Hello, this is APFA National Communications Coordinator, Jeff Pharr, with the weekly Hotline Update for Friday, October 8, 2010.
**ATTENTION HOTLINE RECIPIENTS**
Beginning with next week’s Hotline, we will transition to our new server. If you are an APFA member, please go to https://members.www.apfa.org and update your e-mail address. That database will be used to send the hotline once the transition is complete. E-mail addresses from this current hotline list will not transfer to the new database.
Members of the Press and other non-APFA members, a form will be added to the APFA.org website beginning next week. You will need to resubmit your request via that form to continue receiving the hotline.
A date has been set for the APFA Negotiating Table Team to meet with the National Mediation Board (NMB). The meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 in Washington, DC. Updates will be reported via this Hotline as they become available.
APFA BOARD OF DIRECTORS FALL MEETING
The APFA Board of Directors will hold their fall board meeting in the DFW area at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Grapevine, TX. The meeting will begin on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 09:00 in the Preston Trail Room. All members in good standing are welcome and encouraged to attend.
2401 Bass Pro Drive
Grapevine, TX, 76051
Wednesday of this week, American announced the recall of up to 545 Flight Attendants and 250 Pilots. The Flight Attendant recalls will be accomplished in two phases. Approximately 225 of the most senior Flight Attendants on the recall list will be mailed recall letters on or about October 15, 2010. The deadline to accept recall for this group will be Monday, October 25, 2010. There is no option to defer or by-pass the recall. This first group will report to base on December 17, 2010.
Base assignments for those returning in December will be LGA, with the exception of any qualified FR speakers who will be based at MIA-D.
American expects to send the remaining recall letters to the next most senior group of approximately 320 Flight Attendants by the end of the year. This group will report to base sometime in the first quarter of 2011.
A ‘Preliminary Recall Information’ document has been posted on the Flight Attendant Recall page of APFA.org. A Q&A document is currently being prepared and will be posted on this page along with any additional information as it becomes available.
APFA President Laura Glading commented on the announcement, ìWe are extremely pleased with the recall of 545 Flight Attendants. It has been a long and difficult struggle for these furloughed Flight Attendants and we are thrilled that they will be back on the job. APFA has worked tirelessly in urging American management to recall all furloughed Flight Attendants.
With the expansion announcement also being made this morning in conjunction with the official start of the joint business agreement with British Airways and Iberia, the beefing up of key hubs, and the imminent approval of the alliance with Japan Airlines, the future for American Airlines is bright.
APFA will continue to work with American until each and every one of the remaining furloughed Flight Attendants is back to work.î
In response to the recall announcement, American will clear the transfer list to LGA on October 15, 2010 at 08:30CT for an effective date of December 2, 2010.
The company will be processing regular transfers into DFW-D and MIA-D with an effective date of December 2, 2010. Flight Attendants interested in transferring to these bases must update their 3* record no later than 08:30CT on October 15, 2010. The transfer list will be captured at that time.
In addition, those Flight Attendants with requests currently in their 3* and no longer desire to transfer to either DFW, LGA or MIA, should update their preferences by 08:30CT on October 15, 2010.
JBA BEGINS TO PAY OFF
AA also announced on Wednesday an expansion in conjunction with the official start of the Joint Business Agreement (JBA) with British Airways and Iberia. This resulted in two new routes for American, JFK-Budapest and IOR-Helsinki. And two additional flights, JFK-Barcelona and MIA-Madrid. British Airways will begin LHR-San Diego and Iberia will be flying Madrid-LAX.
Later that day, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced their tentative approval of the antitrust immunity application filed by American and Japan Airlines in February. American’s press release stated in part, “By this action, the DOT has moved another step closer to granting antitrust immunity to the two airlines as allowed under a provision of the Open Skies agreement initialed by the United States and Japan last December. Open Skies allows new service between the U.S. and Tokyo International Airport at Haneda (HND). American will begin daily flights between New Yorkís John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Haneda on Jan. 20, 2011, while Japan Airlines will commence daily flights between Haneda and San Francisco (SFO) as well as Honolulu (HNL) starting Oct. 31, 2010.”
Then on Thursday, AA received DOT approval to fly daily between LAX and Shanghai beginning April 5, 2011.
A week full of great news. American is finally beginning to make the turn toward growth and profitability. Now it’s time to make a progressive turn at the bargaining table. Rest assured, your Negotiating Team will reiterate this to the NMB during our meeting this month. American rejected our last proposal and the only alternative, which would make AA seriously reconsider it position, is a 30-day cooling off period. We need to be released and let the Railway Labor Act progress as it was intended.
ATTENTION LOW-TIME FLYERS
Don’t miss out on the ability to accrue Vacation and Sick time for 2010.
Every year, several Flight Attendants do not accrue vacation or sick time as they miss their 420 (or applicable) threshold by just a few hours or even minutes. In some cases, low-time flyers using PVDs resulted in an overpayment status.
This situation can be avoided by reviewing your HISK to ensure you are on track to accrue Vacation and Sick for the year.
In your personal mode, type HISK <enter>. The bottom of the HISK has a year-to-date summary of the hours you’ve been paid (TTL FT PAID HOURS). Most Flight Attendants will have a threshold (ELIGIBILITY HOURS) of 420 hours if they are active all 12 months of the year. The threshold will be reduced by 35 hours for each inactive month.
The total paid hours must exceed your threshold by the end of the calendar year in order to accrue your Vacation and Sick time.
Earlier this year the APFA Executive Committed endorsed Houston Mayor Bill White in his race to unseat incumbent Governor Rick Perry in the Texas gubernatorial election on November 2, 2010. See the endorsement resolution here.
On November 2, polling places all across the country will open and millions of voters will exercise their most sacred right in a democracy. This election is extremely important to both our nation and our union.
We need representatives in office that will fight for and support issues that affect our careers. APFA urges you to study the issues that count so you can make an informed decision. Visit the Government affairs page of APFA.org to learn about the most important issues our union is facing.
Make absolutely sure your vote counts. If you will be traveling on November 2, vote absentee – or vote early. Many states now allow polling places to open prior to Election Day.
The internet and e-mail server for APFA was down from Tuesday, September 28 through Thursday, September 30, 2010. All e-mails sent to an www.apfa.org e-mail address during this time did not reach the intended recipient.
If you did send an e-mail to APFA anytime from Tuesday, September 28 through Thursday, September 30, please re-send the e-mail. This includes e-mails to the APFA President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer; your Chairperson or Vice Chairperson, and e-mails and reports to the APFA departments; Communications, Contract, Dues, Scheduling, EAP, Membership, Retirement, Safety and Security, Health or Hotel. Any e-mail sent to an www.apfa.org address during the down time, should be resent.
2011 BENEFITS ENROLLMENT
Open enrollment for 2011 benefits is available on Jetnet now through midnight central time on October 31, 2010. The passage of the Healthcare Reform Act brought much needed changes to health benefits. Please carefully read the information on the Benefits section of Jetnet in order to make the best decisions for you and you family.
Deadline for open enrollment is midnight central time on Sunday, October 31, 2010.
Last week, AA mailed a letter noticing all active Flight Attendants of the cancellation of our Supplemental Medical Plan (SuppMed). With the passage of the Healthcare Reform Act, there is no longer a lifetime maximum on our medical benefits as an active employee, which means there is no need for a SuppMed plan which covered medical claims over and above our maximum. As a result, each active member will be saving $180 annually. SuppMed is a pay-as-you-go plan like auto insurance, or term life insurance. As long as you pay the premiums it is there if you need it, but it is not building any value if you don’t use it.
Do not confuse SuppMed with the prefunding of Retiree Health Benefits. The prefunding contributions we are making as active Flight Attendants are to pay for benefits which we will receive in the future – when we retire. If we do not retire with American, American returns all our prefunding contributions.
The company is sponsoring a Retirement Seminar on October 11, 2010 from 09:00-11:00 in the DFW Airport Yandry Conference Center across from gate C-2. APFA Retirement Specialist, Patrick Hancock will also be on hand with a presentation and to answer questions.
This seminar is open to all Flight Attendants from all bases, but particularly important to Flight Attendants planning to retire in the next 10 years. To make the most of this briefing, print and bring your personal pension estimate and plan calculation formulas from JetNet.
Please remember there are currently 1,340 members on furlough and awaiting recall.