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impossible seniority integration

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impossible seniority integration

Old 6th May 2007, 13:18
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impossible seniority integration

USAIRWAYS and AMERICA WEST airlines merged.

the seniority integration award has just been announced by the arbitrator.

IMAGINE a list that puts someone who was 8 years old at the time another man was hired and flying big jets SENIOR to him.

that is right. pilots who were hired in 1988 are junior to people who were 8 years old in 1988...15 years before they could legally get an ATP.

amazing, but true.
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Old 6th May 2007, 16:47
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Such are the absurdities of "seniority". I believe in well-administered meritocracy myself.
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Old 6th May 2007, 17:04
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IMAGINE a list that puts someone who was 8 years old at the time another man was hired and flying big jets SENIOR to him.
Welcome to the world of airline mergers .

Many of us have been on the receiving end of such deals, I feel your pain. It beats being out of a job, well sometimes, anyway.

Remember, the perfect merger is when everbody is scr*wed.
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Old 6th May 2007, 17:10
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Wingswinger, how would such a system work? How would you stop management using it as a tool to force a point on ir issues? How would you stop favoritism? I too believe that a benevolent dictator is a more efficient way to govern, but they never stay benevolent.
I would genuinely like to hear how it may work but in the mean time give me a tried and tested seniority system with a quality system to ensure standards. regards, curser.
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Old 6th May 2007, 18:20
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Although I accept there are differences in the airline world from the outside world, it should be noted that promotion on seniority has been abandoned by err... just about everyone except the airlines.

Ask yourself whether you want the Captain to be
A. one of the best 50% in the company, as judged by sim checks/feedback from crew/assessments by senior pilots.
or

B. The guy whose number came up and met the standard, but only just
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Old 6th May 2007, 19:09
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Given the substantial financial benefits pilots enjoy relative to your 'average' worker, I'll take the imperfect seniority list thanks. A meritocracy would lead to a level of backstabbing that would make the Ides of March seem like an acupunture session.

I have never come accross so many prickly, over-sensitive, self-interested and immature people in one place in my life, and I wouldn't trust them to allow a fair and equal system any further than I could throw a 747.
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Old 6th May 2007, 20:12
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paul wilson

a meritocracy is impossible, kissing up, sucking up, brown nosing, or whatever you like would take to big a bite out of the truth.

if someone doesn't do well on a sim check, the should get re trained...and not put at the bottom of the list.

would this list change year by year?

air bubba, bot sides didn't get screwed in this merger...one side did.
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Old 6th May 2007, 21:10
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http://www.azcentral.com/blogs/index...gtype=Bizblogs

Anyone have any links to more information on this seniority arbitration?
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Old 6th May 2007, 21:28
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Meritocracy may sound nice in theory but who is to judge?

"Assessments" are done by humans and we all know that it does matter if a sim check is taken by checker A oder checker B. Many of the skills required for captaincy are soft skills that cannot be measured but have to be judged.

We may be the last ones to use seniority but it has served us well. The only thing we have to keep in mind is that we don't hire just pilots but future captains. That may require that those be weeded out during their early copilot years who looked like future Captains during selection/interview but don't show to have "the right stuff" on the line.

Seniority makes us independent from management whims while at the same time attaching us to the company much tighter than most managers.

The only thing better than the current seniority system would be a nationwide/europe-wide/global seniority system (donning flak jacket here).
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Old 6th May 2007, 22:40
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Anyone have any links to more information on this seniority arbitration?
Surprisingly little has surfaced in the media - yet, anyway.

Looks like the top 500 or so East pilots got taken care of and the rest didn't do so well. There is a short (four year?) widebody fence for the East folks. Dave Odell, the junior West pilot, was put ahead of almost 2000 furloughed East pilots. There are a few ratios from what I'm told, I haven't seen the actual ruling or list myself.

I believe all of the East pilots still on the property went through the 1989 USAir-Piedmont merger. And somewhat ironically, the seniority arbitration was done under the guidance of the famous Labor Protective Provisions of the Civil Aeronautics Board ruling on the Allegheny-Mohawk merger which formed the predecessor of US Air in 1972. Almost all recent era ALPA contracts reference the Allegheny-Mohawk LPP's from what I've seen.
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Old 6th May 2007, 23:00
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I have never come accross so many prickly, over-sensitive, self-interested and immature people in one place in my life, and I wouldn't trust them to allow a fair and equal system any further than I could throw a 747.
I concur MC. Same clones up here.
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Old 6th May 2007, 23:14
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as I said air bubba, the folks hired at "east" usair in 1988 are junior to people hired at "west" in 2005 and beyond

those 1988 people were never furloughed, and as I mentioned people who were 8 years old in 1988 are now senior to those who have been flying the line all this time.

how is that fair? sorry, in this world it isn't.

and those who scream about "career expectations", welll, they can change...and if you don't buy that, my career expectations were not met in 1988.

and yes to a global seniority system. I think it should be based on date of attaining the ATP certificate.
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Old 7th May 2007, 02:29
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and yes to a global seniority system. I think it should be based on date of attaining the ATP certificate
Well, I received my ATPL in 1966, so I expect I would be at the top in most companies...strangely enough, it hasn't made much difference in some of the companies where I've worked, as I have been quite senior, even as a DE Captain.
Why?
Mainly because management was not especially bright and found themselves short of Commanders, which is not an especially good thing.
First Officers are a dime a dozen, experienced Commanders another storey altogether.
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Old 7th May 2007, 02:41
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Surprisingly little has surfaced in the media - yet, anyway.
There are at least two reasons I can think of:

1) It's old news. The UAL/Capital merger, NCA/Southern/Republic/NWA, CSA/Delta, AA/TWA, all went through the same meatgrinder. How is today any different from the past 60 years? Ho hum.

2) As mentioned before, today seniority is meaningless in 95% of the working world.
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Old 7th May 2007, 05:31
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How is today any different from the past 60 years? Ho hum.
Well, one thing that has changed, and may change again is ALPA's preference for date of hire in seniority integration.

Seems like United was all for date of hire until they were looking at a US Air merger a few years ago. Suddenly, date of hire didn't look advantageous and United prodded ALPA national to reformulate its merger policy.

Here's an excerpt from an article in Air Line Pilot last year:

The ALPA Merger and Fragmentation Policy directs the merger representatives to “carefully weigh all the equities inherent in their merger situation. In joint session, the merger representatives should attempt to match equities to various methods of integration until a fair and equitable agreement is reached, keeping in mind the following goals, in no particular order:

“a. Preserve jobs.
“b. Avoid windfalls to either group at the expense of the
other.
“c. Maintain or improve pre-merger pay and standard of
living.
“d. Maintain or improve pre-merger pilot status.
“e. Minimize detrimental changes to career expectations.”

Jonathan Cohen, director of ALPA’s Legal Department,
points out that the ALPA Merger and Fragmentation
Policy, while stating the goals of policy, does not list the
competing methodologies for merging seniority lists.
“Date of hire is a natural starting point,” Cohen explains,
“but other methodologies have been advocated and used.
One, ‘length of service,’ differs from date of hire in that
length of service does not give credit for time spent on
furlough or other time away from active service. Another,
the ‘ratio’ method, starts the list with a number of senior
pilots from one airline and then inserts pilots from the
other airline at fixed intervals on the list. Some mergers
have combined one of these methods with additional complex ‘conditions and restrictions,’ which place limits on
use of the combined list.

“There are very few absolutes in this area,” Cohen cautions.
“The same pilot group that advocated a ‘stapler’
merger [so called because one group’s seniority list is
merely “stapled” to the bottom of a larger group’s list]
one time may vigorously argue against it in a later merger.”...

...Unfortunately, some pilots believe that, during seniority
integration as a result of a merger, ALPA’s national
leaders or other pilots can “put their thumb on the scale”
and influence the outcome of the seniority integration
process. Sometimes pilots have sued ALPA over the results
of a merger.

“We’ve never lost a case arising out of a merger in which
ALPA merger policy has been applied,” Cohen points out,
“because the courts have recognized that ALPA merger
policy does, in fact, lay out this fair and impartial process.”
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Old 7th May 2007, 23:43
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I for one have to pin my colours to the mast in that I am all in favour of a meritocracy. I have worked under both systems and my experience is that the seniority system breeds complacency and arrrogance.

My initial military service was a seniority system - showing my age - at one stage I was 22 years from my next rank. Changing to a different country's service basing rank on merit, it took me four years to reach a rank that would have taken me 40 years with my original outfit.

The big issue with any system that promotes on merit is the metrics - i.e. how is it measured? This is the key. Regardless of how effective it is, it must be transparent.
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Old 8th May 2007, 10:16
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"First Officers are a dime a dozen, experienced Commanders another storey altogether."

is that the floor above or below?

personally I think we're worth a quarter!

Ps 411a, if "the management was not especially bright and found themselves short of Commanders" and you went to work for them as dec does that make you desperate or incompetent or both?
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Old 8th May 2007, 13:34
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Ps 411a, if "the management was not especially bright and found themselves short of Commanders" and you went to work for them as dec does that make you desperate or incompetent or both?
It made the company pay, in most cases, a rather large salary, plus bonus at the end of the contract...and in addition, in a couple of years, more than ninety days paid leave, taken when I wanted it, not at the companies pleasure.

You see, heavy heavy, companies will pay big bucks for a known quantity (ie: experienced Commanders) but often realise that F/O's are a plenty, will in many cases work for a much lower wage, and if they hope to advance to Command, they had better tow the line, otherwise be left behind in the RHS...or booted out the door, to be replaced by someone even cheaper.
In short, F/O's have very little leverage.
Either cooperate and graduate...or be stuck on the right side permanently.

As it should be.
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Old 8th May 2007, 14:20
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mmmmm

411a,

I work for a company which has no need for either dec commands or a training culture that demands fo's to act in the subservient way that you seem to demand in your cockpit.

Your opinion of your own value is obviously very high. However your delusional opinion that command time earned at various different carriers, in different countries, working to different standards can be equated to a 'known quantity' smacks of self importance. one of the benefits of the master seniority lists is that when time to command is achieved the person in question is without doubt a 'know quantity'. how airline choose to use this knowledge is another matter completely.

i would hazard a guess that 1 in 6 on the fo's that i fly with have previous cmd time either with other airlines or the military. the only time they become a known quantity to me is when they start bleating about their previous cmd time not counting towards their sen in my company! on my fleet we actually have a large number of capts who have returned to the rhs as a lifestyle choice, kudos.

anyway i apologise for taking this thread sideways.

we have had several integrations at BA and no doubt somebody will always get the sharp end of a stick. in my case i've had to listen to guys who a year before didn't pass an interview for fo jobs with us tell me that they have been hard done to by being sent to the 744 on short haul skippers pay! may i suggest to all those involved in this one that the guy beside you is not the enemy unless he is a manager!

over opinionated, globe trotting, crm nightmare captains are also 2 a penny
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Old 8th May 2007, 16:43
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Fortunately, the God and Ignoramus crew concept is long gone most places in the U.S.

With furloughs and little hiring since Y2K, experience levels in the right seat at U.S. carriers are very high these days. Of course, from what I hear of the new US Air list, virtually all of the East guys in the right seat will have been US Air captains in the past, some for a decade or more.

The US Air seniority integration sounds a lot like the Pan Am-National Airlines seniority battle a couple of decades ago. The Pan Am guys assumed they were still God's Gift to Aviation and the little puddle jumper pilots from National were lucky to be given a white hat and tacked to the bottom of the list. The National pilots had a bright negotiator named Charlie Caudle who built a case based on career expectations of the two pilot groups. The Pan Am pilots were given the 747 and much of the very top of the list by date of hire. Caudle wisely saw that the whale was a shrinking fleet and all of the expansion would be elsewhere in coming years and argued to place the bulk of the National pilots on the "small" planes which included 727's, A-300's, A-310's and even briefly L-1011's and DC-10's. The Pan Am pilots hired in the late 1960's and furloughed were left at the bottom of the list as in the current US Air situation. The arbitrator, William Gill, bought the National pilots' argument and the lists were merged as much as fifteen years out of date of hire on the bottom. Like the present situation, National had been hiring while Pan Am was furloughing.
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