Sunday, November 11, 2012
Click on one of the quicklinks below to be taken directly to that topic:
From the Negotiating Team
Sick Clearance at 12 Noon Local Base Time
Long Call Reserve
Pilots Get A “Deal In Principle”
AA Gets a Green Light to Freeze Pilots’ “A-Fund”
Reciprocal Cabin Seat Agreement with Hawaiian Air
LBFO IMPLEMENTATION INFORMATION
From the Negotiating Team
A good deal of progress was made on finalizing contractual language this past week. The first batch of articles will be posted at the beginning of this week and more will follow soon thereafter. Please check the LBFO page of the APFA website beginning next week to review the articles as they are posted.
New procedures for AVBL Flight Attendants are in effect, specifically, the “no-restriction” when plotting turn-arounds. AA has not yet modified programming to allow this feature when self-plotting. Therefore, if you would like to plot a turn-around and are not able to, contact Crew Scheduling. AA’s IT Department is working toward making the appropriate changes.
Some questions have arisen re: when Crew Scheduling can plot AVBL FAs during day-before-coverage timeline. To be clear, Crew Scheduling has until 1330 local base time to plot AVBL FAs following the 1200 noon completion of the Merged MU Round at 1200.
Sick Clearance at 1200
As a reminder, if Flight Attendants have back-to-back trips and call in Sick after 1200 for a trip that departs the same day and wish not to have their subsequent trip [Tomorrow] be removed for Sick as well, will need to advise Crew Schedule that they are calling in Sick “ONLY” for Today’s Trip. Crew Schedule will be able code the Sick Absence to 2359 for that day, thus preserving the subsequent next-day trip on your schedule.
While we await implementation of AM/PM for Reserves, Crew Scheduling has agreed in the interim to increase the number of Ready Reserve FAs awarded long-call. As a reminder, long-call is a ready reserve assignment with all of the same parameters except that scheduling cannot give Long-Call FAs a sign in prior to 1200 noon local base time. Further, they will not be contacted for an assignment prior to 0800, and they will have no obligation to be available to Crew Scheduling prior to 0800. The amount of Long-Call assignments each day will be determined by Crew Scheduling and will be assigned in seniority order. Requests will not be honored for any FA who has only one day of Reserve remaining prior to their DFP’s or any planned absence. For those FAs that commute and are awarded Long-Call, you must contact Crew Scheduling prior to 0800 to let them know you are commuting to base and that you will be available for a 1200 sign in. Failure to do so could result in a missed trip (TM). To request Long-Call, enter HILCR/DATE in your personal mode.
Annual Health Benefits Enrollment is available now through next Friday, November 16, 2012. This year has been extra confusing for everyone in light of the major changes brought forth by AA. We have compiled some Q&As that will hopefully answer some of your questions. Please be sure to review the web site AA has set up to specifically assist employees throughout the enrollment period. A chart of Medical Options Coverage can be found here.
Q: How to calculate what your deductible would be?
The numbers are confusing, because the chart provided by HR only shows the deductible amounts for Single (EE) and Family (EE + 2 or More) but not for the Employee + One (EE + 1). The examples below provide a better illustration of how the deductibles work.
Standard Option / In Network:
Employee Only (EE) = $750
Employee + Spouse/DP or One Child (EE + 1) – $1500
Employee + Two or More (EE + 2 or More) – $2250
Value Option / In Network:
Employee Only (EE) = $300
Employee + Spouse/DP or One Child (EE + 1) – $600
Employee + Two or More (EE + 2 or More) – $900
Q: How to calculate the Out-of-Pocket (OOP) Max:
The calculation for the OOP Max works the same way as it does for the deductible based on EE Only, EE + 1, or EE + 2 or More. Here is an example using the Value Option:
Value Option / In Network
Employee Only (EE) = $1750
Employee + Spouse/DP or One Child (EE + 1) – $3500
Employee + Two or More (EE + 2 or More) – $4375
Q: There are separate deductibles and OOP Max for In-Network and Out-of-Network. If I have met my In-Network deductible and OOP Max, will this amount be applied to the deductible and Out-of pocket for Out-of-Network if I need to see an Out-of-Network doctor?
No, when you go Out-of-Network, you will be starting from scratch to meet the Out-of-Network deductible and the OOP Max.
Q: What is the difference between Co-Pay and Co-Insurance?
A Co-pay is a set dollar amount you pay when receiving specific services. Co-pays do not apply to your deductible or Out-of-Pocket (OOP) Max. For example, if I elect the Value Option, I will always pay $40 for an In-Network Specialist office visit, even if I have met my deductible and OOP Max.
Co-insurance is the percentage that you pay when your health plan pays less than 100% for covered services. Co-insurance kicks in after you have met your deductible and does apply to your OOP Max. For example, if you have the Standard Option and visit an Urgent Care Clinic, you will pay 20% of the total cost as long as you have met my deductible. The amount that you pay will go towards meeting my OOP Max.
Q: I don’t understand the tiers. Please explain what is meant by Preferred, Tier 1, and Tier 2?
American offers access to three different administrators for each state: The Preferred Administrator, Tier 1 and Tier 2. The preferred administrator has a large selection of providers, hospitals and facilities in-network. However, some people prefer to continue using their same doctors, providers and facilities which may not be in a particular administrator’s network. If you elect the Standard Option or the Value Option there is a choice between Blue Cross & Blue Shield, United Health Care and Aetna. During your decision-making process, you should keep in mind the additional cost for the Tier 1 and Tier 2 administrators. If, for example, the Preferred Administrator for my state is BCBS, but all of my doctors are in the Aetna network, I can elect to have Aetna as my administrator, but I will pay more for this option.
Q: Where can I find the Preferred, Tier 1 and Tier 2 administrators for my state?
There is an interactive map that you can get to via the quick links on my.aa.com. If you click on your state, you will be able to see your options. If you click “change” next to Medical in the online enrollment tool, you will be able to see all of your available options.
Q: I see that preventive care will now be covered under all plans. How will this work?
Preventive and well-child care will be covered by AA at 100% as long you use an In-Network provider. You don’t have to pay a deductible or co-insurance for In-Network preventive care. A list of preventive services covered under the Affordable Care Act can be found at www.healthcare.gov.
WINGS is accepting donations earmarked for Hurricane Sandy. If you would like to help, you can send a check to:
ATTN: Flight Attendant Disaster Relief Fund
PO Box 610563
DFW Airport, TX 75261-0563
Donations are tax deductible. Also, don’t forget that all proceeds from every aluminum can recycled on board our aircraft goes to the relief fund as well, so be sure to tag all carts appropriately.
JFK Flight Service is also collecting essential items for AA employees who have lost everything. The following are of the highest priority: winter coats, gloves, socks and non-perishable canned goods. A designated area has been set up in our Flight Service Operation area for those items to be dropped off. If you can donate any of these items or would like to volunteer your time, drop items by the Flight Service lounge and/or offer your assistance.
APA GETS A “DEAL IN PRINCIPLE”
The following hotline message was released by APA late Friday: “This afternoon the APA Board of Directors voted to present AMR management with a comprehensive counter-proposal. Management responded by agreeing to APA’s proposal. The APA Board of Directors will proceed in compliance with policy-manual requirements and vote to send the agreement-in-principle to the membership as a tentative agreement for a ratification vote.
“APA designed our comprehensive counter-proposal to provide our pilots with an industry-standard contract while enabling American Airlines to complete a successful restructuring and compete on a level playing field with its network-carrier peers.”
APFA is performing due diligence and has formally requested cost-outs for all of the terms of APA’s Agreement to ensure our Me-Too clause is adhered to. We will update the membership accordingly.
PILOTS A-FUND READY TO FREEZE
Now that regulation changes have been approved by the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department, AA can now freeze the pilots’ “A” fund. This fund contained language that allowed pilots to take this portion of their retirement as a lump sum. Click here to read more on Terry Maxon’s Airline Biz Blog.
MORE AA ANTI-LABOR ACTIONS
This week in AA’s efforts to prevent anymore labor on the property, it filed paperwork to appeal the decision by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court allowing a representation vote of AA’s passenger service agents to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Communication Workers of America won the right to seek representation due to a law that changed AFTER successfully carding the non-represented workgroup. Read More…
Q: When will we know the date of the Refund for our portion of prefunding contributions?
A: AA is auditing our Prefunding accounts to ensure balance accuracy, and checks will be sent no later than January 12, 2013. However, AA has stated it will make every effort to try to complete the audit and get checks in the mail as soon as possible.
Q: Will there be one (1) check for the actual Prefund amount at that time?
A: There will be two checks, one for the non-tax amount of the prefunded employee’s contribution and one for the taxable amount of the employee’s contribution.
Q: Will either and/or both be direct deposited?
A: Since these refunds will be issued by JP Morgan and not AA Payroll, employees will receive paper checks.
Q: Will FAs be able to defer any/all of the amount into their 401K?
A: The Prefunding plan is not a qualified retirement plan, therefore, the refunds are not eligible to be deferred into the 401(k).
PENSION PACKET TIMING REQUEST FOR FUTURE RETIREES
Company will not fulfill a request for a pension packet if it is more than 90 days prior to your exit date. If you submit your request prior to that time they will only send you an estimate, and you will not have the correct paperwork to complete. Click here for a list of dates according to your retirement date over the next year.
RECIPROCAL CABIN SEAT AGREEMENT
Beginning November 14, 2012, AA and Eagle FAs will be able to travel on Hawaiian Air. For details you can view the reciprocal cabin seat agreement document in APFA Members’ Resources by clicking here.
Feel free to join DFW Chair Chris O’Kelley and DFW Vice Chair Margaret Barnes for a day in Operations. They will be available to answer questions and provide assistance on November 13th, between 11am and 3pm Central Time.
Yesterday’s NY times contained an article about Human Trafficking and included the efforts of Airline Ambassadors to combat this growing problem. Human Trafficking is estimated to be a $32 billion industry in the US and other countries. APFA encourages flight attendants to educate themselves on potentially identifying someone who might be in trouble by reviewing this web site. APFA encourages AA to continue offering more education and information for AA employees to learn how to identify and deal with possible cases of Human Trafficking.
AmericanAirlines + US Airways
“Our Future Depends On It”
APFA National Communications Coordinator