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Robert L. Beck, Chairman

(Current as of Summer 1998) 

New Hires

As of the new hire class of June 29, 1998 there have been 210 pilots hired in 1998. Current projection for the year has been increased to 564. Since May 1985, there have been 7,179 hired that are currently on the seniority list while 2,474 were here prior to that date. This equates to 74.4% and 25.6% respectively.

United Pilot Group

As of July 6, 1998, there are 9,653 pilots on the UAL System Seniority List, which included 276 who were MD/IL. There are approximately 280 over age-60 second officers currently flying.

ALPA National

As of July 6, 1998, there are 50,105 pilots represented by ALPA; UAL with 9,449 (18.9%); Delta with 9,215 (18.4%); Northwest with 6,062 (12. 1 %); USAirways with 5,123 (10.3%); TWA with 2,605 (5.2%); and American Eagle with 2,025 (4.0%). Combined, these airlines total 34,200 (69%) of ALPA.

Pilot Hiring

Capt. Jim Barnes,

Hiring Projections

In June WHQ notified DENEV that the pilot hiring rate for the rest of the year and 1999 would be increased from a planned 30-40/month to:
June '98     54 per mo.
July '98     42
Aug. '98     52
Sept.-Oct. '98     65
Dec. '98-May '99     70
June '99-Oct. '99     75 

The current projection does not go beyond 18 months. However, they have said that the year 2000 may be even greater due to the anticipated narrowbody order. The reason given for the increase is a planned increase in the utilization rate for the Airbus fleet later this year and then growth aircraft deliveries which begin in 1999.

Based upon these revised projections the pool of pilots awaiting assignment of a class date will be exhausted around October, depending upon the attrition rate. Class dates are currently assigned through September. Beginning in September UAL will return to weekly new-hire classes.

Resumption of Interview Process

Based upon the revised hiring projections the company has decided to resume interviewing prospective pilots on Aug. 3, 1998 at a rate of 12 per day, five days per week. The interview rate will increase in September to 15 per day and further increase to 21 per day a staffing in HR can be obtained. The Flight Officer Selection Steering Committee (FOSSC) will closely monitor the success rate to prevent future pools. As previously stated the FOSSC has set a goal to consistently assign class dates six to eight weeks in advance. The interview rate will be modified as necessary at achieve the above time frame based upon the applicant success rate.

As predicted in past reports, this is a resumption of the process with less notice than would be ideal and in fact several of the changes that are in the works will not be ready until later this year, due to validation requirements, training needs and equipment availability.

I will continue to keep the MEC informed on the progress and time frame for these changes. Had the company been willing to accept the recommendations we had relative to the hiring rate of those in the pool, we would likely not be in the position of resuming interviews without the desired planning and notice.

Interviewer Training

Recurrent training for the Captains and Employment representatives will take place in July and again in August. The training will center on professional, non-confrontational interviews that focus on the relevant skills necessary to be a UAL pilot. There will also be great emphasis placed upon a consistent application of our standards so that the result of the interview will be the same no matter who is on the interview team. ALPA is very involved in the development and content of the training curriculum.

DENEV and the FOSSC are very interested in ALPA's desire to see the captains assume a much more active and comprehensive role in the interview. This will also be an area of emphasis during the recurrent training.

At this point it appears as though there are a sufficient number of captains to accommodate the planned interview schedule. There may be additional needs later this year or early 1999. If additional staffing is necessary, I will continue to use the LEC officers for input on individuals interested in becoming interviewers.

Captain Bob Fiedler

Many of you are aware that for the last several years Capt. Fiedler has filled the role of Manager of the Flight Operations Representatives (the captains who conduct the pilot interviews). Prior to Capt. Fiedler's assumption of these duties, the position was vacant. Capt. Fiedler has filled a very important role in restoring Flight Operations responsibility to the pilot hiring process. He will be retiring early next year and has asked to step aside at this point. He's been a great pleasure to work with and his presence in the process and at the FOSSC will be greatly missed.

The FOSSC has chosen DEN Captain John Szakach to fill the position of Manager of Flight Operations Representatives. Capt. Szakach is currently an A-320 captain. He has been an interviewer for several years and is very knowledgeable and experienced in the process. I believe that Capt. Szakach will be a very strong addition to this position and to the FOSSC.

Status Checks

With the resumption of interviews the ability of current UAL pilots to check on the application status of a friend will return. The status check will now be accomplished via company E-note to a mailbox specifically set-up for this purpose. Once available, a note will go to all pilots, either via E-note, or via the Front Page on the Unimatic sign-on. Due to the volume and the workload of the staff at DENEV, telephone calls for such purposes will not be possible.

The past arrangement of having a staff member from DENEV answer calls during a two-hour window, one day per week generated more than two days worth of work for at least one person in the office. There simply is not enough personnel to accomplish this. Additionally there was some abuse of the system. There were many cases in which applicants were calling in and providing a file number to check on their own status. There were also people calling in with requests for multiple individuals, at times 10 or more. The above problems resulted in many within the company wanting to eliminate the program entirely. In order to keep the access available, the E-note program will be administered by Flight Operations personnel verses HR.

So as to ensure a manageable level we will request that you please limit your inquires to one applicant per six months. The six-month time frame was chosen to coincide with the update schedule for applicants. We will evaluate the workload to see if it is feasible to continue at this level, or whether a modification can be made. Your cooperation will greatly aid in our ability to maintain this access.

New Application

A revised application that incorporates the new minimum qualifications for application as well as some simplification relative to flight time reporting will be available by the end of June 1998. To aid in availability, application packets will be distributed to the domiciles where pilots can access them for friends and acquaintances.

All reference to flight time will now be on the scantron form. In the past the application asked for flight time in a slightly different manner than on the scantron form. This often resulted in confusion on the part of applicants and created a test type of feeling toward our application. The new forms should be more straightforward. UAL has still retained its own definition of PIC, differing from the FARS, and the various military branches. As flight time is logged differently in every sector of aviation, UAL is asking applicants to report time on our forms per UAL's definition so that all may be compared against the same standard. UAL and the interviewers know full well that time in logbooks may differ from the application due to these differences. This is expected and will have no barring on the interview as long as reported time is accurate. A form has been developed to assist the interviewers' review of logbooks, and to ensure a consistent review.

The FOSSC wishes to move to an electronic application and the necessary preliminary work is underway. The goal is to allow applicants to submit an application and update experience via the UAL web page or via a computer disk. It will likely take one to two years before such could become a reality. The company is using scanable applications for other positions to gain some experience and identify problem areas prior to implementation for flight officers. I will continue to keep you advised as this progresses.

MEC Direction (Minimize Impact of Prep Services)

In keeping with an agenda item passed in June, there are several areas that will be in place by the time interviews resume as well as some more that will be integrated into the process soon.

There are now multiple sets of interview questions, significantly increasing the number of questions. The sets will be used randomly by the interview teams. This should minimize the impact of the "gouge" that many preparation services have used in the past, often to the detriment of the pilot applicants.

The increased role of the captain in the interview should reduce the emphasis and coaching that many of the preparation services were placing on the Employment Representatives (ERs). There are about 60 captains verses 4-7 ERs.

The company has put forth a lot of effort to participate in areas that allow them to dispel rumors and to "get the word out" to pilot applicants. The company has actively participated at pilot job fairs as well as other venues. I have attended some of these and am very pleased with the effort the company is making in this area.

The new simulator, once on line, should reduce the impact of the many simulator preparation services that were tailored to UAL's evaluation. New simulator profiles will be developed to provide a more realistic evaluation of the skills necessary of a pilot in today's airline environment.

Multiple scenarios in the simulator should also be effective in providing a real evaluation of the applicant verses their ability to afford to pay for a prep service.

New Hire Freezes

In June, I was contacted by Claire Fitzpatrick, the new person In charge of manpower planning for the pilots, relative to the problem the company was having with new hire freezes. As the conversation began I informed Claire that I had no authority to negotiate the issue, and that the System Schedule and Negotiating committees were the ones that needed to be consulted, but I would be more than willing to listen to what she had to say and to forward the issue on.

The company's concern is that with so many F/Os under a freeze, that the 767 F/0 bids will go unfilled. They do not want those or any other widebody bids going to new-hire assignments. They would prefer to have more UAL experience in the right seats of the widebody aircraft. Additionally the current situation results in many new-hires initially assigned S/0 positions, bidding F/0 soon after their initial training. This necessitates hiring a surplus to cover those new- hires who experience two training events within one year. Given the above concerns. she said that the company would like to amend the new-hire freezes to be only one year, but with NO ability to upgrade during that period. She indicated that this would result in more stability in the ranks of the S/Os, easier planning of new-hires, relieve the need to hire a surplus to cover training, and provide a more "normal" progression within the F/O seats. She indicated that she felt this would be preferable to relief that was available to them now within the contract, such as selectively waiving freezes.

I asked if they had considered the implication of pay and ESOP stock distribution on new- hires in the S/0 seat that were senior to new-hire F/Os, yet with no ability to realize the same pay/stock. They had not. I also asked if they had considered the potential negative situation within a crew where the F/0 was Junior to the S/0, and the S/0 was not there by choice. Again they had not yet considered it. I also asked, given the ongoing reduction in the number of S/0 seats, how long they envisioned this to be a problem. They had no time frame in mind.

My impression, for what it is worth, is that Claire was sincerely trying to do a better job than her predecessor, but that the focus was very short-term. and not fully thought through as to all the implications of any of the possible solutions. Given the almost monthly adjustment of the new- hire numbers, I am left to wonder how much in control of the manpower planning process they are. #