This is Jaimie McNeice, National Scheduling Coordinator, with an APFA Hotline Update for Wednesday, April 26th, 2006.
A few months ago, we were informed by AA that they intended to eliminate Open Replacement and place those jobs on Reserve. Their position was that Open Replacement was not covering the flying it was designed to cover. APFA took this issue very seriously and immediately engaged AA in talks to resolve the problem to the satisfaction of both parties. Since then, we have continued to keep you updated on the talks and are pleased to announce a resolution.
Beginning with the June bid month and continuing through August of ’06, the following provisions for Open Replacement (OR) will be in effect. Please remember that this change will affect a little over 1% of our membership (approximately 200 F/As), and prevents approximately 200 Flight Attendants from being thrown onto Reserve throughout the summer.
These jobs are considered by the Company as “buffers.” The buffer can be defined as the maximum number of jobs over and above what’s necessary to cover the Operation in a specific month(s) AND that the Company is willing to pay for. The buffer drives flexibility for Trip Trading with Open time and allows for some PVDs to be granted. The buffer ranges anywhere from approximately 400 jobs system-wide, depending on the month.
Cutting to the chase, Open Replacement will now contain two series of selections. Open Replacement (the buffer jobs) series 3000-4000 will remain as is. This encompasses about ½ of all the available Open Replacement jobs (app. 200 jobs). In June, July and August, the other half of those holding Open Replacement will be assigned an Open Replacement series 2000-2999 and will be able to self-plot the day prior to an AVBL day, but will be unable to pre-plot prior to day-before coverage. Per Article 9. K.2.b (page 117) of the CBA, the Company retains the right to prohibit pre-plotting for operational necessity. APFA is hopeful that Flight Attendants will experience fewer reassignments and understaffed flights and the potential for trip cancellations.
These 2000 series Open Replacement lines will be nearly identical to 3000/4000 RP, with the exception of access to pre-plot. AVBL days will not be released and converted to a DO until after 14:00 the day before. Additionally, the duty free periods and DO’s will be published on the bidsheet, like the Planned Duty Free Open Replacement lines.
This is a three month test. APFA and AA will thoroughly review the effects of the test and whether it should be applied to future holiday months. Please keep in mind that the language governing Open Replacement is contractual; however, the number of Open Replacement jobs is not. This language can be found in Article 9.C.2.b. of the CBA (page 104). APFA worked very hard to find a creative solution to this challenge, while balancing Flight Attendant seniority without punishing juniority too much.
APFA requests that those of you who hold Series 2000 during the summer months provide feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org . For further details, please go to the APFA Web site and click on the link entitled Open Replacement Series 2000 to review the letter that will be posted shortly.
Please stay on the line for the rest of the APFA Hotline.