APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, November 6, 2009.
- APFA Board of Directors proposes Constitutional changes, member balloting
- OUR TURN Around begins November 18 with picketing/leafleting
- 10-day bargaining “lockdown” set for January. Time for a deal now!
- “Let’s Talk …” email/letter from the Company. Reply: “My Negotiating Team speaks for me!”
- Email your Congressional representatives now to support healthcare reform with a public option (click here)
- NMB introduces balloting fairness in new rule proposal
FALL 2009 BOARD OF DIRECTOR’S MEETING BRINGS CONSTITUTIONAL PROPOSALS
Two full days of APFA business conducted by the 18 Base Chairs comprising the voting Board of Directors, plus the four National Officers, concluded late on Wednesday, November 4. The Board took a number of decisive actions intended to move the APFA forward as an organization and to take our membership a step closer to achieving our goal of a new and improved working agreement.
Constitutional changes endorsed by the Board are to be brought to APFA members in a referendum consisting of five proposals concerned with: voting methods, the make-up of future negotiating committees, membership status when transferring to non-Flight Attendant positions, monthly dues amount and dues payment obligations.
Complete text of the changes and precise details will be sent to every member, but here is a general recap:
Modernizing our voting methods and streamlining the ballot committee is behind the proposal in Resolution 4 which will bring electronic voting to our membership, such as that used by many unions across our industry. The resulting efficiencies and cost savings will also permit reducing the number of members of the National Ballot Committee, a factor included in the proposal.
Resolution 5 proposes a new, more efficient structure of future APFA Negotiating Committees – setting seven as the number of negotiators on the Team. Future teams would be headed by the APFA President with six team members – evenly split among the two divisions: two appointed by the President, two by the Board of Directors and two elected by the membership.
Under the proposed Constitutional changes of Resolution 6, those members taking a paid position at American outside of the Flight Attendant class and craft will lose their APFA membership and its rights and privileges. Member eligibility will be restored upon returning to a Flight Attendant position following re-initiation policies and procedures.
Resolutions 7 and 8 contain proposals setting the amount of monthly dues and redefining dues payment obligations. Under number 7, the amount of monthly dues will be set at an amount equal to the hourly Domestic pay at step 12, though not less than $42. Resolution 8 will expand the dues obligation to all Flight Attendants in an unpaid status, for any reason.
Finally, Resolution 9 directs the balloting of the membership for individual approval of each of the five proposals in Resolutions 4 through 8, no later than December 31, 2009. Within the single referendum ballot, each proposed change will be voted on separately. Again, this is just a brief overview of the endorsed changes to the APFA Constitution; more information will be provided so that members can make an informed choice. The actual Board Meeting resolutions will be posted on the Events/Meetings page (under Members’ Resources) of APFA.org once completed. Website login is required to view.
Following updates by Team members, and at the request of the Negotiating Committee, the APFA Board of Directors also passed Resolution 12, authorizing a strike authorization ballot to be sent to members no sooner than January 22, 2010 and dependent on the outcome of the meditated, ìlockdownî bargaining session with American to begin on January 10 and run through at least January 21. After lengthy preparation and poring over the numbers and cost-out analyses, your APFA Team is intent on achieving our goal of improvements to pay, work rules and benefits. This ìlockdownî meeting is key as we meet with the company to hammer out the vital remaining issues, including the all-important topic of pay.
As the company continues to avoid the big pay issues, it is – not unexpectedly – putting its best two faces forward and spreading its spin on the state of talks with direct commentary to our members. While we’ve been waiting for a response to our comprehensive proposal of April 24, management has spent its time composing a newsletter to Flight Attendants, one largely absent of anything our members can take to the bank. It’s as if they are surprised that – following over six years of concessions, and still watching over $1 million per day flow to American from our sacrifices – we would seek to secure our futures and improve our pay and working conditions in a new agreement.
When the company says: “Let’s Talk” tell them “My Negotiating Team speaks for me!” Include these very words in your reply to their Jetmail message. Should one of their “Let’s Talk …” missives appear in your mail box, write “Return to Sender” on their propaganda and drop it on your Flight Service Manager’s desk. It’s not like you can use it to pay your mortgage, after all.
BE THERE ON NOVEMBER 18 – WEAR YOUR WALKING SHOES
Your APFA Team speaks loud and clear for you at the bargaining table. Make your own voice heard in our membership action at every base city. OUR TURN Around begins on November 18óthe anniversary of our 1993 strike – with picketing and leafleting from 11 A.M. to 2 P.M. Contact your Base Chair or Vice Chair to get the details of where to meet and let them know you are willing, able and ready to show you have sacrificed your standard of living to American long enough. If you aren’t flying, you need to be there.
Read the Negotiations Update pamphlet mailed to your home or online. Be sure you are armed with the facts and with your GOT UNION / GOT GUTS yellow and red disk for your union pin. Wear only your APFA pin – with the yellow GOT UNION side of the disk behind it – and your Flight Attendant wings on your uniform. Now is the time to clearly show that we stand together and behind our Negotiating Team and our Union. Request a replacement for your pin and/or disk through the Membership Department by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or calling headquarters extension 8153.
While online, if your name is not yet on the APFA Virtual Picket line, add it today. Go to: apfavirtualpicket.com
Share the APFA YouTube channel with your friends and family. Our several short videos describe our needs, our wants and our struggle. Visit: youtube.com/aaflightattendants
HEALTHCARE PUBLIC OPTION? YES! TAX ON HEALTHCARE BENEFITS? NO!
Both houses of the U.S. Congress continue to fine tune major healthcare reform legislation. A public option aimed at containing the soaring, national healthcare costs remains at the forefront of the debate. Such a provision can go far in controlling the increases which have outpaced inflation for years and further eroded our pay. If you are in favor of a healthcare public option to control costs, we have a quick and easy way to let Washington know you support this provision: to say yes to a public option and no to taxation of healthcare benefits.
A letter has been placed on our Capwiz site which you can send to your Representatives and Senators with just a few mouse clicks. Go to capwiz.com/apfa and send your emails today.
NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD AIMS TO MAKE UNIONIZING EASIER
The National Mediation Board has proposed a rule change which would make organizing employees in the transportation industry easier and more democratic, aligning it with procedures already in place in other industries which fall under the National Labor Relations Act. Currently, any ballot not returned in a representational election is counted as a “no” vote, requiring 50% plus 1 of all covered employees to vote “yes” in order to unionize. It presumes a failure to vote is an automatic “no” instead of an abstention on the part of the employee or another reason for not voting, such as lost ballots or other inability to vote. Under the proposed NMB improvement, 50% plus 1 of only those returning ballots will be required to form a union. You won’t find it surprising to learn that labor leaders support this change while groups representing airline management oppose it. Stay tuned as this progresses through the rule-making process and as work groups in the combined Delta/Northwest seek to have a voice in their career futures through union representational ballots.
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Remember that there are currently 1,415 members on furlough and awaiting recall.
Visit the links under the heading “APFA Supports” on the main page of APFA.org, including:
Join your fellow Flight Attendants in donating, or contributing your time and efforts toward these worthy causes.