound barrier on your way to out of pocket maximum. So, the CDHP plans are great if nothing happens that year and no family member gets a chronic condition. Not so great if you don't win the health lottery year after year. Everyone must look at the max costs under these plans carefully.

5) six years--minimum--is too long to fix anything as the company does things with the language we grieve and lose.

6) the pilot group is changing to be more militant than in the past. We are looking at past results assuming we, as a group, are the same. This contract I sensed a different mood in the pilots. People looked at the big board with glee at the unfilled trips. This is a different mood than in past years. Maybe it's the influx of new blood. Maybe it's more commercial and less military new hires. Maybe it's losing some of the early hire purple bleeding pilots. Who knows, but I think the environment is different now and we should expect different results.

In summary, I agree that I probably won't be monetarily whole in a delay. But, I'm also voting on work rule and QOL issues. If I give those up now, I'll never get them back. (I gave up a day of extra work to get first class DH, now that they go away, do I get my day of work/QOL back?). These QOL and work rule issues are of greater importance to me. And, there is a significant possibility retirement can be improved after we repoll and move forward. Maybe we see other company rates with their new agreements and we can improve ours? Small chance, but that's better than no chance in improving work rules and QOL lost. We get to see TNT deal close and if we don't get the long haul flying, that will generate huge blow back by the pilots and even with hiring, next peak will be a huge problem for the company. We get to see a new president and if the Cadillac tax is repealed or modified.

While I respect your opinion and reasons, many of us have other things we are basing our decisions on. Our reasons are just as valid...just different opinions and weighing what is important to each of us individually. I hope everyone puts as much time and effort as you do into our decision making.

As with you, whichever way the vote goes, I'll go with it as we will have spoken as a group.

Last edited by Raptor; 09-25-2015 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:51 AM   #12  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albief15 View Post
I am going to share the reasons I am going to vote “yes” on this agreement..
And you will be a very affective advocate for this TA Abie, your influence and advise/help getting many junior Fedex pilots hired may be the margin to move this TA from being downed to passing. At the very least it will increase the YES vote precentage and that will have an affect whether it passes or not.
I'm not going to counter point his arguments pro or con on the improvements this TA offers. Abie's post is long and requires deliberate reading and consideration. I just want to highlight some pertainate points he makes, all relating to section 28, retirement.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Albief15 View Post
So, if once a year, I get bumped from a trip, or pick up an extra trip, or get drafted for a 5 day pairing I can throw that money in my own investment account to offset the loss. ...............
We all know how to fund our future and give ourselves a pay raise, just work more. The senior here can remember a pay survey commissioned by Fedex, done by a (thought to be reputable, honest broker) pilot hiring information company (pre internet). This company determined that Fedex pilots would be (I believe ALPA 1, first TA) the highest paid pilots in the industry, ahead of all, Delta, American, US Air, United, all and every. After closer examination, it was determined that an extra 7 hours per month of overtime was included in the computation. While the publisher never answered to how this was used to figure our exceptional pay, some one in management took to explaining how Fedex pilots on average work an extra 7 hours per month, and so that figure was used to justify our pay comparison with the industry.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Albief15 View Post
But making 300k or so as a widebody captain or over 200 as a widebody FO gives our pilots a chance to make some pretty good money here and now, and then invest for their future as they see fit.
Again, Abie, we know we can save for ourselves in retirement. Everyone without a company provided pension is obliged to do so if they wish to have more than social security at retirement. In all likely hood, junior pilots, more so than us nearer to retirement, will have to put additional monies aside for retirement. That is or could have been income spent on college funds, trips with the family, what have you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Albief15 View Post
My prediction is we are going to do some work outside section 6 and address some rebalance options.
I'm not even sure how to respond to this comment. We have had several LOA's over the years, most to improve FDA terms after Fedex pilots agreed to the initial deal for FDA move, education, and housing allowance and than chose to bid otherwise when given the chance to enjoy the terms Fedex felt was fair and reasonable for living in HKG and CGN. Does anyone really believe Fedex will come back, outside of section 6 negations and improve our retirement?? If you do, please share the reasons why you think Fedex would be willing between now and the end of 2021 to come offer us more retirement money.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Albief15 View Post
This is a business decision. Each of you may think you are labor, but you are also a business owner—You.INC.
Yes were are all independent contractors. We sell back our vacation, we answer the phone at 0100 and take field drafts to get the company out of a jam (and make some nice draft $$$). We protect carryover and pick up open time, sometimes to the detriment of our off work obligations. We miss holidays, school plays, birthdays and other important events.


If you think the pros out way the cons, your going to vote for this TA. If you plan on retiring at Fedex, you will (hope) you have money saved up or some source of income to provide for you and your spouse until the day you both die. We get a COLA increase, or close to it on this TA. If you want the same before tax income that past Fedex pilots have received, and we live with the terms of this TA and its ever decreasing defined benefit, vote YES and expect to fly extra, miss more family events, plan on living with less income either in the now (save out of pocket) or with a reduced retirement income. But don't delude yourself that an additional 1% B plan contribution and future 1% in 4 years is even going to come close to replacing the diminished value of your frozen A plan.

Run the numbers on a retirement calculator. Compare what is vs what could (should) be. Just remember to be realistic about how much you think you'll make on your B funds over and above inflation.

This TA is concessionary, inflation ensures that. Do the math, than you decide if your overpaid. If so, vote YES.

Capt Donald Kozak
MD 11 Memphis

Last edited by dckozak; 09-25-2015 at 06:58 AM. Reason: Just to clarify who posted this and not hide behind a username
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:03 AM   #13  
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Default Voting YES

Well said Albie. TA re-engage would probably take a long time (3 more peaks maybe) with minor gains (and givebacks too). Economy will be better? worse?
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:08 AM   #14  
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Sorry, but I could care less what you think. Geez, you were a block rep for a couple of years and now you are an authority on all things Fedex? Who cares! I'm a no vote!
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:15 AM   #15  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pipe View Post
Rock and FDXLAG take note. This is how you make a cogent argument on the yes side.
Pipe, if you add up all my posts in the last couple weeks you might end up with something as long as Albie's post here. And you will see the same reasons for voting yes.
1. It's a personal decision based on my lifestyle at FedEx (commuting 757/FO)
2. It's business. I have crunched the numbers. This TA significantly improves my short term finances, which allows me to continue to build for my long term retirement.
3. We don't have the leverage many no voters think we have. Primarily because we don't own the negotiating process and we don't own Fred Smith's bank account.
4. It will take 1-2 years to see another TA (I lean toward 2)
5. I don't believe the next NC will be any more qualified than the current. And I believe the current is both highly qualified, and after four years, unmatchable in their knowledge of all the parameters of our contract.
6. Based on 3, 4, and 5, I don't expect a 1-2 year wait to glean much more than we already got. And for reason 2, and how I run my financial (short and long term) planning, that means I probably won't recoup the loses incurred by waiting.

What I don't have is Albie's practical experience with internal operations in the MEC and NC. So instead of telling people what I expect based on what I've observed, I've been asking them for their expectations based on their experience. The responses to that have, as much as anything else, convinced me to vote yes on this TA. I am not swayed by emotional pleas about what we deserve. I have been in real world situations that have taught me what an actual slap in the face or kick in the gut is. I have learned that trusting ANY company or institution with MY retirement is a fool's game, and have long ago put the responsibility of building my retirement planning into my own hands. And finally, I don't care if FedEx pays us $1000 an hour or $10 an hour. I don't allow my employer to define "what I'm worth". I've walked away more than once from an employer because I thought I could do better elsewhere. A professional handshake, a note of appreciation for hiring me in the first place, and a step forward into the next adventure. If I hated FedEx (and now our union) as much as some of the comments I read from posters on this site indicate, I would have walked long ago. Life is too short.
I don't remember the last time I voted on the winning side of any election. Taking a look at the mess we currently have in D.C., I'm comfortable with who I voted for and why I voted for them, even if they never seem to win. If that trend continues with this vote, I will do what I always do. Protect my personal resources as best I can from people who think they know more about them than I do, continue enjoying my family, and wait for the next opportunity to vote. Lather, rinse, repeat.
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:16 AM   #16  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pipe View Post
Rock and FDXLAG take note. This is how you make a cogent argument on the yes side.

While I still disagree with Albie's final analysis, I respect him and understand his reasoning. Just as he said in his post, he's looking at it as an FDA WB Capt, I'm not -- different result. That said, I wish my NC could have produced something that produced a more uniform distribution. It is a shame that the disproportionate distribution of this TA can cause it to look so different depending on who you are.

Well laid out Albie. I hope your internet service drops when it's time for voting. I'm still a no -- by a lot.

To delay for 6-10 years taking up a fight that you know must happen seems irresponsible to me. You acknowledge in your arguments that it's got to get done--so let's get it done. Take the retirement issues for example, if you allow 6-10 more years of inertia to develop, I personally think the odds of changing it significantly approach zero. I can't think of too many instances where procrastinating brings positive results.

Pipe
Dearest pipe,

You are projecting your failings on to others. I have never tried to make an argument to vote yes. I have just countered the idiotic no claims when they were idiotic and countered the voting yes crowd are cowardly scum with no balls rants.

As always read the TA and vote how you like. I will.

For the record the B767 is going to fly augmented over 8 revenue legs in January with no rest facility. They will do it whether this TA passes or fails. If it passes we will get 36 hours rest. If it fails we might get 36 hours rest.

LAG
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:19 AM   #17  
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My first time post ... No I'm not in management. I agree with Albie....I vote yes.
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:21 AM   #18  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KnightFlyer View Post
Well said Albie. TA re-engage would probably take a long time (3 more peaks maybe) with minor gains (and givebacks too). Economy will be better? worse?
Quote:
Originally Posted by FDXLAG View Post
Dearest pipe,

I have never tried to make an argument to vote yes. I have just countered the idiotic no claims when they were idiotic and countered the voting yes crowd are cowardly scum with no balls rants.
As always read the TA and vote how you like. I will.

LAG
Bottom line.. Do you think it's a good deal?

I've heard several "cowardly" arguments on why someone is voting yes. But, I've almost never heard of someone voting "yes" because they liked the TA (not certain sections).

So, is it a good deal?
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:24 AM   #19  
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WOW!
If I were as miserable as some on this website seem I would help show them the door. I hear Delta is hiring.

Never argue with a fool.
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:24 AM   #20  
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Originally Posted by Raptor View Post
I agree it is a well-written and rational post. I see the reasons why HE may vote yes. Everyone should put the same level of thought into their own voting decisions. But, as with everything, some things are more important than others--and this is different for every pilot.

I have several thoughts on his post. Albie speaks of the additional 10k in education for his single child family as a huge deal. What happens if you have a family of two kids? A lesser improvement. Three kids, no improvement. He's "lucky" to score a big win because of his family composition. And, he somewhat dismisses the HILO changes that affect the FDA because he can pay for hotel and per Diem costs out of his raise. But, MANY people used that HILO. It's value to those who use it frequently is well over $10,000 so it's a huge deal also. One of the reasons to move to CGN on narrow body pay is to see Europe. This TA takes many thousands out of pocket for those that were using it. Losing it eats up most of the payraise for the CGN guys and gals who use HILO. Also, the company has all the data. Don't you think they wanted this change as it was costing them a lot of money? If it was costing them a lot of money, that strongly implies many people were using it, so it's not a minor change.

I also note there seems to be a lot of talk about the company booking you in business, but you getting the first class bank. Thus, you could deviate, book yourself on the same flight in first class, then undeviate per the new rules as you're on the same flight? I know the NC put out comments saying this (getting first class bank, but booked in business). But, the language is very convoluted in this section. My read on the plain, written language doesn't agree. Anytime the language is convoluted, I am very cautious as the company wanted the change, so they have plans to get cost savings. After all, we certainly understood what was negotiated, intent, etc of 4.A.2.b and the company turned the process on its head. Fool me once....

Another point is this notion that we will re-engage with the company on retirement. Maybe we will, but maybe we won't. I can't consider this possibility in my voting decision. Also, I don't like the thought of changing retirement outside of a section 6 negotiated package. Part of my decision making process weighs the good/bad of retirement in conjunction with the ENTIRE TA. Let's say we do a retirement LOA and we freeze A fund and put in a big B fund. It gets a 51% vote because it's structured just right by the company to entice the junior guys who are the most costly as they haven't earned their high five yet. Now, the 49% retiring within 10 years are hosed. And, if they would have known of the freeze/change in the TA they would never have voted for it based on the entire package. A retirement LOA will be weighted by the company to remove costs that ERISA and FAS haven't mandated as sunk costs--it will divide the pilot population worse than if we had just done away with the A plan for new hires and indexed the A plan for those on property.

If we have so little negotiating power in section 6, why should I think we will get anything I like in a retirement LOA? An LOA will likely be even worse as there is no counterbalance in other sections of the contract. If you feel the TA is poor, I would doubt an LOA could be any improvement. Fool me twice......

I look at my no vote as having the emotion taken out of it too. I am not voting no on my pocketbook and solely because of lost $. I'm voting no because:

1) did we meet cornerstone of work rules improvement--NO. For everything fixed, there are sections completely rewritten and huge amounts of blue writing with all kinds of new loopholes for the company. Sick leave notes not fixed, reserve not fixed (who cares if someone now has visibility on being screwed, they're still being screwed), etc.

2) did we meet the cornerstone of improved pay? No, but I can see the possibility of a slight yes. I say no because when I looked at the pay rates, I thought they were anemic and therefore I would find something in the TA I really liked to balance that. I didn't--so No.

3) did we meet the cornerstone of improving retirement? No, and I don't count status quo and keeping new hires on A plan as an improvement. The increase B % is offset by not having cash over cap which reduces its value greatly...by 2021 to be about an effective 7% to 7.5% B plan for a wide body captain. I think this is the major area that would change if this TA were voted down. I think repolling would show that A plan is so important for those on property that we, as a group, would assent to ending the A plan for new hires in return for a substantial B plan for new hires. And, it would provide an OPTION to convert for anyone on property wishing to do so.

4) did we meet the cornerstone of improved insurance....no. While you may have some Geo Blue improvements and purple CDHP is interesting for those who are healthy and don't have any Rx drug costs, keeping our traditional buy up plan for significantly increased premiums isn't an improvement. I don't consider keeping something we have invested negotiating capital in over time and something I've traded other portions of the contract to maintain and improve over the years as a win. Going from 13% cost share (per ALPA Q&A) to 20% cost share in the buy up plan isn't a win. The increased premiums in the buy up over 10 years essentially eat up your "bonus". And, people overlook the doubling of costs for prescription drugs--that has the potential to be more costly than even the premium increases. Also, if you're on a purple or orange CDHP, you think your doctor visits don't cost that much so those out of pocket maximums are unreachable. Wrong. If you or your family go on a SINGLE non formulary or even non preferred drug for the year, you'll pass the sound barrier on your way to out of pocket maximum. So, the CDHP plans are great if nothing happens that year and no family member gets a chronic condition. Not so great if you don't win the health lottery year after year. Everyone must look at the max costs under these plans carefully.

5) six years--minimum--is too long to fix anything as the company does things with the language we grieve and lose.

In summary, I agree that I probably won't be monetarily whole in a delay. But, I'm also voting on work rule and QOL issues. If I give those up now, I'll never get them back. (I gave up a day of extra work to get first class DH, now that they go away, do I get my day of work/QOL back?). These QOL and work rule issues are of greater importance to me. And, there is a significant possibility retirement can be improved after we repoll and move forward. Maybe we see other company rates with their new agreements and we can improve ours? Small chance, but that's better than no chance in improving work rules and QOL lost. We get to see TNT deal close and if we don't get the long haul flying, that will generate huge blow back by the pilots and even with hiring, next peak will be a huge problem for the company. We get to see a new president and if the Cadillac tax is repealed or modified.

While I respect your opinion and reasons, many of us have other things we are basing our decisions on. Our reasons are just as valid...just different opinions and weighing what is important to each of us individually. I hope everyone puts as much time and effort as you do into our decision making.

As with you, whichever way the vote goes, I'll go with it as we will have spoken as a group.
Perfect summary Raptor.

I think we are well compensated enough to not rush to trade more QOL issues for the immediate COLA raise. Look around, our pilots aren't tired, beat up, and losing their medicals because of the pay, it's because of the flying we do. This TA will bring more pain and aging as we give up QOL issues we will NEVER get back, ask AA, DL, UA. Pay raises can be recaptured.

To the list of big disappointments that Albie mentions I would add the very significant CLEAR CBA language, and true transparency linked to real time trip trading. Those are huge QOL issues I don't want to wait 10 years to benefit from, and I believe this is the best opportunity we will have to capture them (just look at the amount of confusion in the language in this TA already - loose language exploitable by company lawyers).

The one thing I agree on with Albie though, is that whatever 50%+1 of us vote in, I will support 100% and move forward with the team.
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