Tuesday, March 15, 2005

This is the LAST time...

...that I bother helping the company out by working on a day off.

*Rant Alert!*

So today was my day off. I was supposed to be house-hunting with our realtor, Kim. Last night at 9PM, though, I got a call from crew scheduling. They had a trip for today that they were unable to fill - a Burbank roundtrip. Now, my name was on the "draft-me" board at crew scheduling. I don't mind working a day off if the compensation is right. But given that I had plans, I didn't really want to take it. "It's 5.5 hours of premium pay" said the crew scheduler. I did some quick mental math - that's about $225. I accepted the trip.

Fast forward to 5:49AM this morning. I checked in and printed my trip report - and it showed me doing a San Jose roundtrip. The pay is 1.5 hours less than what I was told. I called up crew scheduling & asked what was going on. The guy was apologetic - "I figured you wouldn't mind since you were already at the airport. I'm sorry I didn't notify you." Okay, fine, but when I get back I'm going to talk to somebody about the pay difference.... That was a mistake. I should've refused the assignment right there & said the plane doesn't fly until I'm guaranteed 5.5 hours of pay.

So I fly the trip, but when I get back I go talk to one of our assistant chief pilots, SM. His first response was blunt: you get paid only what you fly. After examining my case, though - that my first assignment was cancelled, and I was then essentially redrafted without notification - he said I might have a case, and he would run it through the chief pilot. After all, the contract does say that "a junior assigned pilot may not be relieved from an open time assignment without his consent."

SM called back shortly thereafter to say that according to our chief pilot, I was not relieved from my assigment; that once the company drafted me, they could reassign me however they pleased. They have a previous grievance ruling that backs up this interpretation of the contract. Well, screw that! I volunteer to be junior manned when the compensation makes it worth my time; I don't volunteer to be used in any way the company pleases! I get enough of that on my scheduled days, I don't need it on my days off. This is the last time I help them out. From now on, the only way they junior man me is in strict accordance with the contract, and I will use every last provision to get out of it. If they're going to toe the line, I'm going to toe the line. They just lost an easy way to fill open time, all for stiffing me out of a measly $60.