5.05.06 – (LAA) – Q&A’s About Upcoming Changes to Open Replacement, IAM Files Petition with the NMB to Hold Representation Election on Behalf of Baggage Handlers

This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, May 5, 2006. We have 3,949 members on furlough and 10 members serving full time in the military. The reduced number of furloughs is due to attrition. Please keep them in your thoughts.

APFA News: Since the announcement last week of upcoming changes to Open Replacement, the following are some Q&A’s that should be helpful in answering any remaining questions you might have: Please review the letter on the APFA Web site .

Q: Why was this new Open Replacement Series 2000 established?

A: Open Replacement Series 2000 was established as a result of the Company’s announcement earlier this year to eliminate Open Replacement completely and place those jobs on the reserve list. Crew Planning stated they were not experiencing proper coverage when they needed it because Open Replacement flying, also considered the buffer, was not subsidizing the flying it was intended to. AA stated their need for adequate staffing, and APFA realized the importance of keeping our members off reserve, especially at a time of such limited growth.

Q: Isn’t disallowing pre-plotting for Open Replacement a violation of our Contract?

A: No. Per Article 9, Letter I, dated May 22, 2001: “Should Operational or System needs require, the Company may temporarily discontinue access to the AVRS automated self-plotting system.”

Q: Can I add myself to the makeup list on my Days off and max out early?

A: Yes.

Q: Is Open Replacement 3000 and 4000 changing?

A: No.

Q: Can I drop the trip I plotted on day-before coverage?

A: Yes. There are no restrictions to dropping your trip once it is on your schedule.

Q: How many Flight Attendants will be affected by this change?

A: A total of approximately 200 Flight Attendants system wide will be affected by this change, which will result in keeping hundreds of Flight Attendants off of a Reserve rotation.

Q: What is the difference between 2000 Open Replacement and 3000-4000 Open Replacement?

2000 Series Open Replacement Holders will bid for set days off like the current Availability lines, and are restricted to pre-plotting trips the day before.

Q: How long will this new procedure be in effect?

A: This test begins June of ’06 for a three-month period. The Company has made it clear, however, that if this solution is ineffective, they intend to place more F/As on Reserve during the summer and holidays. Throughout this test, the parties will review data collected by both the union and the company. The membership will be surveyed regarding this test.

Q: What about the ideas submitted by the membership?

There were numerous ideas submitted by the membership. One in particular was to create a Heavy A and a Heavy B schedule for days off and change sick clearance time.

The days-off pattern proposed by a Heavy A or a Heavy B schedule did not fulfill the Company’s needs because the scheduled days off don’t have much impact on how replacements really fly. Flight Attendants would still have the ability to relieve themselves of AVBL obligations and the concept would not improve coverage on weekends and holidays. Remember, coverage was the impetus for this change to begin with.

Last year APFA and AA reached agreement on facilitating the reinstatement to MIA of those F/As displaced to STL in ’03, despite the fact that domestic operation is experiencing zero growth. Based on recent attrition, reinstatement will be offered to the two most senior Flight Attendants accepting reinstatement effective June 1. Another reinstatement will be offered the first week of June for an effective date of July 2. In order to be considered for reinstatement you must complete the ballot posted on the Flight Service Web site. The ballot is actually located under My Job/Crew Resources/Featured Links/MIAD Reinstatement Ballot. The deadline to respond is 0830 on Tuesday, May 9. A Flight Attendant with reinstatement rights to MIA who either rejects or does not respond to the reinstatement offer and who is senior enough to hold the reinstatement will forfeit their reinstatement rights to MIA.

APFA’s next Quarterly Executive Committee Meeting will begin May 16th at the Embassy Suites DFW South. All members in good standing are welcome and encouraged to attend.

APFA Retirement Specialist Jill Frank Smoak continues her retirement seminars in DCA on Monday, May 8th. It will be held at the DCA Airport from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Ramp Managers Conference Room. Please call the DCA Manager on Duty at 703-419-6523 to reserve a spot as these seminars fill up quickly.

On May 17, there will be another seminar at St. Louis from noon to 2:00 p.m. In order to accommodate all STL FAs who are eligible for retirement, this session will be held in the Joann Wayne Room located outside of security. Again, due to the room size we are requiring reservations – please leave a VM for APFA STL Chair Greg Bertolini at 817-540-0108, ext. 8445 to reserve your spot. Due to the positive response from F/A’s a second retirement seminar has been planned for BOS. The first will begin at 11:30 on May 23rd in the Flight Service Conference Room. The second seminar will begin at 2pm on the same day and is limited to 20 attendees. Reservations are required so please contact the BOS Flight Service MOD at 617-634-5351.

If you plan to attend a retirement seminar please go to Jetnet, and follow this path: BENEFITS, RETIREMENT PLANNING, MY PENSION, REQUEST/VIEW ESTIMATES and create then print an estimate. On the estimate page, there is a highlighted link called PLAN CALCULATION FORMULAS. Open the link, print out the information and bring both documents with you to the seminar. If you are eligible to retire and unable to access Jetnet, please call HR at 800-447-2000 extension 5 and request a pension estimate be sent to your home.

From the Hotel Department, a few updates: APFA Reps will be visiting our hotel in Houston to work out some issues you have brought to our attention. Construction on the newest HNL layover hotel begins next week and the upgrades will hopefully be done very soon. Regarding the original HNL layover hotel, please remove all personal items from the storage room at the hotel no later than May 13th or they will be discarded.

Hotel reviews in PHL, ATL, EWR, ELP, MAN and VVI will be conducted during the month of May. If you have an opinion, write it up and email your comments to hotel@apfa.org .

The airline ride across America, in honor of the crewmembers that died on 9/11, is wrapping up next week at the Pentagon on May 9th. For more information on how you can participate in one of the final days of this cross-country bike ride or donate to this cause, visit airlineride.org .

Rumor Control: “I hear we are leaving our Paris downtown layover hotel. Is this true?” Answer: Not true! Our current hotel is undergoing a name change only. This hotel contract is intact and we have no intentions of going elsewhere.

Industry News: The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) has filed a petition with the NMB to hold an election for representation on behalf of the baggage handlers. None of the 10,000 JetBlue employees are unionized. Once the NMB certifies that cards were received by 35% of the workgroup, an election will be held. Employees say that JetBlue does not offer paid sick time, a pension plan or paid vacation. In a not-so-surprising statement, Jenny Dervin, JetBlue’s Spokesperson, stated “We just don’t believe third-party representation is in the best interest of” the employees. The election could occur as soon as a month from now.

Bankruptcy Watch: The Northwest Flight Attendants will begin voting on their Tentative Agreement next week. In the meantime, AFA-CWA is in the midst of attempting to represent the Northwest Flight Attendants who are currently represented by an independent union – the Professional Flight Attendants Association (PFAA). PFAA requested a motion to stay to the NMB relating to the representational elections between PFAA and AFA. The NMB gave Northwest Airlines and the AFA-CWA until last Tuesday to submit responses to PFAA’s request and should render a decision shortly. The Northwest Airlines Pilots, represented by ALPA, ratified their Contract Wednesday with a 63 percent yes vote. Nearly 95 percent of eligible pilots voted.

Fuel Watch: As of Wednesday, May 3rd, a barrel of crude oil cost $72.28, up .35 cents from last Wednesday’s price. The crack spread price was $15.42, down $2.17 from last week’s price. This brings the cost of one barrel of jet fuel to $87.70 – down $1.88 from the price of jet fuel last week. One year ago May, the price of a barrel of crude was $49.87, and the crack spread price was $11.86. The total for one barrel of jet fuel a year ago was $61.73, nearly $26 less per barrel than the price of a barrel today.

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

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