APFA Hotline for Friday, September 14, 2012
On Tuesday morning, union representatives and staff gathered at APFA’s 9/11 memorial site and placed a wreath of white flowers to honor our colleagues who were killed 11 years ago. US Airways employees sent APFA, APA and TWU a beautiful picture of their main headquarters with flags placed on the lawn in honor of each of those lost on that day. A firefighter stood guard. The picture and sentiments can be found on the main page of www.apfa.org.
LBFO Becomes Our Contract
As we reported on Tuesday, the Court approved our LBFO, which means American will begin implementing pieces of our new contract immediately.
Final Recall Numbers
AA informed us that 161 furloughed FAs have accepted the recall. We would like to welcome our last group of furloughs back to the line. They will report to base in November.
As you all know the VEOP election is currently in place – this morning, AA had received 1,425 VEOP requests systemwide. The window for VEOP closes on September 20th at 2300 Central Time. The Travel Separation Program selection will then begin on September 22nd and go through September 29th at 2300 Central. Once that finalizes, flight attendants will begin bidding for their exit date by month according to their bidding seniority and operational needs. The VEOP Video from the Dallas Briefing last week is available online at www.apfa.org. Also available is the 48-page packet that was handed out to those in attendance.
Several FAs have contacted APFA over their frustration with the lack of a confirmation associated with the Company’s VEOP election form on Jetnet. Unfortunately, the company does not have a remedy for this. Here are some options you have to verify that you have indeed properly elected VEOP.
1. Contact your local Flight Service office who can verify whether your name is on the VEOP list.
2. If after clicking the “Accept Offer” button on the VEOP election page you were directed to the page which begins with “You have elected the VEOP …” then you did elect the VEOP.
3. If you go back to the election offer page you will see two red tabs if you have elected VEOP. The first red tab will be labeled “View or Print Election Form”. The second will be labeled “Cancel Election Form.” If you only see one red tab labeled “Early Out Incentive Option,” then you have not elected the VEOP.
The proffer to award exit dates to those who elect either the VEOP or Travel Separation Program is expected to take place during the first part of October with awards available the last part of October. Exact bidding and award dates should be known by the end of September. Exit dates will range from December 2012 through September 2013. Bids and awards will be available by month rather than quarter. Some months in 2013 may not be available however there will be months available in each quarter. Once the total number of FAs electing VEOP and TSP are known the company will compare this to the operating schedule to determine which months in each quarter will be available. In addition they’ll be able to provide a projected number of slots for each available month. It is anticipated that very few slots will be available for December 2012. Exit date slots will be awarded based on system-wide Occupational Seniority. A list of who elected VEOP and TSP will be available so that you’ll have a rough idea of where you rank for bidding purposes.
COBRA on Exit?
Please note that if you plan to elect COBRA when you leave AA, COBRA is considered a continuation of coverage. Therefore, you must currently have coverage with AA at the time you separate from the company in order to be eligible for COBRA on exit.
By now you’ve probably seen AA’s implementation schedule for the LBFO. Although the LBFO states that Hourly Pay Rate increase of 3% and Expenses (TAFB) increase to $1.65/$1.90 will be effective on DOS (September 12, 2012 due to the need for Judge Lane’s approval), those will actually be effective October 1, 2012. APFA could choose to pursue the immediate implementation, but AA could then choose to eliminate the incentive rates of pay and international rates of pay as well as implement the override, daily rate/limit for PVDs, etc. immediately. No doubt, the net effect of pursuing the immediate implementation of the pay rate and TAFB increase would be financially harmful to our members so we certainly agreed to delay those implementation dates to October 1st.
The lump sum payment of $1,500 is due to be paid on September 21st. Our hotels have already been affected – the company immediately implemented the language allowing them to give preference to airport hotels. Also beginning on the 12th of this month, AA will set aside 5 percent of pre-tax income after the first dollar of profits to pay out profit sharing.
On October 1st, AA will implement the new 3% pay rates across the board. Those will be seen on our October 15th paychecks. All incentive pay from September will be included on our end of October paycheck. International override of $3 an hour will also begin on the 1st of October and includes deadheading, pay and credit. Once again, those flights eligible for the $3 override include any flight operating outside the contiguous forty-eight states, Mexico, Canada and Alaska that requires and overwater qualification. All base hours paid in/for October (35 hr on 10/15 and 10/31 checks) will all be at the new base rates, which includes the 3% rate increase. Any October flying that is eligible for international override will be paid at the end of Nov as a separate line item like other premium pays. Also, in order to properly pay the Pay and Credit for international sequences with the international override, the sequence will be paid with any domestic legs deducted from the total for the sequence.
TAFB will increase to $1.65 Domestic, $1.90 International on the 1st of October. Domestic aft galley pay, Incentive Pay and 30 in 7 on Domestic will also be eliminated. PVDs will be paid at a daily rate of 3.00 hours instead of trips missed. They will be limited to 6 per calendar year.
Notice of Pension Freeze
On Friday, American sent out notice to Flight Attendants that the freeze of the defined benefit pension plan will become effective on November 1, 2012. Under pension law, the Company is required to give this notice to plan participants 45 days before the changes to the plan go into effect. As the notice explains, with the pension freeze there are no further benefit accruals after October 31, 2012. This means that after that date no additional pensionable compensation will accrue under the Plan for the purpose of calculating retirement benefits. APFA’s pension advisors are currently reviewing the notice to insure that the Company’s implementation of the freeze complies with all requirements under the LBFO and applicable law.
Lock-Ins and Laterals
The company has informed us that due to the current staffing situation and the need to train for vacancies created by international FAs taking the VEOP as well as the international training beginning for domestic FAs, FAs electing the VEOP will be able to mutual lateral and mutual transfer without limitation, but for those FAs who bid for a regular proffer or transfer, the FA must be able to satisfy the applicable lock-in prior to their awarded exit date. The domestic transfer lock-in remains at three months. The international proffer lock-in remains at six months the the first time an FA is awarded an international proffer and three months for any proffer awarded thereafter, regardless of an expired international qualification.
This week the company published its implementation schedule for APA. Initially the company said they would take it easy on the pilots, however, it appears that nearly everything on the implementation list is from the Term Sheet. The pilots began voting on a strike ballot this week in response to AA’s potential implementation. Ballots will be counted on October 3. No negotiations dates are scheduled between the company and APA at this point.
AA announced this week they plan to close the pilot base at STL. They also announced they plan to close the American Eagle LAX pilot and flight bases.
That’s it for this week.
AmericanAirlines + US Airways
“Our Future Depends On It”
APFA National Communications Coordinator