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Alaska Airlines pilots to receive pay bump, increased schedule flexibility under new contract

Pilots at Alaska Airlines are getting a raise following ratification of a new three-year contract with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).

Under the agreement, pilots' wages will increase as much as 23%, based on years of service, effective immediately. Top-of-scale captains will now make $306 per hour, which will increase to $330 after two years.

"A market rate adjustment will keep pilots in line with peers at other airlines in the years ahead," the airline noted Monday in a news release.

In addition to the pay bump, Alaska Airlines pilots will have ALPA-designed schedules and increased flexibility to adjust their schedules, stronger job security, retirement contribution increases and no increases to health care costs.

More than 96% of Alaska’s 3,300 pilots voted on the new contract, with 82% voting in favor of the agreement.

The victory comes after more than three years of negotiations, during which pilots took part in pickets, leafleting, and other labor-related events to make their voices heard. In May, the pilots overwhelmingly agreed to authorize a strike if negotiations fell flat.

"Our goal was to negotiate an agreement where our pilots could make Alaska Airlines a lifelong career," Captain Will McQuillen, chair of the Alaska Airlines Master Executive Council, said in a statement. "This contract is good for our pilots and their families and also good for our airline."

The new contract for Alaska Airlines pilots comes as approximately 14,600 ALPA-represented pilots at rival Delta Air Lines have opened voting to authorize a strike as negotiations for a new contract remain ongoing. The voting window for the strike authorization ballot will close on Oct. 31 at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Before a strike can take place, the National Mediation Board must first decide that additional mediation efforts would not be productive and offer the parties an opportunity to arbitrate the contract dispute.

If either side declines, both parties enter a 30-day "cooling off" period, after which the parties can engage in self-help—a strike by the union or a lockout by management.

This article originally appeared on Fox News

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