Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Horizon Air pilots approve new five-year contract

by B. N. Sullivan

The pilots at Horizon Air have approved a new five-year collective bargaining agreement.  Their union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters APA Local 1224, announced today that the tentative agreement  reached in September of this year  was ratified by the membership.  Ballots were tallied yesterday and the vote passed the membership by 60 percent, according to the union.

A press statement by Teamsters Local 1224 offered these details:
The new contract includes dramatic improvements in work conditions where the pilots will be writing their own schedules and trips.  Also, a progressive scheduling process was agreed to whereby pilots can trade and manage their schedules among each other to accommodate their personal wishes, with improved pay protections for Horizon pilots.  Significant ratification bonuses also were included in the agreement.  The pay rates will be submitted in two separate 'baseball style' arbitrations; a method agreed upon to avoid an impasse on the subject.

Most notable of these is, perhaps, the scheduling improvements in this agreement which demonstrate that Horizon has entrusted the pilot group to build safe, cost-efficient schedules.
"We look forward to implementing this new contract, especially the scheduling portion," says Captain Trevor Bulger. "The scheduling section in and of itself is a major industry improvement in that our pilots now have the ability to essentially build their own schedules. We envision this will provide for a vast improvement in our quality of life."

The new agreement was reached following more than four years of negotiations, and months of federal mediation.