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July 12, 2013

US Airways proposes reduced pay rate for new pilot hires at American Eagle

In the ongoing discussions between US Airways management and the American Eagle pilots union, US Airways is proposing a reduced pay rate for new pilot hires at the regional carrier.

According to a letter sent to Eagle pilots from its union leader on Friday afternoon, US Airways is not looking for additional cost concessions from existing pilots. However, it wants to freeze a pilot's pay if that pilot chooses to not move into an American Airlines pilot position in the future.

Most of the concessions would be for new pilots who would be technically hired by American Airlines but work at Eagle. Those new hires would also be able to move to the mainline carrier as the rest of the Eagle pilots in the seniority order.

"USAirways indicated that without this deal, they would place the new aircraft at another carrier with lower costs," said Air Line Pilots Association Eagle-MEC chairman Tony Gutierrez in the letter.

US Airways declined to comment on the discussions with ALPA.

Keep reading for the full letter.

-Andrea Ahles

Fellow American Eagle Pilots,

I have asked the MEC to convene on Monday to discuss US Airways' final proposal.  Although we cannot post the actual proposal from US Airways unless the MEC decides to send it to the membership for a vote, I think it is important that we convey the basic tenets of that document.  Since the beginning of these discussions, US Airways management has sought to restructure our contract into one that provides a new approach to dealing with new hires by placing them on a lower cost pay and benefit structure.  While we attempted to make various improvements to US Airways’ approach, and despite a few alterations, we have been largely unsuccessful as management believes that this new structure is the future course for our segment of the industry.

US Airways says they need the following.

For all Eagle pilots already on property:

·          No changes to current contract for existing pilots

·          If this deal were ratified by the pilots, Eagle pilots who later decline to flow to AA would have their pay rate frozen

·          Pilots who have already declined to transfer to AA, will not have their payrate frozen and will remain under the current contract.

·          Proposal contains a minimum fleet size guarantee for 8 years and that would be guaranteed by the mainline, which would include larger new aircraft

·          Proposal contains increasing the minimum number of pilots per year that Eagle must allow to flow to AA by 25%

The cost savings USAirways is looking for to accomplish the above bullets would come from future new hire pilots.  Future new hire pilots would:

·          Work under reduced payrate and benefits compared to new hires under the current agreement

·          All future new hires would be “hired” by AA and would be able to participate in the same flow as rest of Eagle pilots in seniority order

USAirways indicated that without this deal, they would place the new aircraft at another carrier with lower costs.  Additionally, the return schedule for our current EMB aircraft has not changed and if it remains unchanged, most of the EMB fleet will have been returned or retired by the end of 2017.

I am not writing this email to sway your opinion, but it is imperative that your opinion be rooted in fact and that you know what USAirways is actually proposing.  Every single call that I have received over the past two weeks has been working under the assumption that additional concessions from existing Eagle pilots and their current agreement were a part of US Airways’ proposal.  As you can see from the above bullet points, USAirways is not looking for concessions from current Eagle pilots with one exception.  If this deal were ratified then after the ratification, an Eagle pilot that chooses not to flow to AA when he/she has the opportunity will then have his/her payrate frozen.  If you have questions or opinions, please reach out to your local reps.  They will be meeting this coming Monday to decide what to do with this proposal.

Tony Gutierrez

MEC Chairman 



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