Third Payment of the Lump Sum Signing Bonus Update
First a review, the administration of the third payment is governed by two source documents:
- The ALPA Admin Manual Section 40.3.J.3.f states: The MEC shall, in consultation with ALPA counsel designated by the Director of the ALPA Legal Department, set aside adequate monies from the total distribution amount into a Holdback Fund as a reserve to correct any inadvertent errors or omissions in the allocation calculation and distribution.
- The 2015 CBA Lump Sum Distribution Letter further states: There will be retained from the total estimated payment, a sufficient reserve holdback, as required by ALPA Policy Section 40.3.J.3.f., of five percent (5%) of the total estimated payment.
These provisions together create a holdback designed to ensure that a small reserve fund exists so that if an error is spotted or a recalculation is later deemed necessary to fully compensate someone under the MEC allocation methodology, there are sufficient funds remaining to do so. Once those contingencies are resolved, the remaining monies are distributed.
So, where are we in the process and when will I be getting paid? The ALPA Admin Manual section 40.3.J describes an expedited dispute resolution process and arbitration option to correct or challenge lump sum payments. Both of those processes were completed last year. Our current efforts revolve around resolving two contingent calculation issues involving two groups of pilots that impact monies that would remain in this reserve holdback:
- Defining and accurately paying pilots who were on long term military leave during the amendable period and either have returned from such leave or are still on leave. Both of these groups need to be made whole from funds in the third payment based upon the crew position they returned to and/or will return to after returning from military leave. The company has provided us a list of these pilots. We are in discussions with the company about the administration of paying these pilots, and we no longer see this as a major obstacle to getting the third payment to the pilot group.
- The Passover pay grievance, which is a bigger obstacle. We are in discussions with the company about a grievance filed on behalf of a significant number of pilots who were denied 767 passover pay over the last few years. Some of these pilots may also need to be made whole – because like the military leave pilots described above, the amount of their retro signing bonus would depend on their pay status, which would be dependent upon the result of this pending grievance -- from funds from the holdback. Active discussions with the company are in progress but the timeline for resolution of this grievance is presently difficult to define. Unfortunately, until this issue is resolved, given the size of the potential change in payments involved for this group, we can’t release the third payment.
We will keep you updated on our progress in resolving these contingent payment issues that impact the holdback. Please know that we are working to distribute the third payment to you as soon as possible. Please stay tuned for more information as we receive it. If you have any questions, feel free to call me at 901-752-8749 (Ext 2011) or email at Rich.Zins@alpa.org. Fly safe.