Arbitrator Tom Gibbons began his work reviewing appeals of the members questioning their distribution of retroactive/signing bonus payments that were made on December 16, 2013 this past week. The provisions of our agreement allowed for a 60 day period of appeal that ended February 15th. Financial advisor, Tom Roth, is reviewing all claims of calculation discrepancies. There were over 300 appeals sent to District 141, each one is being reviewed and a final determination will be made either by Mr. Roth or Mr. Gibbons and individual members will receive written answers regarding their appeal. While there are many individual questions most fall into 3 basic areas – questioning the accuracy of the amount paid, eligibility for payment by employees that did not receive a distribution, and the accuracy of the signing bonus payment. Mr. Gibbons’ responsibility is to determine that each member was treated equally and the guidelines for payment were followed in every instance. Mr. Roth’s role is to recalculate payments to insure they are accurate, based on the criteria for payment. The process is not complete yet but the first review has found some members are entitled to a revised amount of payment, especially related to the signing bonus which was based on both seniority and work status. Eligibility questions come from employees that have left the IAM represented work group they worked in at some point but have since taken other non-represented positions with the company. Some employees have become management and others have joined other unions due to the job they now perform. In those cases the IAM no longer represents or bargains for them and therefore they were not considered as eligible for the payments IAM members voted for when ratifying the current agreement. Retroactive/signing bonus payments were part of the complete value of the contract, the same as wage rates and holiday pay, and intended to be shared by IAM members. It is expected that the appeal process will be finished within the next weeks and members entitled to an adjusted payment will receive their money in late March. Once there has been a final determination that all members have been properly paid, the remaining money from the retro/signing bonus pool will be distributed to all IAM members using the same criteria as the signing bonus – seniority and work status. It is expected that this second distribution will be made in mid- to late April.
IAM representatives met with United management this past week to discuss options that may or can be offered to our members in CLE that have been notified of the dramatic reduction in their station planned for June. We discussed ways to minimize the number of members that would be displaced by looking at two main areas – voluntary options such as early out programs, continuation of benefits (specifically travel); and how to create opportunities in other stations. Our discussions centered on the need to insource work to create vacancies in stations that could be filled by CLE members. There are stations that must begin insourcing work under the terms of our contract and we discussed how to shift work away from outside vendors in those stations to allow displaced CLE members and IAM members in other stations to begin transferring and filling the new vacancies. During these discussions we expanded our talk to include vendored work in stations that are not named in our contract in an effort to create more opportunities for our members. United would not commit to any increase in insourcing requirement at this time but did indicate that this is a subject that could be considered in future negotiations. Since our contract allows for additional bargaining during the term of this agreement without waiting for 2017, we told the company the time for future negotiations is now and we would be willing to formally discuss the issue of increased insourcing. Additional discussion between the company and District 141 regarding how this additional negotiation could be conducted will be held in the coming week.
The Special Enrollment for insurance benefits by United members is ongoing. The first phase of enrollment ended on February 21st and now is the established correction period for members that may need to make changes to their selections. These changes are necessary in some case due to the corrections the company is making in the published cost of several of the health insurance options, especially the Build Your Own plans. As members have identified problems during the rollout of the Special Enrollment, United’s Benefits dept. has tried to fix them quickly. Working with Aon Hewitt, the company has reposted the corrected premium schedules for the different plan options. We encourage all members to again review their selections and the new employee cost schedule to make sure they are choosing the right plan and cost for their family’s coverage needs. The current correction period has already been extended to March 12th. We are in regular communication with the Benefits dept. to make sure there is enough time for all members to have access to the most accurate up to date information before committing to an insurance plan for the remained of 2014.
The National Mediation Board has called for a meeting between the IAM and US Airways management on March 18-19 in Washington, D.C. While the hope is that this meeting will lead to a settlement offer for the outstanding contracts on US Airways, particularly the Fleet Service Employees agreement, the IAM is also preparing for the fact that this meeting could lead to a release from mediation and the beginning of a cooling off period. Negotiators for both the Fleet and Maintenance contracts have been directed to come to Washington on those same dates to continue the strike preparation plans that are currently underway. Coordinated information and action by both Districts 141 and 142 will be determined during this session. Information has been posted on both Districts’ websites regarding the status of negotiations and the legal requirements of the Railway Labor Act and will be updated as the situation and information changes. We ask all US Airways District 141 members to become familiar with the available information so they can follow the process without relying on rumor.
The ever expanding use of Express operations is an issue that District 141 has argued over and fought against for several years now. As we all know, it was the driving force behind the focus of job security in our recent negotiations with United and was just this past week addressed with US Airways as we agreed to an extension of line station protection against contracting out jobs in line stations. This past week again highlighted the increasing problems with mainline carriers relying so much on regional airlines to provide domestic service. The discussions about the protection of our CLE membership were required solely by the problem of RJ operators. The drastic cutting of the flight schedule in CLE is being caused by the failure of regional carriers to fly the routes due to a severe planned shortage of pilots. The airlines blame the recent Federal Air Regulations that require more training and rest periods for RJ flight crews and the lack of available pilots to fill their needs. A report from the Government Accounting Office this week stated the industry would be 4,000 to 10,000 pilots short over the next 10 years and is already causing regionals to pull service out of many stations in addition to CLE. The report noted there was not a shortage of qualified crews, there was an acute shortage of pilots willing to fly for regional carriers at the wages they pay. ALPA released a response report to the GAO siting the average starting pay for a regional pilot was $22,400.00 a year. That translates to about $10.75 per hour. That is almost a dollar per hour less than the starting rate for United CSR’s, RSM, and Storekeepers under our current contract. The report noted that mainline airlines have no trouble hiring new pilots but no one will work for the regionals because of the pay. The low cost model these airlines have been operating under is now causing the airlines to get smaller, pull out of schedule commitments they make with larger carriers, and ultimately cause furloughs of our members. We are now in a very curious place where the reduction of Express operations is as threatening as the expansion.
A second effect of the Express operation was also demonstrated this past week when United Airlines warned investors about the poor January and February they experienced due to the incredibly bad winter weather. United stated they had to cancel about 4 times as many flights this Jan/Feb as compared to Jan/Feb 2013. The company claimed they cancelled about 22,500 flights in the two month period. What is buried in that number is that 20,000 of the cancellations were Express trips. The reliance on regional jets that don’t fly if the sky isn’t blue is having an effect on United’s potential profitability.
Memorandum of Understanding - Re: Station Classification: Download
Today, February 25, 2014, District 141 and US Airways reached an understanding regarding the status of our Recognition and Scope language. Our current contract allows for an annual snap shop of each of our stations to determine the level of flight activity and assess whether or not that station could be outsourced. This snap shot is taken every April 5th.
In April 2013, during contract negotiations discussions with US Airways, we agreed to Memorandum of Understanding that kept fleet service staffing levels stable during the expected period of time it would take to reach a replacement Collective Bargaining Agreement. The MOU also allowed for the snap shot process to resume on April 5, 2014.
Since we have not been successful in reaching a full replacement agreement as of today’s date, the IAM and US Airways have agreed to extend the understanding reached last year until April 4, 2015. The Company has agreed it will not outsource ramp work covered by our contract at any station currently served by IAM represented Fleet Service Employees during this period.
It is our hope and expectation that a full agreement that will address this and all outstanding issues will be promptly negotiated and reached before the expiration of this continued MOU. If not, members in all current stations will remain under the terms of the MOU.
Update: 25 February 2014 - NMB Meeting Scheduled: Download
The National Mediation Board (NMB) has scheduled meetings between the principal representatives in the US Airways – IAM negotiations. The meetings are set for March 18 and 19, 2014 at the offices of the NMB in Washington, DC.
While preparations continue for a proffer of arbitration, rejection of that proffer and the establishment of a 30-day cooling off period, we plan to attend the meetings. The IAM will enter these meetings skeptical that US Airways management has changed its position that US Airways employees must accept a second-class contract.
The full negotiating committees from IAM Districts 141 and 142 will move their strike preparedness meetings to Washington, DC during that time in order to be responsive to the outcome of the meetings, whatever that outcome may be.
All members must continue their full-throated support of their negotiating committees and their unwavering support of the fight to achieve fair contracts before entering any merger related activity between US Airways and American Airlines.
Your Union, your leaders and your negotiating committees will not accept second class status for our IAM members. And, as you have made clear, neither will you!
As soon as we reached a committed resolution with United Airlines regarding the outstanding wages owed members since November 1, 2013, we resumed discussions about other important subjects affecting our members.
Contract negotiations on behalf of our Security Officers membership are now scheduled to begin on March 10th in SFO. Negotiations concerning the Food Service Employees contract will begin on March 12th in ORD. Maintenance Instructors negotiations will resume this coming week in DEN.
Meetings with United are scheduled for this coming week to discuss potential options for effected members in CLE resulting from the company’s recent declaration of downsizing the station operation due to refusal by Express carriers to continue flying United’s schedule through CLE. We are also meeting to finalize the protocol to be used by the Transition Resolution Boards. These Boards, established separately for each contract, will allow for the review and resolution of specific contract interpretation and implementation disagreements between the IAM and United. These Boards are not intended to replace the Grievance Procedure or local settlement of issues when contract violations are raised by members, Stewards, or Committees. The intent of the Boards is to reach common understanding of the purpose and intent of contract articles to more efficiently and quickly answer and resolve filed grievances.
United showed again this week that no employee, job, or station is secure without contract language that protects them. The company announcement of their intent to contract out the remaining work performed by United employees in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto, Canada is the latest example. Out of the 240 employees that are being replaced by other Canadians willing to do the work cheaper, about half are represented by IAM District 140. Our members currently work in Calgary and Vancouver both Above the Wing and Below the Wing. Since both stations will be contracted out at the same time there is no place for displaced employees to go to continue working for United Airlines. The current contract covering these members does not prevent or limit United’s ability to contract out the work nor does existing Canadian law. The company has stated that there will be no change to the schedule in these stations but the work will be done by non-United workers.
If United can wipeout their employees in an entire country with one statement, can it happen in the United States as well? Our contract addresses the issue of job security in several ways that the Canadian agreement does not. Our language that protects specific stations from closing is very different from the Canadian contract. Our language that prevents the loss of jobs due to contracting out in specific stations does not exist in other contracts. The language that protects the employment of members with specific seniority dates – either 4/1/06 or 6/3/99 – is unique to our contracts and certainly would have prevented the wholesale loss of jobs our Canadian membership is suffering if it was part of their agreement with United.
This announcement by United points out the great difficulty we faced in our recent negotiations. The IAM wanted to extend job protections to all members and the company wanted the ability to contract out work whenever and wherever it chose. The mutual agreement reached through negotiations limits, but does not eliminate, the company’s ability to contract out jobs and gives long-term employment protection to approximately 90% of our members. Our contract also reverses the trend of contracting out and instead requires the contracting in of work in specific stations. These protections may seem to take too long to implement but they are real and will benefit members for years to come.
The company has shown they will continue to aggressively look for opportunities to replace their own employees with someone else’s. Our contracts are the only thing keeping Cleveland from becoming the next Calgary.
There has been no movement by the National Mediation Board in getting US Airways back to the bargaining table with District 141 or District 142. Our Negotiating Team and District Officers are continuing the preparations for the potential release from mediation and the beginning of a cooling off period, prior to seeking self help. US Airways members are encouraged to visit the US Airways page of the District 141 website for information regarding the Railway Labor Act negotiation process and a continuing and expanding question and answer section that will provide accurate and up to date information based on member submitted questions. Additional information regarding members’ rights and areas of support and assistance in the event of a work stoppage is being put together and will be made available through the website. District 141 is working closely with the Transportation Dept. of our International and District 142 to coordinate all information and activities in support of all IAM members of US Airways. Our Alliance partners, the TWU, is also being kept advised as to the status of our negotiations and the impact it may have on the future combined talks. Their support has been immediate and welcomed, as expected by a trade union belonging to the AFL-CIO.
United Airlines "look-back" pay commitment letter: Download
Today District 141 reached an understanding with United Airlines regarding the outstanding debt owed United members for work performed since November 1, 2013. Our goal has been over the course of the past months to insure that our members receive the compensation they are entitled to, promptly and correctly. We have exhausted all normal means of addressing the issue – discussion, grievances, complaining, etc. – and have not been able to get United to commit to a specific date of when they will have all of their computer and payroll problems fixed in order to pay our members accurately. Finally, through the combined efforts of the District and the Transportation Dept. of our International, after exploring the possibility of seeking relief in federal court, we have gotten a commitment from United.
Pay owed for hours worked since November 1, 2013, including premiums, will be paid as soon as possible but no later than April 3, 2014. In addition to the earned compensation, United has agreed to pay a penalty interest payment on all outstanding money. Also, if United fails to make this payment by April 3, 2014 an additional penalty of double the interest will be assessed and owed.
We have continually pushed United to live up to their commitment of our contracts, especially as it applies to wages. As soon as our contracts were ratified we focused on the payment of retroactive pay from January 1, 2010 and the additional signing bonus. We then focused on the need to have the updated hourly rates implemented, believing that the delayed payments from November 1, 2013 would be part of that implementation. When it was not, we then addressed both the need to properly pay employees and recognize the fairness of paying an additional penalty.
Today’s agreement insures that the money you worked for will be paid to you and that there is no benefit to anyone, including United Airlines, in delaying this any longer than absolutely necessary.
We now can address the other pressing issues that need to be resolved as we move forward in completely implementing and enforcing our Agreements.
IAM Transportation Newswire, 20 February, 2014: Download
Railway Labor Act (RLA): Where are we at, 19 February 2014: Download
The Special Benefit Enrollment for most IAM members began this week. Some members, from classifications including Security Officers, Food Service, and Instructor groups, are not included in this insurance selection procedure since they have not agreed to a new contract and are still covered under their existing agreements until negotiations can be held. This is also true of the recent distribution of Profit Sharing - their agreements have not changed regarding the percentage of declared profit that is to be shared among the groups. Consequently, although they have not yet seen improvements to their contracts and especially their wages, they will receive a different calculated amount of Profit Sharing.
Much like the rollout of Obamacare, United experienced difficulties as the Special Enrollment started. Some published rates for specific healthcare options were inaccurate and needed to be revised, after many members read the original costs. Any member that avoided these options due to believing the cost was too high should again review the options for possible revision. Many members became confused as they first saw the company's enrollment information believing that some plans and their costs were only available for certain employee groups. This was most obvious when looking at current Kaiser plans in California and Colorado. It is important to know that all plans are available for all IAM members and that the information was given in order to show that previously existing plans were still available for members that may still want to retain them, although the employee costs of those plans may have changed.
Members have questioned if the enrollment period will be extended due to the glitches of the first days. The dates for enrollment will not change but members should be aware that there is a "correction" period that will be from February 24 - March 7th so there are opportunities for members to fully review their options and make changes to their selections, if they feel the need to.
Members have been questioning District 141 regarding the information they receive from low-level management representatives about the implementation of our contract. Briefing items in ready rooms are not the same as the information that has been given by IAM representatives. Most disturbing is the claim being made by management that specific IAM representatives have "agreed" to the absurd explanations United is giving employees about subjects like overtime and irregular lunches. We addressed this issue in the last bulletin and I requested that employees ask for documentation to support the company's claim of Union approval. I have not received any example of that type of document. I did receive a copy of a message sent by a management representative named Ron Kobylski that gave his opinion that there would no longer be paid or late lunches. He also wrote that employees may go home a 1/2 hour earlier than shift end if they did not receive a lunch at all but only at United's discretion. He seemed to be very adamant about that point. His opinion was then briefed to employees. This message was the first time I have ever heard the name Ron Kobylski. He was not part of any negotiations with the IAM over any subject and was not present at any discussion of the modification to irregular lunch compensation. It is apparent that he has not read the contract as it pertains to lunch periods because there is no way a person could interpret the language the way he claims. The compensation for not receiving a scheduled lunch is not "grey" or open to interpretation. The need for a scheduled lunch is defined and the compensation clearly is outlined as the employee's option - not the company's. There is no mention within the contract of company discretion. The IAM did agree to modify some provisions of the scheduled lunch language. Specifically the changes expanded the time allowed to establish a scheduled lunch increased from one and a half hours to two hours - between the fourth and sixth hours of a full time shift. Also, no lunch payment was reduced from an hour of premium pay to a half hour of premium pay. We acknowledge those changes as part of the negotiation process. We do not agree with post-ratification interpretations by others. As always, if a member does not receive what they believe is correct payment for their hours they should seek out a Shop Steward and file a grievance.
The lunch issue is an example of what we are seeing on several contract issues. Briefings by management that are in direct conflict with language should be verified by a Steward or other IAM representative. Grievances should immediately be filed when a member is denied a benefit or right he/she believes the contract gives them. Briefing items regarding the operation of United Airlines should be followed. Briefing items concerning the implementation of our contract should not be accepted as the final word. If necessary, arbitration decisions will become the final word.
The deadline for filing appeals of the IAM distributed retroactive pay, that was received on December 16, 2013, was February 15, 2014. This week all appeals will be reviewed, researched, and resolved. In some cases, as the appeal was presented and obvious errors were made, corrections have already been made and money distributed. Appeals that need interpretation determination will be presented to an outside arbitrator for final decision. Once that work is complete, a review of remaining money left in the retro pool will be made and a distribution of all available money will be made to all members using the same criteria as the signing bonus distribution.
Another week has passed and the IAM has received no indication that United intends to pay their employees the money they owe them for work performed since November 1, 2013. Discussions have been held over other issues but not a word about the over 3 month delay in paying employees. The assumption remains that some unknown group within United is working night and day in order to correct this and the expectation is that they are being paid correctly and on time for the work they are doing.
Discussions and grievances have not resolved this problem up to this point. Representatives of District 141 and the Transportation Dept. of our International met this past week to talk about this issue and other concerns. The purpose of the meeting was to make sure we, as a Union, were doing everything we could to get our members the full benefit of their contract. We were challenged by General Vice President Pantoja to explore all options, both inside and outside our contract, to find a solution to the problem brought on by United. Determinations of possible action, in addition to those already taken, will be made within the next week.
In addition to the discussion about United, last week's meeting focused on the deteriorating state of negotiations at former US Airways. Direct negotiations between the IAM and New American Airlines have not occurred since before the merger was finalized. The National Mediation Board has not scheduled a negotiation session in the foreseeable future either.
Conversations with the NMB, without the company present, have not proven to be helpful to resolving the outstanding issues both District 141 and District 142 negotiating teams have. The only avenue left, in our opinion, is to follow the Railway Labor Act and be released from our current status of mediation and be offered binding arbitration to settle the remaining issues, most of which are compensation based. This offer would not resolve negotiations but would allow the rest of the Railway Labor Act to be enacted - up to and including a possible strike by members or a lockout by US Airways. Members of the US Airways Negotiating Team, along with District 141 Officers, have begun the communication process to inform and educate US Airways members about the RLA, the legal and IAM Constitutional requirements of a potential work stoppage, and the need to prepare themselves, their families, and creditors about the possibility of temporary loss of work. The Railway Labor Act is designed to limit employees' ability to strike and it is not a speedy process. Members should begin now to save money where they can, delay unnecessary new debt, and become as familiar with the Railway Labor Act as possible so they know what to expect in the coming months.
Negotiating teams for both the Fleet Service classification and the Mechanic and Related classifications are eager and prepared to return to the bargaining table as soon as directed by the NMB. We are equally prepared to lawfully follow the RLA to get the contracts our members have directed us to get. We are reaching out to our members for their continued support and reaching out to our new Alliance partners, the TWU, and other labor groups within the airline for their understanding and support for IAM members.
12 February, 2014: download
Today the negotiating committee was summoned to Washington DC to meet with
General Vice President Sito Pantoja and Tim Klima of the Grand Lodge to discuss their
meeting with Linda Pachula Chairperson of the National Mediation Board. During their
meeting she reiterated that the company would rather start transition talks. This is not only disappointing to the committee but a total slap in the face to the membership.
For the last 2.5 years the negotiations team has been working diligently on bringing
back an agreement to the members. We are disgusted by management who insists on
dividing the workforce by paying US Airways Fleet Service Less than our counterparts at
the new American Airlines.
There simply would not be a level playing field even if we were to start transition talk
today. The company’s intent is to keep us all divided and unequal from our AA Brothers
and Sisters. From this point on we will be waiting to be notified by the National Mediation
Board as to when the 30 day cooling off period should begin.
We ask all members at this time to unite, stay informed and support your negotiating
committee. Once the negotiations team is advise of the next step of the Railway Labor
Act process it will be announced . Solidarity amongst the rank and file is paramount to
achieve bargaining power at the table.
IAM US Airways Negotiation Team
United Airlines is conducting a "Special Benefit Enrollment". There is information on Skynet, and a few documents the company have put together. Please take the time to read them, as changes are going to happen, even if you do nothing.
The company is only putting on 14 Enrollment Fairs, as they don't have the manpower among their 11,475 admin and management group to go to all the stations. If your local management has not already made arrangements to bring information to your station, then please ask their assistance in attending one of these meetings.
Links to Skynet and some of the documents that the Company has created are listed below:
- UA Benefits Contact list
- IAM Enrollment Fairs schedule
- Benefits Glossary
- IAM Special Benefits Magazine
Benefits page: look for the "Read More" link to get to most information:
Special Enrollment Page:
Lists all the documents the company produced.
Links to "Your Benefits Resource" where the changes are made.
US Airways Updates: Download
Us Airways Negotiations
After months of face to face negotiations with US Airways and after several meetings called by the Chairperson of the National Mediation Board, discussions have ended with no agreements in sight. Both IAM District 141 and 142 negotiating committees made very serious efforts to pare away issues that could be negotiated in the future while holding fast to the issues our respective membership(s) need and demand in order to reach agreements.
All of those efforts ended with US Airways management advising both the IAM and the National Mediation Board that they are not willing to come to fair agreements. US Airways demands the US Airways employees enter a merger with American Airlines with second class contracts.
That is simply unacceptable.
The IAM has restated to the National Mediation Board that it is time to move the process to the next step, which is to make a proffer of arbitration to both parties. The Machinists Union will reject that proffer, triggering a 30 day cooling off period, at the end of which IAM members can legally strike the airline.
To the membership everywhere: Begin to prepare yourselves for a fight that could lead to a strike on US Airways, if necessary.
US Airways has tried since the inception of the US Airways – American Airlines merger process to divide the employees of both carriers by making offers and negotiating contracts with American’s employees through their unions, while ignoring their own IAM represented employees.
We will not enter our partnership with the American TWU represented employees as a group divided. We will fight whatever battle we face to enter our partnership and the merger between our airlines on equal footing.
Your General Chairs will be visiting your work locations in the coming days and weeks to answer your questions and help you prepare for the action necessary to achieve the contract you deserve. Stay strong and stay united.
IAM members in CLE, along with the rest of America, found out Saturday afternoon of United's plans to radically change the operation of the station. District 141 found out at the same time; no advanced discussion, no opportunity to talk about alternatives. We have since had discussion with United management regarding this announcement. We will meet with management this coming week to explore all possibilities to address the needs and futures of our CLE membership. The company has made it clear that their decision to drastically shrink CLE's operation is not going to change. The discussions need to focus on what options our contracts provide to find long term employment for our members whether in CLE or other stations across the system. All options will be fully explored, based on existing language that address the security and seniority rights of members.
The brief discussion held with United this weekend raised several points. The company's decision was based on criteria other than the performance and work ethic of IAM members in CLE. Our members come to work, work hard, and provide excellent service to United's customers. The problems of CLE are not caused or solved by the employees. The company's announcement exposes the problem of reliance on Express operations. United's decision to stop domestic expansion and instead rely on other airlines to provide so much of their passengers has been developing for years. The expansion of the Express operation has put our membership at risk in line stations all through the system as mainline operations were reduced or eliminated. What we are seeing in CLE today is the other side of a risky business model that places so much emphasis on the operation of other airlines. As fuel cost continue to stay at an absurdly high level, the inefficiencies of small regional jets are exposed and the high cost of operating these aircraft becomes a drain on the overall success of the airline. Recently implemented changes in Federal Air Regulations regarding training and duty periods for regional jet flight crews are also proving to expose the hidden costs of "low cost" airlines.
The recent negotiations between District 141 and United focused on the expansion of Express operations and the impact the contracting out of so much of United's operation to these airlines was having on our membership. Changes made in our contracts provide some protection against this contracting out. The situation in CLE is not about contracting out - it is about ceasing operations by other airlines. The current level of mainline operations in CLE will remain - it is the loss of Express operations that is causing this planned loss of jobs.
United has told us that the effect of this decision will be felt by our members in June. We will work as quickly as we can to see what options will be available to impacted members and give them as much time as possible to evaluate their options and make decisions that are best for themselves and their families.
United's announcement of profitability in 2013 has raised many questions from members regarding the Profit Sharing provisions of our Agreements. Most confusing is the references to percentage levels and what they truly mean. Naturally, members question how our contract can refer to a 5% Profit Sharing figure while the company announces a 1.1% payment. It is essential to understand the differences between these references. During the recent negotiations the determination was made to increase the guaranteed wages of employees by reducing the amount of money due the IAM through Profit Sharing and put that money into the hourly rate of pay for all members.
Our contract calls for the company to place 5% of their pre-tax profits into a pool for IAM members. This percentage changes every year, based on the declared profit of United, and is not tied to the earnings of employees. The pool of money created by the pre-tax profit is then distributed among all IAM members. This distribution is based on each person's earnings compared to the total earnings of all IAM members for the year. This calculation establishes a fixed percentage for all IAM members so that those members that earned more receive a greater share of the profit than those members that did not work as much or earn as much. All money placed in the Profit Sharing pool is distributed among members; no Profit Sharing money is given to the IAM.
The rules governing the Profit Sharing program have been in place for over 10 years without change. The only adjustments that have been made over that time is the percentage amount committed to IAM members. Our financial advisor is currently reviewing this year's distribution, based on information recently provided by United to insure that the provisions of our contract are followed completely.
Representatives of District 141 met with upper management this past week to press for resolution of the outstanding issue of pay rates and the correct payment of earnings since November 1, 2013. The lack of information and communication to our members regarding this extraordinary delay along with the lack of a definitive time frame for the payment of these earnings were the main focus of the meeting. The company stated they had made the issue of pay their priority and were using all available resources to complete the conversion of payroll and manpower computer system. At the end of the week a telephone conference call with representatives of the Labor Relations, Human Resources, Information Systems, and Payroll Depts. was held to give the IAM an update as to the status of process and the plan to correct payroll issues once and for all. As of that call, the expectation of United is that all IAM represented employees will receive their correct hourly rate of pay as of the scheduled pay check of January 2014, for that pay period. This completion by the end of the month will account for the 5 separate payrolls still in use by United for different IAM groups. Work is being done through this weekend and into the early part of next week to finalize the recalculation of pay owed since the beginning of our new contract. Employees can expect by the early days of next week to be able to view their individual pay histories using the company's intranet. Members need to be aware that the computer system works based on full pay periods; meaning that s-UA employees will see the corrected hourly rates as of November 3, 2013 - the first day of the first full pay after ratification. Money owed for any missing days (November 1 & 2) of earnings and any other unique individual payment will be calculated manually after the automation system has gotten the bulk of earnings input.
Discussion was held regarding the impact this delay has had on our members and the need to do everything possible to maximize the payments each person receives. The company has targeted that the "catch up" or retroactive money owed would be paid during a normal pay cycle and not be issued as a supplemental check in order to reduce the concern of tax withholding at a different rate. Further discussions will be held to address the value of the delayed payment and what can be done to fully compensate all members.
Additional conferences will be held early next week with United to make sure this process continues without further delay and our members receive the money they have already worked for as quickly and as accurately as humanly possible.
District 141 and United agreed this week on the seniority use and protection afforded s-UA CSR's in line stations that recently completed the above the wing/below the wing selection process. CSR's that were holding the position of Service Director prior to the separation and will now work below the wing will be considered Leads with their existing seniority, within their work status. The separation was based on basic classification seniority and work status - full time or part time. Full time SD's moving btw will be considered full time Leads. Part time SD's making the move will retain the SD position if a part time Lead position exists in their station. Former part time CSR's that previously filled full time SD positions, before the separation, will not become full time Leads btw since the separation is based on their part time basic classification status.
District 141 has begun the process to collect information from United regarding their recent announcement of annual earnings and profit. Our financial advisor, Tom Roth, will examine all financial information to verify the proper distribution of profit sharing money to the IAM. Once the calculations are verified and the correct amount of money is established for the IAM's pool, individual distribution will be based on relative earnings of each member. Simply put, those members with higher annual earnings will receive a larger dollar amount than those members that earned less throughout 2013. We expect Mr. Roth's work will be completed quickly and further information will be posted promptly.
Plans for providing information and assistance for members regarding the upcoming special enrollment for Health Insurance benefits were discussed this week with United Airlines. In station Benefit Fairs are being scheduled for hub stations across the system in addition to the information available through mailings and company communications. IAM representatives will be present at these fairs to work with United's Benefits representatives to provide guidance and information as members make their new election for insurance coverage. The special enrollment period will be February 10 - 21. The effective date of any change to individual/family coverage will be April 1, 2014. The effective date has been moved to April by mutual agreement to allow the company and insurers to provide seamless coverage for our members. This new implementation date means that the s-UA members that must make new selections for coverage, which in some cases may mean an increase in cost, will continue their current insurance coverage through the month of March. More information regarding the Health Fair schedules will be available and posted this coming week.
IAM representatives met yesterday with National Mediation Board member Linda Puchala and representatives of US Airways to review the current and future status of contract negotiations for both Fleet Service members and Maintenance members.
Full day discussions were held both separately with Ms. Puchala, and with the company with Ms. Puchala present in an effort to set the stage for progressive negotiations to resume to reach a settlement on behalf of US Airways members. The IAM outlined the need to reach a stand-alone agreement prior to entering combined negotiations with our Alliance partner, the TWU, to reach a full settlement for the new American Airlines employees.
Company representatives did not indicate that a response proposal to the IAM's last position would be presented to our Negotiating Team.
The IAM again reminded the NMB that both our Fleet Service negotiators and the Maintenance negotiating team have previously petitioned for a release from federal mediation and be allowed the full use of the Railway Labor Act to bring these talks to a conclusion. We reiterated our position that we will use all legal avenues available to us to bring our members the contracts they are entitled to.
At the end of day, with no progress being made, Ms. Puchala adjourned the meeting without indicating when future meetings under the auspices of the NMB would be scheduled.
We again told the NMB and the company that we are ready to meet at any time or place that will move these talks forward. We now wait to hear from the National Mediation Board.
United Airlines Updates: Line Station Bidding
May health, happiness and unity be among your many reasons to give thanks.
Happy Thanksgiving from District Lodge 141.
US Airways Update 27 November 2013: US Airways and American Press Release
United Airlines Update 26 November 2013: Seniority Integration Process: Corrections
Philippine Airlines Update 21 November 2013:
Philippine Airlines and DL141 signed a collective bargining agreement with details to follow.
US Airways Update: View the video below from Rich Delaney.
Produced by the Communications Department of IAMAW District Lodge 141.
United Airlines Update: View the video below from Rich Delaney.
Now that the contracts have been voted in, the merger of sUA and sCO employees can begin. Information Discussed:
Seniority - Verify your seniority out of 30,000+ members on the list and timelimit for protest
RetroPay - When to expect your bonus/retro payment
Vacation Bid - See which provisions of the current contract are applicable.
Committees working with the Company to work through other merger issues
Produced by the Communications Department of IAMAW District Lodge 141.
Rich Delaney, 12 November , 2013: Download US Airways Update
Rich Delaney, 12 November 2013: Download United Airlines Update
IAM - HAL – Negotiation Bulletin
IAM District Lodge 141 and 142 Joint Negotiation Preparation
Sunday through Thursday this week the Negotiation Preparation started with Hawaiian Airlines Negotiating Teams at District Lodge 141 and 142.
We would like to thank President Brian Simonson and the members of Local Lodge
1979 – HNL for hosting the joint Training Class.
We would like to give special thanks to the Director of the IAM, William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center, Chris Wagoner. Chris prepared and presented the Negotiation Preparation Class, IAM Deputy General Counsel, Carla Siegel for Tele Conferencing her presentation on the Railroad Labor Act and Collective Bargaining, IAM Strategic Resources, Peter Greenberg for Tele Conferencing Bargaining Survey and Bargaining Strategies, IAMAW Airline Coordinator Ira Levy for his over view of the entire negotiating process.
The training session opened with Chris Wagoner and Ira Levy giving opening Statements. The training reviewed team dynamics, power analysis, legal, health care, pension, communication, committee planning, contract costing, language drafting, just to name a few, there was also break out sessions to focus on both District 141 and 142 issues.
The week of December 16, 2013 the National Mediation Board will be presenting Interest Based Bargaining program designed by the Mediation Board to the IAM and HAL Negotiating Teams. This process was used at United Airlines, and contracts were just ratified for 31,000 IAM members. Negotiations will open for District 141 immediately after the training.
I.A.M.A.W. District Lodge 141
IAM – HAL Negotiating Team
View the video below from Rich Delaney. The next steps in Seniority Integration.
Produced by the Communications Department of IAMAW District Lodge 141.
View the video below from Rich Delaney. The next steps after ratification.
Produced by the Communications Department of IAMAW District Lodge 141.
Mahalo for your thoughts: the Hawaiian Airlines Survey
Members of District 141 employed by Hawaiian Airlines are requested to participate in the new Membership/Contract Proposal survey now available on the District 141 website.
We encourage you to take a few minutes and share your opinions regarding the important issues in our contract, as we begin the process to shape our proposals for the future negotiations. The survey will run from 12 October - 02 November, 2013.
We thank you for your participation and look forward to receiving your opinions and reading your comments regarding your contract.
Time Sensitive Information: Early Out
With this announcement, www.contract.iam141.org will be the direct source of information for United Airlines PCE, Fleet and Stores contracts.
Video below of this weeks update
Produced by the Communications Department of IAMAW District Lodge 141.