Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

1.18.07 – (LAA) – Presidential Grievances, Pay-As-You-Go Administrative Process, Base Elections

Today is Thursday, January 18, 2007. This is Tommie Hutto-Blake, APFA President, with an important Hotline announcement.

APFA and the Company have been working hard to resolve six Presidential Grievances – the first of which was filed in June 2006; the most recent in October. These six grievances addressed Flight Attendant healthcare benefits changes made by the company.

Yesterday, APFA and senior management signed off on a comprehensive pre-arbitration Settlement Agreement that resolves all of our system wide AA Flight Attendant Health Care Plan Presidential Grievances. In dispute were such issues as reducing to 60/40 the coverage for out-of-network providers under the Retiree Standard Medical Plan; to the termination of benefits for some inactive FAs on IOD or Unpaid Sick for more than 30 days.

Another issue that has been resolved with this settlement is the Pay-As-You-Go Administrative Process – the payment of health care coverage while on inactive status or when flying less than 420-hours – which was negotiated between the parties during the 2003 Restructuring Period. This Settlement resolves all of these issues and even alleviates the need to file further Grievances on recent healthcare benefit changes.

As reported in recent hotlines, an April 2007 arbitration date had been scheduled before Arbitrator Richard Bloch. Efforts to resolve the issues prior to arbitration – thereby retaining control of the outcome – is as important as the preparation of our Union’s case before a third-party in the event the parties cannot agree on an outcome.

Before I go any further with this announcement, I want to acknowledge how impressed I am with the many active and retired Flight Attendants who have written management in the past weeks regarding health care benefits. Your letters were factual, eloquent and compelling. I will always believe that it was your actions in recent weeks that generated the tipping point and pushed the parties to seek a solid resolution concerning these disputes. This is an important Settlement Agreement and many of you helped us get there.

I am also proud of the solid work that has been done in these last weeks prior to settlement by a very focused group of APFA union activists. APFA had a team of advocates that simply would not give up in reaching an agreement NOW – not waiting for months and months of ‘battle’ in the arbitration room. We had members who had lost total health care coverage and they needed a solution sooner rather than later.

I must also give credit to certain individual senior management leaders who came to the settlement table knowing this Global Health Care Coverage Resolution was the right thing to do. This task has not been easy and again I give credit to our activist members who definitely had direct impact on this solution. I am certain that this pre-arbitration settlement serves us well as a lesson for what the parties can accomplish when we seek creative solutions representing the interest of all concerned. APFA certainly has more collective battles ahead of us and we must learn to fight smart as we seek our solutions! Standing together on collective issues has great impact on the final outcome.

Yes, these disputes could have been resolved by an arbitrator sometime down the road, with a winner and loser declared. But these disputes needed our joint attention and resolution NOW. Labor and senior management reached an agreement providing solutions to our members who needed our help. Again, many of you helped us get there.

I will close by reading some direct statements from the language of this settlement, which again you can read in full on either the APFA or company Web sites: I quote: “The Company and the Union agree that health care is not only an important issue for the employees of American Airlines, but also for millions of Americans across the country. As such, we have worked together to resolve our outstanding health care disputes outside of arbitration … The Company and the Union agree to explore strategic, joint legislative approaches to [future] health care issues. The parties recognize that this settlement results from a joint collaborative effort. Accordingly, the parties commit that communications about this settlement will reflect that joint work can produce solid results.”

I hope that you will join me in this learning experience … if we ‘fight smart’ together – we can produce solid results. The next time we ‘call to action’ I urge each of you to join our activist pool. Standing shoulder to shoulder produces direct results. Before I turn today’s hotline over to Leslie, I would like to read a very simple statement from a past world activist, Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed individuals can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Leslie…

…Thank you, Tommie. This is Leslie Mayo, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the rest of the Hotline.

On the topic of this Settlement, one of the items resolved is the reinstatement of health care benefits for some of our members who were/are on long-term unpaid sick or IOD. Unbeknownst to these FAs, they were required to follow the same steps to ensure retention of their health, dental and vision coverage as those FAs who took voluntary leaves of absence and who presumably had the ability to plan for any adjustments necessary for coverage while on planned Unpaid status. APFA has been attempting to resolve 26 individual disputes that involved compelling personal hardships for those FAs affected by the changes to the Pay-As-You-Go process that was implemented on January 1, 2006. Although the intent of these changes was to ensure current payment of benefits, not to terminate coverage, the end result was a loss of health care benefits for dozens of our members. This settlement will reinstate coverage retroactively including necessary reimbursement of any interim health care benefits.

Prefunding of Retiree Medical Benefits was also included in the Pay-As-You-Go process on January 1, 2006 and resulted in many of our members who were either on unpaid sick, IOD or even a Personal Leave of Absence having their pre-funding cancelled. Following review of the plan language for pre-funding, pre-funding will no longer be able to be waived as a result of a Life Event, when going on a LOA greater than 30 days. In addition, this change will be retroactive to 1-1-2006 and will reinstate pre-funding for all affected FAs who lost pre-funding.

APFA cannot stress enough the impact that current and retired Flight Attendants had on the outcome of this settlement. Your efforts to communicate with management were extraordinary and your stories persuasive. There is no doubt that our membership’s passion and resolve over these disputes made a difference in the positive outcome of our health care benefits.

Please visit www.apfa.org and click on Presidential Grievances – Grievances Settled – Comprehensive Health Care Benefits Settlement – 1.17.07 to read the language in its entirety. You will also find Q&As to accompany this document that will hopefully answer any questions you may have.

From the Contract Department, APFA is currently monitoring the Company’s recent changes to Buy on Board (or Food For Sale) to determine if a violation of our Contract has occurred based on the recent changes. Article 9.B.2. of our Contract states in part that “…the Company shall have discretion in changing staffing or service levels, APFA shall be afforded a safeguard against the Company abusing that discretion. Accordingly, APFA shall have the right to file a Presidential grievance if the Company abuses its discretion by assigning an unreasonable workload to Flight Attendants.” Your assistance in this analysis is greatly appreciated. Specific feedback from your experiences with Food For Sale based upon the recent changes is encouraged. Please email information including flight number, city pair, aircraft type, length of service and any issues in your efforts to complete the service to contract@apfa.org.

As a reminder, our Annual Board of Directors Convention begins February 8th in Chicago. For details please visit the Web site’s Newsflash section on the upper right corner. Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Bait and Switch and Nickel and Dimed, will be our keynote speaker. Jill Frank Smoak, APFA’s first retirement specialist will be honored by the APFA leadership during this event. Again, all members are invited to be a part of this important evening.

Industry News: American Airlines exceeded Wall Street’s expectations yesterday by announcing a $17 million profit for the 4th Quarter as opposed to a $600 million loss in the same quarter of ’05, bringing American Airlines’ annual profit for 2006 to $231 million. This is AA’s first annual profit in six years. Southwest announced a lower than expected profit of $57 million for the quarter as opposed to a $70 million profit in the same quarter of ’05. Its profits for the year totaled $499 million. Meanwhile, Continental announced a loss today of $26 million for the 4th Quarter.
As AMR reports handsome 4th Quarter earnings and its first annual profit since 2000, and AMR’s stock tickers above $40, we should celebrate and take pride in the fact that we were a huge part of these results. APFA firmly believes that when all employees can partake in the rewards, not just a select few from Senior Management in the form of Executive Bonuses in the hundreds of millions set for an April 15th payout, a true celebration of our hard work and sacrifices will be in order. Thank you for your continued professionalism and activism. We will be calling upon you to help us with this endeavor in the near future.

Please remember that we have 2,609 APFA members on furlough.

Now, please stay on the line for the National Ballot Committee’s announcement of those who submitted Willingness to Serves for Base representation. Leatha…

This is Leatha Harding-Berry with the APFA National Ballot Committee. On January 17, 2007, the National Ballot Committee picked up the Base Representative Willingness to Serve Notifications. The National Ballot Committee has certified the following Base Representatives duly elected to a two year term of office beginning April 1, 2007.

 BOS

BOSI

DCA

DCAI

DFW

IDF

IMA

IOR

JFK

LAX

LAXI

LGA

MIA

STL

Chairperson
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member

Chairperson
Vice Chairperson

Chairperson
Vice Chairperson
Operation Council Member

Chairperson
Vice Chairperson
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member

Vice Chairperson
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member

Chairperson
Vice Chairperson
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member

Chairperson
Vice Chairperson
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member

Chairperson
Vice Chairperson
Operation Council Member

Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member

Chairperson
Vice Chairperson
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member

Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member

Chairperson
Vice Chairperson
Operation Council Member

Chairperson
Vice Chairperson
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member

Chairperson
Vice Chairperson
Operation Council Member

Chairperson
Vice Chairperson

Vice Chairperson
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member

Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member
Operation Council Member

Jennifer McCauley
Michelle Brawley-Ferragamo
Sherry Heruska
Timothy Legeros

Eugenio Vargas
Meghan Mitchell

Heidi Morgan Prayon
Robert Valenta
Tim Weston

Cynthia D. Horan
Paul T. Harrison
Victoria Leahy
Nancy Kane

Margaret Stewart
Sandra DiSalvo
Liz Geiss
Benjamin T. Hatcher
Kelly Horton
Jaimie McNeice
Michael Parker
Denise M. Pointer
Terry E. Skinner
Michael Truan

M. Judy Masterson
Maureen Walsh-Martin
Nancy Archer
Bobby Bulham
Patrick Hancock
Russ Kidwell
Jay Narey
George Price
Cheryl Walters

Randy Trautman
Juan Barrera
Tim Burns
Marcus Gluth
Elizabeth Lee Price
Kelly Skyles

Nancy Moehring
Michael J. Meyer
Lonny Glover

Danny Cabrera*
Neil Fernandez
Rosaland Inyang*
Kevin Johnson
Joann Matley
Brent Peterson
Jessica T. Washington*

John C. Nikides
Kriston T. McCullor
James Bracamontes
Maruca Dass
Michele Genovese
Del Greene
Marsha Harris
Donna Huggins
Ken Lenard
Dan Mahoney
Sarena Mobley
Beverly Naton
Bertha Tease
Justin Wildish

Kathleen Clements
Tony Leonhardt*
Leslie Mayo
David Ransom*

Eric Hodgson
Alan Montana
Barbara Thrower

Cheri Washbish
Jeff Pharr
Nancy Hisaw
Douglas Newlon
Michelle Parke
Joseph R. Wright

Liz Mallon
A. Todd Breckenridge
Steve Wilson

Peggy Turley
Fiona MacPherson-Bowers

Julie Hedrick
James Bunn*
Anthony Cataldo
Dana Davis
James Pinkston
Rochelle Ricepito

Willie Aviles
David Baumgartner
Sherry Brown
Lisa Cooper
Nancy Dietrich
Miles Gauntt
Jon Howard
Maggie Joyce*
Kelly Kivilaan
Kathy Kyte
Merry Larson
Nena Martin*
Analilia Moldthan-Lamont
Ann Naujoks
Deborah Nightingale
Sandee Norris
Jane Orr
Leslie Palos
Yvonne Perano
Carol Samuelson
Jo Schuetz
Jeri Seaman
Barbara Smith
Lynne Wilson

*pending outcome of Chair and Vice Chair Elections

APFA Base Representative Elections

There will be elections for the Chair and Vice Chair positions at JFK, Los Angeles International and St Louis and the Chairperson position at Dallas Domestic and San Francisco Domestic. There will also be an OCR election at Boston International. The candidates are as follows:

BOSI Operation Council Member
Susan Coequyt
Michael Medeiros
Sean Nowicke
Frank Eschmann
Patty Moore
Neil “Woody” Wood

 

DFW Chairperson
Samuel Morales Chris O’Kelley
JFK Chairperson
Danny Cabrera
Suzanne Edwards
Jessica T Washington
JFK Vice Chairperson
Christian Casadey Rosalan Inyang
LAX-I Chairperson
Tony Leonhardt
David Ransom
Joseph Robinson
LAX-I Vice Chairperson
Tony Leonhardt David Ransom
SFO Chairperson
James Bunn Larry Salas
STL Chairperson
Robert Applegate
Dixie Daniels
Greg Bertolini
Nena Martin
STL Vice Chairperson
Tim Hunter
Maggie Joyce
Kathy M. Jones
Mary Pat Taylor

We are still awaiting confirmation from the membership-nominated candidates at the LAXI base and will update you when finalized.

Ballots for these elections will be mailed on February 6, 2007 and will be due on March 8, 2007. If you have any questions concerning these elections, please call the National Ballot Committee at APFA Headquarters ext. 8311.

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