This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA HotLine.
Today is Tuesday, November 06, 2001.
The company is re-mailing a new Benefits Packet, including a new instruction sheet, to all Overage Leave Recipients. The packet must have a return postmark of no more than 14 days following the date the envelope was postmarked by the company. In other words, if the envelope has a postmark of November 9th, the Flight Attendant must have their envelope in the mail to the company with a postmark no later than November 23rd. Please be mindful of the Thanksgiving Holiday and plan accordingly. Overage Leave Flight Attendants are not eligible to apply through PeopleLink and, therefore, must return their Benefits Package through the US mail.
For all other APFA Flight Attendants, please remember you must enroll for your 2002 Benefits no later than November 12th if you are based in Dallas, Miami or Chicago, and November 14th for the remainder of the system. Please make sure you seriously consider electing the Supplemental Insurance, which provides up to $500,000 above the maximum medical benefits, as this will be the only opportunity most of us have to elect this coverage. Just as a reminder, Prefunding of retiree medical does not begin until January of 2002 and is not part of the Benefits enrollment.
APFA would like to personally thank all of the Flight Attendants who put in for Overage Leaves and Partnership Flying in lieu of the company’s laying off literally thousands of our fellow flight attendants. We understand that this has not been a simple transition for you and we are doing everything we can at APFA Headquarters to ensure you are receiving all of the Benefits from the Company to which you are entitled.
For those of you who volunteered for Partnership Flying, APFA and the company are in discussions regarding your ability to OE a trip. We will let you know the outcome as soon as we have more information.
As we announced previously, APFA has filed several Presidential Grievances pertaining to the Company’s misapplication of Article 16 (Overage Leaves) and Appendix F (Partnership Flying). The three grievances will be heard in Dallas/Ft. Worth in January, February and March of 2002. See the APFA web site for further details. Any member in good standing is welcome to attend.
APFA still needs your assistance in gathering specific individual information for these grievances. If you were interested in taking an Overage Leave for any duration other than 180 days; if you were denied an overage leave for any reason, including the fact that you are already on an approved company leave; or if you were denied partnership flying, please forward your information into any APFA Lock Box.
From Friday’s HotLine, we reminded you that the deadline to apply for Appendix T is November 12. Again: you must clear the sick list and have your paperwork submitted by that date. The company, upon request, may waive your two-week-notice. If you do not wish to fly after submission of your application, please notify your Flight Service Manager. If your Flight Service Manager denies your request, please contact your local Base Chair or Vice Chair immediately for assistance. If you are eligible for regular retirement this will be your last opportunity to take Appendix T along with your regular retirement as a combined benefit package, as Appendix T will no longer exist after November 12th. For those of you not eligible for regular retirement who are considering only Appendix T, APFA encourages you to check the provisions of Article 30 instead, which among other things, allows a member to retire with a minimum age of 55. Again, Appendix T will NOT be available after November 12th.
Rumor Control: We’ve been getting hit at Headquarters with the following scenario: I hear that if I don’t want to retire until years from now, but I want to take advantage of Appendix T, that I can submit my retirement request by November 12th of this year but make it effective, say 15 years from now. Is this true? Answer: No, but it’s a nice try.
No date has been set yet for the House and Senate to meet in conference to reconcile the two Aviation Security bills. Both the House and Senate versions of the Bill require the hiring and training of sky marshals, more extensive training for screeners, a fortified cockpit door, use of protective devices (both Bills require FAA research into the topic), and background checks for security personnel.
The bills differ mainly in two areas: The Senate places security under the Department of Justice while the House bill defines a new “Under Secretary of Transportation” who would oversee this function.
The Senate bill also makes all screeners federal employees while the House Bill federalizes the system with supervisors as federal employees but front line screeners could be private employees.
APFA supports the Department of Justice overseeing the aviation security process since it has experience in law enforcement and federalizing the screeners so that the lowest bid by a contractor is no longer a motivating issue in hiring screeners. Even though some European countries have privatized screeners, the government pays for their healthcare and retirement. The U.S. aviation system is far bigger and more complex than most European operations. A federalized system is needed to ensure consistency and reliability.
It will be some time before all the new security measures are in place. In the meantime, be alert and report any security breeches to our APFA Safety Coordinator Kathy Lord-Jones at 800.395.2732, ext. 8302. Delta Flight Attendants will finally be voting on Union Representation beginning December 7th, through January 31st. The vote will be counted on February 1st. A successful vote will require 50% plus one vote in favor of unionization. That’s it for this week. Thank you for calling the APFA HotLine. This HotLine will be updated on Friday, November 9th.