ALPA Executive Board Convenes, Approves Landmark ACPA Merger

ALPA held its 132nd regular Executive Board meeting this week, bringing pilot group master executive council chairs together with the Association’s four national officers and 10 executive vice presidents to conduct union business.

In a historic moment for the Association, the Executive Board on Wednesday voted in favor of merging the union with the Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA), the final step in making Air Canada ALPA’s 40th pilot group and growing ALPA pilot ranks to more than 74,000 members. “Without opposition or objection, the minutes will reflect that the ACPA/ALPA merger was adopted by acclamation,” said ALPA president Capt. Jason Ambrosi in the moments immediately following the vote.

In his report to the Executive Board earlier that day, Ambrosi praised ACPA for its willingness to work with ALPA to make the merger process as seamless as possible. He remarked, “Their strong support showcases our common purpose. We’ll work together to promote the power of unionism and advance safety on our flight decks and in the skies.” The ALPA president also reported on recent contract gains and the Association’s many ongoing collective bargaining efforts. Ambrosi acknowledged, “Even as we now focus on contract implementation and compliance at many pilot groups, our union is directing its ‘war chest’ and other critical resources toward the nearly half of our pilot groups that continue to negotiate with managements that still refuse to acknowledge our value.”

First vice president and national safety coordinator Capt. Wendy Morse focused her report on two historic moments in ALPA’s history—the 38th anniversary of the United pilots’ strike to defeat a two-tiered wage scale and the vote at hand to combine ACPA with ALPA, which would take place later that morning. For the bulk of her remarks, Morse discussed the work of the Association’s Air Safety Organization and the continued safety and security challenges confronting the union. She gave special attention to the misguided promotion of reduced-crew operations. Commenting on efforts by some aircraft manufacturers to propose single-pilot operations, Morse said, “We’re not anti-technology; we’re pro-technology when it enhances safety.”

“ALPA has been in the middle of a truly dynamic phase since this governing body met last September,” remarked vice president–administration/secretary Capt. Tyler Hawkins. During his presentation, he provided an overview of the many ways the Professional Development Group has been reaching out to and engaging with the next generation of airline pilots. Hawkins also outlined the numerous activities of the union’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, including new platforms implemented to better accommodate ALPA’s needs and growth. “As I noted in my [March 2023 magazine] column, change for the sake of change serves no one, but we should be continuously looking at ways to improve existing programs and services and better streamline the way we do business,” he said.

Change was a common theme throughout the national officers’ reports. ALPA vice president–finance/treasurer Capt. Wes Clapper acknowledged that “at the Executive Council last month, we considered 56 resolutions—56. Many of them were recommended by the Structure, Services, and Finance Review Committee, headed up by the VP of Finance, me.” He commented that several of the resolutions before the Board, if passed, would update financial limits that haven’t been increased in decades. For example, Clapper continued, “We’re looking at ways for local councils to use their funds less restrictively. Currently many councils can’t spend their funds to meet the needs of their pilots due to outdated policy.”

Watch the four national officers’ reports.

During the two-day assembly, Executive Board members heard presentations from several national committee leaders and a personal report from ALPA Canada president Capt. Tim Perry (WJA). They received a strategic plan update, watched live video feed from the WestJet Strike Center, and deliberated on 16 resolutions addressing Association policy changes.

Personal points of privilege were extended to Capt. Chris Norman (FDX), who remarked on his pilot group’s resoundingly positive strike-authorization vote results announced on Wednesday, and Capt. Garth Thompson (UAL), who thanked the Executive Council for the United pilots’ recent $5 million Major Contingency Fund grant as well as the support extended to the group during last week’s systemwide informational picket.

In addition, Ambrosi presented Capt. Ken Binder (FDX) with the first Andrew J. Hughes Presidential Citation for his extensive work and accomplishments for the union, including his tenure as ALPA’s Retirement and Insurance Committee chair.

Look for more details from this week’s Executive Board meeting in the June/July issue of Air Line Pilot.

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ALPA Executive Board - Spring 2023

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