ASA Pilots Examine TA; Contract Talks Started In 2002
Pilots at regional carrier SkyWest Airlines took the latest step
Tuesday in their quest to acquire union representation. Over the
next four weeks, approximately 2,700 pilots will cast ballots to
determine whether they will be represented by the Air Line Pilots
The Salt Lake Tribune reports the election, run by the National
Mediation Board, will utilize phone ballots. Voting ends November
6... and comes as pilots at Atlantic Southeast Airlines -- which is
operated under the SkyWest banner, though its pilots are
represented by ALPA -- scrutinize a tentative contract agreement
reached last month.
"I think [SkyWest pilots] should see this as a positive note. It
points to the benefits that you get when you have a collective
bargaining agent represent you," ALPA spokesman Rick Bernskoetter
told the paper Monday. "Ultimately, this bumps our pay rates
slightly above those of SkyWest, [which] is what is going to happen
out of this tentative agreement."
If ratified, the agreement means ASA pilots flying 50-seat
regional jets will earn a 20-percent jump in pay, to around $22,000
per year. The most senior pilots, flying 70-seat planes, will see a
one-percent bump in pay to around $105,000.
"It still doesn't bring us all the way to the top, but it gets
us up there in the running, where we feel we are competitive,"
Ratification of the TA would also bring to end contract talks
that started in September 2002. Over the last year, ALPA asked the
mediation board to declare an impasse in talks three times. The
first two requests had little effect... but the third time appears
to have been a charm, as the request brought SkyWest CEO Jerry
Atkin to the bargaining table. The TA came three days later.
"It's been a long road to get to this point, so it feels good to
be close to a final deal," ASA spokeswoman Kate Modolo said.