3.21.14 – (LAA) – JNC Update & Survey, Drug Testing, Convention Update, ODCG Distribution, FAA in SFO, Retiree Benefits/1114, News and Reminders

APFA Hotline

JNC Update & Survey, Drug Testing, Convention Update, ODCG Distribution, FAA in SFO, Retiree Benefits/1114, News and Reminders

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Negotiations Update / Joint Survey 

Our Joint Negotiating Committee met this week in Dallas to continue work on the opening proposal to the Company. We consulted with several professionals in the areas of Benefits, Safety, EAP and Preferential Bidding (PBS), to help us guide our proposal under the “adopt and go” method agreed to by APFA, AFA, and the Company.  We will be meeting during each of the next four weeks so that we have an opening proposal ready by the end of April.
Please take the time to fill out the Flight Attendant Negotiations Survey. Flight Attendants may change answers as often as they like, but only the last completed survey will be considered. Your feedback will prove invaluable as we continue down the path to a joint contract.
BEWARE: Hidden Drugs Causing Positive Drug Tests
Testing positive on a drug test is a career changing event and doesn’t just happen to “other people.”  Every year Flight Attendants who shop in foreign countries test positive for drugs without knowing they have ingested an unauthorized substance.  For example, Coca Tea sold under brand names like Lupi Tea, Health Inca Tea or Mate de Cocoa is easily purchased in stores in South America and may cause a positive drug test for cocaine. Also, hemp food labeled as containing hemp seeds, hemp oil or hemp extracts may produce a positive drug test for marijuana. Flight Attendants purchasing diet products such as Emagrece Sim, marketed as a Brazilian Diet Pill often don’t know the product contains unapproved stimulants.

Flight Attendants whose personal physician has prescribed medical marijuana for a health condition will test positive for marijuana. All of these products and more may cause a positive drug test and result in loss of job. There are no exceptions in the eyes of the DOT. Any unauthorized substance identified by a drug test will be considered a positive test and grounds for termination. If you have questions about a product, make a confidential call to the APFA EAP department at 817-540-0108.       

APFA Convention Update
The APFA Annual Convention concluded last Saturday afternoon in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The Board of Directors conducted business throughout the week, beginning with a full day of lobbying Congress on Capitol Hill. 
APFA awarded Judy Ladislaw the Martha W. Griffiths Award, the highest honor APFA bestows on its members. Judy held many positions at APFA, most notably as APFA Vice President during our 1993 Strike. Her efforts before, during and after our Strike working around the clock to ensure our Union continued to run full speed ahead including her successful efforts to return our Flight Attendant “hostages” stuck in S. America who were considered “non-AA employees,” and, therefore denied boarding during those 5 days, will never be forgotten. Judy is also known for starting the feature “You Be The Judge,” in Skyword, the well-known articles that present an arbitration scenario with names changed, and asks the flight attendants to determine the outcome.
APFA also bestowed its Edward M. Kennedy Public Service Award upon Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) who attended our awards banquet. Senator Markey has supported Flight Attendants on important issues such as knives on planes and cell phones in the cabin. 
Minutes of the meeting will be available 30 days following the last day of the Convention at www.www.apfa.org.
On Duty Contract Guides Delivered Next Week!
Hard copies of the CLA ODCG arrived at Headquarters this week and have been shipped to all base cities. They will be distributed to your Flight Service mailboxes by the end of next week!

FAA in San Francisco March 26-27
Just a heads up that the FAA will be conducting manual and tablet audits at San Francisco International Airport on March 26-27. The latest revision is 91, and the current bulletins are 15, 19 and 26-33. Some of the things they will be checking are whether you have a fully charged operating and spare battery for your tablet at all times, your ability to locate information in the e-Manual and to display your HI*9 on the Mobile CCI App, and locating the 2014 PA Card in the documents library. Visit the Flight Attendant tablet page on the Flight Service web site for more information.
Retiree Medical Benefits for Pre-Bankruptcy AA Retirees in Court This Week
At the monthly Omnibus Hearing for open issues in the AA Bankruptcy, AA’s attorney told Judge Lane that American “intends to shift the cost of retiree health and life insurance coverage to the retirees in the next several months.” American has sued the 1114 Committee in order to get a ruling that American has the right to make this change. 
The attorney for the 1114 Committee, Catherine Steege, indicated that if American does announce a change to retiree benefits before the Judge rules on their motion, the 1114 Committee would be back before the Judge in very short order.
It may all be a moot point as the Judge indicated he expects to issue a ruling shortly in the next week or two.

Merger brings fresh start, new challenges for American Airlines unions – Ft. Worth Star Telegram, March 16, 2014

Cell Phones In The Cabin: Call to Action!
HR 3676 prohibits use of mobile devices for voice communications during the in-flight portion of any scheduled domestic commercial flight, exempting any on-duty members of the flight crew and Flight Attendants, or federal law enforcement personnel acting in an official capacity. There’s still time to contact your Congressperson today and ask them to support this important piece of legislation.
Reports concerning staffing related issues? Please email details to staffing@apfa.org
Share Your Photos
We received some great pictures this past week after our first request for members’ photos at work and on layovers. Please remember that in order for the photos to be useable, they must include the names and employee numbers of all Flight Attendants, as well as contact information (if available). Otherwise, the photos are unusable.

Photos may be incorporated in future APFA web and print projects, including upcoming issues of Skyword, press releases, our APFA New Hire guide and a welcome booklet for our future members from US Airways. Please email your high-res photos to: communications@apfa.org. If you are emailing several high-resolution photos, please limit your photos to 3 per email as our server will block files over a certain size.

If you prefer to mail a hard copy, send to: 
APFA Communications
1004 W. Euless Blvd.
Euless, TX, 76040

Photos must be:

  • Be the sole property of the sender. By sending in photos, you are giving APFA permission to use them in APFA communications.
  • Contain the name(s), employee number(s) (if you can obtain your coworker’s employee number easily), email and phone number of each person in the photo in order to obtain permission to publish.
  • Be tasteful in content.


AmericanAirlines US Airways 
“On Our Way”

Leslie Mayo
APFA National Communications Coordinator

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