Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

02.11.05

Hello, this is Cathy Lukensmeyer, Treasurer, and here is the Hotline for Friday, February 11, 2005.

We are fast approaching tax season and one specific area from my department that raises a lot of interest on the national political scene is something called the LM-2 Report. Just what is an LM2 and why all the interest? Well, taken out of context and misrepresented, it can make for quite a fairy tail. Short of that and taken at face value, it still makes for fascinating reading. Here’s a little history and a brief synopsis – listen up, as it has to do with how the spending of your Union funds are reported to the government.

Have you heard those rumors that some APFA officials make almost $100,000/year, while you’re struggling by on less than half of that! And it has to be true because it’s reported on the LM-2, right? Our LM-2 is even listed on our official website, www.www.apfa.org for you to view. Upon first review, it appears that some people are making a heck of a lot of money on your dollar. A closer look reveals something quite different. A National Officer, for example, may show on the LM2 as $90,000 – $100,000 income. But a closer look will reveal that included in the figure are expenses you take for granted. Here’s a perfect example: You work a trip with a layover and American Airlines picks up your cost for your hotel and the transportation to that hotel. When your Union Reps go out-of-town on business, however, out hotel and transportation is reported to the government and appears on the LM2 as income. Sometimes it can be quite substantial, especially if costs had to be covered not only for you but also say a grievant, arbitrator, witnesses, lawyer, etc. It would be like you covering expenses for the entire crew on your own credit card only to have it show up as income at years’ end. You get the picture.

The LM-2 Report refers to the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, which has been in place for almost half a century. Like all other unions, APFA files an LM-2 Report annually; ours being in June. This year, the U.S. Government will host a website that you can access which will actually display not only our LM-2, but also those of all other union’s. Just yesterday our accounting department completed training for the new LM-2 procedures mandated by the government just this election year. By comparison, APFA is light-years ahead, in our accounting practices, of many of the other unions in that we have always segregated our expenditures by functions. But that still doesn’t account for the human factor of applying a political slant, both nationally and on our own local scale.

As for politics, here’s a brief history: As stated, this disclosure act has been around for nearly half a century. In 1991, George Bush, Sr., proposed, in an election year, massive changes targeting unions alone, but not big business. Bill Clinton promised unions these so-called “reforms” would never be set into policy. He kept that promise to Labor in 1992 on the 2nd day of his administration. Now, George Bush, Jr., has rolled back history almost a decade and a half in an effort to weaken unions.

And, now stay tuned for the rest of our regular hotline. Leslie….

Thanks, Cathy. This is Leslie Mayo, newly appointed National Communications Coordinator with the APFA Hotline for Friday, February 11, 2005.

After receiving the latest numbers and attrition among our furloughed flight attendants, we still have 4,268 flight attendants on furlough, and 20 active Flight Attendants serving full time in the armed forces.

The membership opinion survey available at www.www.apfa.org is in its final week and we’ve had a wonderful response from the membership. For those of you who continue to be bombarded by the naysayers spreading rumors, let me address the latest in a string of fear factor emails that could almost be acquainted with plain old union-busting. The survey, conducted by the Scientific Research Center at University of North Texas is strictly confidential. That is the exact reason we used this well-respected outside organization. No individual identifying marks will be associated with any of the responses from the SRC. The results will be given to the APFA national leadership in the form of totals, without employee numbers, names, etc.

Your participation in this survey will help your APFA representatives to better serve you as an entity. Responses will not be shared with any outside group, including and particularly not – the Company. As is standard with these types of studies, the SRC at University of North Texas has signed a confidentiality agreement to protect the integrity of the results. The SRC is highly respected among research centers nationwide and each member can be confident that your responses will be private when filling out your survey.

Current manning has allowed Crew Scheduling to grant more PVD’s during the month. Although the first time PVD requests are processed for the following day is 0800, depending on Reserve Utilization for the following day, PVD’s may be granted as late as after reserve assignments are made around 1900. Once you have decided you no longer desire a PVD, please remove your request via AVRS or HIPVD. Please make sure and remove your request prior to commuting in for your next day’s trip. We have had several instances of flight attendants leaving their requests in and being surprised their trip was removed with a PVD. Once PVD’s are awarded, they are final.

At the recent APFA/AA Joint Scheduling Committee meeting, an agreement was reached to purge the domestic transfer list. This was due in large part to feedback from our membership. The purge of domestic transfer requests will occur on February 14, 2005. If you still desire a domestic transfer please re-enter your transfer preference after February 14. Please only enter a transfer preference if you are willing to accept the transfer. This will help your fellow Flight Attendants, who are junior to you with a better opportunity to have their transfer requests honored.

Discussions between APFA and AAL within the Joint Scheduling Committee have resulted in the expansion of the Reserve Supplemental Flying language in Article 10 and Appendix I-Article 10, D.6. Previously, reserve flight attendants were not able to relinquish duty-free periods to attend training, but beginning this month following a signed Letter of Agreement, Flight Attendants may now relinquish up to four duty-free periods to attend training. The training and return to base must be completed by 1200 prior to a day of reserve duty and reserves must contact the Training Support Desk to enroll in training.

AA has advised the Union that Duty Free commission payments during the test period must be paid directly by American. This is due to IRS regulations and the current contractual agreement that exists between American and DFASS, the duty free vendor. Duty Free commission payments for the months of November and December will be included in the February 15th paycheck. Duty Free commission payments for the months of January, February and March will be included in the May 15th paycheck.

Buy on Board commission payments will be included in your regularly scheduled middle of the month paycheck 45 days following the month in which the commissions were earned. For example, commissions earned during February will be included on the April 15th paycheck. Commissions earned during the month of March will be included on the May 15th paycheck.

APFA President Hutto-Blake continues her base visits with a trip to Miami Operations the afternoon of the 14th, and morning of the 15th. Last stops will be Raleigh Durham on March 3rd and finally, Washington, D.C., on March 7-8th.

The APFA National Convention is set for March 14-18th at the Embassy Suites, Lakefront in Chicago. There will be a brand new addition to the Convention and it is being designed for membership participation. Contract and Scheduling Training seminars will occur throughout the day on March 14th as well as a Retirement seminar and a Legislative seminar on APFA’s activities on the Hill. The training will be dependent on the level of interest expressed by the membership. Start times for the workshops will be posted at the beginning of March.

APFA’s National Scheduling Coordinator Jaimie McNeice and National Contract Coordinator Brent Peterson will conduct the Scheduling workshop. Bring your new “On-Duty Contract Guide” that was included in the last Skyword. To enroll, please contact Linda Plunk, secretary to the coordinators at APFA (817) 540-0108, extension 8200.

IMA Vice Chair Rick Musica will be conducting the Legislative workshop and Jill Frank, APFA’s retirement specialist, will conduct the retirement workshop. Please bring your “Retirement Made Easy” booklet included in the 3rd Quarter ’04 Skyword as well as your laptop computer, if possible. Please RSVP to Linda Plunk for these seminars as well. Class size is limited, so sign up early and plan to stay for the 12th Annual APFA Awards and Recognition Dinner that is being held that evening.

Speaking of the On-Duty Contract Guide , some of you have called APFA and requested another 4Q Skyword as your Contract Guides, and in some cases, the entire Skyword was torn out in shipping, leaving you with just a cover. Please call ext. 8153 if this happened to you and be sure to drop your cover in any APFA lockbox so the Union can receive credit for those magazines that were damaged. A new one will be sent to you until supplies are extinguished. You can also email us at member@apfa.org with the subject: 4Q Skyword and On-Duty Contract Guide to request a replacement.

In rumor control: there are three questions that I would like to wrap up into one response:

The first question was: I’m a furloughed flight attendant and am wondering when the China route will be awarded, as this would obviously facilitate the return of some of our furloughs. Along those lines, since AA is expanding DFW flights, wouldn’t that mean manning is more limited and furloughs will be returning shortly to cover schedule?

Another flight attendant posed the third question: Will AA be offering more leaves following this latest round of PLOA’s ending April 30 ’05 as this may cause an overage system wide?

Answer: The DOT is the government branch that will be awarding the China Route and to date, there has been no decision by the DOT on which airline will be flying Chicago to Shanghai with a supposed start-date of March 25, 2004. On May 1, 2005, 879 flight attendants are scheduled to be returning from a 4-month Personal Leave of Absence. With the return of these PLOA Flight Attendants in May, the company has expressed no intent to recall furloughees back to the line at this point.

That’s it for this week. Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.

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