This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, February 17, 2006. We have 4,037 flight attendants currently furloughed from American, and ten members serving full time in the military. Please keep them in your thoughts.
AMR’s CFO James Beer resigned on Monday after 15 years with AA and accepted a job with Symantec – a software firm in Northern California. He will remain the Chief Financial Officer through next week.
APFA Legislation: Don’t forget to visit www.apfa.org and click on the link entitled: Contact Your Congressperson About Weapons In The Cabin. It is possible that Congress may address this issue when they return from a week of recess.
APFA News: APFA and AA have reached an agreement on protection for those flight attendants affected by the storm this past weekend. Please go to www.apfa.org to view the letter entitled Northeast Storm Letter of Understanding entitled for clarification.
Primary vacation bidding opened on February 15 and will close at 8 AM Central on Tuesday, March 7th. Crew Resources has not finished determining the amount of vacation time available by base for each month. We anticipate having further information available next week. Article 6.L. of our Contract states that the company must offer a minimum of 4.5% of the total vacation months available at each base during the months of July, August and December and in all other months the minimum is 3%. You should, of course, bid your desired vacation months and enter sufficient back-up months in order to avoid having your ballot considered as “not enough bids” for the primary round. Keep in mind that if you wish to be considered for possible vacation move-ups that may become available, your actual vacation month must be in a month subsequent to the month in which you are requesting a move-up. In other words, a Flight Attendant with a May vacation cannot be considered for a June move-up. Only Flight Attendants with vacations in the months of July06-April07 can be considered for a move-up to June 06.
Based on some calls we received this week there appears to be some confusion over the Vacation Accrual Presidential Grievance and subsequent Settlement Agreement in June of 2005. This grievance and settlement was in regards to the calculation of the 2004 vacation award for Flight Attendants who reached a new Company Seniority threshold for vacation accrual in 2003. Flight Attendants receiving additional vacation days had Company Seniority dates, back in 2003 that fell within the years of 1978, 1983, 1991 and 1998. Even if your Company Seniority date fell within those years, factors such as not being active for part or all of the year could influence your eligibility for the award. The full text of the Settlement Agreement is available on the APFA website.
In March, initial aircraft qualifications for the 777, 737, 757 and 752 will be available to any Flight Attendant, regardless of seniority. Due to the fact that much of the initial training for these aircraft is now online, resulting in reduced hands-on classroom time, these initial qualifications will now be offered in conjunction with EPTS. The qualification can be obtained while attending EPTS or on any DO during the year that EPTS are offered. Simply complete the web enrollment form on the Flight Service website. Dates for enrollment are posted on the bidsheet. As with all training that includes an on-line portion, the on-line portion must be completed prior to attending the classroom portion. This enhancement to training is part of last Fall’s Presidential Settlement Agreement on 737 staffing, which also resulted in improvements to minimum layover rest and the return of crew meals on long-range flying. It is hoped that this enhancement enables our members to receive training they desire without an extra trip to DFW, restrictions based on seniority, or limitations for trigger months.
The APFA Annual Board of Directors Convention begins Monday, February 20th at the Ayres Hotel in Los Angeles. Just prior to the commencement of the official business meeting, Gerard Arpey and Jeffrey Brundage will meet with the Board. In addition to the official business meeting, several APFA Departments will conduct seminars and staff booths with information about each of the APFA Departments throughout the first day of the five-day convention. Monday evening, the Annual Awards Banquet will be held, and 12 honorees will receive awards granted by the Board via Resolution at last year’s convention. All members in good standing are welcome to attend. Tickets to the banquet are $60 at the door. Please be mindful if you plan to attend the Board Meeting, that this is a business meeting, not an open forum for dialogue. Your Base Chair is your representative voice on the Board.
Jill Frank Smoak, APFA’s retirement specialist will be co-conducting three F/A retirement seminars in March with a retirement counselor from AA. The first will be held at LGA on March 8th at 2 PM in the 3rd floor Flight Service Training. The second one will be held on March 9th at JFK Terminal 8 Second Floor Group Room at 2 PM. March 20th the seminar will be at the ORD West Conference Room at 1 PM. Please bring your Personal Pension Estimate and Plan Calculation Formula from Jetnet/Benefits. These seminars will include information on retiree health, travel and pension benefits and also discuss how proper planning can maximize your benefits.
From the Scheduling Department: If you are serving reserve this month, please take a few minutes to enter your preferences. Go to the Reserve Preferences document on the APFA Scheduling Department page for a refresher on the entries. Currently, AA is monitoring the bases of STL and BOS to see how many flight attendants are using preferences. Although, AA attempted to evaluate these bases and reserve preferences in October of 2005, the data could not be captured in a useful format. That situation has been corrected, and hopefully, we will be able to evaluate results for February. Only about 39% of the reserves at these bases are entering preferences and without more participation, it’s hard to gauge if reserve preferences are truly working.
Beginning Feb. 17th during the self-plot of open time, the AVRS system will now speak the sequence origination city name if it is a satellite base (SAN, ATL, MSP). This should help flight attendants who don’t want satellite flying to avoid picking it up by mistake.
Bankruptcy Watch: The judge overseeing the Northwest Bankruptcy proceedings postponed his decision on whether the pilots and Flight Attendants’ contracts will be abrogated for a week. This means that the unions and Northwest have until February 24th to come to a deal on their respective contracts before the judge interferes. APFA issued a press release today in support of Northwest Flight Attendants’ quest to keep their contract from being abrogated in Bankruptcy Court. Please go to www.apfa.org to read the release in its entirety.
And in the latest bankruptcy earnings news, Delta reported a 4th Quarter loss of $1.2B – down from $2.2B last year same quarter.
Fuel Watch: As of February 16th, crude oil was $58.46 a barrel down $4.16 from last Thursday’s price. The crack spread price on the 16th of February, which is the cost of refining one barrel of crude to jet fuel cost $13.85 was $2.78 more than last week’s price. That brings the total price of one barrel of jet fuel to $72.31. That is $1.38 less than last week’s price. This is the first time in quite awhile that the cost of a barrel of crude has fallen below $60.
APFA Headquarters will be closed on Monday the 20th in observance of President’s Day, however, the entire APFA leadership will be in Los Angeles at the BOD Convention. If you have an emergency, please call 817.540.0108 and follow the prompts carefully for the officer on duty. Your call will be returned as soon as possible.