The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) has recommended that its proposed deal with Delta Air Lines for new pilot working conditions be put to the vote among its members. The deal, which was agreed in principle at the end of last year, involves pay increases of up to 30% over four years.
If pilots approve the proposed agreement, they will receive an 18% pay rise on the day the contract is signed, followed by a 5% increase one year later, and then 4% increases in each of the subsequent two years. They will also receive a one-off bonus payment of 4% of their salary received from 2020 and 2021, plus 14% of their 2022 pay.
Fortunately, after an impressive financial performance in 2022, with over $45 billion in operating revenue, Delta Air Lines is now well-placed to take on the financial burden of such significant pay rises.
The upcoming vote
The contract negotiations began in 2019 and, in October last year, Delta Air Lines’ pilots voted in favor of strike action, if necessary, to secure their desired terms for the new agreement.
ALPA now intends to hold a series of roadshows at each of Delta Air Lines’ pilot bases over the coming days. These will provide an opportunity for its 15,000 members to review the proposed agreement and ask any questions. A website will also be set up for those unable to attend the roadshows.
The deal will then be open to a vote from pilots from January 31st through March 1st, and if approved, the changes would be implemented retrospectively from the start of the year. If the deal is rejected, ALPA will meet with the National Mediation Board to discuss the next steps.
ALPA was founded in 1931, and is today the largest pilot union in the world, representing over 67,000 pilots at 39 US and Canadian airlines, including United Airlines, JetBlue, and Air Transat. The chair of ALPA’s Delta Air Lines council, Darren Hartmann, said,
“I appreciate the magnitude of the decision facing each Delta pilot. Our approach to these negotiations has been membership-driven, with polling and direct feedback driving the process. We achieved improvements contract-wide, including industry-leading pay rates.”
Setting the benchmark for other US airlines
The idea of unionization is now growing steadily among other employee communities within Delta Air Lines, including flight attendants and ramp agents. Many US airlines are currently going through their own contract negotiations with their pilots, and with conditions described as ‘industry-leading,’ Delta Air Lines’ proposed agreement could prove to be the new benchmark for these discussions in the future.
This article originally appeared on Simple Flying