Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

5.23.14 – (LAA) – A321T Presidential Grievance, Constitution Ballot, Quarterly Executive Committee Meeting, APFA Leadership Summit, ORD VC WTS, Seniority Shuffle, Hotel Department Update, 401(k), Combined Operation, PBS, MERS Info, Commuter Transit Progra

APFA Hotline

A321T Presidential Grievance, Constitution Ballot, Quarterly Executive Committee Meeting, APFA Leadership Summit, ORD VC WTS, Seniority Shuffle, Hotel Department Update, 401(k), Combined Operation, PBS, MERS Info, Commuter Transit Program, Caracas Update, Emergency Response, DOT Regs, Cell Phones in the Cabin Update, 9/11 Memorial Museum

May 23, 2014

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HOT TOPICS – legal@apfa.org 
APFA has filed a Presidential Grievance, on behalf of the membership, to address the company’s failure to pay Flight Attendants who work galley positions on the newly-acquired Airbus 321T. As you know, the A321T replaced the Boeing 767-200 in the Transcon market.

The grievance states in part: “[APFA] demand[s] that the Company immediately cease and desist; properly apply Article 3.S.1.A., and any related articles of the CBA as it pertains to the Company’s failure to properly compensate Flight Attendants who perform galley duties on the Airbus 321T three-class aircraft, reimburse back pay to all Flight Attendants who have performed galley duties on new Airbus A321T three-class aircraft since its delivery into service and any additional relief deemed appropriate.”
 
APFA will continue to keep the membership posted via this Hotline as the grievance moves forward.
 
Constitution Amendments Balloting Q&As cc1@apfa.org

 

Q. “How will item #1 (Changes to address the eventual combination of International and Domestic Bases) be accomplished? Will it require a dues increase?  Will any of these items require a dues increase in the future?”
A. No. None of the proposed amendments requires a dues increase, nor is a dues increase being proposed. APFA can accomplish everything in the proposed amendments with our current dues rate of $41 a month. NOTE: The APFA dues rate can only be changed by a vote of the membership.
 
Q. “Regarding item #2 (Provisions for the transition to a combined American / US Airways Flight Attendant Work Group) to give APFA options, haven’t we already done that?”
A. While we have agreements concerning many aspects of the transition to a single Flight Attendant work group, item #2 addresses issues that only can be changed by the proposed amendments.  For example, we will be welcoming pre-merger US Airways Flight Attendants with valuable experience into our union in the coming months. In order for the combined membership to fully benefit from the resources these Flight Attendants bring to the table, item #2 must pass, allowing them to become eligible to hold administrative or committee positions. The proposed change would provide the APFA Board of Directors with the flexibility to give former US Airways credit for time spent in AFA union positions.
 
Q. “I’m a new hire Flight Attendant. Why is this important to me?”
A. The Constitution determines APFA’s structure and the rights and responsibilities of members and leadership. For APFA to be able to continue to represent our members effectively, the Constitution has to keep current with the changes that the merger is bringing, and should be updated and clarified to improve how we operate.
 
Q. “Why are we changing the titles of officers since president and base chair have always worked for APFA? Why align ourselves with the titles other unions use? If we only represent one airline, why do we need to add the word national to the title or president to base chair?“
A. APFA’s titles are different from those used by most other unions, which creates confusion when dealing with the media, policymakers, the financial world, and these other unions. The title changes have been proposed simply to harmonize with the various unions APFA interacts with in the aviation industry and beyond. Although APFA’s independence is crucial for our union’s strength, so too is our ability to work cooperatively with external associates. We expect this change, while minor, to help smooth our external relations.

  • If you have questions about the content of the Constitution changes, please email cc1@apfa.org.
  • If you have any questions about your ballot and/or how to vote, email ballot@apfa.org.

UPCOMING MEETINGS
Executive Committee (EC) Meeting – secretary@apfa.org
The 1Q14 meeting of the APFA Executive Committee will be held June 3-4, 2014 at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine TX. All members in good standing are welcome to attend.  The meeting is scheduled to begin at 09:00 on Tuesday June 3, 2014.
 
Leadership Summit
During the first week of June, in conjunction with the quarterly APFA Executive Committee meeting, members of APFA and US Airways AFA-CWA leadership, including the APFA Board of Directors and the AFA US Airways MEC and LEC officers, as well as APFA’s Department Coordinators and the AFA Department Chairpersons, will be meeting in Dallas for a Leadership Summit. The Summit has been designed to help our elected and appointed leaders meet and collaborate with their pre-merger US Airways counterparts. This meeting is another important step in our collective effort to bring together all 24,000 Flight Attendants – the face of the new American. 
 
Stay tuned to this hotline for a report out on the Leadership Summit.
 
Chicago Domestic Vice Chair Willingness to Serve – ballot@apfa.org
As a reminder, a Willingness-to-Serve for ORD Vice Chairperson is available on the APFA website.
 
ORD-based members in good standing that are interested in serving as the ORD Vice Chairperson should download the Willingness-to-Serve form and return it to the address on the form by 10:00 AM Central Time on June 4, 2014. Please contact the NBC at ballot@apfa.org or 817-540-0108, ext. 8311 with any questions.
 
Seniority Shuffle – contract@apfa.org
Q: “When will the attrition from the most recent VEOP be reflected in our seniority number in FOS?”
A: The monthly seniority shuffle generally occurs around the 12th of each month and reflects attrition from two months prior. Therefore, the attrition from Flight Attendants departing as of the end of April will be reflected in the June 12th shuffle. The annual seniority shuffle will take place at the end of June and will reflect attrition through the end of May and include anyone taking the VEOP with trips that carried into May. 
 
Hotel Department Update – hotel@apfa.org

  • RDU – APFA will not be returning to our long layover hotel in RDU and will, instead, be using two temporary hotels for June until we can complete a site inspection in this market. Visit the APFA Hotel Allocation page for hotel assignments or check your HIHTL.
  • LAX – As a result of the increase in the number of long LAX layovers coupled with our two current hotels holding us to our room caps, discussions are in place to secure a third layover hotel. This month, a hotel was used to compensate for last minute overages. The same hotel will be used for June. However, we are hopeful that a mutually-agreed to hotel will be secured beginning in July.
  • LHR – A few reports have come in regarding elevator issues (frequently out of order elevators, etc.) at our long layover hotel. AA’s Hotel Contract Manager has been notified and all the information has been forwarded to the Hotel’s GM for follow-up.
  • LAS – A site inspection was completed this week for our short layover accommodations.  A recommendation will be sent to the company rep by early next week.

Temporary relocations are in effect for the following cities: SAT-L, RDU-L, GIG-L, and MIA-S. Please refer to the Temporary Relocation section on the APFA Hotel page or HIHTL.
 
Corrections: The lobby work was being done at the long layover hotel in SAT. Also, the site inspection this past week was for a short layover hotel in LAS, not in LAX.
 
401(k) Deduction Verification – Retirement@apfa.org
If you have not made any changes to your 401(k) deductions recently, it is time to log-in and double-check your deduction percentages. APFA has received a few reports of Flight Attendants discovering that the amount being deducted is not what they remember selecting. If you learn that the amount is not what you selected, please contact JP Morgan and let APFA know, as well.
 
To do so, login to JP Morgan www.retireonline.com. Follow this Path: 401kSuper$aver > Contribution Amount, then verify that the “Current” contribution is correct.
 
Combining International and Domestic – scheduling@apfa.org
This week, the Company and APFA discussed a timeline for combining international and domestic flying. American is on track to have an entirely combined operation by the first half of 2015, with both Regularly-Scheduled and Reserve Flight Attendants at a single base with all the flexibilities of flying either Domestically or Internationally.
 
Currently, the programmers are working on modifying the FOS system to place all FAs within the same city (example: JFK and LGA) at a single base, for sequences to be considered Domestic or International, and for creating assignments based on the Flight Attendant’s international qualification – just like equipment qual sequence search today. Things like TTOT, the searches Crew Schedule uses to assign/award flying, the lists for types of flying, as well as pay-related back end items you and I don’t see, are being tested to confirm they work in the new scheduling world that will not contain a separate base for Domestic and International in the same city. This progress is real and encouraging. 
 
Prior to the implementation of PBS, the selections for Domestic and International flying will be pure selections (meaning no mixing of Dom with Int’l). Relief and Reserve Flight Attendants will be subject to mixed flying. Once PBS is implemented, the flying could be mixed for regulars based on preferences and seniority.
 
Preferential Bidding System (PBS) Research scheduling@apfa.org
Since the current US Airways agreement contains many ratified improvements to the implementation of preferential bidding (PBS), their representatives have been working hard with AOS (their PBS provider) to prepare their system for implementation possibly by the Fall of this year.

A large part of any successful scheduling change, particularly with the introduction to PBS, will be to ensure that Flight Attendants are sufficiently trained to help our coworkers learn and use the system. Therefore, AFA US Airways is currently “training their trainers.” PBS was contained in both our LBFO and the CLA, and it could be implemented prior to the joint collective bargaining agreement, APFA will be participating in one of US Airways’ train-the-trainer classes next week.

Pre-merger AA Flight Attendants will benefit from the hard work that has all ready been accomplished by and on behalf of pre-merger US Airways Flight Attendants once our PBS system is implemented.
 
Combined training will continue this year as planned. APFA is discussing the process of training Domestic non-Reserves who are not yet overwater qualified. As soon as we have more information we will update this Hotline. All Flight Attendants subject to Reserve will continue to be trained.
 
MERS – health@apfa.org
For current information on MERS, click here for a MERS Update from the CDC, as well as a link to more extensive information on MERS from the CDC website.
 
Commuter Transit Program – health@apfa.org
Commuter Transit Program provides a transit card similar to the FSA card. It allows pre-tax deductions of $130 a month for use on public transportation and $250 a year for parking at a train or bus station and can also be used at your commuter city airport parking. Wageworks is the administrator of this account. It is separate from your FSA.  Flight Attendants can elect to start and stop the plan at any time. If you elect the plan in May, you won’t see any deductions until your end of the month check in June and funds will be available in July. For more information, can visit my.aa.com.
 
Emergency Response / JSC / Irregular Operations / DOT Regs – safety@apfa.org
APFA participated in AA’s Corporate emergency response drill held Tuesday May 20th. The drill provides an opportunity for employee unions and the company to evaluate their emergency response checklists and determine if the plans allow for a timely and organized immediate response to a major event, such as an aircraft accident. APFA Go Team representatives actively participated in this week’s drill and are working with various company departments to ensure a smooth response from all parties.

The Joint Security Committee (JSC) has completed the Caracas Security Assessment document and has made it available for review for all Crew Members via the Crew Security web site. It is also available on our APFA web site under the Safety & Security Department section.

If a Flight Attendant is involved in an irregular operations aircraft event (example, inadvertent slide deployment) and is directed by a company management representative to comply with a drug and/or alcohol test immediately following the event without the evidence of probable cause, they should immediately request union representation. The American Airlines policy for testing Flight Attendants is to comply with the DOT regulation of random employee testing or when there is believed to be evidence of probable cause.
 
Fight Attendants who have questions regarding the DOT regulations and/or probable cause testing should direct their questions to eap@apfa.org or safety@apfa.org.
 
New DOT Regs for Ticketing / Fee Disclosure – legislation@apfa.org
This week, the Department of Transportation proposed new regulations that would require airlines to fully disclose fees for basic items like checked bags, assigned seats, and carry on bags so consumers will know the true cost of flying.
 
This a la carte type of pricing has become a popular way to sell tickets within the industry. The airlines argue that the new regulations fly in the face of free enterprise and that the government does not dictate how other industries must market their products. The proposed regulations would also require airlines to disclose whether a ticket being sold is for a flight operated by another carrier with which the airline may have a partnership. DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx stated: “A customer can buy a ticket for $200 and find themselves with a $100 baggage fee.” Airlines typically advertise their base fares without including taxes and other add-on fees.
 
There will be a 90-day public comment period before the regulations take effect.
 
Second FCC Comment Period on Cell Phones Ends – legislation@apfa.org
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) second comment period ended regarding cell phones on board aircraft. The comment period was extended until May 16, 2014 after a joint motion request by Aeromobile, Panasonic and others, saying “technological, legal, and policy issues were raised in the first round of comments that required a technical evaluation and response.” The FCC had a tremendous amount of pushback from the public as well aviation professionals, including APFA.
 
The following statement was issued by the Federal Communications Commission: “To be absolutely clear, the FCC is not proposing to mandate that cell phone use be permitted aboard aircraft. Many are concerned that adoption of this proposal will result in a less-enjoyable travel experience caused by other passengers engaging in unreasonably loud phone conversations during flight. As frequent flyers ourselves, we understand and empathize with these concerns, but it is important to keep in mind that it is not within the FCC’s jurisdiction to set rules governing concerns about passenger behavior aboard aircraft. That role is properly left to the FAA and the airlines after consultation with their customers.”
 
APFA has submitted comments and our position remains clear: cell phones should not be permitted on board aircraft. Capwiz remains active for APFA members to voice their support of legislation banning cell phones in the cabin (HR 3676).
 
APFA Attends 9/11 Memorial Museum Opening This Week – archives@apfa.org
APFA was in attendance for the opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum in Manhattan this week. Click here to learn hours of operation, directions to the museum, and even a webcam focused on Ground Zero. APFA donated many items to the museum on behalf of our fallen crew members. We have uploaded a few photos but nothing can compare to an actual visit to this beautiful tribute.
 
News – communications@apfa.org
American Airlines president sees strong growth, earnings, network future – Dallas Morning News – 5.21.14
http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2014/05/american-airlines-president-sees-strong-growth-earnings-network-future.html/
 
Memorial Day
APFA Headquarters will be closed on Monday, May 26th, in observance of Memorial Day so that our unionized staff can enjoy the holiday. We will open again at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 27th.
 
APFA would like to honor all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation while serving in the military.
___________________________________________
REMINDERS!

Summer Leaves of Absence Available – contract@apfa.org
As has been announced, a two-month Leave of Absence is being offered for August and September as a result of the lower than anticipated number of Flight Attendants accepting the recent VEOP and the October reconfiguration of the 737, which will increase the minimum crew from 3 to 4.
 
Based on agreement between APFA and the company, this Leave will be coded as an Overage Leave, which provides for active travel during the Leave including D1 travel and travel on other airlines. The proffer ballot is available on the Flight Service website. The proffer will close at 10:00 a.m Central Time on Monday, June 16. Up to 500 Leaves will be offered, primarily at domestic bases. 
 
Probationary Flight Attendants are eligible to bid for the Leave. However, please note that if the Leave reaches your bidding seniority, your probationary period will be extended accordingly. You will not accrue Company or Classification (pay) seniority while on the Leave of Absence. Your Occupational (Bidding) Seniority will not be affected provided you are not taking other Leaves consecutively to the Overage Leave.
 
Please review the Q and A’s available on the Flight Service website for more information.
 
Vacation Trade Bulletin Board on APFA’s Website – webmaster@apfa.org
If you would like to trade your 2014-2015 vacation, APFA offers an electronic bulletin board at www.apfa.org to post your trade requests. Click here and follow instructions to post your requested VC trades. 

APFA “Flyer” iPhone App communications@apfa.org APFA’s Flyer App, Version 5 is available for download from APFA’s website. To download the app, click here. 

APFA Website Update communications@apfa.org 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.

Staffing – staffing@apfa.org Do you have a report concerning a staffing-related issue and would like to submit data to APFA? Please email all details to staffing@apfa.orgThis email is a no-response email. It is strictly used to collect data. If you have a scheduling or staffing question or issue, email: contractandschedulingreps@apfa.org.

Drug Testing Wait Times – eap@apfa.org
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 are grounds for termination. Do NOT leave the testing site before being 100% sure you have fully complied with all required steps of this policy 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.
 
Share Your Photos communications@apfa.org 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).  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 digital hi-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 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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