Union at Sky

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confusedalot
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Re: Union at Sky

#51 Post by confusedalot » Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:47 pm

Get the union guys, from a person no longer in the business, who had the misfortune of bad timing, but hey, that's life. It would be nice to live in a world of unicorns and all of that feel good sort of stuff, fact of the matter is that employers are not going to compensate you for what you deserve, they will compensate you for what you negotiate. Supply is getting short, demand is getting high, now is the time. Just like the rest of the world out there.
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Re: Union at Sky

#52 Post by Mapleflt » Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:53 am

Here's a thought,

If following the formal establishment of a union all future terms & conditions become negotiable and the negotiating committee is comprised of the upper echelons with no intentions of moving to the mainline doesn't that put the PML at risk for better terms and conditions in the higher seniority numbers.

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Re: Union at Sky

#53 Post by mbav8r » Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:02 pm

Mapleflt wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:53 am
Here's a thought,

If following the formal establishment of a union all future terms & conditions become negotiable and the negotiating committee is comprised of the upper echelons with no intentions of moving to the mainline doesn't that put the PML at risk for better terms and conditions in the higher seniority numbers.

Mapleflt
No, the PML is not in any agreement with the pilots, it’s between the Express companies and AC.
Could you do what Jazz did, negotiate a lower starting pay for new hires in exchange for a PML based on seniority, doubt it. You are already a discount pilot group, no significant savings to be had.
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Re: Union at Sky

#54 Post by Mapleflt » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:09 am

Is there a risk that the PML elevates training expense over the short term thereby reducing the ROI and elimination could provide funds that may be "redirected" elsewhere (i.e. salaries for the higher seniority numbers). As I understand it the PML was a tool to generate interest in joining a regional carrier and not necessarily "needed" by the Mothership. Therefore elimination of the PML may not raise an eyebrow with AC, but serve the needs of others within the regional carriers for quality of life negotiations, salaries etc !!!
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Re: Union at Sky

#55 Post by Cavalier44 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:17 pm

Mapleflt wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:09 am
Is there a risk that the PML elevates training expense over the short term thereby reducing the ROI and elimination could provide funds that may be "redirected" elsewhere (i.e. salaries for the higher seniority numbers). As I understand it the PML was a tool to generate interest in joining a regional carrier and not necessarily "needed" by the Mothership. Therefore elimination of the PML may not raise an eyebrow with AC, but serve the needs of others within the regional carriers for quality of life negotiations, salaries etc !!!
Doubtful. Mainline just rolled out a new online portal for AC Express applicants and the hiring rate only seems to be increasing. I’m sure that training costs are on the radar for the powers-that-be at mainline, however Express pilots and Sky pilots in particular are so cheap to employ vs. mainline pilots operating similar equipment that it must be a significant offset.

As for AC, the logic behind the PML is simple. Firstly, they need regional feed which means they have to have a way to attract people to fly at Express for the salaries they’re offering. Without the PML in place it would be very difficult for the Express carriers to attract candidates in this hiring environment - why would you want to go to a regional carrier for ~40-50K/year as an FO when every airline in Canada is hiring, unless there was some kind of incentive?

Secondly, They’re going through an unprecedented period of growth and hiring. The PML provides a reliable method of getting qualified butts in Mainline seats. They know the which airlines their candidates are coming from, and they have a good understanding of the quality of training they’ve received and the experience they have. Could AC hire exclusively off the street with the volume of applications they receive? I’m sure they could. Would it complicate the established hiring process significantly? I believe the answer is yes.

To say that Mainline “might not bat an eyelash” if the PML is discontinued I think would be a major understatement of the importance of the PML as a hiring tool for both Express and Mainline. Either way, it’s doubtful that discontinuing the PML would generate any significant savings. Even if it were to do so, as we’ve seen with cost-cutting programs in the past, these savings are very rarely realized as quality-of-life or salary improvements for pilots.

There is no reason that having the PML and improving working conditions for Express pilots have to be mutually exclusive and we shouldn’t consider trading one for the other. The intent of having a union such as ALPA represent Sky Regional pilots is that any potential negotiating committee will be an elected body who will hopefully be the voice of all the pilots, the majority of whom were motivated to come to Sky by the potential of eventually joining the ranks of Mainline. Maintaining the PML should not be in question in any future collective bargaining.

In summary - my estimation is that the PML provides much more benefit to AC than it does cost. It’s not going anywhere in the short term without a massive restructuring of hiring at both Express and Mainline. We shouldn’t allow it to be used as another carrot dangled in front of us when we should be focusing on the more important issue of improving wages and working conditions.
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Re: Union at Sky

#56 Post by confusedalot » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:14 pm

Pretty good dissertation, I buy most of it. For the new joiners, actually for those who are there as well, keep in mind that the PML is no guarantee of getting the jackpot job. So I do think it is time to up the conditions in this environment that has not been seen for multiple decades and never seen in my time. It will cost 2 dollars per ticket on the beancounters bottom line. So it won't bother them one bit.
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Re: Union at Sky

#57 Post by Mapleflt » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:06 am

In an effort to "inform" myself on the value and the pros & cons of a union I'm left with this thought. If we make the assumption that a union is intended to improved the working conditions within a given company how is it that a person who's stated intentions are to move via the PML should have an impact on those who's intentions are to stay or may have been PFO already. The establishing of a union is expected to be "forever" so therefore should the decision be left to the "forever" employees to decide, not the "transient" ones.
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Re: Union at Sky

#58 Post by mbav8r » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:22 pm

Mapleflt wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:06 am
In an effort to "inform" myself on the value and the pros & cons of a union I'm left with this thought. If we make the assumption that a union is intended to improved the working conditions within a given company how is it that a person who's stated intentions are to move via the PML should have an impact on those who's intentions are to stay or may have been PFO already. The establishing of a union is expected to be "forever" so therefore should the decision be left to the "forever" employees to decide, not the "transient" ones.
Is the PML now a guarantee? The transient employee may very well end up being a forever, moreover some may choose to be a forever one if the conditions were better.
When I joined Jazz, I stopped updating my AC application because it was a career job and one I embraced, fast forward to today and partly because of your current conditions, Jazz is a far cry from what it was and I blame no one joining now for wanting to move on.
I get it mapleflt, you’re worried if you improve the conditions too much you will suffer the same fate as Jazz, it’s a legitimate concern.
Hey, I have an idea! Do a backwards thing where you improve the conditions significantly for the transients and keep the forever wages as is or even lower, you’ll attract more pilots and keep the AC machine fed and happy, win win.
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Re: Union at Sky

#59 Post by radarvectors » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:07 pm

This is a democratic process in which anyone that signs a card or chooses to join the membership, should the drive be successful, has the right to nominate individuals for council positions, vote in an election for said positions, have a voice in the points brought up in the bargaining process, and ultimately have a vote on a Tentative Agreement.

These agreements are not "forever" nor are the members of the councils. There are many examples of the market dictating the industry being cyclic therefore, there will be good times and some times that are not as good as we have it now. In my opinion, now is the time that as an industry, we have to stand up for each other and stop the idea that pilots can be walked over because we need this job. The time to take advantage of these record levels of passenger movement, record profits, record upper management bonus structure is now!

Sky Regional management structure has proven that they are very open to individual deal making, and unilateral changes to their terms of employment are never a concern. In fact, a pilot now has to become a mind reader while digesting that document, as there have been excuses used by management to the tune of, "That was not the intent of the language when the terms were written." The fact that they are written with so much grey area, and that this grey area can be changed to suite management's preferred position with the exact excuse above, is a perfect example of the need for a Collective Agreement.

If anyone who is helping with the organizing efforts chooses to move on the Air Canada via the PML, that is their decision, as it is for anyone else that is successful. To think that these people organizing are just in this for themselves is the craziest thing that I have heard. If these individuals wanted advancement or preferential treatment, they can simply go to management and cut a back door deal, that this company has become famous for. I'd guess that these individuals that are trying to organize this are trying to look out for the individuals that have not even considered applying to Sky Regional, or any other airline, for that matter. These people organizing want the correct attributes in each individual recognized and awarded. Training and check pilots should be awarded for their abilities and experience, not for who they know and who they suck up to.

Management preaches an open door policy but now you have to use one of your precious day off requests to go to a meeting, a meeting that was previously scheduled into your block for the month, paid appropriately, and a pilot maintained their minimum guaranteed 11 days off per month. Now, if you'd like your voice heard or find out more information from the company, you have to request the day off to attend and then have it paid at regular time?!?! That right there, going in to work on a guaranteed day off and not getting time and a half for it, is a contradiction of their terms of employment!

Further to unilateral changes, management is talking to pilots on an individual basis and promising things like seniority bidding and 4 credit daily minimum guarantees. While minimum daily guarantees are great, 4 credits is below the average block and not on par with other CPA carriers. What happens to the pilots that chose Sky over another CPA carrier because they wanted the socialized bidding? If management chooses to listen to some individuals that feel they are owed seniority bidding, and not taking a poll of the whole pilot group, there is another perfect example of why this company needs representation. With representation, every pilot in the membership has a voice, if they choose to use it.

If/when this group certifies, it will make the changes to working conditions and employment terms a recognized process, in which there is due diligence done or a vote.

Now let's talk about management's argument that Sky Regional will not be "competitive" if the pilots unionize. I do not know a pilot that thinks they are being paid fairly. I also do not know a pilot that does not want to get paid every 15 days. There is a balance and anyone that believes management when they say Sky Regional will be priced out of the market needs to shake some sense into their head! If the market bottom drops out, management (under current conditions) can choose what they will pay their pilots. Under unionized representation, there is research done on market medians, the amount that business has shrunk and the overall impact on cost of living. All of this information is presented to the membership and a decision is made and yes, sometimes there is a pay freeze or cut.

How about CPI increases that represent actual market value? Per diem rates that are somewhat representative of having to buy the occasional meal at an airport? ALPA reciprocal jumpseat agreements?!

Ladies and gentlemen, I could go on for a lot longer but not too many people would read the post, in that case. I suggest that the vast majority of pilots in Canada, today, want to end the disgusting cycle of taking away from the new pilots. This is the chance to join the increasing membership and have a unified voice, for the betterment of pilots today and tomorrow, all over this country.
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Re: Union at Sky

#60 Post by confusedalot » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:09 pm

Flew with a few european contractors in the past, got into the pay issue conversation, sounds like a job at a commuter carrier is actually a pretty good gig, as in, you can easily make into a retirement career. It also sounds like it is not that easy to get, although easier than Air France or British Airways.

The US is going crazy and salaries have gone up dramatically.

And here in canada? We are talking about pinning hopes on some PML thing which is more or less a lottery that depends on whether some guy likes you or not.

Guys, please think about unionization. Maybe not ideal, but consider this, air canada pilots do not make what they make because of the good graces of the corporation, they make what they make because it is a union shop.
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Re: Union at Sky

#61 Post by Mapleflt » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:07 am

So if a regional unionizes and works towards the same terms & conditions as their mainline affiliate at what point do they run the risk of becoming "relevant" operationally and financially.
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Re: Union at Sky

#62 Post by Cavalier44 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:56 pm

Mapleflt wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:07 am
So if a regional unionizes and works towards the same terms & conditions as their mainline affiliate at what point do they run the risk of becoming "relevant" operationally and financially.
No one is advocating that Sky Regional pilots or AC Express pilots in general should have wage parity with mainline pilots. If that was the reality there would be no business case for having AC Express at all, since the entire purpose of Express is to do regional flying at a lower price point than what it would cost mainline to do the same flying.

With that being said, a first year Captain like myself at Sky Regional makes $80.70/credit hour, with a minimum guarantee of 75 credit hours per month. That works out to a base salary of $72,630 annually, before OT, per diem, taxes, etc. A first year E190 Captain at mainline makes $154/credit hour flying virtually the same aircraft but with 21 more seats. At 75 credits a month, that’s $138,600 annually. That means a Sky Regional first year Captain makes ~52% of what a Mainline Captain makes to fly basically the same equipment.

While I agree that wage parity is unrealistic because we don’t want to price ourselves out of the market, I think there’s room for a middle ground to be met where we can increase wages at Express while still remaining at an attractive cost to Mainline. Maybe we’ll never make 100% of what a Mainline Embraer driver makes to do what’s essentially the same flying, but there’s no reason we shouldn’t shoot for 75% for example - that would certainly be a step up from the 52% we’re making now.

The key as I see it is that we need to resist the company-driven propaganda to see the other Express carriers as our competition. We’re constantly being told that if we become too expensive, our flying will just be shifted to Jazz, Georgian, etc. By having all Express pilots under a single union (ALPA), we can fight for wage improvements for all Express pilots as a unified group, that way this continual race to undercut each other by driving wages down is eliminated. Ultimately the powers-that-be at AC Mainline will have to determine at what price Express pilots can be employed and still remain relevant, but right now Sky Regional pilots aren’t even part of the discussion, we’re simply taking what’s being given to us.
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Re: Union at Sky

#63 Post by radarvectors » Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:02 pm

Very well said, Cavalier44!
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Re: Union at Sky

#64 Post by DanWEC » Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:09 pm

We need more of these even-keeled realistic opinions in the group. The extreme rhetoric and propaganda that exists on either side from the vocal minority is what poisons things.
We have certain realities because of the regional flying environment that can't change despite what some people are unrealistically demanding. We just need a bit of tweaking on schedule, sick days, maybe another SDO, and captain pay. Overall despite the weaknesses it's a great place, and could be even better, union or not.
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Re: Union at Sky

#65 Post by Mapleflt » Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:54 pm

Finally someone has presented a point of view that others of reasonable intent may stand behind, thank you Cavalier44. If the discussions are kept to a reasonable tone, with logical intentions many more will listen closer. The larger question however is, do we need a union to get to that point or can common ground be found without, just asking not telling !!!

I will quote DanWEC and echo his thought "Overall despite the weaknesses it's a great place, and could be even better, union or not."

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Re: Union at Sky

#66 Post by confusedalot » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:31 pm

Cavalier44's message pretty much says it all, I would have thought that everyone knew that. In addition, and correct me if I am wrong, Skyregional does not have a pension scheme to speak of, apart from a very small rrsp match, where mothercorp and Jazz do (don't know about Georgian but suspect they don't have one), rendering the total compensation difference and the cost to the company even larger. So there is a lot of room to go before being priced out of the market.
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Re: Union at Sky

#67 Post by hunkerdown » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:31 am

I am with cavalier44 and confusedalot, I have worked for no union and for a union and feel that with union it sets the WAWCON clearly and without the chance for one sided changes. In addition, the pilot will not be part of the negotiation without being in a union because the company management team knows they have the final word on things so the only 'give' is that which is given is at their pleasure.

The main downside to a union is that it is only as good as the MEC. If the pilots are apathetic once the union is in, then the MEC becomes too powerful and we all know about the relationship between 'power' and 'corruption'. The MEC has to be held to everyone's wishes and concerns or it becomes a problem in of itself. There is always a danger of the union leaders becoming self serving, but only if the membership lets it.
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Re: Union at Sky

#68 Post by hunkerdown » Wed May 30, 2018 9:06 am

I hear the card drive is now on...any idea how it is going?
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Re: Union at Sky

#69 Post by confusedalot » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:31 pm

I hope success. Worried that many may not want to rock the boat so that their flow through to air canada would not be put in jeopardy.
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Re: Union at Sky

#70 Post by Alcoholism » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:02 pm

confusedalot wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:31 pm
I hope success. Worried that many may not want to rock the boat so that their flow through to air canada would not be put in jeopardy.
I would hope no one would think that, as that would be absurd. It's a completely confidential process. AC already pulls from 2 express carriers with ALPA. Anyone delusional enough to think voting in ALPA would effect their wet dream at AC should get out of aviation.
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Re: Union at Sky

#71 Post by confusedalot » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:26 pm

I could write about many anecdotes, many of them, about the mindset of the newhires. Not the old guys who are not in the lottery game, and would not get hired in a billion years, but the newhires.

So I will give you only one of many experiences I had the pleasure to witness.

A person hired maybe two months ago, explaining to me for no particular reason, below 10000 feet, that this was not their last stop and they were destined for better things. I really needed that below 10K concentrating on the traffic and the approach profile. As the PF, and by circumstance as the PIC. Funny how the old guys are at times criticized about crm but are the very ones who say ''please and thank you'' the most just to keep things on the rails.

You guessed it, he got the jackpot job.

As stated above, many more of those kinds of outlook are in the ranks.

So yes, the air canada carrot does in fact play a huge part in the big scheme of things.
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Re: Union at Sky

#72 Post by Xonga013 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:41 am

confusedalot wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:26 pm
I could write about many anecdotes, many of them, about the mindset of the newhires. Not the old guys who are not in the lottery game, and would not get hired in a billion years, but the newhires.

So I will give you only one of many experiences I had the pleasure to witness.

A person hired maybe two months ago, explaining to me for no particular reason, below 10000 feet, that this was not their last stop and they were destined for better things. I really needed that below 10K concentrating on the traffic and the approach profile. As the PF, and by circumstance as the PIC. Funny how the old guys are at times criticized about crm but are the very ones who say ''please and thank you'' the most just to keep things on the rails.

You guessed it, he got the jackpot job.

As stated above, many more of those kinds of outlook are in the ranks.

So yes, the air canada carrot does in fact play a huge part in the big scheme of things.
2 months at SR and already off to the big airline???
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Re: Union at Sky

#73 Post by confusedalot » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:25 am

No no, they have to do their minimum service before they get on with ac, I think it is 2 years. The attitude though is that is is just a stepping stone, so many could not be bothered to rock the boat so to speak. Bit of a shame since not all will get the job offer, leaving the leftovers at somewhat sub par conditions. It is what it is.
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Re: Union at Sky

#74 Post by Xonga013 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:28 am

confusedalot wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:25 am
No no, they have to do their minimum service before they get on with ac, I think it is 2 years. The attitude though is that is is just a stepping stone, so many could not be bothered to rock the boat so to speak. Bit of a shame since not all will get the job offer, leaving the leftovers at somewhat sub par conditions. It is what it is.
It’s too bad it’s become a stepping stone.
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Re: Union at Sky

#75 Post by digits_ » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:50 am

confusedalot wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:25 am
No no, they have to do their minimum service before they get on with ac, I think it is 2 years. The attitude though is that is is just a stepping stone, so many could not be bothered to rock the boat so to speak. Bit of a shame since not all will get the job offer, leaving the leftovers at somewhat sub par conditions. It is what it is.
Well yeah, if that's how everything is advertised, and if the AC carrot is used to lure people in, how can you blame pilots that they admit they want to go to AC? It's one of the big things that is wrong with Canadian aviation. Basically every job except for the major airlines, has fairly sub par wages "because everyone leaves anyway" and "people don't want to stay here". It's a self fulfilling prophecy. If the biggest plus of your company is that it makes it easier to work somewhere else, you might be doing something wrong as a company.
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