Mandatory Retirement Eliminated


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Spinnaker;

Let's be very clear about one thing in this case. This petition was not about challenging the "retire at 60" principle. This was motivated purely, solely, absolutely, by money and the ability to get more of it; - nothing more nothing less. Nothing else was thought about or considered.

This case was not started out of some long-standing social injustice the correction of which would benefit thousands now and over time, correcting a significant social ill. This was started over money,

There are no socially redeeming qualities or outcomes to this decision. Except for an exceedingly tiny little group who, either because of circumstances surrounding their hiring or other economic circumstances, or, as with airlines in the United States, their employer stole or destroyed their pension, there is no substantive, solid social reason for this decision.

It is a negative comment upon the CHRT that they chose to rule narrowly, on perhaps-poorly-presented cases by the intervenors instead of on the larger social issues and impacts at hand. It clearly states that there is no social basis for the end of work, no right to retire, no right to a pension and no right for a company to retire their employees at an agreed-upon or negotiated age.

It is a terrible decision because it is based upon money, not real human rights.

But that is the age and the times we live in; corporatism rules, while those who consider the broader social issues are dismissed, labeled as "left-wingers".

I am so thankful to be retired and away from the effects of such decisions, and am so thankful for my pension which my association negotiated and defended and which I helped in large measure to pay for but which, because of our deeply corporatized economy, is rarer and rarer, just as the mere opportunity itself, to retire successfully, now is.

If you get an earful, offer an earful back, spinnaker. The decision is no gift, it is a curse.

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Except for an exceedingly tiny little group who, either because of circumstances surrounding their hiring or other economic circumstances, or, as with airlines in the United States, their employer stole or destroyed their pension, there is no substantive, solid social reason for this decision.

U.S. pilots must retire because of the 'rule'. The FAR's invalidate the ability to operate as a Part 121 flight crew member after age 65. The change to the 'rule' from age 60 was entirely in response to the change in the ICAO standard. Airlines and pilot unions followed suit after the change to the 'rule' recognising that to attempt to do otherwise would see them as defendants in litigation. Not one legal challenge has been launched against the change to the 'rule'. The effects of the 'rule' are applied equally to all airline pilots, both those that kept their pension and those that did not.

Perhaps Canada needs a 'rule'. But it will not be 60.

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Ah, yes. As in most events if you "follow the money" you'll find some intriguing answers. OR questions.

Now, on what thread did I read that just recently?

Oh, yes it was Don H. :

"Follow the money" - well, we can say that about anything and claim "truth", so the statement is meaningless.

Is it really?

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John;

That's a pretty supercilious response. Are you just trying to score debating points or are you interested in a respectful discussion as equals and perhaps some collegial disagreement? I don't have all the answers and don't make a claim to be right all the time so give it a rest, will you? No argument is without its inconsistencies including mine - there just isn't the time, the space or even the interest to cover off all bases to make one's presentations air-tight. If it's so important to you and you want the acknowledgement, okay: "You win." If you want an in-depth discussion where being right on points raised is considered less important than the discussion itself, let me know by your contributions. I said what I did in my response because your meaning was anything but clear. You need to elaborate on what was meant by "follow the money". In Nixon, it was obvious and it became a famous phrase. Here, who's money are we following? If what you meant was the same thing I did, then we have a common understanding of why this all happened and the rest is academic.

rudder;

Thank you for the clarification - you're right. My "argument" was focussed on the apparent benefit of working past 60 for those who lost their pensions for the aforementione reasons. The reason the "rule" changed in the US wasn't because these guys lost their pension. Again, thanks.

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John;

That's a pretty supercilious response. . . . . . .

Don, a couple of small points.

First of all I did not attend St. George's nor did I ever join a debating team both of which are pretty much the prerequisites for using "supercilious" in everyday discussions.

Second, I do not feel that you need to belittle me, albeit with a pretty quick ripost. ("If it's so important to you and you want the acknowledgement, okay: "You win."")

As to your posts: I just think that sometimes you read far too much into what some write and then go a bit overboard to defend your opinion. For sure one thing that you seem to disfavor is any whiff of criticism to your opinions. Especially if said criticisms are ill-written or incomplete.

Can we still be friends?

John S.

PS. Now I know how Mitch musta felt last week.

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Let's be very clear about one thing in this case. This petition was not about challenging the "retire at 60" principle. This was motivated purely, solely, absolutely, by money and the ability to get more of it; - nothing more nothing less. Nothing else was thought about or considered.

Hi Don

Just a thought on all this. Just so you know I chose not to be a part of the group seeking to move the retirement age, but if I had the choice when I turned 60 I would have kept on going.

It wouldn't have been because of the money. Christine and I aren't into expensive toys and the activities that I pursue are both fulfilling, enjoyable and free. I am never bored. The thing is though, I really enjoyed the job. I loved being part of a crew, I loved the flying itself and I really enjoyed the layovers. Frankly the only thing I didn't like was the YYJ-YVR commute which is why I chose not to work in the simulator after 60. It was like having two very interesting, and very different lives.

I'm not arguing that moving or eliminating the retirement age is either a good thing or a bad thing, I'm just saying that it isn't necessarily all about money.

One thing that would worry me is that if you eliminate the retirement age all together then the company has to wait until someone proves they can't do the job before they can be forced to retire, and there is no guarantee that the proof of that will be found in the simulator.

Cheers

Greg

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Don, I almost forgot to answer your point about “follow the money”.

My remark was intended to point out that following the money trail often leads to the most intriguing information.

From Nixon’s ‘follow the money’ investigation to the 9/11 ‘conspiracy’ videos to the trillion dollar bailouts in Britain (and US) to current investments in China there are many examples of unethical or, at the very minimum, fascinating activities.

However, to keep the topic related to this thread – and the age 60 ruling – I would have to ask who stands to make money out of this ruling?

The first group that comes to mind is THE LAWYERS. I doubt that any individual pilot will benefit anywhere near what the lawyers will.

Now far be it for me to point fingers at the mainline or the association or the legal teams that represent them. But I DO wonder is those same legal teams sometimes call for action based on what’s best for their interests.

Put another way – do the lawyers sometimes suggest to their client to ‘fight it all the way’ rather than ‘let’s see if we can avoid fighting this’ ? If so then certainly their billable hours and ethics are both a little distorted.

Put still another way consider all the grievances, motions, briefs, arbitrations, hearings, and any other item billed by the ACPA legal team. (for ACPA please substitute ALPA or Mainline or CUPE or IAM or CALDA or ?? as you are able.)

In this case the payee and the payer usually keep such numbers pretty much under lock and key. So it is doubtful that any meaningful debate could be conducted face to face let alone on an anonymous forum.

But, and this is a big ‘but’, but if the REAL costs of living with a new retirement age (versus fighting it) COULD be exposed then the mainline pilots might be more willing to look at alternative strategies.

All they need to do is follow the money.

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Hmmm.

It seems that here, like elsewhere, the issue will become personalised. That's a shame.

John S., I think Don can take care of himself, but I have to say I was taken aback by your characterisation of the person. I would disagree fundamentally with the comment on a 'whiff of criticism'. It's just not a fair comment. I'll leave it there.

Perhaps some might agree that the real, fact-based age 60 Human Rights debate in aviation has yet to occur. What I've seen to date was a circus act.

Vs

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One thing that would worry me is that if you eliminate the retirement age all together then the company has to wait until someone proves they can't do the job before they can be forced to retire, and there is no guarantee that the proof of that will be found in the simulator.

Greg,

The last place that evidence will be found to determine that retirement is the answer is the simulator. In the case of airline pilots, I would have to think that the instances of premature mental degradation (senility, Alzheimers, etc) are rare. Weak technical performance at the end of a career was likely preceded by weak performance before as well.

I sense that one of the areas of concern from the detractors of post age 60 flying is the perceived loss of certainty in mapping out their own advancement with near 100% certainty. So where in aviation does one ever find 100% certainty? Mergers and the diminished economic status of the airline piloting profession has done more to adversely affect the T4's of pilots than this ruling will.

Fact is that with a mandatory retirement age of 60, already a significant number of pilots complete their last flight well before 60. Some decide that it is time to take a different path in life, and many more find out that they are no longer medically qualified. There is little doubt and already some empirical evidence that these trends continue and expand at carriers that have 65 as the mandatory retirement age.

As this case proceeds to the remedy phase and then through the appelate process, I am certain that there will be many 'experts' called upon to render a (purchased) opinion. The rabid opposition will argue that if the ruling stands they will suffer a 60 month delay in their otherwise guaranteed career path mad.gif Reality is that it will be a significantly lesser delay for the reasons stated above. And in any case, it is a lottery given the uncontrollable variables of health and choice of individual pilots.

FWIW - I support mandatory retirement for airline pilots. I just believe that the number is 65 due to ICAO, CPP qualification, and the provincial drug plan eligibility guidelines.

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The rabid opposition will argue that if the ruling stands they wil suffer a 60 month delay in their otherwise guaranteed career path mad.gif

Rudder;

Interesting point.

Isn't this the same method that those who are now complaining advanced their careers ??

They are now attempting to move the goalposts for more of their own personal gain at a great expense to others. And do not think for a moment that the complainants would stand idly by if the roles were reversed.

As Don has stated so well, this is by no means a human rights issue, this is about money and only money.

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Rudder;

Interesting point.

Isn't this the same method that those who are now complaining advanced their careers ?? 

They are now attempting to move the goalposts for more of their own personal gain at a great expense to others. And do not think for a moment that the complainants would stand idly by if the roles were reversed.

As Don has stated so well, this is by no means a human rights issue, this is about money and only money.

Point being that a change to the mandatory retirement age will cause a delay in career path, just not the full 60 months. Go ahead, pick a number between 1 and 59. And for each affected pilot it will be different. The average, however, will likely fall well below 60 and by my uneducated estimation in the 18-24 month range. In addition, nothing in aviation is ever guaranteed ohmy.gif What if tomorrow AC decided to reduce the widebody fleet by 50%? What about all of the pilots that were 'guaranteed' to retire at widebody pay? Sure it is about money (to some). But it seems that it is more about perceived money lost than perceived money gained.

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WELL! I've been two years away from the 767, for five years now. laugh.gif At least I can joke about it now. wink.gif

7 years ago, I thought I was within 2 years of the 340.

Still on the 767 (and enjoying the best variety in the fleet) and can only hold 1 or 2 from the bottom of the 3(4/3)0.

Nothing is guaranteed in this business.

At some point the retirement goalposts will be moved. Anyone under 45 will be affected before the end of their career. I would prefer that this not happen before I'm 60, but I'm convinced it will.

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If the ruling states that they have a right to work then so be it. However, if the union controls the seniority list is it not possible to have pilots over 60 simply go to the bottom of the list?

Since they will be receiving capt wages I assume the co. would want them in that position but their location on that list could be at the bottom. Afterall, they would still be receiving a capt wage (and it could be their last years wage since I now fleet types are paid differently). The arguement is about the right to work - and they will get to work.

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Air Canada pilots seek review of age ruling

Monday, September 28, 2009 - The Canadian Press

Toronto — The Federal Court of Canada is being asked to step into a dispute between pilots at Air Canada and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

At issue is a tribunal decision that called into question the retirement age provision of the collective agreement between the Air Canada Pilots Association and the airline.

In a release issued Monday, the association says it believes the tribunal “erred at law by ignoring Supreme Court of Canada decisions which found it acceptable for employers and employees to determine a retirement age through the collective bargaining process.”

The tribunal, in an Aug. 28 decision, ruled that Section 15(1)© of the Canadian Human Rights Act cannot be justified under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a reasonable limit prescribed by law that can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

That section of the human rights law states that a practice is not discriminatory if an individual's employment is terminated because he or she has reached the normal age of retirement for employees working in similar positions.

As a result of this interpretation, the tribunal refused to apply this section of the human rights act in considering a complaint regarding the association's collective agreement, which contains a contractual obligation for Air Canada pilots to retire at age 60.

If left unchallenged, the decision could potentially have an impact on the wages and benefits of the active pilot group and thousands of other federally regulated employees currently working under collective agreements containing a fixed age of retirement.

“The contractual retirement age and associated post-employment benefits are cornerstones of our collective agreement, which has supported Air Canada pilots' careers for decades,” said Capt. Brian Murray, chairman of the association's Age 60 Legal Support Committee.

“The overwhelming majority of our members support this provision and we will use every legal means to protect their right to collectively bargain terms of retirement,” Mr. Murray said.

The Air Canada Pilots Association is the largest professional pilot group in Canada, representing the more than 3,000 pilots who operate Air Canada's main fleet.

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“The overwhelming majority of our members support this provision and we will use every legal means to protect their right to collectively bargain terms of retirement,” Mr. Murray said.

Utter BS

ACPA is using data collected from a pole from 2006 where only 2/3 of those that bothered to vote wanted to continue with age 60. Close to 500 pilots were against continuing with the age 60 provision.

The worldwide landscape regarding pilot retirement has entirely changed since 2006.

The world is reeling from the worst financial recession since the depression.

Our pensions are tenuous at best

Every financial expert out there says that AC's eventual bankruptcy is not an IF but a WHEN which will most likelydecimate whats left of the pensions.

If there was any moral fiber in the head shed they would re-pole the entire group and see where the members stand to reflect the above realities of 2009 but we all know that won't happen because the MEC would most likely get an answer they don't want to hear.

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JAYDEE, I think you're fooling yourself. If they put the same poll out, you would get the same results. Age 60 is a fundamental corner stone of our CA, unless you are willing to change every aspect of it, rostering, equip bidding, formula pay,etc. Why would anyone in the bottom 2 thirds of the list vote to have their careers restricted for another five years without anything in it for them. I'm in the top third with 11 years to go, and I wouldn't vote for it without some basic and fundamental changes to the CA. Sorry, for many years I was told that I would have my turn to reap the rewards of long service, now it will soon be my turn, and I will not give that up for those who have either mismanaged their lives, did not prepare for retirement, economically, socially, or personally. That is not my problem, now if you want to change the CA to reflect a fairer distribution of wealth and lifestyle, with no penalty to those who want to go at 60. THEN LETS TALK!!

Now you know as well as I do that the fly till you die gang is not interested in anything like that, they wnat to continue on the gravy train for another five years. So, I'm for another poll, if that will make you happy, but the results wil not be any different.

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Jaydee, if you think that is the case, then you are sorely out of touch with the majority of the membership. A new poll will echo the last, perhaps even more in favour of the status quo. In your position, you have very little contact with the bottom 50% of the seniority list. I can assure you that there is a lot of simmering anger associated with this issue.

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Close to a third of the pilot group hired in the last 4 years, and all in their late 20's or early/mid-30's. And you think they will vote for 60+? This delays their progression by 5 years - you think that after being sold down the river for flat pay and PG that they will vote to stay there even longer?

Fantasy living Jaydee...

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