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LIALPA Eyes New Pension Plan

Leeward Islands Air Line Pilots' Association
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LIALPA Eyes New Pension Plan

Unread post by bimjim » Mon Oct 01, 2012

http://www.caribarena.com/antigua/busin ... -plan.html

LIALPA Eyes New Pension Plan
Monday, 01 October 2012 02:30

Antigua St. John's

The management of regional carrier LIAT is being told to prepare for negotiations for a new pension plan for pilots.

Notice of this comes from newly elected Chairman of the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots’ Association (LIALPA) Captain Carl Burke, who identified this as his top priority.

The last pension plan for pilots was reportedly closed in 1997, leading to a seven-year court battle.

"They started a pension plan in 2006 for the LIAT staff with CLICO and the pilots never really signed on to it because we were still making changes to the deed of trust...that deed would have had to reflect the 2004 court ruling," the association boss explained.

"Prior to completing the negotiations and making the amendment to that deed, the company then withdrew from the CLICO pension scheme in February 2009. Since then the contributions have been deposited in an escrow account in a local bank."

Captain Burke said LIALPA wants to ensure that the funds have been deposited "in a timely manner".

He charged that LIAT has been reluctant to provide audited statements.

"We are on the verge of commencing negotiations with LIAT to ensure they live up to their obligations to have this account audited so that money could be accounted for. After this is done the next objective would be the commence the consultation process with LIAT as they were mandated to do," the pilot said.

The second priority, according to Captain Burke, is to work with the airline management to set a maximum cockpit temperature.

That matter was among several brought before the labour commissioner last year for resolution. The commissioner has recommended that it be resolved without delay.

The pilot said the association intends to educate the public about the issue and seek their support if it becomes necessary.

"We're going to be asking the general public for this support in ensuring the cabin environment is comfortable. I intend to educate the public whether at airports or on flights with scientific evidence showing high cockpit temperatures pose a health hazard and affect fertility," the LIALPA chairman said.

"If LIAT refused to address the issue there would be mild protest with pilots not entering the cockpit where there are high temperatures and if things escalate we would be asking the public to send the company complaints about the temperatures."

Captain Burke said attention would also be given to the dismissal of Captain Michael Blackburn, and several matters before the Antigua & Barbuda Industrial Court that LIALPA wants to see resolved by December 31 this year.

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Re: LIALPA Eyes New Pension Plan

Unread post by bimjim » Mon Oct 01, 2012

http://www.antiguaobserver.com/new-lial ... orge-ahead

New LIALPA chairman ready to forge ahead
Kyle Christian
Monday, October 1st, 2012.
    • Image
      Captain Carl Burke, newly elected chairman of the Leeward Island Airline Pilots’ Association (LIALPA). (Photo by Eustace Samuel/OBSERVER Media)
ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Captain Carl Burke, newly elected chairman of the Leeward Island Airline Pilots’ Association (LIALPA), said he would take a balanced and level-headed approach to leadership.

“I have to navigate some turbulent waters ahead, which I intend to do,” he said.

“I hope with the support of the membership and the executive we will be able to sit down with LIAT and move forward.”

Of being elected to his new post, Burke said, “It’s a good feeling but I have to remember that it’s a lot of responsibility.”

Burke, who replaces Arthur Senhouse as chairman, said he is aware of the pressures that LIAT faces.

“We are in one of the worst recessions of the century. Our passenger loads are declining. We always have to bear in mind that we have to ensure that the company survives so that we can all have jobs,” he said.

When he officially took up the position on September 27, Burke laid out a strategic plan to the membership. One of the issues, which he intends to tackle, is that of pilots’ pensions.

LIALPA and LIAT have been negotiating a pension plan since 2007 when the previous one was ended.

“We did take the matter to arbitration in 2009 and also we got an award which mandated LIAT to establish a new pension plan in consultation with the pilots,” he said. “The timeline given was one year. Unfortunately this pension plan never got off the ground.”

Burke also said that he would soon be writing to St Vincent & the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves to host an aviation summit with the purpose being to return the airline to viability. He said all stakeholders, including the OECS governments, the staff and the trade unions, should be present.

Burke said he understands that Ian Brunton, the new LIAT CEO appointed in July 2012, has joined the company during tough financial times.

The association president said it is very important for both the union and the company to move away from the friction that has been between them.

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