December 29, 2017
Earlier this month, the Negotiator’s Newsletter described the “Foxtrot Uniform” delivered by management to Frontier pilots with its last mediation proposal. You followed with your response at our picketing in Denver.
You’ll recall that the Company wants Frontier pilots to remain the lowest paid Airbus pilots for years to come; receive on average one-half of the Company retirement contributions and pay more for health coverage than other pilots; and give up desirable work rules that make vacation bidding and dropping/swapping trips attractive. In short, management didn’t move at all on our key issues of pay, benefits, work rules or job security and still seeks major concessions from us.
The NC has worked really hard for two straight years, negotiated in good faith on your behalf, and addressed legitimate Company issues. Nothing we have done has worked and we get ridiculous proposals like the one mentioned above. The MEC has tried to work hard and cooperatively at Company request on issues like DIO, and other miscellaneous scheduling and administrative issues, to provide management more efficient use of resources. Little we have done has worked. The Company instead treats managers differently for discipline purposes and talks about how much more fun it is “to poke the bear” than work together to solve problems.
Based on our observations at the bargaining table and elsewhere, we have all concluded that the Company doesn’t want a mutually respectful and constructive relationship and won’t discuss industry standard pay and benefits until the NMB demands completion of our contract — or pilots leave in droves to obtain more favorable pay and benefits elsewhere.
To solve the contract dispute at least, we have asked the NMB to meet to discuss proffering arbitration to begin the 30-day cooling off period. The basis for our request is detailed in the Association’s NMB letter. We urge you to read it carefully.
As previous newsletters have explained, however, the NMB has the full discretion and virtually unlimited authority to determine the future course of mediation — with or without holding the meeting we’ve requested to explain our position. Continuing mediation, “parking” the case and “proffering” the case are all options for it. Typically, the Board will discuss the parties’ presentations before directing the next step.
We will continue to fight hard for the contract we have earned and deserve, but it’s impossible to know what the result of our NMB request will be, or how long it might take to achieve an industry standard contract. So please take the steps that are best for you and your family, prepare fully for all possible outcomes, and make sure that you explore the many pilot career opportunities and choices that will exist in 2018.