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7.30.04 – (LAA) – Presidential Grievance Filed on FMLA, System Boards, Up-to-Date Manuals

Hello everyone. This is Liz Geiss, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, July 30th, 2004.

A Presidential Grievance has been filed on the recent unilateral changes made by the company to the Family Medical Leave policy. We will continue to keep you posted on this very important item.

Willingness-to-Serve Notifications were sent out on Monday, July 26th to all JFK, LGA, MIA, and SFO Flight Attendants for the positions of APFA Vice Chair at those bases. APFA members interested in running must have their Willingness-to-Serve Notification back to APFA by 1000 Central Time on August 25th, 2004.

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 of each of the changes on the opening page of the APFA Web site.

Taking you around the APFA:

From the Vice President’s Department: Another successful round of System Boards were wrapped up last week in Dallas. The Division Representatives will be in Dallas throughout the month of August working on cases for the upcoming October System Boards held at APFA Headquarters. All members in good standing are welcome to attend. The System Board Department is currently in the process of gathering important data for the Presidential Grievance APFA filed on the 737 Staffing cuts. As soon as this arbitration is scheduled for hearing, we will post it on this Hotline and the APFA Web site.

From the Safety Department: APFA Safety Council representatives have recently been in operations throughout the system, raising awareness of the importance of maintaining an up-to-date Flight Attendant Safety Manual. We appreciate their time and energy dedicated to this project and hope they were able to assist you with any questions, concerns, or problems with your manual. The August 1 revision will lighten the book some. Domestic and International Food service is out! The manual awareness project is a cooperative effort with Flight Service Daily Operations.

From the Contract Administration Department: The APFA has come to an agreement with the company on new enhancements to the existing deadheading flexibilities. This agreement will include deadhead to and from non-crew base cities. You may view this Letter of Agreement on the APFA Web site at by clicking on the “Deadhead Flexibilities” icon on the opening page.

From the Scheduling Department: The scheduling department would like to remind you to reference Article 9.P. if you have lost your last trip of the month in its entirety that was to depart within the last five days of the month. To be eligible for trip protection, you must be on the makeup list for all the days obligated per the header of your HI1, and must fly a trip if scheduling has something for you. If you fly a trip involving less time, you will be protected for the trip lost. If you are on the makeup list and scheduling does not call, you will be protected for the value of the sequence. If you choose to not be on makeup or decline a trip, your guarantee will not be reduced, however you will not receive the value of the sequence lost.

Remember, if you have a MIC (Misconnect, Illegality, or Cancellation) mid-sequence, you are not eligible for trip protection but your guarantee would not be further reduced.

From the Hotel Department: We are extremely pleased to announce that the contract for the current long layover hotel in New York City has been renewed for another year. The downtown layovers in New York scheduled during the Republican National Convention will NOT be relocated.

Also from the Hotel Department, the review for the long layover hotel in Paris is tentatively scheduled for the week of Aug 16th. Once the review has been conducted, we update you via the APFA Web site and the APFA Hotline.

From the Health Department: The enrollment period for the APFA Voluntary Optional Insurance has been extended to August 31st. Benefit Counselors will return to DFW Flight Service Operations, from August 9th thru August 20th, to conduct additional Flight Attendant meetings. As a reminder, with the exception of Long Term Disability all benefits are portable when you leave American. In other words, the benefits that you choose now you can take with you in the event that you no longer work for American. American’s LTD is not portable likewise the APFA Optional LTD is not portable.

Please refer all questions to the Benefits Call Center at 888- 219-9459 and speak with the Benefit Communications Counselor. The Call Center is there to address your questions. The Health Reps at APFA Headquarters as well as representatives at American are not authorized to provide you information regarding APFA Voluntary Optional Insurance.

We continue to get calls from Flight Attendants regarding emergency equipment causing them injury during pre-flight duties. Specifically, the 757 Forward Entry Area Storage Space with the First Aid Kit that is located on the Right Hand side door held with a Velcro strap. When the Flight Attendants opens the door to check the emergency equipment the First Aid Kit falls off the door and strikes them, either in the face, chest, torso, or feet. Some of these injuries have been reported as IOD’s, some have not been reported, and some have been averted due to the crewmember’s quick reflex to catch the first aid kit. The Company has been made aware of this problem and they are working quickly to resolve this issue. In the mean time, please be alert when checking your emergency equipment.

From the Communications Department: Despite production problems with the second quarter Skyword, the magazine will be in the mail the first of the next week, and also available on the APFA Web site.

Retirement Information: Flight Service will be conducting retirement seminars in DFW on August 10th, and August 12th. The seminars will be held in the Flight Service Conference Room behind the MOD’s office. Sessions will begin at 1030, 1330, and 1530 each day. There is no need to make reservations. If you are considering retirement, these sessions will be very informative.

In Industry News:

The FAA said this week that it will seek additional reductions in flights at Chicago’s O’Hare during peak hours. In two previous schedule cuts in March and June of 2004, United and American cut more than 7 percent of peak-hour flights. The government has given airlines some indication that it would seek the additional cuts from a number of airlines and not just focus on American and United.

Last week, United announced that it would withhold $495 million in pension payments this year to provide the airline with financial flexibility it needs to exit bankruptcy. Representative Richard Baker, R-LA., who chairs a financial services subcommittee in the House called United’s suspension of pension payments as “draconian.” He said that Congress might address the issue of suspension of pension payments next year.

That’s it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. Please visit the APFA Web site at for more information.

There are 5,527 Flight Attendants currently on furlough.

Thanks for calling.

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