You have reached the APFA weekly HotLine update for September 19, 2008. This is Frank Bastien, National Communications Coordinator.
In a resolution passed September 15 during the second quarterly meeting of 2008, the APFA Executive Committee unanimously endorsed Illinois Senator Barack Obama for U.S. President in the upcoming national elections. In a letter to the Senator, President Laura Glading stated: “Your work as a community activist, Illinois State Senator and U.S. Senator has demonstrated your commitment and support of the issues that are critical to the economic prosperity of workers and working families.” In a national press release announcing the endorsement, President Glading declared “On every issue important to Flight Attendants, Senator Obama has been in our corner. From protecting health and safety in the workplace to fighting for U.S. jobs to preserving Medicare and Social Security and advocating a fair and just tax policy for working families, Senator Obama is on our side.” You will find a link to the Obama endorsement press release on the APFA website main page.
Deadlines for registering to vote in the fall elections are fast approaching. If you have moved since you last voted, be sure you have completed the registration necessary to participate in this election, one of utmost importance to all union members. Deadlines vary by state. Call or visit the website of your local election board, or go online to any number of informational websites. One recommended site is www.longdistancevoter.org linked to from our main page. This site can not only provide you with registration information but can assist you in applying for an absentee ballot in the event you may be away from your polling place on November 4.
The APFA Negotiating Team’s Scheduling and Reserve Survey is available to complete via email invitation through September 29. As your team continues talks with the Company, member input is needed on the scheduling and reserve issues most raised by Flight Attendants and included in the survey. This weekend and next, a reminder email invitation will be sent out to those Flight Attendants who have not yet responded. If you did not receive an invitation, we may not have your correct email address. Go online to www.www.apfa.org, click on the survey tab and complete the link request form. This will ensure we have your current email address in our database. Make sure your email software is accepting email from email@example.com by entering this address into your email address book. Especially if you use AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo!, ensure your invitation is not being filtered into a spam or junk email folder.
The Allied Pilots Association, representing our pilots at American, has claimed a breach in the Scope clause in their contract with American in regards to the joint business agreement proposed between American, British Airways and Iberia. The Union has accordingly filed a Presidential Grievance for expedited arbitration. Meantime, American has cancelled its planned furlough of 200 pilots claiming a surge in retirements 147 since August 1.
Did you know that the Wings Foundation can provide assistance to AA Flight Attendants affected by the recent storms in the gulf coast? Many Flight Attendants live in the regions hit hard by the recent hurricanes. Perhaps your home has been damaged or destroyed, or you know of a Flight Attendant in this situation. Go to www.wingsfoundation.com to find your local base Wings contact information. Disaster relief funds come from the cans you recycle each day in flight. Please keep this in mind before your throw empty cans in the trash on flights where recycling is in effect.
Check out the online and emailed versions of this HotLine for additional news and reminders for our members.
Remember that there are still 1,184 of our members on furlough and awaiting recall.
And thank you for calling the APFA HotLine.
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Ballots for the Vice Chair election were mailed on September 16 to members based at LGA. They must be received in the designated Post Office Box no later than 10:00 AM central time on October 15, 2008. The Chairperson of the National Ballot Committee reminds members of Article VI, Section 4.D of the APFA Constitution which reads: ìAny active member in bad standing must arrange to become an active member in good standing not later than the close of business on the fifth (5th) day prior to the time limit for the return of ballots (the Balloting Date) of any election or referendum.î Contact the Dues Department at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or headquarters extension 8154 to make any necessary arrangements.
The APFA Health Coordinator strongly advises all Flight Attendants to carefully review information regarding their 2009 Health Benefits enrollment arriving in the mail and available on the benefits section of Jetnet. Enrollment for 2009 opens October 1 and runs through October 31. Unlike in prior years, the company has contracted with additional plan administrators. Depending on your plan and your address, you may see a change to your default administrator. Additionally, the Point-of-Service plan (POS) permits you to choose another of the three administrators at an additional cost. If you are accustomed to allowing your choices to carry-over from the previous year without going online to complete your elections, you may find yourself with a new plan administrator for 2009. Donít be caught unaware. Review the benefits information and make an informed choice. Email the Health Department at: email@example.com if you have questions.
Another reminder goes to those who opt out of benefits coverage. Although you may have opted out for the current year, you are required to opt out again for each year if you choose not to have AA benefits. The opt-out choice does not automatically carry over if you fail to complete the online opt-out process.
From the APFA Contract Department, it is that time of the year to ensure you are on track to accrue your Vacation and Sick for 2008. If you are a low-time flyer be sure you have enough paid hours to reach the 420-hour threshold (or your applicable threshold if you are not active all 12 months) by December 31st. If you do not meet your threshold for the calendar year, you will not accrue any vacation or sick. This is particularly important if you have used PVDs as you will be in an overpayment situation if you ultimately fail to accrue vacation.
You can determine whether or not you are on track to accrue by reviewing your HISK in DECS. The lower section summarizes your Sick and Vacation accrual. Hours that count toward meeting your threshold on a year-to-date basis are listed as Total Full Time Paid Hours (TTL FT PD HOURS). Every year, a few Flight Attendants miss earning their vacation and sick time by falling only a few hours or even minutes short of their threshold for the year. A few extra trips could make all the difference in accruing all or none of your Vacation and Sick. For more information, please review the Contract Departmentís Fall 2005 Skyword Article for details. Copies of Skyword are available for download online at www.www.apfa.org from the year 2000 to the present.
With many Flight Attendants recently retiring or beginning Leaves of Absence, please be aware of the following information concerning travel service charges. If you are a retiree or a Flight Attendant who is either off payroll or do not fly enough hours to generate pay to cover travel service charges, you will pay travel charges through invoice rather than payroll deduction. You can check your Travel History on Jetnet to determine if you have any outstanding travel service charges. The travel history will also show whether or not an invoice has been sent for the charges. This information is located under the Charge Date column. Failure to pay within 30 days of the invoice date will result in the suspension of your travel privileges, as well as a $25 reinstatement fee. In the event you will be away from home for an extended period of time or have not received a bill you can remit payment to the following address in order to eliminate any possible interruption to your travel benefits:
NRSA Dept. MD 765
7645 E. 63rd St.
Tulsa, OK 74133
Be sure to include your employee number on your check. We have requested that the Company provide an easier method to pay travel service charges. While they are working towards an on-line solution, it will be some time before that option is available.
Based on discussions between APFA and Crew Planning the Domestic transfer list was purged on September 11. This is being done to reduce, if not eliminate, the number of Flight Attendants who are offered a preliminary transfer or mutual who do not end up accepting the transfer. If you do desire to be considered for a Domestic Transfer or Domestic Mutual Transfer you must re-enter your preference. The next round of Domestic Transfers will be a mutual transfer effective December 2, 2008. Transfer preferences must be updated in your *3 by 0830 Central Time on November 3, 2008. In order to help your fellow Flight Attendant ñ at a time when transfer activity is once again expected to be minimal ñ please do not enter a request that you are unwilling to accept. If you do add your name to the transfer list, please remove it as soon as your plans change and you are no longer interested in accepting the transfer.
The annual Language Drop Proffer is currently open and will close at 0900 Central Time on Wednesday, October 1, 2008. The proffer ballot is located under Quick Links on the home page of the Flight Service website. Information concerning the Language Drop Proffer can be found in Appendix S.18., of the Contract.
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.
Make your arrangements via email to the Dues Department at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call headquarters extension 8154.