APFA weekly HotLine update for August 1, 2008
As announced in a Special News Update on July 29, the recent Overage Leave proffer, along with the VBRs awarded the previous week, have fully absorbed the Flight Attendant manning overage projected for the fall. Therefore, none of our members will be furloughed effective August 31.
A total of 753 overage leaves of varying lengths from 3-months to a full-year – were awarded. Flight Attendants awarded a leave may verify the effective dates in their HI10. Due to the significant impact of the Voluntary Bridge to Retirement and the strong demand for Overage Leaves, many Flight Attendants were not granted their first choice for Overage Leave. Others were not able to hold any Overage Leave. No Partnership Flying requests were awarded as the entire overage projected for August 31 was offset by the VBR and the leaves. A breakdown of awarded leaves by base is posted on the Reduction in Force page of the APFA website.
APFA is extremely pleased at the results of these voluntary means to mitigate the manning overage. Our members showed such an outpouring of interest in one or more of the voluntary options and, through their choices, whether to retire early or take a leave of absence made real our collective goal of “not one Flight Attendant furloughed.” To those who took the VBR, many after a long and distinguished career as on-board safety professionals, we offer a fond farewell and wish them a smooth transition into their next life chapter, whether it be a new career or full retirement. We remind them, along with those taking leaves of absence, that our reps remain available to answer questions which may arise between now and the effective dates of their VBR or Overage Leave, and beyond.
A tremendous turnout of members greeted the APFA Negotiating Team in ten Mobilize to Maximize road shows held at every base between July 8 and July 29. During the frequently standing-room-only meetings, President Laura Glading, our legal and economic advisers, and members of the Negotiating Team presented reports on the state of our Union, the airline industry and negotiations with American. Flight Attendants who attended freely expressed their concerns about their profession and work life in often lively Question-and-Answer periods. Team members are now compiling some of the most common questions raised, as well as a general report on the meetings, which will appear in the upcoming issue of SKYWORD magazine. When complete, the Questions-and-Answers, the reports and videos from the road shows will be available on the APFA website. As explained in the meetings, the team will use the ideas and comments by participants as they prepare for the next round of bargaining with American, now set to resume on September 11 in the DFW area. Your regular comments to the team are always welcome as membership participation remains vital for a successful outcome of these talks. Please email the team at email@example.com, or go to the Negotiations page of the APFA website and click on the link ìTell your Team What You Want.î
Flight Attendants based in Chicago Domestic and JFK have just several days remaining to return ballots for vice-chair elections currently being held in the two bases. Review the candidate information mailed to you and available on the ORD and JFK base pages and cast an informed vote before the deadline at 10am central time on August 11. If you did not receive a ballot, or need a duplicate, please call the National Ballot Committee at headquarters extension 8311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With all the discussion the past few weeks over VBRs and leaves, letís not forget that we still have 1,188 Flight Attendants on furlough and awaiting recall. We look forward to the day when they can all rejoin us on the line.
Online APFA HotLine Extra
As announced in an earlier HotLine message, the Company is rolling out a new attendance policy effective August 1. By now you should have received a copy from Flight Service in your mailbox, or downloaded it from the Flight Service website. As a reminder, the attendance policy is NOT incorporated into the contract and management is making these changes unilaterally. We will be closely monitoring how the new policy affects our Flight Attendants.
One question which has come into the Contract Department concerns any changes in Family Leave in light of the new attendance policy. Simply put, there will be no changes to AA’s Family Leave Policy or the FMLA as a result of the new system-wide attendance policy.
On the topic of Family Leave, if your Senators are not yet co-sponsors of Senate Bill 2059, the Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act, please call their offices today to urge their support.
Senate Bill 2059, the “Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act,” if enacted, would correct the injustice imposed on Flight Attendants nationwide by various courts’ strict interpretation of the 1250 hours worked requirement under the Family Medical Leave Act. Although the Act was originally intended to cover airline crewmembers, this interpretation has placed the benefits of the Act beyond the reach of most full-time crewmembers. Introduced by Senator Hillary Clinton (D, NY), the bill has 33 co-sponsors:
- Sen. Daniel Akaka [D, HI]
- Sen. Christopher Bond [R, MO]
- Sen. Barbara Boxer [D, CA]
- Sen. Sherrod Brown [D, OH]
- Sen. Robert Byrd [D, WV]
- Sen. Maria Cantwell [D, WA]
- Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D, MD]
- Sen. Thomas Carper [D, DE]
- Sen. Robert Casey [D, PA]
- Sen. Norm Coleman [R, MN]
- Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME]
- Sen. Christopher Dodd [D, CT]
- Sen. Richard Durbin [D, IL]
- Sen. Russell Feingold [D, WI]
- Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D, CA]
- Sen. Thomas Harkin [D, IA]
- Sen. Edward Kennedy [D, MA]
- Sen. John Kerry [D, MA]
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar [D, MN]
- Sen. Frank Lautenberg [D, NJ]
- Sen. Joseph Lieberman [I, CT]
- Sen. Robert Menendez [D, NJ]
- Sen. Barbara Mikulski [D, MD]
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski [R, AK]
- Sen. Patty Murray [D, WA]
- Sen. Barack Obama [D, IL]
- Sen. John Rockefeller [D, WV]
- Sen. Charles Schumer [D, NY]
- Sen. Gordon Smith [R, OR]
- Sen. Arlen Specter [R, PA]
- Sen. Jon Tester [D, MT]
- Sen. Jim Webb [D, VA]
- Sen. Ron Wyden [D, OR]
To contact your Senators and urge their support of bill S.2059, phone the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.
To email your Senators directly through their individual web sites, go to the following link:
Select the site for your Senators and urge their support for this vital bill today!