Council 26 Message - 7/7/17
Council 26 Message - 7/7/17


Council 26 Members,

June 12-16th your MEC concluded its 2nd Tri-annual MEC Meeting in Memphis. Your 14 elected Representatives and 3 MEC Officers that comprise your MEC had a busy week full of briefings, meetings, and agenda items. The following is a list of our current issues:

Appendix S: If management wants a better working relationship with its pilots, this was not the way to start it. We have sent a letter to management as well as had MEC Officer to senior management discussions expressing our displeasure. Additionally, the FAA simply “accepts” the FOM and since Appendix S does not go against the FARs, the agency does not care about its inclusion. Remember that discipline is covered under Section 19 of your CBA and nothing in the FOM can diminish your contractual rights and protections.

Grievance and Contract Enforcement:

  • Congratulations and appreciation goes to Contract Enforcement for winning the grievance and protecting the 48-hour vacation buffer for reserve pilots.
  • The Sick Leave Settlement has been settled and the new sick policy will begin on the 10th of July.
  • The 757/767 Passover Pay Grievance is nearing a settlement. Once settled, the 5% Holdback can be distributed (adhering to ALPA 40.3.J procedures).
  • The Crew Designation Disruption Grievance is nearing a settlement.
  • The Lie Flat Seat Grievance has been heard by the arbitrator.
  • Another grievance being filed concerns the company paying “Dec 31st, 2016 retirees” their vacation buyback in 2016 vice the following month (which was previous practice). This created tax implications, a loss of B fund money, and other issues for these retirees.

Retirement R&D: The MEC was briefed on the progress so far by our consultants, David Blitzstein of Blitzstein Consulting and Cheiron, concerning the best options for making improvements to our current Defined Benefit plan. After receiving the briefings, we passed a motion to continue work on this vital project.

Training Committee: It has been our observation that Matt Morley, the former Training Committee Chairman, is perhaps one of the most effective and hard-working ALPA volunteers in recent history. With all the work he’s put in, Matt has determined that it is time for him to step away from committee work for now. If you see Matt, please thank him for his efforts, which have opened doors, built trust, and directly affected improvements in the training we receive. 

In the wake of Matt’s departure, we are excited to welcome another very effective and dedicated volunteer. Matt’s Training Committee Vice Chairman has now stepped in to the Chairman’s position. Please offer congratulations to Captain Tyler Sanders as the new Training Committee Chairman.

Ty briefed the MEC on a few of the ongoing Training Committee projects:

  • Conversations are ongoing with company safety representatives on an overall operational risk assessment for pilots. 
  • We have been invited to participate in management’s weekly operations meetings. 
  • We are pursuing improvements to the 757/767 flight manuals and training publications.
  • We are analyzing the impact and implementation of AC-120-114 (Pilot Training and Checking) on our training programs.
  • We are working to develop a Professional Standards presence for instructors and students.
  • We are working with management to eliminate new hire professional instructors paired with new hire line pilots during simulator training.
  • We are working to establish a consistent transition from professional instructors to seniority list instructors in the MAN phase of simulator training.
  • We continue to work on the segment currency issues related to the 757/767 fleet.
  • We are working on SWW implementation issues as part of the Ongoing Implementation Measures associated with management software upgrades needed for the 2015 CBA Secondary Lines.
  • We need an editor for the “Gear Up” Training Committee Magazine.
  • We continue to see an improved and more professional relationship developing between senior management and ALPA.

Scheduling Update: Captain Marty Harrington, The Scheduling Committee Chairman, briefed the MEC on activities his committee is coordinating. While disputed pairings still exist, it was agreed in CBA 2015 that the way to solve disputed pairings is “provide, through joint participation and cooperation, a process that promotes, to the greatest extent possible, a reasonable balance between … both parties (Company and Pilots).” Simply stated, disputed pairings aren’t published to the pilots in the SIG notes each month. This makes Fatigue Reports more crucial in determining the pairings that are onerous. In 15+ combined years of union volunteer work, perhaps the most consistent saying we’ve heard is, “No data = no problem”. In other words, the company is very data-driven. Anecdotal evidence gets us nowhere when trying to resolve issues. Data provided through Fatigue and Insite Reports are the way that we get the evidence we need to address issues. If you fly an onerous and fatiguing trip you NEED to report it so that it can be addressed. No reports from line pilots means there must not be a problem. Bury us with data. Please.

Line Check cultural change: Flight management and your association are working to change the culture of line checks at our airline.  Preliminary analysis of other airlines‘ line check philosophy indicates when a mentoring rather than a pure evaluation relationship exists between pilots and LCAs the potential exists to enhance safety.  We are hopeful this enlightened approach will become the culture at FedEx and we encourage you to engage your LCAs on your line checks if you have questions.

Strategic Plan: In October of 2016, your MEC approved a Strategic Plan that will help guide the Association through everyday tasks while maintaining a forward vision to reach established long-term goals.

  • Vision Committee: This new “committee” is more of a list people who are assets and is composed of former MEC Chairmen, MEC Committee Chairmen, Negotiating Committee Chairmen, and other former union leaders in an attempt to provide advisory resources for the MEC. The Strategic Plan mandates the use of this committee by the MEC. For continual improvement, we must learn from our history.
  • Wes Reed, the new Chairman of the Strategic Preparedness and Planning Committee, will assist the MEC and Officers in the implementation and daily execution of the Strategic Plan.

Scope: We would like to thank Randy Brockwell for stepping up and becoming our new Scope Chairman. Appreciation also goes to prior Scope Chairman Ross Armstrong for his years of dutifully working behind the scenes on our behalf. We see protecting our scope to be one of the most important aspects of our CBA. Great attention is being paid to all things scope-related.

Environmental Standards: We continue to have challenges in the sanitation and cleanliness of our work environment. Personal microphone covers are now available for you in the AOC at Flight Coordination. We are still working to get personal hepa filter inserts for our oxygen masks. Lavatories continue to be a problem in the summer months as well. Again, no data = no problem. Please make write-ups and file reports. Thanks to Bob Avery for all the work he has done and continues to do to improve our work environment.

Lawsuit Against ALPA: ALPA National settled with the plaintiffs and a non-disclosure clause was included in the settlement. Please read the following message from our Labor Relations about the nature of the settlement.

Jumpseat Priority Booking Codes: Please read the following message concerning the new jumpseat booking policy that is in the PBB and was negotiated in the 2015 CBA.

New Hire Membership Webpage: Chris Lee, our communications committee chairman, and his team worked with the membership committee and put an immense amount of work into a new website specifically tailored to new hires. There is, however, valuable information on this site for all pilots: E-Pocket Calendar, Copy of the 2015 CBA, Layover Gouge, Update/Sign up for TextCaster, and more!  Please check out the membership page here.

ADS Software: Jim Stabile, a United Airlines pilot and software developer, provided us with a brief on his visionary new application from his company, ADS - Aeronautical Data Systems. ADS’s software application, Ergo360, provides valuable data for several things.

  • Range Data: In the event a decompression is experienced over open ocean, the app will tell you based on the equipment you’re operating (by tail number) how much oxygen you have on board at any given altitude for the number of crew/jumpseaters and how much more range you have should you continue at a different altitude vice descending to 10,000 feet.
  • Ship Data: One of the worst feelings we can experience is the realization we have a cargo fire. What’s worse than a cargo fire? A cargo fire over open-ocean. Ergo360 incorporates transponder data from ships all over the world to point out the nearest ship to your location. Ship data is available so that you or company dispatch can contact the ship’s dispatcher to alert them of your situation. In the event of a required ditching, it suggests an approach path to ditch 3 to 5 miles in front of a moving ship. 
  • Fire Data: The app also interfaces with the aircraft and monitors the temperature of any cargo fire - telling you whether it’s getting hotter and ditching is imminent or if the Fire Suppression System has been effective in reducing the temperature.
  • This application has the potential to save fuel and in extreme cases the lives of pilots in extremis. We are continuing to determine the feasibility of getting this software on our company IPADs.

New FDX ALPA Lanyards: The past few years have been challenging for our crew force. Your elected MEC has evolved and changed yearly. In fact, there are only 4 MEC Reps that were at the table during the 2015 CBA ratification. Your MEC Officers were recently re-elected unanimously by this new group at the table. We hope that a renewed faith and trust can be built from the bottom up. Trust but verify.

  • Wearing an ALPA lanyard displays to your fellow members that you are putting your profession first.
  • Wearing an ALPA lanyard displays to your 14 elected Reps and 3 Officers that you are holding them accountable.
  • Wearing an ALPA lanyard displays to the company that you will not accept the continued attempt to degrade our careers and work environment.
  • Realize that the opposite also holds true.

Your MEC has decided to resume holding 4 meetings in 2018 as we begin preparations for both retirement research and development and our next bargaining opportunity. We look forward to continuing our positive momentum.

As always, if you have questions or suggestions, please contact any of us.

Michael Arcamuzi
Block 11 Representative

Pete Harmon
Block 3 Representative

Anita Shew
Block 6 Representative


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