Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

10.21.11 – (LAA) – International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Accepted APFA’s Petition for Membership this Week, Pink Links, Benefit Enrollment, Manual Updates, ORD RDUI Retirement Briefing

Weekly Hotline

For the week ending Friday October 21, 2011

WE’RE IN!

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) accepted APFA’s petition for membership this week.

The ITF is an organization of nearly 800 unions representing over 4.6 million transportation workers in 155 countries and is a powerful voice on issues affecting jobs, employment conditions and safety in the worldwide transportation industry.

A major function of the ITF is informing and advising unions about developments in the transport industry in other countries or regions of the world. The ITF also maintains a specialist education department, dedicated to the development of strong and democratic transport unions.

The ITF also organizes international solidarity when transport unions in one country are in conflict with employers or government and need direct help from unions in other countries. The kind of solidarity needed can range from protest messages, demonstrations and political pressure, to direct industrial action in the form of strikes, boycotts, etc.

“I am very pleased to announce our acceptance into the ITF,” said APFA President Laura Glading. “Federation memberships bolster the credibility and autonomy of their member-unions. In the past few years, the APFA has made great strides in aligning ourselves with domestic coalitions and now with our membership in the ITF, our interests will be represented by a worldwide organization. APFA’s efforts to work closely with multi-union coalitions not only provides additional support for our positions but it gives APFA members a bigger voice in the national and international debate about the future of labor and the industry. This announcement represents a great deal of hard work and persistence and reflects the APFA’s strong reputation. We can all be very proud of this accomplishment.”

ITF General Secretary David Cockroft commented, “I am very pleased to welcome a major global cabin crew union into the ITF family. All of our affiliates, particularly those in the One World Alliance, look forward to working with them.”

NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE
negotiate08@apfa.org

American continues to focus their attention on negotiations with APA. The Pilots have been in offsite intense negotiations with the company for over two weeks now bargaining through this past weekend. APA and management will break for this weekend and resume talks on Monday.

APFA President Laura Glading commented, “I remain cautiously optimistic that the pilots will ultimately reach an agreement and I am eager to do the same for the Flight Attendants. I’m hopeful that APA’s contract will soon be resolved and the company will turn their attention back to our negotiations so that we can return to the table and work out the remaining issues for the Flight Attendants.”

PINK LINKS

If you’ve visited APFA.org lately you’ve most likely noticed that our links throughout the site have gone pink. Pink for the month of October in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

It is estimated that each year nearly 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 1,700 men will also be diagnosed.

Early detection is key to surviving breast cancer.† For more information please visit the following links.

American Cancer Society

Susan G. Komen for the Cure

National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

AA FLIGHT ATTENDANTS NOT BUYING IT

American has been touting a labor cost disadvantage anywhere from $600M to $800M compared to other carriers – but has yet to provide any substantiation to this claim. Last week APFA’s Airline Analysts Dan Aikins spoke with Ted Reed of TheStreet.com to bring some clarity and fact-based numbers to light, as far as the Flight Attendants are concerned, to the company’s “labor cost disadvantage.”

The article reads in part, “That number is not accepted by APFA, which says it is frustrated, not only by continual repetition of the number but also by the suggestion that American employees made no concessions. “In March of 2003, employees gave back $1.8 billion annually, and those savings are continuing,” Akins said. The full article can be read here.

HEALTH DEPARTMENT
health@apfa.org

-2012 Benefit Enrollment
Open enrollment for 2012 benefits is available on JetNet through midnight central time on October 31, 2011. Please carefully read the Enrollment Guide – which is available in the Benefits section of JetNet – in order to make the best decisions for you and your family.

This year American will not mail paper copies of the Enrollment Guide to each employeeís home.†The Enrollment Guide will only be available online through JetNet’s Benefits Page or www.AAHealthBenefits.com.

Deadline for open enrollment is midnight central time on Monday, October 31, 2011.

-Long-term Medication Changes ñ Value Plus Plan
If prescription medications are the most significant portion of your health care costs, please review the following change under the value plus plan carefully.

Beginning January 1, 2012, you and your covered family members will pay a higher cost for long-term medications at your retail pharmacy after your initial purchase plus two refills. Long-term medications include those that you take on an on-going basis for conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, depression or diabetes. You are encouraged to use the Medco MailOrder Pharmacy for long-term medications. You can order up to a 90-day supply for your mail order co-pay, which means fewer refills.

-What if I donít use mail order for long-term medications?
After your initial purchase plus two refills, you will pay 50% of the drug cost. Even though there is a maximum you pay for short-term medications purchased at a retail pharmacy, maximums do not apply to long-term medications after your initial purchase plus two refills. You should continue to purchase short-term drugs like antibiotics from your local network pharmacy. Youíll pay your retail pharmacy co-payment for these medications.

Under the Value Plus option you will always pay a co-pay for your prescription medications.

-What about the Standard Plan?
Under the Standard Medical Plan you may have your prescriptions filled at any pharmacy. For most covered drugs you are reimbursed at 80% of the Medco discounted price after satisfying your medical option deductible. You must present your Medco prescription drug card every time you purchase prescription drugs in order to receive the discounted medication rates. If you do not present your Medco prescription drug card at the time of purchase, you will pay the non-discounted price at that time and reimbursement from the plan will be based on the discounted price. This means you pay the difference between the non-discounted and the discounted price, in addition to paying the 20% co-insurance (after your deductible has been met). Drugs prescribed by a physician or dentist may be purchased either at retail pharmacies or through the Medco Mail Service Prescription Drug Benefit. Only eligible expenses for covered prescription drugs purchased at a retail pharmacy apply to your deductible or out-of-pocket maximum. Once your deductible and out of pocket max have been met, prescriptions filled at in-network pharmacies will be covered at 100%.

To fill prescriptions at an in-network pharmacy and file for reimbursement:

– Present your Medco ID card to the pharmacy every time you order your prescription from an in-network pharmacy.

– Pay the discounted price for the prescription and obtain a receipt when you pick up your prescription.

– File a claim for reimbursement of your covered expenses through Medco as explained below.

To fill prescriptions at an out-of-network pharmacy and file for reimbursement, you will follow the same procedures, but will not receive a discount. You pay the full retail price for your prescription and file the claim in the same manner.

-FSA Deposits
If you use a Health Care FSA, now is a good time to prepare for a big change that will go into effect in 2013: Starting that year, you will only be able to put $2,500 into your health care flexible spending account. That is half the amount you can contribute today. This change is a result of Health Care Reform and not a policy decision by AA. So it may be a good idea for anyone who likes to use the Health Care FSA to schedule any costly procedures that they have been putting off to be done in 2012 while they are still able to contribute up to $5,000.

SAFETY AND SECURITYY DEPARTMENT
safety@apfa.org

A new revision was due in our in-flight manuals this week on October 19th…revision #79.

Here is the latest manual information as of 19OCT11:

Revisions:
#79 insert date = 19OCT11

Bulletins:
#1 insert date =†15APR11† removal date = 15AUG11
#2 insert date =†13MAY11 removal date = 19OCT11
#3 insert date = 10AUG11
#4 insert date = 10AUG11
#5 insert date = 9SEP11

Please ensure your manual is kept up to date by inserting the latest revision and removing the necessary bulletins. Revision #79 must be inserted into the manual and bulletin #2 must be removed from the manual before you work any flight on or after October 19, 2011.

The best method to confirm your manual is compliant and up to date is to go through the list of effective pages (LEP) after inserting the new revision.

ORD RDU-I RETIREMENT BRIEFING
retirement@apfa.org

APFA Retirement Specialist Patrick Hancock will be hosting Retirement Briefings at ORD and RDU.

ORD
Wednesday October 26, 1000-1200 and again from 1300-1500 in the Flight Service Conference room at K19

RDU
Tuesday November 8, 1500-1700 in the 3rd floor Conference Room outside security.† The door at the end of the AA Ticket Counter next to the ATM will lead you to the elevator.† For more information contact RDU-I Vice Chairperson Peggy Turley at vcrdui@apfa.org

The seminars are open and useful 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 these briefings, print and bring your personal pension estimate and plan calculation formulas from JetNet.
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Please remember there are currently 218 members on furlough and awaiting recall.
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