ALPA 101


Glossary of Terms

AFL-CIO | ASAP | Action Alert | Agency Shop | Aeromedical Office | Air Transport Association of America, Inc. | Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 | Airport Liaison Representative | ALPA-PAC | Amendable Date | Arbitration  | Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) | Aviation Safety Reporting System | Board of Directors | Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council | Cargo Airline Association | CASC | CAST | CIRP | Contract Administrator | Cooling-Off Period | Department of Homeland Security | Direct Negotiation | Dues Check-off | EASC | Executive Board | Executive Council | Federal Aviation Administration | Flight Safety Foundation | FOQA | FastRead and FastRead Newsflash | Grievance | ICAO | LASC | LPPs | Local Council | Local Executive Council (LEC) | Master Executive Council (MEC) | Major Dispute | Mediation | Minor Dispute | NAS | NATCA | National Air Cargo Association | National Air Transportation Association | National Mediation Board (NMB) | National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) | NAV Canada | NSC | Opener | Pilot-to-Pilot (P2P) | Presidential Emergency Board | Proffer of Arbitration | Railway Labor Act | Regional Airline Association | RTCA | Section 6 Notice | Side Letter | Status Representative | Strike Ballot | Super Mediation | System Board of Adjustment | Transport Canada | Transportation Safety Board of Canada | Transportation Security Administration

 

AFL-CIO

The American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is a voluntary federation of 60 national and international labor unions that represent more than 13 million workers. The AFL-CIO was created in 1955 by the merger of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations. ALPA is the only pilot union affiliated with the AFL-CIO. ALPA’s president serves as an AFL-CIO Executive Council member and as a vice-president of the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department, which represents 35 member unions in the aviation, rail, transit, trucking, highway, longshore, maritime, and related industries.

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ASAP

The Aviation Safety Action Plan (ASAP) encourages air carrier and repair station employees to voluntarily report safety information that may be critical to identifying potential precursors to accidents. The ASAP program allows and encourages employees to report safety issues and protects employees who report problems from the imposition of sanctions in many situations that would otherwise result in punitive action.

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Action Alert

A bulletin that ALPA issues periodically to alert pilot members to key legislative action in Congress. An action alert usually calls on members to contact their Congressional representatives to enlist support for ALPA positions on specific legislation or policy initiatives.

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Agency Shop

A contract provision under which the union that serves as the collective bargaining agent for employees is entitled to collect dues from all employees in the bargaining unit whether or not they are union members.

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Aeromedical Office

ALPA’s Aeromedical Office, which was established in 1969, advises ALPA’s President and provides professional medical advice to ALPA members. To help evaluate and treat disorders that threaten pilots’ FAA aeromedical certification, the office has a medical specialist referral system.

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Air Transport Association of America, Inc.

The Air Transport Association (ATA) functions as a trade organization representing most, but not all, airlines represented by ALPA. As of 2004, the ATA is primarily focused on economic issues and political lobbying, but have a small technical staff to deal with safety and operational issues as well. An entity called AirCon coordinates labor relations issues for the major airlines. Also see NATA, RAA, NACA, CAA).

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Airline Deregulation Act of 1978

The U.S. Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 removed significant government control over the airline industry.

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Airport Liaison Representative

Airport Liaison Representatives (ALR) are members of the Air Safety Committee who provide an ALPA point of contact for airport officials at airports served by ALPA airlines. These volunteers receive specific training to allow them to be effective liaisons, dealing with airport-specific issues ranging from pavement marking to Air Traffic Control procedures.

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ALPA-PAC

ALPA-PAC, the political action committee of ALPA, collects voluntary donations from U.S. member pilots and uses them to provide financial assistance to candidates who are seeking elective office, primarily at the federal level.

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Amendable Date

The amendable date of a contract under the Railway Labor Act is generally the date on which the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement are capable of being changed. Unlike other labor law approaches, contracts under the Railway Labor Act do not automatically expire.

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Arbitration

Arbitration is a process in which two parties agree to submit a dispute to a neutral party (known as an arbitrator) for a final and binding decision on that dispute.

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Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC)

A formal Federal Advisory Committee to the FAA. ARAC groups include interested parties from the aviation industry who meet on specific topics to advise the FAA on the content of proposed changes to Federal Aviation Regulations and related advisory material (see also CARAC).

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Aviation Safety Reporting System

The Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) is a NASA program intended to collect aviation safety data in a non-punitive manner. Anyone involved in aviation (pilot, controller, mechanic, etc.) can fill out and submit an ASRS report to document a safety issue, including an event that leads to a deviation from the FAR, provided that the deviation is not an intentional act. In general, completion of an ASRS report protects a pilot from a sanction resulting from FAA certificate action but does not mean the action is not documented. That is, a pilot’s record will reflect the action, but no fine or suspension will be imposed in most cases.

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Board of Directors

ALPA’s Board of Directors, which consists of the status representatives from all Local Councils, is the highest governing body of ALPA. The BOD is the only entity that can amend or create new language in the Association’s Constitution. The Board’s decisions, whether rendered by ballot or in session, are the final governing decisions and are binding on ALPA’s Executive Board, Executive Council, Officers and members.

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Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council

The Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council (CARAC) provides input to Transport Canada (TC) on aviation rulemaking issues. CARAC groups include interested parties from the aviation industry who meet on specific topics to advise TC on the content of proposed changes to Canadian Aviation Regulations and related advisory material (see also ARAC).

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Cargo Airline Association

The Cargo Airline Association (CAA) functions as a trade organization representing several, generally smaller, all-cargo airlines and related organizations. They are primarily focused on economic issues and political lobbying. (Also see NATA, RAA, NACA, ATA).

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CASC

ALPA’s Central Air Safety Chairman or Central Air Safety Committee.

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CAST

The Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) is made up of aviation industry and government representatives who work jointly to identify, prioritize and solve aviation safety problems. ALPA was instrumental in founding CAST in 1997, in response to directives from the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security and the National Civil Aviation Review Commission. CAST brought together airlines, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association, the International Federation of Air Line Pilots Association, other international organizations and regulatory and government authorities to achieve the goal of reducing the U.S. commercial aviation fatal accident rate by 80 percent. Safety issues that CAST identified as presenting the greatest hindrance to reaching this goal included controlled flight into terrain, loss of control, uncontained engine failure, runway incursions, approach and landing, and weather. CAST recommended 46 prioritized safety enhancements to help make the 80 percent reduction goal a reality. The team has made remarkable progress to date; 22 safety enhancements have been completed and 24 enhancements are underway.

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CIRP

ALPA’s Critical Incident Response Program (CIRP) works to mitigate the psychological effect of an accident, before harmful stress occurs, through pre-incident education and post-incident accident crisis intervention by flight deck crew members who are trained counselors.

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Contract Administrator

Contract administrator is the job title of staff in ALPA’s Representation Department with specific responsibility for collective bargaining and contract enforcement duties. They function as advisors to the pilot groups and individual pilots on industrial, FAA enforcement and medical certification issues.

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Cooling-Off Period

After a proffer of arbitration is refused by either party in negotiations under Section 6 of the Railway Labor Act, the National Mediation Board will "release the case," the 30-day period during which neither party may engage in any self-help activity, commonly known as the "cooling-off" period.

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Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was formed after 9/11/01 in order to consolidate the security-related functions of a variety of US government agencies under one cabinet-level department. DHS is the parent organization of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), as well as US Customs and a number of other agencies.

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Direct Negotiation

Direct negotiation is the period of time in which both management and the pilot representatives engage in bargaining without the presence of a mediator.

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Dues Check-off

Dues check-off is the negotiated contract provision that provides for management to deduct ALPA dues from a member’s pay and remit those dues to ALPA.

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EASC

Executive Air Safety Committee or Executive Air Safety Chairman

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Executive Board

ALPA’s Executive Board consists of the chairmen of the Master Executive Councils (MEC) of all pilot groups. The Executive Board may interpret ALPA’s Constitution and By-Laws and may establish, amend or interpret Association policy.

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Executive Council

ALPA’s Executive Council is made up of the Association’s President, First-Vice President, Vice-President—Administration/Secretary, Vice-President—Finance/Treasurer, and Executive Vice-Presidents. The Council advances the objectives and policies that the Board of Directors establishes, may interpret the Constitution and By-Laws and Association policy, and has fiduciary oversight for the Association.

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Federal Aviation Administration

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the United States aviation regulatory agency, equivalent to Transport Canada.

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Flight Safety Foundation

Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) is an independent, nonprofit, international organization engaged in research, auditing, education, advocacy and publishing to improve aviation safety.

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FOQA

A Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) program routinely collects and analyzes digital flight data gathered during aircraft operations.

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FastRead and FastRead Newsflash

A periodic electronic newsletter featuring late-breaking information on ALPA or airline industry issues that is delivered to all ALPA members who have provided the Association with an e-mail address.

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Grievance

A complaint filed by a pilot or group of pilots who are dissatisfied with a management action, which shall be handled according to a set procedure provided in the collective bargaining agreement.

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HPC

ALPA’s Human Performance Committee (HPC), which includes the Aeromedical Committee, the Critical Incident Response Committee, the Pilot Assistance Committee, and the Professional Standards Committee.

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ICAO

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations created by the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation to promote cooperation in the legal, technical, and security aspects of international air transport.

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LASC

Local Air Safety Committee and Local Air Safety Chairman

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LPPs

Labor protective provisions, or LPPs, occur in three forms: (1) the Allegheny-Mohawk LPPs protect pilots in the event of the merger of two carriers; (2) the Deregulation Act LPPs (also called the Employee Protection Provisions of the Deregulation Act) were enacted to protect pilots from the adverse effects of deregulation; and 3) specifically bargained LPPs contained in a labor agreement.

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Local Council

A Local Council is a body of ALPA members employed by the same airline and who may reside or work out of the same geographical area or may be grouped according to their seniority at the airline. Local Councils elect one or more status representative(s) and three officers (the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman and the Secretary/Treasurer). Under the Association’s By-Laws, the Local Council must meet at least once every three months and whenever a special meeting is deemed necessary.

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Local Executive Council (LEC)

The Local Executive Council (LEC) is made up of the Local Council Chairman, the Vice-Chairman and the Secretary/Treasurer. The LEC is responsible for the proper management of the affairs and business of the local council of which it is a part. Local Executive Council business must be conducted at regularly convened meetings.

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Major Dispute

Under the Railway Labor Act, a dispute between labor and management that involves the development of a new, or changes to an existing, collective bargaining agreement is termed a major dispute.

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Master Executive Council (MEC)

The Master Executive Council (MEC) is made up of Local Council status representatives and functions as the coordinating council for the members of that airline.

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Mediation

The process whereby a privately engaged or federally-appointed mediator or facilitator participates in an attempt to assist the parties to bring about an agreement but, unlike arbitration, does not make a final decision on the issues.

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Minor Dispute

Under the Railway Labor Act, a dispute between labor and management that involves the interpretation of an existing collective bargaining agreement is termed a "minor dispute" and is brought before the System Board of Adjustment for resolution.

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NAS

National Airspace System (also INAS – International Airspace System).

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NATCA

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association is the US air traffic controllers’ union.

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National Air Cargo Association

The National Air Cargo Association (NACA) functions as a trade organization representing some all-cargo airlines and related organizations. They are primarily focused on economic issues and political lobbying. (Also see NATA, RAA, CAA, ATA).

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National Air Transportation Association

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) functions as a trade organization representing some airlines and related organizations. They are primarily focused on economic issues and political lobbying. (Also see NACA, RAA, CAA, ATA).

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National Mediation Board (NMB)

The U.S. government agency provided for in the Railway Labor Act to oversee collective bargaining and representation disputes in the rail and air industries. The National Mediation Board (NMB) consists of three members appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate and staff professionals who advise the members. The Board mediates collective bargaining negotiations to help unions and carriers reach agreements. It also resolves representation disputes through employee elections and other means.

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National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency that investigates civil aviation accidents in the United States and significant accidents involving rail, marine, pipeline, and some highway events. NTSB conducts special investigations and safety studies, and issues safety recommendations to prevent future accidents. The NTSB also maintains a process whereby pilots may challenge actions by the FAA affecting their airman certificates. NTSB procedures are similar to, but not identical to, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

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NAV Canada

NAV Canada is a private corporation, responsible for the provision of air navigation services, including air traffic control, in Canada.

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NSC

ALPA National Security Committee.

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Opener

Formal proposals provided at the beginning of negotiations that detail items to be considered.

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Pilot-to-Pilot (P2P)

P2P is an MEC-endorsed communication program designed to facilitate two-way communication between ALPA’s leaders and line pilot members.

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Presidential Emergency Board

A board created and appointed on a case-by-case basis by the U.S. President when the National Mediation Board reports that a dispute may threaten to substantially interrupt essential interstate transportation.

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Proffer of Arbitration

A formal invitation by the National Mediation Board to the parties to submit the issues in dispute to binding interest arbitration. Either party may refuse to arbitrate.

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Railway Labor Act

The legislation that governs labor relations in the rail and airline industry. Passed in 1926, the Railway Labor Act (RLA) required employers to bargain collectively with employee representation and prohibited discrimination against unions. It was designed to avoid interruption to interstate commerce. The "Pilots Amendment of 1936" amended Title II of the RLA to include airlines engaged in interstate commerce.

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Regional Airline Association

The Regional Airline Association (RAA) functions as a trade organization representing a number of airlines represented by ALPA that primarily operate small jets and turboprops. They are primarily focused on economic issues and political lobbying, but have limited capability to deal with safety and operational issues as well. (Also see NATA, ATA, NACA, CAA).

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RTCA

RTCA (formerly Radio Technical Corporation of America) is a US Federal Advisory Committee that acts as a standards-setting body for aviation Communications, Navigation, and Surveillance (CNS) Systems. RTCA working groups, known as Special Committees, are chartered to develop standards for the design and use of systems on, in, or by aircraft. Examples of recent RTCA work include Terrain Data Bases, Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), Global Position System (GPS), and Personal Electronic Devices (used onboard aircraft). RTCA maintains close liaison with its European counterpart.

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Section 6 Notice

The formal notification from either pilots or management to the other party of the desire to negotiate amendments to their existing collective bargaining agreement. The notice typically begins the process of negotiation under the RLA.

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Side Letter

A letter of agreement that modifies a contract before its amendable date.

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Status Representative

A Status Representative is an elected member of a Local Council who represents a section of the local members who are captains, first officers, second officers, instructors, or whose seniority falls within a specific seniority block. The various methods of defining a status representative ensure that local council members have adequate representation.

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Strike Ballot

A vote by secret ballot of members’ willingness to withhold their services.

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Super Mediation

Super Mediation is a period of "public interest" negotiations convened by the National Mediation Board (NMB) during the cooling off period in a further attempt to assist the parties to reach a settlement.

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System Board of Adjustment

A panel mandated by the Railway Labor Act for adjusting and deciding disputes that arise about the pilot agreement. The panel will include representatives of management and of the pilots, and may include a neutral member or arbitrator.

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Transport Canada

Transport Canada (TC) is the Canadian aviation regulatory agency, equivalent to the US FAA.

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Transportation Safety Board of Canada

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSBC) is an independent federal agency that investigates civil aviation accidents in Canada as well as accidents in involving rail, marine, and pipeline systems. TSBC conducts special investigations and safety studies, and issues safety recommendations to prevent future accidents. TSBC procedures are similar to, but not identical to, the US NTSB.

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Transportation Security Administration

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was formed in the wake of the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001. TSA’s mission is to oversee the security of all forms of public transportation, including airlines. As such, TSA has taken over nearly all the airport and aviation security oversight role formerly held by the FAA.

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