This is APFA President John Ward. Today is Friday, August 29.
As you know, Monday is Labor Day. Labor Day is a time for the nation to pay tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. It seems, then, like a perfect opportunity to take a moment to think about the many contributions we, as American Airlines flight attendants, make to keep this airline flying. While many Americans will have the day off and will spend the day with family and friends, many flight attendants will instead spend the day on an airplane or in a hotel somewhere.Wherever you are this Monday, I wish each of you a happy and safe Labor Day. And now, on to a couple of items of business:
I want to talk briefly about the ongoing manning situation in the Domestic Operation. I know from the daily briefings I receive from the APFA Scheduling Department as well as the e-mails and voice mail messages I’ve received from the membership that the current flight attendant shortage on Domestic has reached a critical level and is quite frankly, out of control. The Company has, for two months now, seriously underestimated its need for flight attendants. The Reserves are literally sick and tired and, as a result, regularly scheduled flight attendants are now routinely being rescheduled/reassigned. We make no apologies for the Company. With approximately 1,500 flight attendants out on Overage Leaves and with over 6,100 flight attendants on the street, there is just no acceptable excuse for not having enough Reserves.
The Company, in an effort to manage the situation has – without any notification to APFA – implemented new policies for dealing with flight attendants who, for whatever reason, end up not flying a reassignment. Late this afternoon, APFA learned that flight service had issued a memo to managers dated August 28 intended to “streamline and simplify” the procedures management is to follow in the event a flight attendant either calls in sick or receives a missed trip for a reassignment.
According to this document, if a flight attendant calls in sick after receiving a reassignment, the flight service manager or attendance manager is to attempt to contact the flight attendant while on the sick list. Management maintains that it may, at that time, instruct the flight attendant to submit medical substantiation for the sick call. If, the flight attendant either refuses the reassignment or “no-shows”, the flight attendant will receive a missed trip which initiates an investigation by the flight service supervisor. The supervisor may, after investigating, elect to change the missed trip to a PO, SK, or a new code “RR” which indicates “refused reassignment” which will be handled as a performance issue.
Upon learning of this change in policy, APFA attempted to meet with the Company only to find out that – you guessed it – everyone was out of the office! We are scheduled to meet with the Company on Tuesday morning to discuss the manning situation as well as this management memo. Until then, please review carefully Article 26.H. of the contract regarding sick call procedures. Flight Attendants are not required to be available at their contact number while on the sick list nor speak with their supervisors. In addition, please remember that medical information should only be shared with American Airlines Medical, not Flight Service.
It is a sad irony that, as America prepares to celebrate Labor Day, American Airlines, by its recent actions, is showing nothing but contempt for its flight attendants, the backbone of this airline. Additional information will be provided on this hotline and the web site. Until then, fly safe.
Hello. Today is Friday, August 29, 2003. This is Liz Geiss, DFW InfoRep Captain, with the APFA Hotline.
If you have documentation regarding reduced rest such as HI3s that show reduced rest due to actual operations, travel time to and from layover hotels, layover check-in problems, or pushed departure times to accommodate Flight Attendant minimum rest, please drop it in any APFA lockbox in Flight Service Operations or mail it to the APFA Safety Department, 1004 West Euless Blvd., Euless, TX 76040. The Safety Department would like to thank all Flight Attendants who have responded to earlier requests and have already sent in information.
All Flight Attendants eligible for a portion of the 777 Presidential Grievance Award will receive a letter within the next few weeks outlining their options of either money or vacation days for their share of the award. This will be a one-time offer. Flight Attendants will have a designated time period to make their choices through the Flight Service Web site. If those eligible do not respond, the default option will be the cash award option. We will be posting a Questions and Answer section on the 777 Award soon on the APFA Web site.
From the Contract Department:There seems to be some confusion regarding Article 3.N.1 of the restructuring agreement. Language pay for language qualified Flight Attendants per cabin in seniority order has not been implemented. The programming has not been completed. All speakers qualified in the language of destination are still being compensated at this time regardless of seniority and regardless of the number of speakers onboard.
The Scheduling Department would like to remind all Flight Attendants that September 2003 is a designated IFTOM month. What this means is that a Flight Attendant with an involuntary conflict will be required to contract crew schedule for an assignment. If the Flight Attendant is removed from their first trip of September due to subsequent legalities such as reserve, availability, reassignment, low on time, or low on time and obligated, then the Flight Attendant is required to contact crew schedule between the hours of 0800 and 1200 for domestic and 1000 and 1200 for international the day prior to each day she/he was originally scheduled to fly. Once the obligation has been met, the Flight Attendant will be considered to have protected their applicable/adjusted monthly guarantee. The manning situation remains fluid. Flight Attendants should be familiar with the order of open time language found in Article 9.L, pages 118-119, and Appendix I.9.L, pages 481-482. Please continue to monitor the opening page and Scheduling page of the APFA Web site for updates.
The APFA and American reached a settlement in the Presidential Grievance regarding involuntary waiver of 30 and 7 limitations for reserves when picking up an optional exchange trip on days off. The settlement provides that a reserve who picks up a trip through Optional Exchange on a Duty-Free Period will be considered to have waived the 30 in 7 limitation for any trip previously or subsequently assigned for which the Flight Attendant would otherwise be illegal under the 30 in 7 limitations had such limitations not been waived. In such a case, the Flight Attendant will not be required to waive the 30 in 7 limitation for the balance of the month unless they personally choose to do so.
The APFA Health Department would like to remind all members that the Maternity Leave of Absence Packet and Injury On Duty Packets are now available on-line through the APFA Web site “Health Page.” To obtain your copy go to the opening page of the web site and click “Departments,” then, click “Health.”
From the Dues Department: If you have elected to suspend dues checkoff and are paying your dues monthly via check or credit card, please be advised that you must pay the full amount of the monthly dues in order to remain dues current. Dues accrued on an active status that are not paid in full will subject you to Article 31 proceeding, which can result in your termination from American Airlines. Per Article 31 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the APFA and American Airlines, payment of dues and/or fees is a condition of employment with American.
Ballots for the Boston domestic OCR election were mailed on Wednesday, August 27, 2003. They are due back by 1000 Central Daylight Time on Friday, September 26, 2003.
Attention all furloughed Flight Attendants! It is very important that you keep your address, phone number, and e-mail address updated with both the APFA and American. There are several ways to update your information with the APFA-send an e-mail to Membership@apfa.org; complete the Change of Address Card in the center section of Skyword; or call the Membership Department at 1-800-395-2732, extension 8153. To make these changes with American contact the Manager of Flight Service Administration, American Airlines, Inc., MD 4293, P.O. Box 619616, DFW Airport, Texas 75261-9616 and also Employee Services at 1-800-447-2000.
The APFA Offices will be closed on Monday, September 1, 2003, in observance of Labor Day. An officer on duty will be available to take emergency calls. All calls of a non-emergency nature will be routed to the appropriate department or representative for response the next business day. Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend.
That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. Please visit the web site for the latest information and past editions of the APFA Hotline.
There are 6,150 American Airlines Flight Attendants currently on furlough.