8.22.08 – (LAA) – Scheduling and Reserve Hotline in Production, Negotiations Page Updated, United Airlines will Reduce Staffing,Spanair Crash

You have reached the APFA weekly HotLine update for August 22, 2008. This is Frank Bastien, National Communications Coordinator.

The Negotiations page of the APFA website is updated with a discussion of another Hot Topic. This time it’s “Trip Parking, the moving of a trip off a Flight Attendant’s schedule in order to become eligible for Make Up flying. Click on the Mobilize to Maximize logo on the website main page to go right to the latest Negotiations updates. Check the page regularly for news from your Negotiating Team, now preparing for the resumption of talks with American in early September. Your questions and comments are welcome via your emails to: negotiate08@apfa.org.

A Scheduling Survey put together by the Negotiating Team is in final preparation and will be released shortly. Watch for an email announcing when it becomes available through a link on the APFA website. The survey will be accessible only online so advise your colleagues to be sure they have established their ability to logon to the secure portion of www.www.apfa.org.

The FAA last week proposed a fine of $7.1 million against American for alleged lapses in aircraft maintenance, as well as unspecified issues surrounding inspection of aircraft exit lighting and alcohol and drug testing procedures. Americanís officials had no comment on the charges, except to say that they felt they were unfounded. American has a perfect right to appeal the FAA fines, and, as employees of the carrier, dependent upon the safe operation of the fleet, we hope the airline is vindicated and its actions are proven to be correct in the end. We, and the flying public, demand no less.

United Airlines has announced that it will further reduce staffing on many of its flights to FAA minimums. The carrier also will reportedly eliminate meals in its economy cabin on flights between Washington Dulles and Europe and instead offer Buy-on-Board products for up to $9 beginning October 1. As United’s Flight Attendants, represented by the AFA-CWA, grapple with these changes, we share the sentiment of their Union officials who, in a communication to members, reiterate that “…safety is at the forefront…” of a Flight Attendant’s duties, even if “…management is not willing to provide the necessary resources to ensure service for passengers.”

Our hearts go out to the friends, families and loved ones of those who perished in the crash Wednesday the 19th of an MD-82 flown by Spanish carrier Spanair during takeoff from the Madrid International Airport. The flight was bound for the vacation destination of the Canary Islands. Reports from the Spanish government indicated there were 19 survivors among the 166 passengers and six crew members. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Be sure to check the online and emailed versions of this HotLine for important reminders for Flight Attendants based at LGA, SFO-I or DCA-I regarding Chair and/or Vice Chair Willingness-to-Serve notifications. There are also important notices for California based Flight Attendants regarding changes in the Workerís Comp Certified Medical Provider Network, and an announcement of Contract and Scheduling training classes available for those based in BOS.

Those leaving us soon on their Voluntary Bridge to Retirement should check out the reminders from the Contract Department concerning their Stock Options and those going on an Overage Leave of Absence should check the advice on uniform ordering.

APFA’s Treasurer includes reminders about dues obligations for those retiring or taking an overage leave.

Go to www.wingsfoundation.com, to see how you can help this organization run by our own Flight Attendants. Meantime, remember that we have 1,188 members still on furlough and awaiting recall, and thank-you for calling the APFA HotLine.

—– online and email HotLine extras —–

The plaintiffs in what is known as the ìMarcouxî case have filed an appeal of the decision announced in the July 25 HotLine in which the presiding judge granted APFAís motion for a summary judgment in the case. This action was not unexpected and APFA remains confident that as the appeal works its way through the judicial system, the decision of Judge Gershon will stand.

Members based in LGA, SFO-I and DCA-I should have by now received their Willingness-to-Serve notifications for Chairperson positions at SFO-I and DCA-I and Vice Chairperson at LGA, SFO-I and DCA-I. Those interested in serving in one of these functions have until 10 a.m. central September 2 to return their Willingness-to-Serve for the positions at LGA or SFO-I, and until 10 a.m. central September 4 for the positions at DCA-I. If you have not received your Willingness-to-Serve, please send an email to: ballot@apfa.org or call headquarters extension 8311.

Flight Attendants living and based in California should check their mail closely for information regarding a change in the Workerís Comp Certified Medical Provider Network, effective September 8. If you have a pre-designated physician, or wish to pre-designate your personal treating physician to treat you for any work injuries, pay especially close attention. This must be done in writing before you are injured and you are required to complete the pre-designation form included in the mailing. Please contact the APFA IOD Representative at headquarters extension 8303, or email: iod@apfa.org, if you have any questions.

If you are based in Boston, the Boston Domestic and International base representatives will be holding a one-day Contract and Scheduling Training class on both September 8 and 9 from 9am to 5pm. Space is limited so please reserve your spot by September 1 to chbos@apfa.org or chbosi@apfa.org. Include the day you would like to attend and type the word ìtrainingî as the subject.

The Contract Department wants to remind Flight Attendants who are leaving the Company at the end of August via the Voluntary Bridge that you must exercise any unexercised stock options within 90 days of your separation date or they will be forfeited. This is true even if you plan to immediately retire following the VBR.

If you are considering other options to leave the company, keep the following in mind: if you simply resign from the Company, your unexercised options will be forfeited effective with the date of your resignation. If you plan to take Article 30 or normal Article 36 retirement (without the VBR) you have until 2013 to exercise any unexercised stock options.

Note that there is more than one way to exercise your options. In addition to the Cashless for Cash option there are other exercise options available such as purchasing the shares. Please refer to the Broad Based Stock Plan information under the Pay section of Jetnet to review all your options. You may want to review these options and any tax implications with a financial planner so you can make the best decision based on your individual circumstances.

For those Flight Attendants who will be going on an Overage Leave, please remember that you cannot order uniform items while you are on the Overage Leave. This is particularly important for those who will be taking the 8-month and 12‑month leaves as your last opportunity to use 2008 points is prior to August 31, 2008. Since you will not be active for the remainder of the calendar year, any remaining points will expire. If you have any current uniform needs, be sure to place an order as soon as possible but no later than August 30.

APFAís Treasurer advises those retiring to be sure you settle any dues balance owed prior to thirty (30) days after retirement to prevent your account being turned over to a collections agency.

If you are going on an Overage Leave, remember that you remain dues obligated during the leave. Once you return from your leave, if you have not prepaid your dues or paid monthly throughout your leave, you will have sixty (60) days to set up a payment plan for the dues accrued and owed. This payment plan must result in payment of your dues accrued during the leave in a time period no longer than twice the length of your leave. It is easier to prepay your dues upfront, or to leave a credit card on file for monthly billing. You will still receive a monthly statement.

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