Fellow American Eagle pilots,
We have a number of important topics to discuss with you this week.
First, American Eagle received court approval Friday afternoon for all of its restructuring labor agreements, including the ALPA-Eagle CBA. Therefore, management will continue with the implementation of our new Personal Time Off system, effective January 1, 2013. In addition, management is also moving forward with implementation of the NYC Co-Domicile on February 2nd. Management is also projecting that it will be ready to switch to Pay Banding on January 31st as well. We will discuss both of these in more detail later. We expect to soon have management’s complete CBA implementation plan and will post it at that time.
AMR continues to progress through the bankruptcy process under a proposed plan to emerge as a stand-alone carrier. As you are well aware, there is a significant amount of work being performed on analyzing whether a merger with another carrier is a better outcome for the companies and the creditors. We expect this analysis to take us into early 2013. In the interim, your MEC will continue to prepare for either outcome. Regardless, now that the court has approved our recently ratified CBA, our furlough and merger protections become enforceable.
With reference to Pay Banding, we have held multiple meetings with management regarding this process. Once finalized, management will post the size of the Captain Pay Bands as well as identifying which pilots will initially populate each band. Remember that the transition from traditional compensation to Pay Banding will take approximately two years, during which time the “red circled” pilots will be integrated into a “pure” Pay Band methodology. If you have any questions about this process, please reach out to your local representatives. Although Pay Banding will not be turned on until the month of February, the EMB blended wage rate will take effect on January 1, 2013.
With reference to the NYC Co-Domicile, we want to remind pilots that the “opt out” window for the New York co-domicile is currently open. All pilots who hold LGA or JFK as a current or next status, whether via preference or displacement, are eligible to submit an RF 100 CODO. You must submit this by noon on January 2, 2013.
It is important to note that regardless of your eligibility to submit the RF 100 CODO, in order to be removed from your LGA or JFK status as part of the one-time “opt out” opportunity, you must have sufficient seniority to hold the status that you are asking to opt into and that you must remain in the same equipment.
This afternoon, the MEC convened via teleconference to discuss and act on a number of issues, one of which was a vote regarding the “Assistance in Meeting FOQ Criteria for Low-Time Pilots” Letter of Agreement. The MEC voted not to waive the ten day posting requirement and therefore, the MEC cannot act on the draft LOA until the tenth day. Therefore, the MEC will have to act on this letter at a later time.
This week, management mailed letters to all Eagle pilots who participate in their Long-Term Disability plan. It turns out that the price that management advertised during open enrollment was incorrect and the actual price is almost twice what was displayed. Therefore, management is allowing pilots who wish to decline this option to do so no later than December 31, 2012, just ten days from now.
All pilots should visit http://memberinsurance.alpa.org/and explore ALPA’s Long-Term Disability plan. In many cases, it is less expensive than what Eagle offers and under ALPA’s plan, pilots are eligible to receive disability payments if they lose their pilot employment due to disability. The company’s plan only pays when a pilot loses his employment due to disability and remains unemployed in any capacity. This is not a profit center for ALPA. We simply want pilots to be aware of this option, as it may be a better and less expensive choice.
In conclusion, I need to discuss some important details affecting Eagle pilots holding AA pilot seniority numbers. If this does not affect you, you do not need to read the rest of this hotline.
First, we received word this week that AA distributed incorrect paperwork for drug testing. Therefore, AA will send correct paperwork to each transfer candidate within two-to-three weeks of their class date. Therefore, if you have received the AA carrier-transfer drug test paperwork, you may discard it. That paperwork will be replaced later by AA, at which time you can follow the instructions provided and obtain your drug testing.
Second, flow-through pilots considering transfer to AA must complete their PRIA paperwork as soon as possible. The senior 90 of the 236 flow-through pilots should have already received this paperwork. The remaining flow-through pilots with AA seniority numbers will receive their paperwork in early January. Pilots are not permitted to transfer to AA unless the PRIA paperwork and document requests have been completed.
Third, under the AA-APA contract, management maintains the right to assign initial statuses. They are not determined by bidding. AA does currently allow recalled pilots to preference for available statuses, based on their AA seniority but this is not contractually mandated. In addition, furloughed AA pilots have “reinstatement rights” to the equipment from which they were displaced / furloughed. Therefore, in some cases, a furloughed pilot may have “super seniority” rights to a particular status in a recall class. Because Eagle pilots will not know their initial status at AA until the first day of class, no manuals will be distributed until the first day of class. In addition, all AA manuals are now distributed on company-issued iPads. Pilots will receive those iPads on their first day of training and will then be able to download all applicable materials from JetNet.
Fourth, according to Letter 3, flow-through pilots do receive a one-year equipment lock that begins upon completion of training. Similarly, AA pilot longevity accrual begins on the date a pilot is scheduled to complete training. Therefore, a flow-through pilot will move from first step to second step pay one year from his scheduled completion of training, rather than one year from his transfer date.
The company is completing domicile road shows for flow-through pilots. At these road shows, management is distributing flash drives that contain a matrix into which pilots may enter their specific salary, age, retirement, and compensation information and model the difference in initial compensation, date at which parity is met, and career earnings potential. In addition, we have posted an updated FAQ on the EGL-ALPA webpage that attempts to answer additional questions related to transferring to AA.
In closing, I want to wish each of you a very happy holiday. 2012 has been an incredibly difficult year on all of us but there is light at the end of this tunnel. The company is poised to successfully exit bankruptcy, Eagle has recorded performance in 2012 that exceeds any in its entire history, we have successfully held on to the major provisions of our contract, we are in the process of working with management on a recruitment plan, and re-fleeting is now on the horizon. Most of all, we have proven to each other that as a unified group of pilots, we are capable of navigating the most difficult waters. It has been a genuine honor to serve you in this capacity in 2012 and we look forward to moving into a brighter future in 2013.
Captain Tony Gutierrez