Executive Board Meets Virtually, Reviews Union’s Pandemic Response

The 126th regular meeting of the ALPA Executive Board is being conducted this week, with an unusual caveat. Because of the global pandemic, the union’s national officers, executive vice presidents, and master executive council chairs are participating virtually, using videoconferencing to conduct the business of the union while maintaining social-distancing measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. Following roll call and a brief report from the Credentials Committee, the meeting opened on Wednesday, June 24, with national officer reports.

“In launching ALPA’s new ‘Welcome Back, Welcome Aboard’ campaign, our union has charted a bold new course for protecting our pilots’ jobs and livelihoods through the economic downturn,” said ALPA president Capt. Joe DePete. He explained that the Association is working to protect jobs through advocacy for pilot-partisan legislation and innovative contract negotiations. Just as important, ALPA is making every effort to rebuild public confidence to return to flying. “With the help of every pilot leader here, we’ll prevail in the days ahead in restoring and reshaping our industry to create a healthy, safe, inclusive, and prosperous future for all our pilots,” DePete remarked. Watch Capt. DePete's speech.

First vice president Capt. Bob Fox applauded the ongoing efforts of ALPA’s many pilot representatives who act in support of the Association’s Air Safety Organization (ASO). “Make no mistake, having the safety, security, jumpseat, and pilot assistance leadership of the ASO all together under one umbrella and coordinated proved invaluable to our response [to the pandemic], and they have worked hand in hand, day in and day out.” Fox highlighted the role the Data Action Report, or DART, program has played in collecting evidence of inconsistent aircraft cleaning and disinfecting protocols among airlines as well as the need for a regulatory or legislative solution. Watch Capt. Fox's speech.

“It’s no secret that many of our members could be adversely affected by what’s been happening in the airline industry,” said vice president−administration/secretary Capt. Bill Couette. “They need to know ALPA has all kinds of resources available to get through this difficult time. Many of the services are available through the union’s Membership Committee and its Furloughed Pilots Support Program.” Couette discussed the expansion of Pilots for Pilots, ALPA’s emergency relief fund, to include those members suffering financial hardships related to COVID-19. In addition, he discussed the extensive work of the Professional Development Group and its ongoing outreach efforts. Watch Capt. Couette.

ALPA vice president−finance/treasurer Capt. Joseph Genovese reviewed the Association’s current budget, projected dues income, and the financial adjustments the Association is making. He noted, “Our costs are down in part because we have not been travelling or holding the meetings that we anticipated would happen. For instance, we have cancelled many internal events, like the Legislative Summit and the Air Safety Forum and moved many of our other meetings, like this one, to a virtual platform.” Still, Genovese said he remains optimistic, adding, “We’ve put ourselves in the best position possible to take on whatever may come our way—and to continue to serve our 63,000 pilots.” Watch Capt. Genovese.

As part of the meeting’s agenda, members of the Executive Board addressed more than a dozen resolutions including several amendments to ALPA’s accounting and finance practices and proposed adjustments to ASO policies concerning the electronic flight bag, aircraft auto-recovery systems, and other issues.

Look for additional coverage of the Executive Board meeting in the August 2020 issue of Air Line Pilot magazine.

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