It seems just about everyone has an opinion about what Delta Air Lines pilots should be doing in their current labor talks. In recent weeks, both company officials and outside analysts have presented their views publicly.

But the pilots themselves have some clear ideas of their own: They are prepared to swap company stock for concessions on pay and benefits, as well as accept seats on the company's board of directors.Some analysts have suggested that the pay-for-stock swap isn't a good idea since stock is not very liquid and that taking a director's seat would unduly complicate the natural tension between labor and management.

That view is not shared by veteran Delta pilot Cameron Foster, who handles communications for the Master Executive Council of Delta's 8,500-member Air Line Pilots Association.

The stock swap wouldn't cost the company anything after the first year, but would be valuable to the pilots, he said. And providing directors' seats wouldn't cost anything, either, but would give pilots a voice in a company they care about.

Further, Foster said other airlines report great success with employees on their boards because it improves communication and reduces distrust between managers and workers.

"If we can reach a fair value exchange, then we can reach an agreement," Foster said.

Unlike some airlines, Delta is not just cutting costs but undergoing a full restructuring, he said. Company officials have launched "Leadership 7.5," which refers to efforts to get the average seat mile cost reduced to 7.5 cents. Other employees got 5 percent pay cuts in 1992. In April, the company said it wanted to cut pilot costs by 22 percent, Foster said.

Foster said pilots were unwilling to debate an artificially set goal, but said they'd participate in the restructuring as long as a fair agreement could be reached. "We said we had to have a value for value exchange," he said.

Key issues are equity, board seats and job security.

Foster said Delta has been contracting out work to connecting carriers with lower-paid pilots. Previously, that wasn't a problem when it involved small, 70-seat planes. But now, smaller connector companies are buying jets, and Foster said Delta is sending more and more work their way.

The fact that Delta has partial ownership in some carriers complicates matters because Delta pilots believe this violates their current contract, Foster said. Attorneys for the airline say those contract provisions apply only to firms Delta owns, controls or operates. Delta pilots, on the other hand, point to Delta's financial investment in some of the smaller firms and the fact that Delta people handle ground operations and tickets and that the company has its logo on planes.

That issues now is in court.

"We don't want to get into a fight in court, we just want to get a clear distinction about who does what," Foster said.

Company officials and analysts have said the pilots union must change, but Foster suggests that changes are in order all around.

"Delta is a very Southern, very traditional corporation, but times have changed. We've gotten much larger, we've taken on three other airlines, Northeast, Western and Pan American. We're much more broad-based and scattered all over the world. All of us need to look at new ways of doing things," Foster said.

Jim Stava, a Park City resident and Delta pilot since 1987, said recent negotiations have revealed a departure from the highly cooperative corporate culture Delta and the pilots enjoyed when Stava joined the airline. Stava represents 650 pilots in the Salt Lake area in the Air Line Pilots Association.

"We should be elated. The financial results of the corporation in the last year have been outstanding - we've had record profitability. We had near-record profitability last year. Yet, they're still on this course of serious cost-cutting," Stava said. "Essentially, that cost-cutting would make more value for the stockholders and we have no problem doing that. But we'd like to do it in a more creative way, and we can't seem to break through with that logic."