Committee Activity for February 2014
By Jeff Pruett, MEC Vice Chairman
This article provides you with a bird’s eye view of our
committees, building on the articles in the PDH, The Wiss-key, and THE X-RAY, as well as
information on Facebook and other mediums. Our ARW ALPA volunteers do
an incredible amount of “heavy lifting” for our pilot group, ALPA,
the MEC, and Air Wisconsin (that’s right, we’re trying to help Air
Wisconsin become a better company). While it’s important for you to
know about the work that is being done, it’s equally important for
you to understand the role that each committee has in helping the MEC
fulfill its mission.
During the month of January Scheduling Vice Chairman
Tyson Howard recorded a Part 117 Update podcast. To access these
and other outstanding ARW ALPA podcasts, go to http://www.ipadio.com/channels/ARW_ALPA. iPhone users can download a
podcast app at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podcasts/id525463029?mt=8. After the app is downloaded, search for “Air Wisconsin
Since May 1, 2013, Air Wisconsin has outsourced the
administration for family medical leave and other leaves of absence
to CIGNA Leave Solutions. If you are going out on short-term
disability, Aeromedical Chairman Jack Roback
asks that you contact him after your paperwork is fully and properly
completed and submitted to CIGNA. He will then help oversee that
CIGNA and the Company expedite approval for short-term disability benefits
and ensure that they are handled properly. In addition, if any pilot
has problems with CIGNA, please e-mail Jack at Jack.Roback@alpa.org. Presently, we have 7 Pilots out on Short-Term
The ASAP Committee is comprised of Chairman
Dan Lehenbauer and Secondary
Representatives Chris Fuson and Marlena
Mattingly. Due to the confidential nature of this committee, the
exact details of their work are not reported to the MEC or the pilot
group, and are protected under federal regulations and the ASAP Memo
of Understanding. Nevertheless, this “behind-the-scenes” committee
provides prolific service and enormous safety benefits to our pilot
group, our company, and the airline industry. The ASAP Event Review Committee
(ERC) held regular meetings via telecom on January 8, 15, 22, 29, and
February 12 and 26. In addition, the ERC held a Special ERC Meeting
for a Critical Event on February 17. As of March 3, 2014 there have
been 16 ASAP reports filed that are safety-related concerns about FAR
117. Lastly, the ASAP Committee would like to remind all pilots that
if crews are submitting an ASAP of deicing issues, they should also
submit an irregularity report.
Central Air Safety Committee (CASC) Chairman Kristen
Brown reports that significant work continued since the
January meeting and throughout February to follow up on deicing
issues in PHL. All employees that deice in PHL have been
retrained with emphasis on a proper tactile check, there has been
increased oversight on Piedmont’s side, and there has been an Air
Wisconsin representative on the deicing pad for almost all of the
deicing events (save for minor frost/one-off events). The end
result is much better according to the feedback the CASC is getting
from our pilots, but there are still occasions where a tactile check
will result in a second spray due to contamination found; and there
is still some work to do with training on proper spraying, etc.
The CASC feels strongly that Air Wisconsin’s continued presence on
the deicing pad is necessary from a risk management perspective.
attended the Safety Council meeting in Herndon, VA Feb 18-20. There, Central Air Safety Committee
representatives from all ALPA carriers reviewed the safety programs
at their respective airlines. The safety groups also reported on
attended Flight Operations Safety Board (FOSB) meeting via telecon on February 20. Chris White, Gregg Syring, Jim Reiners,
Eddy Leverton, and Doug Lesh
were in attendance. Topics discussed included current projects and
issues including a RTO study, uncommanded
yaw procedures, the Flight Safety Index that is reported to US
Airways, PHL deicing, FAR 117, and engine cover installation
policies. The FOSB meeting is made up of
high-level personnel from the Safety Department and Flight
Operations; together, they review Air Wisconsin's safety programs and
Air Wisconsin – “Safety First.” Flight Management
continues to use the FRMP to coerce pilots into taking FDP
extensions. ALPA’s position is clear: a pilot does not need to be
fatigued to decline concurrence of a 30-minute or greater extension
under the new FAR 117 rules and is therefore not required to
participate in the FRMP. Until the FAA has ruled on this dispute
or the company changes their behavior, ALPA recommends participating
in the FRMP by stating that they were not fatigued in their FRMP
pilots should file ASAP reports any time they feel the 117 rules are
not being correctly interpreted by the Company.
The ARW ALPA FAR 117 Working Group consists of
Scheduling Chairman Tybee Halter, Scheduling Vice Chairman Tyson
Howard, Reserve Resource Coordinator Sean Yates, Grievance Chairman
Maggie Eickhoff, Negotiating Chairman Mark
Lockwood, Communications Chairman Ken Reinert, MEC Chairman Richard
Swindell, MEC Vice Chairman Jeff Pruett, former Senior Communications
Specialist Lydia Jakub, and Senior Labor Relations Attorney Jody
Bettenburg. Together, this group spent an enormous amount of time and
effort to educate and prepare this pilot group for the new flight and
duty limitations and rest requirements. To date, eight educational
and prolific FastReads were
sent to our pilots: an overview of the rule and discussion of some of
the concepts and definitions contained within on Dec. 2;
specific details and examples of Flight Duty Period (FDP) under the
new rules on Dec. 9; the Reserve Availability Period (RAP) on Dec.
20; negotiations and grievances on Dec. 23; cumulative
limits and rest on Dec. 31; and the most frequently asked
questions during the first week of implementation on Jan. 13.
Part 117 Implementation – Q&A on Jan. 21 and on Feb. 6,
addressed potential issues that may arise. A new MEC
webpage specifically for FAR 117 was also created; this is a
"public" page so pilots will not have to login to download
all of the FAR 117 FastReads and
other available resources. If you prefer hard copies, the group
printed “business cards” with Tables A & B and a list of contacts
in case you have questions; these business cards are now available in
the crew rooms along with copies of the ALPA FT/DT guide. The working group also hosted four FAR 117
conference calls—two for all pilots and two that focused specifically
on reserve issues. Lastly, ARW117Questions@alpa.org was established to answer pilot questions, comments, and
concerns about the Part 117 rules.
Grievance Committee Members Graham Downing and Ken
Nesbitt are now in charge of the Issue Form Branch of the
Grievance Committee. If you receive a call or e-mail from Graham or
Ken regarding your issue form, please make their job easier by
calling them back or responding to their e-mail as quickly as
possible. Issues are resolved through an organized and time-critical
process in which the filer of the issue form needs to be engaged when
requested. Also, when filing an issue form, provide as much detailed
information as you can about the alleged contract violation. Please
include a copy of your schedule, a description of the event with
applicable names and times, why you believe the contract has been
violated, and under what section.
Grievance Committee Chairman
Maggie Eickhoff received
a settlement from the company for a "first out" request
violation and for a failure to notify of a drop request. In
addition, she received two settlements for pilots with improper trade
denials, and a settlement for 12.G.2 violation, interruption of rest.
Lastly, ALPA received three settlements for pilots who were not
provided a day room with over 4.5 hour sit. The Grievance
Committee is actively collecting data on 117 extensions. A
formal grievance has been filed on behalf of pilot for the company’s
failure to return to service within 30 days of notification.
Finally, the Grievance Committee processed over 20 issue forms with
the company, and rejected another 12 issue forms for lacking merit.
Legislative Affairs Committee
Chairman Brendan Cantwell reminds ALL PILOTS that there are three
total Calls to
Action links on the ALPA website, including grassroots
movements on reinforced cockpit doors, the Safe Skies Act of 2013,
and an undertaking to stop the creation of a new CBP preclearance
facility in Abu Dhabi. Many of these issues will affect the future of
your career and our industry—the time to act is now. ALPA
National could not have made it any easier for you to voice your
support for our profession—it’s so easy that you would have to try to
not care about your future and choose to ignore your responsibility
to secure it. If you want to change the industry, secure your
profession and influence changing the federal rules, regulations, and
policies that affect you, then you need to help ALPA effect change by
donating to the ALPA-PAC. Now
is the time to donate to help secure your career and the airline
piloting profession - the future of this industry and our careers
will be won or lost on Capitol Hill.
ALL PILOTS - New ALPA website takeaction.alpa.org has been established – visit the website and sign the
petition to support ALPA's effort to deny the Norwegian Air
International Flag of Convenience Scheme.
Committee Chairman Brian Gambino asks all pilots to check with
their fellow pilots on whether they are receiving ALPA communications.
If not, please have them contact the Membership Committee at ARWMembership@alpa.org so that we may remedy the situation. On Tuesday, Feb.
25th, Brian greeted 2 ground schools,
comprising a total of 23 new hires. Lastly, the Membership Committee
fielded multiple phone calls and e-mail from members who needed help
signing onto ALPA Website/APP for FAR 117 calculator.
Scheduling Committee Chairman Tybee Halter would also like to remind all pilots to be firm, fair,
and friendly when dealing with Crew Scheduling. Follow the guidance
on the back of your ARW ALPA badge backer and remember that
you are on a recorded line. Please report all issues to your
Scheduling Committee, even if the issue was satisfactorily remedied
by Crew Scheduling or a flight manager. If the issue was unresolved,
file an issue form. If you do not have a badge backer, please contact
Membership Chairman Brian Gambino at 516-263-4735 or ARWMembership@alpa.org. The scheduling committee would like reserve pilots to
email ARWScheduling@alpa.org when the Company extends their FDP via ACARS on the last
leg or after their FDP has ended. In addition, pilots who have a 29
minute or less extension should also email the committee. Also, and
more importantly, these same pilots should file ASAP reports so the
FAA can see these practices.
On behalf of the MEC, I would like to thank all of
our volunteers for their dedication and efforts. Much of the
progress, achievements, and goals realized by ARW ALPA are due to the
continued efforts of your volunteers. Thank you.
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Your Opinion Matters – FFDC Survey Now Open
order to better understand the issues that are most important to you,
ALPA needs to hear directly from you. Therefore, ALPA’s national
Collective Bargaining Committee (CBC) is conducting a survey of all
ALPA pilots at fee-for-departure (FFD) carriers. The purpose of this
survey is to identify and prioritize the issues that are most
important to FFD pilots. Once the CBC has a better understanding of
what those priorities are, it can work with the FFD committee,
composed of the MEC chairman from each FFD carrier, to establish
clearly defined goals that will lead to improvements in pay,
benefits, job security, and career progression. Together we can
develop plans to achieve those goals.
survey includes 35 questions plus an opportunity to provide comments
and is open now through the end of March.
can take the survey online by clicking: http://www.surveysoftware.net/hostal/FFD_Survey.htm
login with your ALPA number (including any leading zeroes)
- If you have trouble accessing the survey or
have questions regarding the login process, please email email@example.com
- You may
only take the survey once. If you need to save your work,
please click the “Save” button. When you resume it will
pick up where you left off.
will receive a summary of how many people have taken the poll,
as well as a summary of their collective answers. We will not
know your individual responses.
It is vitally important that each pilot participate in this process.
Only through broad-based participation can ALPA develop goals and
objectives that reflect your collective interests. Individual survey
responses are completely confidential, and the compiled results will
only be utilized by the CBC, FFD Task Force, and ALPA staff.
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