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Old 05-11-2012, 10:18 AM   #1  
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Default IBT results and experiences

Would like to hear opinions and feelings about IBT from some of you that have recently gone through Contract Neg with IBT and from those that have been with IBT for awhile. The good, bad, and ugly. Anyone with IBT would be great but really like to hear from some of you from places like Atlas, Omni, cape air act Local 1224. Thanks
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:23 PM   #2  
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Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
Would like to hear opinions and feelings about IBT from some of you that have recently gone through Contract Neg with IBT and from those that have been with IBT for awhile. The good, bad, and ugly. Anyone with IBT would be great but really like to hear from some of you from places like Atlas, Omni, cape air act Local 1224. Thanks
The IBT seems to follow the traditional airline union model in that they;
1. Take care of themselves.
2. Take care of the senior pilots.
3. Take care of management (indirectly through the concessions the give to accomplish items 1 and 2.)
Just my impression of how things ended up at Cape Air. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pro union, just a little disillusioned, or maybe feeling some buyer’s remorse.
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:06 PM   #3  
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IBT negotiates the contract that the pilots want. They conduct surveys and develop a quantatative analysis of the wants, and then negotiate for the pilots, with the pilots at the table beside them, making the final decisions. They are also realistic enough to tell a pilot group when a particular demand is completely unrealistic, based on the airlines balance sheet.

Negotiations are an art and a science. You have to know what is attainable, go in from a point of disadvantage and get everything you can for the pilots. Unfortunately some believe that it's just a "beat the table until you get what you demand." That's not reality.

Those who expect that; or who sit on the sidelines and don't become involved are generally the ones who end up disappointed. In reality, they will never be happy because they will always want more.

In regards to post #2. I suspect that an honest review would find that Cape Air's negotiations were paid for by the IBT, and by agreement, partially by management. IBT dues stay with the pilot group to use as they see fit. Only .22% of the 1.56% collected goes to IBT.

Every pilot knows a contract is seniority driven. By bringing the most senior pilots up to industry standard, or as close as possible, it makes the pay and benefits better for the junior pilots. Our industry is seniority driven and everyone who gets in the game knows that. It is that same seniority that does the best job of protecting us in mergers, growth and other things.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:39 AM   #4  
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It depends upon who you talk to.

Atlas/Polar seems to have a decent contract.

The International seems to be paying a lot of attention to and putting a lot of resources into RAH. The Frontier side of RAH is pretty ticked, but there is a lot of infighting going on there.

Omni is disappointed, to say the least, in what I consider to be a shockingly poor contract, however the pilots did ratify it so they have nobody to blame but themselves.

The Cape Air guy who posted above sounds disappointed as well.

IBT has a lot of resources. However, and this is true of any union: more depends on the quality of the leadership at the local level and the involvement of the rank-and-file than on any umbrella group (such as IBT or ALPA) under which the local union may fall.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:14 AM   #5  
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Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
Would like to hear opinions and feelings about IBT from some of you that have recently gone through Contract Neg with IBT and from those that have been with IBT for awhile. The good, bad, and ugly. Anyone with IBT would be great but really like to hear from some of you from places like Atlas, Omni, cape air act Local 1224. Thanks
Piper, you need to understand first and Foremost that any UNION is only as strong as it's Local Membership.

With reference to National Pilot Unions ALPA, IBT.

Niether Union will get your group anything! Do not get me wrong, I am very Pro Union and as a Pilot Pro ALPA.

Many people speak negatively of the IBT or ALPA. The constant complaint is
they aren't doing anything for me.

Too many people think or have the impression that if a National Union is voted on property, that everything will be OK and these organizations will come in, negotiate, play Hard ball with Management and you will get a great Contract.Nothing could be Further from the Truth. The Truth is neither Union can do this for you. Your Pilot group must do it for themselves. Your Pilot group will be the ones who Negotiate and Play Hardball, not National IBT or ALPA.

If your Group is truly unified and has decent local Leadership (which is your own Pilots decision) then and only then can IBT or ALPA help. They provide the tools for you to get it for yourselves. Lawyers, PR/Communication experts, Retirement and Insurance experts, Scheduling and Safety experts.

Your Group must decide, if they want a Union and then must decide who, but most likely whether it be ALPA or IBT, the same Pilots (at your carrier) will end up being in a Leadership role.

I recommend ALPA over IBT as they are a Pilot Union, IBT is a Trucker Union that has an Airline Division. ALPA has much more experience in Pilot Contracts and quite frankly has done more for Professional Aviation than any other Union.

Now all that being said no Union is perfect, ALPA has its warts as does IBT.
Look at carriers with the Best Contracts, Most are (or at least were ALPA or former ALPA). The Common theme is the Airlines with the Best Pay are also the more profitable. Currently FDX, UPS and SWA. previously before 9/11 and all the Major Bankruptcies it was Delta, USAir, United, NWA all ALPA at the time.

There isn't one IBT contract that I am aware of that has ever been industry leading or close to it. The Polar/Atlas contract (now under IBT) was negotiated by ALPA and then they decertified ALPA for IBT several years ago(thats another story).

You will hear some people say go independent. That is an Option but unless you are a Big Carrier than can get all your pilots to Voluntarily pay dues it is an Uphill and very expensive battle. If you are in the Organizing stages, it will be much more economical to vote in a National Union to help your group get started. Again, I am partial to ALPA. I am sure you will get other opinions on this.

Bottom line is Your Local Pilots will be the ones who succeed or Fail.
ALPA can certainly help, IBT can help, but it always comes down to the will of Local Pilots and leadership on the local level no matter what Union is involved.

Good Luck
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:11 PM   #6  
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Duplicate post...deleted

Last edited by ATCsaidDoWhat; 05-15-2012 at 06:48 PM. Reason: duplicate post
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:21 PM   #7  
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Cub:

There are a lot of misconceptions and flat out half truths in Redeye's post. This thread is about you asking for factual information. You deserve that.
Below, I have responded to his post and hopefully addressed your concern...information.

Understand that my perspective comes as a former 25 plus year ALPA member who is saddened at what it has become...and a person who had one of the front row, ringside seats at Atlas.

I'm sure Redeye believes everything he was told and has repeated here. That's understandable. However, his recitation of the majority of what he wrote, especially about Atlas and IBT is just wrong. And as a great man once said, "Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. No one is entitled to their own set of facts."

Feel free to p/m anytime.

Quote:

I recommend ALPA over IBT as they are a Pilot Union, IBT is a Trucker Union that has an Airline Division. ALPA has much more experience in Pilot Contracts and quite frankly has done more for Professional Aviation than any other Union.

Sadly, this has been ALPA’s standard line for the past four years every time a pilot group has rejected them. What Redeye is not saying is that the Airline Division is run by pilots, not “truckers” as he says in such a derogatory way. Let's remember that ALPA is but a small part of AFL-CIO...who has truckers and others as well. Why would he say something like that?

The Airline Division Director is a former 747-400 Captain who has not only airline, but corporate and business experience. He was also the Atlas MEC Chairman for three consecutive terms and a member of the ALPA Presidents Committee for Cargo. He led his pilots through the Atlas bankruptcy in 2005 and because of the relationship he forged with management, ensured that their contract was not touched. In fact because of that relationship, the pilots got things back in the bankruptcy that the old management team had taken pre bankruptcy.

The Assistant Division Director is a former ALPA Senior Contract Administrator with over 30 years experience in dealing with pilots and their contracts. He left ALPA when he was illegally fired by ALPA management. He and the others were awarded their jobs back with full retro. What does it say about a union that illegally fires its own unionized employees?

Their senior negotiator is a retired UAL Captain and former head of the UAL MEC.

He has extensive negotiating experience in negotiating pilot contracts going back decades. One of their other senior negotiators has decades of ALPA experience as well including being a former member of the ALPA National Collective Bargaining Committee.

So, as you can see…not a “truck driver” among them. And in the past four years, a track record that they can show you if you’d like, of contracts that have improved each property. And not one concessionary agreement signed, something only the IBT Airline Division can say.


Now all that being said no Union is perfect, ALPA has its warts as does IBT.

Completely correct statement. Where the difference lies is in what they have done to address the “warts.” Under the new leadership that assumed the helm four years ago as I mentioned above, the IBT Airline Division’s “warts” were addressed head on. Armed with the support of the General President and Board, the problems were addressed and removed. A very bad mess that existed in the major Local was resolved by taking over and ultimately dissolving the unit. The member carriers were reassigned and the bad actors removed. Those carriers are now part of a strong and growing unit, Local 1224 and are thriving.

While you will hear continual references to “truck drivers,” “garbage men” and the like as they seek to win your confidence, the one thing they cannot escape is the reality that since the change in leadership and changes made four years ago, the Airline Division has not faced charges of illegally terminating union employees (ALPA) or accused of Duty of Fair Representation (TWA vs. ALPA).


Look at carriers with the Best Contracts, Most are (or at least were ALPA or former ALPA). The Common theme is the Airlines with the Best Pay are also the more profitable. Currently FDX, UPS and SWA. previously before 9/11 and all the Major Bankruptcies it was Delta, USAir, United, NWA all ALPA at the time.

Let’s look at the carriers mentioned. UPS was never ALPA and has their own in house union, the IPA. Southwest was never ALPA and has SWAPA. Both have contracts that were negotiated without ALPA.

Only FDX is ALPA. Redeye can and should honestly speak to the problems there, or you can read about them extensively in the Cargo forum here.

Just as you can and should read about what has happened to smaller carriers there and what happens if you end up in a legacies “backyard.” Or you can ask the NWA pilots how they were treated in the merger with DAL.

UPS has an outstanding contract. Atlas’ recent contract…their second…was finally accomplished when the pilots voted to decertify ALPA and move to the IBT. The reason was simple. ALPA management and leadership actively blocked the merger of the two carriers beginning in 2007. They would be on their third contract by now otherwise. Should you wish to discuss that, I’d be happy to do so offline here. While Redeye may claim knowledge, I had a ringside seat.

The Atlas contract recognized the value of QOL and pay, combined with a growing airline. In terms of airlines with strong balance sheets, I think you can compare that of Atlas to any carrier ALPA represents. You will find a strong, well diversified and growing carrier with a solid long term.
With other carriers, you will see varying levels. One thing you don’t see is the working relationship between labor and management. IBT has made it a practice to find areas of common ground where management and labor can and do work effectively for the good of both. It’s apparent not only with the pilot groups, but the other groups that they represent as well.

The $180 million dollar bridge contract they negotiated for UAL mechanics is an example. It was not a “final” contract; but one that brought them up from the bankruptcy contract and concessions they gave up years ago. It positioned them on a better level so that the post merger contract for CAL, UAL and CAL Micronesia would be even better. By working with…instead of fighting…UAL management, they brought back maintenance jobs to SFO and ended foreign maintenance outsourcing.

Cub, those things don’t happen when labor and management can’t find common ground. Look at where the UAL pilots are right now. They can’t make progress because they can’t find a way to sit down and negotiate. Their senior pilots have sued ALPA and won. The junior pilots case will likely go the same way. Just as the TWA pilots who have won a major suit against ALPA.

There isn't one IBT contract that I am aware of that has ever been industry leading or close to it. The Polar/Atlas contract (now under IBT) was negotiated by ALPA and then they decertified ALPA for IBT several years ago(thats another story).

This is a factually incorrect statement about Atlas as previously mentioned and as noted below. It was the leadership of the former Atlas MEC Chairman; now Airline Division Director, that got the Atlas pilots a SUBSTANTIALLY better first contract than the one ALPA said was the best they could get. It was ALPA’s refusal to negotiate on a merged contract that led to the decertification of ALPA. And it was the IBT Airline Division that provided the resources and support staff that led to the current combined contract.

The underlying promise in Redeye’s comment here is “join ALPA and get an industry leading contract.” I would invite you to ask anyone if that happened in their first contract with their airline, ALPA or not. It doesn’t.

As a baseline, again consider Atlas. The first contract ALPA negotiated for them was an 85 hour / 17 day (flexible to 21 day) month with very marginal work rules. Only after 85 hours did you get OT pay. It was roundly rejected.

Under the new MEC Chairman (the man who is now the IBT Airline Division Director), the agreement was renegotiated, with the help of the NMB, despite protests and threats of cutting off funding by ALPA. 85 hours before OT went to 62 hours. And the pay rate went up 33% from what ALPA said was the “best they could get.” Other small changes were made. Not because more could not have been done. The Atlas leadership found that ALPA had gone behind their backs to the NMB to block any other changes. Again, it was the one on one leadership of the man who now is the IBT Airline Division Director, sitting down with the NMB…that made additional changes possible.

And over the term of the contract, by forming a solid working relationship with management, more improvements came along. Not everything they wanted, but a lot more than when they were told it was the “best they could get.”

Now…will you get the best in the industry in your first contract? No one does. At any union, including ALPA. What you WILL get is a dedicated and focused team that will work with the people YOU pick to lead your group. A team that has extensive economic analysis, RLA, legal and regulatory experience. A union that has done more extensive research and understands your management, investors, vendors and anything related to your airline than anyone else. That’s the advantage of becoming a member of a growing, 80,000 member Airline Division that is part of a larger, 1.6 million member union. You now have leverage to help you get the best first contract possible and use that as your springboard to even better ones in the years ahead.


You will hear some people say go independent. That is an Option but unless you are a Big Carrier than can get all your pilots to Voluntarily pay dues it is an Uphill and very expensive battle. If you are in the Organizing stages, it will be much more economical to vote in a National Union to help your group get started. Again, I am partial to ALPA. I am sure you will get other opinions on this.

When considering economics, consider dues and where your dues money will go. At ALPA, your 1.94% goes to ALPA. They will decide what you get back and what you get billed for.

The Airline Division is different. Your dues are 1.56%. With the exception of .22% of that dues revenue, the money stays with YOUR Local to use as YOU see fit. The .22% that goes to the Division covers the cost of representation and the other assistance they provide at your request.

As a consequence, you don’t see a $540,000.00 salary paid to the Airline Division Director as you see with the ALPA President. Nor do the staff make such salaries. None get free new cars. That dues money is yours.

So you have a choice. Out of $100.00 in pay, do you send $1.94 to ALPA and get an unknown portion back? Or do you KEEP $1.56 with your local and send about .32 cents to the Airline Division? That’s a decision for you and your fellow pilots to make.


Bottom line is Your Local Pilots will be the ones who succeed or Fail.
ALPA can certainly help, IBT can help, but it always comes down to the will of Local Pilots and leadership on the local level no matter what Union is involved.

I fully agree. Your success will depend on your fellow pilots and your decisions to work together and support each other. Whatever resources you need will be available for the asking, and you will be supported, not told what to do.

In the end, the decision to stand united, and jointly chart a course for the future rests with you. Ask hard question. Search out answers. Ask again if you didn’t get an answer. You will come to a sound decision.

Good Luck

Last edited by ATCsaidDoWhat; 05-15-2012 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:50 PM   #8  
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So, looking at the payscales and union representation, it appears that the vast majority of decent contracts come from either in-house unions or ALPA. Compare the pay scales - the rest of the QOL aspects generally follow the money. If you look at the IBT represented airlines, and you'll see they lag behind most other in-house or ALPA represented airline for similar equipment.

Now that I look, I think IBT lags behind every in-house-union negotiated contract (which I think is only UPS, SWA, and Frontier).

Last edited by FAULTPUSH; 05-15-2012 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:28 PM   #9  
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IBT negotiates the contract that the pilots want. They conduct surveys and develop a quantatative analysis of the wants, and then negotiate for the pilots, with the pilots at the table beside them, making the final decisions. They are also realistic enough to tell a pilot group when a particular demand is completely unrealistic, based on the airlines balance sheet.

Negotiations are an art and a science. You have to know what is attainable, go in from a point of disadvantage and get everything you can for the pilots. Unfortunately some believe that it's just a "beat the table until you get what you demand." That's not reality.

Those who expect that; or who sit on the sidelines and don't become involved are generally the ones who end up disappointed. In reality, they will never be happy because they will always want more.

In regards to post #2. I suspect that an honest review would find that Cape Air's negotiations were paid for by the IBT, and by agreement, partially by management. IBT dues stay with the pilot group to use as they see fit. Only .22% of the 1.56% collected goes to IBT.

Every pilot knows a contract is seniority driven. By bringing the most senior pilots up to industry standard, or as close as possible, it makes the pay and benefits better for the junior pilots. Our industry is seniority driven and everyone who gets in the game knows that. It is that same seniority that does the best job of protecting us in mergers, growth and other things.
YGBFSM!!!!! Hahaha! Is that why the FO's at RAH are still scraping bottom of the barrel on year 4 pay and topped out.

No really, are you that out of touch with reality?!
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:45 AM   #10  
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YGBFSM!!!!! Hahaha! Is that why the FO's at RAH are still scraping bottom of the barrel on year 4 pay and topped out.

No really, are you that out of touch with reality?!
Misty, if you are going to enter a discussion, you should do so with facts. There is no question that the RAH contract is below par. What you fail to acknowledge...one must assume intentionally, to take the thread off topic...is that the contract that RAH is currently operating under was negotiated by Local 747 under the OLD LEADERSHIP of the Airline Division and the leadership of Local 747 was removed for cause and the Local was broken up and dissolved by the NEW LEADERSHIP of the Airline Division. You also failed to note...again intentionally, one must assume...that the Local 747 leadership included former RAH pilot leadership that was in bed with the now dissolved Local 747 leadership. And they too were tossed out by their pilots.

So...if you are going to talk about being out of touch with reality, please have the common sense to know that there are people out here with the ability to present facts as they relate to the questions Cub is asking.

Are they still under that CBA? Yes. Why? Because during Section 6, not only did they request of the IBT to have their own Local (granted), their holding company also purchased 3 other carriers. A decision was made to first integrate all 4 seniority lists so that the group could proceed as a single unit negotiating a single, combined CBA.

Now...merging two lists is enough fun to last anyone a lifetime. Merging FOUR lists...including one where the pilots had been essentially dumped on the curb by their union (Midwest by ALPA), is even more "fun." Add to that another pilot group (Frontier) who feels that; despite being days away from non existence, they have the right to: delay the process, fail to show up at meetings, and indeed tried on several occasions...tried to subvert the seniority and jobs of the pilots at the other 3 carriers. They continue to do so, by trying to claim that they have a rights that no other pilot group has under the RLA.

So...has it taken too long to change the contract? Ask the RAH pilots who flew for the other 3 airlines who are now on one list and still being denied because of a group of Frontier pilots who cut a special deal with the owner. I'd venture the answer is "Yes, it's too long. And as tough as it is to negotiate with this management, it's worse when fellow pilots are out there cutting side deals with them."

For the sake of discussion, however, let's talk about your "reality." Was the first contract at your airline an "industry standard" contract? Did you immediately assume the mantle of your peers? I will guarantee you that you did not. You either got pay and benefits or quality of life. And in your second...if you are there yet...you made improvements and closed loopholes that were in the first one.

Therein lies your "reality." You are taking a request by Cub for off topic by regurgitating events that have been fundamentally addressed in the past four years and trying to make them appear as current events.
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