10.03.12 – (LAA) – APA Strike Balloting Ends, VEOP Exit Bidding Dates, National Presidential Election, AIFS Online Training Discontinued, Verify Hours for SK and VC Accrual


Wednesday, October 3, 2012.
It has become nearly impossible to ignore the news now that AA is front and center morning, noon and night. And never more so than recently due to three separate incidents of loose seats on the aircraft.

Bobby Gless, the deputy director of TWU’s air transport division issued a statement yesterday. TWU announced that it had “launched an investigation into problems related to loose seats on recent flights.” AMR says it is also investigating the situation. TWU, who secured contracts with each of its groups, has stated unequivocally that this has nothing to do with anything but outsourcing work to a third party.

If you are approached by the media and asked to comment on the current situation at AA, please refrain from doing so, and instead refer them to APFA Communications at 817.540.0108, ext. 8308. APFA continues to support our brothers and sisters at APA and TWU in their efforts to ensure the safety of each and every flight. Outsourcing impacts any operation.

APA announced it would return to the bargaining table with AA management. Although the pilots’ strike balloting ended today, they have decided to withhold announcing the results, at least for now.

Today, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that US District Judge Terry Means’ decision to block a union election for AA’s Agents was made in error. The court instructed Judge Means to “dismiss American Airlines, Inc.’s complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.” The Communication Workers of America will now be able to proceed with a representation election of AA’s Res and Ticket Agents.

VEOP Exit Bidding Dates
Bidding for VEOP and TSP departure dates has opened. The Departure Date ballot can be found on the Restructuring section of the Flight Service website. The deadline for this proffer is Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 1000 Central Time.

The number of FAs expected to be awarded each available departure date is listed on the ballot. Since the number of slots available for each departure date is limited you should bid enough options to ensure your preferences are honored in the order you want. Those who do not bid enough will be assigned a departure date. No one will be involuntarily assigned to the December 2012 departure date. Those turning 50 by September 30, 2013 will not be assigned to a departure date that is prior to their 50th birthday unless they select a month prior to their 50th birthday as part of their ballot.

The possible exit dates are below:

December, 2012      Depart 02Dec12
February, 2013     Depart 31Jan13
March, 2013         Depart 02Mar13
May, 2013         Depart 02May13
June, 2013         Depart 02Jun13
August, 2013         Depart 01Aug13
September, 2013 A     Depart 31Aug13
September, 2013 B    Depart 30Sep13

Implementation Information
Information regarding 12 noon Sick Clearance and the associated Day-Before-Coverage changes will be contained in a Special Hotline later this week. Effective October 1st, we received a 3% increase on our pay rates, a $3.00 an hour Int’l Override and new TAFB rates of $1.65 Domestic/$1.90 International, and makeup flying up to 100 hours on Domestic and International. Also on October 1, Incentive pay and Domestic aft galley pay were eliminated, Int’l rates of pay, 30-7 for Domestic and PVDs are paid at 3.00 hours, capped at 6 days per year.

APFA Hotel Department
APFA’s Hotel Department has received another update on cities that will experience hotel changes over the next few months. Visit the Hotel Department at www.apfa.org for more information.
Presidential Election
Tuesday, November 6th is election day. There are 32 states plus Washington, D.C., that offer “no-excuse” early voting. Voter ID laws have changed in some states allowing for the purging of voter ID lists for this election cycle, so if you’ve already signed up, you can confirm your name remains on the list.

Please exercise your right to vote in every election whether local, statewide or national. It is a significant personal freedom we enjoy as Americans. Here is the link for early voting including the deadline in your state: http://www.longdistancevoter.org.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. APFA has added a link to our web site that directs members to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure page. We’ve also uploaded an article written by former AA flight attendant Gwen Parker, wife of US Airways CEO Doug Parker, that is featured in US Airways’ inflight magazine this month.

AIFS Online Training Discontinued
The company has advised that they will discontinue offering the Asia International Flagship Service (AIFS) training online and will instead return this training to a classroom course effective December 1st.  In the interim FAs with international qualifications (including those on domestic maintaining their international qualification) can obtain the AIFS qualification online by submitting an AIFS voluntary enrollment form on the Training page of the Flight Service website.
Mutual/Lateral Transfer Deadlines
The last international mutual lateral transfer that will allow for self-matched pairings will be for the mutual laterals effective December 2, 2012.  The deadline to submit for this mutual is October 31, 2012. Thereafter international mutual pairings will be based on seniority using the process that has been in place for domestic pairings for several years.
Verify Your Hours For SK and VC Accrual
Attention low-time flyers: Each year we send a reminder to all Flight Attendants to ensure they are on track to accrue their sick hours and vacation for the calendar year. Remember you must have at least 420 paid hours or an average of 35 hours per active month by December 31, 2012 in order to accrue your eligible sick and vacation for the calendar year. If you do not meet your applicable threshold you will not accrue any sick or vacation for the months that are eligible to accrue.  Each year several hundred FAs miss their threshold, some by just a few hours, and end up with no accrual. This can also create an overpayment for FAs that have used PVDs during the year that they ultimately do not end up accruing.  Now is a good time to review your HISK to ensure you are on track to accrue your sick and vacation and pick up extra time that may be necessary to reach your threshold. The increase to the 600 hour threshold (average of 50 hours per active month) for sick and vacation accrual will take place beginning January 1, 2013 for the 2013 calendar year.

401(k) Match
November 1 our pension plan will be replaced with a 401(k) match option. Click here for a list of the pay items eligible for matching. JP Morgan sent out a letter in error last month that should have addressed the company’s plan to automatically enroll those who do not already participate in Supersaver. Here is some of the corrected text:

  • You will be automatically enrolled effective with your first paycheck in November. 
  • You will be automatically enrolled at a 3% contribution rate and contributions will be invested in the plan’s default investment option, the Moderate Pre-Mixed Portfolio.
  • You may opt out of automatic enrollment or change your contribution rate by accessing your account online and following the instructions or by calling J.P. Morgan at 800-345-2345. Representatives are available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central time.
  • You must opt-out or provide alternate instructions before 3 p.m. Central time on Friday, October 19, 2012 to avoid being automatically enrolled in the plan at the default contribution rate.

Optional Exchanges Now 
Many FAs are wondering how trip trades and OEs will work as the LBFO is implemented. First of all, the OE “experience” will not change. OEs will still be uncredited and only reflected in the Pay Projection. If flown, they will be paid above the sick cap of 80 Domestic and 85 hours International and 85 for both once the operations are combined. They will not be paid if not flown and will not be eligible for PVDs.

Trip Trades will still be important as we move toward the 100-hour pay protection that applies with the implementation of Preferential Bidding PBS. All scheduled flying, trip trades and company time (Make Up, Option and Critical Coverage time) will increase the protected “guarantee.” OEs will not.

Also, with the elimination of Option Two, there will be two ways of accessing Day Before Open Time. First, for FAs below 100 hours, s/he may participate in make up. For those above 100 hours, s/he may request Option flying which will be awarded after make up. As we move forward in the LBFO implementation, certain trips may be flagged as critical and be paid at 150% of rate of the FAs hourly wage. The FA may be awarded the flying in seniority order.

AMR Numbers
AMR reported a loss of $82 million in August after reporting net income of $135 million in July. Excluding reorg items, they made $4 million.

As of August 31, 2012, AMR assets totaled $7.39 billion; $439 million less than the previous month. Total liabilities were $9.31 billion. That’s $482 million less than the month prior. Unrestricted cash and short-term investments were $4.3 billion ($535 million less than July), and restricted cash was down $537 million to $5.15 billion.

Operating revenue was $2.19 billion compared with $2.24 billion in June and $2.33 billion in July. August revenues were the least fruitful for the summer months.

APFA Board of Director’s Meeting
APFA’s fall board of director’s meeting will commence on October 17th at the Embassy Suites in downtown Ft. Worth at 9:00 a.m. While the Board is together, LBFO training will also be conducted by the negotiating team.

AmericanAirlines + US Airways
“Our Future Depends On It”

Leslie Mayo
APFA National Communications Coordinator

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

Phone: (817) 540-0108
Fax: (817) 540-2077


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