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Old 01-16-2008, 10:16 AM   #1  
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Default Real Skywest Questions (Quit the complaining)

This is an interesting time to be at Skywest, and the entire regional industry is watching (as they should be). I am sick and tired of reading the other threads with Skywest and non-Skywest pilots arguing about whose company is better, whose flying the other company stole, blah blah blah blah!!

This is intended to be a real thread with no cheap shots (So Slaphappy, Meritflyer, and to a lesser extent, Toiletduck and Airsupport), you guys need not respond. And jetjock, experimental, tonywilliams, koolaid, and other Skywest guys, PLEASE do not respond to any flame.


First off, the pay proposal. From the sound of it, no one is very happy with it. So question #1, will you vote YES or NO?
If you vote NO, what specific parts of the proposal do you not like (specific examples). If you vote YES, why do you feel this is a good move?

I feel that many people are unsatisfied with the pay proposal, but will vote YES because they are afraid if a no vote occurs, that management can just say whatever, and stick with the current rates. This leads to:
Question #2, when is the next time that an ALPA vote can occur? The reason for this question is, if Skywest were to go downhill, what is your fallback option in terms of representation. Do you have to wait 1,2,3 years. Or can an ALPA drive happen at anytime.

Question #3 is for the ASA people on the forum. How are your current rates scheduled to change over the remainder of your contract? This is so we can compare Skywest's 1% COLA to what ASA is getting.

Please. I want a serious discussion that can lead to a positive outcome. If you are from a different carrier, please only post constructive comments. I am tired of the fighting. It is in YOUR best interest that Skywest gets the best compensation they can. So instead of teasing, insulting, and flaming them, try your best to help them out and encourage them to work together to get their compensation as high as possible.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:28 AM   #2  
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#1. I don't know of anyone who is happy with it. There may still be some yes votes, based on the argument that it's better than nothing, but mine won't be one of them.

#2. I don't know when ALPA can try again. To be honest, sooner rather than later would be fine with me. While I don't know that ALPA's motives are really all that pure, I think it is clear that some sort of collective organization with some legal teeth would be helpful around here. If not ALPA, maybe an in house union, or teamsters, or something would be ok.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:37 AM   #3  
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ASA's also increases 1% each year, for the duration of the contract, which is three years.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:42 AM   #4  
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Here is my opinion.

If I were at Skywest for the ALPA vote, I would have voted yes. However, I am not angry that they voted it down. If Skywest turned into a Mesa, Skybus, Jetblue, or other bottom feeder, then I would insist that they have a union. However they are currently one of the top 5 regionals out there. I am more concerned about the attitudes of some of the Skywest pilots. I am not concerned when they talk about how good Skywest is (because it is a quality operation). I am mostly concerned about the people who look at ALPA and say, "oh ya, well look at Mesa." That is total crap. Mesa was in a tough situation with its last contract, and honestly it turned out much better BECAUSE they had ALPA. If they were non-union, JO would have eaten them alive. Don't bash Skywest pilots because they are non-union, just be sure to educate them that a union has many advantages.


Another thing I am concerned about with Skywest is their lack of bargaining power (ie, ability to say no to a pay proposal). I think this pay proposal is fairly bad. To be fair, Skywest was kind of doomed when ASA pilots voted their marginal contract in with a 84% yes vote. If you look at the Skywest pay proposal versus the current ASA rates, they are almost identical.
Exceptions are $22 first year versus $23 at ASA. Otherwise Skywest got the exact same 50 seat rates as ASA (captain and FO) up through year 18. Then Skywest has a few extra dollars for max captain. Skywest also got nearly identical rates for the CRJ-700/900. The exceptions are 2nd year FO is $1 higher at ASA, and years 10-18 captain is $1 higher at ASA. These are ASA rates for the CRJ-700 while these cover the CRJ-700/900 for Skywest. I don't know what ASA's COLA is, but Skywest got a terrible 1% COLA.


Here is my opinion. Send it back for management.
Ask for the same rates as ASA. That means $23 (or more) first year. Also about $1 an hour raise for years 10-18 CRJ-700/900 captains. And $1 for year 2 CRJ-700/900 FO's.
Then ask for a COLA to match inflation of 3%.

To bargain with them, tell them you will give back the pay raises for the 19 and 20 year max captains. Remember, EVERYONE goes through years 1-5 pay, but almost no one goes through years 19 and 20.

Your rates will be the same as ASA. I would call that a marginal contract. See what management says. If they negotiate with you and accept your offer, that is good news. Maybe you don't need ALPA (for now). If they decline your offer, it shows a HUGE reason to vote in ALPA at the next possible instant.

Skywest just aquired all the Skyway flying. That is probably another 10 CRJ's. They need to hire pilots, and this may be a good motivation to raise first year pay. Skywest management does not want to deal with ALPA. I think you have more bargaining power than you guys realize (the threat of ALPA).

Vote NO. See what management says. If they listen to you, that is good. If they don't, then vote in ALPA. It sounds really simple.

Good luck. Now what does everyone else think??
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:49 AM   #5  
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Did we all forget about this memo?

October 10, 2007
Dear SkyWest Pilot,
Over the last couple of days I have been asked by some of you if I would provide some information relating to the tentative agreement (TA) at ASA.
Here is what I know about ASA’s TA: They did reach a tentative agreement, but they have not yet come up with a final wording and it will take some time for them to do that. The background on this agreement is that ASA has been in negotiations for five years, during which they have worked under the same work rules and benefits that were negotiated almost a decade ago. After five years of negotiations, ALPA has claimed the following as “victories.” If these are “victories,” then I think it is clear that SkyWest Airlines pilots have had the most wins for the past 10 years.
ALPA statement: Achieved raises for every ASA pilot
First, this isn’t completely true because first year ASA CRJ200 Captain pay remains at $54.73. Secondly, they are looking at raises for any of their pilots after five years of exhaustive negotiating. Our pilots received several increases during that period of time, including longevity, scale increases and the inclusion of Performance Rewards – which was an approximately 5% pay increase alone. SkyWest pilots did not have to pay union dues or assessment fees to get these increases. For the period of time that ALPA and ASA have been negotiating, their pilots have made much less than ours. In addition, during the past five years – and for many years before that – SkyWest pilots have enjoyed guarantees and duty rigs that ASA pilots have not. For example, our pilots have had 1 for 2 daily guarantee; 3.75 daily guarantee, 1 for 1 above 12 hours for years, and duty rigs that apply to continuous duty overnights. ASA’s pilots are only getting these now – finally catching up to us – if this agreement is ratified.
ALPA statement: ASA’s hourly rates exceed SkyWest rates in every seat configuration.
This statement is not completely factual either. It is true that if ratified, the scale would be slightly above SkyWest’s in some years of service if you ignore the fact that union dues must be deducted to get a fair comparison For example, the SkyWest Airlines rate for a first year captain in the CRJ200 is $56.59. The ASA rate for a first year captain in the tentative agreement is lower than SkyWest at $54.73. SkyWest’s year two is also higher. Taking into consideration union dues, SkyWest pilots are still paid a higher rate in the CR7 Captain scale in years 1 through 7, higher in the CR7 First Officer in years 4 through 6, as well as in the CR2 first officer in years 2, 4, 5 and 6. The main point here is that it has taken 5 years to possibly get even with SkyWest pilots in true hourly compensation, and even then only in some areas. It’s certainly not as the statement above leads you to believe.
SkyWest Airlines pilots also have advantages beyond wage rates, such as:
• Better work rules
• Higher match in 401(k)
• Advantage of stock purchase and stock options issued to pilots
• Growth and opportunity that has allowed SkyWest Airlines to hire for 1,500 new pilot positions in the last five years
• Upgrade of more than 700 Captains in the same time period
• Preferential Bidding
• Golden Days
If ASA pilots had been working at SkyWest Airlines with our pilot pay rates, work rules, incentive pay, stock options, in the 423 plan, etc. for this time period, they would have made significantly more than $13.5 million combined. With time value of money included, they could very well have given up another $6 to $8 million dollars in wages alone.
ALPA statement: Virtually every area the former ASA contract was below industry standard, including profit sharing and duty rigs, now meets or exceeds SkyWest pilots’ policy manual.
The fact is that the ASA TA does not “meet or exceed” the SkyWest Airlines pilot policy manual in the following areas:
1. ASA pilots have lower 401(k) match
Improvement to their 401(k) is still lower than SkyWest Airlines:
Year 1 20% match up to 6% of income
Year 2 30% match up to 6% of income
Year 3 40% match up to 6% of income
Year 4, 5 & 6 50% match up to 6% of income
Year 7 75% match up to 6% of income
10 or more Years 75% match up to 8% of income
(SkyWest Airlines is 100% match at 2, 4 & 6 %)
2. Lower payout on profit sharing
3. 3.0 hours pay for vacation days
ALPA statement on scope protection: The tentative agreement secures enhanced job protection that includes no-furlough and fragmentation provisions as well as a formula for integration in case of a merger with a non-ALPA airline.
SkyWest, Inc. can transfer up to 15 CR7’s & 40 CR2’s to other SkyWest, Inc. entities. (ALPA claims ASA now has job protection; however, SkyWest pilots have superior job protection because they are part of a growing and thriving airline that continues to add aircraft, hire pilots and move pilots into higher paying jobs through upgrade, rather than having to fight to limit how many aircraft we are going to lose to other entities over the next 3 to 5 years.)
As stated above, SkyWest, Inc. can transfer up to 55 aircraft out of the ASA fleet. This can be done at a rate of 4 aircraft in a 12-month period without any penalties or other provisions kicking in.
ALPA statement: This tentative agreement shows just what can be achieved for a pilot group with the tools ALPA provides. We congratulate the ASA pilots and extend our thanks for their hard work in helping our profession!
ALPA itself has stated that “since Negotiations began on September 25, 2002 progress has been excruciatingly slow:”
• Number of total sessions: 292
• Number of IBB sessions: 144
• Number of NMB sessions: 148
Once all the facts are presented, I can only come to one conclusion: after five years of paying dues & assessment fees and negotiating, ALPA-represented ASA has begun to approach what SkyWest Airlines pilots have had for years. I wouldn’t doubt that when their contract expires, they’ll be trying to catch up with us once again. I know there is a significant amount of pressure on everyone from ALPA and its supporters, but you don’t have to be pushed around or intimidated by them. We have a good thing here at SkyWest, and if history is any indication, we
will receive continued opportunity and improvements – without outside representation. Let’s not mess it up; think about the facts before picking up the phone.
Sincerely,
Klen P. Brooks
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:59 AM   #6  
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Default Asa Ta

For those of you interested. Here.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:01 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lbell911 View Post
Did we all forget about this memo?
Very interesting read. Again, Skywest is a decent place to be. I think this memo made me think that ASA did not vote in the best TA they could. I really hope that Pinnacle gets Expresssjet + 3%, but I am not sure what the chances are. If that does happen, I will be more vocal about Skywest voting in a union, but for now they definitely need to match ASA's rate, and get a better COLA.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:07 AM   #8  
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A lot of folks talk about voting No...

But then what? This is not a contract negotiation, we cannot send the proposal back for revision, and we cannot strike if all else fails. Vote No, and management will just go away and re-address the issue in 2009...maybe. That is probably what management WANTS...as meager as the proposal is, it still amounts to tens (or maybe hundreds ?) of millions to the pilot group as a whole.

Voting No out of spite or to protest is still leaving tens of millions on the table. Basically we get what they offer...why not take it?

First year CA pay is meaningless...almost nobody completes upgrade training under one year, a few do it under two years.

I can think of only one reason the company might want to pass this proposal: They are going to raise first year pay anyway...if we approve it in a vote then the first year raise uses up some of our "negotiating" currency. If we vote no, and they raise first year unilaterally (they will) then they can't really count that against us...but who knows when pay will be re-addressed?

We don't have collective bargaining...CB tactics won't do anything for us.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:13 AM   #9  
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Hey rickair and Skywestpilot1,
What do you think about this idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iahflyr View Post
Here is my opinion. Send it back for management.
Ask for the same rates as ASA. That means $23 (or more) first year. Also about $1 an hour raise for years 10-18 CRJ-700/900 captains. And $1 for year 2 CRJ-700/900 FO's.
Then ask for a COLA to match inflation of 3%.

To bargain with them, tell them you will give back the pay raises for the 19 and 20 year max captains. Remember, EVERYONE goes through years 1-5 pay, but almost no one goes through years 19 and 20.

Your rates will be the same as ASA. I would call that a marginal contract. See what management says. If they negotiate with you and accept your offer, that is good news. Maybe you don't need ALPA (for now). If they decline your offer, it shows a HUGE reason to vote in ALPA at the next possible instant.

Skywest just aquired all the Skyway flying. That is probably another 10 CRJ's. They need to hire pilots, and this may be a good motivation to raise first year pay. Skywest management does not want to deal with ALPA. I think you have more bargaining power than you guys realize (the threat of ALPA).

Vote NO. See what management says. If they listen to you, that is good. If they don't, then vote in ALPA. It sounds really simple.
Didn't Tony Williams say that SAPA (or the pilot group) has voted down a pay proposal before, and then management renegotiated. I agree with you that you can't use union tactics, but don't you think that you could vote the proposal down, ask for some fair changes, and if they say NO, then just vote in ALPA (and then get the changes).

Last edited by iahflyr; 01-16-2008 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:19 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
A lot of folks talk about voting No...

But then what? This is not a contract negotiation, we cannot send the proposal back for revision, and we cannot strike if all else fails. Vote No, and management will just go away and re-address the issue in 2009...maybe. That is probably what management WANTS...as meager as the proposal is, it still amounts to tens (or maybe hundreds ?) of millions to the pilot group as a whole.

Voting No out of spite or to protest is still leaving tens of millions on the table. Basically we get what they offer...why not take it?

First year CA pay is meaningless...almost nobody completes upgrade training under one year, a few do it under two years.

I can think of only one reason the company might want to pass this proposal: They are going to raise first year pay anyway...if we approve it in a vote then the first year raise uses up some of our "negotiating" currency. If we vote no, and they raise first year unilaterally (they will) then they can't really count that against us...but who knows when pay will be re-addressed?

We don't have collective bargaining...CB tactics won't do anything for us.

This is exactly right. SkyWest will ONLY pay us the max of 1% less than ASA. They consider it more pay than ASA because we don't pay the 2% union dues. I promise you that if we turn this down Skywest will say "ok, if you don't want a raise then I guess we won't give you one." Simple as that. When trying to predict the future, one only needs to look as far as the past.
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