Monday, December 21, 2015

NetJets pilots approve new contract with pay raise

NetJets pilots have voted to approve a new contract that provides an average pay raise of 28 percent.

This follows more than two years of often-acrimonious negotiations.

The NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots union says that 75.43 percent of members voted to approve the deal, with 96 percent of pilots participating.

“The unflinching resolve and dedication of the (union’s) membership has brought us to today – the ratification of a contract that sets the bar even higher in the fractional aviation community,” Pedro Leroux, a pilot and the union president, said in a statement.

Columbus-based NetJets had this statement: “Our pilots are a huge part of the NetJets story and a critical reason why we are leaders in our industry. ... This contract reflects their vitally important role in our success and the contribution they will make to our future.”

The pilots’ union represents more than 2,700 members. Union leaders have been seeking a new contract since mid-2013 and had been frustrated with the company’s negotiating position for much of that time.

That began to change in June when the company, owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. of Omaha, made an abrupt change at CEO. The new CEO, Adam Johnson, had a tentative agreement with the pilots by mid-October. Federal mediators played a role in the talks.

According to the union, the new contract does the following:

Maintains company-funded medical insurance.

Provides pilots with more scheduling options.

Pays a signing bonus and increases wages by an average of 28 percent.

“In our highly competitive segment of the industry, NetJets has established itself as the leader, and, as the parties move into a new chapter, the pilots will redouble their efforts to ensure customers and owners continue to enjoy an unparalleled experience,” Leroux said.

NetJets, the largest operator of private jets in the world, has about 6,000 employees, including 1,750 in central Ohio.


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