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NMB Grants Single Carrier for US Agents, Laura Meets With DOT Sec. Foxx, Constitution Update, AA Leadership Conference, Int’l Deferred Flights, Additional Benefits, Norwegian Air, Pre-Flight Briefings, Reciprocal Jumpseat Agreement with US Airways, VEOP1 and COBRA, EAP Update
June 20, 2014
NMB Grants Single Carrier Petition for US Airways Passenger Service Employees
Yesterday, the National Mediation Board (NMB) acted on a petition by CWA, the union representing the passenger service employees at US Airways. It found that there has been substantial integration of American’s and US Airways’ operations, financial control and labor and personnel functions, and, therefore, that the two carriers are operating as a “single transportation system” (single carrier) for purposes of representation.
Although this ruling applies only to passenger service employees, it paves the way for the NMB to find that American and US Airways also are a single carrier as to the craft and class of Flight Attendants. As you will recall, APFA and AFA jointly filed our single carrier petition on June 9, and today, the companies made a submission to the NMB that not only agrees that American and US Airways are a single carrier, but also states the companies’ willingness to voluntarily recognize APFA as the representative of the combined flight attendant workgroup.
We are hopeful that the NMB’s single carrier ruling yesterday and the AA/US submission today will expedite the NMB’s single-carrier ruling on our petition and the extension of our certification as the representative of all flight attendants at the new American.
APFA President Laura Glading Meets With DOT Secretary Foxx and FAA Admin Huerta
Today in Washington, D.C., APFA President Laura Glading met privately with DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx and was joined by Michael Huerta, FAA Administrator, to discuss issues important to Flight Attendants including FA Fatigue and OSHA. Sec. Foxx and Admin. Huerta solicited our support and continued input in the upcoming reauthorization of the FAA.
Ratification of Proposed Changes to the APFA Constitution – email@example.com
Thanks to all of the APFA members who voted on the proposed Constitutional changes. As we announced in a special Hotline on June 18th, the membership ratified all of the proposed modifications. We have already begun to implement the changes that took effect upon ratification. While it may take some time to modify all of the written materials, records and systems to reflect each new provision, the changes did go into effect on June 18th.
AA Leadership Conference – firstname.lastname@example.org
This week, several APFA representatives along with our counterparts at AFA attended the first leadership conference for the new American. The stated goal of the Conference was to “provide leaders with information about [AA’s} integration and our progress.” The top 10 AA execs including Doug Parker, Scott Kirby, Robert Isom, Bev Goulet, Derek Kerr, Andrew Nocella, Maya Leibman, Steve Johnson, Will Riis and Elise Eberwein addressed the group. The event was live-tweeted by APFA Communications. Please visit https://twitter.com/apfaunity/ to review the updates.
Deferred Flights on International – email@example.com
There has been some confusion over the manner in which the International Deferred Flight Letter of Agreement is being applied in the operation. When an International flight is deferred and rest of less than 12-hours International minimum at home base is provided, there are two options.
1. The Flight Attendant may decline to operate the deferred flight, be paid call-out pay and follow MIC procedures for your guarantee/last-five-day protection; or,
2. S/he may waive the home-based rest requirement, accept the hotel option and operate the flight after a minimum of 8.20 (eight hours/twenty minutes) layover rest.
When the 12-hour rest is not provided, call out is not an option if the Flight Attendant intends to fly the rescheduled departure. The intent of the letter was not to waive the minimum rest period at home base station as spelled out in Appendix I, Article 7.M. The letter expanded the Flight Attendant’s options to include accepting the minimum layover rest period and associated hotel. Previously, unlike Domestic, International Flight Attendants could not fly a rescheduled departure leg unless a 12-hour rest was scheduled. Layover rest was not an option for International deferred sequences.
If rest of more than 12 hours is scheduled, International Flight Attendants may choose the hotel or the call out and keep the deferred departure.
Benefits – firstname.lastname@example.org
There are several options for insurance available throughout the year. If you are interested in group homeowner’s and auto insurance, discount identity theft protection and veterinary pet insurance, visit http://aaaddedbenefits.com or call (855) 550-0706.
Amendment To Block Norwegian Advances In Senate – email@example.com
Following passage in the US House of Representatives an amendment that would effectively block Norwegian Air Shuttle from undercutting US labor rules while operating in the US was introduced in the Senate earlier this week. Introduced by Sen. Amy Senator Klobuchar (D-MN), and joined by Senators Coats (R-IN), Schatz (D-HI) and Blunt (R-MO), this bi-partisan effort requires the DOT to follow U.S. labor laws and make sure that the management of the new air carrier play by the same rules as everyone else. We do not want to see years of labor progress undercut. We will be again reaching out to Senators tonight and tomorrow in advance of the vote to make sure they know the APFA position.
Pre-Flight Briefings – firstname.lastname@example.org
Departure Dependability Briefing (DDB)
A DDB should be conducted before each flight between the gate agent and the Purser/#1 Flight Attendant. If the gate agent does not initiate the DDB, #1/FFA should. You may refer to the in-flight manual section Sign-In/Pre-Flight 1.2 for DDB guidance.
During the summer, the DDB also provides a time for Flight Attendants and gate agents to determine whether the aircraft is a reasonable temperature for passenger boarding. If the cabin temperature is deemed “too hot” for passenger boarding, the Purser/#1 Flight Attendant should coordinate with the Captain, gate agent and ground personnel to ensure all measures to lower the cabin temperature are being followed and applied (ground air support, APU, aircraft window shades down and all seat air vents open) before boarding begins.
A briefing between the Captain and the Purser/#1 Flight Attendant should occur before every flight. It is recommended, time permitting, that the Captain accomplish a crew briefing with all Flight Attendants. If time and circumstances do not allow for a full crew briefing, the Captain is required to provide a briefing to the Purser/#1 Flight Attendant. If the Captain has not initiated a crew briefing, the Purser/#1 Flight Attendant should initiate the briefing. The crew briefing provides an opportunity to share vital information related to the flight such as the presence of LEO’s on board, security information, predicted weather and inoperative cabin items. You may refer to the in-flight manual section Sign-In/Pre-Flight 1.3 for guidance on the crew briefing.
Reciprocal AA/US Jumpseat Link and Checking Bags in Uniform – email@example.com
As we announced on a special Hotline yesterday, the interim reciprocal jumpseat agreement for travel on AA/US metal went into effect today, Friday, June 20th. Please click here for an overview of the agreement and click here for a Q&A related to the agreement.
Recently, we have received reports of Flight Attendants in uniform being told they must check their bags even when there is still space on board the aircraft to stow luggage. APFA has confirmed there has been no change to the carry-on baggage allowance for Flight Attendants traveling in uniform. If you encounter a situation in which you are in uniform and are being told you must check a bag even when there is still space on board the aircraft, please send a report with the specific flight information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the flight number, departure and arrival city and date in the report.
VEOP1 and the End of COBRA – email@example.com
If you left under VEOP1 and are now nearing the end of your COBRA coverage, you may migrate to the American Airlines Retiree Medical Plan, but you do not have to go right away if you have other options. The American Airlines Retiree Medical Plans (both Standard and Value Plus plans) are available until age 65, and you can start it any time before age 65, but you can only start it once.
Because the Retiree Medical Plan is a different plan than your COBRA plan, you will have a new Annual Deductible, and will start a new Annual Out-Of-Pocket maximum. Some of our retirees have reported that they were able to switch to an ACA (Obama-Care) plan for the balance of the year, then start the Retiree Medical Plan on January 1st of the next year. You are eligible to start an ACA plan in the middle of the year, because the end of your COBRA coverage opens what is called a “Special Enrollment Period.” Check www.healthcare.gov to see if there is a plan that will work for you.
To start your Retiree Medical Plan, contact American HR at 800-447-2000.
Hotel Page Links – firstname.lastname@example.org
Available July hotel allocations have been posted to the APFA Hotel Page. We are awaiting confirmation from AA prior to publishing a few layover cities like Los Angeles and New York. These will be posted as soon as they are received.
There are some Temporary Relocations in place, and as always, you can find layover hotel amenities by clicking here.
Anxiety – email@example.com
It is normal to feel anxious when facing a challenging situation, such as losing time when a trip cancels, or ensuring you have daycare coverage when the last leg of your trip is delayed. In moderation, anxiety can help you stay focused, spur you to action in an emergency or motivate you to solve a problem. But if your worries are constant or overwhelming, when it interferes with your relationships and daily life, it stops being functional. If your fears seem overwhelming, you may suffer from an anxiety disorder. There are different types of anxiety disorders and effective help for each type.
Some signs that your anxiety is no longer functional are:
- You are constantly tense or worried and anticipate the worst will happen
- Your anxiety interferes with your work, relationships or other responsibilities
- You are plagued by fears you know are irrational
- You believe something bad will happen if certain things aren’t done a certain way
- You avoid everyday situations because they cause you anxiety
- You experience sudden, unexpected attacks heart-pounding panic
- You feel like danger and catastrophe are around every corner
If you have concerns about your anxiety, you don’t’ have to suffer alone. Many Flight Attendants experience overwhelming anxiety and find help by making a confidential call your APFA EAP Desk for information and assistance in addressing their concerns.