Trans States negotiations update

millhouse21

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From the latest VARS

Fellow Pilots,

This is Captain Jason Ruszin, MEC Chairman, with an update to the VARS on Thursday October 2nd, 2008.

My apologies for the delay, but I would like to give you a summary of our last negotiating session with the company.
We met in Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 12-15, 2008.

As an overall comment, your negotiating committee continues to be perplexed by the company's unwillingness to want to move
these negotiations along at a faster pace. One would believe that a ratified contract would be in the best interest of
all parties, yet the company continues to play delay games and politics at the bargaining table. This session, like many
others, lacked significant progress. We continue to chip away at what appears to be a petrified redwood tree.

We are now 2 years past our amendable date. It has been more than 2 ½ years since we began negotiations. We completed the
2000 Agreement in 2 years. Even though we have negotiated six months longer than our 2000 negotiations, we still have most
of the major issues on the table. In fact, the company has not yet provided ANY substantial response to ANY major
compensation sections of the Agreement. Just one example of the type of disingenuous delay tactic we hear from the Company
occurred at our last session. Last November when ALPA presented the scheduling section, the company said there wasn’t
much they could do in response to our scheduling proposal without seeing our compensation section. We soon thereafter presented
our compensation section. At our last session in Albuquerque, we asked if the company had a response to our compensation
section. They said no, they couldn’t give us a response to compensation until the scheduling section was finalized! This is
what we face at the table despite the fact that the Company has reported some of the lowest pilot costs and some of the
highest profit margins in the industry for the past 3 years.

As a general rule, at our last session, ALPA would present a proposal, the company would listen politely to our concerns, and at times the
parties engaged in productive dialogue. The problem was, however, that when the company gave us their written response,
there was little if any change to their previous position. In some instances, the company even moved backwards from
their previous position! We were left with the impression that the company was just giving us lip service when we discussed
our proposals.

The specifics of our last session are as follows:

on August 12 ALPA proposed Section 28, Retirement at 12:55. The Company proposed nothing the entire day.

On August 13, the Company responded to our proposal to Section 28, Retirement. However, the Company’s proposal did not
include any of the “money items” in this section, but only dealt with process issues. Furthermore, some of the items we
proposed in this section were minimal to no cost to the company. These items would benefit everyone including those in management
positions by creating more options. While recognizing this is a negotiation, we would be hopeful that improving the contract
without raising costs should not require significant debate on either side. Improving the contract will not only benefit the
pilot group and possible other employee groups but will make Trans States a more attractive company to come and work for. We
see this as a win win for everyone.

In addition, ALPA proposed Section 25, Scheduling (A and B only) at 11:45, responded to
Section 28, Retirement at 17:34, and proposed Section 25, Scheduling (C and D only) at 17:40.

On August 14, ALPA proposed Section 25, Scheduling (E – H) at 14:49. The Company proposed Section 12, Hours of Service at 15:18.
The Company’s proposal contained NO CHANGES EXCEPT THE DATE ON THE PROPOSAL. When asked why the Company would bother to do this,
they stated that they didn’t want the proposal on their side of the table at the end of the week. This represents another example
of why we claim the company is delaying and playing politics. The Company also passed Section 25, Scheduling (A – D) with little
or no change.

On August 15, the Company passed Section 25, Scheduling (E – K) with, as you might have guessed by now, little or no change.

Negotiations will resume next week in St. Louis. The negotiating committee remains committed to negotiating a fair and equitable
contract for this pilot group and will not succumb to the arduous and obstacle laden road the company has put forth. With the
support of this pilot group we will achieve nothing less.

Once again, The Negotiating Committee has decided to conduct a scientific telephone poll of our pilot group in an
effort to track and trend opinions of our pilots. The MEC has hired a professional polling firm by the name of the
Wilson Center for Public Research. They are a not-for-profit organization that specializes in canvassing union member
opinions, especially those of pilots. The date polling is set to begin is still to be determined. Additional announcements
will be made when polling is set to begin.

Thank you for listening; Fly safe and fly your contract!
 

Salukipilot4590

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Eh yeah I just read this when I got the e-mail...

I don't know when we're going to get a new contract of what's going to be in it but I DO know it's not going to be good.

I really don't think the company wants to invest much money back into TSA. GoJet on the other hand....
 

waterski

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Walter Sobchak

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Your dues at work................
Educate yourself before you post stuff like this. The mediator sets the locations and dates of the negotiation meetings. Do you really think that your negotiating committee wanted to spend an entire week in ABQ? The members of that committee are all regular line pilots who would rather spend time at home than staring across a table at DH and RZ.
 

DoinTime

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Your dues at work................
Yeah...Albequerque is such a vacation resort hotspot. :rolleyes:

I can't think of anywhere else to spend some time.
 

nwa_contrails

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Pretty much sums it up:

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/trans-states-pilot-morale-plummets/story.aspx?guid={505075D0-57C6-4C79-9686-E4AA942257B8}&dist=hppr

Marketwatch said:
Trans States Pilot Morale Plummets with Low Pay and Sub-par Contract


Last update: 5:04 p.m. EDT Oct. 6, 2008


ST. LOUIS, Oct 06, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Urge management to negotiate in earnest

Trans States Airlines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l (ALPA), are urging their management to come to the negotiating table this week and earnestly work toward finalizing a contract that recognizes the pilots' professionalism and dedication to the financially successful airline. Despite two-and-a-half years of bargaining with management, TSA pilots are frustrated by the lack of progress and management's unwillingness to wholeheartedly engage in the process mediated by the National Mediation Board. Direct negotiations began in February 2006 and mediated negotiations began in February 2007, yet all the major sections of the contract, including compensation, remain unresolved.

TSA pilots have endured a substandard contract for more than eight years, with pay 7% to 23% below that of other pilots at airlines of comparable size providing comparable service. This substandard pay is particularly insulting because Trans States is among the most profitable airlines and is the fifth largest in the regional industry. "Many pilots at TSA are side-stepping to better-paying airlines or leaving the industry altogether," said Capt. Jason Ruszin, chairman of the TSA unit of ALPA. "Our substandard contract, pay, and work rules have ruined morale and are driving good pilots elsewhere."

TSA's customers, competitors, and code-share partners should be outraged at TSA management's unprofessional behavior, given the uncertainty an open contract places on a carrier and all those who interact with it. We want to get this contract done, not only to secure the livelihoods of TSA pilots and other company employees, but to ensure that TSA can effectively compete for additional growth opportunities." TSA is a code share partner for United Airlines, American Airlines and US Airways.

It is abundantly clear to pilots that TSA management is deliberately dragging out negotiations. TSA management repeatedly makes proposals that take away current benefits even though Trans States remains a profitable airline. "When management makes proposals that eliminate previously-agreed-to language or makes counterproposals in which the only change is the date on the proposal, we question whether TSA is making a good-faith attempt at bargaining," said Ruszin.

While equal pay for equal work is a top contract goal, it is expected that another contentious section of the contract will be job security and scope protections. TSA pilots learned a hard lesson when Trans States Holdings, parent company of Trans States Airlines, abandoned any pretense of loyalty to its employees by creating an alter-ego airline called GoJet. The creation of this airline became a direct threat to the job security of TSA pilots. "We are committed to providing TSA with enough flexibility to compete in today's industry, but we refuse to be slaves to endless whipsawing," said Ruszin.

In response to TSA's delay tactics, TSA pilots are moving forward with a strategic initiative designed to strengthen their preparedness in the event the two parties cannot come to an agreement. "We are prepared to do whatever it takes, consistent with the law, to achieve our contract goals," said Ruszin.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world's largest pilot union, representing 53,000 pilots at 37 airlines in the United States and Canada, including more than 440 pilots who fly for Trans States.

Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
SOURCE Air Line Pilots Association, International
http://www.alpa.org

Copyright (C) 2008 PR Newswire. All rights reserved
 

Foxcow

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meh...
Time is running out for those management (I use the term very loosely) asshats.
 

Salukipilot4590

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Time is running out for those management (I use the term very loosely) asshats.
Couldn't agree more...but then again we'll just have to see how it all works out.

Did they give you the "get over to the other side" call man? If so, total bummer! :crying:
 

Foxcow

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meh...
Couldn't agree more...but then again we'll just have to see how it all works out.

Did they give you the "get over to the other side" call man? If so, total bummer! :crying:

Unfortunately. But the upside is that since I have some more free time, I decided to help out in the union. :D
 

Salukipilot4590

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Unfortunately. But the upside is that since I have some more free time, I decided to help out in the union. :D
Oh man that's totally awesome! You are going to be an insanely beneficial addition to our union!!!

(ATTN: Not saying our current union isn't beneficial)
 

35off

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writing on the wall

Just my two cents, but one reason they probably don't want to bother with a contract is that it is only a matter of time before there is no TSA to contract with. No back pay that way either.......

We need to get released to strike as soon as possible.
 

TEN HUT

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TSA-Pilots-

Good luck, I wish you all the best.... It sounds like you MEC is working hard!

On a side note, heard through the grape-vine that there were some union guy's on the go-jet side working with the trans-states MEC about righting the ship between the two pilot groups, and management found out about it, and fired both of them on the spot... Any true to this to this rumor?

If so, what a f.c.n shame......

God Speed,

Ten Hut
 

great cornholio

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TSA-Pilots-

Good luck, I wish you all the best.... It sounds like you MEC is working hard!

On a side note, heard through the grape-vine that there were some union guy's on the go-jet side working with the trans-states MEC about righting the ship between the two pilot groups, and management found out about it, and fired both of them on the spot... Any true to this to this rumor?

If so, what a f.c.n shame......

God Speed,

Ten Hut
I know that the TSA MEC has been communicating with the Gojet MEC lately, but I haven't heard about the Gojet guys getting fired for it....although the way the guys at TSAH like to fire union guys it wouldn't surprise me.
 

stooge

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After 6 years at TSA, I would say that no company cares less for there employees than them. Thats not just pilots, but dispatchers, rampers, gate agents, and schedulers. Worst run company i have ever been associated with, let alone airline
 

J32driver

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I'm still amazed that in all the years that TSA management has crapped on its employees, that no one has met them in a dark parking lot with a lead pipe and a ski mask.
 

Dornier 335

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I'm surprised no one has taken them to a civil court with some of the illegal methods that TSA management has used. The fat bastard is not that good of a lawyer anyway ...

Guck FoJet!
 
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