Hello. Today is Friday, May 2, 2003. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline.
On April 29, 2003, APFA received formal notice from American via the WARN letter that an overage of just under 5,000 Flight Attendants will exist July 1, 2003. The overage is a result of schedule reductions, productivity changes included in the Restructuring Agreement, and the uncertainty of how many Flight Attendants currently on Overage Leave will elect to remain on leave or return to work.
Flight Attendants “subject to” furlough will soon be receiving notice from the company. The senior most Flight Attendant receiving this notice will have hire date of April 9, 1999 and an approximate system seniority number of 18,399.
In accordance with Article 16 of the contract, American must offer Overage Leaves and Partnership Flying prior to any furlough in an effort to mitigate the number of furloughs necessary. The Overage Leave and Partnership Flying proffer opened on April 29th and will close at 0800 CDT on May 12th. The leaves are for key blocks of 12-months from July 2003 through June 2004. If an overage still exists after awarding the key blocks, a 3-month auxiliary block from July 2003 through September 2003 and a 9-month auxiliary block from October 2003 through June 2004 will be offered. Partnerships are for a three -month period from July 2003 through September 2003. To proffer for the Overage Leaves, Flight Attendants will use HISEND form #32 and for Partnership Flying HISEND form #20. Flight Attendants “subject to” furlough are not eligible to proffer for the overage leaves or Partnership Flying.
Flight Attendants interested in taking the Overage Leaves will continue to accrue bidding seniority and have full pass privileges. They will be responsible for the full portion of their healthcare premiums. There are approximately 2,000 Flight Attendants currently on Overage Leaves who will soon receive information from the company that will require they make a choice to either return to work on July 1, 2003, proffer for another Overage Leave beginning July 1, 2003, or resign and forfeit all recall rights.
Flight Attendants opting to return to work from an Overage Leave must complete the FAA required fingerprinting process by June 20th in order to receive a July 2003 bid award and must be scheduled to attend EPT’s/RDT’s prior to July 2, 2003.
The APFA Partner Finder is now active on the APFA Web site under “Reduction in Force” for Flight Attendants who would like to participate in Partnership Flying and would like to locate a partner at their base. For more information on Partnership Flying as well as Overage Leave, please visit the APFA Web site “Reduction in Force” page.
Due to the likely impact the overage will have on the STL Flight Attendant base, the Company anticipates a need for approximately 1,000 Flight Attendants in STL, effective July 1, 2003. Flight Attendants based outside of STL may submit their transfer requests for STL. Transfer requests must be submitted by 0800 CDT on May 12, 2003. Please refer to HIDIR for instructions on how to submit your transfer request. If a shortage still exists in STL after transfers have been processed, assignments to the base will be made in reverse order of seniority from bases where an overage exists. For more information, please refer to Article 16C, page 186 of the contract. The APFA expects to have the results of the Overage Leave and Partnership Flying Proffer and the STL transfer and base assignments sometime the week of May 12th.
The Restructuring Agreement and related documents along with the implementation schedule is posted on the APFA Web site under “Restructuring Agreement Information.” Some of the details of the implementation schedule:
-Overage Leave reduced benefits and the option to return to active status will be implemented July 1, 2003;
-Part-time will be eliminated July 1, 2003;
-Increased trip selection max to 77 Domestic/82 International and pure bid line maximums will be increased to 82 Domestic/87 International in June 2003.
Underfly will not be implemented in May. APFA and American will continue to meet to discuss this issue, what provisions will be swapped for the underfly provision, and how this swap will be accomplished.
Reduced rest to FAA minimums for both Domestic and International, deadhead reduced to 100% pay 50% credit, and language pay for language of destination only for required speakers by seniority do not currently have an implementation date assigned.
From the Vice President’s Office: We are currently in the process of finalizing the 777 staffing arbitration award regarding understaffing back pay research. APFA will be making an announcement next week regarding the options the estimated 5,000 Flight Attendants who qualify will have for back pay. The total amount owed to qualified Flight Attendants as a result of the arbitration award is approximately $9 million.
Legislation was introduced this week to certify Flight Attendants. On the House side, a press conference was held on Wednesday to announce the introduction of the bill. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Rep. Sue Kelly (R-NY) have sponsored the bill and many House members have already agreed to be co-sponsors. The bill number is H.R. 1889. Contact your member of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor the bill and support its passage.
On Thursday, in the Senate Commerce Committee, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) succeeded in attaching Flight Attendant certification as an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Bill (S.824). It will now be part of the bill as it goes to the Senate floor for a vote. The vote was 12-10 in committee so APFA members need to contact their Senators and urge their support. The following Senators voted in support of the amendment:
John McCain (R-AZ)
Gordon Smith (R-OR)
Ernest Hollings (D-SC)
Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
John D. Rockefeller (D-WV)
John Kerry (D-MA)
Byron Dorgan (D-SD)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
The only Democrat on the Committee to vote against the amendment was Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). APFA members in NJ should contact his office and urge him to support this amendment on the Senate floor. All members are encouraged to contact their senators immediately to urge their support of Senate Bill S.824, which may go before the Senate for a vote as early as Monday evening. A complete list of Senators and Representatives and their contact information can be found on the APFA Web site “Government Affairs” page under “Resource Center.”
In order to view the text of these Bills, please visit Capwiz on the Government Affairs page of the APFA Web site, which can be found under the Resource Center.
The Missouri Division of Work Force Development will hold a Rapid Response Meeting in St. Louis on May 20. The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn Airport North from 0900-1300. Additional rapid response meetings are being planned for the St. Louis area. Once plans are final, we will include them on the STL and Reduction in Force pages of the APFA Web site and included on this hotline.
There are several retirement seminars being planned around the system.
-St. Louis, May 9 at 0900, 1100, and 1400 in the Gate C27 training room.
-Newark, May 20 at 1100 and 1330.
-Boston, May 21 at 1030 and May 22 at 0800 in the Virgin Room.
As more seminars are planned, they will be announced on this HotLine and included on the calendar on the APFA Web site.
Many Flight Attendants are calling concerning the refund of Prefunding contributions and subsequent post retirement costs of retiree health coverage. The Flight Attendant retiree medical plan has not changed. Flight Attendants will continue to be eligible for pre-funding until retirement at which time they will have retiree medical. Management employees at American are changing their coverage to post retirement premiums and will have their pre-funding contributions reimbursed as a result. This does not apply to the APFA. Please remember, if you began pre-funding when first eligible (January 1, 2002) and continue uninterrupted for 10 years or until retirement, whichever is earlier, you will qualify for retiree medical coverage.
The APFA Safety Department would like to remind all Flight Attendants that the FAA has heightened their presence on property at American Airlines. Please be sure that you comply with all FARs including having an up-to-date In-Flight Manual, required keys, and a working flashlight while on duty. A list of guidelines to follow has been added to the APFA Safety Page of the APFA Web site. Please visit the site for more information.
Recently, there have been a number of posts to the APFA bulletin board that have violated the rules governing the use of the board. The APFA Communications Department has addressed members whose posts are in question and official warnings have been sent. Violation of the rules governing posts can and will result in permanent restriction of use of the bulletin board. Members are asked to read the rules prior to posting and remain cognizant of those rules.
That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. Please visit the web site for the latest information.