PSA and Piedmont Pilots Unite to Improve Contracts

March 13, 2009 - In the next 2 months, both PSA and Piedmont pilot groups are planning to kick off full Section 6 negotiations. With similar contract improvement goals, these two US Airways wholly owned subsidiaries are working together—comparing contracts and identifying ways to leverage bargaining positions with their management groups and US Airways.

Last week, representatives from both PSA and Piedmont Negotiating Committees and Master Executive Councils met in Herndon, Va., to discuss how to move this collaborative process forward. PSA was represented by Negotiating Committee members Capt. Justin Chase (chairman) and Capt. Dave McDevitt; and Capt. Jesse Coeling, the pilots’ MEC vice-chairman. Piedmont attendees were Negotiating Committee members Capt. Dale Mojta (chairman), Capt. Colm McIvor (vice-chairman), and First Officer Matt Berson; Capt. Chuck Martinak, the pilot group’s MEC chairman; and Capt. Stacy Lutes, Communications Committee chairman.

”Unity is what ALPA is all about,” said Coeling. “Working with our brothers and sisters at Piedmont is proving to be a smart move and will help both groups secure a better contract.”

“It is exciting to be part of this joint effort,” added Martinak, “Rather than allowing US Airways management to pit our groups against each other, we are combining forces and helping to raise the bar for all regional pilots.”

A major accomplishment of this first meeting was a communications protocol agreement between the two pilot groups, which will allow the groups to share information as they work through the negotiating process. The two negotiating committees also agreed to communicate before and after each negotiating session with management to set agendas and report on progress. Plans also include a joint MEC meeting and other ways to bring the weight of both pilot groups to bear on management.

“This sort of collaboration will hopefully encourage other pilot groups to do the same,” said Capt. Tom Wychor, a member of ALPA’s Strategic Planning Committee, who is lending his own experience to the groups. “By acting as one union, we help all of us achieve our goals and strengthen the profession as a whole.”