This is the first in a series of short posts designed to explain the structure and function of your union. Understanding how your union works and who to contact when you have questions or issues you want addressed will help you make the most of your career.
We’ll start this week with an overview of local councils.
What is a local council?
A local council is made up of the entire pilot membership that belong to that council base. Pilots usually belong to the council of the base they fly out of, although they can choose a “council bypass” if they live close to a different base (i.e. a pilot based in LAX who lives in MSP may choose to be part of the MSP council instead of LAX). Delta Air Lines has eight base councils and an instructor council, totaling nine councils. Local councils have their own programs and services for their local membership, including council-specific committees.
What is an LEC?
The “LEC” (or Local Executive Council) refers to each local council’s officers: chairman, vice chairman and secretary/treasurer. The chairman and vice chairman simultaneously hold the positions of “status rep.” Status reps are voting members of the MEC and represent each pilot status in their council (e.g. captain, first officer and, in C48 only, instructor). Note that there are some variations we’ll get to later.
How does the LEC election process work?
The election process is complicated and has some exceptions, but we’ll start with the typical process:
- Local council members nominate a captain rep, FO rep and secretary/treasurer
- The captain rep, FO rep and secretary/treasurer are elected by council-wide vote
- Local council members elect the chairman and vice chairman positions by council-wide vote
- ONLY elected status reps are eligible for these positions, and they hold both titles simultaneously
- Pilots vote for the chairman; the status rep with the most votes is named chairman and the other is named vice chairman
- Elected officers serve a three-year term
Pilots who are members of the local council, are in good standing and are on active, executive active or grievance pending status when the voting roster is created are eligible to nominate or vote. Elections are internet-based to allow all local council members a chance to vote.
Now let’s get into some of the caveats:
- Typically, each council has two status reps, but there are some variations:
- Council 44 has four status reps (two captain reps and two FO reps) for its nearly 5,000 active members
- Council 48 only has one because the council has only one pilot status – instructor
- The election process is a little different in C44 and C48:
- In C44, step 1 excludes the secretary/treasurer election, two captain and two FO reps are elected in step 2, and all three officer positions are voted on in step 3 with all four status reps as candidates
- In C48, only one status rep is elected so he/she is automatically the chairman, eliminating step 3
- The secretary/treasurer position is not a status rep, meaning the candidate can represent any pilot status in their council and is not a voting member of the MEC, but they do attend MEC meetings, participate in discussions and ask questions
- In C44, the secretary/treasurer position is held by a status rep and therefore is a voting member of the MEC
|Delta MEC LEC Council Makeup|
|Council||Statuses Represented||# of Status Reps
(voting MEC members)
|Local Executive Council
(*= Status Rep)
|# of Local Council Members
(All pilots, as of 10/26/17)
|C1 – MSP||CA, FO||2||Chairman*
|C16 – LAX||CA, FO||2||Chairman*
|C20 – DTW||CA, FO||2||Chairman*
|C44 – ATL||CA (x2)
|C48 – Instructor||Instructor||1||Chairman*
|C54 – SEA||CA, FO||2||Chairman*
|C66 – NYC||CA, FO||2||Chairman*
|C81 – SLC||CA, FO||2||Chairman*
|C108 – CVG||CA, FO||2||Chairman*
What does the LEC do?
Your elected local council reps can serve as your designated ALPA representatives, should you ever request one for interactions with the Company. The LEC is also responsible for local council committees, communications and meetings, as well as managing the affairs and business of their council.
At a union-wide level, the status (voting) reps from each local council together comprise the Master Executive Council (MEC). The MEC meets at least once every four months to receive updates from MEC-level committees, discuss relevant issues and, when appropriate, take action via resolutions (we’ll cover resolutions in-depth later in this series).
The local council reps represent the interests of their local council members as a part of the MEC. As members of the overall body, rather than any individual local council representative, the status reps provide direction to the MEC Administration and the committees on various issues. When acting as a decision-making body, the MEC collectively drives direction for Section 6 and intermediate contract negotiations for execution by the Negotiating Committee.
How do I contact my Local Council representatives?
You can contact your elected representatives by email or phone. Every local council has its own webpage, accessible through the Delta MEC Website, under the Councils menu.
Be sure to catch up on all parts of the Understanding Your Union series: