December 8, 2012
On-Duty Contract Guide Supplement Ready For Download
The Supplement to the On-Duty Contract Guide is complete and ready for download at www.apfa.org. It reflects the changes to our contract brought about by the LBFO. This comes after weeks of painstaking work clarifying language with management. Members can download the guide here – a hard copy will be mailed to FAs’ homes as an insert in our next issue of Skyword Express coming out later this month. Please refer to the Supplement along with the ’04 ODCG for the most accurate information regarding pay, work rules and benefits. A special thanks goes to APFA’s Table Team – Clint Breen, Jaimie McNeice, Becky Kroll and Mario St. Michel, as well as APFA’s Contract Coordinator Brent Peterson and LAX-I Vice Chair Kelli Harrington for their help completing this document.
NOTE: the APFA Flyer App for iPhone does not include updated contract calculations for crew rest, legalities, etc… We do not have the resources to update this app currently. The app’s programmer plans to remove the outdated calculations and include the On-Duty Contract Guide shortly. We will update you accordingly.
APA Ratifies Contract
Today, APA voted to approve the T/A reached with management in Section 1113 negotiations. The contract was approved by a margin of 73.7% to 26.2% with 96% of eligible members voting. As a result, each workgroup is now under contract and the Company’s costs are, for the most part, known. APFA is in the process of evaluating APA’s new contract to calculate the total valuation in accordance with our “Me, Too” letter. If there are further savings by APA, our workgroup will be credited accordingly.
Willingness to Serve Notifications
Willingness to Serve Notifications for Base Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Occupational Council Representatives (OCR) for all bases have been mailed to APFA members and are available online. If you are interested in further serving your union, these forms are due back in the designated PO Box no later than Friday, January 4, 2013. Ballots will be mailed on January 23rd and counted on Friday February 22nd.
During this week’s Executive Committee meeting, a resolution was passed to appoint a Constitution Committee to identify any forthcoming issues that may arise in light of the bankruptcy, LBFO, and potential merger. APFA has established Constitution Committees in the past to evaluate the need for Constitutional changes and recommending what those changes should be. This committee will present any proposed modifications to the Board of Directors for consideration. The committee’s members are: Steven Baumert, Margaret Barnes, Kat Clements, Mario St. Michel, and Dane Townsend-Pepper.
APFA expects the National Mediation Board to announce updated policies and practices with respect to representation elections in mergers in the near future. The FAA Act, which was signed into law in February, changed the “showing of interest” threshold for unrepresented workgroups from 35% to 50% but did not specify what the threshold would be in the case of a merger. This summer, the NMB held a public meeting and solicited input from industry stakeholders on whether the new showing of interest requirements should apply to mergers. Regardless of the NMB’s decision, APFA will work to ensure that flight attendants have a strong organization in place to protect their interests in the event of a merger with US Airways.
We continue to receive many calls each week concerning usage of SK hours. There is no change to pay for trips when calling in sick. Trips are still paid on a trips-missed basis when using sick hours. In addition, there is no change to the maximum amount of hours that can be paid from your sick bank each month. The maximum for domestic is still 80 hours and the maximum for international as well as Reserve FAs is still 85 hours. Once the domestic and international operations are combined, the maximum will be 85 hours for all FAs.
International Training for Domestic FAs
We are aware that Domestic FAs subjected to international training have several concerns regarding the international training lines. The feedback we have received indicates the primary concerns are the ability to attend training on a reserve month, the ability to fly high time hours within that training month, scheduling flexibility, and the required amount of time away from home.
The option to complete this training on a Reserve month was considered but it would have increased the Reserve list by up to 1,000 more FAs, which, in turn, would force even more FAs into the training. Since this training is scheduled to continue through the end of 2013, FAs not normally subject to Reserve would be forced onto reserve, and most likely serve the full year’s rotation of three (3) months, be subject to required dual qualifications that so many are trying to avoid, and potentially force even more FAs back onto Reserve to cover even more training. Based on membership feedback we knew it was important to prevent the Reserve list from increasing significantly while harming the least amount of Flight Attendants. We know it’s not a popular decision for those of you already subject to the financial hardships of three months of Reserve a year. We are hopeful, however, that the ability to now pick up trips for pay over Reserve guarantee mitigates some of the financial impact while we protect even more of the membership from being forced onto reserve.
APFA negotiated for these training lines to be as flexible as possible while retaining the ability for high-time flyers to obtain their traditional high time. As a result of these negotiations all training is placed on an AVBL day with each day paid and credited at 4.40 rather than the normal 3.53. All training lines have a 75:00 hour guarantee, which is 5 hours beyond a regular AVBL’s schedule. Flexibility is built into these lines as FAs can self plot to 100 hours while Crew Scheduling is only able to plot up to 85 hours. The key to the increased flexibility is AVBL days can be released for those holding training lines once the FA’s SPROJ reaches 75 Hours. This will allow the flexibility of either more days off or more days to pick up additional flying.
Following our commitment to address the membership’s concerns we reviewed the hours of the first 165 FAs who completed training in November. This review, based on previous months flying in 2012, shows that FAs who prefer low time were able to fly their traditional low hours and those that were high time flyers were able to fly their high time as well. In fact, it was not uncommon to see FAs with over 100 hours and as high as 130 hours for the month.
We continue to work on the length of training but have yet to see any movement from AA concerning the required days. For FAs who are already trained on 737, 757 and 777, training consists of one day of online training at home and one stretch of 4 days of training with 2 days off followed by another stretch of 5 days of training. While still lengthy, it does lessen many of the days required to be away from home.
We were also successful in negotiating Hotel Accommodations for DFW Commuters, as well as not drafting any Flight Attendant for the Holiday months of November and December.
We will continue to monitor this training throughout the coming months, and ensure that FAs continue to realize the least amount of harm to those Flight Attendants who either proffer for and/or are drafted to training.
2013 Benefits Enrollment Review
Now that Open Enrollment has been completed, the 2013 benefits elections are available on jetnet. It is important to review your benefits elections in order to ensure that they are correct. It is advisable to print a copy for your records if you have not already done so. If you do notice a mistake, please notify HR as soon as possible so that corrections can be made prior to the beginning of the 2013 plan year.
Monthly Premiums for OSTD, LTD, and Voluntary Term Life Insurance
The information that we received from HR states that there will be no changes to the cost of any of our optional benefits in 2013. This information is correct, however, HR should also have pointed out that the premiums for some optional benefits (OSTD / LTD / Voluntary Term Life) are calculated by Payroll based on the amount of your salary. The rate changes we are currently observing were triggered by the implementation of the pay changes in the LBFO. You should not see any additional increases for these items in 2013 unless you have a pay increase.
Coverage Cancellation Issues
There were some members who experienced benefits coverage cancellations on or after 10/31/12. The Sharp payroll system was updated to reflect the new F/A rates of pay from the LBFO, and these changes flow through to HR/Mercer because, as noted above, some of our benefits are salary driven. During this large scale system update benefits coverage for some employees was inadvertently terminated. While HR has not yet pinpointed the exact cause of this error, they are currently researching the problem in order to ensure that it does not happen again. Please review your benefits coverage on jetnet as well as your e-pays statements to ensure that you were not affected by this error. Any members who notice errors should contact HR immediately at 1-800-447-2000, and then follow up with the APFA Health Department.
AmericanAirlines + US Airways
“Our Future Depends On It”
APFA National Communications Coordinator