Chairman's Message - 2/1/18
Chairman's Message - 2/1/18


Chairman's Update February 2018

The recent MEC meeting was extremely busy as we refocused our energy into the upcoming year and beyond. We continue to work on our strategic initiatives to increase our influence in a host of areas both locally as well as nationally and internationally. Without developing influence, we will not have it when we need it, and without it, our collective voice will not be heard. In an effort to keep this communication as concise as practical, I will wrap this part up, and close by saying that this last year has been an amazing one of growth and increasing opportunity here at FedEx. The upcoming year looks to be more of the same. Our operating tempo is very high, and I want to remind you to look after each other, stay safe, and make it home to your families in good health.

Retirement: The retirement development project continues methodically along its prebriefed path. Our communication efforts with the membership are entering a new phase as we begin to explain the particulars of the variable plan design. The Negotiating Committee chairman has recently issued a video explaining the comparison information regarding our current DB plan and the variable plan in 1999 terms. We are producing additional videos and print materials to further explore the specifics contained in the variable plan. Additionally, we plan to utilize Phil Comstock and the University of New Hampshire for a multi survey effort to ensure you are provided with the information you need, and to determine your interest in pursuing the variable plan, or not.

R&I Committee: With the resignation of the R&I chairman and several of his committee members, we were faced with the need to rebuild the committee from the ground up. At first this seemed like a very challenging project, and it was anticipated that this would demand a great deal of our time and energy. As it turned out, former R&I Chairman Capt. Dave Chase, and Capt. Jim Mumby stepped up and took on this challenge in an exemplary fashion. The result is a new slate of committee members who were recently trained, and will continue to receive support from Dave and Jim, as well as Capt. Ken Binder.

The new R&I chairman is F/O Ben Douglas, and the vice chairman is Capt. Bill Hubbell. The new committee members are: F/O Kevin Biggins, F/O Josh Carter, and F/O Benjamin Monshor.

The PBRB Committee chairman is F/O Kevin Biggins, and the new members are Capt. Josh Tygart, Capt. Todd Laessig, F/O Ben Douglas, Capt. William Hubbell, F/O Josh Carter, and F/O Benjamin Monshor. Also on the committee from a prior appointment are F/O Susan Alexander, Capt. Marcus Campbell, and F/O Anthony Miller.

The MEC appointed F/O Ben Douglas, F/O Josh Carter and Capt. Jamie Morton to the Investment Committee.

The Insurance Board will be filled with members of the R&I committee on a meeting-by-meeting basis. 

The Premium Reimbursement Plan Board (PRP) members are Capt. Bill Hubbell, Aaron Grady, Mike Broome, and Al Smith. 

I am pleased to see new faces, and an opportunity to solidify this new group as our R&I subject-matter experts long before the upcoming 2021 amendable date. Please thank them for stepping up, and especially thank Capt. Dave Chase and Capt. Jim Mumby for their immediate acceptance when asked to help, as well as their efforts to reestablish this vital committee.

Please thank your former R&I Committee members for their past service as well: Capt. Ken Binder, Capt. Corey Franklin, Capt. Andrew Franklin, Capt. David Jeter, and Capt. Jim Ewen.

Line Check Protocol/Culture Change: A new line check protocol has been implemented. As you may recall, in the past our line check protocol was to observe and evaluate. This approach was questioned when management suggested they were going to implement a line check “blitz.” We questioned the need, and a meeting was organized between the managements of Flight Ops, Training, and Flight Standards, along with the ALPA Training Committee and ALPA officers.

The negative trends that prompted management to suggest a line check blitz were identified as predominately training issues, and not issues indicating inattention to detail or laxity. This revelation led to a discussion about how to best leverage our resources to support the need for training and information dissemination. It was agreed that LCAs would be officially allowed to interact with crews and provide information and suggestions as to how better to manage flight duties. Additionally, it was decided that rather than require two legs of observation, only one leg would be required. Hopefully, this will create the possibility to interact with more individuals and better disseminate information.

Safety Cooperation: Your FDX MEC Safety Committee has been working on several cooperative efforts with FedEx Flight Safety. The recent inclusion of ALPA on the data analysis team for the IATA Safety Survey stands as a model to the safety culture we have worked for. Presently we are supporting Flight Safety’s Human Factors initiative to explore methods to improve our reaction to high-stress situations and startle events. Your participation is vital to this project, so please consider volunteering when the offer comes.

The 767 Passover Pay Settlement: Hooray! It’s been paid to the pilots, along with the 5% signing bonus holdback.

Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital: We are still anticipating the grand opening of the Aviation Room at the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, which we supported. Stay tuned for more information.

Environmental Issues: We recently released a joint communication with FedEx management acknowledging the advancements in several of our environmental initiatives. The frequency of servicing the cockpits and lavatories has significantly improved, and the company has put QA backstops in place to ensure compliance. The initial air conditioning duct cleaning effort on the MD11s has been underway for some time, and the effectiveness of that procedure can now be evaluated. While we appreciate these efforts, we must continue to ask that O2 mask portable filter inserts be made available to our crews. We will keep you posted as this process unfolds. 

Security: Security Committee chairman Capt. Ted Wallace and our Security Committee continue to interact positively with FedEx Security leadership as we envisioned when we worked to establish the quarterly meeting agenda. This cooperative approach is yielding a much more effective method of anticipating security challenges and creating viable solutions. Please reach out to Capt. Ted Wallace if you have questions or suggestions.

Contract Enforcement: Contract Enforcement efforts have continued uninterrupted as we saw the addition of a new Contract Specialist, Ashley Davis. Ashley comes to us from Frontier Airlines and brings a wealth of experience to add to our core team. Rose Johnson and Eric “EJ” Johnson have continued to advance our agenda and further protect your professional endeavors.

As I have reported earlier, we have enjoyed a very high level of successful outcomes in these efforts. There are no doubt many reasons why this is the case. We have encouraged and continue to encourage that you make us aware of inconsistencies and questions as they arise. This effort has paid dividends as we identify problems sooner and address them before they become accepted practice or bigger problems. If you are in Memphis near Kirby Parkway, please stop by and welcome Ashley to our team, and be sure to thank Rose and EJ for their efforts.

LGG: I recently attended a FedEx management briefing and tour of our Liege hub. This briefing provided me with a very optimistic outlook for future business opportunities in Europe and beyond. Such inclusion is welcomed and the information shared is valuable for our consideration. This is a long-term effort that will require our patience, vigilance and consideration. No doubt as expansion occurs in the European theatre, we will be challenged by regulatory and business circumstances. Even with those challenges, our membership should see growth, which is beneficial to us.

National Appointments: F/O Ed Ingham volunteered for the ALPA Air Safety Organization as a member of the ADO group. Capt. Rich Odbert has accepted the ASO Jumpseat chairmanship. Capt. Coy Briant has asked to step down from the Hearing and Appeal Board. Please thank Coy for his past service when you see him.

FDA Committee/Visit: We recently established a Foreign Domicile Area (FDA) Committee. The purpose of this committee is to create an administrative interface of FDA subject-matter experts to both interact with FedEx administrators and advise our efforts to improve the lives of our FDA pilots. We hope that the creation of this committee will constitute a better method for addressing the many dynamic concerns that FDA operations and lifestyles generate.

DOT Drug-Testing Changes: With the recent addition of synthetic opiates to the DOT random testing protocols, we made a concerted effort to ensure awareness of the change. We linked to FAA documents and provided much-needed information for our pilots. So far I am unaware of any positive tests for these substances. That being said, if you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance dependence, your HIMS Committee stands ready to assist.

December 31 Retiree Final Pay Period Issue: FedEx management recently denied our grievance regarding compensation of vacation time for pilots who retire December 31. This grievance covers pilots who retired on December 31, 2016 and 2017, as well as any future December 31 retirees. After many years of compensating pilots in January of the year (January 15) following a pilot’s December 31 retirement, management began to pay that compensation on December 30—the day before the pilot’s retirement date. In doing so, management avoided paying out the 8% DC contribution on those earnings and created other negative consequences for our pilots (e.g. income tax bracket issues and Medicare premium issues for some). There was no advance notice of this change nor has there been a justifiable explanation. The case is set for arbitration on May 22-23, 2018.

Interim MEC Officer Elections: As a reminder, during the 2nd quarterly MEC meeting to be held the week of April 16-20, 2018 in Memphis, an election will be held to fill the positions of MEC chairman and MEC secretary treasurer. The interim term will begin on June 4, 2018 and end on March 31, 2019. If you are interested in running for one of these positions, please submit a résumé and/or position letter to MEC Secretary Treasurer Capt. Rich Zins at



Captain Chuck Dyer
FedEx MEC Chairman

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