Three years after merging with America West Airlines, US Airways has ratified an agreement with its maintenance union and 3,300 mechanics and related employees will soon work under a single agreement.

Previously, America West and US Airways maintenance employees operated under a transition agreement that essentially kept the groups separate.

Under the new agreement with the International Association of Machinists (IAM), employees will have identical pay, benefits and work rules.

“The unified agreement provides annual pay increases, increases in licensing premiums, better overtime pay, a pension plan, improved holidays and vacation schedules,” US Airways president Scott Kirby says in a letter to employees.

The contract will be amendable on 31 December 2011.

America West and the former US Airways merged in 2005.

The Star alliance member also reached a single agreement with The Association of Flight Attendants/International Brotherhood of Teamsters for passenger service and reservations employees and with the Transport Workers Union for instructors, dispatch and engineering employees.

The combined carrier still has pilots working under separate contracts. 

Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA)-represented pilots at the carrier’s West operation have given up hope of reaching a joint contract with their East counterparts, and have requested that separate collective bargaining with management be pursued.

The US Airways pilots’ contract is not amendable until December 2009. The group has been calling for pay parity with America West pilots.

The ALPA chapter of US Airways, meanwhile, faces potential ousting. A faction of pilots, called the US Airline Pilots Association (USAPA) is trying to assume the lead for bargaining on behalf of US Airways pilots, citing the controversial George Nicolau award.

Granted through arbitration, the award gave America West too much seniority when Nicolau created a unified list after the two airlines were merged, according to the USAPA.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news