This is a democratic process in which anyone that signs a card or chooses to join the membership, should the drive be successful, has the right to nominate individuals for council positions, vote in an election for said positions, have a voice in the points brought up in the bargaining process, and ultimately have a vote on a Tentative Agreement.
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These agreements are not "forever" nor are the members of the councils. There are many examples of the market dictating the industry being cyclic therefore, there will be good times and some times that are not as good as we have it now. In my opinion, now is the time that as an industry, we have to stand up for each other and stop the idea that pilots can be walked over because we need this job. The time to take advantage of these record levels of passenger movement, record profits, record upper management bonus structure is now!
Sky Regional management structure has proven that they are very open to individual deal making, and unilateral changes to their terms of employment are never a concern. In fact, a pilot now has to become a mind reader while digesting that document, as there have been excuses used by management to the tune of, "That was not the intent of the language when the terms were written." The fact that they are written with so much grey area, and that this grey area can be changed to suite management's preferred position with the exact excuse above, is a perfect example of the need for a Collective Agreement.
If anyone who is helping with the organizing efforts chooses to move on the Air Canada via the PML, that is their decision, as it is for anyone else that is successful. To think that these people organizing are just in this for themselves is the craziest thing that I have heard. If these individuals wanted advancement or preferential treatment, they can simply go to management and cut a back door deal, that this company has become famous for. I'd guess that these individuals that are trying to organize this are trying to look out for the individuals that have not even considered applying to Sky Regional, or any other airline, for that matter. These people organizing want the correct attributes in each individual recognized and awarded. Training and check pilots should be awarded for their abilities and experience, not for who they know and who they suck up to.
Management preaches an open door policy but now you have to use one of your precious day off requests to go to a meeting, a meeting that was previously scheduled into your block for the month, paid appropriately, and a pilot maintained their minimum guaranteed 11 days off per month. Now, if you'd like your voice heard or find out more information from the company, you have to request the day off to attend and then have it paid at regular time?!?! That right there, going in to work on a guaranteed day off and not getting time and a half for it, is a contradiction of their terms of employment!
Further to unilateral changes, management is talking to pilots on an individual basis and promising things like seniority bidding and 4 credit daily minimum guarantees. While minimum daily guarantees are great, 4 credits is below the average block and not on par with other CPA carriers. What happens to the pilots that chose Sky over another CPA carrier because they wanted the socialized bidding? If management chooses to listen to some individuals that feel they are owed seniority bidding, and not taking a poll of the whole pilot group, there is another perfect example of why this company needs representation. With representation, every pilot in the membership has a voice, if they choose to use it.
If/when this group certifies, it will make the changes to working conditions and employment terms a recognized process, in which there is due diligence done or a vote.
Now let's talk about management's argument that Sky Regional will not be "competitive" if the pilots unionize. I do not know a pilot that thinks they are being paid fairly. I also do not know a pilot that does not want to get paid every 15 days. There is a balance and anyone that believes management when they say Sky Regional will be priced out of the market needs to shake some sense into their head! If the market bottom drops out, management (under current conditions) can choose what they will pay their pilots. Under unionized representation, there is research done on market medians, the amount that business has shrunk and the overall impact on cost of living. All of this information is presented to the membership and a decision is made and yes, sometimes there is a pay freeze or cut.
How about CPI increases that represent actual market value? Per diem rates that are somewhat representative of having to buy the occasional meal at an airport? ALPA reciprocal jumpseat agreements?!
Ladies and gentlemen, I could go on for a lot longer but not too many people would read the post, in that case. I suggest that the vast majority of pilots in Canada, today, want to end the disgusting cycle of taking away from the new pilots. This is the chance to join the increasing membership and have a unified voice, for the betterment of pilots today and tomorrow, all over this country.