Darth Tater writes;
The first step toward respect for our profession is not union organization. You're not satisfied being a professional pilot so you want to be more like a teamster? If being a professional pilot doesn't get you a table at the Ritz, what's a union card going to do for you? The path to success is through exertion, not extortion. Compulsory unionization would kill our industry.
Darth, I get the idea that you and I disagree on union-organizing of pilots employed by companies. Thats fine by me. I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and if yours is different than mine, that doesn't make me smarter or dumber than you. We simply see things differently.
In this regard though, I am not referring to labor-union organization. Here is what I wrote:
I submit that the first steps toward a respected profession as helicopter pilots will be organization followed by legitimate barriers to entry into the profession; such as higher educational and experience levels.
Again, I see similarities between where our profession is today and where medicine was a hundred or so years ago. They had "medical schools" popping up everywhere willy-nilly. Some were two year, some three, some four. Curriculums varied widely. Competing philosophies fought for a place such as Naturopathy and Osteopathy (They squashed the Nats and swallowed the Osteos). It was chaos and no one was making any money. More importantly to society though - the profession wasn't living up to it's potential.
Physicians organized. State Medical Societies begot the American Medical Association, and the AMA et.al. got government to change and enforce the rules.
We could do this. I am not a member of the PHPA, yet, but that may be the avenue forward.
First we have to join forces through a professional association, then we have to decide on standards, then we have to get those standards enforced. This for the good of the profession - not the good of my wallet. It probably won't happen any time soon; as the obstacles are many.
When efforts were underway to organize physicians, it was discovered that there were three segments in the population.
First, there were those who had lucrative careers and didn't see any need for change. They didn't care to improve other's lots, and create competition for themselves.
Second, there were those who were quacks, and didn't want to elevate the work above what they could understand.
Finally, there was the third group who pushed for higher standards and were willing to work harder to live up to them.
It's like that with us. I believe our standards are set too low. I believe the wrong people are setting the standards, and I believe that the people who lose - in the long run - are the people we serve.