Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

7.10.09 – (LAA) – Pins and Wings Campaign, Proffers for Furlough Mitigation, Airline Deregulation, Retirement Seminars at DFW

APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, July 10.

QUICK ALERTS

  • Pins and Wings campaign is in full swing! Management is watching. Are you in compliance?
  • Proffers for Furlough Mitigation options now open.
  • Demos Report – “Flying Blind: Airline Deregulation, 30 Years Later”. Read details and follow links to report and press release below.
  • Retirement Seminars at DFW, July 17 and 20. Read below for details.

NEED A REPLACEMENT APFA PIN FOR YOUR UNIFORM?

The APFA Membership Department has responded to hundreds of requests for replacement APFA pins as members heed the message of the Negotiating Team to show our unity and don only their APFA Pin and Wings on their uniform. Management is watching for signs of disunity in our ranks and our actions do have an impact. As APFA President Laura Glading stated in the Membership Outreach Meetings at every base city throughout June: “If you are not in compliance with Pins and Wings, you are not helping our effort. If you are not helping our effort, you are hurting it.” Show clearly that you support your APFA Negotiating Team in our fight for a new contract with improved pay, work rules and benefits. If you need a replacement pin, email: member@apfa.org. Have an extra pin? Offer it to a colleague needing it and encourage everyone to stand together and show our unity.

POSTCARD MAILING TO ALL ACTIVE FLIGHT ATTENDANTS

The APFA Contract and Scheduling Departments are responding to increased calls and emails regarding the Voluntary Options to mitigate the potential furlough of our members. Reps have compiled a one-page, easy to review table of the options available. (download here) Additionally, a postcard is being mailed to each active Flight Attendant to make sure everyone has the facts and can consider the options available. Please share the information with anyone expressing interest in taking time off or reducing their flying. Their election of one of these options may save a fellow member’s job.

The proffers for Overage Leaves of Absence and for the Modified Partnership Flying (Part Time) are open now and will close at 10am (1000) central on Friday, July 31. Some attractive features were included in the leave offerings, including some additional fall blocks for October and/or November with positive reserve rotation implications for those taking them. The Modified Partnership Flying for October to December will follow our former Part-Time flying provisions and will not involve line-sharing with a partner. Please review the information on the Reduction in Force page of APFA.org and the Flight Service website. Our APFA Reps-on-Duty are available to assist you in understanding what the options mean and how they can work for you. Call 817.540.0108 ext. 8161 or 8171 or email a rep through the contact link at APFA.org.

TRAVEL SEPARATION PROGRAM

A Travel Separation Program is being offered to eligible Flight Attendants in addition to the Overage Leaves and Modified Partnership Flying. Eligible Flight Attendants on the recall list will also be offered a Travel Separation and an individual invitation letter to these Flight Attendants will be mailed by the company next week. For active Flight Attendants, the deadline for electing the Travel Separation is 11pm (2300) on Thursday, July 30. For Flight Attendants on the recall list, there is a separate election window opening next week. Check your letter once received for the opening and closing dates. The dates will also be included in future HotLines once confirmed.

THOSE SUBJECT TO FURLOUGH MAY PROFFER

Those among the 1200 subject to furlough may proffer an Overage Leave and/or Modified Partnership Flying. As in the past, the number of proffers to be awarded to these Flight Attendants will be based on the number of Leaves, Modified Partnership Flying and Travel Separation Packages to those not originally subject to the furlough.

LEAVE/PARTNERSHIP PROFFER NUMBERS-TO-DATE

We have been asked by many members if the numbers-to-date of those submitting ballots for Leaves or Modified Partnerships, or electing Travel Separation, are available. Understandably, those whose jobs may be affected are concerned.

The proffers and elections are handled by the company and the raw numbers are not made available to APFA. At this time it would be very misleading to quote the number of ballots received and for a variety of reasons:

  • the eligibility of the member to be awarded the requested leave, partnership or travel separation
  • the need to combine AUX leave blocks to form KEY blocks
  • the processing of ballots for those originally on the list of 1,200 now eligible because of awards to those not on the list
  • the awarding of Partnerships (Part-Time) when some ballots only indicate one A or B portion is acceptable
  • the ability to rescind the ballot before the closing date

The final number of full leaves and partnerships cannot be known until the processing is complete a few days after the balloting closes. Rest assured, APFA always reviews the final results to ensure the maximum number of requests are awarded. Please be patient. If you receive an unofficial number of proffers from a member of management, consider these aspects before making any sort of judgment.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WHILE ON OVERAGE LEAVE

Many Flight Attendants have asked if it is possible to collect unemployment while on an Overage Leave, or whether the likelihood of collecting unemployment would increase if the leaves were termed “Voluntary Furlough.” While laws regarding unemployment vary greatly from one state to another, they tend to be consistent in basing eligibility on the purpose of the leave rather than the name of the leave.

Some states focus on the issue of whether you are on a leave solely for the purpose of preventing someone else from being furloughed and-in these cases-have ultimately granted unemployment insurance. California, Illinois and Massachusetts are examples of states that tend to take this view.

Other states focus on whether there was work specifically available for you and whether you voluntarily choose not to do that work. In these states, unemployment is generally not granted. Texas is one example of a state which takes this view.

Any Flight Attendant can file for unemployment if they take an Overage Leave. However, AA has stated they will contest the claim. If they were to contest the claim, you have the ability to appeal in most states. It is in the appeal process that Flight Attendants are sometimes able to prevail on getting unemployment while on an Overage Leave.

Be sure the state understands the reason for the leave is to prevent someone else from being involuntarily furloughed. If you have any specific experience regarding unemployment claims while on an Overage Leave, please forward the details to the APFA Contract Department at contract@apfa.org.

AIRLINE DEREGULATION – 30 YEARS LATER

No one understands the effects of Airline Deregulation more acutely than those – like our members – who work on the front lines within the industry. In this era of unfettered freedoms by corporate executives to act in ways ultimately harmful to workers and the public, much talk has ensued over ideas of reregulation – whether in the banking and energy sectors or the airlines. APFA, along with the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA), approached Demos, a non-partisan policy research and advocacy organization, to discuss the effects of and possible cures for airline deregulation. Demos (www.demos.org) prepared a study of the airline industry and on June 24 published “Flying Blind – Airline Deregulation Reconsidered”. The last section of the report (downloadable here) contains a number of policy recommendations for regulatory reform. Most notably, Demos recommends that a federal task force be created to examine the industryís problems and propose solutions. Immediately following the issuance of the report APFA and AFA began an intense legislative effort to ensure that Congress creates such a task force. Click here to read the press release, issued jointly by APFA President Laura Glading and AFA-CWA President Pat Friend.

NEGOTIATING TEAM PREPARES TO RETURN TO TALKS

Your APFA Negotiating Team is preparing to return to bargaining talks and face American management in two full-week mediated sessions beginning July 20 in Dallas and July 27 in Washington, DC. Support your Team not just through shows of unity such as Pins and Wings, but by spreading facts and quashing rumors. The Negotiations Rumor Control page (login required) dispels some recent gossip surrounding Trip Trade Services, Incentive Pay and Article 10 – Reserve. You can communicate with your Team at their email address: negotiate08@apfa.org, or click on the link “Tell Your Team What You Want” on the Negotiations page.

WEBSITE REDESIGN

APFA.org has a new look which went live on Thursday, July 9. One of the most important changes is that the login screen is relocated to the right hand side of the main page. Though most menu items remain unchanged, several now appear under new graphic links and many are regrouped under newly named topics. As we move forward with the new design, items may shift around as we find the most convenient spot for the news and information our members seek out most. Special thanks goes to our Webmaster/Graphic Designer Darren Glenn and Systems Administrator Michael Thompson for their artistic and technical expertise in implementing a design concept by IOR Flight Attendant Alex Rodriguez.

DALLAS/FT WORTH RETIREMENT SEMINARS

On July 17 and July 20, Flight Attendant Retirement Seminars will be held at DFW. The July 17 sessions are at 1pm and 3pm; the July 20 sessions are at 10am and 2pm. All sessions are held in the Yandry Center across from gate C2, DFW terminal C. Flight Attendants from all bases are welcome to attend. No reservations are required. Representatives from both APFA (Patrick Hancock and Jackie Phillips) and AA will be present. Discussions include pension selections and retirement benefits, including insurance and travel. To get the most out of these helpful seminars, print out and bring your personal pension estimate and plan calculation formulas from Jetnet.
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Remember that there are 1,258 members now on furlough and awaiting recall.

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