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Old 11-16-2012, 07:24 PM   #1  
Doing the reserve shuffle
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Default 4 CAL LEC "NO" Voters - Opinions/Reasons

Friday, November 16, 2012

I. WHY WE DO NOT SUPPORT THIS TA‐ A SECTION BY SECTION OPINION

SECTION 1‐ SCOPE
While the language that guides our scope restrictions has been tightened up, the fact that we are
moving from 50‐seat to 76‐seat aircraft with respect to Express Flying carries a huge price tag and moves
us further away from our goal of limiting not just the quantity of outsourced flying, but the quality of
outsourced flying as well. One of the most consistent expectations we saw from previous polling data of
our pilots was to “hold the line” with respect to outsourced flying. This TA does not accomplish that.
Even though there is a hard cap on the number of “regional” aircraft, these new generations of airplanes
are no longer merely “feeder” aircraft that provide traffic from smaller outstations to hubs as they were
intended to do. They now have the capability of operating segments that are longer than three hours,
provide mainline passenger comfort, and first class seating.
It's important to note that while there is a formula that limits the number of 76‐seat aircraft (1‐C‐1‐g),
this TA still allows the company to operate up to 153 76‐seaters at 120% of our mainline single‐aisle
block hours, should the company elect to not exercise its right to increase 76‐seaters. In other words,
while most of us look at the grand total (“what's the limit?”), there's no proof that they intend to reach
that limit, and if they don't, there's no requirement for them to reduce the block hour ratio.

SECTION 2‐ DEFINITIONS
This section is fairly straight‐forward, however, we are concerned that the plethora of conditional
statements‐ you know‐ those “if’s”, “and’s”, or “but’s” that the company has used in their favor in the
past‐ still exist throught the TA. We would like to have seen more definitive language.

SECTION 3‐ COMPENSATION
The most glaring failure of this section is that we trail behind DAL by a year in pay rates. While excuses
abound, there is no justification for this. And even though we theoretically exceed them after their
amendable date (assuming they don't complete a new TA as quickly as they recently did), we will
potentially never catch up to them when you factor in the time value of money.
We also failed to achieve one of our commitments to the pilot group, which was demanding 100%
retroactive pay. This is a huge loss for our pilots who have suffered under a contract that thus far has
been in effect for twice as long as it was supposed to last. We have been working longer under a
contract beyond its amendable date (approaching four full years) than we have worked while it was in
force (three years and eight months). This also removes any precedent for expedited negotiations in the
future.

SECTION 4‐ EXPENSES
A little “nit‐picking” here, but without a definition of “breakfast” or “meal”, we can only imagine which
flavor of cereal we are going to end up with as our “breakfast” or how nutritious that bagel dog “meal”
will be.
Secondly, there are a couple of omissions from our current contract. Particularly in light of the
impending uniform change, this TA removes the inclusion of “five uniform shirts/blouses” that was
included in the uniform allotment in Contract '02. Reimbursement for passport and visa fees is also
missing‐ unless you are required to show up in person, in which case you receive an hour of pay for your
time‐ but nothing for the fees themselves.

SECTION 5‐ HOURS OF SERVICE
Fair is fair, and this is one area where we can actually note some improvements (of course, they are all
relative‐ based on our prior concessionary contract). Full credit towards line construction for things such
as vacation, training, and deadhead is one of the few bright spots in this TA.
Section 5‐C (Deadhead) is one area where we expected to borrow from the UAL contract, but ended up
with something closer to ours. Deadheading pilots should be booked in the highest cabin‐ regardless of
the length of flight. Furthermore, “...at time of booking...” is ripe for manipulation by the company and
should be worded more specifically.
Also, while a pilot will receive add pay if required to sit in a middle seat, the process of submitting a pay
claim and having to provide evidence (5‐C‐1‐j) places the onus on the pilot rather than the company.
Another practically unbelievable loss in this TA can be found in Section 5‐D: Deadhead Deviation.
Whereas in our current contract, the pilot simply notifies Scheduling of his intent to “fake deadhead”
and is not liable for reassignment unless the company can make direct contact, in this TA, the pilot is on
the hook and has to verify he has not been reassigned. This amounts to a free "reminder" to the
company and practically a solicitation for reassignment, and if they don't have a reassignment ready to
go, the pilot can be told to wait around for up to three hours while they come up with a reassignment!
To expand‐ when the operation falls apart (which happens all too often), Scheduling simply changes a
pilot's last leg to a deadhead to keep it legal, then sorts it out later‐ sometimes days later. By requiring
the pilot to check in with Scheduling, they now have the ability to keep him captive (quite literally) until
they figure out what to do. This will cost pilots many extra days away from home and essentially treated
as reserves. This is a huge loss!
We hate to see the words, “The company may...” because we all know that translates as, “If it benefits
the company (to the detriment of the pilot), the company will...” We find this term under 5‐E‐2‐b‐(4),
where “the company may increase any report time...” Yes, it may count as duty time, but it also counts
as time we are at work and not being paid for our work.
Another big point of contention we have with this TA is the reserve system. For starters, still having only
12 days off (in a 30‐day month) is still too few. Taking into account that a lineholder (averaging 5 hours
of pay per day) will theoretically have at least 14 days off on average (80 hours of credit), our reserves
should have the same. Instead, they will be scheduled for more days (18) for less credit (70 hours). To
make matters worse, if you are a “global” reserve, you just went from having 4 movable days in our
current contract, to having 6 days that are not “holy” and thus subject to assignment. Can you say
“concession”?
“M5D.” Learn this term as it is a new buzzword and one of the big gains in this TA. We admit it‐ we've
finally found something that makes us think this is a “mature” contract. So, being the good sports that
we are, we'll put one checkmark in the “win” column.
Of course, we are still skeptical. Our company hates to pay us for not working, so we suspect they won't.
For those trips that currently credit less than five hours per day (mostly domestic 737 and 757 trips), we
foresee Scheduling doing some shuffling. Yes‐ you will have a more productive schedule (which, again, is
a win), but you will earn every penny of it.

SECTION 8‐ STAFFING
Uh oh. Here we go again‐ that dreaded staffing formula. We have always been told that if the company
actually followed this formula, we would be severely understaffed. Nonetheless, here it is again.
Take a close look. At first it seems like an improvement‐ going from our current “10% reserve” to either
14% or 12% based on the fleet. That's an improvement, right? Not quite. In our current contract, the
“scheduled block hours” is divided by 83:30 (an assumed average per pilot), whereas in this TA, the total
block time is divided by 87:00. This means that not only is the assumed average higher, but that
amounts to a 5% reduction in pilots. Furthermore, the charter hour divisor is now also 87:00 hours,
compared to 65:00 in our current contract. We realize that this change was made to account for the
increased credit values, but when it all washes out, it means that we will continue to be severely
understaffed, as we have been for years.

SECTION 9‐ TRAINING
“A lineholder shall self‐schedule recurrent ground school training on a day off...” (9‐B‐4‐a). Need we say
more?
We do think that travel to and from recurrent training being booked in first class is a nice touch. Now
why couldn't that language be included for “operational” deadheads where pilots are actually involved
in flying real airplanes with real people in them?
Traditional GSR and ASR CBTs are not considered “distance learning” and therefore completed on your
own time, on your own dime.

SECTION 11‐ VACATION
“Thank you for your 30 years of service. You don't need an extra two days, do you?” We get it‐ a minor
change that only affects a very few pilots, but still have to wonder why they bothered to change this.

SECTION 13‐ SICK LEAVE
Unfortunately, no real improvements here. Still accumulate 5 hours/month, which is completely
inadequate and deters pilots from actually using sick leave when legitimately sick. Hope you aren't sick
more than 12 days during the year!
Furthermore, whereas in our current contract, proof of illness was only required for “reasonable cause”
or if it occurred in conjunction with a vacation or holiday. In the current TA, “The company may require
a doctor's note before paying such sick leave” (13‐A‐5). The company would never abuse that, now
would they?

SECTION 20‐ SCHEDULING
There's so much here, that we're going to list them bullet‐point style. Follow along!
20‐C‐1‐c: “catastrophic failure” of PBS leads to a rerun and extended deadlines. Yeah‐ that'll never
happen. And we will end up putting our lives on hold while we wait for the delayed results.
20‐C‐4‐d: the company gets to pick PBS vendors. We're sure they'll find something better that costs less.
20‐D‐3‐b: PBS Dispute Resolution Committee‐ “We know it's flawed, but the trips you should have been
awarded have already been given away. Sorry. How about some 'Availability Days'?”
20‐F (and beyond): we are all still essentially reserve pilots with advance assignments.
20‐F‐1‐a‐(3): can be reassigned to a phone availability period that starts up to four hours earlier than
your original report time. In our current contract, it cannot start earlier than your original report time.
20‐F‐1‐a‐(8): can be reassigned to a trip that departs three hours earlier (or at 1800, whichever is
earlier), up from two hours in our current contract.
20‐H‐5‐b‐(5): “The company's determination of 'acceptability' may change.” Yikes!
20‐H‐7: Visiting reserve. A euphemism for “system reserve.” Prepare to be deadheaded all over the
place.
20‐K: Scheduling of Reserve Crews. We have a fundamental problem with the fact that seniority does
not ever enter into the equation. We recognize there is a demographic of pilots who actually like to take
advantage of being senior on reserve, and we respect that. Unfortunately, this TA does not. In addition,
all the old abusive rules from our current contract are still here. Very disappointing.
20‐K‐6‐f: we've spent years fighting against double duty periods for reserves, and now we've not only
condoned it, we've made it contractually approved. What happened to safety?
20‐L: Reassignments. Still allows free reign by the company to reassign a pilot into a day off.
Unacceptable. And if you are a widebody fleet, your first day lost is not subject to restoration (20‐N‐1‐b).

SECTION 22‐ RETIREMENT
We can almost say with confidence that this is the one cornerstone that is actually industry leading. Our
only gripe here is that there is not a single attempt to improve the situation for those who lost hundreds
of thousands of dollars to the frozen pension plan. That is a disappointment to those who have served
the company longest.

SECTION 24‐ INSURANCE
Some improvements, some losses. Overall neutral.
LOAs & MOUs
While we won't delve through all the Letters of Agreement nor the MOUs, there are two specific items
we would like to point out.
The Implementation Schedule and Process is disappointing. While we recognize that many changes take
time to implement, there are too many items that are beneficial to our pilots that are delayed until the
third full bid period or even as long as nine months later.
Throughout contract negotiations your JNC had a disagreement with the company about how many
reserves would be required to staff the airline. To solve this disagreement the JNC made a bet with the
company in the form of the Reserve Reset LOA. If the reserve staffing level exceeds 16.6% ALPA will
become liable to pay the company money, up to $30 million per year (based upon how far above 16.6%
staffing). While it would be extremely costly to purposely keep staffing above 16.6% just to win the bet,
we find it risky to put ALPA money and possibly work rule changes in jeopardy to see who is right.

Captain Eric Hunter
Council 171 Chairman
Captain Robert McCartney
Council 153 Chairman
First Officer Ben Salley
Council 171 Vice Chairman
First Officer Mike Seidner
Council 153 Vice Chairman
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:32 PM   #2  
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^ Great Blastmail...
And True Union Leaders~
Looking forward to reading the dissenting argument from the 3 UAL NO Voters.

Motch
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:16 PM   #3  
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What a difference between the lousy EWR reps and the IAH and LAX reps. The EWR reps are going to become epically infamous for sure.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:36 AM   #4  
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I've always wanted to get on with Continental and now, by merger, United. I never thought I'd hear myself say this but if this TA passes, that desire may die.

From what I've seen about this contract so far, it almost seems concessionary overall. The pay rates go up but a lot of the work rules, contract language and retro leave a LOT to be desired. All of this after waiting so long for a contract that has been long overdue. American pilots have shown how you don't have to strike to bring management back to the table. Delta pilots set the bar and this contract would lower that bar for the whole profession.

If this long hyped "pilot shortage" ever comes to pass, I can see a lot of the best qualified pilots choosing to bypass a United offer if they have others in hand. I know personally, I'd rather be at Delta where management seems to care about running a good airline. Even American, while undergoing some major issues right now, has a pilot group that has shown that they won't just roll over for the "last, best, final offer", even under the pressure of bankruptcy.

Pilots of United, please don't settle for this substandard contract, you can do better.

The entire industry is watching and you set the trajectory for the next decade.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:04 AM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxPowerSet View Post
I've always wanted to get on with Continental and now, by merger, United. I never thought I'd hear myself say this but if this TA passes, that desire may die.

From what I've seen about this contract so far, it almost seems concessionary overall. The pay rates go up but a lot of the work rules, contract language and retro leave a LOT to be desired. All of this after waiting so long for a contract that has been long overdue. American pilots have shown how you don't have to strike to bring management back to the table. Delta pilots set the bar and this contract would lower that bar for the whole profession.

If this long hyped "pilot shortage" ever comes to pass, I can see a lot of the best qualified pilots choosing to bypass a United offer if they have others in hand. I know personally, I'd rather be at Delta where management seems to care about running a good airline. Even American, while undergoing some major issues right now, has a pilot group that has shown that they won't just roll over for the "last, best, final offer", even under the pressure of bankruptcy.

Pilots of United, please don't settle for this substandard contract, you can do better.

The entire industry is watching and you set the trajectory for the next decade.

You sir (or madam) have my word. I indeed will vote no. This TA is an absolute epic failure. Its a concession from our concessionary contract. I will not put my family at financial risk with this garbage.

I promise.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:20 AM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxPowerSet View Post
The entire industry is watching and you set the trajectory for the next decade.
Prepare to be disappointed.

The TA will pass by a wide margin, just as the BK contract and Pension Termination TAs did. The UAL pilots set the downward trajectory 10 years ago by caving and will do it again. We are in a bad situation (CAL mgmt, CAL MC, and the NMB make it a 1 v 3 fight) and the majority does not have the will to resist in their DNA.
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:28 AM   #7  
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Interesting, no mention of the CAL requirement to STAPLE the UAL furloughees at the bottom of the list, setting this entire pilot group up for the most rotten unfair SL merge in the history of airline mergers. My number one reason to VOTE NO!!
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:44 AM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airhoss View Post
Interesting, no mention of the CAL requirement to STAPLE the UAL furloughees at the bottom of the list, setting this entire pilot group up for the most rotten unfair SL merge in the history of airline mergers. My number one reason to VOTE NO!!
Sigh. What was the vote breakdown of the S Ual MEC again? The hate campaign on CAL pilots would make a lot more sense if your own house would of shown any shade of fortitude.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:54 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airhoss View Post
Interesting, no mention of the CAL requirement to STAPLE the UAL furloughees at the bottom of the list, setting this entire pilot group up for the most rotten unfair SL merge in the history of airline mergers. My number one reason to VOTE NO!!
Unfortunately that is what happens to furloughed pilots in almost every merger.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:49 PM   #10  
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