One Union, One Voice, One Mission
Air Line Pilot, January
By Gary DiNunno, Editor
"One Union, One Voice, One Mission" was the overall message that ALPA’s international officers delivered during their opening reports to nearly 500 delegates and attendees of ALPA’s 39th regular Board of Directors meeting held in Hollywood, Fla., Oct. 21–24, 2002. This theme, which was repeated throughout the week, emphasized solidifying ALPA’s position externally and internally as the global champion of airline pilots.
Elected representatives of ALPA’s local councils make up the union’s Board of Directors, ALPA’s highest governing body. The BOD was meeting with ALPA’s master executive council, Executive Council, and international union officers to establish policy and direction for ALPA for the following 2 years, plan a course of action for the future, receive reports from ALPA-wide committees, and enact resolutions presented to the session. Four international officers and 11 executive vice-presidents were elected. Complete text of the officers’ reports, ALPA-wide committee reports and recommendations, BOD resolutions, and accompanying photographs may be found on ALPA’s public website at www.alpa.org.
Capt. Duane Woerth, ALPA’s president, opened this BOD meeting with a "state of the union" presentation. He noted that the BOD was meeting "at a time of great challenge and of great concern for our airlines, our industry, and our country. But great challenges are nothing new to this great union. We have met them head on and with vigor at every turn." He observed that the airline industry is always volatile. And as a result, "during our 70-plus years, pilots have built a strong, vibrant, and nimble union. We not only plan strategically, but we can also react to change that is beyond our control. We can react to a world that has changed in an instant.
"Two months ago," he said, "I was testifying before the Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry. Some members of the Commission could not wait for my testimony to end, so they could inform me of the conclusion they had already reached simply by reading The Wall Street Journal. I was informed: the problem with the U.S. airline industry was obvious—labor costs, particularly pilot costs—were too high.
"Since one of the primary functions of this Commission was to do a thorough analysis of the global competitiveness of the European aerospace industry as well, I asked a simple question of them: ‘If that is true, why are all the major European network carriers, who have higher labor costs and lower productivity than U.S. carriers, still profitable?’" Capt. Woerth declared that this fact interferes with the myth that the U.S. airline industry suffers solely from a "labor cost problem." The global airline industry "is not collapsing," he said, "most of it is doing just fine."
Capt. Woerth suggested that what was important was to determine why only the U.S. airline industry is sinking like a stone and then decide what ALPA’s near-term and long-term game plan should be to protect and enhance the airline piloting profession in the face of all this adversity. In year after year of revenue growth, Capt. Woerth declared, "airline managements were able to milk the ‘nouveau riche’ crowd—those business customers with unlimited corporate travel budgets and personal wealth that made millions of Americans feel rich enough to buy and use expensive, refundable walk-up fares even though the person sitting next to them paid far below the real cost of that seat. Worst of all, this disparate price model created a tidal wave of resentment in these business travelers.
"When the bubble burst and business travel revenue disappeared by as much as 30 percent almost overnight," Capt. Woerth said, "network carriers were caught flat-footed. Most of them went into deep denial that their cash cow was gone and, like a deer in the headlights, just froze and did nothing."
He said, "The only action virtually all passenger airlines took in their panic to reduce distribution costs back-fired in a textbook case of the ‘law of unintended consequences.’ They believed that if they could force most of the ticket sales to the Internet, they could slash travel agent commissions and lay off thousands of employee reservationists and thereby reduce distribution costs by 3 to 5 percent.
"To induce customers to use the Internet," Capt. Woerth continued, passenger airlines "reduced ticket prices sold via the internet significantly and even allowed the introduction of ‘ticket auctions’ such as those on priceline.com and similar ventures to further erode their ability to set prices." He said, "The stark reality is that through their actions, passenger airlines have surrendered much of the control of their distribution system to consumers.…A significant portion of the loss in revenue can be attributed to this distribution debacle."
Another consequence of the bursting of the bubble economy relates to pension funding. Capt. Woerth said, "While the bubble economy was in full ‘bubble’—those years of record profits spanning 1995 to 2000, many airline managements put no cash, or very little cash, into their employee pension plans because the hyperinflated stock market values allowed them to claim that these plans were ‘technically’ adequately funded." He observed that "many [airline] management officials literally took their ‘excess cash’ in the late 1990s and invested hundred of millions of dollars buying back their own company stock, which they felt was undervalued." He noted that some airline officials "wanted to buy out a previous partner: for example, US Airways bought out British Airways’ shares, Northwest bought back KLM’s shares, and Continental bought back Northwest’s shares. Most of these geniuses paid more than four times—and up to ten times — the current trading price, so now they’re out of cash and are also staring at billions of dollars in underfunded pension plans. This pension crisis could very well be the most troublesome aspect of our present situation."
Capt. Woerth stated that the one adverse factor that has turned a mild recessionary setback into "a full-scale economic disaster is the relentless increase in user fees and taxes on the industry." He said that combined with the soaring security costs that have been passed on to the airlines in the form of unfunded federal mandates, "additional user fees and taxes…have increased airline costs by $4 billion per year," according to the Air Transport Association. He said, "The number of taxes and fees has grown relentlessly over the years. Today 15 different types of fees and taxes are added on to ticket prices or cargo bills."
He said that the final coup de grâce is being handed to airline labor courtesy of the Air Transportation Stabilization Board. Two-thirds of the airline stabilization package approved by Congress was $10 billion in loan guarantees to act as a short-term bridge loan backup. The White House didn’t like any part of the "airline bailout bill," as they called it, and fought it like a tiger. They negotiated the grant portion down to $5 billion from a significantly higher amount that many members of both parties were considering and would agree to the loan guarantee provision only if the Executive Branch was given 100 percent control of the terms and conditions. A key feature of the bill, designed by a bipartisan Congress to stabilize the industry, has been converted into a labor-bashing weapon by the White House.
But before ALPA begins to formulate its collective response to this current financial crisis, the union cannot ignore the long-term structural changes that have also been affecting this industry in profound and fundamental ways for more than 10 years now, Capt. Woerth said.
One change is the globalization of the industry. In 1994, ALPA rolled out a globalization strategy, preparing to deal with a rapidly changing world of international open-skies and global airline alliances, he reminded the delegates. ALPA has vigorously resisted aero-political efforts to further liberalize aviation trade agreements beyond the current open-skies definition. He said, "For instance, we absolutely will not permit cabotage. We’ve had to go to great lengths to ensure that aviation rights are not made part of the World Trade Organization or included in the General Agreement on Trade in Services, which would introduce cabotage via the back door of ‘national treatment clauses.’"
A decade ago when open skies and global code-sharing alliances were just getting started, economists and trade representatives predicted that U.S. carriers would be at a tremendous economic advantage because of our lower labor costs and would make huge gains in market shares as a direct consequence. ALPA disagreed, Capt. Woerth said. ALPA believed that, although the total market would surely increase, the U.S. market share would more likely shrink instead of grow because U.S. airline managements would be more interested in a pro-rated piece of the marketing agreement and would rather just code-share instead of purchasing the aircraft and paying a crew. ALPA predicted this situation would escalate in bad economic times when U.S. carriers would be quick to park aircraft and reduce capacity. Unfortunately, ALPA’s prediction was right on target and for all the reasons stated, he said.
However, the urgency of finding strategies and tactics to effectively deal with international airline brands pales into insignificance when compared with the absolute necessity of countering airline managements’ domestic branding game plan in both the United States and Canada. In adjusting ALPA’s coordinated job security strategy for pilots within a brand, the Association need not, and indeed must not, waste a single second or one ounce of energy playing the "blame game," he said.
After nearly a quarter of a century of deregulation, Capt. Woerth said, ALPA must candidly acknowledge that airline managements have been successful in spreading their propaganda that pilots are all competitors. Those pilots with different wings and different uniforms, they are the enemy, they are the competition!!
"We are not competitors!!" Capt. Woerth proclaimed. "Managements must compete!! Not us!! As a national union we have anti-trust immunity. We can legally share, we can legally coordinate, we can legally collaborate, we can do whatever is necessary to help each other protect and defend this profession and its wages and working conditions. With all the other legal advantages managements possess under labor law, we cannot afford not to exploit our only legal advantage of anti-trust immunity to the max."
Lapsing into one big "woe is me pity party" would be easy enough, but to do so would require ALPA members to deny their proud heritage as fighters. And what a heritage, what a legacy ALPA members have to live up to, Capt. Woerth said. In 1932, a year after ALPA was established in the dawn of the Great Depression, the first Board of Directors meeting of ALPA was held in the Troy Lane Hotel in Chicago. Total delegates: 19. Total pilots represented: 344. Total financial resources available: 0. Total contracts: also 0. (ALPA’s first contract would not be achieved until 1939.) But the total number of those delegates and line pilots who shared a common vision of one union, one voice, one mission—100 percent, he said.
The union leadership assembled here today, Capt. Woerth said, must fully embrace and recapture that shared vision of one union, one voice, one mission for this generation of airline pilots is going to have to change the world again. He said that this Board needed to be a full-blown union rally that would send forth the clear and unmistakable message that ALPA is more than up to the enormous challenges that lie ahead.
"We will not be intimidated," Capt. Woerth said. "We will not be bowed. And seventy years from today, some future ALPA president will be able to declare that this Board and this generation of pilots saved the industry and saved this profession from its darkest hour."
Capt. Dennis Dolan, ALPA’s first vice-president, outlined the union’s involvement in international aviation issues and airline and airport security measures. He began with a review of security-related topics and activity.
"ALPA has been pursuing a universal identification system like TWIC [Transportation Workers Identification Card] for many years," Capt. Dolan said. "ALPA has also made this case to the Canadian government, and work on a similar system of electronic identification known as the national pass system is proceeding there as well." We have "offered input and assistance to determine standards for the TWIC, and how to structure and implement a functional and accurate identification system for pilots," he said. ALPA has worked cooperatively "with other industry stakeholders, such as the Air Transport Association, Airports Council international, and others, to ensure that implementation of the TWIC will be smooth and efficient."
In the United States, "after a long and frustrating period during which ALPA and other industry stakeholders attempted to get this key issue moving," Capt. Dolan said, the Transportation Security Administration is finally beginning a functional test of the TWIC at two airports as a prelude to industrywide implementation. Funding this program is still a major hurdle. Although funding for TWIC is part of the U.S. DOT appropriations bill for 2003, at press time Congress had failed to approve government spending bills for next year and had passed continuing resolutions in the interim. Funding for TWIC in Canada also remains unresolved. Capt. Dolan said, "Implementation of TWIC remains ALPA’s number one security priority." TWIC, he explained, affects all pilots and is directly tied to many other security issues, such as jumpseat access and arming pilots.
ALPA has been the driving force in moving forward the issue of arming pilots, Capt. Dolan declared. With "a concerted effort of education and advocacy in both Congress and the [news] media, and with the support of the majority of the American public and our pilots," Capt. Dolan said, "this program is nearly a reality." He noted that ALPA helped the House Aviation Subcommittee to draft language for the bill that Congress approved as an amendment to the Homeland Security Bill.
"Once the legislation is finalized…," Capt. Dolan said, "we must then determine the appropriate method for screening volunteer candidates, develop a top-notch training program for those who qualify, and address such issues as CRM and carriage and storage of the weapon." Canadian pilots, because of cultural and national law differences, have not taken a position on arming pilots but have supported ALPA’s efforts in the United States, he observed.
Expressing frustration that the U.S. government has been slow to restore airline pilots’ access to interline cockpit jumpseats, Capt. Dolan said that ALPA members know that an airline pilot riding jumpseat "has the potential to be an enhancement not only to flight safety, but also to inflight security." He added that implementing the TWIC is the ultimate solution" to getting reciprocal jumpseat access restored. Canada has followed a path similar to that of the United States on this issue, and Capt. Dolan said, "We are continuing to work toward reciprocal access between U.S. and Canadian carriers."
Installation of ballistically-resistant, strengthened cockpit doors in airliners "is a prime example of ALPA’s safety and security expertise," Capt. Dolan declared. He added that the newly designed doors include all of the recommendations that the Rapid Response Team, which Capt. Woerth led, reported to DOT Secretary Norman Mineta. Carriers operating airliners with cockpit doors in or into the United States and Canada must have the new doors installed by April 2003. U.S. carriers must provide most of the funding for the new doors with some grant money coming from the federal government. The Canadian government has allocated a "significant sum" to fund installation of the doors for Canadian carriers.
Capt. Dolan noted that cargo security has yet to be brought up to reasonable standards. "The fact that [cargo] airplanes are just as large and potentially just as destructive as passenger airplanes has…escaped [Congress and the traveling public]." He added that cargo flight crews, loaders, handlers, and the cargo itself "are subject to minimal, if any, security screening." ALPA intends "to change that," he said. "We intend to vigorously pursue one level of safety and security for all pilots and all airplanes."
Changing topics, Capt. Dolan discussed the status of National Airspace Modernization projects. NAS MOD "uses enhanced technology to help provide adequate separation of aircraft in an already saturated system," he explained. The program, which the FAA has endorsed as part of the Operational Evolution Plan, includes hundreds of projects and efforts "loosely tied together and, in some way, technologically linked to each other," Capt. Dolan said. ALPA must "ensure that these programs link together in a way that they not only meet the requirements of adequate separation," he said, "but that they also not degrade safety by either providing inaccurate information or increasing the pilots’ workload to the point of information saturation."
Capt. Dolan said that ALPA’s NAS MOD team includes more than 50 pilot volunteers and staff who are addressing members’ concerns, "so there are no unwelcome surprises in the implementation phase."
On the international aviation front, Capt. Dolan noted that globalization is now a fact. The new term in vogue, he observed, is liberalization—as in liberalization of traffic rights and ownership rules. ALPA’s Global Aviation Strategy Group, a committee the Association formed several years ago, is "monitoring these issues on a worldwide basis," he said. The committee is preparing positions and written documents in anticipation of attending, under the auspices of IFALPA, the World Air Transport Conference in Montreal in March. Liberalization will be a main topic of this conference.
Capt. Dolan noted that USALPA, as we are known in international aviation circles, has historically been and will remain an ardent supporter of IFALPA. This international pilots’ federation provides the "ability to interface with governments, manufacturers, and air carriers at the highest levels" in the international arena, he said.
Capt. Dolan’s final topic was union-busting, international style. He discussed the Cathay Pacific pilots’ 9-year struggle with their management, which last year fired 52 pilots because management no longer deemed them to be "loyal employees." Most were union leaders or activists, and to date, only one fired pilot has been allowed to return to his job. The carrier management, Capt. Dolan said, has no intention of negotiating in good faith. It intends to wear the pilots down "emotionally and financially until the union is broken," he warned. Capt. Dolan added that "ALPA and IFALPA have been providing a great deal of assistance and support to the Cathay pilots in this ongoing struggle."
The Korean Air Lines Flight Crew Union, during its first significant round of bargaining since its recognition 2 years ago, was forced to strike last year. "With the cooperation of the Korean government," Capt. Dolan said, "the strike was declared illegal, 15 pilots were jailed for 90 days, and none of them has regained his employment with Korean Air Lines." He noted that this action has left the union severely weakened, and pilots continue to be threatened with termination if they engage in any activity of which management does not approve.
The VARIG pilots "have been struggling with a corrupt and ruthless management who have driven the carrier to the brink of bankruptcy," Capt. Dolan declared. Last summer, he said, the entire pilot board—their equivalent of our MEC—was fired for union activity. This board sued the two top VARIG management officials for fraud and corruption and won. While the two officials have appealed the suit, 35 more pilots have been fired.
"In all of these cases," Capt. Dolan said, "ALPA has actively assisted these pilots in their struggles with management. We have, once again, put our experience, our expertise, and our resources into assisting our fellow pilots. That we understand union-busting has no bounds and that their struggles are our struggles is important."
Capt. Jerry Mugerditchian, ALPA’s vice-president–administration/secretary, presented a synopsis of the union’s current membership status and a review of organizing and administrative matters during his terms in office. ALPA had 54,953 active members as of Sept. 30, 2002, Capt. Mugerditchian said, and 32 executive active members, 318 members in bad standing, 1,520 apprentice members, 142 executive inactive members, and 4,777 members on furlough.
He observed that the 1990 BOD worked on 32 agenda items and elected new officers. At the time, ALPA represented 34,000 members at 35 airlines. Of those 35 airlines, 15 no longer exist.
During the 1994 BOD meeting, ALPA celebrated a giant step toward one level of safety as scheduled passenger service in aircraft with 20 seats or more began operations under FAR Part 121.
In 1995, Florida Gulf, Skyway, and Sun Country pilots voted to join ALPA. And in 1997, as ALPA conducted a successful merger with the Canadian Air Line Pilots Association, Emery, Midway, Midwest Express, Polar, Reno, and Spirit pilots became ALPA members. In 1998, the pilots of Ryan and Tower Air were welcomed to the ALPA ranks, bringing the membership total up to 43,000 pilots working for 50 different airlines. Champion pilots joined ALPA later that year. Although WestAir closed its doors, its partners Air Midwest, Florida Gulf, Liberty Express, and Mountain West became part of Mesa.
Delegates to the 2000 BOD meeting directed ALPA to organize all airline pilots in the United States and Canada into a single union, which led to the successful merger of the Independent Association of Continental Pilots into ALPA in June 2001. A year later, the FedEx Pilots Association voted to become part of ALPA. TWA, however, collapsed and was merged into American Airlines.
Since 1990, ALPA members have amended their Administrative Manual more than 400 times and changed the union’s Constitution and By-Laws more than 50 times. ALPA’s governing bodies, in the last 12 years, passed more than 3,900 resolutions to advance the union goal of representing the airline piloting profession.
In conclusion, Capt. Mugerditchian urged the BOD delegates to never give up the fight for the airline piloting profession or to ensure the survival of the union.
Capt. John Feldvary, ALPA’s vice-president–finance/treasurer, noted that in 1998, ALPA annual dues income was $89.8 million; the Operating Contingency Fund was in crisis; 27 MECs had Special MEC Reserve Account balances totaling $10.1 million; and the Major Contingency Fund balance was $56.8 million with expenses exceeding income by $4.3 million. Also in 1998, ALPA’s finances were posted on a mainframe computer; and the financial database was not Y2K-compliant. In late 1998, ALPA approved an overhaul of the Association’s risk-management program, but the changes were not yet implemented. "Drastic action was required to return ALPA to a stronger financial state," Capt. Feldvary said.
In 2002, as of September 30, annualized dues income for 2002 was $127.3 million. The OCF was restructured to create three funds: operating fund—$933,000; special projects—$1.03 million; and contingency fund—$3.58 million. Nineteen pilot groups now have airline-paid flight pay loss for official ALPA work. The MCF balance was $68.9 million. Thirty-two MECs have a positive SMRA balance totaling $31.1 million. Several new pilots groups joined ALPA, which had a positive effect on ALPA membership numbers and revenue. ALPA’s financial reserves have doubled since 1998.
The future, Capt. Feldvary suggested, may be less positive. "The current collective bargaining environment creates uncertainty about ALPA’s 2002 revenue," he said. "We will require that ALPA budgets and expenditures be actively managed to avoid deficits. We must continue to focus our attention on ALPA’s core issues of representation, legal affairs, safety, communications, and legislation.
"We must ensure our financial viability," Capt. Feldvary concluded, "if we are to remain the global advocate for airline pilots and the airline piloting profession."
Capt. Woerth, who also serves as chairman of ALPA’s Political Action Committee, presented a framed certificate to each of 26 MEC chairmen to recognize that their MEC had met goals set for ALPA-PAC participation in 2002. These MECs, he said, deserve the appreciation of the entire ALPA membership for their efforts. He noted that the BOD delegates had 100 percent participation. The PAC expects to raise more than $1 million in 2002 with an increase of 2,000 more members participating than in 2001. Capt. Woerth said that the PAC has a goal of reporting 30 percent of the U.S. membership as contributors by 2004.
The BOD delegates unanimously reelected Capts. Duane Woerth and Dennis Dolan to serve second 4-year terms as the union’s president and first vice-president, respectively. Capts. Woerth and Dolan, who ran unopposed, thanked all pilots for their support and pledged to continue working vigorously on their behalf. Capt. Woerth said, "Even though dark clouds threaten the airline industry and airline piloting profession, I am energized, rather than discouraged. In adversity we are required to gather up our strength and unity; adversity is why we will stay together. I am honored to serve airline pilots and recommit to working for them and their families, confident that together we will accomplish great things."
He said, "I subscribe to the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, [who wrote] ‘Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.’" Capt. Dolan said, "I passionately believe in this Association and this profession. We must roll up our sleeves and work harder, longer, and smarter to face the battles that lie ahead, because with adversities come opportunities."
ALPA’s Board of Directors elected United Capt. Paul Rice as the Association’s vice-president–administration/secretary, replacing Capt. Jerry Mugerditchian, who recently retired from United and completed his third term of office. Capt. Rice, a 23-year aviation veteran and the son of a retired United pilot, has served in numerous union positions, including currently held positions on ALPA’s Strategic Planning Committee and Special Representational Structure Review Committee. He was chairman of United Airlines Council 11 from 1995 to 1999.
Completing the four-member international officer team, the Board elected US Airways Capt. Chris Beebe as vice-president–finance/treasurer, succeeding Capt. John Feldvary, also of US Airways. Capt. Beebe, the current Master Executive Council chairman for US Airways pilots, has logged 20 years of ALPA volunteerism, serving as the US Airways pilots’ Negotiating Committee chairman, grievance representative, MEC vice-chairman, MEC secretary/treasurer, and legislative affairs chairman.
The BOD delegates, in their election caucuses, elected 11 executive vice-presidents, who, along with the four international officers, sit on ALPA’s Executive Council, the governing body that manages the Association’s fiscal plans and participates in policy decisions. The new executive vice-presidents are Group A—Capt. David Morrow (US Airways), Capt. Pat Burke (Continental), First Officer Michael Geer (Delta), Capt. Joe Fagone (FedEx), Capt. Darryl Snider (Northwest), Capt. Mark Seal (United); Group B—Capts. J.C. Lawson (Comair) and Jay Schnedorf (Midwest Express); Group C—Capts. Mike Milofsky (American Eagle) and Tom Wychor (Mesaba); and Group D—Capt. Kent Hardisty (Air Canada Jazz).
BOD delegates met in 12 designated committees to review policy resolutions, to discuss issues and concerns facing the piloting profession, to receive reports from ALPA-wide committees, and to propose future direction for the union.
Following committee action, the entire BOD acted upon the proposed policies.
The BOD adopted the Bilateral Scope Impact Committee’s recommended policy language to strengthen cooperation and communication among pilot groups in the same airline family through Joint Standing Committees. The new policy encourages JSCs to form subgroups within their partner airline structure to address issues of special concern and to meet more often than the JSC. These subgroups are encouraged to concentrate their efforts on collective bargaining, safety, and communication. In addition, the JSCs and their respective subgroups are encouraged to enter into voluntary "protocols" regarding the conduct of their work and other "substantive issues."
The BSIC recommended and the BOD adopted language directing ALPA to undertake, under the direction of ALPA’s president, a union-wide communications program to educate members about the "critical importance of scope protection to all pilot groups" and an external communications campaign to "focus on the legitimacy of scope protection as a means of protecting contract standards." The BOD required that a report on this effort be presented to the May 2003 Executive Board.
The BOD delegates directed the BSIC to continue its work on system scope and airline family branding, to coordinate efforts with the ALPA Collective Bargaining Committee, and to report on the Committee’s activities to the May 2003 Executive Board.
Recognizing that smaller pilot groups rely more heavily on ALPA-wide resources than larger pilot groups with internal resources, delegates approved the creation of a new position, resource coordinator, whom ALPA’s president would appoint, similar to the executive administrator, and who would report directly to the president (see "Pilot Report," page 38). The coordinator will act as a liaison between the smaller pilot groups and the international officers; help smaller carrier MECs receive ALPA-wide services, and help smaller carrier MECs work their way through ALPA policies and procedures as they conduct Association business.
LEC election groups and terms of office
A report of the Special Representational Structure Review Committee reviewed alternatives to the current 2-year terms of office and present election groups for local council representatives and officers who make up the BOD.
The Committee recommended that the terms of office for LEC representatives be lengthened to 3 years to reduce the biennial turnover on multi-council MECs. And the SRSRC proposed that new election groups be established and that the new 3-year terms begin in three increments to lessen disruption that might occur if all terms were immediately implemented. After much BOD subcommittee discussion, the full Board approved the proposed changes. [See "Important Notice," page 29, for the new election assignments and the dates for the new 3-year terms to begin.]
No-strike contract provisions
The BOD reaffirmed ALPA policy that the union will not negotiate no-strike provisions in any collective bargaining agreements and that large MECs may provide direct negotiation assistance to smaller MECs, including direct participation at the bargaining table if requested.
ALPA’s union-wide Strategic Planning Committee, in its report, reiterated the importance of ALPA’s objective of providing representation for all members of the airline piloting profession in the United States and Canada. The Committee recommended that the BOD direct ALPA’s president to continue efforts to discuss ALPA membership with independent pilot associations, keeping in mind that members in good standing of associations that merge with ALPA are eligible for full membership, that such merger proposals will require the approval of the Executive Council and ratification of the Executive Board, and that representation campaigns and elections are still available as an organizing tool in appropriate situations. The BOD voted to accept the report and recommendations.
The Strategic Planning Committee urged ALPA’s president to continue to use the advisory capacity of the SRSRC to refine the union’s structure to meet the needs of ALPA members. The Committee also urged ALPA’s president to continue to educate the members on increasing support for ALPA-PAC to enhance the union’s ability to be fully involved in the political arena and to work closely with the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department to protect the interests of the airline piloting profession to the maximum extent possible.
International officer compensation
ALPA’s Constitution and By-Laws requires BOD delegates to review and, if necessary, modify established formulas for compensation, benefits, retirement, and living allowances for the officers of the international union.
The president’s base compensation is determined from the average book rates for the three highest-paying captain rates of the three highest-paying ALPA-represented carriers on the opening day of the BOD meeting. The compensation formulas for the first vice-president, VP-finance, and VP-administration are based on amounts they would receive for flight pay loss for the highest paid equipment to which they would be entitled.
The Board amended the ALPA Constitution to require that proceeds from assessments will be returned to the assessing body and that this will apply to all current MEC/LEC assessments, including those billed before the date of this amendment. The ALPA Finance/Membership Services Department will ensure, beginning Jan. 1, 2003, that such assessments are treated on members’ accounts in the same manner as dues and national assessments so that members who fail to pay currently outstanding MEC/LEC assessments by the due date established for February 2003 bills will be placed in bad standing.
Late agenda items
ALPA’s Executive Board recommended, and the BOD approved, an amendment to the Constitution allowing the Executive Council to submit an agenda item to the Executive Board any time before the start of the Executive Board meeting without that item becoming a "late agenda item."
ALPA-wide committee reports
The BOD, in addition to those committee reports already mentioned, received and reviewed the reports of the ALPA-wide Leadership Conference; Education; Membership; Collective Bargaining; Retirement and Insurance; Captain’s Authority; Local Council Nomination, Campaigning, and EBCB Procedures Review; Human Performance; National Security, Flight Time/Duty Time; and Jumpseat Committees.