[Note: This JNC Blog post was revised in “[REVISED] What Happens if the TA is Voted Down?” The following strikeout text will remain for reference.]
Q: Without this extension, VX stays at their current pay and awful work rules until when? When we get a whole new contract is that right? And then our new brothers and sisters from VX will be voting for things on that contract they have not experienced or worked under, including, work rules and company ethics, such as broken promises. Also correct? I’m trying to see the whole picture- short term and long term. And then decide where we (all) make the best strategic decision to be strongest and most united.
A: You are correct on all points regarding the VX situation and what would happen if the VX FAs do not come over to the AS CBA (which would become the JCBA) as a result of a ratified TA.
Q: If we say No to this “first offer,” you will be sent right back to the table, and we will get more because they [management] never give us their “best offer” first, correct? Some people think that if they vote no, we will go back into negotiations and get a larger [pay] increase and the 480 improvements.
A: Contract negotiations is not like buying a car or a home. The “you never accept the first offer no matter what’s in the deal” approach is very troubling. Just remember that the parties passed multiple proposals prior to reaching an agreement, and the JNC rejected many of management’s offers. Therefore, the TA is not management’s first offer. Although it is possible that there might be improvements in another pass, there are no guarantees either. Additionally, it takes time to go through the process again.
Q: If this is voted down, would we go right back to the table or is this a one time merger TA offer? Would we then hold off until openers for the full contract negotiations coming up at the end of the year?
A: If the TA is voted down, management has told us that they will wait until October when the earlier re-opener for our Section 6 negotiations is slated to begin under our existing CBA. If that occurs, we will go into full Section 6 negotiations and our entire CBA will be potentially open for re-negotiation. Those talks have historically taken a significant amount of time. There are no guarantees regarding any provision to stay the same or to improve (e.g. pay raises, 480, etc.). Unless the parties were able to achieve a Merger Agreement TA2 prior to October, we would be back at the bargaining table potentially negotiating a full contract, yet with pmAS and pmVX on extremely disparate pay and work rules.