Origins of the Full Service Bank
The Full Service Pay Bank is an iCrew function that was created prior to implementation of PBS. Formerly, pilots would bid on hard lines. The credit value of those lines had a cap, or limit, on the amount of credit the pilot was paid. For example, if the cap was set at 76 hours and a pilot flew 80 hours, the pilot would still only be paid for 76 hours. The pilot had the option to either roll the extra four hours of credit into the next bid period, or “bank” the hours in the full service bank. The “banked” hours could then be used to add credit during a month the pilot was below the cap. This was often referred to as “filling up.” After PBS was introduced, the cap no longer applied and the bank lost most of its usefulness. However, there are a few ways that a pilot can still use the full service bank to their advantage.
What does the contract say?
Section 12 N. of the Pilot Working Agreement (PWA) defines the limits and usage of the full service bank. A pilot’s bank will have a balance that is positive, negative or zero. The maximum number of hours that can be stored in the bank is 60. The bank cannot have a negative balance greater than 30 hours. In each bid period, a pilot may deposit into their bank up to 20 hours of credit that is accumulated in excess of 80 hours in such bid period. If a negative balance exists, all deposits will be applied to bring the bank to a zero or positive balance.
A pilot may withdraw or borrow from the bank for several purposes. A pilot may increase the pay credit value of their bid period up to the lesser of: ALV plus five hours (or 82 hours). The banked credit may also be used to purchase up to 10 vacation days. The vacation days are for use in the subsequent vacation year or, if mutually agreed upon with the company, may be applied to the current vacation year. Section 7 E. of the PWA has details about purchased vacation days.
A pilot, at their request, may recover pay and credit for rotations and reserve on-call days dropped pursuant to a PD, QPD, IVD, or APD, by utilizing full service bank withdrawal. The credit withdrawn cannot exceed the lesser of ALV plus five hours, or 82 hours, minus his accumulated credit for the bid period.
A pilot may not withdraw more than five hours from the bank during a bid period in which they flew a green slip.
How can I use the Bank to my Advantage?
Essentially, the bank works as a way to borrow time or store credit for future use. A pilot may use the bank to increase their credit to get over the green slip trigger for the month. The bank can be used as an investment opportunity by storing credit at a lower hourly pay rate and withdrawing the credit at a higher pay rate when you change aircraft of upgrade. A pilot may also increase the number of paid vacation days for the year or apply it towards next year’s vacation. A pilot may bank credit during the busy summer months and withdraw that credit to boost earnings during the slower winter months when ALV’s are lower. While the bank has outlived its original purpose, it can still play a role in a savvy pilots financial planning and schedule enhancement.
Here are examples of how to use the bank:
Example 1: You have 87 hours of credit in the bid period and a negative bank balance of -15 hours. 5 hours of credit will be automatically applied to your negative bank balance. If you do not choose to deposit any additional credit into your bank, you will receive pay for 82 hours credit and will have a negative bank balance of -10 hours. Alternatively, you may choose to make an additional deposit of up to two hours (the amount in excess of 80 hours) into your bank which will reduce your negative bank balance to as little as -8 hours.
Example 2: You have 87 hours credit in the bid period and a positive bank balance of +20 hours. If you do not deposit any credit into your bank, you will receive pay for 87 hours and your bank balance will remain +20 hours. Alternatively, you may deposit up to 7 hours in your bank. If you deposit the entire seven hours, you will be paid for 80 hours and your balance will be +27 hours.
Example 3: You have 75 hours of credit in a bid period, a bank balance of +10 hours, the Average Line Value (ALV) for your category is 78 hours and you did not fly a Green Slip rotation in the bid period. Since you may only fill your monthly paycheck to the lesser of 82 hours or the ALV+5 hours (83 hours in this case), you may withdraw up to 7 hours of credit from your bank and apply it to your monthly paycheck. The result is a monthly paycheck of 82 hours and bank balance of +3 hours.
Example 4: You have 60 hours of credit in a bid period, a bank balance of -5 hours, the ALV for your category is 78 hours and you did not fly a Green Slip rotation in this bid period. You may borrow 20 hours from your bank (the maximum you may borrow) and apply it to your monthly paycheck. Your paycheck would reflect 80 hours of credit and your bank balance would be -25 hours.
Bank Withdrawals to Purchase Vacation Days
Example 5: You have 75 hours of credit in the February bid period, a bank balance of 40 hours and do not fly a Green Slip rotation in February. The ALV for February is 78 hours. You have 14 days of vacation in June (the subsequent vacation year). You may choose to withdraw 28 hours of credit to purchase 8 vacation days (Vacation day credit is equal to 3.5 hours) and add them to your June vacation. You may place these days at the beginning or end of your vacation period. You could also choose to withdraw, for example, 5 hours of credit from your bank to bring your February paycheck to 80 hours (you could have withdrawn up to seven hours as previously described). The result is a February paycheck with 80 hours credit, 22 consecutive days of vacation in June (worth 77 hours), and a remaining bank balance of 7 hours.
Example 6: You have 75 hours of credit in the January bid period, a bank balance of 7 hours and do not fly a Green Slip rotation in January. The ALV for January is 78 hours. You have 14 days of vacation in February (the current vacation year). You and the Company mutually agree that you may purchase vacation days to be added to your February vacation. You withdraw 21 hours of credit to purchase 6 days of vacation (3.5 hours/Vacation day) to be added to your February vacation. You also choose to withdraw credit to help fill up your January paycheck. Because you are limited to borrowing a maximum of 20 hours in a bid period, you are allowed to add only 6 hours to your
January paycheck. The result is a January paycheck of 81 hours, 20 consecutive days of vacation in February (worth 70 hours), and a bank balance of -20 hours.
The bank menu is accessed through iCrew under the Pay/Hours drop down menu.
This page is found under Add/Update Bank Request.
1. “CURRENT MONTH SHORTAGE” indicates the amount of time you are short of the monthly bank limit of 82 hours or ALV + 5 hours, whichever is less. It is the maximum amount of time you can withdraw to fill up your paycheck.
2. To make a deposit, enter the amount (in hours and minutes) in this box.
3. Enter “1” in the box for a withdrawal to increase your paycheck.
4. Enter the hours and minutes you wish to withdraw to increase your paycheck. While four lines are available, you only need to use one. This section was designed to accommodate contract options that no longer exist.
5. To purchase vacation days, enter 3 for the subsequent year or 4 for the current year. After specifying the vacation year, another box will pop up with options for attaching the purchased vacation days to an existing vacation. If purchasing vacation days for a subsequent year but prior to vacation bidding for that year, the purchased vacation days will be included in the vacation bidding process.