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Retiree Health Benefits, Prefunding, ACT ARC, Standby, Adjacent Base, Transfer/Proffers, Hotel Update, Workers Comp, DOT Random Test
Retiree Health Benefits / Prefunding Update
Today, the Bankruptcy Court rejected American’s argument that the health benefits of retirees are not vested and can be changed unilaterally. Based on this argument AA believed that it did not need to use 1114 of the Bankruptcy Code to terminate retiree health benefits.
Our collective bargaining agreement provides that the employer will distribute its prefunding contributions to the Flight Attendants if it achieves a successful resolution of 1114. However, by deciding not to invoke the 1114 process, AA forfeited its opportunity to retain these contributions.
It should be noted that Judge Lane did not decide definitively if the retiree health benefits are vested. Instead, he rejected AA’s motion for summary judgment in which the Company argued that the application of the law to purportedly undisputed facts showed that the benefits aren’t vested.
Having denied the motion, the court will schedule a hearing during which testimony and other relevant evidence would be offered. The hearing would be at least as long, if not longer than the 1113 hearing. Alternatively, American could appeal the Court’s decision to the U.S. District Court which is the first level of appeal from a bankruptcy court. Regardless of what happens in the vesting litigation, American should distribute the pre-funding contributions to the Flight Attendants for whom the contributions were made.
If the Company refuses to pay out the company’s prefunding contribution, APFA will file a Presidential Grievance protesting the Company’s action.
APFA Invited to Join ACT ARC
APFA was recently invited by the FAA to participate as a member of the Air Carrier Training Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ACT ARC). This committee is comprised of members representing aviation employee groups, air carriers, and training centers from within the US aviation industry. The purpose of ACT ARC is to review initiatives proposed by the FAA that would make changes and/or enhancements to training for Flight Attendants, Pilots and Dispatchers. The roll-out meetings for the ACT ARC members were held this week in Washington, D.C., at the Dept. of Transportation offices. APFA is well represented on the committee, with our National Safety & Security Coordinator Kelly Skyles having been appointed to lead one of the established workgroups of ACT ARC.
Standby Hours On Your HI1
Did you know that when a Reserve Flight Attendant is assigned standby duty, the 5 hours is credited to the PROJ and SPROJ immediately? However, it will not be reflected in the GTD until the nightly file maintenance is run overnight. Because the PROJ and SPROJ are correct, the order for assignment is correct, regardless of when the GTD is updated.
Adjacent Base Update
APFA continues to work with Crew Resources on the use of Reserves for adjacent base flying. Currently, we are collecting data to evaluate Crew Scheduling’s use of Reserves for adjacent base flying to ensure it meets contractual parameters, and to evaluate the balance of Reserves between the divisions at each base.
Transfer/Proffer Requests in SABRE
Please take a moment to review your 3* in SABRE to ensure your transfer/proffer requests are up to date. Remove any requests you no longer want as you cannot rescind a transfer, proffer or mutual once it has been awarded.
Hotel Department Update
AA will be restoring layovers in HOU and PNS and site visits will be conducted to secure hotels in these markets. Also, the return flight CWB/POA/MIA has changed which will result in a change of layover city. The layovers will now be in POA. The hotel being used by the pilots is no longer able to accommodate the entire crew allotment, therefore, other hotels are being reviewed. For up to date information on your layover hotels, for example relocations, specific hotel amenities, and a systemwide layover hotel list, visit www.apfa.org then click on Departments – Hotel.
Workers Comp Provider Search Website Update
The website used to access the Workers Compensation Provider Search tool has been changed to require all lower case letters. AA updated the information on jetnet on 4/17/14. The correct website address for the provider search is: www.sedgwickproviders.com/aal
Flight Attendant Wait Time for DOT Random Drug/Alcohol Testing
Should you be notified of a DOT test, and the technician fails to arrive within the 45 minutes, you must fully comply with all required procedures to avoid being assumed to have refused the test, which is grounds for termination. Do not leave the testing site before you are certain that you have fully complied with all required steps of the policy as outlined below. For future reference, these may also be found on page 1.19 in the General Policies and Guidelines section of our inflight manual.
“A flight attendant who reports as directed to the designated testing area for a random drug and/or alcohol test and who has waited forty-five (45) minutes from the time of notification indicated on the notification form for a drug testing collector or Breath Alcohol Technician (BAT) who has not arrived at the designated testing area to perform the test, MUST call his/her Manager on Duty (MOD) or Flight Service Daily Ops at 817-967-8409 and the appropriate contact listed on the test notification form to advise them of the failure of the collector or BAT to appear. The FA shall indicate on the notification form the date and time calls were made and the names of the persons with whom they spoke. The FA shall provide a copy of the notification form to her/his Flight Service Manager (FSM) within 5 business days. If you have problems or questions about a random test please contact your APFA EAP department at 817-540-0108.”
Headquarters Maintenance Update
The building maintenance continues at APFA Headquarters and as with most maintenance projects, there have been unforeseen delays. Therefore, the staff and HQ reps will continue to work off site during the first few days of next week. Hours remain as 9 p.m. to 5 Central time, Monday-Friday. All email and phone calls will continue to be directed to the appropriate department. Headquarters is expected to reopen on Wednesday, April 23.
Vacation Trade Bulletin Board at APFA.org
Vacation awards were finalized last week. If you would like to move your 2014-2015 vacation, APFA offers an electronic bulletin board at www.apfa.org to post your trade requests. Click here and follow the directions to post your requested VC trades.
APFA Website Update
If you’re an APFA member / pre-merger AA Flight Attendant, and don’t yet have access to APFA’s website, go to www.www.apfa.org and click on “Create An Account” under the Log In Form from the main page. Once you fill out the form, a verification email will be sent to you. Click on the specified link within the email, and you will gain immediate access to the members-only portion of APFA.org. Get to know it!
Cell Phones In The Cabin: Call to Action!
HR 3676 prohibits the 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.
Do you have a report concerning staffing-related issues? Please email details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share Your Photos
We continue to receive some great pictures from our members both on and off the plane. 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 pre-merger US Airways. Please email your hi-res photos to: email@example.com. 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:
1004 W. Euless Blvd.
Euless, TX, 76040
- 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”
APFA National Communications Coordinator