ALPA Executive Board Convenes

The Air Line Pilots Association’s 109th Executive Board meeting opened Tuesday with President Lee Moak’s call to learn from the life of the late Steve Jobs and strive for revolutionary changes in the future of ALPA.

Speaking to the union’s 37 MEC chairs and other senior ALPA leaders, Capt. Moak defined two key priorities for every ALPA carrier: supporting a coherent national aviation policy that gives every U.S. airline a chance to succeed, and strengthening the international union to achieve a level playing field and win victories at the bargaining table.

Looking at words like vision, focus, adaptation, and collaboration in new ways is key to achieving the union’s goals of creating a global aviation infrastructure while avoiding crippling taxes and unfair competition from government-subsidized overseas carriers, Moak said.

“Our union, by its very nature, is intended to change how we live, what we do, and how we relate to each other,” he said. “We can change the world around us by giving meaning to these words and phrases.”

In his report to the assembled MEC chairs, first vice president Capt. Sean Cassidy detailed the ongoing restructuring of ALPA’s Air Safety Organization and gave an overview of the Association’s strategic priorities, which the Executive Board will review and take action on during the meeting.

Vice president for administration/secretary Capt. Bill Couette announced that the Association has 500 more apprentice and recalled members than it did during the last Executive Board meeting earlier this year, a hopeful indication of the industry’s rising fortunes. At the same time, the number of ALPA-represented pilot groups declined from 39 to 37 last week with the 3,700 pilots of Pinnacle, Mesaba, and Colgan formally completing their integration and electing a new, merged Pinnacle MEC.

The Association is saving hundreds of thousands of dollars each year through improvements to its balloting, computer procurement, and software licensing contracts, Couette reported. And even in a challenging economic climate, vice president for finance/treasurer Capt. Randy Helling said ALPA is regaining financial strength thanks to improved fiscal management and sound stewardship of dues dollars by individual MECs.

As part of the continued effort to revitalize ALPA’s finances, the Association’s Special Committee for Finance, Structure and Services (SCFSS) will present recommendations for the Executive Board to vote on at the meeting, which concludes on Wednesday. The Executive Board is made up of the Association’s MEC chairs and meets twice a year, in spring and fall.