Air Line Pilots Association

How ALPA and Aptify designed solutions to meet the changing needs of today’s labor unions


Today’s tech savvy union members are as busy as ever and have high expectations when it comes to accessing the benefits and meeting the requirements of membership.  One union, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), recognized the need to fundamentally change its approach by abandoning a traditional ERP for Aptify, an association management software (AMS), with the membership management tools unions need to embrace the future. In partnership with Aptify, ALPA has taken a huge step forward to provide staff and member facing solutions which allow its members to more easily access membership benefits, provide essential employment data, and participate in union sponsored programs.

Promoting member engagement

ALPA’s former solution provided little in the way of the typical functionality one would expect for membership organizations. By adopting Aptify, it took advantage of core functionality to deepen the involvement of members through robust committee management tools, participation tracking, targeted marketing, and member-facing tools to facilitate interaction.

In addition, ALPA extended the product to provide self-service tools for members, including an online application process, member submission of requests for reimbursement of time spent on union activities, and employment tracking.

Modernizing the billing and payment process

A key focus of the implementation was to identify areas for process improvement and automation. It is hard to overestimate the impact the resulting solutions have had on ALPA’s operations.

Whether members choose automatic payroll deduction or direct bill, the process of creating accurate monthly dues and insurance bills is extremely complicated and historically took ALPA as many as four days to process. With the help of Aptify, ALPA created automated processes to synchronize employment records; reconcile monthly dues bills; and provide accurate and timely bills reducing the process to just four hours. As a result, the team is now freed up to provide more valuable support to its 61,000 members spanning 34 airlines.

On the payment side, the union instituted payment arrangement plans that allow members to enter into payment plans to settle dues bills. It instituted a mechanism to batch process overpayments and provide a credit on members’ accounts or systematically apply payments to outstanding invoices. Finally, in the unfortunate event of a work stoppage, ALPA now has the tools to raise funds in support of affected workers through targeted assessments.

Removing barriers to participation

A key benefit of membership is access to union sponsored insurance products. The process they had in place to serve as the intermediary between the pilots and the insurance provider was tedious for staff and members alike.

Working with Aptify, ALPA developed a customized solution to streamline the process for all parties involved. Here’s how they adjusted the program:

  • Made it easier to maintain the plan participation record
  • Created a premium calculation tool based on plan logic and member characteristics
  • Automated the update process to adjust the policy based on available discounts and changes in participant eligibility
  • Created a daily sync of information from Aptify to the third-party member insurance portal to provide the most current information to users

Empowering access to information

In the past, ALPA staff members had to submit requests to the IT department to develop the reports and data they needed to accomplish their daily work. The inherent inefficiency in the process frequently resulted in delayed responses to member inquiries. Today, staff can easily and quickly develop reports that allow them to respond to information requests in a fraction of the time it took previously.

As unions like ALPA continue to look for ways to increase their impact, access to innovative membership technologies like Aptify provides them with the kinds of solutions to drive member value. For ALPA, this is just the beginning. Future plans include tools like grievance management as well as expanded member-facing functionality to enhance the union’s ability to anticipate member expectations.

About ALPA

ALPA represents and advocates for more than 61,000 pilots at 34 U.S. and Canadian airlines, making it the world’s largest airline pilot union. ALPA provides three critical services to its members: airline safety, security, and pilot assistance; representation; and advocacy. Through unbiased, fact-based evaluation of airline safety and security issues, ALPA works to ensure that the airline industry remains safe. ALPA represents pilots’ views to decision-makers, including Congress and federal agencies, and ALPA pilot groups have negotiated hundreds of contracts with airlines.

ALPA is a member of the AFL-CIO and the Canadian Labour Congress.

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