MEC Code-a-Phone #2 - Jan 28th


Dec 11, 2002
January 28, 2003
This is Roy Freundlich with US Airways MEC update number two for Tuesday, January 28, with four new items:
Item 1. The MEC convened its special meeting today at the ALPA offices in Herndon, Va., and received presentations on the pension issue from the Retirement and Insurance Committee, Negotiating Committee, and ALPA benefits and legal advisors in both open and closed sessions. The R&I and Negotiating committees provided an overview and assessment of management’s alternative pilot defined contribution plan that the Company recently proposed to the PBGC to replace the current pilot defined benefit plan. Management’s proposed alternative plan is excessively harmful to US Airways pilots’ retirement benefits. Deficiencies of the plan include:
· The pilot assumes all investment risk of the plan.
· The plan does not replicate current defined benefit plan benefits.
· There is no grandfathering of accrued formula percentage. Pilots lose already accrued and earned benefits. Management’s plan wipes the slate clean for pilots accrued benefits and then inadequately rebuilds at 1.8% per year instead of 2.4%.
· Plan redefines final average earning (FAE) to an assumed forward-looking target. The FAE would be based on last 36 months instead of best 3 out of last 10 years.
· The plan is based on notational entries instead of direct payout. (In other words, your retirement benefit is based on entries in an accounting statement next to your name, with no real money being committed to a fund)
· The plan is an inequitable treatment of pilot group verses other employee groups.
· Defined contribution is fixed for duration of agreement, instead of yearly adjustments.
· The plan does not provide early retirement subsidies or joint & survivor subsidies.
· There is no contribution made for pilots on LTD in DC plan; so if you become sick you pay for it in retirement benefits.
· Decreasing cost for Company over time as new employees are hired and older employees retire, which is a financial windfall to Company.
· Management’s plan undercuts the funding in the restoration funding plan, providing a second financial windfall to the Company.
· Vast majority of pilots won’t get to 35.5% of accrued benefits.
ALPA has received reports that chief pilots have been instructed to act as crew room cheerleaders for management’s retirement plan, armed with inaccurate management talking points that suggest the Company is making 95% of active pilots whole. Such statements issued by the Company are aggressively misleading, especially since thousands of active pilots are facing major reductions in retirement benefits under management’s plan, let alone the impact this plan would have on retiring furloughed and already retired pilots.
Please rely on your ALPA retirement representatives, and not the chief pilots or management, to provide you with accurate facts concerning your retirement risks as this issue is dealt with by your MEC.
The MEC is scheduled to reconvene its meeting tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. to address the pension issue.
Item 2. Crew Scheduling sent out a CBS message stating that the implementation of the Lineholder and Reserve sick provisions originally scheduled for February 2003 has been delayed. ALPA and the Company will begin reviewing the implementation issues this week and will advise pilots before they are carried out.
Item 3. The deadline to apply for the enhanced Voluntary Leave in Lieu of Furlough program is on Thursday, January 30, at the close of business. If you are interested in a voluntary leave, be sure to contact your Chief Pilot prior to faxing your program application to his office. Please remember that this program is only for active pilots who will not be furloughed.
Item. 4 Robert Morris University is offering a special information session for all ALPA members who are considering going back to college on Saturday, February 8. The meeting will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at RMU’s Moon Township Campus at the Sewell Center building, approximately five miles from the PIT airport.
The session, the first in a series of education sessions for US Airways and former US Airways employees, will include information on applying to schools, transferring credits, getting financial aid, getting credit for life experience, and online classes/flexible scheduling.
If you are unable to attend this session, or if you would like more information, please contact RMU’s School of Adult and Continuing Education at 412-227-6472 or via email at [email protected]
Please remember we have 1,748 pilots on furlough, with 79 pilot furloughs scheduled for February 4.
Thank you for listening.