In preparation for negotiations, the MEC conducts polling and surveys to ensure Delta pilots’ priorities are properly addressed. Today we’re answering some of the frequently asked questions regarding polling and surveys.

When will the results of the polls and surveys be released?

Polling and survey results are confidential. The information is used to determine direction and priorities during negotiations, and we don’t want to reveal that information to management. While it can be discouraging not to be privy to the findings, the effect is a stronger negotiating position and ultimately a contract which better reflects the will of the pilot group.

Are polls and surveys really “scientific?”

Polls are accepted as an accurate representation of public opinion due to a highly representative sampling of a particular group’s makeup. They aren’t perfect, but are designed to maximize accuracy and relevance to the larger population making them an ideal choice to gauge pilot sentiment.

Surveys present a unique challenge of requiring a much larger sample of a population since surveys can be susceptible to self-selection bias. While a high participation rate (above 60%) doesn’t necessarily eliminate such bias, it is much more likely to be statistically valid.

Do polling results direct negotiations?

Because it is objective and representative, polling data is extremely valuable and used by the MEC when setting direction for the negotiators. Although polling results are given great weight, the MEC takes information from many sources to gauge pilot sentiment and direct the path of negotiations.

Who comes up with the questions?

Polling professionals, in close collaboration with MEC committee chairmen and subject matter experts, write the questions used in polls and surveys. This ensures questions are relevant, accurate, easily understood and not presented in a way which might bias the results.

I already got called for polling – should I do the survey too?

Yes! All pilots should complete the survey, even if they have been polled on the topic. The results are independent of each other, so your input is important to accurately represent the interests of the pilot group.

Why do we alternate between surveys and polls?

Like any tool, each method has its own strengths and drawbacks. As surveys can be susceptible to self-selection bias, they require a high participation rate (above 60%) to be statistically valid. Polling, on the other hand, requires only a representative sample. To get the best data, the Delta MEC often does both polling and a survey, both asking the same questions. Regardless of the method, participation and engagement are key to ensuring your priorities are front and center at the negotiating table.

The current Mid-Contract Survey, open now through January 17, 2018, incorporates questions from the past two polls. Please take the time to take the survey and voice your opinion.