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System Schedule Report

Dan Boone, Chairman 

System Schedule Committee Report, June 14, 2000

 

MANPOWER
Vacancy Bids
The company and SSC entered into a long discussion on Day 2 over the proposed vacancies presented to the SSC on Day 1. The company acknowledged holding back about five to seven 777, eight 400 SFO CAP, and three Dl 0 CAP bids (approximate numbers). The company anticipates surplused SFO 747 and DC-l0 pilots will bid in to these seats. The SSC pointed out that the manpower models may not accurately reflect actual needs. We suggested the company "hedge" their bets by releasing a fraction of the "holdback" bids, in case manpower projections err. The company contends they already "hedge". At any rate, the flow of bids is going into the SFO base for their additional flying (Pacific and Europe). The company did agree to add one LAX 400 CAP.
The company also suggested that they may not backfill SFO and DCA 727s. These are dying fleets. The company will allow some attrition before deciding on the base closure procedures. We will discuss this again next month.

The company explained the high number of 767 FO bids as reposting of previously unfilled bids. They feel the freeze reduction and the recently announced USAir merger will prompt pilots to bid to the maximum extent of their seniority, thereby filling 767 FO bids. If this does not happen with this bid, the company will look at other means to fill open vacancies including assigning new hires to domestic 767 bases.

Schedule Adjustments
The company is responding to decreased pilot availability by reducing the summer schedule. For June and July, the company removed about 1800 hours each month from the schedule. Most pilot schedules were not affected as the reduction came from open flying. There were JFK and DCA 767 pilots that did lose June flying. Those pilots were reassigned other flying per Section 20F1 or 4 of the contract. At a minimum, they will receive the monthly 78 hour pay guarantee. Schedulers worked closely with the pilots to repair their lines as much as possible. The SSC commended the line group for their dedication and perseverance through a difficult process not of their own making.

July Schedule Pulldown
The company reduced the July schedule by about 1800 hours. This amounts to less than one percent reduction of the monthly flying. Management decided to execute this reduction in the middle of the schedule building process. Rather than trying to work backwards from existing schedules, Dir. Roichek directed a fresh rewrite of the schedules to insure proper quality. As a result, July bids are delayed until June 2nd, and will close seven days later, per contract, on the  9th. Select SSC and LSC members will travel to ORD a second time to perform DSL and line review per Section 20A. The 320, 727 and 300 fleets were affected by the July pulldown.

The secondary line construction process was also affected. This will be condensed and targeted for completion on the 21st, one day later than normal.

The Big Pick will go as scheduled on the 25th, where the schedule building process (DSLs and Lines) will return back to a normal schedule. Provided the company makes a timely decision, any pulldown for August beyond that already planned can be accounted for in the normal schedule building process.

Phase I and II
When the crew desk is short of pilots, they may resort to using training resources to crew line trips. These are known as Phase 1, where the crew desk asks an available Pi to fly a line trip, and Phase 11, when the company cancels training in order to free an instructor and the line pilot for line flying. Please see the below minutes heading of "Discretionary Training Reduced".

The company revealed that the only use Phase 11 as a last resort, when there are no junior mannings available. There is no Phase III plan.

Discretionary Training Reduced
As a result of planned manpower shortages, the company announced they are reducing "discretionary" training not related to vacancy bids. Such examples include CLR and TAP. Pilots who are restored to the schedule as a result of canceled training are covered under Section 9.B.l.c. That section directs make-up or reassignment of lost flying to Section 20.F.l. Section 20.F.1 is ahead of reserves.

Vacation Allocation
Attachment 15 is the vacation liquidated by the company last vacation year. This is one half of the data the SSC asked of the company. The planned vacation liquidation is the other half. The company is still working on that data.

For the past several years, the company has asked pilots to defer large amounts of vacation to the following year under Section 1 l.F of the contract. The SSC is concerned that the company is not properly allocating vacation. If so, pilots are being disadvantaged by not being able to take vacation as allowed by the contract and seniority. We want to see whether what they planned was what they did, and to project these procedures to the current and future vacation years.

Base Closings
The company announced a potential acceleration to the timeline dealing with NPDM 00-01, and 0002 (SFO DC-1O base closing and 727 base closure timeline). SFO DC-10 closing still holds for October. The company is also considering adding JFK 727s to the NPDM. The USAir merger put an abrupt stop to those plans. The company will continue to evaluate closure acceleration, and will present the SSC their plan for such closings on the June SSC meeting. At that time, the company may accelerate the DCA 727 closing ahead of SFO, and JFK 727s may be added to the closing list. The company may also accelerate the 727 aircraft phase out. The SSC response to the NPDMs will be attached to the report concurrent with the company's receipt.

B747/DC10 Update
The company may accelerate 747 retirements (2001). The company is still evaluating D10 retirements.

SFO/ORD 400 Manpower Balance
The SSC and SFO LSC reps are concerned that the company has misjudged the SFO 400 manpower requirements. In defense of their plan, they explained that they posted ten SFO 400 CAP bids and two in ORD. They contend that they are moving in the right direction. The company does not want to overbid the SFO base as they anticipate DC-10 bumps will fill the current shortfall. They feel after the DC-10 bumps that the SFO 400 level will balance sometime around Oct. 31. Until then, the company will continue to use ORD crews to fly SFO flying through a "W" pattern, as well as TDY. The SFO bumps should be effective around Oct. I or Oct. 31, with bump letter posted in August for both D10 and 727.  SFO 777s will continue to grow, as will the LAX 777s. Dir. Roichek promised a communication to the SFO 777 pilots explaining the 777 manpower situation.

NPDM Correction
NPDM 00-01 and 00-02 incorrectly stated that the base closure will be done according to Section 8K. The correct Section is 8N.

Bid Freeze Reduction
The company and SSC representatives discussed the one-time three month bid freeze reduction to existing bids. This agreement did not change future freezes acquired through vacancy bids. They are still at 27/14 months per Letter 96-2. The SSC is skeptical that three months may not be a large enough reduction. The company felt comfortable with that number, and thought the pending merger would compel pilots to bid to the maximum extent of their seniority. At issue is the large number of unfilled wide-body first officer bids. New hires are restricted from bidding into wide-body first officer aircraft in an international operation (Letter 99-8).

By-Pass Letter
At the SSC's request, the company generated a letter that explains By-pass bidding and pay in plain English. The SSC received the letter from the company and has forwarded it to the R&I and Negotiating committees for their input. When the letter finishes review, we plan to distribute it to the pilots. The SSC thanks Claire Fitzpatrick for her work on this effort.

Manpower Model
The SSC has long contended that the company is short of manpower in many fleets and seats. In view of the recent schedule cancellations, the SSC asked about the company manpower model. We learned that the model plans on 5% overtime over 78 hours, no junior manning, and reserve use at 55-59 hours per month.

Hiring Plan Update
The company plans on continuing their hiring rate at about 100 new hires per month, for a total of 11 00 to 1200 this year. The earlier reported figure of 1300 appears too ambitious.

ROUTE FLEET PLANS
Round-the-World Service
The company plans to resume round the world service next April. The plan is to use the 400 initially, then later convert the route to a 777. We exchanged tentative ideas on how to will staff the operation. There are many options and restrictions.  For example, ORD can not fly DEL under the present restriction from Letter 95-5 (11 time zones). The SSC will work with the company to develop an operation that will protect pilot interests in keeping with the Agreement.

ORD Slot Removal
The company announced they are making adjustments to ORD flying as a result of slot restriction removal. Most of these moves involve small jets for now.

Requested Routes Update
The company requested the JFK -Paris route dropped by Tower Air's bankruptcy (767-300). They have also asked for a twice daily DCA-LAX (757). The company is still awaiting government route award decision on previously applied for LAX-EZE and LAX-GRU (400).

Summer 2001 Intl. Schedule
Plans are still in development.  United Business Improvements
The company announced a project to improve United Business in response to American's move to do the same.