Republic’s Bedford Calls for New Pilot Pay Model

AIN Air Transport Perspective » May 19, 2014
Republic Airways CEO Bryan Bedford (Photo: Gregory Polek)
May 14, 2014, 5:10 PM

Speaking Wednesday at the 39th annual Regional Airline Association Convention in St. Louis, Republic Airways CEO Bryan Bedford called for a fundamental shift in the “model” on which pilot unions negotiate for compensation, characterizing the imbalance of pay between first officers and captains as irrational and counterproductive. Recently suffering a failure to reach an agreement with its Teamsters-represented pilots, Republic offered a 30-percent raise for new-hire first officers and as much as 50 percent for more senior copilots, said Bedford. Still, the pilots refused the offer, leaving Bedford in a precarious position as his company tries to avoid grounding more regional jets to cope with a shortage of qualified applicants for right-seat positions.

“[The] economics tend to get reallocated in the collective bargaining process to the left-seat pilots and essentially the message sent back to the first officers is you’ve got to pay your dues,” said Bedford. “I don’t think that model works and perhaps the next regional that figures out how to better rationalize pay between the two seats will be one of the winners in the future.”

Although Republic’s decision to park 27 small Embraer jets satisfied its need to account for the shortage of pilots this year, said Bedford, 2015 and 2016 could prove just as challenging, particularly if nothing changes in terms of the new legislation requiring ATP certificates for first officers. Asked to characterize the tenor of discussions between RAA board members and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta over revisiting an advisory rulemaking committee’s (ARC) recommendations before the rule took effect, Bedford reported some progress but he appeared less than wholly encouraged. “I’d characterize it as better today than meetings that we had even as recently as early February,” said Bedford. “I think there is a growing recognition that there is a problem, where back in February there was no recognition that there was a problem. There’s still a concern as to who owns the problem and who can fix the problem.”

In Bedford’s estimation the solution to the short-term part of the dilemma lies with Congress and its willingness to urge the FAA to implement the ARC’s recommendations. Second, he said, the RAA wants a “rethink” of what Bedford considers a misinterpretation of the term academic training. “That very narrow prescriptive definition that the FAA has taken we don’t think is consistent with the broader, ‘hey, lets recognize structured training—academic training—as opposed to unstructured, just going around flying, wherever that may be,’” he explained.

Finally, the long-term solution must involve addressing economic realities. “I think the regional airline industry owns a piece of that, I think the major airline industry owns a piece of that, and we’re going to have to figure out a way to make it a more economically viable career option for people,” he concluded.

 

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samaritan
on May 14, 2014 - 9:35pm

Pilot pay problems and pilot shortages are directly related to the outdated, anti-capitalistic and socialist based "seniority" system, and therefore should be easy to correct for any senior pilot who believes in the American Dream and believes Americans should be paid based on their merit or performance. Pilots themselves should eliminate the pilot seniority system just as public school and colleges are eliminating the tenure system in education. Or Major airlines should follow the lead of Pres Reagan, who fired the air traffic controllers and fire the pilots who refuse to share equaly the pilot labor percent of the ticket price, regardless of seniority. Often, part of the total trip is flown on a regional airline plane and part of the same trip is flown on a Major airline plane, but passengerts are buying one ticket expecting the same level of safety on the Regional airline and the Major airline. For example, I was a Regional Captain being paid 1/25 of the Major Airline Captain's pay, but with the exact same level of responsibility to the passenger's safety as the pilot who flew a portion of my passenger's trip on the Major airline. Passengers have a right to have equally qualified and experienced pilots in both seats on both the Regional and Major airline flown legs of the same trip. Therefore, simply make all pilots Co-Captains and eliminate the title Co-Pilot and pay both regional pilots and major pilots the exact same pay. Give current co-pilots a type rating in the aircraft and give the co-pilot the title of Co-Captain, and there will be no big egos in the cockpit. Take a poll and ask passengers what they are willing to pay both regional and major airline pilots on the same trip but different legs anddifferent planes. Often the Co-Pilot is equally or more skilled and a better pilot than the Captain, but was hired one day later than the Captain so the Co-Pilot is forced to follow a less skilled pilot's commands. The USA is a meritocracy, meaning people get paid based on their merit, meaning hte USA is not a class or a caste system where birth determines one's success. Being paid based on tenure or seniority is more like the politics in a third world country or a dictatorship. Pilots are not ignorant to the fact that the seniority system rewards bad pilots and penalizes good pilots. It is time to eliminate the seniority system for pilots just as public schools ad colleges are eliminating the tenure system. There is nopilot shortage, just not enough money left from the ticket price after the pilots at the major airlines selfishly and greedily grab the larger portion of the ticket price themselves. I have seen how corrupt the seniority sustem is. The pilot seniority pay system is in conflict with the best interests of the passengers and a embarrassment to the merit based capatilistic economy of the USA. Good pilots don't need to hide behind a seniority system to earn their pay if pay is based on merit.       

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Inspector
on May 22, 2014 - 9:57am

Samaritan you make some interesting points.  Originally the airlines were set up like the military, which is where everyone in the airlines came from.  That is the origin of the seniority system, not something the pilots voted in.  Pay by merit would be nice, but not really workable.  When a pilot moves to a new aircraft, they would suddenly be lower skilled as they learn the new equipment, so their pay would go down every time.  Would a bad (but passable) checkride cause a drop in pay?  How would their skills be evaluated and who would do it?  Simulator evaluators often have much less experience in line flying than the pilots they are evaluating, and they sometimes make bad calls against the pilots.  The airlines aren't going to increase their costs, unless it will mean lower costs from lower pay, so they would push for harsher testing to lower pay.  There are many assets that can't really be tested for, judgement in a real emergency is nothing like judgement in a simulator.  Over the decades I've been through countless emergencies in simulators, and I've been through many real emergencies in military and airline cockpits.  I've watched experienced Captains manage around problems that could very easily have become serious emergencies.  I cannot overstate the significance of experience, the learning process never ends for pilots.

 

The seniority system is unfortunately unlikely to be replaced any time soon, there is no real alternative.  It is one of the reasons airlines can keep pay low, so they won't likely cooperate in changing it.

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Inspector
on May 15, 2014 - 12:05pm

In 1981, congress amended the Railway Labor Act to effectively end strikes or any kind of work action by unions at the major airlines.  Management was free to lower pay and benefits, increase work hours and days, gut the unions, unopposed.  The unions were forced to accept outsourcing to regionals like Mr. Bedford's Republic.  The regionals only advantage was in lower labor costs.  They broke up labor pools into small enough subsidiary airlines, that they could simply downsize them and bankrupt them when they grew too senior and expensive.  Today American Eagle (Envoy) is being very publicly downsized because their pilots would not take cuts in pay, benefits, and work hours.  That work is being moved to other subsidiaries of the same airline where pilots did accept lower pay.

This constant ratcheting-down of the pilot career has resulted in very low pay, and few young Americans choosing this career.  They read the posts and blogs from airline pilots, they know what the job and lifestyle is like.  They also read stories about automation some day eliminating a lot more pilot jobs.  There aren't tens of thousands of new pilots coming to replace those headed for retirement.  It is too late to fix that.

Predictably, the airlines want to raise pay only for the new pilots, keeping pay at historic lows for senior pilots.  That won't get young people into flight schools.  The airlines are going to have to open their massive vaults and part with a few shekels, should be no problem with massive profits coming as the regionals shrink.

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Turbopilot
on May 15, 2014 - 4:54pm

No FOs or captains were offered 50% raises. And it's still a problem when a 30-40% raise still isn't up to the cost of living. For example, I am at $63,900 gross (before massive medical contribution costs that have been raised over 300% and no cancelation pay) and this would have brought me to $68,400. This is after 6years of making under $20k to a max of $35k. Sorry but this spin is terrible and downright incorrect. The regional model has killed itself through bad business practice. The new laws aren't the reason there aren't new pilots. It's 10 years of paying food stamp wages and destroying the career path. It's been years now that no one wants to come to the regionals. Not months.

PS this is the same company that is now threatening punitive action against pilots who won't accept extensions to their max duty day.

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Stig
on May 15, 2014 - 9:36pm

I went to one of the roadshows and having a background in economics, I did the math. The TA was a good deal. 36% average F/O raise, the improvements across the board were way better than anyone else in the industry had been offered.  When you averaged out Captain's increases, it was in the range of 26%, so I don't know who did your math, all I can say is they were dead wrong.

We got protections we never had and scope we never had. I have a friend at Skywest and compared their numbers. We were at, and in some cases better than they are. That TA was worth over $148 million to us over a 3 year period.

Instead, we got sold a bill of goods that this was a concessionary contract and bought that story and the promise of much more if we voted it down; which the majority did.  The money the company put on the table is now gone; the Board voted it away the following Monday. And we are still working under the same work rules and wages as before.

I don't see management running back to us begging for a deal and offering more. No need to. We just told them we would fly for peanuts when we said no. The NMB isn't rushing in either, they have others  who really want and need their services. Maybe since he has all this time on his hands, our fearless leader can now take a minute and tell us that we won the arbitration since the ruling has been out for a few weeks.

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ABoeingPilot
on May 15, 2014 - 2:20pm

Having worked my way through the regionals (flying the 1900 for Mr. Bedford at BizEx, going on to the majors, being furloughed and now at another major, I'll allow, we all pay our dues.  The real problem for Mr. Bedford is that his model is broken, and now he and his major code share partners have to recognize that.

 

It's interesting that almost no Regional had any motivation to raise wages when they could hire 300-500 hour pilots at starvation wages.  Now the law of supply and demand have kicked in, and Mr. Bedford would like to re-write this law. 

While I honestly disagree with the 1500 hour requirement for new Pt 121 hires (it wouldn't have made one difference in the Buffalo crash that motivated this), this is now the law.  The real problem is that we really do have a shrinking pilot pool. The reasons are more economic than anything else.  Costs of training have quadrupled since I got my raings in the early 80's.  But what has happened to pilot salaries?  They've remained stagnant, or have gone down when adjusted for inflation.  Regionals have no longer become a step along the path, but have become a destination.  How do you justify to a young man or woman to go into debt, up to 6 digits worth, and then have starting salaries between $30k and $50k (if you're lucky?) 

That said, how do you explain to any pilot while a transcon ticket, last minute used to be a $1000+ item back in the 90's, but is less than that now, though oil is at record highs?  My answer, it's time to stop subsidzing inexpensive airfares on the backs of the aviation worker.  Yes, we love this profession, but it's time to remember, it's a profession, not a charity.  When we start paying entry level pilots like their collegues doing software development, engineering and other highly skilled and techincal professions, there will be more inclined to enter the field.  Also, the airlines need to take responsiblity.  Back in the 60's, a number of majors, when faced with shortage of pilots, hired low time, private pilots, brought them through the ratings process and developed them.  It's time for the industry here to start looking at that, not expecting the new hire to finance his entire training. 

Only when Mr. Bedford, and his collegues in management realize that they don't pay realistic wages, is when they will be able staff their airlines.

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TG
on May 19, 2014 - 11:48am

Perfectly stated...this all boils down to sheer economics; when a chosen career path will consist of a need for food stamps and other government funded charity after incurring crippling student loans time to rethink the career path, sad as it is. You properly made reference to the soaring exorbitant cost today of flight training which is entirely out of lockstep with the salaries for entry level regional pilots ...across the board. The public now feel entitled to fly across the USA for three hundred bucks and does so at the expense of our trained pilot labor pool.
No one wants to be first to raise airfares but either that or suffer AOG "aircraft on the ground" for lack of crews. Yes pilots love to fly and often do so sacrificing for that reason but the elephant is now in the regional room and will not be leaving; there is no demonstrable reason that airfares should not increase to reflect the true value of flying when the maxim remains that "time is money". Management took full advantage of the prior oversupply of pilots to engage in whipsaw and in extracting pay and quality of life concessions while driving up the value of the stocks of the airline for whom they were employed and walking out with windfalls, now the pressure to increase compensation will extract a measure as a claw back.

No Avatar
TG
on May 19, 2014 - 11:48am

Perfectly stated...this all boils down to sheer economics; when a chosen career path will consist of a need for food stamps and other government funded charity after incurring crippling student loans time to rethink the career path, sad as it is. You properly made reference to the soaring exorbitant cost today of flight training which is entirely out of lockstep with the salaries for entry level regional pilots ...across the board. The public now feel entitled to fly across the USA for three hundred bucks and does so at the expense of our trained pilot labor pool.
No one wants to be first to raise airfares but either that or suffer AOG "aircraft on the ground" for lack of crews. Yes pilots love to fly and often do so sacrificing for that reason but the elephant is now in the regional room and will not be leaving; there is no demonstrable reason that airfares should not increase to reflect the true value of flying when the maxim remains that "time is money". Management took full advantage of the prior oversupply of pilots to engage in whipsaw and in extracting pay and quality of life concessions while driving up the value of the stocks of the airline for whom they were employed and walking out with windfalls, now the pressure to increase compensation will extract a measure as a claw back.

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Turbopilot
on May 15, 2014 - 11:14pm

The contact was subpar. End of story. 85% agreed.

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Stig
on May 16, 2014 - 9:38am

Duplicate

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Stig
on May 16, 2014 - 9:32am

This is the one time I wish I was wrong and the 85% was right. I've learned how to survive under the current contract. Nowhere in the TA can our Local leadership point to any concessions. They could have shown us where we were getting a better deal than anyone out there, including Skywest. Why didn't they? Who started the campaign telling us to boycott the roadshows? Were they afraid that we might hear a different set of facts than what they were telling us?

Here's what I don't get. 15% of us decided that it was time to move forward and get paid more and have better work rules. 85% decided that was a bad idea and it was much better to put over $148 million dollars back into Bedford's pockets.

Why 85% of us would happily (from our posts) vote no and GIVE him the money we are owed is beyond me. Maybe you think he needs to refinish the basketball court in his basement. Or the tennis court needs a new net. Or they need more pool toys. Maybe you do, but I sure don't.

I think my family deserves a nice evening out with a nice dinner that isn't from the dollar menu at the drive through. They deserve new shoes when the old ones are too small. And my wife would like to shop without having to count on coupon discounts.

So far, I haven't heard anything from our Local about how they are going to get us a better deal. And since the money is now gone, my guess is that as some point they are going to come up with an excuse and another set of lofty promises.  I'm just hoping for all of us they were right on this and the arbitration. We could sure use that money. And while I'm one of the "15% percent" that you hate, what I really hate is the idea of giving Bedford a penny.

Can you explain why we should give him $148 million?

 

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Turbopilot
on May 16, 2014 - 10:41am

Not taking a poor offer is not giving anyone anything. Moving from food stamp wages to Mcdonalds wages is not enough. A billion dollar company paying their most skilled and important labor $20-30,000 a year is criminal. Good for you that you are willing to accept a few extra thousand along with some pork barreled nonsense that would hurt everyone's quality of life. I guess you are the guy willing to fly for anything that created the downward spiral in the first place.

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globalexpress
on May 16, 2014 - 11:20am

Stig needs to stick to driving cars on Top Gear.

Both Bryan Bedford and Stig need to realize that the offer made to the Republic pilots was INADEQUATE.  And it wasn't a 51%-49% vote.  It was a large majority of Republic pilots that said NO.  They made a statement loud and clear- 30%-50% isn't enough after 7 years of.....ahem....."good faith bargaining under the RLA."  If Bryan wants to "punish" his pilots by shrinking the airline, go for it.  Many pilots would be happy to see the regional airline industry shrink into oblivion and see some of that flying return to mainline where a pilot can actually earn a living.  And that's not me saying that- ask a regional airline pilot yourself.....as long as it's not Stig :) 

And the statements Bryan Bedford makes in his speech are borderline absurd.  He calls the imbalance of pay between first officers and captains "irrational and counterproductive."  No they're not.......but the solution you want to fix the nonexistent "problem" is.  The solution is not to take away from Captains and give to First Officers as he implies.  Regional airline Captains are underpaid as it is.  The solution is to RAISE FIRST OFFICER PAY.  That would fix the imbalance.

But of course Bryan would say, "Woe is me.  I tried.  But those darn unions!  They won't let me!"  He said similar words up on the Hill a few weeks back.  Bryan, Bryan, Bryan.  Just do what you've been doing all along.  You're paying your First Officers a signing bonus right now, aren't you?  Five thousand bucks, right?  Well, increase it!  Take ownership of YOUR problem.  You obviously could care less about your pilot union's position on the signing bonus, so you're free to raise it to whatever you want, no contract needed!  Double it.  Triple it.  Quadruple it.  Fix that "irrational and counterproductive" problem!  

Look, everyone in the airline biz knows why people aren't becoming pilots anymore.  The RAA needs to get together and come up with a PLAN to recruit and retain regional airline pilots.  That would mean spend less time at the podium whining about the FARs, pilots, greedy unions, and the likes, and more about collectively recognizing reality and treating their pilots like professionals.  No lame "Father Knows Best" Easter letters.  No more threating pilots with "carpet dances" or "letters in their files" if they call in sick, or fatigued, or refuse to extend per FAR 117.  No more opening and closing pilot domiciles for sport, treating pilots like migratory farm workers.  No more "vote yes for this contract or else" career intimidation.  No more abusing the RLA and dragging contract negotiations for years.  No more food stamp wages.  It's exactly this kind of CRAP that causes pilots to get so angry, that a resounding 85% of them not only say NO, but h-e-double hockey sticks NO. 

Or, Bryan, you could just keep 'on doing what you're doing, bury your head in the sand, and shrink your airline into oblivion.  Your choice.  CEOs that aren't talented enough to adapt to changing business conditions will cause their companies to disappear and more talented managers will thrive.  The market is speaking, and so far you're not listening.

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TG
on May 19, 2014 - 11:56am

Nicely stated!! Says it all, Bedford's "sanctimonious " statement undermines the fact he has happily never challenged the status quo pay disparity between a Capt and an FO however the statement somehow presumes or implies that any pay raises for a first officer must come at the expense of the left seat and not at the expense of his darling airline.

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samaritan
on May 17, 2014 - 8:33am

I am former Part 121 Captain with some insight into the future of US pilot pay.

I now work striclty on commission or on a fee basis with no guarantee of a pay check each week, but I feel more like a real man, not depending on another man for anything.

Fast food workers in the US were protesting and picketing for higher wages this week because their pay is too low to survive on without government assistance like food stamps.

Some people say the divide or income disparity between the rich and poor is too great so low wages should be increased, which causes inflation for everyone, causing other poor people to spend more money.

Because the rich will never eat at cheap fast food restaurants or fly on cheap crowded airlines, the higher wages for pilots and fast food workers will be paid by other poor people needing higher wages themselves, not the rich, so higher wages don't eliminate the disparity in income between the rich and poor.

US hospitals are already hiring foreign nurses at cheap labor rates because US nurse pay is too high, even though US Foreign Aid may have helped educate the foreign nurses.

For example, I ran into a Cuban guy who had recently moved from Cuba to Charlotte, NC to take a nurse job at Carolinas Heathcare in Charlotte, NC, when there were many US nurses Carolinas Healthcare could have hired.

This is a global economy with workers and products moving all over the world, so foreign pilots may soon be flying all US planes at cheaper pay rates than US pilots are willing to work for just like hospitals are hiring foreign nurses at cheaper rates than US nurses are willing to work for.

China and many foreign countries are hiring US pilots to fly in countries like China.

US flight schools are training many Chinese and foreign pilots.

No one is complaining or objecting that US pilots can move to foreign countries and fly for higher pay than US pilots can earn flying in the US.

No one is complaining or objecting when foreign doctors or nurses are hired at US hospitals. 

I just heard ALPA advertising on the radio, warning about foreign airines or foreign pilots taking over US pilots' jobs.

Pilots are taught to stand up and take charge while facing death in emergencies, so why can't pilots just stand up and and have a back-bone and turn in their 2-week notice, but not strike.

Pilots are not trained to beg, to be a slave or to be a kept mistress.

Pilots are trained to be take-charge people.

Someone needs to say this and hopefully it will not offend anyone, but, anyone who works for salary and not commission is not a macho-man, not a manly man but as Arnold Swartzeniger says, is a girly-man.

Andrew Corneige reportedly said any man who works for another man is nothing more than a slave.  

It takes a real man to be willing to accept change, like an in-flight emergency, and stay focused on how to deal with the change.

The world marketplace is changing so airline piliots need to accept the change that pilot labor rates are going to stay low and sooner or later the airlines are going to follow the model of US hospitals and hire foreign pilots at lower pay rates than US pilots are willing to work for.

US pilots simply need to stand up and act like a man and simply get out of the aviation business.

Or US pilots could start their own airline.

But it takes a man to stand up and take charge and start their own airline but, as Arnold says, some men are girly men that want to betreated as a kept mistress with a blank check handed to them every week so they don't have to get out and compete in the ruthless world of US competition.

Ruthless competition is what built America.

Millions of people immigrated to America just for a chance to compete.

Airine pilots are smart enough to start their own airline.

But the first thing the pilot who starts their own airline will do is try to hire pilots at low wages so the new airline can compete in the very competitive airline business.

Why are US entrapenauer rates at an all time low.

US entrapenauer rates are the lowest in the history of the US.

Perhaps US citizens have become soft and are afraid of taking a chance on themselves.

Perhaps pilots believe in the "nanny" state where government takes care of everything for everyone.

Politicians like to con people into believing ony the government can sold problems.

"Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way" is a term pilots need to chant.

If pilots are too afraid to start their own airline, are too "manly" to follow, pilots should simply get out of the way and find another job in a higher paid profession.

Joke: what is the difference in a jet pilot and a jet engine? The jet engine stops whining when shut down, but the pilots keeps whining for hours and days after shut down. 

Pilots should stop whining and treat low salaries as an in-flight emergency that will result in financial death sooner or later and simply bail out.

Holding on too long to a failing business model has killed many businesses.

Kenny Rodger sang in the Gambler, "You have to know when to hold them and know when to fold them." 

It's time pilots folded their cards and got out of the pilot game due to the huge chance of loss due to low pilot pay.

Pilots simply need to stand up and act like the Alpha Male leader they have been trained to be and stop being a slave to another man as Andrew Carneige called any man that works for another man. 

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redbusdriver
on May 19, 2014 - 12:45pm

Nice bait and switch tactic, but it will not work as you and your RAA buddies have already killed off the desire to become a pilot. The training stats do not lie.

Saying the pay model is broken and attempting to lower the top Captain pay in order to attract new hire First Officers is the same as saying CEO pay should be lowered in order to attract new hire gate agents. Are you willing to do this, Mr. Bedford?

To the commenter wanting to do away with seniority and go on merit, performance and other metrics, just how would you accomplish this?

Flying is a skilled labor job. One is supposed to follow the rules and do the job as directed by the FARs and company manuals. Being creative and or cutting corners is a recipe for an infraction or a fatal accident.

In any industry where skilled workers do repetitive tasks, workers are best rewarded for loyality, accuracy and attendence, in other words a seniority system.

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samaritan
on May 21, 2014 - 11:40pm

Seniority pay is a psychological tool used to divide and conqur. If an older more experienced person in any profession has ever been stuck in a low pay position due to being in a low seniority position due to no one leaving the company which make room onthe seniority list for low seniority people being able to move up the seniority list, they would understand the frustration of an older more experienced person being paid less than a younger inexperienced person simply because the younger person was hired one day earlier than the older person.

No one like to be stuck in a dead end job with no chance of advancement. The Seniority system may have been a good incentice to force employees to remain with a company back in the industrial age, but in todays changing economy, good pilots need a systme that allows pilots to be Free Agents like pro ball players and CEOs.

People don't make rules that hurt themselves. The senior pilots and pilot unions voted for the seniority rule to protect themselves at the expense of new hires.

Some airline unions voted for A scale wages for senior pilots but voted to force new pilots to accept lower  B scale wages.

The B scale pilots never had a vote.

New hires at B scale lower pay are not stupid and know they were thrown under the bus by the senior pilots who voted for the B scale pay to protect their A scale pay during the last union contract negotiations.

United we stand but divided we fall.

The quickest way to divide loyalty among employees is to have different pay scales for doing the same job.

No A scale senior pilot at any Major Airline will ever give up thier higher wages to a lower paid Regional Pilot or new hire B scale pilot. 

Why not just let the passenger decide their pilot's pay?

A Regional pilot can kill a passenger just as dead as an A Scale Major airline pilot, so the risk to a passenger is the same, regardless of a differences in pilot pay.

Under full dsclosure ethics, perhaps it is time the pilot pay is printed on the ticket so passengers can decide if the risk of a crash is worth flying with a lower paid pilot.

Most people understand the higher the quality, the higher the price.

I know a male waiter who works in a major hub airport restaurant who earns $60,000 per year but can't kill the passenger like a pilot can.

So why not just print the pilot pay on the ticket so passengers can make an informed decision as to whether they want to fly with a pilot who is paid less than their waiter in the airport restaurant?

 

 

 

 

  

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samaritan
on May 22, 2014 - 10:27pm

I have been a Part 121 Captain and a real estate professional, being a builder, broker, acutioneer, appraiser and mediator, insurance adjuster, etc. From my persepective, airline pilot pay and skill levels are no different than other professions. A real estate broker, auctioneer, appraiser or builder, regardless of how much experience or how long they have been working at the same company, are typically paid teh same regardless of "seniority" and a real estate broker, actioneer, appraiser or builder, still have to bid on jobs and be competitive with brand new builders and real estate agents. In fact, many new people in any industry or profession often earn more than experienced people because the new people are willing to work longer and harder than the more estalished people. 

Pilots already bid lines to fly every month, with the most senior pilots winning the bids on the best lines.

Why can't the lines being bid also have a bi for pay associated with each line so pilots can bid on how much they are willing to be paid to fly a specific line?

Bidding for pay per line would be true capitalism using free market methods compared to the current dictatorship, socialist style of current airline pay methods where there is no chance for a new person to earn more based on their hustle, merit or financial needs.

Free markets and seniority pay are at odds with each other.

I rather have the "chance" to earn more by bidding on what I would be willing to fly a specific line for rather than have people hired one day before me be able to bid and win the best lines based on their higher seniority position.  

  

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art magill
on June 2, 2014 - 12:55pm

Ten days after 9/11 the United States Congess passed The Airline Stabilization Act. The Act provided

that 50 billion would be loaned the Airlines based on need to stay in business. The Administration

of that Act, called for a Board of three men.  Behind the scene the time to stick it to the high paid,

highly Union membership of the Major Airlines was a thing of beauty.  How could mechanics,

Agents or Pilots go on strike in view of the horror  of 9/11?  no chance. America WEST was almost first to

ask for a loan, the "Board" thought 5% of the comany not enough, They demanded and got 30% of the

company after of course lowerd wages, benefits, pensions to comply. Now think a minute, the Gov

and our capitalistic system has airline employee,s working for them. good deal, so good when

U.S. Airways asked for loan of a Billion, and you guesed it.  the Airlines employees got hammered,

including managements kited up libilities for the Pilot pension, so much so, that one billion and

sixty nine million[some of mine] did not make out of second bankruptcy. With no input from the Pilot

Union retirement plan was called 85% underfunded and simply cancled, no letter , no heads up.

Just no check. It got worse, the Airlines management are smart when it comes to money,

Why bother with the borrowed money, just declare bankruptcy, the bush Administration changed that

law to weaken the Unions.  Delta and poor United got a double dose of politcs, United was turned down

for loans twince. Went Bankrupt. Airline employee,s are not high paid now and unions are beat up

really bad and may never come back. 

A really good read is a book about "JOE HIll"  named JOE Hill, a swedish imigrant who came to 

American in the early 1900,s , He was shot by a Utah firing squad for being a Union Member.

Whenever you have tyranny or unfairness that is really ugley and murder for the sake of business

success. You will have Unions. What we need now is a world wide Pilot UNion. You guys fly the

plane for christs sake, you can shut the whole thing down and demand a fair days work and pay.

I have been on strike before , you guys should try it. Without it you have no chance at a life flying

airplanes and enjoying it.  The Airline Stabilization only loaned out  16% of the money and got

a return of 300 million that went to the U.S. Treasury right off the backs of Airline Employee,s.

By the way, from the comments you all look like girlies to me.Politics can be a very hard lesson.

Labor has had a very hard time with the Neo-Nazi far right and that line of fairness is alive and

well in the Airline Industry.

Art Magill

Art Magill

No Avatar
samaritan
on June 2, 2014 - 3:20pm

If a new doctor just out of medical school can start their career making as much money as a doctor who has been practicing medicine for 20 years, why do the Airline Unions demand a seniority system that holds back a new pilot from competing financially with the older pilot?

To the commenter who said flying is a skilled profession that requires the long time employee to be paid more than the new pilot, is a pilot more skilled than a new doctor who is not held down by a seniority system but who can make as much money as the exerienced doctor?

Regardless of what the Railway Labor Act says, the Amerian Capitalistic system was built on fierce and ruthless competition.

Since the passengers are risking their life with doctors and pilots, it seems like the passengers should have a vote on how much they want their pilots or doctors to be paid.

I am not anti-union, just not a socialist who thinks the union knows best.

I am for all pilots being paid a higher wage.

But the pilots are fighting the wrong party.

The passengers are the parties who control pilot pay, not the airline.

Pilots should put their money where their mouth is and pay to advertise to the passengers that the passengers should dictate to the airline what percent of their ticket price is to allocated to whichever pilot is flying them, whether a Regional or Main Line pilot.

It is not reasonable or safe for a passenger to risk their life paying one pilot $150,000 per year and paying another pilot $20,000 per year on the same ticket purchase.

Would any pilot want a doctor making $20,000 operating on their child on one procedure and another doctor earning $150,000 on a second procedure when the pilots/parents paid the hospital $170,000 for the doctors for the total operation?

Common sense and the current low pay at Regionals Airlines and low pay for new pilots at Main Line airlines proves the airline seniority system is not working in the passengers best interests and should be replaced by the free market system of pilot pay, just like the NBA or NFL or the medical profession, all of which require as much skill as a pilot.  

 Why not simply print the pilot pay breakdown per leg on the airline ticket to provide Full Dislosure to the passengers?

Pssengers have a right to know how much they are paying for the pilot on each leg.

Doctor's pay is broken down and clearly shown on a hospital bill for an operation. 

Airline passenger have the same right as a medical patient to receive a breakdown of what they are paying for a pilot or doctor who can kill them.  

 

 

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