3.13.09 – (LAA) – Furlough, Company Announcements, Annual BOD Convention, Phone Tree Information, Negotiations Update, Scheduling Quick Quizzes, Secondary Round Vacation Bidding, Care Management Rollout, Note to Reserves with Volunteer to Fly (VTF) Assign

You have reached the APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, March 13, 2009. This is Frank Bastien, National Communications Coordinator.


Topping APFA news this week was the announcement by Flight Service that, despite attempts at mitigating through voluntary means all of the manning overage that the company had detailed on February 25, the potential 410 Flight Attendant furloughs were not fully absorbed and, regrettably, 323 of our members will be furloughed effective April 1. A total of 82 full-year Overage Leaves were awarded (18 were 12-month leave requests and the remainder were requests for auxiliary blocks which were then combined into 12-month length awards.) Five Partnerships were formed. Through the Overage Leaves and the Partnerships, 87 potential furloughs — just over a quarter of the total — were avoided. Your APFA leadership continues its work to see all furloughed members returned to active flying status — be they among those just announced or the 1,176 currently awaiting recall.


The company has made news in other ways of late. Among recent media reports of a 9% capacity cut for American in 2009, which appear to be merely a restatement of the already announced or already scheduled reductions this year compared to last, American’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Horton couldn’t resist a dig at organized labor at a recent investor conference in New York. Responding to questions regarding the 2003 concessions made by American’s workers to save AMR from bankruptcy, and our rightful expectations that the company would be true to its pleas for shared sacrifice, Horton was quoted by the Associated Press as saying: “The tougher the situation gets in the industry, the more untenable’ the unions’ demands become.

Never mind the boorishness of such a statement while in the midst of delivering pink slips to 323 Flight Attendants whose mere desire to work could somehow be characterized as an ëuntenable demand,” APFA President Laura Glading suggested in response: “Mr. Horton might want to ask American executives to walk away from their massive bonuses as the situation in the industry becomes tougher”. Also his comment about American’s negotiations with its unions is surprising. [First] regarding Flight Attendants, American, on its own website has consistently described our negotiations as constructive. Second, we have not exchanged any economic proposals with the Company; so Mr. Horton’s comment about their being untenable” is simply unfounded.


The APFA Board of Directors completed its four-day 2009 Annual Convention on Sunday evening, March 8 in Boston. The process of reviewing and approving the budget for the fiscal year beginning April 1, which had started on Friday the 6th, continued the next day and into Sunday morning. Your Union’s leaders, facing declining revenues amidst a shrinking work force, coupled with increased costs during intensifying negotiations, took decisive steps to focus APFA’s resources on contract talks and to shore up the funding needed in our battle for a new working agreement.

Recognizing the increased financial hardship faced by our membership, the Board rescinded Resolution 8 passed in October which called for a dues increase referendum. An examination of costs on both the base and national levels was undertaken with an eye to reducing, sometimes eliminating, services — on a temporary basis where possible — while concentrating on the most vital of them, and while also taking advantage of lower cost alternatives in delivering to our members the resources they need. Some of these actions will be explained more fully in the next issue of SKYWORD magazine, now being finalized. The minutes of the Board Convention and copies of the resolutions will be posted to the Events/Meetings section of APFA.org once approved. Website login is required to access.

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APFA is gearing up the Phone Tree! Soon you may be receiving a call from an APFA InfoRep to verify your phone numbers, your email address and to find out how you get your Union and Negotiations information. As talks proceed, we must be ready to mobilize and get the word out. An accurate Phone Tree is a vital part. If you receive a call, please take the few minutes necessary to share your updated contact information.


The APFA and the company Negotiating Teams reconvened for mediated talks in Atlanta this week. Remember that you may contact the APFA team directly with your comments and questions by emailing: negotiate08@apfa.org or by using the web form through the link “Tell Your Team What You Want” on the negotiations page of APFA.org. Go to: index.php?&view=category&id=351. Website login is required to use the web form.


Test your Contract IQ by taking one of the latest APFA Quick Quizzes. With both Domestic and International versions, the quizzes focus on some very common Scheduling questions and scenarios. Have your On-Duty Contract Guide (ODCG) handy to find the answers. The link to the quizzes is on the APFA.org main page.


Have you put in for an International base proffer? Remember that proffer preferences are purged twice a year from your 3* record in your personal mode. Any preferences entered prior to 1200 central on March 2 were deleted in the recent winter purge. If you are still interested in an International base proffer, be sure to update your 3* record accordingly and as necessary. Instructions are found on the Flight Service website: go to the Crew Resources link, then International Proffer under the Crew Planning Quick Links heading.


Secondary round bidding for the 2009/2010 vacations opens at 1700 central, 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.


With the advent of 2009, AA’s new Care Management program, “Healthmatters,” will be available to all employees and their families. This program is compliant with governmental patient privacy regulations (HIPAA) and is completely optional. All employees will receive a phone call as a way of introducing them to the programs that are available. Some examples of the programs include: an online health risk assessment, lifestyle management programs such as weight management and smoking cessation, maternity management, assistance for employees who are dealing with chronic or complex conditions, and a nurse line for health related questions and concerns. More information about this program is available on the Benefits page of Jetnet.


For those Reserve Flight Attendants who received a VTF assignment under the test program (whether an actual sequence or the 4-hour minimum), the additional pay will not be reflected on your HI1 as “above the guarantee.” However, as long as the sequence flown is coded “RU,” or the 4-hour minimum VTF pay (if applicable) is indicated, the correct pay calculation should take place. (Please note that when the 4-hour minimum applies, it may take up to a week to be reflected on your HI1). As with other incentive pay, the VTF hours above Reserve guarantee will be paid in the final paycheck of the subsequent month. Please check your ePays statement carefully if you are due this payment.


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: dues@apfa.org . Or call headquarters extension 8154.

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