You have reached the APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, February 13, 2009. This is Frank Bastien, National Communications Coordinator.
On Tuesday, February 3, members of the APFA Negotiating Committee met with members of the Negotiating Committee from the Allied Pilots Association. During the meeting, the two teams discussed areas of common interests, mediation and the direction of our respective unions during the course of those mediations. Both APFA and APA believe that continuing dialogue between our two committees will be critical in the upcoming months.
On Wednesday, February 4, your APFA Negotiating Team conducted internal meetings at APFA Headquarters. Three days of mediated talks were scheduled this week, in Washington, DC.
The latest Negotiating Team Scheduling Opinion Survey is now available through a link on the main page of the APFA website. Following the instructions on the Survey page, members will need to login through the Member Services screen, which will also permit reviewing of your current address and email information on file and submission of updates if necessary.
The survey will remain open through March 5. Please remember you may always send your thoughts, comments and questions about issues that concern you directly to the Negotiating Team. Use their email address at: email@example.com or complete the online contact form ìTell Your Team What You Wantî from the Negotiations page at: www.www.apfa.org.
VOLUNTEER TO FLY (VTF) TEST ONGOING
We are midway through the trial of the Volunteer to Fly (VTF) program being tested at the bases of DFW, IDF, DCA and DCA-I. The data gathered from the 60-day test 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 the Negotiations page and view, download or print the VTF documents linked to at the very top of the page.
OPEN REPLACEMENT LINES
As bids for the contractual month of March open on February 16, Flight Attendants at many bases may notice an increase in Open Replacement lines, especially for the next few months. Those who are unaccustomed to Availability flying and Open Replacement schedules may wish to familiarize themselves with the pre-plotting, self-plotting and trip trading procedures. This is particularly important for those bidding Open Replacement lines in order to minimize flying while maintaining the monthly guarantee. The Scheduling and Contract Reps-on-Duty can answer questions you may have and are available during regular business hours at headquarters (817.540.0108) extensions 8161 and 8171.
US 1549 CREW SPEAKS OUT
The Pilots and Flight Attendants from US Airways flight 1549 have been featured in a number of interviews and television appearances this past week, beginning with an interview on 60 Minutes, Sunday, February 8. The crew of five related their personal accounts of the flight’s events, from the initial and crippling bird strike to the spectacular landing on the Hudson River to the successful evacuation of all 150 passengers. No one watching these accounts by these five highly trained professionals could help but feel a sense of pride in our profession and elation over the successful outcome. In the hours and days immediately following the accident, a noticeable lack of acknowledgment was paid to the Flight Attendants and their invaluable contribution. The three on board US Airways flight 1549 have now had the chance to bring to light their undeniable courage and vital roles in this heroic story. One would be hard-pressed to find three finer representatives of our profession.
Keep in mind that there are 1,177 of our members currently on furlough and awaiting recall to the line.
Check out the Wings Foundation website for ways you can help this worthy organization provide aid to our members in need. Go to: www.wingsfoundation.com.
And thank you for calling the APFA HotLine.
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OFFICE HOLIDAY CLOSURE
The APFA Headquarters office will be closed on Monday, February 16, in observance of the President’s Day holiday. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, February 17. 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.
CO 3407 CRASH NEAR BUFFALO
Late Thursday night it was reported that a twin-engine turboprop operated by a Continental Airlines regional affiliate crashed about five miles from the Buffalo airport while on approach. Continental flight 3407, a Bombardier Q400, aircraft was en route from Newark when it struck a house at approximately 10:20pm, about five minutes before scheduled landing and without apparent warning or report of trouble. Further details Friday indicate that all onboard, 45 passengers and four crew, along with at least one person on the ground perished. The knowledge that this is the first fatal commercial airliner crash in the U.S. in two and a half years does little to lessen its impact on the family and friends of those lost. Our hearts go out to those affected by this tragic event.
VACATION BIDDING BEGINS
Bidding for the 2009/2010 vacations begins February 13. Here is the timeline (all times are central):
— Primary round bidding opens 1700, February 13
— Primary round bidding closes 0800, March 9
— Primary round results posted (in HI10) by 1700, March 14
— Secondary round bidding opens 1700, March 15
— Secondary round bidding closes 0800, March 23
— Secondary round results posted (in HI10) by 1700, March 30
If you have questions on vacation bidding, please contact an APFA Contract Rep-on-Duty at headquarters extension 8171.
APFA ANNUAL CONVENTION AND BANQUET
As mentioned in previous HotLines, the APFA Annual Convention will be held this year in Boston, at the Westin Copley Place, from March 5 – 8. The evening of the 5th, beginning at 6:30pm, will be APFA’s 16th Annual Awards and Recognition Banquet. Funded by donations and event ticket sales, this year’s banquet will feature the first presentation of the Cindy Horan Humanitarian Award (see the Fall/Winter 2008 SKYWORD) and Honorary APFA Memberships bestowed on longtime APFA legal advocates Vicky L. Barker and Victor Thuesen. Advance reservations and payment for the banquet are required as no tickets will be sold at the door. Reservations and payment must be received by February 26. For more information, contact the APFA Secretary’s office via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Annual Convention is an important event on the APFA calendar, setting the course of our Organization for the coming fiscal year. Contact your Base Chair – who is your voice on the Board of Directors – to learn more about this year’s convention and how you can take part and stay informed. Members in good standing who are based in Boston, those who live or may be in the area visiting or on layover, or those who are interested in seeing firsthand how decisions are made by your Union’s leaders are welcome to attend all open portions of the meeting.
BALLOTING FOR BASE REPRESENTATION
Flight Attendants based at IDF, IOR, JFK, LGA, RDU-I and STL should have by now received ballots for base representational elections. These ballots must be received in the designated P.O. Box by 9 a.m. Central time on February 26, 2009.
Members needing a duplicate ballot may request one by:
— completing the online Duplicate Ballot Request form on the Elections and Balloting page from the Departments menu on the APFA website; or
— calling the National Ballot Committee at 817.540.0108 extension 8311; or
— 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.
For answers to your specific questions on the election and balloting procedures, you may also contact the APFA National Ballot Committee.
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. If you have questions about your dues status, please contact the APFA Dues Department at 817.540.0108 extension 8154, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHECK YOUR BENEFITS DEDUCTIONS CAREFULLY
Based on calls from our members there has been a noticeable increase in the number of errors associated with benefits deductions, particularly when one takes a leave of absence. APFA encourages members to thoroughly review their ePays statements to ensure proper deductions are being taken from their paychecks. If you should notice an error please contact Human Resources. Live Chat is one of the best ways to communicate if you have questions or concerns. You can also reach Human Resources at 800.447.2000. After you have made contact with Human Resources – and if they have been unable to resolve the problem – please contact the APFA Health Department for assistance: 817.540.0108 ext. 8301, or email: email@example.com.
DUES WHILE ON LEAVE
The APFA Treasurer reminds those Flight Attendants currently on or who will be going out on an Overage Leave 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.