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4.07.06 – (LAA) – Family Leave Presidential Arbitration Status, Pension Reform, Open Replacement Schedules, Executive Committee

This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, April 7, 2006. To date, we have 4,005 flight attendants furloughed from American, and ten members serving full time in the military. Please keep them in your thoughts.

In APFA News: Several Flight Attendants have inquired about the Family Leave Presidential Arbitration status. There were actually two separate Presidential grievances filed and arbitrations heard on Family Leave (FML). The FML 1 arbitration is a continuation of a Presidential Grievance that was filed in December of ‘01 challenging various changes made by the Company to its family medical leave (FML) policy in October of that same year. Five days of hearings were held in October and December 2002 and a partial Award was issued on June 30, 2003. The Award ruled that the new eligibility rule of 720 on-duty hours constituted a contract breach. The Union ultimately requested that the Board intervene in deciding a remedy. The remedial part of the original FML arbitration case was heard over four days of hearings in September 2005 and February 2006. APFA and the Company submitted closing Briefs to the Arbitration Board on April 3, 2006, and the System Board is scheduled to meet today in Boston in Executive Session to determine the remedy.

Additionally, the FML 2 Arbitration was necessary because during June of 2004, the Company in fact changed the FML policy once again and APFA filed a Presidential grievance on July 14, 2004, protesting a number of changes made by the Company to its FML policy. The changes went into effect on June 1, 2004. Hearings in this matter were conducted over a period of five months from August of ’05, continuing through October and November of ’05 and concluding in January of this year. Closing Briefs were submitted to the Arbitration Board on March 7, 2006. One Executive session of the Board has been conducted, and another session is scheduled in Boston on April 10, 2006 to determine an award.

Updates on these two cases will be posted on this Hotline as the information becomes available.

As a reminder, the Presidential Grievance and resulting arbitration on the Executive Compensation issue has concluded. You will find the seven-page Order by Arbitrator Robert Harris in the members-only section of the APFA Web site.

The Pension Reform Bill remains in conference and this fight isn’t over yet. APFA thanks all of our members for contacting their Congresspersons about this bill. Monday begins two weeks of recess for Congress, which is a perfect time to contact each of your Representatives and Senators. Please visit and click on the link entitled: Contact Congress re: Pension Reform Today. We are encouraging the Hill to include the Senate version of the Airline Provision in the final bill’s language. We are hopeful that they will finalize the bill in conference upon their return from recess. We have a special request for Flight Attendants living in or around Bakersfield, California. Please contact APFA legislative Representative Rick Musica at to assist in setting up a meeting with Representative Bill Thomas (R-CA 22).

From the Scheduling Department: We would like to thank all of the Flight Attendants that have taken the time to suggest posibilities regarding the potential reduction of Open Replacement schedules during the summer months. As you will recall, AA announced several weeks ago that they intend to put an end to Open Replacement schedules. APFA has been working non-stop in an effort to find a viable resolution within the confines of our Contract to keep this from occurring. One suggestion in particular that we’ve received from several F/As is the concept of Heavy A or Heavy B Open Replacement, meaning the schedule would be built so a Flight Attendant has more days on in the A portion or the B portion. The problem with this is that Open Replacement F/As are not necessarily flying their schedule as it is built, despite the fact that they may be flying up to and even above their guarantee. A Flight Attendant’s ability to alter their AVBL day obligation is what is creating a deficit in coverage for the days they were originally scheduled to be available, and that is why the Company announced their intent to solve the problem in this deficit by increasing Reserves.

APFA will continue to meet with AA in an attempt to resolve this issue. We will keep you posted.

The APFA Safety and Security Department would like to remind all Flight Attendants that FAR 121.391 requires that minimum crew remain on board the aircraft until all passengers have deplaned. AA can be fined $25,000 for each incident.

Another reminder from the Contract Department: If you encounter an inoperative 777 bunk on a flight scheduled for crew rest, please have one person from your crew notify APFA of the flight number, date, and the aircraft tail number as well as the cabin of the alternate crew rest seats provided on the flight. Forward this information via email to

APFA Retirement Specialist Jill Frank Smoak continues her seminars with two scheduled for this month. On April 18, 2006. Jill and a representative from the company will be in SFO from noon to 2:00 p.m. It will be held downstairs in the Flight Service Training room. On April 20, there will be two sessions in DFW, both in The Yandry Suite across from gate C2. These sessions are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

APFA will hold it’s 2nd Quarterly Executive Committee meeting of the year at the Embassy Suites DFW South on May 16th and 17th. All members in good standing are welcome to attend.

The airline ride in honor of each of the crewmembers whose lives were lost on 9/11 is in full swing. The ride began on April 2nd in Los Angeles, and will conclude on May 9th at the Pentagon. Please visit for more information on how you can participate or donate to this cause. Proceeds will go to the three flight crew memorials being constructed in honor of the 33 crewmembers who died.

In Rumor Control: several F/A’s inquired this week about whether the Company has come to us for concessions/paycuts/you name it. Not only has the company not come to us for concessions, but APFA has no intention of opening up our Contract until our amendable date on April 30, 2008.

In Bankruptcy News: 95% of the ballots received from Delta Pilots, voted in favor of a strike in the event that “they deem it prudent and advisable.” Currently, Delta Airlines has filed a motion to reject their contract with the pilots. The decision to abrogate the contract lies with a neutral panel whose decision is expected by April 15th.

Fuel Watch: As of April 5th, a barrel of crude oil cost $67.07, down .08 cents from last Wednesday’s price. The crack spread price was $15.68, up .06 cents from last week’s price. This brings the cost of one barrel of jet fuel to $82.75 – up .02 cents from the price of jet fuel last week.

That’s it for this week. If you are not already receiving APFA updates and would like to, please reply to this email with your name and employee number and “Add Me” in the subject of your email. You will be included on all future updates. If you would like to be removed, please reply to this email with the words: “Please Remove” in the subject and you will no longer receive APFA updates.

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