OPEIU Aviation Council Established to Represent all Members in Aviation Sector
Representatives from 13 OPEIU local unions and aviation bargaining units in the U.S. and Canada’s helicopter and emergency rescue industry met Sept. 28-30 in Chicago to discuss and plan future organization within OPEIU. The representatives of the former Professional Helicopter Pilots Association (PHPA) voted to dissolve the organization as it stands. The broader group then voted to establish the OPEIU Aviation Council to include all bargaining units under one umbrella – pilots, SARs, AMEs, flight medical personnel, dispatchers, flight instructors, weather personnel, etc. This new council will work to support our membership regarding collective bargaining, safety, job security, organizing new units and resources to meet challenges facing our industries. The group left energized and looking forward to working together to strengthen the representation of our members and fighting to improve the wages and working conditions of all people working in our represented groups.
An interim steering committee also was appointed to help establish bylaws and organizational structure. “The recent dissolution of the former PHPA was necessary to allow a new combined aviation council to represent pilots, mechanics, dispatchers, flight nurses and rescue specialists,” said Steve Pettie, a member of the steering committee and steward of DAG110s. “The new OPEIU Aviation Council better represents all aviation professionals and creates a stronger voice for all involved.”
“This is going to be a good thing for all the locals involved, and is a solid step in the right direction,” said Mark Souza, a fellow steering committee member and president of Local 102. “Moving forward, we’ve positioned ourselves to strengthen all local unions representing all aviation job classifications. We’re going to take the best of what PHPA had to offer, make the council more inclusive and take it in a new and exciting direction.”