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Time to Lead

The United Airlines ALPA Master Executive Council announced today that it has approved a tentative agreement with that carrier’s management for a new contract. Membership ratification voting opens on Monday, June 27, and closes on Friday, July 15.

In its announcement, the UAL MEC noted several highlights in the tentative agreement, including three pay increases totaling more than 14.5% during the next 18 months and what the MEC characterizes as “significant improvements to reserve scheduling provisions,” “improved trip construction parameters to combat pilot fatigue,” and “new quality of life improvements to provide increased pilot schedule flexibility.” The UAL MEC also cited “significant improvements to long term disability (LTD) insurance” and a “new tax-advantaged cash balance retirement plan.”

In all, the MEC indicates that the agreement “adds more than $1.3 billion of value for United pilots over the two-year term, while preserving our important scope provisions and job protections.” The APA Negotiating Committee and Economic & Financial Analysis Committee are delving into the details of the tentative agreement and will be providing additional information in the coming days.

Today’s announcement was preceded by the news that American Airlines management will increase compensation for the pilots at the company’s wholly owned regional airlines by 66% during the next two years.

While we’ve all been frustrated with the lack of progress in our Section 6 negotiations, I believe we should be encouraged by these recent developments. We’re seeing professional pilots make significant gains in compensation, benefits, and working conditions, which creates a favorable environment for other pilot groups to do likewise.

We look forward to American Airlines CEO Robert Isom making good on his public commitment that our pilots “are not going to fall behind our network peers.” Better yet, rather than just doing what’s necessary to ensure our pilots don’t fall behind, we encourage him to take that commitment one step further.

Let’s lead our network peers and do what it takes to finally make American Airlines the world-class carrier we all know it can and should be. We want American Airlines to set the operational standard for others to follow. Our pilots, fellow employees, passengers, and investors should expect nothing less.

No more waiting. It’s time to lead.

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