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I too am wondering about the lack of a union. Time is ripe, I just read on another thread that you can be an EMB captain within one year of being hired at big red, and you get the salary package that goes with it. The shortage is real, very real, time to seize the day and act.
veni, vidi,...... vici non fecit.
The e-mail is no secret and neither is the drive at the company. Hilarious how the former CEO of the company would embrace the future of Sky Regional and tell everyone how they want to do more to make SR a long term company that is good and that people should hold off on leaving, until he left for Air Canada to become a VP. Hypocrisy at its best.Kent Woodside CEO wrote:As I am sure you are aware the Air Line Pilot Association (ALPA) created a Sky Regional page recently and is actively seeking support from Sky Regional pilots to join its organization.
Over the recent months and years, Sky Regional and its employees have enjoyed exceptional business growth and the Sky Regional management team has worked diligently to provide equitable opportunity for all employees of the airline and we have done this together without a union.
We enjoy a workplace that fosters collaborative relationships between management and our pilot team and we continue to support that dialogue with our bi-annual employee meetings and daily discussion.
I hope all Sky Regional pilots know that your individual voice matters and contributes greatly to the growth and success of Sky Regional. To that end, we want to continue our present barrier free open relationship with our pilot team, as together we have built a successful and rewarding organization by treating one another with fairness, dignity and respect.
As we continuously work toward improving the work life balance at Sky Regional we recognize that the network design with longer routes could improve pairings. To that end, we continue to work jointly with Air Canada on the development of more route opportunities for Sky Regional.
The Sky Regional business model is built on the overriding concept that we are a "Regional Airline" providing a contract service to a single customer Air Canada. The business model anticipates Sky Regional operating aircraft with seventy-six (76) seats or less at a competitive price.
With the most recent adjustment to the Captain pay scale over the ten (10) year period, Sky Regional is competitive or better to other regional airlines in Canada. With respect to First Officer salaries, Sky Regional is a regional airline market leader.
In addition to a market competitive salary structure, Sky Regional has also been able to offer an annual 5% bonus after two years of employment which is designed to encourage pilots that want to see Sky Regional as a long term career home.
As you evaluate the impact of keeping Sky Regional a non-union airline, you need to recognize that a union is a business organization, with national and international motivations and are not necessarily an
advocate of your personal career development. The cost to each pilot to be part of these organizations is significant and would be ongoing indefinitely and we believe pilots of Sky Regional would sooner have this money for themselves and their families.
Contrary to what ALPA will have you believe, this membership campaign is not based on any particular issues or problems that you are having with the Company. Instead, this membership campaign simply provides ALPA with another way to increase the union's revenues at a cost to you. We will respect any decision our pilots make about joining a union, but that you should consider if it is in your own best interest to allow someone to speak on your behalf. Lastly, let's not forget that joining a union does not guarantee you an immediate improvement in your working conditions and that the bargaining process is a give and take that can take a long period of time to settle.
Together, we have built a strong company through open communication with all team members. With a union as your exclusive bargaining agent, the ability for the company to respond to individual employee needs would then be controlled by a collective agreement. Our desire is to continue to address your Sky Regional concerns with you directly.
Through this open exchange of comments and ideas and not being bound by a collective agreement we have been able to reopen the Terms of Employment twice and make improvement on issues such as RRSP's,SDO's, sick days, draft, and remuneration.
To ensure we continue open and clear discussion, please feel free to contact all members of the Sky Regional management team for clarification on the company's commitment to our pilots. We will be setting up a suggestion box in the crew room and please feel free to leave us your comments anonymously. We are available at any time to ensure that you have the information required to make an informed decision.
Don't forget you need to get at least a 2% raise to make it worth your while to unionize.
These type of companies fear accountability, an enforceable bilateral relationship, and pilot employee expectations for WAWCON including meaningful pension and benefits.
Best of luck to the Skyregional pilots. Make an informed decision. Every other Express and WJ Regional Pilot is unionized. No growth has been forfeit. Nobody has lost their opportunity to advance. The world has not come to a stop.
There is nothing wrong with structure and a collective voice in bargaining. And being a member of the worlds largest professional pilot union has obvious representational benefits.
Dear Fellow Pilots:
I want to say first of all that I was not asked by Management to send this email, and the truth is that 20 minutes ago I told Rodney I was sending it just to give him a heads up it was coming so he could inform other management when they saw it. This is completely of my own accord as I feel so strongly about the current ALPA drive, and have chosen to make Sky Regional my Career Company, I felt I had to say something. A lot of you are getting unsolicited phone calls, including pressuring new hires with information that conveniently leaves out some facts. People are receiving Cards in the mail as well, and information about how ALPA will better their careers if they simply sign and send $5. I just want to make everyone aware of some other facts about ALPA in other companies and what we can undoubtedly expect here. History tends to repeat itself and ALPA will be no different at Sky Regional than they have been for Jazz, Georgian and now WJ/WJE.
We constantly hear from the Organizers how good ALPA was for Jazz and how we could expect the same here. Part of that is true, we can expect the same I suppose. Shrinking pilot numbers, loss of aircraft or at least no more expansion. Jazz used to have 1500 pilots and their last bid had 1179 pilots. Skyregional has increased from 15 Aircraft 5 years ago to 25 today with more planned. Jazz has lost all their CRJ in YYZ, and recently had a major reduction in their YYC base. This has resulted in pilots having to commute from Ontario to B.C., Alberta and Montreal to fly the Jet. Pilots that used to fly the Jet are now on a Q400 after many years on a jet if they decided not to move. Great job ALPA of "protecting those good paying jobs and route structure". ALPA priced Jazz out of the market, enter Sky Regional. There is only so much money in the pot, and there wasn't enough to feed Jazz, so we all got jobs that we took with our eyes wide open, and that has only improved in 5 years.
A fair question to any of the ALPA Organizers here who may have worked at Jazz is why they left if it was so good? My guess is that with the Union Seniority System they couldn't hold the position and/or schedule they wanted so a start up was the only place to get it. And now that they are very senior here, they can lock in the same benefits that were unattainable at Jazz for them. Sorry junior person, I paid my dues, and after a long career of being held at the bottom of the Union list it is now my time to benefit the same as senior guys at other airlines. Don't worry, the industry is moving fast, your turn will come. Don't forget to pay your dues by the way. I am sure that conversation sounds familiar.
ALPA has always rewarded the senior pilot group and sold out the junior group to line their own pockets. I suppose the attitude was that none of us know Timmie in Sioux Lookout chucking bags, so lets just create a "B" scale to keep more money for ourselves and screw Timmie later when he finally builds enough time to go to Jazz. I mean, Timmie is just a Millenial and we all had to pay our dues, Timmie only chucked bags for 3 months, so yes, he needs to be screwed over. Or at least thats what the MEC tell themselves as they sign their new raises at Timmies expense. This is not a hypothetical, this is fact.
Jazz created a "B" scale for new hires during the last round of around $30,000 for a new hire. They are having a hard time retaining new hires who unbelievably are having a hard time living in YYZ and YVR on $30K. And with the high cost of training and revolving door, Jazz Management offered to give the "B" scale pilots around a $10,000 raise to retain them which benefitted both the new pilot and the Company. ALPA said NO. Yes, you read that right, the "B" Scale pilots are paying dues to ALPA (everyone pays remember, as Alpa is a top heavy business first and foremost) so that "their entrusted representatives" can refuse to allow them a raise to live. The rational for that you ask. Guess. ALPA and the Jazz MEC do not want to allow the B Scale to get more money as it is outside of the negotiated contract. They will only allow it if Jazz agrees to reopen the contract so that you guessed it, the senior guys can then negotiate more for themselves. So if Timmie has to starve for another year to force Jazz's hand, so be it. Hey, none of us know Timmie, and he's always grumpy and hungry for some reason anyway so screw him. You probably have seen Timmie in the Amex Lounge slurping soup like it's his last meal.
Georgian Unionized with ALPA over a year ago and still do not have a contract. And nothing promised in the foreseeable future. I'm not even going to waste my time going into the conditions over there. But hey, if ALPA is so amazing, then I am sure they will hire you. I would suggest applying now actually. Don't worry, I'm sure as soon as a contract is signed ALPA will have that place magically fixed. There is your chance to work for an ALPA company.
Westjet has been all over the news lately with their foray into ALPA territory. No contract yet either, and their last CEO told them they would be lucky to have it by the end of 2019. Again, there is no timeline that a contract has to be signed by. But, we all know about Swoop and what is going on there. What your ALPA organizers are not telling you is that WJ Management offered a leave of absence to WJ and WJE pilots to go work for Swoop. There were pilots who wanted to go as it would have got them in the left seat of a 737 earlier or in the case of the WJE pilots, into a Jet a lot earlier if they wanted. ALPA filed a cease and desist with the IRB and won an injunction. ALPA claims the pilot seniority list is theirs and WJ can not negotiate with pilots directly, even if the pilots in question want to work at Swoop to better their own personal careers. Then ALPA in the spirit of being all about pilots, wanted to start a black list for any pilots that went to Swoop. ALPA is all about pilots, as long as you are paying them 2% of your income and doing as the MEC wants, which is usually dividing the pot of money up to benefit the guys at the top. And from any of us who have friends at WJ, we know what a happy and content group they all are now that they have ALPA. It must be why we have Mainline WJ FO's applying here at Sky Regional, a non ALPA company. I guess they figured out that ALPA wasn't able to work magic on their careers after all.
Swoop has now hired off the street, 3 Sky Regional Pilots that I personally know, and I know more are going. This means that all ALPA did was stop their own pilots from going when they wanted to, and let off the street hiring happen. If ALPA is so powerful and almighty, then why weren't they able to stop this from happening? Probably the same reason that Jazz couldn't stop Sky Regional from becoming an airline. Or couldn't stop GGN from taking 100% of the CRJ flying in YYZ away from Jazz, and the list goes on. Regardless of what anyone tells you, ALPA is a representative of an employee group, period. They do not own any airlines (too risky, collecting your hard earned money and spending it on dinners and booze is a safer and more guaranteed option) and have no say in what Management ultimately decides. Owners and Shareholders own the airline, not ALPA, and they never will. It is why Swoop, Sky Regional and GGN are able to exist, at the end of the day ALPA can't stop it as much as they like to pretend they can. These are facts. And ironically, if ALPA could do what they promise, then Sky Regional would not exist and your ALPA organizing committee would not have Embraer Captain jobs. that is also a fact. So why are they organizing for ALPA who did nothing to protect their jobs, incomes, etc at Jazz or wherever they came from before. Why give up the DB Pension plan? Oh yeah, I forgot, ALPA negotiated that away for a DC Pension plan for the new guys, the senior ones still have the DB Plan. Go figure?? I'm sure the MEC did the best they could for everyone there and didn't trade that away for something that benefits the senior guys the most. Poor Timmie.
I am sure some of you have heard the argument that if we go ALPA we will be joining WJ, Jazz, Georgian, and possibly a soon to be converted ACPA to ALPA. Then we will be all under one banner and will have the company by the (substitute other word here if you like) Barrel. Yeah right. Our whopping 280 pilots will be the Red Headed Stepchild compared to AC's 3300 pilots or more importantly Jazz's 1179 (used to be 1500). And we all know there was no love lost between Jazz pilots and Sky Regional. We all remember the comments and ugly looks from Jazz guys in the terminal 5 years ago and in some cases today. So when our new happy family at ALPA starts to bargain for "all us pilots as a group", where do you think Sky Regional will come into play in that. When the Jazz MEC Chair is trying to get his guys back into Jets and of course back to YYZ. There would be no guarantee that we wouldn't wind up on the bottom of some combined Express Carrier List they are talking about. Then it will be us who are commuting and living in the Holiday Inn in YVR like one of my good friends at Jazz that lost his CRJ position in YYZ after 12 years at Jazz. Yup, ALPA wasn't able to stop that from happening. He's still paying over $2000 a year in dues to them though for this amazing representation. I was told by an organizer here that it probably would not happen as we would build a "5 year fence to protect our positions" then after the 5 years us senior guys here would have enough seniority to keep our positions. No guarantee of anything though. And hey, I'm senior enough now that my fence would protect me, but not the new guys of course. Sorry Timmie, here is a bowl of soup for your commute to YVR.
If your ALPA organizing committee is seriously trying to better Sky Regional and your lives, and is committed, then ask every one of them if they are on the PML. And if they get the call for AC, will they turn it down and stay here to see this through as they honestly believe in the cause and anticipated result? Or will they bolt for the door and to hell with the rest of you left here with everything frozen and no contract in sight? Just pass the torch so to speak.
Speaking of the PML, my understanding is that it is not a guarantee that is obligated to remain here. If we go with ALPA, there is a good possibility it would be suspended and then be part of the negotiations on the first contract which is probably two years away. Jazz had to negotiate theirs and I am sure we would be no different. I wonder what we will have to give up to get the PML back? Everything in a negotiation is a give and take, and the reality is that we are a AC Training Company and the PML is our number one draw. It is huge, and to get it back, what we would have to trade for it would also be huge.
Again, ALPA does not own the airline. There is only a pot with a certain amount of money in it. ALPA does not get to increase the pot; all ALPA decides is how to divide the pot, and believe me, Timmie is not getting a fair amount out of the pot. I will and most of your organizing committee will. But you and Timmie probably wont unless you have been here over 4 years. And the average life span of a Sky Regional pilot is 33 months from what I understand. Do the math.
You may be wondering why I am writing this and why I am so opposed to ALPA, especially since I am very very senior and would benefit the most? First, its not the way I roll. I was Timmie years ago, and hate what ALPA and senior pilots have done to our profession over the years. Just look at a 777 AC Capt pay and a new hire Rouge FO Pay on the 767. I rest my case. That pot should have been divided a little better wouldn't you agree? Also using the number comparison again, ALPA is really only concerned with the USA and their 60,000 pilots, not Canada, and sure as hell not Sky Regional. All I will say is that ALPA was indirectly behind us not getting the E190. ALPA has kept us smaller and flying the shorter routes we all love so much. ALPA will always put the "greater good of the USA Pilots" over Canadian Pilots interests. I will be paying well over $2500 a year to a foreign organization that does not have my interests at heart. Right now I can walk in the office and talk to Russ, Kent or Rodney about things I feel strongly about and that I think will benefit all of us. I have done this in the past and with Jon and well, and a lot of positive changes were able to come out of mine as well as many other pilots suggestions. Changes to the TOE, the average 4 hours per day, more SDO, etc etc. If we go ALPA then that all stops, the next day, period. that dialogue is over. Some overpaid person who does not represent my interests is now deciding my future and I am not able to represent myself. And past history dictates who benefits in Union negotiation. The people doing the negotiating. If you don't believe me then ask any of our ex Bearskin Pilots how well their MEC represented them. It was grotesque what happened there with wages and "protection". And if the MEC rep didn't like you they would actually suggest to the Company to fire you. I know a case where the Company said they didn't want to fire the individual and his rep said in the meeting that he didn't care if they did. You want to pay dues for that kind of "protection"?
And speaking of cushy jobs and compensation, you need to click on the link below to see the Union compensation. Again, grotesque comes to mind. Especially with Timmie making $30K and the Secretary (sorry, not PC, I mean Executive Assistant) making in excess of $115,000 a year. You can see everyone's salary. Like I said, we can all pay in to ALPA to shrink our airline and contribute to these unbelievable amounts of Union Compensation. Plus contribute to dinners and booze etc that most of you will never partake in. You sure wont get your $2000+ in dues worth. Well, unless you are on the MEC and get to travel, get paid not to fly all that much etc, then it might be a good deal for you.
Anyway everyone, I have said my piece. I stand behind what I say and unlike some other people in this Company, I am not going to give you unsolicited phone calls. If anyone wants to call me and discuss I am more than willing to talk on the phone, or at the Pub night next Thursday the 22nd. I will benefit more with ALPA than any of you based on my seniority, but I have a conscience as well as a business background in a previous life. ALPA in my opinion does not make sense for our Company as a whole and being one of the rare Career Skyregional Pilots who plans on staying here as long as it makes sense for me, and who is not on the PML and never will be, then I want to do what is right for me long term. And having the ability to talk to people like Russ, and Rodney directly who have always supported the pilot group in meaningful ways is more important to me than some short sighted, ill informed stab at ALPA.
Again, nobody from management has seen this email or asked me to write it, and yes, I suspect I will get a call from them to be honest. I maybe should not have named specific companies, but I felt you all needed to look at some facts, and using the names and real details does that.
Have a great weekend, and Happy St. Pattys! Again, feel free to call and discuss, I am willing to talk.
I’m pretty sure I’ve heard of this guy. If it’s who I think it is, he can hold the Q pretty high up in YYZ, and doesn’t want to take YUL instead because it’s the -200 and not the -705.
How is that ALPA’s fault exactly?
- Rank 7
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- Location: location, location, is what matters
I am no longer in the business. And, after 36 unstable and quite frankly very difficult years, here is what I have to say.
Go ALPA. Russ Payson and Rovinescu are part of the shark category of people that will do anything they can possibly do to run a business to amke money. That in itself is fair enough.
Now here is the problem. They must pay market rates for, secretaries, office cleaners, aircraft mechanics, construction contractors, dispatchers, cafeteria cooks, insurance brokers, lawyers, and on and on and on and on. There is a whole lot more going on in and aviation operation than just pilot salaries.
BUT THEY PAY SUBSTANDARD WAGES TO PILOTS.
Everybody wake up for christ sakes. It is rather common knowledge that pilot salaries account for about 4% of total expenses. Which is not a whole lot. Soooo.....if they end up paying 5 percent of total operating costs to pilots, is that really make a difference? No, it won't. 737 captains at american are making well over 315K a year, and, American is making a ton of money.
In the meantime, Payson crows about being competitive and suppressing wages so he does not lose out to Jazz, and the only people who actually are being supressed on wages are the pilot group, while paying top dollar to all the other employee groups, except pilots. Maximum hypocrisy indeed. The top guy at mothercorp, Rovinescu, may I point out, did in fact give out lots of dollars to their airplane drivers to keep the peace.
So it is in fact a bullshit game. An embraer driver at mainline is pulling in well over 200K all included (salary, pension, perks etc), while the same driver at skyregional in the sam plane may pull in 120K (and I am being outlandishly generous) all inclusive.
Remember the 4% total cost thing that may rise to 5% as far as pilot salaries go. No, there is no fu#$%ing way that ALPA membership will compromise the comany in any way. It would never hapen, but, if skyregional would actually pay air canada salaries, they STILL would be making a ton of money.
Think guys, think, and put your pants on.
veni, vidi,...... vici non fecit.
- Rank 7
- Posts: 625
- Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:08 pm
- Location: location, location, is what matters