After three years of negotiating, leaders of a pilots union have approved a tentative agreement with Alaska Airlines.
The tentative agreement was announced Friday by the Air Line Pilots Association, International.
Union leaders had said the existing contract was lacking compared to other airlines in several areas, including compensation, scheduling flexibility and quality of life.
The tentative agreement increases pay rates, retirement contributions and compensation for flight reassignments. It also extends parental leave to both mothers and fathers, and allows mothers to continue earning seniority [WEB: – the basis of a pilot’s flight schedule –] during maternity leave.
There are also more minor changes, like improving hotel locations and added travel flexibility for pilots in training.
“Not only does this agreement recognize the crucial role pilots have played in the success of Alaska Airlines, it will also help our airline remain competitive in the industry,” Capt. Will McQuillen, chair of the Alaska Airlines ALPA Master Executive Council, said in a statement.
Back in April, nearly 100 pilots picketed at Anchorage’s Ted Stevens International Airport over contract negotiations. A pilot shortage led to flight cancellations throughout the early summer, though Alaska Airlines said the picketing was not a factor.
Members of the union will start voting on the agreement in the coming weeks. The union represents more than 3,100 Alaska Airlines pilots.
Alaska Airlines customer service, cargo and ground service workers represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers ratified a two-year contract last month.