Today is Friday, February 29, 2008, this is APFA President Tommie Hutto-Blake.
I want to foremost offer my congratulations to the Glading team who will assume APFA National Office on April 1st. Laura, Brett, Denise and Juan are professionals who are ready from day one to take on the many collective challenges on behalf the AA FAs and the APFA membership.
I also want to acknowledge the hard work of all of the candidates who stepped up to the plate during this most recent APFA election cycle. Campaigning is challenging work and this election was a hard fought battle – but now our battle is with our employer. The present theme of the APFA Negotiating Committee, a diverse committee who represents all of the different voices within our union, is “membership solidarity, leadership solidarity and labor solidarity both on AA’s property and within the airline industry.”
Without labor solidarity the most effective leadership will have an impossible task. It is time for all of us to show management that we will be engaged in this chapter of collective bargaining. This week, I officially noticed AA management, that in accordance with the Railway Labor Act – the labor law that governs the process that will produce our next APFA Contract – APFA is presently ready to begin the negotiations process. Now it is time for all of us to turn together and face our employer with a firm solidarity of purpose.
As a reminder, in order to amend our contract the first leg is an official 60 day notice prior to the amendable date of our current 2001 Contract, as amended in 2003. Thus, on Wednesday morning of this week a verbal notice to management was given that it is APFA’s intent to begin the formal Section 6 negotiations process effective immediately. The parties will also exchange formal written Section 6 notices by weeks’ end.
Next week your APFA Negotiating Team, with the assistance of the Research Center of the University of North Texas (UNT), will continue to review the findings of the recent APFA Membership Contract Survey. From the survey results your team will develop the formal APFA Contract Proposals to be exchanged with management in early spring. Thus, your committee will be creating the APFA proposals from our memberships’ objectives regarding wages, work rules and benefits. The results of the membersí contract survey will be the road map to a successful outcome of this round of bargaining. Our intent is to ultimately have a contract that you will endorse by your ratification vote at the conclusion of the collective bargaining process.
I want to thank the thousands of APFA members who participated in this recent contract survey. I now ask each of you to show your support for this next round of bargaining with your employer by turning your union pin jacket to show solidarity. Encourage your flying partners to do the same. If you need a solidarity pin jacket please call or email APFA headquarters. Again, this is each of our responsibility ñ to show our solidarity of purpose ñ it is finally our turn and we have the new leadership to lead the charge!
I will close today by assuring our membership that it is the current focus of the outgoing administration to have the smoothest transition possible during the month of March. Our officers elect will be working with their counterparts here at Union Headquarters during March before they assume their official duties on April 1st. Laura, who will be leading our APFA Negotiating Committee effective April 1, 2008, will be working with our team as we move toward scheduling the first stages of active bargaining.
It is an exciting and challenging time for APFA. We are the first FA Union representing a major carrier to enter active bargaining since our industry returned to profitability and all the other FA Unions are both rooting for APFA and depending on us to be successful. Together we will do just that!
This is Leslie Mayo with the general APFA Hotline for Friday February 29, 2008.
As Tommie indicated in this week’s President’s message, on March 1st, the Negotiating Team has asked us to turn our pin jackets over to the Solidarity side. If you need a pin jacket, email email@example.com.
From the Safety & Security Dept: There has been a good deal of media coverage surrounding a recent passenger death on one of AAís flights. Every year APFA members save the lives of passengers by putting into practice the emergency procedures we are trained in year over year along with the emergency equipment provided on board. We are very proud of the Flight Attendants who provided medical assistance to the passenger on this flight and fully support the efforts they extended to try to save a life. Without a doubt, these crew members, along with the help of a medical professional who was traveling as a passenger that day, performed their duties as we are all trained to do. APFA thanks each of you for your efforts.
From the APFA Retirement Department: Regardless of your seniority or age, every FA should be preparing for retirement. Two DFW retirement sessions are scheduled for March 10th beginning at 0900 and again at 1300 in the Yandry Center by Gate C2. APFA’s retirement specialist Jena Hopkins will be available to answer questions on maximizing your pension, retiree medical insurance, travel, life insurance and 401(k) info. Be sure to download and print your pension estimate from Jetnet for the seminar. For additional questions, you may call the retirement department at 817-540-0108, ext 8490.
From the Contract Department: if you experience de-icing at the gate, review your HI3 to ensure you are properly paid for this time. Article 8.J.2.b. of our contract states that we are paid when de-icing occurs at the gate. If you notice that you are not being paid for this time, request the cockpit to file for the time or ensure it is coded as de-icing. If they do not file for the time or you are not paid, please notify the Contract Department with the specific details.There have been cases where the pilots have not filed for this time and FAs have gone unpaid. This may be due to the fact that the APA contract does not have an express provision that provides for flight pay when de-icing occurs at the gate.
APFA is actively monitoring the impact of the Docking Guidance System (DGS) installed at 11 gates in MIA for the accurate recording of block times and the resulting pay associated with this automated device. If your arrival city is Miami, ask the cockpit crew if you will be arriving at a gate equipped with a DGS. If so, request the actual block time from the cockpit (when they set the brakes) and compare it with the DGS. If the DGS records earlier than actual block time, contact APFA’s Contract Department at firstname.lastname@example.org with all details of the flight.
From the Scheduling Department: If your last scheduled trip of the month cancels at origination during the last five days of the month, you are eligible for pay protection. You must add yourself to the MU list for the entire obligation period (displayed in the HI1 header) and you must make yourself available to fly. Because carry-over time is not protected, you do not have to accept a carry-over trip. Please refer to page 23 of the On-Duty Contract Guide or Article 9.P.6 of the CBA.
For those FAs affected by pilot cancellations who were above guarantee and have since been unable to makeup the lost time, please contact your Flight Service supervisor by March 5th to request substituting PVDs for pay. Review the letter related to pilot cancellations on the Scheduling Page of www.apfa.org for details.
From the Health Department: We are entering spring weather season and this is the time when the Health/IOD department receives numerous calls concerning injuries. If you should receive an injury due to rough air/turbulence, there are a few things you need to do:
1. Notify the Captain immediately.
2. File an Accident /IOD report with your supervisor or MOD.
3. File an AMR Event Report within 24 hours located on the Flt. Service website.
4. Call 1-800-348-9598 for a PPN doctor referral.
5. Contact your Base/Vice Chair or you may contact the IOD Rep at 1-800-395-APFA ext. 8303.
We still have 1,198 furloughed members awaiting recall.
Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.