Archive for union

Seniority Rules

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 7 February, 2010 by Thomas

The airline industry is not a meritocracy.  Everything we get or “earn” is based on seniority – our pay, trip pairings, days off, vacation, travel privileges, and pretty much anything and everything else.  We realize this is how things are done when we sign up and are OK with it; it’s really the fairest way to do things in most instances.  The longer we’re at our airline the higher our quality of life.  Personally, I find it comforting to know that all I have to do is bide my time and eventually I’ll have a good work schedule with the days off I want earning a living wage.  I just have to pay my dues and my time will come.  I wasn’t the first to have a crappy schedule with low pay, and I won’t be the last – at least I hope not.

However, there has come an occasion where I am not OK with the seniority system.  We’ve recently had a flight attendant come back on line after being out on medical leave.  Now, I don’t know this person from a ham sandwich, but if what I’ve been told is correct then I don’t think she should even be employed with my airline anymore.  Yeah, that may sound harsh, but there should be a statute of limitations on how long one can be on medical leave and keep a job.  I’ve been told that after being hired by the airline and working on line for six months she went out on workman’s comp.  After about two years of being on workman’s comp, she took a medical leave of absence for about four years.  Our union contract provides that employees out on these types of leave not only retain seniority but also accrue it.

On paper this seems like a good idea, but in practice (obviously) it has its flaws.  I think after two years one should no longer accrue seniority, just retain it.  There are other types of leave that we can take that only allow for accrual for the first 30 days.  Why for these two is accrual indefinite?  She only worked for 6 months, left for six years, and now that she’s decided she wants to come back she comes back at number 34 on the company-wide seniority list!  I’ve only been flying for less than two years, but I’ve worked more than she has.  Something doesn’t seem fair about this.  It is what it is, and there’s nothing I can do about it, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.  And it’s not like I have a problem with her personally, I just think our union screwed up when they negotiated this part of our contract.

Even though my company-wide seniority has gone up three spots in the last month, now that’s she back, she’s bumped me down one spot on my base’s seniority list.  Being on the bubble of holding a line and being on reserve makes this a big deal, which is why I’m so upset about this.  No one senior to me ever leaves my base; they all leave from the Charlotte base.  Eventually, I think I might like to be based there because the trips are better, but since it’s so much bigger I’m even farther away from holding a line there.  Maybe this flight attendant will realize she doesn’t really like the job all that much and decide to do something else.  Even better, maybe the industry as a whole will improve beyond anyone’s wildest imagination and I can get called up to the big show.  A boy can hope, right?

Where to Begin

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 16 November, 2009 by Thomas

Hello there, how ya doin’?  I’ve got all these thoughts just floatin’ through my brain.  They bump, and they collide and cause a flurry of confusion, and it’s gettin’ on my nerves.

–Motion City Soundtrack – “Where I Belong”

I don’t even know where to start with all this.  I guess I’ll just start here…

Last night I got a call from a union rep about my blog.  It was only a CYA call because she didn’t want to have to represent me in a meeting with management should I find myself in hot water due to my semi-coherent babblings.  She recommended that I keep my blog 100% anonymous, and after we hung up I did just that because I got just bit worried that I could get a good friend in trouble because of an earlier post should someone with the power to fire me read it.

Part VIII of our Information & Technology Policy states:

Prohibition on Presenting Yourself as an Employee of the Company on the Internet – Company employees are prohibited from identifying themselves as Company employees when posting comments on the Internet or on other on-line services.  This rule applies even if a statement is included that clearly states that the user is expressing his or her own ideas and not necessarily those of the Company. This rule also applies where such posting is done from the user’s personal equipment. Internet traffic sent via Company resources is identifiable as being from an employee with the Company.  Therefore, participation in Internet newsgroups and the like via Company facilities is prohibited.

So after rereading that section and deleting the potentially problematic post (I do like my alliteration) I decided that I was comfortable having identifying markers on my blog.  Maybe that’s a bad idea, but I was in a funk all day because of the changes I made.  Now I’m in a better mood with my name and what not back up.  Let me know if you think that’s a dreadful idea.

This is Chávez, not the passenger.

Tonight I had a passenger on the way to HSV who looked like Hugo Chavez, only 20 years younger.  I’m talking spittin’ image of the despot.  I wish I could have gotten a picture of the guy, but how do you ask someone, “Can I take your picture?  You look exactly like a douchey dictator.”  He seemed like a quiet and reserved guy, but for all I know he was Chavez’s nephew going to HSV to investigate our great and powerful space program, and if I had asked he would have had to straight regulate on me.  That’s no way to end a pleasant evening, being regulated on.Gross Drain

This is how I found my galley drain tonight.  I think the FO did it when he was being an asshat.  I could be wrong, though.  Yeah, that’s fat and grease and grossness that dried that I had to clean up.  The only reason I think it was the FO is because I saw him drain his Marie Callender’s steamy something or other in the drain right after he asked me if it was functional.  It was and remained so despite his best efforts.

Finally, after seeing 101 Goals in 1001 Days, I’ve decided to start my own little list of goals.  I’ve only got about 20 so far – it’s much harder than you might think to come up with 101 goals you want to accomplish – but when I get them all I’ll add a new page on here so you can keep up with them if you want.  As you can probably imagine they will be as epic as I am so 1001 days might not be nearly enough time.  In the meantime I’ll also be thinking of some snazzy new title for it to keep the symmetry in tact.