Hello everyone. This is Liz Geiss, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, July 16th, 2004.
Have you voted yet? APFA members were recently mailed copies of the proposed Constitutional changes and an explanation of the proposed changes that were approved by the APFA Board of Directors. This information was sent out non-profit bulk rate, which is the lowest available postal rate for this type of package. In a separate mailing, members were mailed a ratification ballot via First Class U.S. Mail. The APFA Board of Directors has endorsed ratification of these changes. Ballots for the proposed Constitutional changes are due by 0900 Central Time on August 11, 2004. All questions related to the changes should be directed to your respective base representatives. Members may now view the language of the proposed changes and an explanation each of the changes on the opening page of the APFA Web site.
The APFA Board of Directors has voted to voluntarily waive collection of $3.00 per month in required dues payments so that the required monthly dues payment will be $38 per month. The new amount of APFA Union dues, $19.00 per pay period, was deducted from the July 15th, paycheck. Per Resolution # 3 of the May 4th, and 5th Board of Directors meeting, the full regular monthly dues requirement of $41 per month will be reinstated May 1, 2006. This coincides with APFA’s ability to open contract negotiations early with American Airlines in May 2006. Please refer to the May 4th-5th BOD Resolution on the APFA Website under EC/BOD meetings to view this resolution.
A special meeting of the APFA Board of Directors will be held on July 26th and 27th at the Radisson Airport South in Irving, Texas. The meeting will begin at 9:00a.m. each day. Members in good standing are welcome and encouraged to attend all open portions of the meeting.
Non-commissioned Benefit Counselors are available in Flight Service Operations to review a number of various supplemental medical and disability plans made available to you by the APFA. Please remember, you must be an active Flight Attendant, on payroll, to apply for these benefits. Once you have enrolled, your payment will be payroll deducted. If you should go to an inactive status after your enrollment, you would be billed for the amount. Enrollment will be ending soon. The schedule for these educational meetings are as follows:
- Beginning June 21st thru July 23, 2004 at DFW
- Beginning July 19th thru July 23, 2004 at SFO, SJC, DCA, BWI, IAD and RDU-I
For specific questions, please direct your call to the Benefit Counselors at 1-888-219-9459 and speak with a qualified representative who will answer your questions.
Washington D.C. Update: Contact your Senator on the issue of Flight Attendant Fatigue. Please refer to the “ACTION ALERT” icon on the opening page of the APFA web site, which will take you directly to the Capwiz feature. This feature allows you to submit an e-mail to your Senator asking for his/her support on this issue. You may also obtain a list of Senate phone numbers for the Senate offices by going to the Government Affairs page of the APFA web site and clicking on 108th Congress-U.S. Senate. We need our voices to be heard in Washington, so log onto the APFA website and keep sending those letters and making those calls.
Taking you around the APFA:
From the Safety Department: American Airlines and QUALCOMM completed a test flight to evaluate In-Cabin Mobile Phone use. During this two-hour proof-of-concept flight, passengers were able to place and receive phone calls and text messages on their mobile phones. Passengers included members of the media, government representatives, AAL management, APA, and one of our own APFA Safety Representatives. Please keep in mind that this was a test flight, very successful, but a test nonetheless – the technology is still about 2 years away. We will not be seeing this on flights any time soon. Rest assured that all equipment added to the S80 utilized for this flight has been removed.
The flight left the hanger at DFW at approximately 1000 and flew to ELP and back to DFW. There were 62 passengers, 2 cockpit, and 3 Flight Attendants on board. The flight was flown under part 91 of the FAA guidance, not 121 as we are under for the day-to-day operations. A small in-cabin CDMA cellular base station was placed in the First Class closet that uses standard cellular communications, and was connected to the worldwide terrestrial phone network by an air-to-ground Globalstar satellite link. All information gathered during this proof-of-concept flight will be used to further research into the quality, convenience and safety of communications with personal CDMA mobile phones carried by passengers on a commercial aircraft. All testing is in conjunction with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
From the Scheduling Department: As a reminder, due to the number of regularly scheduled Flight Attendants that have been subject to reassignment, the APFA Scheduling Department has developed a form to help track the problem and seek resolution when the Flight Attendant has been wrongfully rescheduled. This form is green and can be found at all bases near the APFA lockbox. Instructions and a list of the necessary documents required to research your case are listed on the form. Several reschedule reports have been received without proper documentation. Some information is not accessible through SABRE after a certain amount of time, and because of this, some of the reschedule reports cannot be processed. It is imperative the Scheduling Department receive all documents listed on the green reschedule report in order to research your issue. Due to time limitations on filing a Notice of Dispute, Flight Attendants must submit the form in a timely manner. This form is not for Flight Attendants who have been rescheduled due to a misconnect, cancellation, or illegality, but for those who have flying “tacked on” to the end of the sequence.
From the Contract Administration Department: The Flight Attendant Seniority List was released on July 1st, 2004. This list does not include those Flight Attendants who declined to return from Overage Leave or who rejected recall on July 1st, 2004. According to the company, an adjustment to this list will be made in early August to reflect these individuals. The APFA has posted the seniority list on the APFA web site. To view this list log onto, www.www.apfa.org and click on the icon “Current Issues” on the opening page. Please refer to Article 14 of our contract for more information.
From the Hotel Department: As a reminder, Article 21.E. of the APFA Contract refers to ground transportation at layover cities. Please familiarize yourself with this article, as it will really come in handy. To access the APFA Contract online, please go to www.www.apfa.org and click on the “Contract” icon on the left hand side of the opening page.
In Industry News:
On Tuesday, Smith Barney downgraded AMR stock and Prudential cut AMR’s earnings estimates, which caused share prices for AMR to plunge 6 percent. Smith Barney credited the downgrade to their belief that AMR will have a cost structure higher than both United and Delta within the next year putting the airline at a disadvantage. AMR is scheduled to release 2nd Quarter financial results on Wednesday, July 21st.
Flight Attendants at US Airways will soon meet with their company’s management to begin talks on a third round of contract concessions. The airline is asking them for $116 million in additional annual concessions from the Flight Attendants.
Continental Pilots have postponed contract talks on major economic issues with the airline due to extraordinarily high fuel prices. Both sides in the two-year contract talks have agreed to delay discussions on the economic issues until at least August in order to gain a better understanding on how volatile fuel prices will affect the airline industry.
The APFA would like to remember the crew and passengers of TWA flight 800 who perished on July 17, 1996.
That’s it for this edition of the APFA hotline. Please visit the APFA Web site at www.www.apfa.org for more information.
Remember, there are 5,527 Flight Attendants currently on furlough.
Thanks for calling.