This is APFA Treasurer Cathy Lukensmeyer with the APFA Hotline for Thursday, April 8, 2004.
As your newly elected Treasurer I would like to give you a brief overview of the different activities and business each department has been involved with this past week.
Vice-President Brett Durkin and the Division Representatives are finalizing the grievances scheduled to be presented at the Quarterly System Boards the week of April 19, 2004. QSB’s will be heard at APFA Headquarters this month and all members in good standing are welcome to attend. We will announce details on this hotline on April 16, 2004.
Additionally, the System Board Department has assigned several union representatives to conduct test flights on the 737 between Dallas, New York and Los Angeles. This is being done in order to ensure the newly-designed service components result in an improved workload distribution. These reps have been instrumental in convincing the company to make changes on the 737 galley packing design, which APFA believes will help facilitate the appropriate flight attendant workload. If these tests prove successful these now procedures will be implemented system-wide. Results of this test will be reviewed by the 737-Staffing arbitration team and our staffing expert previously utilized on the 777-staffing case.
APFA Secretary Greg Hildreth has been preparing for next week’s Executive Committee Meeting and Board Meeting. The EC Meeting is scheduled to begin on April 13, 2004 at 10:00 a.m., and the Board Meeting will begin the following day, April 14, 2004, at 9:00 a.m. Both meetings will be held at the DFW Radisson Hotel and all members in good standing are welcome to attend.
The National Balloting Committee has been in-house all week conducting internal investigations into the election complaints filed by the candidates who did not prevail in the national officer election on March 10, 2004.
Turning to my department, under the Policy Manual, not only does the Treasurer have the responsibility of dealing with the financial aspect of APFA, but also the day-to-day administration of the APFA building and staff who is represented by the United Auto Worker’s Union. The Treasurer coordinates staff coverage and assignments and acts as liaison with the UAW’s Union Leaders. Being a Union Leader also requires the respect for the union members that keep APFA operating day in and day out.
In the past, APFA’s UAW staff has had “casual Friday” where they were allowed to wear their Union t-shirts and other casual attire. This practice came to a halt last summer when bargaining between APFA and UAW ensued. In an effort to restore a good working rapport with the men and women of our staff, I, along with the other APFA Officers have once again adopted “Casual Friday” dress code. Unlike every other day of the week when business/non-rev attire is required, “Casual Friday” does not provide for flip-flops, short shorts, halter tops or other inappropriate attire. We have simply restored “Casual Friday” as it stood prior to bargaining last year.
As a cost-cutting measure, I closed down a room at the Drury Hotel that had been used for the storage of items for out-of-town APFA Representatives. This move will save APFA $8,700 annually. I will continue to review all APFA expenditures and keep the membership apprised of where your dues dollars are going.
The four National Officers met with Senior VP of Employee Relations Jeff Brundage and AA’s APFA Liaison in Human Resources, Lorraine Mase-Hecker on April 7, 2004, to communicate our goals and desires for the months ahead.
The APFA office will be closed Friday, April 9, 2004, in observance of Good Friday. We wish each of you a very happy holiday weekend. Thank you for your support and thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.
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Hello. This is Liz Geiss, DFW InfoRep Captain, with the APFA Hotline for Thursday, April 8th, 2004
The first of two APFA Lobby Events will take place on April 21st in Washington, D.C. APFA Members from all over the system will meet with members of Congress and staffers to discuss the issue of Flight Attendant fatigue and reduced layover rest. If you would like to join us in Washington and participate in this very important event, please contact IMA Vice Chair Rick Musica via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 817-540-0108 or 800-395-2732, extension 8462. Rick will need your name, base, employee number, phone number, and your nine-digit Zip Code in order to determine your Congressional District. Details of the lobby event including the initial meeting location, transportation information from the various airports to the hotel, and maps to the various House and Senate office buildings have been posted on the APFA Web site. More information regarding the event will be posted soon, so continue to monitor the site if you are interested in participating in the April 21st event. As we get closer to our lobby events, it is very important that we gather as much information and documentation regarding reduced layover rest and fatigue as possible. If you have not already completed the fatigue survey or the reduced layover rest survey on the opening page of the APFA Web site, please do so soon. The information you provide will be very important.
Please keep in mind when bidding for May that APFA will join other Flight Attendant unions in Washington for another lobby event on May 12th. For this event, we will be talking with members of Congress and their staff on the issues of reduced layover rest and Flight Attendant safety and security training. A very important part of our May 12th lobby event will be joining other Flight Attendant unions in presenting to the TSA signed letters from Flight Attendants at most airlines throughout the United States. The letter to the Transportation Security Administration or TSA was sent to Flight Attendants from most U.S. airlines. This letter urges the TSA to review the current safety and security training for Flight Attendants and ensure that such training meets the criteria Congress supported in the Homeland Security Act and the Vision 100 FAA Reauthorization bill. It is very important that all APFA members provide the information requested at the bottom of this letter and return it to the APFA no later than Friday, May 7th. The letter can be sent to the attention of the APFA Communications Department, 1004 West Euless Blvd, Euless, Texas 76040 or dropped in any APFA lockbox system wide. APFA will compile the letters and present them to the TSA with representatives of the other Flight Attendant unions on May 12th in Washington, D.C. If you no longer have a copy of the TSA letter, you can obtain one on-line through the APFA Web site. APFA represents nearly 25,500 Flight Attendants who are equally affected by the issues outlined in the TSA letter. We must present literally thousands of the signed letters to the TSA letters on May 12th. Send your letter in today if you have not already and encourage your flying partners to do the same.
Also in Washington this week, Congress passed a pension relief bill that would provide about $80 billion in pension accounting relief over the next two years for approximately 31,000 U.S. companies with “defined benefit” pension plans. An extra $1.6 billion in relief will be provided to some steel companies and airlines. The bill, which is expected to be signed into law by the president, will provide a break in “catch up” contributions to underfunded pensions by certain companies.
APFA is pleased to announce a resolution to the issue of the online EPT Homestudy. The Company this week announced that due to numerous complaints they would provide Flight Attendants with the choice of completing the EPT Homestudy on-line or through use of a hard copy. Flight Attendants will be able to obtain a hard copy of the Homestudy from Flight Service the month prior to their base month. Again, to obtain a hardcopy of the Homestudy, you will need to contact your local base Flight Service office. APFA is very pleased that the company has agreed with us that the online version should be optional, not mandatory.
In Washington this week: Senator Cantwell (D-WA) has introduced a bill in the Senate (S. 2250), which would continue the 13-week program of federal jobless benefits and provide an additional 13 weeks of benefits to workers in seven “high unemployment” states. The states included are Alaska, Idaho, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin. The bill is co-sponsored by Senator Voinovich (Republican of Ohio) and Senator Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts. The fact that this bill has bi-partisan sponsorship is a good sign. If you are a furloughed APFA member, the time for your senator to hear from you is now. Let them know that you have exhausted your Unemployment Insurance Benefits and remain unemployed due to the continued depression of the airline industry. Urge their co-sponsorship of this bill. Again it the bill number is S.2250. Members can use Capwiz on the Government Affairs page of the APFA Web site to quickly contact their members of Congress.
APFA President John Ward this week sent a letter to all members of Congress opposing cabotage. The letter, which is posted on the APFA Web site, outlines the APFA’s concern to provisions of cabotage that would allow foreign carriers to fly point-to-point within the United States. Such flying would further erode American’s premium transcon flying. The United States and the European Union have been discussing new aviation agreements, which have included some form of cabotage.
The quarterly APFA Executive Committee Meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 13th at the Radisson Hotel DFW South. The meeting will begin at 0900 CDT. A special meeting of the APFA Board of Directors will be held April 14-17 at the same location. This meeting has been called primarily for the Board to review recommended changes to the APFA Constitution. Per the APFA Constitution, any changes approved by the Board must be approved by a majority vote of the APFA membership. Members in good standing are welcome to attend all open portions of both the Executive Committee and Board of Directors meetings.
In Industry News:
In a letter to Southwest’s Chief Executive Jim Parker, TWU Local 556 President Thom McDaniel said that if the airline was unwilling to return to the bargaining table to reach an agreement they should petition the NMB for release from mediation. This would begin a 30-day cooling off period. The talks have been ongoing for two years, and have stalled on the issue of compensation. Southwest has reached contract agreements with all other contract employees other than Flight Attendants.
The American Academy of Hospitality has for the third consecutive year recognized American Airlines and its employees for outstanding hospitality. The Academy presented American with the 2004 Five Star Diamond Award for hospitality, outstanding service, and commitment to delivering a premium product for travelers worldwide.
Delta this week announced pay increases for most of its 60,000 non-contract employees would be frozen the second consecutive year. The freeze affects all employees other than mechanics and pilots. Mechanic’s increases will be reviewed in July. Delta pilots, who are represented by the Airline Pilots Association, are due to receive a 4.5% pay raise in May. Delta management has asked pilots for a 30% pay cut along with other concessions.
The APFA Offices will be closed on Friday, March 9th in observance of Good Friday. An officer on duty will be available to assist Flight Attendants with emergencies. If you do encounter an emergency situation on Friday or at any time after regular business hours, please call 817-540-0108 or 800-395-2732 and follow the prompts very carefully for assistance. All calls of a non-emergency nature will directed to the appropriate representative or department for assistance during business hours.
That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. Please visit the web site for the latest information, rumor control, and past editions of the hotline.
There are 5,760 American Airlines Flight Attendants currently on furlough.
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