Block or Better...

Discussion in 'The Pipe' started by FROG, Jun 2, 2013.

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  1. Jun 2, 2013 #1

    FROG

    FROG

    FROG

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    Just submitted my weekly "crew comment", and I was rather frustrated by how much time I was shorted because of the "Block or Better" loop hole, so I wanted to just get some clarification from you fine gentlemen.

    I am on reserve, my pairing was "modified" to include more flying and additional days. This is just about every pairing for reserves. It is my understanding that because the pairing was "modified" I am only due original pairing value, or ACTUAL block hours flown, whichever is greater. What I haven't had time to look up was whether or not this same rule applies to line holders. If it does, I am curious as to how often line holders are being "modified".

    Example: A line holder has an 18 hour 4 day, on day 2 they are reassigned to additional flying to a different overnight, and then meet up with their original pairing the following day. Say the additional flying adds 4 hours of block credit to the trip value, making it 22 hours of scheduled block time. Will all the soft time from coming in under block on previous flights be negated?
     
  2. Jun 2, 2013 #2

    judge

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  3. Jun 2, 2013 #3

    optimus_prime

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    Leg by leg pay is the answer to your question. Any modification that adds flying will never take away overs on a leg by leg basis. On the other hand, removal of flying will negate any over since you are pay protected for what you were scheduled to fly before modification. Same applies to reserves. What I did as a reserve was that I always printed my pairing on day one (since that's what you're pay protected for) and then compared once the raping was complete to make sure I was paid correctly.

    PS. soft time reduction by overs only applies to the 2 hr DPM.
     
  4. Jun 2, 2013 #4

    Guardman123U

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    If I understand your question correctly: you get block or better for what you actually fly, but not credit for your original pairing AND the additional flying assigned. Line holders get block or better of the reassignment OR the value for the original day if the reassignment is for less credit. Is that what you're asking?
     
  5. Jun 2, 2013 #5

    Guardman123U

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    "PS. soft time reduction by overs only applies to the 2 hr DPM."
    So many ppl don't know this!!!
     
  6. Jun 2, 2013 #6

    puddles

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    Not quite. Any time a pilot is reassigned (reserve or lineholder) they are paid the greater of the original duty period OR OR OR OR the ACTUAL flight time flown during that same period. Block or better no longer applies. The only difference is, a reserve pilot is pay protected for the trip at show time whereas a lineholder is protected when they are pick up, trade into, or are awarded a trip.
     
  7. Jun 2, 2013 #7

    Guardman123U

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    Ahh yes, exactly. True. BUT: if a reserve is on a pairing and flying is added there is no pay protecting if it subsequently cancels and/or is taken off, say, if you miss a DHD and they recrew it with someone else.
     
  8. Jun 2, 2013 #8

    puddles

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    That is also true for any pilot. A lineholder would not be pay protected in the above scenario either.
     
  9. Jun 3, 2013 #9

    C30JM

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    I worked with XJTALPA, Crewpay and the CPO on this one a while back. The contract says if a line holders scheduled is modified for "reassignment, cancellation or sick call" (Section 3-D.1.a.) then you revert to the greater of scheduled or actual.

    In practice, I was told by the MEC, Contract Compliance, and CrewPay that we (ALPA & the Company) have never used that language since day one of the contract and everyone (the MEC, Contract Compliance and CrewPay, CPO) all agree that past practice is that anytime your day (line holder) is modified for ANY reason you will revert to the greater of scheduled or actual.

    I find this somewhat ironic because if you think about it, the negotiators at the time probably used this language so that a pilot with a multi leg day who has, let's say, a gate return for maintenance as a modification, won't spend the rest of the day trying to protect the overs and will get paid for the gate return. This encourages that crew to continue to fly the schedule and not try to protect the overs.

    For some reason though, currently the situation is (and apparently always has been) that if you have a modification for any reason you revert to the greater of scheduled or actual which seems like it would cause a pilot to try to "protect their overs" instead of work to get back on schedule. Clearly the company thinks they are pulling a fast one on us as we work to get back on schedule and lose the overs but I think what they fail to understand is that most pilots won't do that. They will protect the overs. I was surprised when I talked to other pilots about this that they all seemed to know this and they laughed at me for trying to get back on schedule and shorting my pay.

    I think that sometimes if we (ALPA and the Company) would just follow the contract there would be a mutual benefit. However I've certainly learned from everyone I talked to about this that it's never been done that way, we aren't going to do it that way and it doesn't matter what the contract says because of "past practice". The CPO told me that ALPA would agree with that and ALPA told me the CPO would agree with that... so... that's it. They agree and the operation suffers in most cases. In my case I got back on schedule and helped the operation, imagine my surprise when my pay claim was denied.
     
  10. Jun 3, 2013 #10

    puddles

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    You also have to understand that the contract in its current form is the product of several thousand pages of notes and 2 years of negotiating (or more if you count the carry over language from C97). It is practically impossible to clearly state the intent of each section while keeping the contract manageable. There are many instances where the language has been further codified when ambiguous language has presented itself and the primary documents used are the negotiating notes from both sides.

    In short, there is a lot more history behind the text you see than a simple sentence or two.
     
  11. Jun 3, 2013 #11

    C30JM

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    I agree Jeff, but in this case it would benefit both the pilot and the company to follow the language (in most cases).

    I've been through multiple contracts, negotiation cycles and unions in my career and the one constant seems to be that over time pilots will try to work with The Company to help the operation prosper and The Company will take advantage of every loop hole to help the operation prosper. Over time the contract becomes watered down it becomes unenforceable. As pilots we seem to fall for it every time, the promise of something better down the road if we just give in here and there. When the company is asked to give... "sorry, it's not in the contract".

    I have finally just accepted it as the way this business works. We have to be prepared to prosper when we have the leverage knowing that we won't always have it and the pendulum will soon swing the other way. Boom and bust, it doesn't seem sustainable, but it's sort of set up that way, better to live within it than to try to fight it.
     
  12. Jun 4, 2013 #12

    isenhart

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    Will I don't disagree with "give and take" of working with the company. I don't think I could disagree more with the apathy in your last sentence. I wish every pilot would file a grievance every month on the money they are shorted in every pay check. The apathy is exactly why the company tells us to pound sand every time there's some ambiguity. If no one stands up for what's right there's not much hope for the future.
     
  13. Jun 4, 2013 #13

    C30JM

    C30JM

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    Maybe I worded that poorly. I was going to file a grievance and was told that I would not be supported in doing so, so not to bother. By learning to work within the system I meant to say the other pilots have found work arounds for many of these issues I've been told, so they are less bothered by it.
     

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