There is a clause in my contract that allows management to cancel the scheduled pilot vacations in case of staffing shortages. This has never happened while I have been here (almost 6 1/2 years), but it's there. The company will reimburse the pilot for any non-refundable payments that had been paid.
I've blogged about the "pilot shortage"...and it appears to be coming more and more true. Below is an email from the PSA union to the pilot group.
Staffing Shortage Update
PSA management has recently taken a number of actions in an attempt to mitigate the pilot staffing shortage. First, management denied or canceled all Association leave for January, February, and March. Second, this weekend, management decided to hold four pilots at PSA indefinitely rather than allow them to begin a class at US Airways in March.
Third, management advised the MEC yesterday that it was canceling vacations for pilots bidding in Round 2 due to extremely short staffing in March. Section 7.H of the Collective Bargaining Agreement describes the responsibilities of pilots and the company when taking this action. As the shortage continues, further vacation cancellations may occur, so every pilot is encouraged to review the language.
Fourth, management has canceled selected recurrent training events—both ground schools and LOFT sessions—over the past week to mitigate the shortage temporarily. This move creates a number of contractual complications in the rescheduling of these events. Delaying training is also unsustainable as it creates further training backlog.
The MEC is concerned that management’s focus on fixing immediate problems will compound the difficulties of implementing new aircraft. Therefore, we strongly encourage PSA management to take a longer view, using realistic targets with a sufficient margin to allow for success. Attempting to operate on a razor thin margin reduces the chances of success during the coming year and is likely to deteriorate the working environment for PSA pilots. We mustn’t be the continued victims of improper planning.
The PSA pilots voted in a concessionary contract last year. In my opinion it lowered the bar for all regional pilots. That lowered bar was presented to the pilots of Expressjet and American Eagle (Envoy)...both voted it down in threats of being shut down.
I can only imagine the blow to morale to PSA pilots are taking now. They will soon make less money (concessionary contract) and now have to forgo their earned and planned vacations with their families.
Mind you this shortage they are having IS NOT due to growth from the 30 aircraft they lowered the bar for. This shortage is for their current fleet. Pilots are still leaving to find greener pastures. I can only imagine it will get worse.
It doesn't matter how shiny those new CRJ 900s are when you are stuck working instead of being on the beach with your family.