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Spirit Pilots to Reopen Contract Negotiations, Too

Canceled Merger Heats Up Bargaining Once Again

The Air Line Pilots Association spoke on behalf of the Spirit Airlines pilots they represent, notifying the carrier's management that they will once again go to bat for an improved contract.

The notification of intent tells their employer that Spirit Pilots want to amend their Collective Bargaining Agreement, required as a first step to begin negotiations under Section 6 of the Railway Labor Act. It's just a prelude to the undoubtedly lengthy process of seeing actual gains for those under the Spirit umbrella, but every contract negotiation has to start somewhere. From the sound of things, the ALPA team in charge of negotiating wasn't too optimistic about the merger going through to begin with.

“Our union has been preparing for this possible outcome and is ready to write the next chapter for Spirit Airlines as a standalone company,” said Captain Ryan Muller, chair of the Spirit ALPA Master Executive Council. “Our current contract was negotiated under the assumption of a merger with JetBlue. Now we will be seeking a full suite of quality-of-life and compensation improvements for our pilots.” 

The union and management previously found an accord for an amended 2-year Collective Bargaining Agreement in January of 2023, but it included a clause to reopen full Section 6 negotiations should the merger agreement with JetBlue be terminated. That deal would have given Captains a cumulative pay bump of 25% over a 2-year period, with First Officers seeing a 43% increase. That wasn’t super popular with the voters, however, with only 69% of voting pilots approving the contract. It will remain to be seen how the cooler climate surrounding air travel treats pilots this go-around.

FMI: www.alpa.org


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