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APFA Hotline – Bankruptcy Update, Equity Letters, BOS-I Vice Chair WTS, Thresholds, Pay Protection, MU, Betty Ong Center
November 30, 2013
In 2003, when other major airlines’ workers were forced to shed their pensions, work rules and pay in exchange for living under bankruptcy contracts, the Flight Attendants at American, through an extraordinarily difficult process, chose to take a different approach. We helped keep our airline out of bankruptcy, retained our pensions, and still managed to live under conditions that were in some cases more favorable than our coworkers at legacy carriers. A prime example of the benefits of our collective decision: because of that bold move, a 28-year AA Flight Attendant with a Final Average Salary of $53,379 was able to preserve $662.76 more per month ($7,953.12 more per year) in pension payments due to postponing bankruptcy those nine years. Throughout that time, American Flight Attendants also maintained a competitive rate of pay that has only recently been matched by some legacy carriers and still exceeds that of our new colleagues at US Airways.
Two years ago, AMR filed for bankruptcy. Soon thereafter, APFA forged a different path that mitigated the damage experienced by other airline work groups before us. We recognized the value of a merger with US Airways and did everything within our power to make it happen.
This past week, we got the final clearance for the merging of our two companies. With the combined strength of the Flight Attendants at the new American, we will emerge as the most successful Flight Attendant group to ever endure a bankruptcy. In just 9 days, when AA exits chapter 11, it will do so under new senior management, with a competitive network and a better product, and the ability to provide its employees with industry-leading compensation. APFA members will see immediately-improved contractual terms, and be on a quick path to an industry-leading contract that puts the perils of bankruptcy behind us in record time. APFA members won’t be spending 5-10 years in protracted negotiations on exit like so many of the other majors have done and are still doing. Bottom line is this: since the Flight Attendants at the new American were an integral part of building our industry’s leading airline, we will soon be enjoying the industry’s leading contract.
On December 9, 2013, AA plans to exit Chapter 11; two years and 10 days after it filed for bankruptcy protection. It will do so as the leading airline in the country, merged with US Airways. We should all be very proud of what we’ve accomplished together.
Equity Claim Letters
Flight Attendants have begun to receive letters from BMC, the company APFA has retained to help distribute our portion of the Equity claim we negotiated in the new American. These letters reflect two very important figures: Your Total Eligible Wages and Your Share Allocation Percentage. Note that in the example in its letter, BMC uses a number of shares that is purely hypothetical and bears no resemblance or relationship to the actual number of shares that will be allocated to APFA.
The formula is comprised of an individual FA’s eligible earnings divided by the total amount of Flight Attendant eligible earnings. This yields the individual’s percentage of eligible earnings. By multiplying that percentage against the number of shares being distributed to all eligible FAs, the FA’s individual allocation of shares can be determined.
AA will be sending more information next week with Q&As, Computershare Instructions and other information to assist you in this process. Meanwhile, visit apfaequity.creditorinfo.com.
BOS-I Vice Chair Willingness to Serve
The National Ballot Committee would like to advise all Flight Attendants based at BOS-I that due to a vacancy in the Vice Chairperson position, a Willingness-to-Serve notification will be posted on the APFA website as of December 9, 2013. Interested Flight Attendants need to return the completed Willingness-to-Serve Notification to the address located on the bottom of the form by 1000 CT, January 8, 2014. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 817-540-0108 x8311 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we move closer to the merger with US Airways, we continue to receive questions regarding prospective changes to our thresholds. We anticipate exit from bankruptcy on December 9th. However, note this is not a guaranteed date, it is the planned exit date. If we merge prior to December 31, 2013, the employment threshold will not be measured for 2013 and it will cease to exist. The thresholds for vacation and sick accrual may be prorated for 2013. The first 11 months of the year will have 50-hour thresholds. If we merge on or before December 16, 2013 the vacation and sick accrual threshold for December will be 35 hours with a full calendar year threshold of 585 hours. If we merge after December 16, 2013 then December will have a 50-hour threshold with a full calendar year threshold of 600 hours. The threshold for Company-subsidized health benefits will not change and will continue to be 420-paid hours (average of 35-paid hours per active month) on a rolling 12-month look-back basis. Because a merger date cannot be guaranteed, APFA encourages our members to continue to meet the current employment and vacation and sick accrual thresholds until a merger actually takes place.
Reminder: Last Five Days Sequence Protection (L5D)
When the new bid line guarantee was implemented November 1, 2013, the last trip in the last five (5) days pay protection obligation was modified. In order to streamline the time a Flight Attendant must be available to Crew Scheduling to protect the sequence or guarantee, the FA is only required to participate in the HISEND MU Round for each Day Originally Scheduled To Fly (DOSTF).
Your Guarantee is NOT automatically protected. The Flight Attendant must participate in the applicable HISEND MU Rounds (and be on the MU list for all days originally scheduled to fly plus 8 hours which may require the FA to add their name to the MU list an additional day). The obligation window is indicated in your HI1 header after the cancellation. If the FA opts out of protecting their guarantee, then the guarantee is incrementally reduced by the value of the sequence (if the FA is at or below guarantee in PPROJ).
Also, a Flight Attendant is only obligated to participate in the HISEND MU rounds on DOSTF and to accept a single trip of any length that signs in within the obligation window until midnight of the last day of the month (originally scheduled trip plus eight (8) hours after scheduled arrival time). If the FA does not participate or does not bid enough (and doesn’t state “plot to protect guarantee” on their HISEND message), the protection will be lost. If not plotted then the FA may choose to participate in subsequent MU/II/CC/AB proffer rounds and may decline proffered flying without losing protection.
Please refer to the scheduling page at www.apfa.org for a more detailed explanation, including a new Pay Protection Flow Chart for L5D.
Additionally, you’ll find a new document called “How to Move Duty Free Periods.“ Although moving DFPs requires being in a trip trade transaction, it’s a clear explanation of how to make sure all of your trips are followed by duty free periods.
MU/Option/CC APFA headquarters has fielded a few questions regarding Make Up (MU), Option (II) and Critical Coverage (CC) flying and how it is assigned. CC is only offered on a sequence after it has been offered through MU and Option. As a result, it’s quite possible that Crew Scheduling could offer MU or Option and have separate Critical Coverage sequences at the same time. A Flight Attendant can decide to accept a sequence that is offered in MU or Option or wait until the CC round to see if the sequence will still be available. But as we all know, there is no guarantee that a trip will survive MU and Option proffering.
If Crew Scheduling elects to proffer such flying (check the status in RF 8803 CCS), they will call all Flight Attendants who are legal on the list in seniority order. Flight Attendants are under no obligation to fly, if contacted by Crew Scheduling, for Critical Coverage flying.
Regular and Reserve Flight Attendants, who wish to fly CC/CR should add themselves to the Critical Coverage list (XC). The entry in DECS is: HIHP/StartDate/EndDate/XC. HISENDs are not accepted for CC/CR flying. The Flight Attendant must be available for first party contact to accept a CC sequence. CC has no maximum limitation and is offered in seniority order to those on the CC list.
Betty Ong Chinese Recreational Center Dedication
About 500 people gathered to hear President Obama speak at the Betty Ong Chinese Recreational Center on last week in San Francisco. APFA Government Affairs Representative Julie Frederick was in attendance. President Obama spoke of the importance of an immigration bill. Invoking a Thanksgiving day theme, the President said he was thankful that Speaker Boehner was willing to revisit this important issue. The Senate has passed a comprehensive immigration bill but the House has yet to do so. The President noted that approximately one quarter of the foreign born population in the United States have come from Asian countries, including the Ong family. Prior to making his remarks, President Obama met privately with Betty’s family. During his speech the President recognized Betty as one of the true heroes of 9/11 when she provided critical details to ground operations in the moments before AA flight 11 hit the north tower.
AmericanAirlines + US Airways
“On Our Way”
APFA National Communications Coordinator
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