Participation Is Encouraged: ALPA’s Executive Board Meeting

ALPA’s national officers, executive vice presidents, and Master Executive Council chairs are assembled at the Association's Herndon, Va., Conference Center this week for the 124th regular meeting of the union’s Executive Board. The new administration elected to break from recent tradition and introduce several new features to the meeting’s agenda, including panel discussions, briefings from national committee chairs, and more time spent in plenary to encourage engagement, discussion, and debate.

The Honorable Alexander Acosta, secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, addressed the Executive Board as guest speaker earlier today. More photos from the meeting

ALPA president Capt. Joe DePete explained in his report to Executive Board members, “ALPA is changing—and changing for the better.” Talking about this new approach, DePete observed, “We listened and responded quickly to our members’ direction. You put a priority on greater transparency and inclusiveness—and so have I. … To succeed, we all need to be fully engaged and giving 100 percent.” He went on to explain that union solidarity and worker dignity know no borders or boundaries. DePete spent much of his report briefing the group on three priorities for the Association: fair competition, concerns of our pilots at small- to medium-sized carriers, and safety and security, particularly in the area of achieving one level of safety and security for cargo pilots. Watch DePete's speech.

In his first remarks to the Executive Board, first vice president Capt. Bob Fox examined threats to the pilot profession, including ongoing efforts to reduce standard crew complement on airliners either by removing one of the pilots or fully transitioning to robotics. “We were able to get IFALPA [the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations] to make a common statement about this issue,” he said, briefing the group on the recent IFALPA Conference and noting that the Federation acknowledged the “serious reduction in flight safety” posed by this kind of staffing cut. Fox also talked about threats to competition of transnational airlines and his work with the union’s new Data Action Report system. Watch Fox's speech.

“We’re placing a new emphasis on our members to make sure everything we do reflects their interests,” said vice president–administration/secretary Capt. Bill Couette, who reviewed Association efforts to improve its information technology. He discussed multiple enhancements to the ALPA mobile app and efforts to replace the union’s five current content management systems with a single network. Couette also discussed the ongoing work of ALPA’s Professional Development Group to defend, promote, and advance the airline pilot profession. Watch Couette's speech.

“As you know, at last year’s Board of Directors meeting, the BOD voted-in a dues reduction starting on Jan. 1, 2020—from the current 1.9 percent down to 1.85 percent,” remarked vice president–finance/treasurer Capt. Joseph Genovese. He reported on the work thus far of the Structure, Services, and Finance Review (SSAFR) Committee, established to revisit policies and procedures that might need to be updated in light of the dues decrease or changing times. Genovese also provided an overview of the Association’s finances and budgeting, thanking the ALPA leaders for their good stewardship and pointing out, “While we have made good progress, there is still a lot of work to do.” Watch Genovese's speech

The meeting’s three-day agenda includes four panel discussions designed to initiate group discussion about ways to improve ALPA services and productivity. Topics range from volunteer training in a period of high turnover to rethinking staffing models by airline segment.

In addition to reviewing resolutions and conducting strategic planning, the Executive Board also received briefings from Air Safety Organization aviation safety chair Capt. Steve Jangelis (DAL) and aviation security chair Capt. Wolfgang Koch (DAL). And earlier today, the Honorable Alexander Acosta, secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, addressed the group as guest speaker.

Look for additional highlights of the meeting in the June/July 2019 issue of Air Line Pilot magazine.

Read the latest Air Line Pilot (PDF)