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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


Around The Web

FAA News

22 October 2020

Latest FAA News and Updates, Press Releases, Fact Sheets, Speeches, and Testimony
  • News and Updates - FAA Air Traffic Report
    22 October 2020

    Today's Air Traffic Report:

    Low clouds are forecast from Boston (BOS) to the Washington, D.C. area (BWI, DCA, IAD) and in Detroit (DTW), Houston (HOU, IAH), Los Angeles (LAX) and San Diego (SAN). Thunderstorms could delay flights in Chicago (MDW, ORD). Smoke from wildfires continues to reduce visibility in Denver (DEN).

    Pilots: Check out the new Graphical Forecasts for Aviation (GFA) Tool from the Aviation Weather Center.

    For up-to-the-minute air traffic operations information, visit fly.faa.gov, and follow @FAANews on Twitter for the latest news and Air Traffic Alerts.

    The FAA Air Traffic Report provides a reasonable expectation of any daily impactsto normal air traffic operations, i.e. arrival/departure delays, ground stoppages, airport closures. This information is for air traffic operations planning purposes and is reliable as weather forecasts and other factors beyond our ability to control.

    Always check with your air carrier for flight-specific delay information.

  • News and Updates - U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces Historic Commercial Space Transportation Reforms
    15 October 2020

    New rule modernizes the way FAA regulates and licenses commercial space operations.

  • News and Updates - FAA Updates on Boeing 737 MAX
    06 October 2020


    The FAA posted the draft Flight Standardization Board (FSB) report on the proposed pilot training for the Boeing 737 MAX this afternoon.It can be found here under FSBR B737.

    The report incorporates the recommendations from the Joint Operations Evaluation Board (JOEB) which recently met for nine days. The JOEB was comprised of civil aviation authorities from the United States, Canada, Brazil, and the European Union.

    The comment period on the draft FSB report will last through November 2, 2020. The FAA will publish a final FSB report after reviewing and addressing public comments on the draft FSB Report.

    While this is an important step, several key milestones remain:

    • Final Design Documentation and Technical Advisory Board (TAB) Report The FAA will review Boeings final design documentation to evaluate compliance with all FAA regulations. The multi-agency TAB will also review the final Boeing submission and issue a final report prior to a final determination of compliance by the FAA.
    • Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC) & AD The FAA will issue a CANIC providing notice of pending significant safety actions and will publish a final AD that addresses the known issues for grounding. The AD will advise operators of required corrective actions before aircraft may re-enter commercial service.
    • FAA Rescinds Grounding Order This marks the official ungrounding of the aircraft, pending completion by operators of the work specified in the AD, along with any required training.
    • Certificates of Airworthiness The FAA will retain its authority to issue airworthiness certificates and export certificates for all new 737 MAX airplanes manufactured since the grounding. The FAA will perform in-person, individual reviews of these aircraft.
    • Operator Training Programs The FAA will review and approve training programs for all Part 121 operators.

    These actions are applicable only to U.S. air carriers and U.S.-registered aircraft.While our processes will inform other civil aviation authorities, they must take their own actions to return the Boeing 737 MAX to service for their air carriers. The FAA will ensure that our international counterparts have all necessary information to make a timely, safety-focused decision.


    FAA Statement on House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Report

    The FAA is committed to continually advancing aviation safety and looks forward to working with the Committee to implement improvements identified in its report. We are already undertaking important initiatives based on what we have learned from our own internal reviews as well as independent reviews of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accidents. These initiatives are focused on advancing overall aviation safety by improving our organization, processes, and culture.Last month, the FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for an airworthiness directive (AD) that will mandate a number of design changes to the Boeing 737 MAX before it returns to passenger service. The FAA continues to follow a thorough process, not a prescribed timeline, for returning the aircraft to service.


    Boeing 737 MAX AD NPRM Now Available for Early Public Review

    Today, the FAA sent a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for a Boeing 737 MAX airworthiness directive (AD) to the Office of the Federal Register for publication.The NPRM proposes mandating a number of design changes to address an identified unsafe condition.When the NPRM publishes in the Federal Register, a 45 day public comment period will begin. The FAA is posting the NPRM on its website today to enable the public to begin review early.

    The FAA will also be placing the Preliminary Summary of the FAAs Review of the Boeing 737 MAX in the docket to assist with the review of the proposed AD.


    FAA Statement

    In the near future, the FAA plans to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for an Airworthiness Directive (AD) affecting the Boeing 737 MAX. In keeping with our commitment to remain transparent, the NPRM will provide 45 days for the public to comment on proposed design changes and crew procedures to mitigate the safety issues identified during the investigations that followed the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accidents.

    The agency continues to follow a

  • News and Updates - 100 Years of Aviation in Alaska
    06 October 2020

    FAA issues free educational resource discussing 100 years of work to create a safe, modern aviation system in Alaska.

  • News and Updates - Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
    02 October 2020


    Extension of Minimum Slot Usage Requirements

    The FAA issued an extension of limited waiver of the minimum slot usage requirements through March 27, 2021. This slot usage waiver applies to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA), and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). Additionally, the FAA also extended through March 27, 2021 our COVID-19-related policy for prioritizing flights canceled at designated International Air Transport Association (IATA) Level 2 airports in the United States for purposes of establishing a carriers operational baseline in the next corresponding scheduling season.

    The relief announced in this notice is available for the Winter 2020/2021 scheduling season, which runs from October 25, 2020 through March 27, 2021. Conditions on the relief announced in this notice require compliance beginning on October 15, 2020.


    Second Amendment to Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) 118

    The Federal Aviation Administration issued a final rule on September 30, 2020, that further amends Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) 118. Aviation activity continues to increase, and the industry is beginning to address the backlog of required training, checking and testing requirements. However, many of the challenges that existed when the FAA first issued the SFAR in April remain today as the public health emergency continues. SFAR 118-2 is effective on October 1, 2020, and is available for public display in theFederal Register. It will publish on October 6, 2020.

    The chart contained within this final rule provides a summary of each affected regulation; the original SFAR relief provided on April 29, 2020; the amended SFAR relief from June 25, 2020; and the second amended relief provided in this SFAR update. Those who may be affected by this amendment should carefully review the eligibility, conditions and duration of each section of relief to ensure compliance. The FAA has revised theFAQs(PDF)to help explain the amended regulatory relief.

    Amendment of Air Carrier Training Exemptions

    The FAA is amending two regulatory exemptions it previously issued to scheduled and on-demand US air carriers. The agency is amending exemptions18510(PDF)and18511(PDF), which give personnel grace periods for completing certain training and qualification requirements due through Dec. 31, 2020. The agency previously amended through Nov. 30, 2020 exemptions18509and18512, which give crewmembers relief from having to don protective breathing equipment or oxygen masks in training, checking, or evaluation. The amendments do not expand relief that the original exemptions and previous amendments provided. The new amendments extend the same relief to the next population of crewmembers who will become due in the approaching months.


    FAA Extends Flight Attendant Exemption

    TheFAA is amending through Jan. 31, 2021 an exemption the agency previously issued to help protect flight attendants from contracting COVID-19. The exemption allows flight attendants to relocate from the seats they would normally occupy so they can observe social distancing. It also excuses them from having to demonstrate the use of certain emergency equipment including life preservers and oxygen masks, allowing for alternative methods to inform passengers regarding the use of such equipment. Individual carriers must submit a Letter of Intent and be granted authorization by FAA in order to exercise the relief in the exemption.

    Updated Health Guidance for Air Carriers and Crews
    The FAA issued an updatedSafety Alert for Operators (SAFO)(PDF)that provides interim health guidance from the CDC that air carriers and crew members should be following during the COVID-19 public health emergency.