Q: Why has the Negotiating Committee yet to publish a pay step chart for what we proposed in our comprehensive economic proposal?
As indicated in our “Negotiation Session 17 Update” and “Setting the Records Straight,” we based our proposal on the first Southwest agreement in principle (AIP) rates, which would have condensed our scale to 13 years. (As of this writing, the recently announced second SWA AIP rates have not been made public.)
Historically, previous AFA Alaska Negotiating Committees have not published proposed pay scales, and membership has only seen the final rates. That being said, times and expectations are changing, and we’re not absolutely opposed to proposed publishing rates – but when the time is right.
We’re not ready to focus on the step rates quite yet because there are several other very economically impactful provisions that are still open items: hybrid pay (TFP + block + duty time), boarding pay and/or ground pay, RiGs, 401(k) match, vacation day value, reassignment premiums, et cetera. They are not small ticket items and significantly impact the overall value of the contract. Therefore, it’s premature to anchor our position on the pay rates – especially in light of the anticipated Southwest AIP rates, which should be known by November 1st.
Here’s some perspective on the comparison between management’s and AFA’s proposed pay rates from Negotiation Session #17 in late June and the total value of our proposals:
- Management: Pay rate increases at 9% (or 12.2% at Top of Scale) | Total value ~12% increase
- AFA: Pay rate increases based on SWA’s 1st AIP | Total value ~48% increase
Our June proposal was valued at an approximately 48% increase for the first year – including everything (not just the pay rates) – compared to the current contract. Management’s June proposal was an approximately 12% increase. That’s a 36% difference between the two!
Until the parties’ respective positions get closer together on all the other big-ticket items, focusing on the rates in the interim wouldn’t be productive in the context of our overall strategy.