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3.10.06 – (LAA) – Presidential Grievance Arbitration, Vacation Bidding, 100/107, Retirement Seminars, AA ID Badges

This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, March 10, 2006. We have 4,005 flight attendants currently furloughed from American, and ten members serving full time in the military. Please keep them in your thoughts.

APFA News: The Presidential Grievance Arbitration over the bonuses set to be paid to nearly 1,000 managers in April concluded today. The arbitration was held at APA Headquarters and was open to all members in good standing. There were three union members on the board, one from each labor group. APFA’s representative was Anne Loew, IMA Flight Attendant and a long-time union advocate. We would like to thank those of you that took the time to watch the three unions at work in their first-ever jointly-filed grievance. This process will result in an expedited award to be issued no later than March 28th and we will advise our members of the decision as soon as we receive word from the arbitrator and his six-member board.

Effective January 1, 2006, the company implemented a new billing process for benefits for Flight Attendants who are on a leave of absence greater than 30 days. This has also resulted in a change to the requirement for Flight Attendants who take Bid Leaves. In the past, you were responsible for the full cost of your medical benefits if you took a Bid Leave greater than 16 days. Now, you will not become responsible for the full cost of your medical benefits unless you take a Bid Leave greater than 30 days. This includes back-to-back Bid Leaves that result in a Flight Attendant being on Leave for more than 30 days.

Primary Vacation bid results will be posted by 1800 Central Time on Tuesday, March 14. Secondary Vacation bidding will open at 1300 Central Time on Wednesday, March 15 and close at 0800 Central time on Thursday, March 23.

JFK Base Chair Suzanne Edwards met with Crew Resources this week and secured an agreement with AA that Flight #100 will be paired with Flight #107 once again beginning with the April JFK Bidsheet. Additionally, the Company agreed to take extraordinary measures to ensure that 100/107 will remain on the JFK Bidsheet year round. The on-time departure of Flight 100 will be the key to the success of this pairing remaining on the bidsheet. New York management has committed to working with all related work groups including dispatch, Flight Attendants, rampers and agents to ensure the departure dependability of flight 100.

Jill Frank Smoak will be conducting her next retirement seminar on March 20th in the ORD West Conference Room at 1 PM. Remember to bring your Personal Pension Estimate and Plan Calculation Formula from Jetnet. Jill will be retiring from AA this year. She has been invaluable to APFA and the AA Flight Attendants and will be sorely missed.

APFA continues its interviews for a new APFA Retirement Specialist. If you are interested in this position please contact APFA Contract Coordinator Brent Peterson for a job description and list of suggested qualifications at extension 8271. The deadline for applying is March 31st.

The next Skyword is nearing completion and will begin shipping to your homes at the end of March. This issue will be the annual State of the Union as required by the Policy Manual.

We will have new long layover hotels in downtown Chicago and Dallas beginning March 16th. Please check the APFA Web site for details on these new locations.

The new AA ID badges must be picked up from your base operations area no later than next Friday, March 17th. You will need to turn in your badge in order to receive your new one. These badges have a magnetic strip and will be used for the on-board credit card machines coming later this spring and can also be used on the self-check-in machines at the airport when you are non-reving or deadheading.

Rumor Control: There is truth to the fact that Crew Resources has told APFA it is considering reducing Open Replacement/Availability as much as possible by June of this year. AA contends that availability is not covering the flying that AA needs it to WHEN they need it to. APFA takes the reduction of Availability very seriously. We are working hard to find an alternate solution and will keep our members posted with updates.

APFA Legislation: The Pension Reform Bill is being prepared for conference now that it has passed both the House and the Senate and the conferees have been appointed. Soon, we will be asking you to contact your Representative and Senators urging them to keep the Senate Airline Provision in the final bill. Stay tuned!

We’ve posted this information in the past, and will continue to include these links in the hopes that even more of our members will contact Congress about the important issues related to Flight Attendants. First, the Leave All Blades Behind bill. This bill is a result of the TSA’s changes in December of 2005 that allowed scissors, knives and other previously banned weapons on board the aircraft. Second, Flight Attendant fatigue which remains a serious issue. Next, the issue of Foreign Ownership which has bills in both the House and the Senate. And finally, the issue of ou tsourcing which is designed to give U.S. jobs away to other countries. All of these items are issues APFA takes very seriously. If you would like to join APFA’s Political Action Committee (PAC) fund, which helps APFA fund our efforts on the Hill independent of Union dues, please go to

Bankruptcy Watch: Delta Airlines and ALPA, the union representing the pilots, will be meeting in Washington, D.C., next week to render a decision on their contract. The panel has a deadline of April 15th. ALPA says that Delta management is demanding more than $300M a year in concessions including an additional 18% pay cut, and has refused to fund the employee pension plans putting their retirement in jeopardy.

Northwest Flight Attendants would like to thank the AA Flight Attendants for your support in contacting Congress about outsourcing their jobs to other countries. PFAA was successful in keeping outsourcing out of their Tentative Agreement last week. The ratification process will begin shortly.

Fuel Watch: As of March 8th, a barrel of crude oil cost $60.02, down $3.34 from the price on March 2nd. The crack spread price was $15.49, down $1.42 from last week’s price. That brings the price for one barrel of jet fuel to $75.51 – $4.76 less than last Thursday’s price.

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

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