Fellow Delta pilots,
Direct negotiations with the Company are underway, and both ALPA and Delta have committed to a series of meetings scheduled through the spring and summer. To date, talks have focused on scope and the administrative sections of our PWA. The negotiating teams are scheduled to meet again this week to continue discussions about scope and retirement. We hope to make steady progress on these and other items important to the Delta pilots as we approach our contract’s Dec. 31, 2019 amendable date
Negotiations in the airline industry tend to be more of a marathon than a sprint. However, our goal is to reach a quality agreement that rewards Delta pilots for our contributions to the Company’s continued success. And the news continues to be good on the financial front – all indications point to a highly profitable second quarter.
How the Railway Labor Act Impacts our Negotiations
Going into the busy summer months, your MEC’s focus will turn to education on the Railway Labor Act (RLA) and Section 6, which governs negotiations in the airline industry. We are currently in the first phase of the Section 6 process – direct negotiations. Over the next several weeks, we will be sending you educational pieces on RLA. In these communications, there will be information about how the RLA provides a process for moving talks forward if direct negotiations do not yield results and we turn to the National Mediation Board (NMB) for assistance. Per our current PWA, ALPA and Delta will file for joint mediation on Mar. 31, 2020 if we do not have an agreement in place. I am hopeful that we will be able to reach an agreement prior to a mediation filing, but our priority is on the right deal, not a quick deal
Over the last month, I have traveled extensively around the system as part of my duties, which has afforded me the opportunity to hear directly from many of you. One of the things I am asked frequently are questions about retirement and where we are headed. Retirement is understandably an important negotiating priority for Delta pilots, and I know there are requests for more information about the Market Based Cash Balance Plan and other items contained in our opener. To help answer these questions, we are beginning a series of educational pieces on the different retirement options we are discussing with the Company. You can expect to see these over the summer months in the form of Contact 2019: Road to the TA publications, videos, infographics and interviews with subject matter experts. In addition to retirement, we will also start expanding upon the other sections of the contract to explain concepts we are looking to improve on your behalf.
We have a long, challenging summer ahead. Staffing levels are very tight and the Company is getting inventive with rotation construction. Pay attention to your LATT times and know that ALPA is here for you to help you if you experience any difficulties on the line.
Captain Ryan Schnitzler, Chairman Delta Master Executive Council