I had this great post outlined talking about some general things about the aviation industry. Then something more personal and pressing came up.
A got his clearance to return to work last Friday. As expected, it evoked mixed feelings but overall, we viewed it as a good thing. He called the Chief Pilot on Tuesday to work things out, made arrangements to fly to Houston for the day to sign some papers and pee in a cup, and generally was gearing up to go back to work. Irritatingly (although understandably) he has to resubmit the same paperwork he did as a new hire- updated list of previous addresses, list of previous employers, all that good stuff again.
Then we woke up to a text message from a friend on Wednesday morning saying that the company had been sold. Sure enough, major changes in the works. Potential changes in bases, equipment flown, benefits; it's all up in the air now. What we do know is that when they integrate the seniority lists, we are going to get hard. Because they will deduct all but the first 90 days of A's disability leave as time not worked. Meaning he'll come in at nearly 2.5 years less in seniority then his date of hire would indicate. Which means he'll get crappier schedules and be closer to any potential furloughs. Just because he had cancer. It's like the gift that keeps on giving.
Currently, when he goes back, he'll be starting at 2nd year pay, despite being hired over 3 years ago. And he'll have to start over on vacation accrual and his 1 year probationary period with the company. At least that's what we can figure after reading over the pilot contract. But at least at his old company, he'd keep his seniority meaning that coveted captain upgrade would come that much sooner.
It feels like one of those two steps forward, three steps back kind of situations. It wasn't supposed to be like this.