APFA Hotline – July 13, 2013
Merger Update, FML Presidential, Reserve Late Call, KCM, 1114 Update, Asiana Crew
Yesterday, US Airways’ shareholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the merger with AA. We only have a few more steps until AA exits bankruptcy as the New American. Court approval for the Plan of Reorganization (a long and technical read) is set for August 15th. Also, the merger will require Department of Justice approval that should happen in August or early September. At that point, AA exits bankruptcy and flight attendants will then begin working under the US Airways’ Bridge Agreement (aka Conditional Labor Agreement or “CLA”) we negotiated last Spring until a new contract can be reached. Click here for the CLA Highlights.
Family Leave Presidential Resolution
APFA recently reached resolution on a Presidential Grievance filed with the company. The settlement reads in part:
- Flight Service will not issue corrective action if a FML request has been received at AA Medical and is in a pending status. If the request for FML is designated, it is a protected absence, pursuant to Company policy. If the request for FML is not designated, Flight Service will address the absence pursuant to the appropriate section of the attendance policy.
- If a FML request is submitted following the issuance of corrective action, Flight Service will rescind any discipline issued for an originally chargeable occurrence that has been subsequently designated FML. Further, Flight Service will advise the Flight Attendant of the FML designation and the removal of the corrective action.
This settlement will prevent Flight Service management from issuing discipline to an FA if s/he has a pending Family Leave request for the attendance occurrence. If the discipline is issued prior to Family Leave request paperwork being filed and subsequently accepted, the discipline will be removed and the FA will be notified by their manager. While this appears fairly simple in theory, getting the entire system and every base on one process has now been accomplished. APFA Vice President Marcus Gluth would like to thank Division Representative Catt Napper and Miami Domestic Chair Julie Moyer for their assistance with this issue. Click here for the Settlement language.
Reserve and Late Sign-Ins
While APFA continues to work on Reserve issues with the company, we found it necessary to clarify the Reserve short call procedures – particularly in light of our new hire FAs and recent problems arising from this issue. If a Reserve flight attendant receives their assignment less than three-hours prior to departure and receives a late report because of it, the late sign in will be removed. APFA has provided AA with the 2001 Letter of Agreement outlining this procedure. If you have any problems resolving this issue, please contact your local base representative.
Online Training Saga Continues…
As we reported on Thursday, APFA has been inundated with calls from members expressing their frustration with the ongoing online training problems. We have spent much of the week trying to correct and get resolution to this debacle. At this point, AA reports that all problems related to online training except Recurrent training home study have been resolved. FAs should resume completion of all other online lessons (Int’l training, etc.).
Unfortunately, the problems continue with the online portion of Recurrent training (EPTs). If you have not already completed this lesson, you should not spend any additional time working on your home study. The FAA has granted AA an exception that will permit FAs to complete their online lesson following training, provided that lessons are completed by July 31, 2013. Once the company has corrected the problems associated with the home study they will submit an HI6 notifying FAs that it is OK to proceed with a particular lesson. Please watch your HI6 messages for further details.
APFA is discussing compensation with AA in the form of training pay for FAs who experienced problems with the online home study. Meanwhile, please keep a record of the extra time you have spent on the site trying to complete the training.
If you are still having difficulties completing an online lesson other than the Recurrent training home study, please send details of the problem to email@example.com. Please include the course you are trying to complete, the problem encountered, whether you are on Windows or MAC, and the internet browser you are using. In addition, please contact the TSD. At this time it is not necessary to send reports with difficulties completing the home study as it is known this lesson is not working properly and the company is still working to correct.
Known Crew Member (KCM)
The TSA would like to remind all flight attendants of the following procedures when using the KCM portals.
- Crew members must be in uniform;
- Crew members may not transit with any prohibited items;
- Crew members shall not attempt to carry items through the KCM portals that do not belong to them;
- All crew members are subject to random screening.
If a crew member is found to be in violation of KCM guidelines, they are subject to revocation of their KCM access and are also at risk of putting the entire program in jeopardy.
Willingness to Serve Notification Reminder for BOS, BOS-I and RDU-I
The National Ballot Committee would like to remind all flight attendants based at BOS, BOS-I and RDU-I that due to a vacancy of the Vice Chairperson position at these bases, a Wiilingness-to-Serve Notification has been posted on www.apfa.org.
Those flight attendants who are interested, need to return the completed Willingness-to-Serve Notification to the address located on the bottom of the form by 1000 CT, July 24, 2013. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 817-540-0108 x8311 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plan of Reorganization Ballot
On June 20 American mailed copies of its Plan of Reorganization (“POR”) and Disclosure Statement to unsecured creditors and holders of AMR’s stock that was issued prior to the bankruptcy (“Old Equity”). These individuals and entities also have received a ballot which allows them to vote to approve or disapprove the POR.
Upcoming Retirement Seminars at LAX and DFW
APFA Retirement Specialist Patrick Hancock-IDF has scheduled three APFA Retirement Briefings in two locations:
LAX, Flight Service Conference Room
Please RSVP to the LAX MOD to reserve your seat.
DFW Yandry Center
These lively and informative briefings will have a special section at the end for those taking the VEOP. Please pull up a Retirement Estimate on the JetNet Benefits Service Center, to bring along with your questions.
There is not much going on in the courtroom right now with the 1114 process, although a tremendous amount still hangs in the balance. Our retirees, who retired with the guarantee of company subsidized retiree medical benefits, are finding there are not many, if any, reasonably priced alternatives for health insurance, particularly for those most in need of insurance.
The usual process in bankruptcy is that the debtor will file an 1114 Motion to modify the non-pension retiree benefits (primarily medical benefits) for retirees. In those 1114 proceedings, the company must prove that the modification is “necessary” for the reorganization to succeed. Every day that goes by, it becomes more apparent that American would not be able to meet that “necessary” standard.
As we know, American has instead filed an “Adversarial Proceeding” against the 1114 Committee, for which the judge has held hearings. There are currently no additional hearings scheduled in that 1114 Adversarial Proceeding, (which is the proceeding that addresses the Company’s position that they can make unilateral changes to the retiree medical benefits without bankruptcy court permission and do not need to file a Section 1114 motion to modify benefits.) The Company has filed a motion for summary judgment in the 1114 Adversarial Proceeding asking the bankruptcy court to conclude that the Company may make changes without first holding a trial. Judge Lane has not indicated that he will be ruling on that motion anytime soon.
It is interesting to note that under the Plan Of Reorganization (POR), American has filed with the court, there will not need to be a resolution to this issue before American can exit bankruptcy. The plan contemplates that the pending 1114 Adversarial Proceeding can continue after the effective date. We note, that once the company exits bankruptcy, if it does not prevail in the Adversary Proceeding, it will no longer be able to file an 1114 motion asking the court to order modifications to retiree benefits. At that point, everything will be riding on the outcome of the Adversary Proceeding.
The 1114 Committee will be meeting next week to update our action plan based on the new information in the company’s Plan Of Reorganization. Unless and until there is a change to the current status quo, retirees covered under the 1114 process continue to have the full retiree medical benefits they had before the bankruptcy.
More information about Asiana and the heroics of the Flight Attendants who were critical in saving so many lives last Saturday morning:
APFA SFO Base Chair Larry Salas agreed to do some on-camera interviews on behalf of APFA. Larry lives near San Francisco and is featured in this video, which also contains interesting footage and still shots of the flight attendants as they were carrying out the evacuation and jeopardizing their own safety to help others. Their quick actions literally saved hundreds of lives,
If you would like to send a personal letter to the flight crew, you can use the address below: Remember, a regular letter to S. Korea will require extra postage – approximately $1.10 for a one-ounce piece of mail.
Below is the address for Asiana Airlines’ Flight Service:
ASIANA Airlines Flight #214 Crew
c/o Inflight Services
Asiana Town #47
Republic of Korea
505 AA Flight Attendants
Over the past week, APFA’s Contract, Scheduling, Retirement, EAP, Communications, Safety, Cabin ASAP and Health departments have helped more than 500 individual AA Flight Attendants who either called or emailed APFA Headquarters with questions. If you have questions about any of the above topics, you can email the departments individually, or call (817) 540-0108 and follow the prompts.
AmericanAirlines + US Airways
“On Our Way”
APFA National Communications Coordinator