From Mike Protack, Chairman, DPA Negotiations Committee:
Negotiations offer a challenge. What should the opening offer be? High or low? Close to a resistance point or more cooperative with the other party? The key is to know and understand what the other side(s) will do. In our case, we have two opponents, ALPA and the Company. We have to assume they will work in concert with each other to achieve a non-confrontational stand and claim to “work” for a good contract. History shows we will lose if ALPA is our negotiator.C2K was an ALPA negotiated product.
DPA WILL be making a contract opener that is radically different from that of ALPA. Due to the independent nature of DPA, we are able to aggressively tackle scope without concern for lawsuits from other regional carriers that WILL be affected by our opener. DPA is NOT REQUIRED to meet and confer regarding our scope proposal with the regional carriers that serve Delta while ALPA is required to do so. The DPA President WILL sign our member ratified contract without hesitation, whereas the ALPA National President may choose to withhold his signature if he sees another lawsuit from the regional carriers is inevitable. He must protect the National Association from Duty of Fair Representation lawsuits and the economic damage that goes with that.I guess they are planning on submitting their own opener?
DPA WILL have more “pie” to negotiate with. ALPA has often responded to contract requests from the line pilot with the following statement, “The pie is only so big, what are you willing to give up to achieve that?” DPA WILL NOT reduce the “pie” by requiring the Company to pay the earnings of all the Designated Reps as does ALPA. DPA will require our Reps to earn their keep by flying a half line minimum and will then pay the difference remaining OUT OF MEMBER DUES. Delta Pilots will be ensured that their Reps are working solely for the pilots and will enjoy the newly available extra “pie” as the Delta Pilots see fit.If there is no "pie" how did the DPA get more of it?
We recognize that having DPA make the first offer in a contract negotiation is the preferred scenario. In having the opportunity to make the initial opener, we allow more flexibility during the process and we will also cause the Company to reevaluate their own resistance point on many issues. All DPA members should work to achieve a vote prior to the opener to give us our preferred path to an exceptional new Delta Pilot Working Agreement.
Aggressive does not mean take it or leave it, it means strategic in outlook and firm in our approach. DPA will seek to ensure that Delta continues to grow into a financially solid and profitable company. We will ensure Delta Pilots are properly rewarded for the real value we bring to the company. Recognizing that historically, ALPA does not sign contracts by the amendable dates, it is entirely possible that DPA can open our contact negotiations on time and achieve a new contract PRIOR TO the amendable date.
Isn't that what ALPA is accused of doing?
The items below are not the Contract Opener, they are the Contract Opening Statement. The opener will be determined by input from the entire Delta Pilot group, not just the 4,000 members as of this writing.
1. A contract which is understandable, enforceable and beneficial to both parties and should not exceed 200 pages. The average line pilot should be able to fully grasp all provisions of the contract and easily know their responsibilities while also easily determining if the Company is in violation of any area.
What happens if a clear, concise and unambiguous contract needs to be longer than 200 pages?
2. A defined path back to the Delta Contract 2000 upon signing plus current inflation to reflect the multi-billion dollar support the pilot group gave to the company for its survival.
3. Increased Pilot Change Schedule Options to maximize productivity, reduce reserve requirements, increase pilot schedule choices and the pilot quality of life. Pilots should enjoy a contract that rewards professionals who are dedicated to providing our passengers a safe and pleasant flying experience.
It's called the SOT
4. Increased scope protection to reduce regional destruction of our product and careers with system integration of pilots flying Delta routes. Aircraft displaying the Delta livery should only be flown by Delta Pilots.
OMG! Do these guys really not see that Section 1 is about way more than 76 seat planes!?
5. Focus on using premium pay above the Cap to increase productivity and pilot compensation while acknowledging the goal is to put a well qualified pilot in his/her seat, fly them to maximum utilization and return them quickly to rest status.
What if that's not the focus of the pilots?
6. Refine and increase vacation and training pay so as to realize these days carry the same status as days on the line and are not after-thoughts of a Pilot’s schedule.
7. Improve medical coverage for all Pilots, including retirees, which is the fastest growing part of a pilot’s financial obligations. Remove the hesitancy to retire due to extremely high medical premiums.Is that really why pilots don't retire or is it why older DPA pilots haven't retired?
8. Improve furlough protection and sick pay/usage from the company. Guarantee that pilots will not be harassed for sick leave use.Why do we need furlough protection if the DPA is recovering all the flying?
We thought the regional carriers were the problem? Now you want them all to flow up into our jobs and have a national seniority list? Isn't that what the DPA dislikes about the National union?
9. Establish flow up/seniority for all regional affiliates to establish a solid brand for Delta Airlines at all levels and stop the cannibalization of our flying by pitting one regional carrier against another.
Pilots are screened, selected and trained to occupy a position of great responsibility and authority. The flying public appreciates and recognizes our role, we expect our Company to do the same.As long as the ticket price is right...
Mike "Junior" Protack