Letter from Prater RE current issues:

Sedona16

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I will probably never be a big fan of Prater or the way him and ALPA leadership did not fight the age 65 implementation but in some other issues including his testimony in front of congress I am glad there appears to be some chances of progress, especially regarding scheduling and fatigue. Get things to where a pilot can not end a trip totally feeling trashed, reduce overall hours flying/away from home and get the pay up and this career might be worth something again.

At Capt. Prater’s request, this BOD update is being sent to all ALPA pilots.

This is John Prater with the BOD Update on July 2, 2009.
This weekend, as we gather together to celebrate Independence Day and Canada Day with family, friends, and fellow aviators, I’d like to share with you how we can use these national holidays as inspiration throughout our Union ranks. After all, these holidays truly represent the best of both nations—in the United States, celebrating our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and in Canada, celebrating an act that united its then four provinces as one country.

Most would say that independence and unity are two separate ideals, but I would argue that celebrating both can strengthen our union. On this Fourth of July, I challenge all of us to discard our differences and reach within our ranks and across airline borders to shape the future of our profession.

By looking past what makes us different—whether it’s the type of aircraft we fly or the country we’re celebrating today—we can build a better profession for our members if, together, we answer a renewed call to service to meet the challenges facing airline pilots today.

Service is just one quality that unites us; we, as union leaders, all answered the call to serve our brothers and sisters, who we fly with on the line. We looked beyond “what’s in it for me” to serve a common purpose and a higher purpose—to fight for a better quality of life and answer the pleas of our pilots in need.

That’s why I know this union will continue to thrive—because time and again, pilots have been willing to serve on stages both great and small, to draw on the same passion that fuels our love of flying to meet the challenges of each defining moment in our history—from the days of Cord to Lorenzo to 9/11. Through bankruptcies, strikes, and shutdowns, there have always been ALPA leaders ready to answer our Union’s call to duty.
Yes, fellow union leaders, we’ve seen tough times. And today is certainly no different. Our profession faces threats such as cabotage and ownership from near and far, and global economic challenges that rival the depression of the ’30s. But I have no doubt that, in the face of these odds, the pilots who love their profession will use solidarity and unity to provide our Union with the strength and resources to create positive changes for all of our members.

This First and Fourth of July, I challenge you and each ALPA member to renew your pride in this profession by reading our Code of Ethics again and pledging to continue to exemplify the words and deeds of the ALPA pilots who founded and built our Union over the past seven decades. Make no mistake: our careers as airline pilots are intrinsically tied to the pride every member takes in flying the line—every day and every flight. Then, build on this defining moment to get in the game and keep your pilots’ pride—and our profession—alive and well. Our union depends not just on the consent of our members, but also on the weight we carry on our shoulders. We, the pilots who answered the call to Union service, must accept our responsibility to defend and enrich their careers and thereby leave a stronger ALPA for the next generation of airline pilots and union leaders. If we dedicate ourselves to this never-ending objective, we will meet every challenge to our profession or to our countries with resolve and with strength, with dignity and with pride, with solidarity and respect. Then and only then can we say—We are ALPA Leaders.

I want you to take this message to your members and encourage them to volunteer as well, helping us to build a stronger union. Show them the many opportunities available within our organization, and let them discover what role they can play to further the piloting profession by building a better tomorrow for pilots yet to come.
The past couple of weeks have been busy for ALPA, and I have several very encouraging developments to report dealing with two of ALPA’s top priorities: pilot fatigue and CrewPASS. I’ve beat this drum in front of you for two years, but what a difference a government administration that can actually say “Union” makes.

First up, fatigue. After decades of your union’s lobbying for new standards for pilot flight time and rest, and constant testimony before Congress and the U.S. administration over the past two years, I am extremely encouraged to report that last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced plans to form an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) to develop new standards. We’ve been notified that we will have a seat on the ARC and your union will work to assist in modernizing the regulations to create innovative solutions to make a safe industry even safer. Let me tell you the rest of the story. ALPA will have five seats at the ARC and will be one of the co-chairs. I have appointed Captain Don Wykoff, my executive administrator who also serves as chairman of ALPA’s FTDT Committee and Blue Ribbon Panel on Pilot Fatigue, to lead our contingent of staff and pilot experts on the FAA’s ARC. From across our 36 airlines, I have named to the ARC four other pilot experts who engage in all types of flying. These pilots fly for Mesa, Continental, United, Delta, and FedEx—but on this panel they will be ALPA experts and leaders who will represent all 54,000 of us.

ALPA also strongly supports the FAA administrator’s challenge to the industry to strengthen safety in other ways, namely by implementing a code of ethics, forming professional standards peer groups, and making better use of programs such as Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) and the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP).
After all, ALPA was founded on the “Schedule with Safety” motto, and we are proud to verify that our Union is already fully compliant with the FAA’s requests. As I said earlier, I am personally asking each of our Board of Directors to ensure that all ALPA pilots review the ALPA Code of Ethics and rededicate themselves to the highest professional standards that form the bedrock of our profession. This Code has guided this Association’s work since 1956.

And now on to CrewPASS developments. Two years ago, you directed me to fix the problems our members had endured with access to airports operations since 9/11. We changed the law, we developed a system that works, we improved it with biometrics, we advocated hard in private and public before the TSA administrator and Congress, we successfully demonstrated and tested it, and now I am proud to announce that the Transportation Security Administration has approved the standards for the CrewPASS program that will allow for nationwide expansion. Because of the coordinated team efforts among ALPA, TSA, and ARINC, the CrewPASS program has completed a successful test phase, and we now stand ready to assist our companies and government with the implementation of CrewPASS.

Addressing another BOD strategic priority, you union is calling on Congress to pass legislation that would help control excessive speculation in the commodity futures marketplace by enhancing oversight, transparency, and reporting requirements, as well as imposing limits on cumulative speculative positions across all markets.
 
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Sedona16

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ALPA was among more than a dozen members of the Commodity Markets Oversight Coalition to sign a letter sent to Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, calling for Congress to impose limits on speculation across all markets and pass the “Derivatives Markets Transparency and Accountability Act of 2009” (H.R. 977).
If passed, H.R. 977 would put in place a number of much-needed changes to commodities oversight laws. It would require the clearing or settling of all standardized futures contracts and those traded over the counter, strengthen record-keeping and reporting requirements for traders and exchanges, and close many of the loopholes that undermine price discovery in futures markets. ALPA has also asked Congress to add a provision to the current bill language that would require the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to impose aggregate speculative position limits on traders across all markets.

As stated in the BOD resolution, ALPA will continue to work with the U.S. Congress and the administration to craft a national energy and transportation policy that positions our airline industry and our nation to succeed.

Last week, I met for an hour with the deputy secretary of labor, Seth Harris, and Naomi Walker, the associate deputy secretary, USDOL. I briefed them on the status of airline industry and labor management relations as well as my concerns with outsourcing and the need for job protections for airline workers as global alliances continue to develop.
On the other side of the Atlantic, ALPA has joined the European Cockpit Association (ECA) in calling for assurances that the next stage of the United States–European Union air services agreement provides a legal framework that protects workers and gives them a way to settle disputes with management.

You may or may not know that national labor laws in 27 EU states are unclear in their protection for airline workers who are based in one country, while their company is headquartered in another, and they may fly between cities in still another EU state.

ALPA First Vice President Capt. Paul Rice, Canada Board President Dan Adamus, ALPA’s IFALPA director Capt. Chris Lynch, International Affairs Committee Chairman Rick Dominguez, ALPA Senior Attorney Russ Bailey, and IPSC Consultant Seth Rosen were in Brussels representing your union’s concerns and agenda regarding the EU-US air services negotiations that are addressing issues such as open skies, cabotage and foreign ownership, and airline workers’ rights.

Although the EU created a European Common Aviation Area in which EU airlines operate freely between points in Europe and are able to base their flight crews in any EU country, the EU has not created a single labor law that applies to all EU flight crews.

We pledged our support for the European Cockpit Association and our continued resolve to pursue regulatory, legislative, and legal action needed to create the standard protections that airline workers on both sides of the Atlantic have earned and deserve. The latest issue of Air Line Pilot magazine contains in-depth articles on this topic as well as shining a spotlight on a host of other issues that affect airline pilots across ALPA. Please read it when you get it in the mail or view it online.

Last week we learned that the Obama administration had announced the nomination of Christopher A. Hart as a member of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and we are urging the Senate to confirm Mr. Hart as a member of the NTSB.

Mr. Hart has been invaluable in identifying key issues and emerging trends in aviation safety as the FAA assistant administrator for system safety. His background in aerospace engineering, his previous tenure on the NTSB, and his experience as a pilot will all provide him with keen insight into taking on today’s most pressing aviation safety challenges. We look forward to working together with him in the pursuit of the highest standards of aviation safety.

And now for a couple of updates on ongoing negotiations . . .
Pinnacle pilots and management met in Washington, DC, last week with the National Mediation Board in an effort to reach an agreement on a new contract. After 53 months of negotiations, both sides have agreed to virtually everything of substance but remain at odds over language to cover flying commonly typed aircraft with multiple pay scales. The NMB will further discuss the status of the PCL negotiations and render a decision on what to do next.

This week, the AirTran MEC convened its Negotiating, Communications, and SPSC committees, along with ALPA Representation, Communications, and Legal staff to plan and prepare for ramping up pilot communications and participation in future activity.

One year after joining ALPA, the tenacious 125 pilots of CommutAir are making substantial progress building their union team and negotiating their first contract. I was honored to join the CommutAir MEC and Negotiating Committee, as well as CMT line pilots and their families, at a meeting in Cleveland on June 20. Also demonstrating their union support were the MEC officers from Continental and ExpressJet.

I was able to brief the CommutAir pilots and spouses on ALPA’s recent testimony before the U.S. Senate on regional airline safety and told them the national discussion on regional pilot scheduling, fatigue, and training gives us a vital opportunity for this union to put its concerns before Congress and the FAA.

These discussions have shed light on this fact: management has pushed our profession down too far, and we’re going to use this intense focus on our industry to improve our profession. I’ll have more details on this topic as we continue our legislative efforts on the Hill and with the FAA and administration.

Hawaiian pilots completed two weeks of intense mediation without an agreement and the NMB has elevated these talks and will resume in Washington in August.

To finish this week’s update, I am proud to let you know that ALPA members assisted our peers across the globe as they are struggling for their contracts and jobs. From our proud Union brothers and sisters in Mexico, the members of ASPA de Mexico, to our friends at Malev, members of HUN-ALPA, your Union is in the fight for our profession worldwide. My thanks to each of you as leaders of ALPA International for your selfless efforts on behalf of our members, our profession, and our Union.
If you’d like to read my weekly updates to the Board of Directors, please visit crewroom.alpa.org and click on the left hand link under From the President.

Also, please read this week’s FastRead for more information on your union’s work.
Together, We Are ALPA.
 

Jar Jar

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After decades of your union’s lobbying for new standards for pilot flight time...
Is it just me or is the only reason congress is on the FAA's ass to do anything because of the intense media coverage of Colgan 3407?

I'm not convinced the 'decades of lobbying' would have done much else other than buy some nice steak dinners without Colgan 3407, yet the impact of that accident on this process is not remotely mentioned by the union at all. I think I'm starting to get the picture here.
 
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samballs

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Is it just me or is the only reason congress is on the FAA's ass to do anything because of the intense media coverage of Colgan 3407?

I'm not convinced the 'decades of lobbying' would have done much else other than buy some nice steak dinners without Colgan 3407, yet the impact of that accident on this process is not remotely mentioned by the union at all. I think I'm starting to get the picture here.
I agree Prater worried more about crew pass then rest
 

PCL_128

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Is it just me or is the only reason congress is on the FAA's ass to do anything because of the intense media coverage of Colgan 3407?

I'm not convinced the 'decades of lobbying' would have done much else other than buy some nice steak dinners without Colgan 3407, yet the impact of that accident on this process is not remotely mentioned by the union at all. I think I'm starting to get the picture here.
Big safety advances have almost always required some blood to be spilled first as a catalyst, but the groundwork that has been laid through lobbying is what determines which direction the safety fixes go. Because of ALPA's decades of lobbying, ALPA will be the ones that will help craft the new rules. Without ALPA's lobbying, the crash would have just resulted in a bunch of Congressmen sitting in a room and coming up with their own crazy ways to "fix" safety without any pilot input.
 

BeCareful!

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This from NBC:




Members of Congress said they were stunned by the salaries of the pilots of Continental Connection Flight 3407, employees of the smaller commuter airline Colgan Air Inc.

My question to ALPA would be: Why is Congress "stunned" or even surprised by what your pilots make? Why is this the first they've heard about FO's living with their parents and working two jobs? What vastly more important thing have you been using the PAC money for?

I'm sure the ALPA faithful can explain.
 

PCL_128

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It's very simple: members of congress weren't really "stunned," they're just pretending that they were so they don't look like they've been complicit in the negligence. If they admit that they knew about it, then they are just as much to blame as anyone else. Better to claim ignorance than admit to knowing and having done nothing to stop it.
 

Browntothebone

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It's very simple: members of congress weren't really "stunned," they're just pretending that they were so they don't look like they've been complicit in the negligence. If they admit that they knew about it, then they are just as much to blame as anyone else. Better to claim ignorance than admit to knowing and having done nothing to stop it.

So what's alpa's excuse for the low pay?
 

IslandDriver

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Forget CJC...how about CAL first year pay....we have all seen this before....it is public. $30.00 an hour and no medical bennies for like 6 months. My friend left a commuter (turbo-prop) took a pay cut...went on welfare and Texas State Medical Bennifits when he took the job at CAL. Now this is at a "Legacy" What doctor, nurse, lawyer etc...would leave a lower job...like residency or internships...to go to a bigger job to only go on welfare?

Remember what "Sully" said: (people are not going to go in this industry anymore). In todays society people do not want to move their pay down to move up.

I know this is all old stuff...but congress should not just be excited about the pay at the regionals...but also the "Majors"

I wonder how many "Major Pilots" work a second job..not for fun...but for survival?

FWIW ID
 

JoeMerchant

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How did fatigue factor into the Colgan crash? As a union, what have we done to address the issue of experience?
 

samballs

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How did fatigue factor into the Colgan crash? As a union, what have we done to address the issue of experience?
Thats easy, ALPA screws the young, and gets them pissed off at the senior, in turn the young guys get the exp to vote against the old.
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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My question to ALPA would be: Why is Congress "stunned" or even surprised by what your pilots make? Why is this the first they've heard about FO's living with their parents and working two jobs? What vastly more important thing have you been using the PAC money for?
How concerned are you about other people's pay? Why would you expect them to care about your pay.....


The only people that care about Air Line Pilots are Air Line Pilots..
 

ualdriver

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How did fatigue factor into the Colgan crash? As a union, what have we done to address the issue of experience?
Joe, why do you care? No matter what good ALPA does, its an group of pilots devoid of any benefit, right? You've already written off ALPA as a useless organization, correct? Just sit back, pay your dues, and let the guys that do keep trying, despite ALPA's faults, worry about stuff like that.
 

007

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Not a single regional guy on the panel!! I guess the longhaul rest rules will be REALLY nice and we'll keep our 8hr reduced rests!
 

JoeMerchant

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Joe, why do you care? No matter what good ALPA does, its an group of pilots devoid of any benefit, right? You've already written off ALPA as a useless organization, correct? Just sit back, pay your dues, and let the guys that do keep trying, despite ALPA's faults, worry about stuff like that.
Actually, I'm in bad standing with ALPA and enjoying it very much....Ironically, I helped write the Agency Shop language we have....

You never answered my questions:

1. How did fatigue factor into this crash?

2. What has ALPA done to address the lack of experience issue?

Be careful what you wish for....The cure may be worse....
 

ualdriver

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Actually, I'm in bad standing with ALPA and enjoying it very much....Ironically, I helped write the Agency Shop language we have....

You never answered my questions:

1. How did fatigue factor into this crash?

2. What has ALPA done to address the lack of experience issue?

Be careful what you wish for....The cure may be worse....
You're in bad standing with ALPA so why do you care what my answers are? If you really want me to answer, I'd tell you that ALPA has never done ANYTHING for ANY pilot EVER in its history, EVER. That's what you want to hear, right?

So like I said, sit back and don't worry about anything having to do with ALPA. When they help come up with their new rules, I'll send you a PM with a link to the thread and then you can tell us all about the utter failure the new rules are, how the old ones were better, and how ALPA failed in that matter as well.
 

ualdriver

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Not a single regional guy on the panel!! I guess the longhaul rest rules will be REALLY nice and we'll keep our 8hr reduced rests!
I thought that I read that there was a Mesa guy on the panel? I'll try to find where I read it.

edit: From post 1 on this thread:


First up, fatigue. After decades of your union’s lobbying for new standards for pilot flight time and rest, and constant testimony before Congress and the U.S. administration over the past two years, I am extremely encouraged to report that last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced plans to form an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) to develop new standards. We’ve been notified that we will have a seat on the ARC and your union will work to assist in modernizing the regulations to create innovative solutions to make a safe industry even safer. Let me tell you the rest of the story. ALPA will have five seats at the ARC and will be one of the co-chairs. I have appointed Captain Don Wykoff, my executive administrator who also serves as chairman of ALPA’s FTDT Committee and Blue Ribbon Panel on Pilot Fatigue, to lead our contingent of staff and pilot experts on the FAA’s ARC. From across our 36 airlines, I have named to the ARC four other pilot experts who engage in all types of flying. These pilots fly for Mesa, Continental, United, Delta, and FedEx—but on this panel they will be ALPA experts and leaders who will represent all 54,000 of us.
 
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PCL_128

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Actually, I'm in bad standing with ALPA and enjoying it very much
There's something to be proud of. :rolleyes:

I hope Newie takes it all the way through to termination.
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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There's something to be proud of. :rolleyes:

I hope Newie takes it all the way through to termination.

If so, he can feel those free market forces.... maybe take that great ATR job in India he keeps advocating...
 
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