This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Thursday, October 26, 2006.
APFA News: APFA and AA announced on Monday a reciprocal cabin seat agreement with jetBlue Airways effective November 1, 2006. This brings to four the number of airlines available to AA and American Eagle Flight Attendants that may be utilized for free travel in an available cabin seat.
It is very important that you visit the APFA Web site and click on Reciprocal Agreements to review the rules and guidelines governing this new agreement between AA and JetBlue before attempting to travel. Please remember that this agreement can be eliminated by either party.
From the Joint Business Teams of Miami and San Francisco: The Attendance Control Policy (ACP) is an American Airlines corporate policy. It is not contractual for our workgroup or any other workgroup on AA’s property. APFA continuously encourages AA to enhance its ACP to make it more user-friendly for our members.
Over the past several months, the joint APFA/Flight Service Business teams in Miami and San Francisco have been working to design a test that will address some of APFA’s and the Company’s concerns with regard to the current ACP. In particular, both parties are hopeful that this test will assist Flight Attendants in taking control of and self-managing their attendance. The teams analyzed the American Airlines policy as well as attendance policies at other carriers for comparison purposes.
This attendance test will run for six months beginning November 1, 2006, and will apply to those FAs based in Miami and San Francisco throughout the test period. It will be operated locally and labor and management representatives will meet monthly to monitor the test. Once the test period ends in May 2007, APFA and Flight Service will review the data from the program and its effect on flight attendants in MIA and SFO to determine whether it will continue, and whether it will be applied system wide.
Flight attendants will be able to find more information beginning November 1st on the local Miami and San Francisco base Web sites at www.apfa.org, and aaflightservice.com. Each MIA, IMA, SFO and SFO-I flight attendant will also receive a booklet explaining the test policy in detail in your Flight Service mailbox shortly.
From the Contract Department: Last week, we issued an alert regarding the accrual of vacation and sick time. As a reminder, each year, a number of Flight Attendants will fall short of the 420-hour threshold and not accrue vacation or sick time. Some of our members miss this cut-off by only a few hours. In some instances, flying one or two extra trips might make the difference in full accrual vs. no accrual. Further, some Flight Attendants will end up in an overpayment status if they used PVDs during the year and subsequently had no accrual.
Now would be the perfect time to review your HISK, particularly if you fly low-time, in order to ensure you are on track in meeting your accrual threshold. You can find a summary of your hours at the bottom of your HISK. Please refer to the Contract Department article in the 3rd quarter ’05 issue of Skyword for a more detailed explanation of Vacation and Sick Accrual. You can access previous issues of Skyword on the APFA Web site.
From the Health Department: As a continued reminder, Health Benefits Enrollment must be completed by October 31, 2006. We urge you to visit the APFA Web site and review the comparison chart that includes the differences between the contractually-protected Standard Health (PPO) Plan, aka 80/20 Plan, and the company-sponsored Point of Service (POS) Plan for the 2007 benefit year. The chart was compiled by APFA, with the assistance of The Segal Company, an outside benefits consulting group.
Remember, you may change your elections anytime during the enrollment period, however, once the benefit enrollment period ends no alteration to your 2007 health plan is possible unless you experience a life-changing event.
And finally, representatives from UNICEF, Airline Ambassadors and AA have been traveling throughout the system raising money for Champions for Children, a Flight Attendant volunteer program that benefits children around the world. Many of these reps will be in Dallas on the 25-26th of October, in JFK on the 26th and 27th of October, Miami on November 1-2, Raleigh on the 6th of November, Boston on the 8-9th and St. Louis on November 10th.
VOTE! Don’t forget to register to vote or sign up for your absentee ballot if you are flying during the election on November 7th. Each state has its own timeline for registering to vote absentee. Go to fvap.gov to obtain your state’s absentee ballot information. Remember that as a Union member, it’s worth taking the time to research each candidate’s labor-friendliness. If a candidate is or has been an elected member of Congress, you may view her/his voting record by going online to aflcio.org and clicking on the appropriate link on the left. In the past several years, Congress has had a direct effect on our Crew Rest, Pension Protection rules, and Flight Attendant Fatigue among other important crewmember issues.
Industry News: Both JetBlue and Alaska Airlines posted 3Q losses in the same quarter that AA posted a profit of $15 million after special items.
Bankruptcy Watch: This week, the Bankruptcy Judge blocked a Strike by the Mesaba Flight Attendants opening the door for the airline to impose pay cuts.
Fuel Watch: As of Wednesday, October 24th, a barrel of crude oil cost $59.35, up .42 cents from last week’s price. The crack spread price was $13.04, down $2.19 from last week’s price. This brings the cost of one barrel of jet fuel to $73.51 – down $1.77 from the price of jet fuel a week ago.
The total for one barrel of jet fuel a year ago was $100.24, about $27 more than the price of a barrel of jet fuel today.
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That’s it for this week. Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.