10.03.03 – (LAA) – APFA and AA Reach an Agreement on Administrative Criteria Associated with FML Presidential Grievance Award

Hello. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, October 3, 2003.

The APFA and the Company have reached an agreement on the administrative criteria associated with the Family Medical Leave (FML) Presidential Grievance Award. This resolves one part of the award. The parties are still working on the implementation issue. Highlights are as follows:

  • Eligibility threshold will be 504 paid productive hours instead of actual on duty hours.
  • This will be determined as the greater of PPROJ or guarantee. Paid Productive hours includes EPTs, sick make-up, special assignment, available days, reserve days, etc. Paid Productive hours do not include sick, vacation, ID, etc. This is consistent with the FMLA law as well as other work groups on the property.
  • The 504 hours is 60% of the monthly guarantee of 70 hours, which is also consistent with the number of hours required for ground employees.
  • Use of the 12-month look back will continue for eligibility purposes.
  • example: In a twelve month look back, a Flight Attendant has 10 months of paid productive hours, one month of vacation, and incurs an ID/sick for one month, 504 eligibility hours divided by 10 months of paid productive hours equals 50.4 paid productive hours per month for the 10 months.
  • Flight Attendants on maternity will be required to meet the 504 threshold with the 12 month look back. They can apply for FMLA during their last trimester when off work or at the time of birth.
  • The use of FMLA must commence before eligible period ends. -In order to assist Flight Attendants going on maternity leave to meet this eligibility requirement, those with vacation time during their active status may defer their vacation to their inactive period in order to fly and thus accrue eligibility hours.
  • If already on maternity, Flight Attendants may “move up” vacation during their inactive period to receive pay and preserve their benefit status. -Implementation target date of the new FMLA provisions will be early November 2003.
  • Once the data/methodology are in place, the new threshold will be retroactive to October 22, 2001.
  • Absences that would have qualified with this new measure, will be coded as such.
  • Any corrective action issued due to non-FMLA coding will be removed.
  • The procedures Flight Attendants must follow to have absences retroactively coded.

FMLA are currently being worked out. Once this has been done, the procedures will be posted on both the APFA hotline and web site and those of the Company. Until then, if you have been denied Family Leave or received discipline due to prior hourly-administrative ineligibility, you should save all medical documentation pertaining to those absences. Please do not forward any documentation to APFA or the Company at this time. There will be additional forthcoming information on the FML changes in a subsequent SKYWORD issue under the Vice President’s Report soon.

The APFA Safety, Health, and Scheduling Departments would like to thank those members who have already taken the time to complete the survey on reduced layover rest on the web site. If you have not yet completed the survey, it can be found on the Safety, Health, and Scheduling pages of the APFA Web site. We encourage members to take a moment and complete the survey. The more information we collect, the more effectively APFA can deal with the issue of reduced layover rest.

The Annual Benefits Enrollment for 2004 opened on October 1 and will close on October 31, 2003. Human Resources recently sent a letter to each eligible Flight Attendant explaining benefit changes. Enrollment must be accomplished on-line through Jetnet, which is available 24-hours a day. Please be aware that some plans that are currently available in your area may not be available in 2004. It is essential that you read all information on benefits enrollment available on Jetnet and review the Medical/Dental Q and A’s on the APFA Web site prior to making your selections. If you do not enroll for benefits during the October Benefits Enrollment period, you will be automatically enrolled in default coverage. This would include the Standard/$150 Deductible Plan and being denied the new options of Child and Spouse Life Insurance, Vision, and Optional Short Term Disability. After October 31, 2003, you will only be able to make changes to your elections if you experience a qualifying “life event.” Taking the time to consider the appropriate plan for you and your family is critical.

It has recently come to the attention of the Company that F/As who have attended EPTs since May have not received adequate compensation. The Restructuring Agreement provides for 12 unpaid hours of recurrent training. Due to the fact EPTs are credited at 13.5 hours for Domestic F/As and 15.5 hours for International F/As, each Domestic F/A who attended EPTS since May should be paid 1 ½ hours and each International F/A 3 ½ hours. The Company is currently working on this issue and hopes to have a resolution soon.

On September 16th, the Company began mailing information regarding the stock options being distributed to Flight Attendants as part of the AAL/APFA Restructuring Agreement. Eligible Flight Attendants, which are those either on active payroll or on an approved leave of absence as of April 17, 2003, will receive either 292 or 293 shares. The original distribution of 292 shares per eligible Flight Attendant left an outstanding number of shares. The APFA and American agreed that the outstanding shares would be distributed at a rate of one share per Flight Attendant beginning with the most senior until all outstanding shares were distributed. For more information on the board based stock option plan and the exact number of shares you will receive, please visit the APFA Web site “Hot Topics” page and Jetnet.

Eligible Flight Attendants covered under the terms of the 777 Staffing Arbitration Award have until 0800 CDT on October 6, 2003 to make their award election. A letter outlining specific dollar amounts, including principal and interest, for each affected Flight Attendant as well as the second option of vacation days as compensation has been mailed. When viewing the options on the computer, only the principal dollar amount and not the interest will be displayed. This is a one-time election option, which can only be made on the Flight Service Web site . If you do not make your election, your option will default to the monetary award. If you have made your election and wish to make a change, you may do so; however, the computer will only allow one entry per day. Additional information regarding the777 Staffing Arbitration Award can be found on the APFA and Flight Service web sites. If, after reviewing the 777 Award Letter and the Q and As you still have questions, please contact the APFA at 1-800-395-2732, extension 8723.

Retirement seminars will be conducted on October 20, 22, and 28th in DFW. Sessions will be held at 1000 and 1400 in the Flight Service Conference Room in Terminal C Operations. Flight Attendants from all bases are welcome to attend.

APFA members are reminded that they can automatically receive the APFA Hotline via e-mail each time it is recorded by subscribing to the hotline on the APFA Web site. To subscribe, click on the “Hotline” icon on the top of the opening page, then click “subscribe.” This is a very convenient way to receive the information that is contained in the hotline. The APFA Communications Department would like to encourage all members with Internet access to register their e-mail addresses with the APFA Membership Department if they have not already done so. In the future, APFA will utilize e-mail and our web site even more to communicate with the membership. To register your e-mail address, you can send an e-mail to Membership@apfa.org. Be sure to include your name, employee number, and the e-mail address you would like registered.

As was reported on last week’s hotline, the APFA and American reached a settlement on the Presidential Grievance involving a dispute on Article 16-Overage Leaves of Absence. Flight Attendants affected by this settlement will soon receive a letter from the APFA, which will provide details of the award.

This week APFA President John Ward sent a letter to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, endorsing a grant proposal by the State of Missouri for funds to assist airline employees furloughed by American Airlines. The grant would provide resources needed for training and other services required for re-entry into the workforce. APFA endorsed a similar grant request, which was approved last year.

Results of the Boston OCR elections are now available on the APFA Web site. The term of office for the newly elected Boston OCRs will end March 31, 2005.

The Missouri Career Center is sponsoring a job fair in St. Louis on October 29th from 0900 to 1300 at the Machinist Hall located at 12365 St. Charles Rock Road in Bridgeton. Furloughed American Airlines employees are encouraged to bring their updated resumes to this event.

The APFA membership has been invited to participate in a survey of airline cabin crews worldwide regarding work-related stress. The survey is sponsored by the Institute of Work, Health, and Organizations, a World Health Organization collaborating center in occupational health. To access the survey, please go to “Hot Topics” on the APFA Web site.

During the month of October, Liz Geiss, DFW InfoRep Captain, will be hosting a “Day in Ops” at each base in order to generate additional interest in the InfoRep program and compile a list of Flight Attendants interested in becoming InfoReps. Due to the number of furloughs, retirements, and resignations, that have taken place over the past year, we have lost many of our active InfoReps. The InfoRep Program plays an essential part in delivering information to our line Flight Attendants and dispelling many of the rumors traveling through the system. If you have any questions about the InfoRep Program, or would like information on how to become an InfoRep, please plan to attend these visits. If you are unable to attend you may also contact your Base Chair to sign up. The first visit will take place next week and locations are as follows:

October 6th, 2003
10:30am to 2:30pm
DCA Operations

October 9th, 2003
11:30am to 3:30pm
ORD Operations K-19

The dates and times for the visit at your base will be announced on future hotlines.

In Industry News:

American announced September traffic results on Thursday. The airline’s revenue passenger miles, which is one passenger flown one mile, fell 1.7% in September. The load factor for the month was 66.7% up from 63.9% in September 2002. The third quarter financial results for American Airlines are expected to be released on October 22nd.

First Boston analyst James Higgins said this week he believes that most major U. S. airlines will return to pre-tax profitability in 2004. Mr. Higgins said all airlines with the exception of Delta and Northwest, airlines that have yet to win employee concessions, should see positive financial results next year.

Pilots at Alaska have offered to enter into negotiations with their airline. ALPA, the union representing Alaska Pilots, said that this is a way to assist the airline while protecting Pilots pay and work rules. Alaska proposed pay and work rule concessions for Pilots in July of this year.

That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. Please visit the web site for the latest information and past editions of the hotline.

There are 6,150 American Airlines Flight Attendants currently on furlough.

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