Welcome to OPEIU Local 108We provide PHI pilots with information about the benefits of union representation and collective bargaining.

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August Monthly Meeting Video

August 11, 2019

The August Monthly Union Member and Informational meeting was held tonight.  If you were unable to attend and would like to watch the meeting in its entirety, follow the link.


August Monthly Meeting

August 7th, 2019

We will be hosting our Monthly Local Meeting online Sunday, August 11th at 2000 Eastern, 1900 Central, 1700 Pacific. We will be using Zoom which is a pretty decent online meeting software. You can use it on a desktop, laptop, smart phone or tablet.

You can use it through a browser or an app. It's your choice. We are using the free version right now which limits us to 100 participants and 40 minutes per meeting. I'd like all members to attend if they can. Non-members are welcome. I'd like to encourage maximum participation. If this is the best way to conduct these meetings, we can purchase a plan that allows up to 1000 participants with unlimited meeting duration. If people don't think this is the best way to have meetings, I'm open to suggestions.

If you are unable to attend we will be recording a portion of the meeting and posting them to the Local's YouTube channel. I'll post a link to the video in this group once the meeting is over. The recorded portion will be normal proceedings and Local business. Once that's completed, the recording will stop. At this point we will have an open Q&A and address any issues or topics you may have. Again, this portion will not be recorded. So if you want the juicy parts, you'll have to come to the meeting.

To log into the meeting, just copy and paste the bold address below into your browser or download the app and input the meeting ID.


First Meeting Information

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 922 727 373


One tap mobile

+16465588656,,922727373# US (New York)

+14086380968,,922727373# US (San Jose)


Additional Meeting Time if Necessary

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 556 897 321


One tap mobile

+16465588656,,556897321# US (New York)

+14086380968,,556897321# US (San Jose)


Officer Positions Confrimed and forwarded by OPEIU to PHI Management

July 22, 2019

This is a letter written by Paul Bohelski on behalf of OPEIU informing them of Ryan Lanning and I being officially recognized in our new positions. It's not exciting stuff, but I want to be transparent with all of the communication between the Union and Management on your behalf. In the next day or two, I'll be sending a letter to Jaimie Hinch laying the ground work for future interactions between the Union and Management. I'll post that letter when it's sent out and any response I receive in return. I will also be posting this document to the OPEIU Local 108 website. If you have coworkers who have questions about the Union, but, understandably don't want to use Facebook, please let them know about the website. As always, please let me know if you have any concerns.

Letter to Management


Message From Gordon Harwell

July 11th, 2019

I’d like to take a moment to thank Lucas, Ben, and Jon for all of their effort overseeing and administering the nomination and election process. I’d also like to thank Greg Awbrey for all of his hard work and dedication to PHI, the Union, and his fellow pilots.

I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Ryan Lanning to the position of Secretary/Treasurer. He is currently an S-92 PIC in the Gulf of Mexico. I’ve known Ryan for over 15 years. We served together in the Marine Corps and have both been with PHI for over 10 years. He is a consummate and demanding professional. For those who haven’t had the opportunity to fly or interact with him on a personal level, you would be hard-pressed to find a more focused, thorough, and disciplined pilot. Now Management will get to experience these traits first hand.

Since we didn’t have a full election process, I never had the opportunity to introduce myself or offer my ideas for the Union. For those of you asking: “Who the hell is this guy?” I’m Gordon Harwell and I’m a PHI pilot just like all of you. I came to PHI after nine years in the Marine Corps and I’ve been here for over ten years. That’s more than some, but not nearly as long as others. I spent nine years in the Gulf flying the line and working in the Training Department. I came over to the Air Medical side last year and I’m currently flying out of Wadsworth, OH supporting our contract with the Cleveland Clinic.

Over the past ten years I’ve been impressed time and again by our peers and fellow employees. I’m confident we have the best trained and most professional pilot cadre in the helicopter industry. I believe the success of PHI rests primarily on the shoulders of our fellow pilots. Despite operating in challenging environments in support of customers demanding the highest levels of excellence, we continuously and consistently deliver on PHI’s promises. It is only fair for Management to do the same.

One of the greatest lessons I learned during my time in the Marine Corps was the concept of Confrontational Leadership. For those of you unfamiliar, it is simply the philosophy of acknowledging an issue and resolving it. It is philosophy of engagement and resolution, not one of simply treating symptoms. This may sound obvious. In fact it’s the underlying foundational tenet of Destination Zero. And just like Destination Zero suggests, we need to Stand Up, Speak Out, and Take Action. We cannot just Sit Down, Shut Up, and Take It.

I believe our ultimate goal as a Union should be the safety and fair treatment of our fellow pilots while contributing to the continued success of PHI. This will require us to be actively, consistently, and continuously engaged with management and our fellow pilots. It will not be fast and it will not be easy. It is a long term process with a goal that will always seem just out of reach. We have to remain committed and engaged. Going forward I believe this engagement should focus on three main areas: Safety, Communication, and Professionalism.

Workplace safety is historically one of the primary focal points of any labor union. The safety of our fellow pilots, employees, and passengers should be our greatest concern. Fortunately, PHI has a robust Safety Management System including Destination Zero and the Life Saving Behaviors. Unfortunately the acceptance and commitment to these programs and polices seems limited to upper management, pilots, and our fellow line employees. For some reason, middle management tends to conveniently forget about these programs or feel they are merely a marketing program when faced with operational or customer pressures. I believe we can accomplish many things by making the safety case to management. Safety is not just an intrinsic value, it’s also good business. PHI’s reputation for safety is well deserved and one of our greatest selling points when gaining and retaining loyal customers. Ultimately safety is not about numbers but rather a continuous effect accomplished by consistently adhering to standardized policies and procedures. Our professionalism as individuals and as a group are the greatest safety assets available to PHI. It is incumbent upon each of us to ensure that short sightedness by a few individuals does not adversely affect our safety or the long term success of PHI.

Communication will be critical in everything we’re trying to accomplish. This includes our communication with Management but also, and most importantly with our fellow pilots. I am going to do my best to increase the amount and frequency of information you receive. I am going to try and have quarterly if not monthly membership meetings online. I am going to try and have a quarterly, if not monthly newsletter. In short, I want to ensure our message and efforts are available in as many forms as possible. By informing and mobilizing our fellow pilots, we will have an opportunity to make our voices heard.

Anyone who knows me is aware of my belief in Professionalism as a primary driver of safety and success. As a group, I think we’re the most professional pilots in the industry. By focusing on professionalism we can push the company and Management forward. Rather than reacting to policy changes, we can attempt to push and advocate for positive change.

I could write at great length about all of these topics, but I don’t want to lose any more than I already have. If you’re interested in more detail, feel free to write or call. I plan on using the newsletter and web page to discuss some ideas and hear your thoughts on different topics.

Finally, I’d like tell you my thoughts on this position. I believe in 100% transparency and access. If you have any questions, concerns, or disagreements with me or anyone else, please contact me or anyone else directly. If you have questions about what we’re doing, ask. I view this as a position of service to a group of people and an organization I care about. I don’t view it as an opportunity to exert some non-existent authority, power, or influence over my coworkers. I work for you. If I’m not providing the service you want or I’m pursuing a course you disagree with, let me know. I need your input and your feedback. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. Please know I take this position and responsibility seriously and I will do everything in my power not to let you down.



July 8th, 2019

To: All OPEIU Local 108


Nominations for the offices of President and Secretary-Treasurer closed on July 5th at 1800 CT. Only one nomination for each position was received by the election committee. Gordon Harwell was nominated for President and he has accepted the nomination. Ryan Lanning was nominated for Secretary-Treasurer and he has also accepted the nomination.

Both nominees are active members in good standing and meet the requirements for the Officer positions. As only one nomination for each Officer position was received, the candidates are uncontested and no vote by the membership is required.

The current OPEIU Local 108 President, Greg Awbrey, will oversee the swearing in of both Officer candidates. Date to be announced.

Any questions regarding nominations and/or the election should be put in writing to OPEIU Local 108

Election Committee at the email or address shown below.

Election Committee Members

Lucas Winslow 303-598-7472

Ben Miller 956-456-9383

Jon Russel 337-371-8491

OPEIU Local 108 Election Committee

P.O. Box 1381 Kenner,

La 70063




Union Election Nominations

Nominations for the offices of President and Secretary-Treasurer are now open and will be conducted via mail and email. The Candidate elected as President will also serve as delegate to any Convention of the Office and Professional Employees International Union as long as he or she holds office.

ELIGIBILITY: To be eligible to run for office, one must be an active member as defined in the Local 108 Constitution and Bylaws and in continuous good standing for at least the preceding twelve (12) months.

PROCEDURE: Nominations must satisfy the following:

  • Submitted in writing

  • Specify the office for which the individual is being nominated

  • Be received by the OPEIU Local 108 Election Committee at P.O. Box 1381 Kenner, La 70063 or by email to opeiu108ec@gmail.com, no later than 6:00 p.m. Central Time on June 24, 2019.

VALIDITY: In order for a nomination for a particular office to be valid, an individual must be nominated by at least one active member (as defined in the Local 108 Constitution and Bylaws) for a particular office. Individuals may nominate themselves for any position.

ACCEPTANCE: The Election Committee will issue an acceptance/declination form to each validly nominated member by email, to those members for whom the Election Committee has an email address and by First Class U.S. mail for all others. As provided in the OPEIU Local 108 Constitution and Bylaws, all persons validly nominated shall indicate their acceptance or declination of their nomination in writing within ten (10) calendar days after issuance of an acceptance/declination form. No member may accept the nomination for or be a candidate for more than one officer position in an election. If an individual accepts his or her nomination for more than one office, said individual shall be deemed to have declined all nominations.

Said acceptance or declination must be made in writing and must be received by the OPEIU Local 108 Election Committee at P.O. Box 1381 Kenner, La 70063 or by email to opeiu108ec@gmail.com no later than 6:00 p.m. Central Time on the tenth calendar day after the acceptance/declination form is issued. If no response is received by this time, the nomination(s) will be considered declined. The OPEIU Local 108 Election Committee Reserves the right to contact individuals from whom an acceptance or declination has been received to confirm the authenticity of their acceptance or declination.

If more than one candidate is validly nominated for either the position of President and/or Secretary- Treasurer, ballots will be mailed to each member’s last known address on July 7th, 2019 with instructions on voting and the deadline to return the ballots.

MISCELLANEOUS: Any qualified member seeking to be nominated and elected to an officer position has the right to: (i) have OPEIU Local 108 mail campaign literature to the membership at his or her own expense or such candidate may choose to have OPEIU Local 108 e-mail campaign literature to all members whose e- mail addresses are on file, at no expense; and (ii) once within the thirty (30) day period prior to the mailing of the ballots to the members to inspect a list containing the names and last known addresses of all members of OPEIU Local 108.

Any questions regarding nominations and/or the election should be put in writing to OPEIU Local 108 Election Committee at the email or address shown below:

OPEIU Local 108 Election Committee P.O. Box 1381
Kenner, LA 70063 Opeiu108ec@gmail.com

Election Committee Members

Lucas Winslow 303-598-7472

Ben Miller 956-456-9383

Jon Russel 337-371-8491


Shell Helmets

We're trying to get Management's attention about the hazards of the helmets Shell requires pilots to wear.  These concerns were brough to the Chief Pilot, but he says he hasn't heard many complaints about them.  While not specifically a Union issue, it is a pilot issue.  If you've ever had to fly with one of these helmets on Shell, you know how bad they can be.  Let's give Management some input.  I'm suggesting the use of Safety Communications to address the Safety Hazard they represent.  There should also be a letter, essemtially a petition conveying these concerns to the Chief Pilot.  Please take the time to submit a safety comm and add your name to the letter.  Here are some points to get started with.  Please feel free to copy and paste.  Add whatever additional information you like.  Thanks.


Company supplied helmets for Shell contract pilots are uncomfortable, lack communication clarity, and are unsuitable for extended use. Shell required helmets have been in use for approximately seven years. They lack sufficient noise attenuation, which exacerbates the lack of clarity provided by low-end avionics installed in the helmet. Extended flight in these helmets causes hot spots, headaches, neck pain, and additional fatigue. All of these issues cause fatigue and distraction. I would suggest we purchase a new batch of quality helmets that meet Shell's requirements, but are comfortable and have quality avionics. Additionally, once these helmets are purchased, I would recommend having professional fitment conducted by the vendor to ensure long-term comfort.


New Air Medical CBA Articles for PTO and Pay

The Air Medical division is taking advantage of our self-help status to add new Articles to the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  These Articles cut both benefits and pay for pilots.  The Geographic Differential Pay is going away.  Instead, you will be given a percentage of your base pay depending on where you work.  To be clear:  This is a pay cut any way you look at it.  You will now have your vacation and sick leave combined into a Paid Time Off system, that for all practical purposes cuts the amount of leave you have in half.  While it only applies to Air Medical for now, Oil and Gas will surely be looking at it as a way to cut costs.  Click on the links below to view the Articles for yourself.

New Articles 11 Leaves of Absence and 12 Paid Days Off and Banked Days

New Article 21 Base Pay


Union Presentation

Here is a short Union presentation describing current issues, statistics, and why you should join the Union.  These will be posted at the base shortly.


Company Survey

PHI sent a survey out today.  I'll attach it here so you don't have to hunt it down.  Please take some time and give Management some feedback.


OPEIU 108: Now with Forums!!!  

Just what every growing organization needs!

The Forums section of the website is now active.  Please take a look and let us know what's on your mind.  You must be a registered member of the site to access the forums.  Any member of the Union or represented pilot may become a registered member of the site.

UPDATE:  Having some issues with the Forums page appearing in the Navigation Menu at the top of the page.  For now just use this FORUMS link or the one on the Resources page.  Hopefully we'll get this sorted out quickly.  Thanks for your patience.



The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section of the site is now active and will continue to be updated.  If you have questions, please click on the link and send them. 


Union Meeting

The Union had a short meeting on the 28th of July.  The members discussed different plans of action moving forward.  The Union will be working to address the concerns of pilots, specifically Compensation, Quality of Life, and Membership Growth.  As these plans are formulated and solidified, they will be shared with our fellow members and represented pilots for your consideration and input.  We welcome your response and your ideas.  It is important to be able to communicate with all of our members and represented pilots so we ask that you register with this website and provide a non-PHI or Careflite corporate email.  This website is new and we will be adding new content quickly to include a Forum, Frequently Asked Questions, and Education sections.  This will allow us to communicate, exchange ideas, and bring attention to issues concerning all of us.  If you register and provide us with your email, we'll get you added to our mailing list, and send out updates as they become available.  

Need to Contact Us?

We are happy to help answer any questions you might have and look forward to speaking with you.  Contact Us