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Vice Chairman's Message - 10/27/16
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Vice Chairman's Message - 10/27/16

 

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I want to piggyback on this week’s chairman’s update. In it, Chuck described some of our ongoing efforts, the keyword is “some.” I’d like to mention a few more of the efforts presently taking place. As you may recall, a few weeks ago I mentioned the importance of ALPA-PAC. This is what allows us to address our issues in Washington, D.C. Bill Secord and his team have a very challenging job making sure our issues get the attention they need on the legislative front, and to make sure that no new legislation comes our way that can potentially adversely affect our career without our engagement. Not only PAC money, but PAC participation percentages matter, too. If each of you gives $1 a month—you read right, $1—to the PAC we will have 100 percent participation for very little personal cost. Believe it or not, this will help our efforts legislatively. It’s your career; ignore this easy way to make a difference at your own peril. To be absolutely clear, ALPA-PAC gives donations roughly 50/50 to each of the major political parties, the only requirement is that they support pilot issues (Click here to visit the PAC website and contribute).

Our HIMS program has been greatly improved thanks to Marc Grassie and his team bringing forward better ways of administering the program that they learned from interaction with Delta. FedEx management recently embraced significant improvements to this valuable program, and these changes will no doubt result in more favorable outcomes for our pilots in need. HIMS is one of the most successful programs that we have on the property, and it just got better. If you or someone you know has a problem with alcohol or substance addiction, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marc before it’s too late. You and your family will be extremely pleased with the result.

Our PATH program that First Officer Kandy Bernskoetter brought to our property is doing a fantastic job helping pilots who feel overwhelmed by the stress of everyday life. We all have a lot going on and some more than others. When you feel like your plate is overflowing, or even full, reach out to one of our PATH coordinators; it’s foolish to try and tough it out on your own. They provide a valuable, confidential service, but you have to take the first step and call.

Our Communications Committee, headed by Captain Chris Lee, recently put out several videos for your viewing pleasure. Some of the topics were retirement, health care, PATH, and ongoing implementation. Be sure to visit our website at FDX.alpa.org, where you will find the YouTube link under the “Reference” banner to view these informative videos. While you are there, look around at all the information provided. One area you can help further develop is the Layover Gouge, located under the “Pilot Services” banner. If you have any good tips for a particular layover location, please let others know through this feature. We have lots of new pilots, and your advice will be greatly appreciated. Chris Lee and his team did a wonderful job putting this site together, so please be sure to check it out.

Last, I’d like to talk about the elephant in the room—it is obvious that the unity we enjoyed prior to the TA has been damaged, and we need to fix that. You should also know that we recognize that the CBA did not meet all pilot expectations. I’m sure you realize that few contracts, if any, ever get settled with the members getting everything they wanted. That’s just the way the process works. However, there is no rule that states that once the contract is over there can be no more discussions about contract concerns, retirement being one of them.

As Chuck mentioned in his update, right now your MEC, negotiating team, and officers are in an information-gathering effort concerning retirement. We are attempting to uncover a possible way forward that would positively impact all pilots on the property; more due diligence is required before we have identified all of those options. Subject to ALPA policy, the MEC has authorized the use of an independent consultant to supplement our resources and consider relevant situations outside of our industry. We have done a lot of work, yet much more work remains before we have enough clarity to share possibilities. When we have an idea sufficiently developed to share, we will provide details and solicit your input prior to your MEC making any decision as to whether or not we should open the discussion with FedEx.

In the meantime, I ask that you do your best to once again come together as a unified group. Doing so provides our best chance for success—this is true whether it be today or 100 years from now. As you have heard many times, unity really does matter. I believe unity is important to the very core of our ability to look after each other both on and off duty, and operate as professionally as possible. This is not the time to pick up your ball and go home. We must regroup, reengage, and support each other. Our professional future demands we do so.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”—Abraham Lincoln

Fly safe,

John


Captain John Cardaci
FedEx MEC Vice Chairman

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