Arbitrator George Nicolau ordered American
Airlines on Friday
to let 35 American Eagle CJ captains transfer to American and begin training by
June according to the Dallas Morning News.
In all, 286 senior Eagle CJ captains will be
given the chance to transfer to American.
Nicolau’s opinion and award wraps up a long dispute
involving American, American Eagle, the Allied Pilots Association, which
represents American’s pilots, and the Air Line Pilots Association, which
represents Eagle pilots.
The dispute stems from a 1997 agreement that
allowed some American Eagle pilots the option to transfer to American as
After Sept. 11, American was forced to furlough
nearly 3,000 pilots, including many that had come to American from Trans World
ALPA said that when American recalled some
furloughed ex-TWA pilots beginning in June 2007 and through March 2009, the
slots should have gone to American Eagle pilots per the 1997 agreement.
A previous arbitrator had agreed with ALPA, but
that decision didn’t determine how the problem would be remedied.
With one group of American pilots furloughed in
late February and others possible, Nicolau’s decision made this provision:
“There shall be no furloughs as a result of these transfers. If, for other reasons, a furlough is deemed necessary during 2010, 35 pilots furloughed shall receive two additional months furlough pay in the amounts set forth in the AA/APA Agreement.”
For other details on Nicolau’s decision and
remedy, here is the document:
Below is the American Eagle MEC’s interpretation of the
Fellow American Eagle Pilots:
As you are all now aware, this morning we
received Arbitrator Nicolau’s remedy award. We have spent the better part of
today reviewing the award. While we strongly encourage you to read the award
for yourselves, we are now able to provide for you this initial bullet point
1. 244 American Eagle pilots will transfer to AA
with the following:
a. In determining their
initial equipment, the Arbitrator’s opinion requires that their initial
equipment be determined no differently than the transfers that had previously
occurred under Letter 3.
b. Their initial pay scale will be determined by
when they should have flowed to AA under Arbitrator Nicolau’s initial award
(October 2009). For example, if the pilot should have transferred to AA in June
of 2007 and actually transfers to AA in June of 2010, he will be placed on the
4th pay step upon his arrival at AA.
c. Their A-Fund vesting will begin based on when
they should have transferred to AA under Arbitrator Nicolau’s initial award but
their “time of service” for A-Fund calculations won’t begin until
they actually arrive at AA. When a pilot retires from AA, his A-Fund benefit is
determined by a calculation that includes his ‘final averaged earnings’ and his
time of service. There is also a vesting requirement in order to participate in
the A-Fund. Under the award, these pilots will receive retroactive credit for
vesting, but not for time of service.
d. Upon transfer to AA, pilots will have their
B-Plan fund retroactively credited at 11% of 73 hours per month at MD-80 First
Officer rates of pay. The applicable rate of pay will begin at first step based
on the date pilots would have transferred to AA under Arbitrator Nicolau’s
original award and increase one pay step for each year thereafter.
e. Their sick bank will be adjusted to reflect
AA’s higher accrual and higher cap. Therefore, pilots transferring to AA will
transfer their sick bank hours and have additional hours to reflect the
appropriate level of the sick bank had the pilot transferred to AA under
Arbitrator Nicolau’s initial award.
f. Their vacation bank will be adjusted to
reflect any higher accrual rate at AA had the pilot transferred to AA under
Arbitrator Nicolau’s initial award.
2. To determine the 244 pilots who will receive
the items listed in paragraph 1 above, the most senior 286 flow-through pilots
will be asked to decide whether or not they are willing to transfer to AA under
these provisions. Once 244 out of the 286 have been identified, that will
constitute the maximum number of pilots who will receive the transfer benefits
listed in paragraph 1 above.
3. Once the 244 pilots from paragraph 2 have
been identified, the most senior 35 will transfer to AA in June of 2010. AA may
accomplish this transfer in one or two training classes, but must complete the
transfer in the month of June.
4. Following the June transfer of the 35 most
senior flow-through pilots who accept transfer, AA will offer recall to all of
the pilots furloughed on February 28, 2010.
5. Once the most junior AA pilot furloughed on
February 28, 2010 has been offered recall, all flow-through pilots will be
permitted to transfer to AA in strict AA pilot seniority order, but only the
most senior 244 who accept this transfer will be provided with the additional
benefits identified in paragraph 1 above.
6. Once AA has offered recall/transfer to all
pilots on the AA pilot seniority list, including all Eagle flow-through pilots,
1 out of every 2 new hire positions will be offered first to American Eagle
pilots. American Eagle will not be required to release more than 20 pilots per
month but is required to make every effort to meet this ratio.
7. Once 824 Eagle pilots have transferred to AA
under the provisions of paragraph 6 above, AA will not be obligated to transfer
any additional pilots to AA.
8. The Arbitrator has ordered the affected
parties to negotiate the specifics associated with accomplishing the transfer
of 824 Eagle pilots to AA, noted in paragraph 6 above.
We are fully aware that there are additional
questions surrounding this award and we are diligently working to provide
answers. We will post this bullet point letter on the ALPA.org website and
update it with a working Q&A as soon as possible.
Thank you for your patience as we analyze this
award and determine the answers to your questions.
EGL-MEC Vice Chairman