APFA Hotline Hello. Today is Friday, November 21, 2003. This is Liz Geiss, DFW InfoRep Captain, with the APFA Hotline.
American formally notified APFA on Wednesday that in accordance with Article 9.B.2 of the contract they will implement a change to the 737-800 staffing effective January 2004. Anticipating the 737 staffing change, APFA put together a team in advance to gather necessary information on the 737 staffing issue. The team will use a process, similar to the one used for the 777 staffing reduction, for collecting necessary data. The following are the new American Airlines staffing formulas effective January 1st 2004:
F/A #3 added on liquor/beverage/bistro flights at a total load of 85 and a block time less than 1:30
F/A #3 added on snack/lunch/dinner basket flights at a total load of 85
F/A #3 added on lunch/dinner tray flights at a total load of 85
F/A #5 added on lunch/dinner tray at a total load of 110 and block time less than 2:30
F/A #5 added on DFW-MEX and from DFW/LGA/ORD to YYZ/YUL at a total load of 110
APFA Vice President Jeff Bott and American Airlines recently reached a settlement on three Presidential Grievances filed regarding the American Airlines Attendance Policy. The Settlement and an overview of the agreement can be found on the opening page of the APFA Web site. The program is designed to provide changes that provide incentives for the Flight Attendants, and at the same time effectively manage the negative effects on Flight Attendants of absenteeism such as reassignments. The first test period began November 15, 2003, and runs through January 15, 2004. During this trial period American Airlines Flight Service will set a system average absence percentage limitation for Flight Attendants covered by the AAL/APFA Collective Bargaining Agreement for the period as well as a system APFA maximum daily absence limitation. The maximum daily absence for this trial period is 1,550. Keep in mind, on no single day during the trial period can the system APFA daily absence level exceed the maximum daily absence limits. As long as these limits are not exceeded during this time period, a Flight Attendant who is on a disciplinary step and has not incurred a disqualifying instance will be moved back one step. Flight Attendants who are not on a disciplinary step and who do not incur a disqualifying instance will accrue a flexibility point. These points will be up to the individual as to how they chose to redeem their reward. One can redeem a flexibility point by requesting to be released from a reserve day, or request a non-chargeable, non-progressable PO. With the choice of a PO, you are also given the option of just having the time off unpaid, or having it converted to a PVD to receive pay. The APFA was not required to “give up” anything, by adding these enhancements to the current policy. This is a brief summary on the enhancement, therefore, Flight Attendants are urged to access the information on the program on either the APFA or American Airlines Flight Service Web sites and view the settlement in it’s entirety.
In the recent benefits changes agreed to by the APFA and American, Flight Attendants were given the opportunity to, on a one-time basis, increase their personal life insurance coverage by one level without a statement of health. The negotiated changes allowed Flight Attendants to increase their life insurance by one full salary level. Due to MetLife’s definition of a “level,” Flight Attendants who earn less than $35,000 would be provided the opportunity to opt for coverage of three times their annual salary. Those that made over $35,000 annually would only be allowed to opt for twice their annual salary. This left those making over $35,000 at a disadvantage in that they may only be allowed to opt for coverage that would actually be less than someone with an annual salary less than theirs. For that reason, MetLife was persuaded to allow all Flight Attendants to opt for three times their annual salary. Flight Attendants who originally chose to increase their Life Insurance coverage over the standard coverage will soon be sent individual letters regarding this offer. Questions should be directed to the Employee Benefits Department at American Airlines.
The APFA Safety Department encourages all Flight Attendants to continuously monitor the SSI Web site for the latest security information. This site is updated frequently, and is accessible through the Flight Service Web site only.
The Company notified the APFA Contract Department of a problem with the monthly base seniority shuffle. This shuffle adds Flight Attendants returning from leaves, IOD, and sick, to the seniority list. This particular shuffle not only added the necessary Flight Attendants but also removed Flight Attendants who have left the Company. This is the reason many Flight Attendants noticed a greater fluctuation in their seniority numbers.
The new “Rumor Control” page on the APFA Web site has been very well received by the membership. In fact, this particular page is one of the most frequently visited on the site. APFA encourages all members to access this information in order to get the facts that will help settle rumors and eliminate speculation on many issues. If you hear something you feel should be addressed on the APFA Hotline or in Rumor Control, please send the information to Communications@apfa.org or call 1-800-395-2732, extension 8308.
In Rumor Control: There were no changes to the cap on sick time accrual included in the Restructuring Agreement. The cap remains at 1000 hours. Also, the Company does not have the right to make arbitrary changes to our pension plan including the multiplier. There have been no changes to our pension plan as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement.
APFA members in good standing are reminded that to gain access to the Members Only sections of the site they must only provide their employee number and password. If you are signing on for the first time, or if you have never changed your password, it will be the last four digits of your Social Security Number. You must be dues current to access any “members only” information on the APFA Web site.
The APFA Offices will be closed on Thursday, November 27th and Friday, November 28th in observance of Thanksgiving. An officer on duty will be available to take emergency calls. If you need assistance with an emergency during this period, please call APFA Headquarters and follow the voice prompts. All calls of a non-emergency nature will be directed to the appropriate department or representative for response during regular business hours.
In Industry News:
American announced on Wednesday that AMR Chief Financial Officer Jeff Campbell will leave the company to assume a similar position with McKesson Corp, a health-care supply management company. AMR said it would name a replacement quickly, and Campbell has pledged to assist his replacement during the transition period.
The Department of Transportation this week granted American the right to fly between DFW and Ixtapa, Mexico. The proposed startup date of the new service is January 31, 2004.
Readers of Business Traveler magazine have chosen American Airlines as the top domestic airline. American ranked third behind Singapore and British Airways in the Best Overall category. The 2003 Best in Business Travel also ranked American’s domestic coach service and business class service to Mexico and Central/South America best in category.
Regional carrier Atlantic Coast Airlines announced this week it would purchase a number of Airbus aircraft to begin a low-cost carrier based at Washington Dulles Airport. The new airline will be named “Independence Air.” ACA failed to reach an agreement with United to continue as its regional partner from Dulles. The airline is now fighting off a hostile bid from Mesa Airlines.
For more airline industry news, please visit the News and Events page of the APFA Web site.
That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. On behalf of everyone at APFA we would like to wish you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving. For the latest information and past editions of the hotline, please visit the APFA Web site.
There are 6,150 American Airlines Flight Attendants currently on furlough.
Thanks for calling.