APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, September 11, 2009.
- 9-11 eight years later: We will never forget. (click here)
- APFA pin? Check! Yellow disk? Check! OUR TURN Around Campaign continues.
- STL Vice Chairperson ballots to be mailed soon. (details below or click here)
- Important notes for those on or starting a leave of absence. (details below)
EIGHTH ANNIVERSARY OF 9-11
Today marks the eighth anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The four commandeered flights American 11 and 77, United 93 and 175 have become indelible symbols of all the changes wrought since that Tuesday morning in 2001. No one sees the changes more clearly than those in this industry for whom daily reminders abound. Besides the personal loss experienced by so many of us who knew someone taken in the attacks, what is there about your work day and your work place today that has not been directly affected by the events and their aftermath? We shall never forget the first victims of 9-11ñour colleagues, friends and family as we strive to rebuild our lives so profoundly altered eight years ago. (click here)
MEDIATED TALKS AND “OUR TURN” AROUND CAMPAIGN CONTINUE
Last week, in Washington, DC, your APFA Negotiating Team met with the company, along with Senior Mediator Zach Jones. Discussions continued over the economic items of the Collective Bargaining Agreement that still remain open. Both sides will return to the bargaining table for mediated talks on September 16 in Dallas.
By now everyone should have received and should be wearing the yellow GOT UNION disk behind their APFA pin. If you have not received your disk, contact the membership department at: email@example.com or headquarters extension 8153. OUR TURN Around Campaign is an important element in getting the message out to management and the traveling public that after nearly a year and a half of bargaining, it is time for results. Read the Summer 2009 Skyword Online article: “Our Mobilization Will Maximize” for full details. Go to: index.php?&view=category&id=35 or click here.
While AA management has shown how little they value us with their most recent proposals, it is imperative that everyone participate in the disk campaign. Complacency is not an option and it plays directly into the company’s designs to wear us down through their foot-dragging and crying poor. Stay educated on what’s happening. Follow industry news headlines from a link on APFA’s main page. Recent upgrades in airline stocks by JP Morgan, our own 401(k) administrator, join other long-awaited signs of positive trends in an industry now seeing continued low fuel prices and evidence of stability in the general economy. The upgrade news only echoes reports by analysts to our Union’s leaders in visits to Wall Street financiers. Said President Laura Glading in a recent interview: “They have money to refurbish. They have money to expand and to buy new china for the airplanes. Now it is truly OUR TURN.”
The Negotiations page of APFA.org has a Point-Counterpoint review of the Company’s proposals thus far. Go to: index.php?&view=category&id=351 (website login required). When on the page, be sure you add your name to the APFA Virtual Picket Line to show your support. While you fly your trips let your name and personal message “march” online. You may also go directly to the site at: APFAvirtualpicket.com. Send this link to your friends and family and have them join, too.
TAKE ACTION: CONTACT YOUR SENATORS AND HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD
Membership action doesn’t stop at Pins and Wings. The very public debates over Health Care Reform may dominate the airwaves, but there are other issues being discussed in Congress of extreme importance to Flight Attendants. The push is on to complete the long-awaited corrections to the Family Leave and Medical Act to include crewmembers (S.1422) and to see an FAA Reauthorization packed with Flight Attendant-friendly provisions (S.1451). Both Senate bills are loaded into APFA’s Capwiz account so members can send emails with just a few clicks online. If you haven’t already done so, go to the site today and make your voice heard. There is no easier way. Go to: capwiz.com/apfa (or for S.1422: click here – for S.1451: click here)
STL VICE CHAIRPERSON ELECTION
On Wednesday, September 9, 2009, the Willingness-to-Serve Notifications for the Vice Chair position at St. Louis were collected. Four members in good standing submitted Willingness-to-Serves: Gregory Bertolini, Miles Gauntt, Karen Marshall and Nena Martin. Ballots will be mailed out to all members based at St. Louis on September 22, 2009 and must be received in the designated P.O. Box by 10:00 AM Central Time, October 22, 2009. The election will commence immediately thereafter in the Unity Pays room at APFA Headquarters. Any member in good standing is welcome to observe the election process. Questions may be directed to the APFA National Ballot Committee at 817.540.0108, ext. 8311 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTES FOR THOSE ON OR ABOUT TO START A LEAVE OF ABSENCE
Retroactive COBRA Subsidy: We have received many calls from Flight Attendants who took Overage Leaves that began after 9/1/2008 and elected to continue their medical and dental benefits at 100% of the cost, asking whether they will eligible for the ARRA* subsidy on a retroactive basis. While you will be eligible for the subsidy, the company is still working through the details and it may take couple more weeks to determine the exact process. Once that has been determined each affected Flight Attendant will be receiving correspondence from Human Resources. We will also update this hotline with more information once the final information becomes available. (*ARRA: the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009)
Uniform Ordering: You cannot order uniform items while on a leave. Since uniform points expire at the end of each year and do not roll over to the next year, you would need to place an order for uniform items prior to the start of your leave.
Dues Obligations: The APFA Treasurer reminds those Flight Attendants currently on, or soon going out on, a voluntary Overage Leave of Absence 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: email@example.com. Or call headquarters extension 8154.
CHECK YOUR HISK FOR ACCRUAL TARGETS
The National Contract Coordinator reminds everyone that now is the time to review your HISK to ensure you are on track to accrue your Sick and Vacation time for 2009. Remember you must be paid an average of 35 hours per active month in order to actually accrue your sick and vacation time for the year. If you do not meet your threshold (420 hours for Flight Attendants that are active all 12 months of the year) you will not accrue any sick or vacation for the year. Each year several hundred Flight Attendants miss their threshold and end up with no vacation. Or worse, they end up in an overpayment for PVDs they used in 2009 which were never actually accrued. If you are falling short of your threshold, now is the time to start planning to ensure you will have enough hours prior to December 31.
INFORMATION ON HOTEL TRANSPORTATION NEEDED
Do you lay over at LAX? The Hotel Department needs details from all crewmembers laying over at the short LAX airport hotel who experience delays caused by transportation problems to and from the hotel. If you experience delays, please email the Hotel Department with your flight number, the date, how long you waited and note whether there was either a separate crew van or if you shared one with other hotel guests. Send the information to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hard facts are vital to getting the issues resolved.
HELP US BUILD OUR CASE OVER DEPOSIT ISSUES
Are you receiving erroneous missing deposit alerts or having OSR problems? In conjunction with APFAís Presidential Grievance, details are required from all Flight Attendants who have experienced issues with missing liquor deposits, missing deposit notifications, OSRs, and liquor safe deposits. Please forward this information to the Vice President’s department at: email@example.com. Include all pertinent details, plus your contact information. If you have received a missing deposit notification, email your Flight Service Manager and ask for a written follow up on the status of the missing envelope. Forward copies of your correspondence, along with management’s response, to APFA Vice President’s department at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact your Division Representative if you have any questions.
Documentation is an important factor in any grievance or dispute with the company. Read about it in the Vice President’s Report: “Help Us Make Your Case” in the Summer 2009 Skyword Online. Go to: index.php?&view=category&id=35 or click here
REVIEW OF LHR SECURITY CLEARANCE PROCEDURES
The Allied Pilots Association at American (APA) has created a slide presentation of procedures in currently in place at LHR Crew Screening stations. This has also been posted to the crew security site of Jetnet. The Safety and Security page at APFA.org has a link to the very informative presentation recommended for all members flying to LHR. (click here ñ login required) Your Jetnet login will be required when navigating to the link.
UPCOMING EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
The Second Quarter 2009 APFA Executive Committee meeting will be held on Monday and Tuesday, September 14 and 15 (beginning 0930), in the Unity Pays room at APFA Headquarters. (click here for map) All members in good standing are invited to attend open portions of the meeting.
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Remember that there are now 1,252 members on furlough and awaiting recall.
Visit the new and updated Wings Foundation website to learn about this organization formed by and operated for the benefit of AA Flight Attendants. Find out how to contact Wings representatives at your base for volunteering, donating or seeking confidential assistance. Wings works through the generosity of Flight Attendants around our system. Go to: wingsfoundation.com for more information.