February 11, 2000
Hello, this is Kim Boyett, newly appointed DFW Vice Chair, with a Negotiations update for Friday, February 11, 2000.
For the past five months, your Union has been busy reorganizing, restructuring, and preparing for round two of the negotiations process which came to a halt with the rejection of the proposed TA last September. With your invaluable input, and many hours of diligent work by your Union representatives at every level, we are proud to send our new APFA 2000 Negotiators into the next round of bargaining with American Airlines.
You, the Membership, spoke loudly and it was clear that you wanted CHANGE. To recap the changes made in this very short period of time: The APFA Board of Directors and Executive Committee convened in several special sessions to plan the restructuring process. A Special Advisory Committee was formed by the Board to ensure a smooth transition into the next round of bargaining. The former PR firm’s retainer was not renewed, and the Board appointed a new PR Coordinator for Negotiations. A meeting with Company negotiators took place within three days of the failed TA. The first national press release was issued within four days of the Membership Vote to reject the TA. APFA membership hotlines were updated within three days, and recorded around the clock as events unfolded. It was evident to us that our Membership was interested and involved, as more than 27,000 calls to the APFA hotline were received during this time of TRANSITION!
Following the resignation of the former Negotiations Committee, a completely new APFA Negotiations Team was formed by the appointment of Six Negotiators and the subsequent election of Six Negotiators. A change was also made in the chairperson and spokesperson for the new Negotiating Committee. In December, the entire team took part in a comprehensive, tailor made Collective Bargaining training program, developed and conducted by Cornell University. After extensive research and thorough interviews, two professional negotiators and an airline economic analyst have been retained to join our team as strategic advisors. Telephone and written opinion surveys of our flight attendants have been conducted and analyzed by an outside independent research firm. Several forms of communication have been utilized to send and receive input from our flight attendants. We are recruiting new Info Reps and are revamping the program. Negotiators have been and will continue to be out in the field to listen to flight attendant concerns. Your Negotiators have been in intensive meetings, developing strategies and contract proposals. This is a brief synopsis of what has been taking place in the past few months and we feel confident that our new TEAM is poised and prepared to return to the table with the company. The first active bargaining session between the Union and the Company is February 15, 2000. Are we ready? You bet! Start the countdown to TA 2!
In other Negotiations News: Mark King, an airline analyst from the aviation consulting firm, GKMG out of Washington, D.C., has been retained by APFA to act as strategic planner in the area of cost analysis and airline contract comparisons, as well as all issues related to revenue for the next T.A. Mark was formerly with ALPA, where he spent ten years as chief cost analyst, and has also represented UAL mechanics and FA s, NW and TWA FA s, USAir Pilots, and PAN AM and AE Pilots. We welcome his expertise and are proud to add Mr. King to our team of strategic advisors.
Change is in the Air. And we want you to be informed and to keep us informed, every step of the way! Volunteer to be an Info Rep by contacting your Base Chair. Call the APFA hotline every week. Access our website at www.www.apfa.org, read the Skyword, leave a message for your negotiators by calling 1-800-395-2732 ext. 8715, or e-mail the TEAM at Nego4us@gte.net. Attend your base meetings and take the opportunity to speak to your negotiators one on one in the coming months. MARCH 6- MEET YOUR NEGOTIATORS IN NEW YORK! If you are in New York on March 6, plan to attend the APFA Info Rep and Membership Base meeting. The meeting will be hosted by all of your base representatives and several members of the Negotiating Team. Time and place to be announced.
Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline and stay on the line for Frank Buddes with more APFA and Industry News.
Hello. This is Frank Buddes, National Communications Coordinator, filling in for Marcus Gluth, with more APFA HotLine news for the week ending Friday, February 11th.
If you are proffering for Part Time and/or a Leave of Absence for the fiscal year beginning May 1st, 2000, remember that the deadline for turning in your completed proffer form is Tuesday, February 15th, at 8:30 a.m. local base time. Check at your base for the drop off location. Awards will be posted on February 29th.
Vacation bidding will begin soon and the bidding instructions will be distributed to all Flight Attendant mailboxes. Write down these dates:
>> Primary vacation bidding opens February 16th and closes March 7th
>> Secondary vacation bidding opens March 16th and closes March 23rd
Read your vacation bidding package carefully, and if you have any questions, call the APFA Contract Department at headquarters extension 8171.
For those of you who have been waiting for word on registration for Domestic Partner Benefits, take a look at the January/February issue of Flagship News. In case you missed the article on page 7 … enrollment packets will be available beginning February 15th from the Employee Service Center. Call 817-967-1770 or 800-888-1696. You can also use the e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org to request a packet. The packet includes the required affidavit and forms for providing other confidential information. In order for benefits to be effective on the April 15th startup date, the completed forms must be returned by March 23rd, though employees who are not now eligible may enroll later once all requirements are met.
In the wake of the crash of Alaska Airlines flight 261, mandatory inspections have begun on the horizontal stabilizer assemblies on all MD80 and MD90 aircraft. In a special message to employees on February 9th, American CEO Don Carty had announced that American would begin voluntary inspections on all 284 of its affected aircraft beginning Thursday, February 10th. Even though American’s original plan was to accomplish the inspections over seven days, APFA Safety Coordinator Kathy Lord-Jones reports that the Company expects few, if any, disruptions from the expedited 3-day inspection schedule.
In other industry news: American wasn’t the only airline last week announcing major changes in the product it will be offering main cabin customers. British Airways also unveiled an enhancement to their coach service in the form of a fourth class of service on International routes. Dubbed ‘World Traveler Plus,’ the new service is designed for full-fare economy passengers and will include its own seating section, double the amount of carry-on space, and will have a seat pitch of 38 inches, versus 31 inches in the current coach configuration. In their Business class offering, British is providing the first ever lie-flat beds with a 73 inch pitch, up from 50 inches, and a cabin configuration featuring both forward and backward facing seats, separated by a movable partition.
As reported in past HotLines, American has applied to the Department of Transportation for route authority to China. And now there is an easy way for employees and other interested parties to show their support for American’s application. A decision on the request for routes to both Shanghai and Beijing from Chicago O’Hare is expected sometime this summer, but the deadline for comments to the DOT is February 29th. As expected, American’s request to serve these routes using three Boeing 777’s on ten weekly flights is facing stiff competition from other carriers. Employees, friends, and family members can send their support by accessing the web site: www.aachina.com. Follow the links which will automatically send letters to Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, your two senators, and your representative.
On the labor front: The 8,500 Flight Attendants at Continental Airlines, represented by the Machinists union, reached a tentative agreement with management on Wednesday. The deal, facilitated by the National Mediation Board, would improve retirement, work rules, vacation, and pay, and also offers a domestic-partner package.
US Airways Flight Attendants continue their NMB mediated talks with management. According to the Association of Flight Attendants, bargaining over the sixteen areas of the contract that are still open nearly broke down over discussions about reserve. While the NMB persuaded the parties to return to the table, the board also advised US Airways management to put an economic proposal on the table soon. Meanwhile, the AFA renewed its request for a proffer of binding arbitration. US Airways Flight Attendants are approaching 1,140 days without a new agreement.
At Northwest Airlines, the Teamsters, representing the Northwest Flight Attendants, are back at the table in expedited mediated bargaining sessions. Union negotiators have reported that their new proposals to management would be based on the tentative agreement, rather than returning to the original contract to bargain from scratch. They also will withdraw their proposal that a Flight Attendant’s pension be based on her or his final average earnings. In the meantime, Northwest will implement a 4% pay increase for Flight Attendants, as well as increases in per diem rates, the same as offered in the tentative agreement.
The APFA Annual Convention will be held March 13th through the 17th at the Marriott Solana in Westlake, Texas, and tickets are now on sale for the 7th Annual APFA Awards Banquet, to be held on Monday evening the 13th beginning at 6:30 p.m. To reserve your spot, call Greg Sweasy at headquarters extension 8143 with your employee number and the number of tickets desired. Cost is $25.00 per ticket.
APFA base meetings are scheduled for SFO / SFO-I on Wednesday, February 23rd, and for JFK / LGA on Monday, March 6th. Check your local base bulletin boards, or the APFA web site, to verify meeting places and times.
That’s it for this week. For those of you on the Internet, be sure to check out the various links attached to this HotLine on our web site at: www.www.apfa.org. Remember that APFA 2000 means Unity for 20,000! Wear your APFA pin proudly as a sign of our independence, unity and strength. Thank-you for calling the APFA HotLine.
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