Alaska Airlines and the IAM have come to a short term contract extension for their COPS (Clerical, Office, and Passenger Service) workgroup.
Alaska Airlines press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 28, 2003
CONTRACT EXTENSION REACHED WITH ALASKA AIRLINES AGENTS
SEATTLE—Alaska Airlines today announced that it has reached a tentative agreement with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers that would extend the existing contract between the airline and its clerical, office and passenger service (COPS) employees.
The agreement covers Alaska’s 3,153 customer service agents, reservations sales agents, operations agents, accounting specialists and more. The agreement must be ratified before it will take effect. IAM members will be voting to ratify over the next few weeks.
The new contract affects only wages, bringing the carrier’s COPS employees in line with market rates for the industry. Employees will receive a 2 percent pay increase retroactive to October 26, 2002, and another 2 percent commencing October 25, 2003.
The agreement resolves a longstanding issue surrounding employee shift trades. Otherwise, work rules, pensions, health benefits and other elements are unchanged.
Negotiations on a new contract began 15 months ago but prospects for an agreement were not likely in the near term. “While progress was made in a number of areas during that time, two of the biggest—pensions and health care—found the negotiating teams struggling to find common ground,” said Ed White, vice president of ground services. “Rather than let pay increases get held up because of those two issues, the negotiating teams opted for this extension.”
IAM press release:
For immediate release:
DISTRICT 143 OF THE IAMAW TENTATIVELY AGREED WITH ALASKA AIRLINES ON EXTENSION OF CURRENT COPS AGREEMENT
St. Paul MN (October 28, 2003) - District 143 of the IAMAW tentatively agreed with Alaska Airlines on extending the current COPS Agreement until March 31, 2004. This extension is subject to membership ratification and approval.
Following is what was agreed upon:
• Extend current contract to March 31, 2004
• 2% retro wage increase from October 30, 2002
• An additional 2% wage increase beginning October 30, 2003, for a total of 4%
• Any new pension increases will be retroactively given to any member who retires after amendable date of October 29, 2002
• Cap on increases on medical
• Modification of present shift trade policy
• Long term disability program
Negotiations will start up again on April 1, 2004.