The Allied Pilots Association has hired a consulting firm connected to the Air Line Pilots Association to help APA negotiate a new contract with American Airlines.

APA president David Bates, in a message Friday to American’s pilots, said he had retained the International Pilot Services Corp., an ALPA subsidiary. It is headed by Seth Rosen.

“Mr. Rosen and his associates will assist our negotiating team with strategy and tactics, perform actual negotiating when appropriate and provide counsel and guidance to APA’s Board of Directors and National Officers,” Bates said.

APA is the largest independent pilots’ union in the United States. ALPA represents more pilots than any other union, including pilots for United Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines and many smaller carriers.

APA, which broke away from ALPA in 1963, and ALPA haven’t always been the most cooperative with each other. The alignment with IPSC is an indication of a change in attitude.

“The agreement reached between APA and IPSC is the result of a number of discussions between me, Mr. Rosen and ALPA representatives,” Bates told APA members.

“The ALPA leadership, including current President Captain John Prater and President-elect Captain Lee Moak (who takes office on Jan. 1, 2011), have pledged to support APA’s efforts to pursue our contractual objectives and raise the bar for all pilots,” he said.

Prater sent out a message to ALPA leadership saying that he had a chance to talk to Bates when Prater was in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in September to talk about American’s plans to spin off American Eagle. Among his comments:

“I believe it is in the best interest of ALPA and our members to use our resources and expertise to assist the APA in its negotiating process and continue our efforts to enhance contracts through positive pattern bargaining.

“At the same time, we recognize that our first responsibility is to our members, particularly the pilots at EGL [American Eagle]. This is why the EGL leadership has been involved in these discussions and in our decision to move forward with this services agreement.

“It also is why our agreement with the APA requires that we not perform any work that, in our judgment, will negatively affect ALPA pilot groups or interfere with our representation obligations to our members. The APA leadership understands and respects our concerns.

“This is a very difficult, complex, and important negotiation. I believe we should proceed to work with the APA and its new leadership team in an effort to move the profession forward for the benefit of all professional pilots.”

Below, I’ve put the letters from Bates and Prater.

The Bates letter:

Fellow pilots,

During the first few months of our terms as National Officers, Scott, Tony and I have been communicating with the membership via Flightline magazine, the APA Information Hotline, the APA News Digest, occasional system-wide e-mails and by attending domicile meetings when able. Going forward, we will be adding print mailings such as this one to cover important topics, particularly those relating to the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement.

For the 25 years that I’ve been an American Airlines pilot, there have been periodic discussions about whether APA should employ the services of a professional negotiator to assist us in negotiations. The APA Board of Directors has debated this topic many times over the years and several years ago inserted language in the APA Policy Manual defining the duties of a professional negotiator.

After taking office, I notified the APA Board of Directors of my intention to search for a candidate or firm who may be a good fit for APA. My criterion for a successful candidate was a pro-labor individual with extensive and successful experience negotiating pilot contracts within the framework of the Railway Labor Act (RLA).

I am extremely pleased to report that I have been able to retain the services of the International Pilot Services Corporation (IPSC), which provides representation services to pilot groups around the world. IPSC is headed by Mr. Seth Rosen, one of the most experienced RLA pilot negotiators in the country. Mr. Rosen and his associates will assist our negotiating team with strategy and tactics, perform actual negotiating when appropriate and provide counsel and guidance to APA’s Board of Directors and National Officers.

Mr. Rosen was a high-level negotiator, strategist and attorney for the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) for decades and is currently the director of IPSC, a subsidiary of ALPA. Mr. Rosen graduated from law school at The George Washington University in 1966. From 1966-1971 he worked for the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, Calif. He joined ALPA’s Legal Department in 1971 and has held a number of positions with the organization since then, including assistant legal director, manager of contract administration and director of representation, with responsibility for negotiations, Federal Aviation Administration matters and other activities.

During the past 38 years, Mr. Rosen has been directly involved in numerous pilot negotiations, complex labor relations matters, litigation and a variety of training programs. He is a frequent speaker and commentator on the state of labor relations and collective bargaining in the airline industry. He has also served as industrial advisor to the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) since 1986, providing advice and counsel to the Industrial Committee and member associations. He served on President Obama’s transition team with responsibility for reviewing the National Mediation Board (NMB). Most recently he was the labor representative on the NMB’s Dunlop II Committee, which conducted an assessment of the agency’s overall functioning and effectiveness.

The agreement reached between APA and IPSC is the result of a number of discussions between me, Mr. Rosen and ALPA representatives. The ALPA leadership, including current President Captain John Prater and President-elect Captain Lee Moak (who takes office on Jan. 1, 2011), have pledged to support APA’s efforts to pursue our contractual objectives and raise the bar for all pilots.

As previously reported, ALPA has agreed to provide APA access to its Economic and Financial Analysis (E, F & A) group, which has decades of experience evaluating airline economic comparisons and pilot contract proposals. This group will provide invaluable input to APA’s equivalent team, our Industry Analysis Ad Hoc Committee, which I created in August of this year.

These developments signal a level of cooperation between ALPA and APA that has not been seen for nearly 50 years. It is my intention to aggressively pursue an industry-leading contract and to continue fostering closer cooperation between all pilot groups in our country–as well as abroad–to advance the interests of the pilots of American Airlines and the entire profession.

In unity,

Captain Dave Bates
President, Allied Pilots Association

The Prater letter:

My fellow ALPA leaders:

This is Capt. John Prater with an important BOD Update about a development in our efforts to protect and advance the interests of our members and all professional pilots. You may know that in late September I traveled to Dallas to meet with the pilot leadership at EGL and with company officials to discuss the status of American Airlines’ plans to spin off its American Eagle subsidiary. During my meetings, the EGL MEC officers and I had the chance to meet with Captain Dave Bates, president of the Allied Pilots Association (APA), the union that represents approximately 11,000 pilots at American, and other APA officers. Our discussion covered many topics, including the status of the APA’s negotiations with AA and recent and current negotiations at a number of ALPA airlines.

I used this opportunity to describe the fundamental and various ways our 38 pilot groups approach representation and bargaining duties at ALPA–namely, the resources, professional services, and strategic planning that benefit our representatives and their bargaining teams during the collective bargaining process. At the end of our discussions, I was encouraged that Captain Bates expressed an interest in exploring whether the APA could access some of ALPA’s professional resources to support his new leadership team’s bargaining efforts. Captain Bates and I agree that ALPA has unique resources and expertise in these areas.

We followed up with meetings that included APA officers and ALPA national officers, EGL MEC officers, members of ALPA’s Collective Bargaining Committee, and ALPA professional subject-matter experts. Captain Bates, on behalf of the APA and with the full support of the APA Board, asked to retain the services of Seth Rosen, director of ALPA’s wholly owned subsidiary, International Pilot Services Corporation, as a professional negotiator, and staff from our Economic & Financial Analysis Department (E&FA). After extensive internal discussions, including with the Executive Council and the incoming national officers, we have decided that supporting the American pilots’ negotiations makes sense for many reasons. Therefore today, Captain Bates and I have jointly executed a services agreement with the APA.

Non-ALPA pilot groups in the U.S. and Canada and around the world have long recognized the unique and valuable resources at ALPA, so we have entered into agreements like this with various independent pilot unions in the past. In 2008, the ALPA Board of Directors, in establishing the strategic priorities for the union, reaffirmed a 1998 Executive Board resolution regarding interaction with independent pilot unions. This resolution included provisions for ALPA to provide services to be paid for under a services agreement, acknowledgment of the services agreement, and inclusion of the means to establish closer relationships in the future.

In this round of negotiations ALPA members are at a very important phase in the history of this profession. From recent agreements at Delta/Northwest, Alaska, Hawaiian, and Spirit to the TA at AirTran, ALPA pilot groups have succeeded in improving pilot contract standards and moving the profession forward once again. I believe it is in the best interest of ALPA and our members to use our resources and expertise to assist the APA in its negotiating process and continue our efforts to enhance contracts through positive pattern bargaining.

At the same time, we recognize that our first responsibility is to our members, particularly the pilots at EGL. This is why the EGL leadership has been involved in these discussions and in our decision to move forward with this services agreement. It also is why our agreement with the APA requires that we not perform any work that, in our judgment, will negatively affect ALPA pilot groups or interfere with our representation obligations to our members. The APA leadership understands and respects our concerns.

This is a very difficult, complex, and important negotiation. I believe we should proceed to work with the APA and its new leadership team in an effort to move the profession forward for the benefit of all professional pilots.

In solidarity,

John H. Prater, President

Resources
Post Your Resume to 65+ Job Sites
Resume Service

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post