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bs205

Dew Line Contract

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Yes it is up for bid. I know of several large companies who bidded a few months ago. They just haven't announced the winner yet. The new contract starts in October, so they should announce soon. I assume

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I really hope HTS are not successful with their bid, for our own sakes! It seems this company is systematically under-mining the foundations by which pilots/engineers earn a living in this industry. I believe their "no minimums" hire policy from last year crossed a line, potentially setting a new standard as to what companies can demand on future projects.

Some might view it as an act of desperation to get HTS machines hired, whatever the cost. Others, a tactic to drive out the competition.

Whatever the case, when their machines are hired on with minimums (fire contracts) and their pilots/engineers only receive pay for actual hours flown, it sends a clear signal as to the level of respect this company has for it staff carrying out the work at the sharp end! If ever there was an industry in need of a Union... The time is upon us.

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I really hope HTS are not successful with their bid, for our own sakes! It seems this company is systematically under-mining the foundations by which pilots/engineers earn a living in this industry. I believe their "no minimums" hire policy from last year crossed a line, potentially setting a new standard as to what companies can demand on future projects.

Some might view it as an act of desperation to get HTS machines hired, whatever the cost. Others, a tactic to drive out the competition.

Whatever the case, when their machines are hired on with minimums (fire contracts) and their pilots/engineers only receive pay for actual hours flown, it sends a clear signal as to the level of respect this company has for it staff carrying out the work at the sharp end! If ever there was an industry in need of a Union... The time is upon us.

I don't know much about HTS but I agree with you about the need for a union or an association, at least. Every pilot I talk with out in the field agrees with that , yet when this is mentioned on a forum all **** breaks loose and everybody is against it. That shows the fear of reprisal that governs this industry. Another reason to bring onboard some kind of representation is the "averaging" programs that companies seem to be fond of lately. I think the law in its present form it is abused and misinterpreted. I am sure the press would love to get their hands on this. It would make a good program.

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As long as there are pilots willing to work for crap wages and undermine each other then companies like the above mentioned will thrive.

I was talking to a few pilots from another contractor who is also in the running for the DEW contract and they are stuck in the 80's with there pay scale.

The mentality is if you don't like it we have a stack of resume's from people who will do the job. Usually at the cost of the radio banter sounding like a UN gig.

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And on it goes. Until we get away from the ridiculous huge pay per flight hour, we will never get ahead. Canada is the only place in the world with this system. Maybe if the operators had to pay a decent wage whether the aircraft flew or not, they might not be so casual to lower rates or minimums.

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The companies bidding for the contracts are far from paying ridiculously huge pay per flight hour. I'm also willing to bet I made more flying Astar than the above mentioned companies skycrane captain if former Skycrane pilots are telling me the truth on what they were offered by them.

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Ridiculously huge pay per flight hour? Canada the only country with this system? Forgive my ignorance, but throughout my flying career (both fixed and rotary, JAA,FAA,CAA), I've always received some kind of additional pay for hours flown.

 

I know HTS was $60/hour a few years ago (for all machines), with an additional $15 for longline. I expect it's gone up a little, but not much if the comments of their pilots can be believed. And the longline bonus has long since evaporated. In addition, their IFR guys who fly in the bush for the summer get no flight pay! And their salary has never been anything to brag about. It's the year round employment, job security, and the so called fixed rotation they seek, which I feel is the carrot used to exploit this particular situation.

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The guys currently working the DEW line contract are paid a salary year round as well as a set day rate for the days you are up north. For a year round contract with a fixed four week rotation where the weather can vary wildly, it makes more sense than being paid actual flight hours. Some shifts haven't turned a blade!

 

Now the VFR side I have no idea how that works pay wise. But really, with so many companies and so many different types of work and different types of pilots and engineers, it always ends up being up to the company and worker to make their own deal. Don't like the deal, move on and quit whining about it. Nothing I hate more than people who moan about their current employment situation when the solution is easy: quit and find a better situation. Worked for me over the years.

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