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State of The Union TWU 557

Ladies and Gentlemen of 557, we close the year with both a greeting and a message.  Our prayer is that you all are enjoying the love of community and family this advent season and that your holiday and the upcoming year are blessed with peace, joy and fulfillment.

     Merry Christmas, Jerry, Jim, Mike and Joe



The State of Our Local Union

TWU 557

Fellow members,

As we end 2019, the Local TWU 557 President is obligated to provide the membership with an annual report on our State of the Union. In compliance with this Constitutional requirement, the following messages are presented for your information.

From Your President:

TWU 557 started 2019 with the hope that an updated contract with Southwest Airlines could be achieved on a timely basis. Both sides agreed, at the beginning, that the current agreement needed to be updated to match how we work under the Advanced Qualification Program (AQP). However, our talks, at this point have not resulted in significant changes. We remain stalemated on Article 6, Scheduling, and Article 4, Compensation. Both Articles have been, essentially, addressed without negotiated change. TWU 557 and the Company are currently scheduled to meet again starting in January of 2020. It is obvious that Southwest Airlines Senior Management does not understand the current instructor training role at Southwest Airlines, nor do they understand our membership’s point of view. Your leadership and negotiating team will continue to represent your needs and interests, for as long as it takes, to achieve an updated AQP representative contract. Look for more information in January. Your leadership remains hopeful that an updated contract can be achieved in a reasonable time frame during 2020, especially with all the public attention to the MAX problems.

During 2019 we had many achievements. Several are listed below.

  1. org, our website, continues to provide one of our greatest services, Schedule Trades and Give-Away. There are over 150 posting requests per month for schedule changes. This method of schedule change has proven to be very efficient and timely. The website is also a great source for Industry news.
  2. The total instructor compliment is now 140 instructors. We still need more.
  3. A professional standard’s committee was established to address instructor professional areas of concern prior to coming to management’s attention.
  4. A Union point of contact for Healthcare Information and other medical needs was also established.
  5. The TWU Executive Board and Negotiating Team took a 3-day course on Negotiations conducted by the National Mediation Board.
  6. An EZ-Text messaging account was set up which can alert all instructors instantly to Company or Union information.
  7. A video update link was established for TWU 557 news on the website.
  8. The TWU 557 Secretary Treasurer attended an International accounting training session, which has significantly updated Local accounting procedures.
  9. The TWU 557 President attended the TWU International President’s three-day conference during March. This resulted in increased communication capabilities with the International as well as improved local relationships.
  • The Local came in under budget for normal business operations during 2019.
  • The Local established a new office location more fitting to our operational needs in January or 2019.
  1. The Local conducted quarterly Executive Board meetings and sponsored two days of member open house forums.

It has been my pleasure representing you as President during 2019. I look forward to your continued support and I sincerely hope as we move into 2020 that our team will continue to help our membership achieve our joint professional goals.

Please read the comments from your other elected Executive Officers.

On behalf of the membership,


Gerald H. Bradley

President TWU 557

Flight Crew Training Instructors

My fellow instructors:

Although our hope had been to have a viable contract before you by this time, we remain confident that we, as a board and Union, are on a path to bringing about meaningful changes to our working agreement. As Captain Bradley pointed out, we have mutually agreed to hold negotiations in abeyance until the New Year. Notwithstanding, we believe that we can demonstrate to the Company that the services that our instructional group provides are, not only different than our competition, but that we bring greater value to the table than they.

As we move forward, we stand in the admirable position of maintaining a unified membership, well organized and researched negotiating team and sound balance sheet. At this time, we represent the largest group of instructors in Southwest Airlines history and provide greater value than ever before.

As a board, our goal is to represent you, our members, with the highest level of fidelity, intentionality and transparency. We approach our resumed negotiations with a sense of optimism, enthusiasm and strong resolve and are grateful for your continued input and support.

Best regards,

Jim Baird

Vice President, TWU 557

Fellow Instructors,

As we close out the calendar year it is also the end of the 2019 fiscal year. We remain in sound financial condition. Our dues income increased over 2018 and was above what was projected for 2019. As was expected our costs increased slightly over recent years primarily due to negotiations. Both our normal operating expenses and contract negotiations were inline with the budget. As is required by our bylaws and the TWU constitution an audit of our recent years bookkeeping was conducted by our CPA with no issues found. I was also able to attend Treasurers training conducted by TWU of America which helped me fine-tune our procedures.

Your board had hoped that we would have reached an agreement with the company on our new collective bargaining agreement by now. As others have stated we still have some work to do to come to an agreement. As we move forward, we will continue to conservatively and responsibly manage the funds that you have entrusted us with. Our 2020 budget will be out for review soon. Both the operating and negotiating budgets will remain fairly constant from 2019. Please feel free to contact me with any questions concerning our expenditures.

Mike Lucy


TWU Local 557



Fellow Flight Instructors, as we begin to close out the calendar year, I wanted to say a few words about where we are as a work group. As your Member-at-Large, my number one goal was to be easily accessible to you throughout the year and to bring any of your concerns to our Board. I have heard from many of you in person and via email throughout the year. I have heard many excellent ideas and insightful perspective on where we should be and how you feel we should get there. As this is my first elected board member position, I now have a new appreciation for how "things work" at the negotiating table. I must agree with our President, Jerry Bradley, in that I do not believe our leadership completely understands the full scope of what we are responsible for as we train new-hires, Captain Upgrades and our CQ pilots coming through annually. Not to mention EET, ETOPS, and other specialized ground school courses. Because there is this disconnect leadership is essentially content with the status quo as they compare us directly to AA, UAL, and DL. Until we can educate our leadership on the value-added responsibility that we bear compared to OAL FCTI's and FO's we will never agree on an apples to apples comparison of job descriptions. We are in this for the long haul and with your support this Board and committee members are prepared to work hard on a fair upgrade to our decades old, band aid fixed contract. You deserve it.


Joe Gautille


Contract 2020 Video #3




Lion Air Final Report on MAX


October 30, 2019

The Lion Air MAX Accident Final Report is Published under the Tab Excellence/Accident Reports.

It is an interesting read.

TWU 557 Executive Board

Labor News


Please see article posted on "Latest News" concerning labor talks at Southwest and American.

TWU 557 Executive Board





Please see the letter posted on Contract 2020 News.

It contains an informational update on negotiations.


TWU 557 Executive Boad


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