Hello. Today is Friday, August 30, 2002. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator.
APFA and American will meet on Tuesday of next week to review the specific numbers of overages at each base. The proffer for Overage Leaves and Partnership Flying is expected to be posted shortly thereafter and will be out in the field for two weeks closing sometime in mid-September.
APFA and American have reached agreement regarding eligibility for Overage Leaves and Partnership Flying. This agreement will allow more Flight Attendants to elect these options. The complete text of this agreement can be found on the APFA Web site under “Reduction in Force.”
The Overage Leaves will be offered in initial “key blocks” of one year. If the Company does not get enough one-year bids to cover the overage, they will then be offered in “auxiliary blocks.” These blocks will be strung together in order to fill a one-year block. If, after offering all of the Overage Leaves, an overage still exists, Partnership Flying will be offered for a period of three months. If an overage still remains after all Overage Leaves and Partnership Flying have been awarded, then and only then, will there be a need for furloughs.
Overage Leaves are very attractive in that they allow Flight Attendants the ability to take time off while still accruing all seniority, maintain their health insurance at the same rates they pay as an active employee, and use D1 and D2 travel privileges on American Airlines and American Eagle. The only thing they do not receive is a paycheck. Partnership is in essence a job share. Two Flight Attendants from the same base with “like” qualifications including equipment and reserve rotations, for example one on one off, can create a Partnership. They will bid for trips based on the senior person’s seniority. The two Flight Attendants will choose who will fly which trips each month. A great deal of information is now available on the web site regarding Partnership Flying, Overage Leaves, Article 30 Retirement, and Article 16-Reduction in Force and related contractual language.
APFA has created a “Partner Finder” that will help Flight Attendants locate a partner at their base. The finder will allow Flight Attendants to list their equipment qualifications and reserve rotations, if that applies, on an electronic bulletin board similar to the one for Trip Trades. It is the responsibility of the individual Flight Attendants to make contact with each other and create the Partnership. APFA is simply making it easier to locate a partner. Flight Attendants interested in finding a partner may begin completing the form now. The listing will begin appearing on Tuesday, September 3rd.
For those possibly interested in taking Article 30 (Early Retirement). Article 30 allows Flight Attendants ages 45-55 with a minimum of 20 years of service to take early retirement. They will receive a $25,000 lump sum minus applicable taxes, 10 round-trip “D-2” passes with service charges per year, limited term life insurance, and $20,000 in health coverage for the Flight Attendant, their spouse, and dependent children until age 65 or until Medicare coverage begins. Flight Attendants electing to take Article 30 will still be eligible for pension benefits as outlined in Article 36 of the APFA/AAL Collective Bargaining Agreement. Article 30-Early Retirement can be found on pages 299-301 of the Contract.
American began sending furlough notices to Flight Attendants who are subject to furlough. Those American Airlines Flight Attendants hired after April 10, 2001 will be furloughed on October 13, 2002, due to the fact they will be junior to 745 TWA-LLC Flight Attendants currently on furlough once the seniority lists are combined on October 1, 2002. Only after Overage Leaves and Partnership Flying have been awarded will we know if additional furloughs will be necessary.
There has been a great deal of new information added to the APFA Web site this week. Included are the new APFA Retirement Book, an updated retirement outline, Overage Leave and Partnership information, a Partner Finder for those interested in Partnership Flying, contact information for unemployment offices in every state, and COBRA information. More information will be added next week as it becomes available. We encourage all members to visit the web site frequently for the latest information.
The deadline for submission for the Critical Incident Stress management Survey is October 1, 2002. If you no longer have a copy and wish to participate, you can obtain a copy from the APFA Web site. Simply click on the “Hot Topics” icon. You can also call the APFA Membership Department at extension 8153 to request a copy.
APFA is aware that many Flight Attendants have had problems with United Healthcare. In an effort to identify these problems and work to eliminate them, the APFA Health Department needs your help. If you have had problems other than having a claim rejected due to the fact the medical procedure for which you submitted the claim for was not covered under the health plan, you should document it and mail the information to the APFA Health Department. The address is APFA Health Department, 1004 West Euless Blvd., Euless, Texas 76040. Please provide your name, employee number, contact information, member number, claim number, and a detailed description of the problem.
In the next few days, all American Airlines and TWA-LLC Flight Attendants will be receiving a pamphlet produced by Kaiser Permanente in conjunction with AFA. This pamphlet was designed to help crewmembers deal with the trauma and stress brought on by the events of September 11, 2001. APFA viewed the information contained in the pamphlet as very beneficial. So when it was offered to us free of charge and postage paid, we accepted. Services offered by the APFA can be found at the back of the pamphlet you will be receiving.
There are numerous events planned for the week of September 9th. In order to keep our membership informed, we have created a September 11th Events Page on the APFA Web site. Events are being added from around the country and from many bases each day. Please take a moment to review the page. It is updated frequently.
“Skyword Online” is a new program devised to help cut costs. It allows Flight Attendants to elect to read Skyword online through the APFA Web site and stop home delivery. This option has been especially popular with Flight Attendants who are married to other APFA members. Flight Attendants wishing to participate in “Skyword Online” should send an e-mail to Membership@apfa.org. The words “Skyword Online” should be typed into the subject line. The text of the message should include the Flight Attendant’s name, employee number, and a note saying they wish to read Skyword online and stop home delivery.
APFA has been made aware that e-mails are being sent that are virus-laden with the words “A Funny Game” and “A Very Good Tool” in the subject line. If you have Internet access and do not have virus protection on your computer, we encourage you to install it. If you currently have virus protections, please update it frequently.
In Industry News:
American began releasing details of its fall schedule this week. The initial changes include elimination of service between DFW and Savannah, Georgia and increased RJ service between Chicago and Harrisburg. American will replace all mainline jets with RJs on service between DFW and Greensboro, Little Rock, and Cincinnati. RJs will also replace American jets on flights between Chicago and Syracuse and Albany, New York.
Flight Attendants at Midwest Express have begun their CHAOS actions in response to their airline’s refusal to agree to a new contract. Flight Attendants may strike flights randomly throughout the Midwest system.
United unveiled its cost cutting proposal to employees on Thursday. The airline is asking for $1.5 billion dollars in wage and benefit concessions from employees over the next six years. United hopes to gain approval from the various work groups prior to September 16th in order to resubmit it application for federal loans guarantees. Unions at the airline have reacted with skepticism to the company’s proposals.
US Airways has petitioned the court handling its bankruptcy case to reject collective bargaining agreements with the IAM and CWA. These are the only groups that have not reached concessionary agreements with the airline as a part of their cost cutting efforts.
Mechanics at Southwest have reached a tentative agreement with that airline. The agreement includes wages increases, retroactive pay, and stock options.
That’s it for this week. Please remember those 1,566 Flight Attendants at American and TWA-LLC that are currently on furlough.
The APFA Offices will be closed on Monday, September 2nd in observance of Labor Day. There will be an Officer-on-Duty to assist those Flight Attendants with emergencies. All calls of a non-emergency nature will be routed the appropriate department or representative for response the next business day.
For the latest information, please visit the APFA Web site.
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