6.06.14b – (LAA) – Constitutional Amendments Q&As, Leadership Summit, Bid Leaves and Seniority, PBS, Hotels, Health, Retirement, Legislation, Safety, EAP

APFA Hotline

Constitutional Amendments Q&As, Leadership Summit, Bid Leaves and Seniority, PBS, Hotels, Health, Retirement, Legislation, Safety, EAP

June 6, 2014

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Voting on the Constitutional Amendments continues through June 18, 2014, at 1000 Central Time. 
If you have questions about the proposed changes:  cc1@apfa.org

If you need a ballot:  ballot@apfa.org

New Hires new to the line who never received a ballot: ballot@apfa.org

Base Representatives will be available in operations according to the schedule below to answer questions about the proposed constitutional amendment changes. Also, APFA Constitution Committee Member Mario St. Michel (JFK) will be traveling to several bases to help answer questions on some of the dates below.

Days in Ops:

LAX June 7
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
  June 8
4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
  June 9
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  June 14
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
BOS June 9 – June 14
5:00 AM – 10:00 / 3:00 PM – 6:30 PM
  June 15
6:00 AM – 12:00 PM / 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
  June 16
6:00 AM – 12:00 PM / 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
  June 17
6:00 AM – 12:00 PM / 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
DFW June 9 – Terminal C Ops
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM 
  June 10 – Terminal C Ops
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM 
  June 17 – Terminals C and D Ops
8:30 AM – 3:00 PM
SFO June 10
6:00 AM – 1:30 PM
STL June 10
5:00 AM – 2:00 PM
MIA June 11
10:30 AM – 6:00 PM
ORD  June 11
11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    June 12
11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
JFK  June 12
2:00 PM – 6:00 PM

 Review the information:

Below are several more Q&As regarding the proposed Constitutional changes:
Q. Why is it necessary to make language changes regarding satellite bases?
A. The proposed changes are intended to ensure the definition of satellite bases matches up with the way those bases have been handled since the beginning. This language proposes no changes to how bases and satellites work today. This language is written to reflect the current manner of operation.
For example, ATL flying is part of the MIA bidsheet, and APFA considers those who fly out of ATL to be based at MIA. The proposed language won’t change that or anything else at the Satellites. But without the amendments, the Constitution doesn’t reflect the reality of how the Satellites are run today.
Q. Will the new language allow APFA to merge bases regardless of how AA may set bases in the future, for example, make PHX a satellite of Dallas?
A. No. The Company determines where it will have operational bases; each base will also be an APFA base for purposes of representation. 
Q. Will fewer Base Chairs (Board members) place more power in fewer hands as a result of combining International and Domestic at the bases?
A. A simple majority of the Board will still be needed to approve resolutions in the future as well as to send future constitutional amendments to the membership for ratification. Yes, there will be fewer Board members once the Domestic and International Operations are combined, but Flight Attendants will still elect their Base Representatives and their National Officers, just as we do today.
Q. What is the process for base representation once the Company combines Domestic and International? And when will this be done?
A. We don’t know when the Domestic and International Operations will be combined.  When that does happen, if more than 6 months remain in the Base Representatives’ two-year term, a special election will be held so that the membership can elect their Representatives. Just as we’ve done in the past, if there is less than 6 months left in the term, the co-chairs will continue to serve until the term expires and the election of new Base representatives will be on the usual cycle.
Q.  Who will represent the base until elections are held?
A.  Under Item #1, the Domestic Base Chair and the International Base Chair will be “co-chairs” until an election is held for the Chair and Vice Chair of the combined base.  
Q. Why do it that way?  Will each co-chair have a vote on the APFA Board of Directors?
A. Having “co-chairs” is the most stable and the fairest way to provide representation in the transition from two bases to one. Until elections are held, each co-chair will continue to have a seat, and a vote, on the Board of Directors. 
Q.  Why does the proposed language allow for Division Representatives (who handle terminations and other grievances that aren’t resolved at the local level) to be stationed outside of the base they represent? Why do we need this change?
A. By eliminating the geographic limitation when appointing a Division Representative, it allows the Vice President to appoint Division Representatives based strictly on qualifications. As there is today, there will remain a check and balance system by way of approval of the Executive Committee before a member is appointed as a Division Representative.
Q. Under Item #5, if I take a bid leave or a personal leave, and I’m on an unpaid status, will the dues obligation change apply to me? 
A. You would continue to owe dues for any kind of voluntary leave. The change will only apply prospectively to Flight Attendants who are in an unpaid status (in excess of 30 consecutive days) for one of the specific reasons listed in Article II, Section 4.B:  termination, suspension/withhold, unpaid sick, unpaid IOD, hardship approved by the Executive Committee or the Board of Directors, approved military leave, or furlough. The change will not apply to any other kind of unpaid status. To read the exact language, please click here.
APFA LEADERSHIP SUMMIT – communications@apfa.org
This past week, the entire APFA leadership met with the AFA-CWA US Airways leadership to work on transitioning to APFA. The National Officers and APFA Board and EC met on Monday with US Airways LEC and MEC Representatives to explain in more detail APFA’s structure. On Thursday, the APFA National Coordinators met with their counterparts at AFA-CWA US Airways to share ideas about how to best integrate our members. This summit was designed to ensure a smooth transition for all of us. We are looking forward to a very successful future as 24,000 together!
BID LEAVES AND SENIORITY – contract@apfa.org
With Bid Leaves readily available lately, it is important to remember that consecutive leaves are treated as one continuous leave. Therefore, if the total amount of time you are on personal or bid leaves exceeds 180 days, you will see an adjustment to your Occupational (bidding) Seniority Date for the number of days in excess of 180. In addition, travel privileges cease on the 180th day of a leave or consecutive leaves. These provisions do not apply for the short term leave currently available for August and September, which will be designated as an Overage Leave. Please be sure to thoroughly review the Q&A posted on the Flight Service website if you plan to take the Short Term Leave consecutively to other leaves.
PREFERENTIAL BIDDING – scheduling@apfa.org
Last week, APFA attended an AFA-MEC US Airways Preferential Bidding “Train-the-Trainer” class. It was full of excellent information. US Airways selected AOS http://aos.us/classic/index.html as their PBS provider and they have created what appears to be a successful tool for their Preferential Bidding program with good functionality. We will continue to report out as we learn more about PBS.

HOTEL UPDATE – hotel@apfa.org
LHR Long – Changes have been made to the downtown hotel pick up times due to an increase in late arriving crews and flight departures being delayed as a result. If your crew finds that the extra time is not warranted and you’re arriving fairly early to the airplane, please email the Hotel Dept with specific information so the pick up time can be adjusted accordingly. Send the date of departure, flight number, time left the hotel and arrival time to gate.  This information is needed in order to make any changes.
GRU Long – One of our long layover hotels has gone entirely non-smoking. Please see the notice on the main Hotel Page for more specific information.
BRAZIL – In June and July, several of the cities where we layover in Brazil will be holding World Cup games locally. Some of our hotels will become “host hotels” for the teams, the media, FIFA, etc., and all of these hotels are expecting high occupancy throughout the games. 

To ensure the safety of hotel guests, you will begin to see enhanced security screening of personal belongings.

Additionally, some hotels may only allow guest access to guests with confirmed reservations, meaning crewmembers will not be able to bring local guests into the hotel. You will also not be allowed to leave behind items or packages designated for a third party. 

We encourage crewmembers to avoid demonstrations and large crowds in Brazil. We recommend maintaining a low profile and avoiding traveling to tourist and shopping areas while on layover in Brazil during this time as they are rich environments for street crime.
HEL – 
Service will resume next week and our hotel will be the same as it was last year. Please go to the System List and Amenities section of the APFA Hotel Page for more information.
FCO – 
The contract with our current layover hotel has been renewed for another two years.

Temporary Relocations
BWI – June 6th – 7th – Jazz fest and the resulting noise
IND – June 8th –  water shut off for repairs
Please refer to the Temporary Relocations Page or HIHTL.

HEALTH DEPARTMENT – health@apfa.org
Commuter Plan Benefit 
The Commuter Plan provides a transit card similar to the FSA card for use on public transportation. It allows pre-tax deductions of $130 a month for transportation and $250 a year for parking at a train or bus station. This also includes airport commuter parking. The commuter program, even though managed by Wageworks, is a separate benefit from spending accounts. The commuter program interacts with state and city transit authorities for other post-tax elections. The employee does not elect this during annual enrollment. It can be started and stopped at any time. This is an example of how the process is set up to work:

  • Flight Attendant makes an election for the Commuter plan in one month (June)
  • The deduction will be taken out on the last pay check the following month (July 31st)
  • Funds are available at the beginning of the following month (August)

For more information visit www.my.aa.com or www.wageworks.com

2013 FSA Claims Deadline is June 15
If you had a flexible spending account (FSA) for the 2013 plan year, you have until June 15, 2014, to submit documentation for eligible FSA expenses incurred between January 1, 2013, and March 15, 2014. You must submit your completed claim forms along with all supporting documentation to WageWorks by June 15.  Please contact WageWorks at 877-924-3967 or visit my.aa.com if you have any questions.

RETIREMENT SPECIALIST – retirement@apfa.org
COBRA Solicitations for VEOP2 Holders
Several people who took the VEOP2 received incorrect solicitation packages for their COBRA continuation coverage from the COBRA Vendor, BCI. The price of the first month of COBRA coverage is subsidized, in other words, it is the same price you were paying as an active employee each month. Every month after the first month, you will pay the full price of the coverage, plus 2%. Because of a coding error, some of the VEOP2 holders were sent COBRA solicitation packages charging the full rate for the first month. The error has been corrected, and new packages are on the way.  

But wait, don’t you have to respond within 60 days if you want COBRA?  We are pleased to report that the employee will have up to 60 days from the date the package is sent to return their COBRA election form to BCI. Payment is due 45 days from the date coupons are sent to the employee. This will give you even more time to decide if you want to take COBRA for those months.

Married to Another AAL Employee and Contemplating Article 30?
If you have been researching Article 30 / Early Out, and you are married to another AAL employee, you may have read about the policy that you cannot go on your spouse’s AAL medical insurance coverage. That policy was originally in place because Article 30 came with a “lifetime limit” of $20,000 in retiree medical coverage. 
Now that the $20,000 limit on retiree medical coverage has been eliminated from Art. 30, the policy restricting you from being on your spouse’s AAL medical insurance coverage has been eliminated as well. Now, if you take Article 30 / Early Out, you can then go to your spouse’s AAL medical insurance policy as an eligible dependent.

GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS – legislation@apfa.org
Over 3,000 comments were submitted to the FCC and DOT regarding the use of cell phones for voice calls on planes. In addition to the average Americans speaking up against the proposal, Congress was quick to respond with both the House and the Senate filing bills to permanently ban the practice. Last week, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted bipartisan-ly to send HR 3676 “Prohibiting In-Flight Voice Communications on Mobile Wireless Devices Act of 2013” to the full House for consideration. The telecom industry is pushing back against the legislation. APFA will continue to support the legislation, but we would prefer a regulatory fix. 
The Department of Transportation will have the last word on the regulatory front. While DOT has initially opposed allowing cell phones, APFA President Laura Glading will be meeting with DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx to reiterate our opposition. APFA has gone on record in strong opposition citing safety and security concerns and Laura will make those arguments again directly to the Secretary.
SAFETY – safety@apfa.org / cabinasap@apfa.org
FYI: The Cabin ASAP program has seen a recent increase in reports of door arming/disarming procedures and manual compliance.
In the aviation industry, inadvertent slide deployments are ranked as a high-risk event due to the injury risk to employees on the ramp or jetbridge. Confirming all aircraft doors are disarmed at gate arrival through the “All Call Door Report” procedure helps to reduce the risk of an inadvertent slide deployment.
Although Flight Attendants are preparing to transition from our current in-flight paper manual to the E-Manual on our Samsung Tablets, each of us is still required to carry an up-to-date paper manual whenever we are on duty. As a reminder, by the due date of a new manual bulletin or revision, the FAA requires it be filed in the manual prior to boarding the aircraft.
EAP – eap@apfa.org
Alcohol and drug use can undermine your best efforts to lead a happy and rewarding life. Depending on your level of use, problematic use can create:

  • a decline in your emotional and/or physical health and well being
  • strained relationships with your family, friends and co-workers
  • work, financial or legal problems

If you are concerned that your alcohol or drug use may be a problem,you don’t have to face your concerns alone.  Your APFA EAP department can help you understand your options and find resources in your community. Make a confidential call to us today at 817-540-0108, ext. 8701.
Vacation Trade Bulletin Board at 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
APFA’s Flyer App, Version 5 is available for download from APFA’s website. To download the app, click here.

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!

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

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

Phone: (817) 540-0108
Fax: (817) 540-2077


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