Quality of Life Initiative: Secondary Line Generator

By | News, Quality of Life

Secondary Line Generator

In a recent Quality of Life communication we briefly touched on the secondary line system and we would now like to expand on this topic.

In an effort to clear up a misconception that some pilots seem to have, the current secondary line system fiasco many of you are now experiencing belongs to the Company. Due to the current chaos surrounding the “upgrade” and its results, one could well imagine the Company would like our pilots to believe otherwise.

We were only allowed to beta test the system for the Company and provide input. During that testing we discovered and relayed to the Company that the system was fraught with programming issues. We felt it was imperative that the Company provide pilots with, at a minimum, a clear user guide to include a list of definitions. After it was turned on for the HKG, LAX and IND bases, we recommended that any outstanding issues be worked out before the system was rolled out to additional bases. Our recommendation was discounted and the rollout continued. The upgrade was simply not ready for systemwide implementation.

Obviously, the Company felt otherwise.

Although the Company may not be violating any CBA provisions, it has certainly not garnered the enthusiasm they wanted and needed. It is simply not ready. As pilots, we like to know the rules, but how can we know those rules when the Company refuses to provide any guidance or take any ownership? This product and the lack of a helpful user guide would never pass muster or quality control if FedEx was offering it to its clients and consumers. We ought to expect the same ‘professional’ treatment as our quality of life depends greatly on the schedules that come from systems such as this.

In the absence of a user guide from the Company, we are providing you with the attached Guerrilla Guide to the Secondary Line System. As we move into Peak, this is our attempt to provide you with some helpful guidance as to how we understand some features of the current upgrade. We are doing it to fill an obvious void created by the Company. Hopefully, in the future, the Company will stop ignoring the chaos this upgrade has created and at least provide all of us, at a minimum, a detailed and in-depth Company user guide for its own upgrade. We are standing by.

Quality of Life Initiative: Insurance

By | News, Quality of Life

Company Reports: FedEx’s Rebate System

As part of our Quality of Life Initiative, we would like to highlight a couple of benefits that we believe you should consider during this open enrollment period. Please note, the annual open enrollment period for FedEx benefits opened on October 18, 2018, and runs through November 1, 2018.

FDX MEC Long-Term Disability: Special Enrollment Period, November 1-December 31, 2018
We have negotiated a substantial reduction in premium costs, which complements and greatly enhances the total long-term disability (LTD) package offered by the corporation and the union. This plan provides 17 percent of pre-disability income, and that benefit is not subject to federal income tax or most state income tax as well. During the special enrollment period, Evidence of Insurability (EOI) is NOT REQUIRED with proof of an approved FAA physical.

ALPA Critical Illness & Accident Insurance: Year-Round Enrollment Begins November 1, 2018
Critical Illness and Accident Insurance are two separate plans that provide a cash benefit payout that when used with the wellness benefit, can reduce your payments to little or nothing. For example, if you are married with two children, elect Accident Insurance, and obtain the max wellness credit (by submitting an annual wellness exam for you and each covered dependent), your monthly premium would be $5.24 a month.

Yes, we know this sounds too good to be true but please reach out to the R&I Committee (901-752-8749 or FedEx-R&IChair@alpa.org) for further details.

There are multiple covered accidents that qualify for benefits under this plan. For example, if you have an emergency room visit, the plan will pay you $300. If a covered participant fractures their leg, the cash payout would be between $2,500 and $5,000.

A s you can see, we believe these benefits will greatly enhance your quality of life. For more information, please see this recent communication, which provides more detail, or call the FedEx ALPA office at 901-752-8749 and ask to speak with a benefits specialist.

Quality of Life Initiative: Company Reports

By | News, Quality of Life

Company Reports: FedEx’s Rebate System

You hear us say this all the time, “no data, no problem.” The Company has created a system where we have to fill out time-consuming reports and forms to validate what we know to be a problem.

Is there any doubt when ground transportation does not show up on time or does not show up at all? Is there any doubt when a pairing has unrealistic times associated with it, either the leg itself or the turn? What about trips that were diverted, revised, or a million other things the Company altered that caused a problem?

But yet, we still have to fill out a report to prove there was a problem. Remember, “no data, no problem.”

The Company has built a system of reports and forms so that we can let them know when there is a problem. Yet, time and time again after we do, nothing gets changed. We often hear from pilots that a report was filled out, but they never heard anything back or received any feedback.

Why do these reports and forms have to be excessively difficult to complete? Why do they have to be confusing and inconvenient? This picture comes to mind for some when filling out Company reports.

Company reports are the equivalent to a retail store’s rebate system. Why do stores provide rebates instead of just putting an item on sale? If we are purchasing a $1,000 pool table and the store has a rebate for $200, why doesn’t the store just sell the pool table for $800 in the first place?

Here’s why. Up to 60% of all rebates are never redeemed. These businesses know that only a certain percentage of people are going to take the time to go through what is typically an inconvenient, sometimes complicated, time-consuming task required to accomplish the rebate process. The result is the store is able to keep their price point for the pool table high (it remains a $1,000 product) and only refund those customers who successfully completed the rebate procedure.

Let’s compare this to filling out a Company report. Frankly, the Company knows that a certain number of pilots are just not going to take the time to fill out these reports. Let’s say that eliminates 60% of the pilots. That leaves 40% who might actually take the time to fill out the report. The pilot actually tries to go to PFC to fill out the Company report and experiences a technical issue; the PFC website is down, you can’t get a computer to work in AOC or you attempt to fill out the report multiple times only to get kicked out of the system each time. How often have those failures happened lately? Well, that just eliminates more pilots; let’s say another 10%. Now out of the 30% of pilots who are left, some realize the reports are too complicated or time consuming and 10% more give up. You can see that now there are only a small percentage of pilots left who are actually successful in filling out these reports to notify the Company of a problem.

As a result, the Company can make claims like we don’t have any Insite reports or only 20% of pilots have this or that issue. Then they can also make claims that they have industry-leading programs that might not be so industry leading.

Again, “no data, no problem.”

Please don’t let these complications we write about above deter or stop you from filling out these reports as these are the games we have to play to try and improve our quality of life. When you are successful, we ask that you send us a copy.

Send copies or screenshots to:
Insite@alpa.org
FatigueReport@alpa.org

Quality of Life Initiative: Chasing Class of Service

By | News, Quality of Life

Chasing Class of Service

Have you flown economy class lately on a deadhead that exceeded 5 scheduled block hours? How about on a deadhead with 10 or more scheduled block hours?

Have you noticed that when a higher class of service is authorized for your trip the Company delays and purchases your ticket much later, which oftentimes causes you to be waitlisted for the higher-class ticket?

These are more examples of the games the Company plays with our quality of life. Efficiency gains for the Company always trump a pilot’s quality of life.

Due to Company shenanigans when booking our deadhead tickets, we are forced to spend a lot of our time—time for which we are not paid—searching for the correct class of service. All it would take is for the Company to do the right thing and book our deadheads early and at the correct class of service before the only available seats left to book are economy class. When a higher class of service is contractually mandated, the Company should simply purchase your deadhead tickets without delay.

Additionally, there would be no reason to waitlist us if the Company did not wait to list us in the first place.

Have you ever asked the Company why our deadheads are sometimes in economy instead of a higher class of service in accordance with the CBA? And then received the following response: “We do not chase class of service.

This article poses many questions, but the biggest question we would like to ask you is this: Do you think the Company chases class of service downward to economy when booking our deadheads?

So do we.

Quality of Life Initiative: Reserve Lines

By | News, Quality of Life

On September 14, 2013, the Company wrote an article in their On The Radar series titled “PIBS Might Sound Good in Theory, but . . .”

In that article, the Company wrote:

“This leads us to one of the last remaining rationales for refusing to even consider PIBS at FedEx: a perceived lack of trust.”

They also wrote:

“We are not asking for your blind trust when it comes to PIBS; we never would.”

Currently, one of the top complaints we receive from pilots is the elimination of reserve lines in the bidpacks across all fleets. Pilots who until recently were able to hold reserve lines are now being forced into the secondary line system. The secondary line system is an opportunity for the Company to show us how good PBS could be only if we would embrace it.

The Company appears to be playing fast and loose with concepts like known reserve days. There appears to be competing factions within the Company where one group is eliminating reserve lines in order to increase their reserve utilization numbers, and another group is interpreting known reserve in a way that also decreases reserve lines in the bidpack and again forces pilots into the secondary system.

Even though we are a few years away from Contract 2021, it is very important to remember that the same Company that wants you to trust them for PBS is the same Company that has now eliminated many of your reserve lines and made the new secondary line system a failure for many.

And now for a final quote from the Company:

“The Company has been clear that is has no intention of unilaterally imposing a set of parameters resulting in the kind of significant dissatisfaction described . . . or any other set of parameters for that matter.”

So, if you are one of the many pilots who used to hold a reserve line but now can’t because of the Company’s unilateral decision to wipe out your reserve lines, trust us, we just want you to know that we hear your significant dissatisfaction!

Please watch for continued communications regarding issues that impact our Quality of Life.