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Old 09-25-2015, 08:02 AM   #1  
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Default Guard - Reserve Code of Conduct

This week I learned about the efforts of A4A (Airlines for America, formerly Airline Transport Association [ATA]). They are now pushing for DoD to impose a "Guard & Reserve Code of Conduct" for their members to abrogate some of the protections afforded them by USERRA. They want the leadership to publish guidelines that suggest that certain practices that the airlines find irksome are unethical.

Despite their claim that they are all about safety, make no mistake, A4A is an industry lobby designed to maximize member airlines profit at the expense of your compensation, quality of life and safety. They are asking for things like giving your employer an entire year's worth of training schedule at a time, even though they are highly flexible and subject to change. You would loose big chunks of flying if your unit changed it's drill weekend.

I highly recommend that any of you who have Guard or Reserve affiliation, join and be active in your associations (ROA, NGAUS, State Association). Guard and Reserve members face enough hardship without interest groups bribing DoD leadership to whip their workers for them.

If you are at an ALPA carrier or Southwest, I suggest that you encourage your union leadership to join in efforts with the Coalition of Airline Pilot Associations (CAPA - Home | Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations).
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:34 AM   #2  
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How in the world would they expect someone in a flying squadron to give a year notice? A month notice is probably the reasonable MAX. Orders cancel, especially with the budget issues.

I bet what they are trying to stop is pilots that get hired at an airline, complete training, then disappear until they are off first year pay and can hold a line while bumming in the guard/reserves.
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:07 AM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viper548 View Post

I bet what they are trying to stop is pilots that get hired at an airline, complete training, then disappear until they are off first year pay and can hold a line while bumming in the guard/reserves.
I know that pizzes them off to no end, and I can't really blame them. It pizzes off civilian pilots who have to suck up that pilot's juniority while he's away dodging reserve and first year pay...especially since "that guy" usually brags about it to no end when he gets back. That last is not always the reality but it is often enough.

While I might be inclined to encourage people on an individual basis to avoid that practice, there's no way to give managers a legal tool with any sort of remote assurance that it would not be abused...in fact I'm highly confidant that it would be abused.

This needs to be defeated. The good news is that the airlines are probably the only business sector which really stands to benefit...the rest of corporate america will probably not want to go on record opposing military reservists for whatever slim benefit they might get.

I would advocate DoD issuing some guidance to commanding officers to help them balance needs of the service and the member vs. relations with the business community. Remember it's not ALL about that one dude who doesn't want to live on first year pay...his actions affect all the rest of us as well. Something to think about.
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:33 AM   #4  
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Thanks for the heads up!
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Old 09-27-2015, 05:44 AM   #5  
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So the moral of the story is, "get rid of first year pay" and the airlines won't have this problem.
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Old 09-27-2015, 06:58 AM   #6  
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Yeah. If first year pay was 90% of 2nd year pay, I don't think you'd see as much of this.

Quick survey of the Legacy/Large LCC show about the following split (with airframes guys can reasonably expect to get.. Doubt many will hold 747 year 1)

Carrier 1st/2nd 1st as a percentage of 2nd year pay
Alaska 53/83 63.8%
American 75/112 66.9%
Delta 70/100 70%
United 68/101 67.3%
HAL 36/79 45.5%
SWA 57/97 58.7%
JetBlue 49/80 61.2%

If I was hired at HAL or JetBlue, I would not be able to pay my bills on first year pay. I could probably scrape by at SWA or Alaska. But I'd make a lot more and not be eating Ramen if I was on orders.
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Old 09-27-2015, 11:17 AM   #7  
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The industry has to change and I think we are going to see a lot of change as the gene pool dries up in the next 10-15 years. They can only pull so many pilots out of the military and regionals. Last time I did a rough count, there were somewhere around 20,000 regional pilots and the amount of eligible ex-military and guard/reservists, although growing, is relatively small compared to the estimated 40,000+ airline pilots who are supposed to retire over the next 25 years just in this country alone (not to include growth and expansion of the pacific and middle-eastern airline industry). Have you seen Emirates pay scale? Yeah you have to live in Dubai, but as a single airline pilot, I can't see that absolutely sucking. With the extra cost and requirements of the new ATP, it's going to hard to recruit new pilots into the industry.

I know many guys who've played the Title 10 orders game. Good on them. Serving your country during the last decade's ops tempo isn't necessarily the "easy" way out doing your time on first year pay. It's not something I'd brag about. I think it's actually sad really. Yeah, there are guys who've worked the system, but there are plenty of those people in any workplace.
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Old 09-27-2015, 11:27 AM   #8  
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The airlines can go suck it.

When I was a Guardsman, the nation got a full up combat qualified F-15C instructor pilot, who was governed by the same UCMJ that covered active duty officers. I was available to be activated, deployed, placed in combat, or in some cases civil defense roles (F-15 pilots in New Orleans manning checkpoints, etc after Katrina) at a moments notice. I maintained the same currencies required by an F-15 pilot on active duty. Cost to the country? About $35-$50k a year or less on average. Medical benefits? None. Retirement? Not until age 60, and then at a discount to the active duty guys. The nation got (and gets from the rest of you still serving) an experienced, capable, ready to go to war group of pilots for pennies on the dollar compared to active duty pilots. Post 9/11 GI Bill? Not for me. Tricare? Nope... But just as much chance to get activated and go get killed in War or Peacetime as anyone else serving....

Airlines get a lot from government, including airfares for GS and military folks, military charter business, CRAF payments, as well as the government paying for the infrastructure of the industry with ATC, the FAA, NTSB, and safety programs in a host of agencies.

What does the government ask in exchange? "Let my servicemen serve unmolested, and protect their jobs..."

To me, its a bargain for the taxpayers. The total force provides great backup and insurance to the active duty, at a cost that saves our nation a tremendous amount of money.

So a few airline CEOs and others don't like the fact a few pilots out there who are serving their country get a break? I don't care. I don't care about their bonus, the shareholder concerns, or their scheduler's complaints. If we are going to defend this country, and deal with threats from Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, ISIS, and whoever else wants to challenge us, its going to be expensive. We are broke as a nation, and we need to find a way to do what we do with the resources we have. The ANG and Reserves offer us a way to do more with less expense. Make it too hard to do both jobs, and the pilots will make the choice many have already made--to give up on the military side of things. The government knows that if they bend to the airline CEOs, in a few years they won't have a reserve force to manage. The airlines need to adapt. I think the costs could easily be absorbed with a reduction in management's compensation or stock buyback plans.
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:04 PM   #9  
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^Well said.
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Old 09-27-2015, 02:48 PM   #10  
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mildrop hatin'? Pftt.
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