You have reached the APFA weekly HotLine update for September 26, 2008. This is Frank Bastien, National Communications Coordinator.
The talk in Washington and around the nation this week centered on a possible taxpayer bailout of the U.S. financial industry. An important part of any proposal, and one that has been suggested by players on both sides of the political aisle, is a limit on CEO compensation for those companies receiving federal funds, meaning our tax dollars. As APFA President Laura Glading commented, “We at American know all too well the cycle of money grabbing that shows up whenever the corporate bosses have a chance to skim off the top. Applying a cap to the salary of CEOs of bailed out financial institutions is a fine start. But we would like to see it expanded to include any CEO of any corporation that accepts federal bailout money to have his/her compensation capped until said company is financially viable and the hardships imposed on its employees in terms of lost jobs and wages are made right.“
The APFA Negotiating Team, currently involved in face-to-face talks with American management over a new contract, has extended the deadline for submitting responses to the Scheduling and Reserve Survey through Friday, October 3. This weekend, 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. So far, well over 300 Flight Attendants have updated their email addresses this way. If you know Flight Attendants who have not yet taken the survey or received an invitation, encourage them to go to the APFA website now and to become a part of this important process. Also, be 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.
Today, September 26, begins the last five days of the contractual month of September. Flight Attendants who experience an Illegality or Cancellation during this period should review page 23 of the On Duty Contract Guide to determine if the Last Five Days of the Month Cancellation/Illegality Protection applies in their case and, if so, the precise steps to follow. (Text reprinted at end of the emailed and online version of this HotLine.) Contact an APFA Scheduling Rep on Duty at headquarters extension 8161 if you have any questions.
Flight Attendant retirement seminars will take place during October at LGA and JFK. The LGA seminar is on Tuesday, October 21 and starts at 3pm in the 3rd floor conference room, hangar 3. The JFK seminar will be held Wednesday, October 22 in the 4th floor conference center, over by pilot operations, beginning at 1pm.
There is some good news to report in the airline employment arena. Our sisters and brothers working for United, members of the AFA-CWA, completely covered their expected manning overage of 1,550 Flight Attendants through voluntary means. We are glad they were successful, as were we, in preserving the jobs of those who might otherwise have found themselves unemployed at this difficult time. It reminds us that here at American, though we absorbed our overages through several voluntary measures, there are still 1,184 of our members on furlough and awaiting recall.
Check out the online and emailed versions of this HotLine for additional news and reminders for our members. Visit the Wings Foundation website at www.wingsfoundation.com to find activities at your base and the many ways you can help your colleagues in need.
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.
If you are based at LGA and have not yet received your ballot, request a duplicate by calling the National Ballot Committee at headquarters extension 8311 or by emailing: email@example.com . In accordance with the APFA Policy Manual, if both an original and duplicate ballot are received, only the duplicate will be counted. Duplicate ballots will be issued, upon request, up to five (5) days prior to the ballot due date.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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: ìYour 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.î In a national press release announcing the endorsement, President Glading declared ìOn every issue important to Flight Attendants Ö 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.î 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.
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from the On Duty Contract Guide
LAST FIVE (5) DAYS OF THE MONTH
1. Pay protection and obligation limited to contractual month in which
the sequence was scheduled to originate.
2. Applies only at origination of Flight Attendantís last trip of the
month, including Make-Up, Option II and Optional Exchange.
3. Last trip of the month must originate in last five days of the month.
4. If Flight Attendant is at or above guarantee and wants to protect
her/his hours, s/he must:
a. Place her/his name on the make-up list for all days originally
scheduled to fly, including the eight (8) hour period after the
scheduled termination of the trip sequence lost or until midnight
of the last day of the contractual month.
b. Accept any trip offered that that originates up to eight (8) hours
after the scheduled termination of the trip sequence lost. Flight
Attendant must be legal and available for assignment.
1) If not offered such a trip on make-up, s/he is pay protected
for lost time.
2) If offered and actually flies a trip worth less than trip lost,
s/he is pay protected for the greater time.
5. If Flight Attendant is at or below guarantee:
a. No further obligation.
b. Only guarantee is protected.