Union at Sky

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Cavalier44
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Re: Union at Sky

Post by Cavalier44 »

Mapleflt wrote: Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:22 pm Please consider this,

Any union is a business that needs growth; as a business it responds to it's majority shareholders, will you be in the majority !!! Do you want to control your TOE or be a minority shareholder ??

Mapleflt (I've had this handle since 2009, long before Skyregional)
This is a ridiculous argument. If you are working for Sky Regional, I’m not sure how you can assert that Sky Regional pilots have any control over our TOE when this is blatantly false. The company makes changes to the TOE as it suits them and often without warning, and we have no one negotiating on the behalf of the entire pilot group for the betterment of our TOE.

The entire purpose of having a union is to have a legally binding agreement that the company is forced to adhere to and cannot change when it becomes inconvenient for them.

As for this Sky Regional/Jazz/Georgian divisiveness, this is exactly what the management here encourages and feeds upon. They’re creating a false “us vs. them” mentality, whereby they lead you to believe that if labour becomes too expensive here, Air Canada will just shift it to another regional carrier with a cheaper CPA. We need to consider a common union with harmonized working conditions for all Air Canada Express pilots; as a unified group under the Express banner we can all fight together for improved working conditions and prevent this continual race to undercut each other in order to gain favour from Air Canada.
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DanWEC
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Re: Union at Sky

Post by DanWEC »

In a dream world every single commercial pilot would be part of a union, with minimum pay tiered based on the type of operation. It would eliminate the race to the bottom.
I suppose having all the express carriers under ALPA is a good start. ACPA supports it.

Each crew with AC Express on the side of their airplane having the same GDO's, same pay scales on type, same benefits.... and nobody able to drive it down. Sounds pretty good to me!
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confusedalot
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Re: Union at Sky

Post by confusedalot »

I agree and support industry level wages for everyone. I wish I was a benefactor of such wages.

Since this a skyregional thread, do some research on the principal players. Russ Payson, who operated skyservice corporate and airline, is a personal friend of Rovinescu.

Figure out the rest..............

When I had the misfortune of losing my job and ending up at skyregional for purposes of survival, I actually got an unsettling debreifing after one of my pic line indoc flights. After the regular flying debrief thing, I was informed of how Mr. Payson had little if any regard for pilots, since, in his Skyservice airline days, the pilot group excluded his presence at negotiations which he took as rather insulting. Appears that he was actually sympathetic to pilots beforehand and actually paid his former skyservice airline drivers pretty well. The honeymoon was over in a big hurry.

This is what you are dealing with.
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pigboat
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Re: Union at Sky

Post by pigboat »

Ladies and Gents,

You need a Union. It will take at least 4 committed pilots to try and form one. To start a Union will cause those doing the recruitment considerable risk of retribution from your employer. They (the employer) almost never go quietly into the night while the pilots organize. Sometimes,....usually the Employer is ruthless in trying to stop a Union from forming.

Not everyone is going to make it over to A.C. If you want to make Sky a career with proper pay, working conditions, and all those things including protection from improper discipline; YOU NEED A UNION.

If you find the pilots to lead the charge, ALPA or even ACPA has been know to help with seed money to get started in the task. You will never get a fraction of what you need or want to make it a Career without the strength of a united pilot group.

As Ben Franklin once said, " If we do not hang in together, we will surely hang separately."
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confusedalot
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Re: Union at Sky

Post by confusedalot »

There was one guy based in yyz that I heard about who tried a few years ago, circa 2013, 2014, 2015, can't remember, but I do know he was promptly fired. Apparently the justification for the firing was that the person in question did not share the skyregional values........... he got another job, took legal action, but was promptly dismissed by the legal system. We live in canada.

Yep, skyregional needs a union. Was there, no longer there. Job was OK, but certainly not great by any measure, they expect Air Canada performance at less than half the cost of an air canada employee. The sad thing in all of this is that the express carriers actually subsidize the mothercorp people.
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Art Garfunkel
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Re: Union at Sky

Post by Art Garfunkel »

I don't see anyone asking for a Ritz Carlton. Just asking for a safe hotel where you feel comfortable going for a walk and getting some fresh air. Sky Regional's wellness program suggests strongly to go outside as it is good for our mental state.
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Mr. North
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Re: Union at Sky

Post by Mr. North »

As an Encore pilot who witnessed the union drive at WestJet and then participated in our own, I cannot stress enough how important ALPA is to YOU as a line pilot, your peers, the company, and lastly our profession.

First and foremost is the legal liability protection they offer, yes I'm talking about that famous Orange Card. If you are involved in any safety related incident and when safely able to do so, calling the ALPA hotline on the Orange card sets into motion a tidal wave of support and guidance. There is an entire air safety department that is there to assist you during your most vulnerable time. Since we certified last December, our pilots have called the hotline twice. It's value cannot be understated.

In addition to this, you have access to everyday support via your ALPA reps. In talking with our reps, they are constantly busy representing pilots over disciplinary, training, scheduling, and payment issues... the list is endless. It's important to understand that ALPA reps aren't out to ensure the best outcome for pilots at all costs, on the contrary, their mandate is to support pilots by ensuring the company plays by their own rules. There is also a well developed pilot assistance program for anyone experiencing addictions or psychological issues. Pilot assistance may not be a very "popular" program but I can assure you of it's regular (behind the scene) employment, it saves careers - if not lives. ALPA medical is also available to provide support to anyone dealing with aviation medical issues. No one anticipates going through the labyrinth of regaining their transport medical until it's gone. ALPA medical has their own doctors and lawyers that routinely guide pilots in their efforts to regain flight status. There's loss of licence insurance and even car insurance (which has saved me a bundle).

The company stands to benefit too. A united pilot group under ALPA negotiates clearly with one voice. Securing a fair contract is in everyone's interest and will go a long way to recruit and retain pilots. Your negotiations will be completed by SkyRegional pilots, with the support of ALPA legal and finance. The price or cost of every proposal your group puts forward will have been vetted by the best industry analysts. No more begging in the dark for something the company says is too expensive. Instead, your negotiating team will know with certainty the cost of your proposals vs. what the company can afford. The confidence that provides in negations is unparalleled. The company will be reluctant to admit but in the long run, a professional ALPA shop will save them a tremendous amount of money. Nevermind pilot rention and training, the air safety experience and pilot assistance programs alone will dwarf whatever mickey mouse programs they run in house. The amount of resources ALPA pilots can bring to an organisation are vast, as Encore pilots we are only just beginning to tap into them.

Now think about our profession. It's only a matter of time before ACPA joins ALPA, at which point we will be the largest unified voice for professional pilots across the country. We will now have a unified voice where there once was none. Fatigue, the integration of drones, security, these are just some of the issues of which we have been excluded until now. I'll admit, it's easy to think that one's position at a regional is transitory, and that there's no real need to improve conditions. You are wrong in this belief. The top end of our careers are limited to the conditions (comparators) at the bottom. For our careers to prosper at the top, we need to improve working conditions across the board. A strong tailwind pushes all aircraft.

Look where the wind is blowing, pilots are unifying across the country. There is no precedent. It's time we altered our course, from a ruinous history of undercutting each other, to a new heading of greater prosperity and cooperation.

I'll close by reminding everyone that ALPA cannot promise anything in advance of certification. The only thing they can promise is proper representation, at which point it comes down to what you and the larger pilot group desires. A union is only as good as it's' members. So I strongly encourage each and every one of you to become informed. And once you're informed, to become involved. As with everything in life, you get what you put into it. I'm here to tell you that ALPA is certainly worth every ounce of investment.
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AvifiskAlly
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Re: Union at Sky

Post by AvifiskAlly »

Mr. North wrote: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:34 am As an Encore pilot who witnessed the union drive at WestJet and then participated in our own, I cannot stress enough how important ALPA is to YOU as a line pilot, your peers, the company, and lastly our profession.

First and foremost is the legal liability protection they offer, yes I'm talking about that famous Orange Card. If you are involved in any safety related incident and when safely able to do so, calling the ALPA hotline on the Orange card sets into motion a tidal wave of support and guidance. There is an entire air safety department that is there to assist you during your most vulnerable time. Since we certified last December, our pilots have called the hotline twice. It's value cannot be understated.

In addition to this, you have access to everyday support via your ALPA reps. In talking with our reps, they are constantly busy representing pilots over disciplinary, training, scheduling, and payment issues... the list is endless. It's important to understand that ALPA reps aren't out to ensure the best outcome for pilots at all costs, on the contrary, their mandate is to support pilots by ensuring the company plays by their own rules. There is also a well developed pilot assistance program for anyone experiencing addictions or psychological issues. Pilot assistance may not be a very "popular" program but I can assure you of it's regular (behind the scene) employment, it saves careers - if not lives. ALPA medical is also available to provide support to anyone dealing with aviation medical issues. No one anticipates going through the labyrinth of regaining their transport medical until it's gone. ALPA medical has their own doctors and lawyers that routinely guide pilots in their efforts to regain flight status. There's loss of licence insurance and even car insurance (which has saved me a bundle).

The company stands to benefit too. A united pilot group under ALPA negotiates clearly with one voice. Securing a fair contract is in everyone's interest and will go a long way to recruit and retain pilots. Your negotiations will be completed by SkyRegional pilots, with the support of ALPA legal and finance. The price or cost of every proposal your group puts forward will have been vetted by the best industry analysts. No more begging in the dark for something the company says is too expensive. Instead, your negotiating team will know with certainty the cost of your proposals vs. what the company can afford. The confidence that provides in negations is unparalleled. The company will be reluctant to admit but in the long run, a professional ALPA shop will save them a tremendous amount of money. Nevermind pilot rention and training, the air safety experience and pilot assistance programs alone will dwarf whatever mickey mouse programs they run in house. The amount of resources ALPA pilots can bring to an organisation are vast, as Encore pilots we are only just beginning to tap into them.

Now think about our profession. It's only a matter of time before ACPA joins ALPA, at which point we will be the largest unified voice for professional pilots across the country. We will now have a unified voice where there once was none. Fatigue, the integration of drones, security, these are just some of the issues of which we have been excluded until now. I'll admit, it's easy to think that one's position at a regional is transitory, and that there's no real need to improve conditions. You are wrong in this belief. The top end of our careers are limited to the conditions (comparators) at the bottom. For our careers to prosper at the top, we need to improve working conditions across the board. A strong tailwind pushes all aircraft.

Look where the wind is blowing, pilots are unifying across the country. There is no precedent. It's time we altered our course, from a ruinous history of undercutting each other, to a new heading of greater prosperity and cooperation.

I'll close by reminding everyone that ALPA cannot promise anything in advance of certification. The only thing they can promise is proper representation, at which point it comes down to what you and the larger pilot group desires. A union is only as good as it's' members. So I strongly encourage each and every one of you to become informed. And once you're informed, to become involved. As with everything in life, you get what you put into it. I'm here to tell you that ALPA is certainly worth every ounce of investment.
You seriously sound like you have been in the industry for about a minute. Really, wow. That’s some funny stuff. A bit embarrassed for you.
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Re: Union at Sky

Post by Mr. North »

I appreciate your thoughtful contribution. One needs to look no further than your post history to realize who should be embarrassed.
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Re: Union at Sky

Post by confusedalot »

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

Post by mbav8r »

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

Post by Cavalier44 »

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

Post by confusedalot »

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

Post by mbav8r »

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

Post by radarvectors »

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

Post by confusedalot »

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

Post by Cavalier44 »

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

Post by radarvectors »

Very well said, Cavalier44!
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Re: Union at Sky

Post by DanWEC »

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

Post by confusedalot »

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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