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1.09.09 – (LAA) – Negotiating Team Prepares for Mediated Talks, VTF Test Program to Gather Data, Base Representational Elections, TSA Challenges, Turbulence Injury Procedures, Dues Status for Voting, De-Icing Pay, Bio Info on Mediator Ernie Dubester

You have reached the APFA weekly HotLine update for January 9, 2009. This is Frank Bastien, National Communications Coordinator.


APFA’s Negotiating Team met this week at APFA Headquarters to prepare for the resumption of contract talks with American. APFA and AA had jointly filed for mediation on December 19, 2008. Subsequently, Mediator Ernie DuBester was assigned by the National Mediation Board. Said APFA President Laura Glading of Mr. DuBester’s appointment: “We are pleased that the Board has responded so quickly to our request and that our negotiations with American can move forward with minimal delay under the guidance of a seasoned mediation specialist. Our Team is now working diligently to prepare for meetings with Mr. DuBester. We are ready to resume substantive work and to reach an agreement with American that meets our membershipís need for scheduling and work-life improvements, and financial well-being and security.”

See the emailed and online version of this HotLine for more information on our appointed mediator taken from the National Mediation Board website.

Your APFA Team is scheduled to meet with Mediator DuBester this month. Meantime, check the Negotiations page of the APFA website for the latest updates from your Team. Email them with your ideas and comments at: or use the link ìTell Your Team What You Wantî from the Negotiations page. Website login is required.


Your Team gathers data from many sources in the course of their internal discussions and preparation work. The sixty-day test of the Volunteer to Fly (VTF) program, beginning January 15 at the bases of DFW, IDF, DCA and DCA-I, will allow your Team to examine its potential impact on both reserve numbers and the ability to earn extra pay for Line Holders and Reserves alike. Important information on the program for Flight Attendants at the test bases is available through the APFA website. Go to index.php?&view=category&id=351 and view, download or print the VTF documents linked to at the very top of the page.


On Wednesday, January 7, the National Ballot Committee collected the Notices of Willingness-to-Serve for the positions of Chair, Vice Chair and Operation Council Member at all bases from the designated post office box. The results – those representatives duly elected and the candidates for contested positions – are posted on the Elections page of APFA website. Go to Departments, then Elections. Website login is required.

Check the emailed and online versions of this HotLine, or the Elections page on the website, for balloting information, including how you can ensure you are dues current and have your vote counted.


Did you know that there is a daily summary of PVD awards available in DECS? Each afternoon, after PVD awards are granted for the following day, an RF file is updated indicating the number of PVDs granted, and the seniority number of the most junior Flight Attendant awarded at each base, broken down into one-, two-, three- and four-day trips. As time permits, these reports are copied into a summary by month and made available on the Scheduling Department page of the APFA web site for viewing. Website login is required. Each report also contains details on how you can access the daily reports directly in DECS.

Please keep in mind the 1,180 of your fellow APFA members still on furlough and waiting to rejoin their colleagues on the line.

The Wings Foundation works year round to help your fellow Flight Attendants in need. Resolve this year to assist the Wings Foundation at your base. Go to for more information on how you can help.

Thank you for calling the APFA HotLine.

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The APFA Safety and Security Department reminds Flight Attendants of a recent HI6 message regarding security challenges in the terminal and on aircraft. In case you missed it, we are reprinting it here:

The TSA continues to test airport and air carrier security programs by attempting to gain unauthorized access to AA aircraft and other restricted areas while eluding challenge by AA employees to test airport and air carrier security. Always challenge individuals attempting to access an aircraft or secure area for proper ID. If operating the EGR, watch for persons trying to pass by without presenting a boarding card.

Remain alert for persons attempting to board during deplaning and always ask to see a customer’s boarding pass if they wish to deplane after boarding. Verify name, flight, seat number and advise them to take carry-on items with them. Tell them to see an agent prior to re-boarding and remember to inform the agent that they have deplaned.


The APFA Health Department issues the following reminder concerning injuries. If you should receive an injury due to rough air/turbulence, these are the steps you need to follow:

1 — Notify the Captain immediately.
2 — File an Accident /IOD report with your supervisor or the MOD.
3 — File an AMR Event Report, located on the Flight Service website, within 24 hours.
4 — Call 800.348.9598 for a PPN doctor referral.
5 — Contact your Base Chair or Vice Chair. Or you may contact the IOD Rep at 817.540.0108 ext. 8303.


The APFA National Ballot committee reminds all members that ballots for the contested positions in the 2009 APFA Base Representation elections will be mailed January 27, 2009. Each APFA member may vote for the Representatives of the base at which the member is based the day ballots are mailed to the membership.

Ballots must be received in the designated P.O. Box by 9 a.m. Central time on February 26, 2009. The ballot count will commence immediately at a location to be announced. The newly elected Representatives will assume office on April 1, 2009, for a two-year term of office ending March 31, 2011.

Each APFA member must be a member in good standing (dues current or on an official APFA payment plan) no later than five (5) days prior to the election in order to be deemed eligible to vote. Payment plans must be executed at least thirty (30) days prior to the balloting date for the member to be deemed eligible to vote for their Base Representatives. If you have questions about your dues status, or need to arrange a payment plan, please contact the APFA Dues Department at 817.540.0108 extension 8154, or email:

For answers to your specific questions on the election and balloting procedures, you may also contact the APFA National Ballot Committee via email to: or by calling headquarters extension 8311.


Especially with the snowy weather hitting large parts of the country, Members need to be vigilant and ensure that they are being properly paid per Article 8.J.2.b. of our Contract. This provision provides that Flight Attendants will be paid flight time pay and credit when de-icing is performed at the gate. Some cockpit crews will file for this time while others will not due to the lack of similar language in their agreement. On any flight where you have experienced de-icing at the gate, check the HI3 for the sequence and look for the code ìDEIî and the time paid at the end of the “ACT” entry for that flight. If your cockpit crew does not file for the de-icing time at the gate, please use HICLAIM to file for this time. Use the remarks section of the form to indicate that the reason for the claim is de-icing at the gate. If you experience any problems in receiving proper pay, please contact either the Contract Department at APFA headquarters extension 8171 or Scheduling Department at extension 8161. Or email APFA through the contact link on the APFA website.


(taken from

Ernie DuBester rejoined the National Mediation Board in July of 2005 as a Mediator. From 1993-2001, he had served as Chairman and Member of the NMB. In that capacity, he mediated dozens of collective bargaining disputes in the airline and railroad industries. He also worked individually and jointly with fellow board members to introduce and promote innovative approaches to dispute resolution, including the creation of an alternative dispute resolution program that includes training, facilitation, grievance mediation, and interest-based bargaining.

Immediately before rejoining the NMB, Ernie worked as a Mediator and Arbitrator and as a Professor and Director of the Dispute Resolution Program at George Mason University School of Law from 2001 to July of 2005. At GMU, he taught a variety of dispute resolution courses including Mediation, Negotiation, and ADR. Ernie received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, his law degree from the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America, and his Masters of Law in Labor Law from the Georgetown University Law Center.

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