This is APA Communications Director Gregg Overman with the APA Information Hotline for Tuesday, March 21.
APA BOARD OF DIRECTORS CONVENES FOR SPECIAL MEETING: The APA Board of Directors spent the morning in caucus and convened shortly after 3 p.m. for this week's special meeting. The delayed start was designed to enable the board, national officers, committee members and staff to attend a memorial service for Linda Compton, who served for many years as a senior manager in the APA Benefits Department.
APA President CA Dan Carey began his opening remarks by asking all present to observe a moment of silence for Ms. Compton. He also congratulated DFW Domicile Vice Chairman FO Josey Wales for his impending captain upgrade, thanked outgoing LAX Domicile Chairman CA Graeham White and Vice Chairman CA Craig Railsback for their service, and briefly reviewed the meeting agenda.
CA Carey then shifted focus to the serious threat posed by Norwegian Air International, citing the profoundly negative impact that flag-of-convenience has had on U.S. maritime shipping and the Irish government's publicly stated intention to serve as the "Liberia of commercial aviation." He reiterated APA's firm commitment to taking part in the fight to save the airline pilot profession in the United States and emphasized the need for more APA pilots to support the APA Political Action Committee, characterizing the current 12 percent participation rate as "terrible." He also cited the threat posed by the Gulf state carriers, which enjoy extensive government subsidies that insulate them from any meaningful competition.
In addition, CA Carey recapped the union's objectives for 2017, which include full implementation of the joint collective bargaining agreement, the long rate rig previously promised by senior management, length of service restoration, and elimination of the means test for long-term disability. He thanked the APA pilots — in all, 82 percent of the total pilot group — who complied with APA's request to not float vacation. CA Carey closed by stating that "the only way to make improvements is with a 15,000-pilot negotiating committee: 2017 is our year."
APA Secretary-Treasurer CA Pam Torell briefed the board on a series of items, including the fiscal year 2018 budget that is now being developed; the proportion of all union spending on flight pay loss, benefits and pay to max expenses, which for January 2017 was 44.17 percent of membership monthly dues; and a series of non-budgeted items for the current fiscal year 2017 totaling $550,000. Also, CA Torell noted that the minutes for the fall 2016 Board of Directors meeting and for voting conference calls on Nov. 29, 2016, Jan. 26, 2017, and Feb. 13, 2017, were awaiting board approval. She also allocated a portion of her presentation to a preliminary demonstration by the Compensation Ad Hoc Committee about how SharePoint could be adapted to track volunteers' time and increase accountability.
Also today, the board set aside a few minutes for a check presentation to Ulysses Griffin, a DFW Airport bus driver who was critically injured in a Dec. 30 accident. APA presented Mr. Griffin with a check for $26,911 raised by the pilots of APA to help offset his medical expenses. Presenting the check to Mr. Griffin and his fiancée were CA Bob Steven, who was a passenger on Mr. Griffin's bus and helped him until paramedics arrived. CA Carey and FO Wales also participated in the check presentation.
The board approved the following motions today: to change the agenda to accommodate a board strategy session before recessing this afternoon; to approve the four sets of minutes enumerated by CA Torell; and to hold this year's spring meeting in DFW.
The board recessed its meeting at around 6 p.m. and will reconvene tomorrow at 9 a.m. This week's board meeting is scheduled to continue through Thursday afternoon, with all open portions being live streamed for remote membership viewing.
That's it for now. Thanks for checking this hotline.