You have reached the APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, January 16, 2009. This is Frank Bastien, National Communications Coordinator.
LEAVE AWARDS AND VOLUNTARY FLIGHT ATTENDANT OPTIONS
Last week, the company announced the Personal Leave of Absences awarded in response to the proffer which closed on January 7. A list of the number of leaves awarded in the key and auxiliary blocks and the junior seniority number of the award holders is available through the Leaves/Partnerships link on the APFA website.
On January 14, additional voluntary options were announced for those Flight Attendants not currently on furlough. They consist of a new Travel Separation Program as well as Overage Leaves and Partnership Flying proffers. The company has advised their estimated overage is approximately 200 to 400 Flight Attendants. The Company has not made a specific furlough announcement. The exact overage will depend on final numbers for summer manning from Capacity Planning. Those interested need to submit a proffer ballot by 12:00 noon Central time on Monday, January 26, 2009. Links to the proffer ballots are on the Flight Service website, under the FS News tab. Those awarded a Personal Leave in January or currently on leave may proffer these new options.
The Travel Separation Program will permit unlimited D2 travel on American Airlines/American Eagle for a period of 5 or 10 years, following separation from the company. Separation is irrevocable, with no recall rights. Five years of travel is offered to those with five or more years – but less than ten – of company seniority. Ten years of travel is offered for those with ten or more years of company seniority.
Overage Leaves are being proffered in both key and auxiliary blocks. Those Flight Attendants who were awarded an earlier Personal Leave of Absence, and whose seniority would have qualified them for an Overage Leave, will have the overlapping portion of the leaves re-coded to Overage for the purposes of travel benefits and occupational seniority. You should only bid for options you are willing to accept as you cannot rescind an Overage Leave once it is awarded. However if you wish to maximize your likelihood of holding an Overage Leave you should bid all the key and auxiliary blocks you are willing to accept in the event your first choice is not available.
Please contact an APFA Contract Rep at headquarters extension 8171 with questions about the Travel Separation Program or Overage Leaves. Frequent Questions and Answers are also available on our website.
Those interested in forming a Partnership can use the Partnership Finder on the Leaves/Partnerships page of the APFA website to help find a suitable match, in the event Partnerships are awarded. Remember the actual ballot is through the Flight Service website.
Please contact an APFA Scheduling Rep at headquarters extension 8161 with questions about Partnership Flying. Frequent Questions and Answers are also available on our website.
HOLIDAY OFFICE CLOSURE
The APFA Headquarters office will be closed on Monday, January 19, in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, January 20. You may leave a message for the After-Hours Rep-on-Duty over the holiday, weekends or whenever the office is closed by calling 817.540.0108 and following the prompts.
Remember we still have 1,180 APFA members on furlough and awaiting recall.
Support the Wings Foundation at your base, whether through direct donation, payroll deduction, can recycling or any of the many fundraisers held around our system. The Wings Foundation is run by AA Flight Attendants, for AA Flight Attendants. Whether you want to donate or need their services, go to: www.wingsfoundation.com for the latest news and contact information for your base reps.
Thank you for calling the APFA HotLine.
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US AIRWAYS INCIDENT
By now, most everyone has seen the extraordinary photos and heard the reports of the emergency water landing of US Airways flight 1549, an Airbus A320 en route from LGA to CLT. The packed aircraft ditched into the Hudson River, shortly after takeoff on Thursday afternoon. Reports on what caused the accident are sketchy, but what is clear from the pictures as this event unfolded on live TV was the laudable action of the flight crew – in directing the plane to where it would cause the least harm and afford the passengers the best chance for escape, and the cabin crew ñ in successfully evacuating the passengers in a frigid, harsh environment. Outcomes like this do not happen by chance. They are evidence of trained safety professionals who act at a moment’s notice with only the safety of passengers and crew in mind. We can all only hope that if ever faced with such an event ourselves, that we may respond as well. We at APFA commend the professionalism of the Flight Attendants and Pilots of US Airways flight 1549.
The APFA Safety and Security Department reminds all Flight Attendants that January 15, 2009 marks the official start date of the Flight Attendant Cabin Aviation Safety Action Program (Cabin ASAP). You have received several communications, including a tri-fold brochure, with information regarding the program.
For many years APFA has worked very hard to develop this voluntary program and encourage approval by the FAA and American. Cabin ASAP is an excellent tool that our workforce will find extremely beneficial. It aims to provide a safer work environment and an opportunity for our Flight Attendants to disclose FAR violations or mistakes without the fear of being disciplined by the company or the FAA. An important additional benefit: Cabin ASAP will collect data that can be used to change procedures or address training issues.
Contrary to rumor and misinformation circulating, Cabin ASAP is in no way a “snitch” program. Co-workers cannot submit a report on a fellow employee. While Cabin ASAP involves “self” reporting when a possible safety violation may have been committed, Professional Standards remains the viable avenue to use to help resolve personal conflict among employees.
The ultimate goal of Cabin ASAP is for fellow Flight Attendants and Flight Service Managers to encourage those with knowledge of ñ or who are made aware of – a violation to submit a report to the program. All reports and information gathered by the Event Review Team (ERT) in the program are de-identified and strictly confidential. Flight Attendants submitting a Cabin ASAP report, if it meets criteria and is accepted into the program, would be protected from any company or FAA discipline.
We encourage you to read all information available and to take advantage of the benefits this program provides. Our ultimate goal is to improve safety and protect our members.
PAYFLEX AND LEAVE BENEFITS BILLING
The APFA Health Department reminds all Flight Attendants that there is a link to PayFlex on the Benefits page of Jetnet. Through this link you can access your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) records and confirm your Leave of Absence billing and payment record. It is recommended that you log in and verify the accuracy of your accounts.
If you have not received your benefits card in the mail or have been given a card for coverage other than what you selected, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave the information on headquarters extension 8301 or 8290. Be sure to make contact with HR first to open a case record for us to work with in resolving your issue.
For those who have the Standard Plan with Aetna, your card will show Choice Plus POSII on the right hand side of the card and under the Aetna logo it will say Standard Medical Plan. The Choice Plus POSII is your discount network should you decide to choose an in-network Doctor.
The Company advised all Flight Attendants via HI6 message that the preliminary 2008 Sick/Vacation Accrual process has been run and the results are available for reviewing. Please check your HISK/L entry in your personal mode in DECS to determine if any errors have been made. As the final accrual process will take place the end of business on January 20, you must contact the Flight Attendant Service Center prior to the end of business day of January 19 to alert them of discrepancies. Call the VIP-CREW system, press #, then option 2 then option 6.
Ballots for the contested positions in the 2009 APFA Base Representation elections will be mailed on 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.
You 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: email@example.com.
For answers to your specific questions on the election and balloting procedures, you may also contact the APFA National Ballot Committee via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling headquarters extension 8311.
Now that we are in the thick of the de-icing season, 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 ìACTî 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.