Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

6.27.14b – (LAA) – Prefunding Presidential Grievance, NYC Hotel, Combined Operation, Bed Bugs, Joint Security Committee, VC Move Ups, Tablets, QPSA, Clinical Depression

 
APFA Hotline

Prefunding Presidential Grievance, NYC Hotel, Combined Operation, Bed Bugs, Joint Security Committee, VC Move Ups, Tablets, QPSA, Clinical Depression

June 27, 2014

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APFA Files Presidential Grievance on Prefunding Match
After months of discussions with the Company regarding the distribution of the prefunding contributions made by American Airlines to the APFA VEBA to match the pre-funding amounts contributed by active Flight Attendants to the VEBA, the Company has taken the position that they are not required to distribute to Flight Attendants the pre-funding contributions made by American. APFA has filed a Presidential Grievance protesting the Company’s position. This would include all Flight Attendants that were active at the time of the LBFO ratification and had their own prefunding contributions returned to them.
 
APFA believes that the Company’s position is inconsistent with the parties’ commitments as embodied in the LBFO and subsequent agreements, and that the Company is obligated to distribute its matching prefunding contributions or, at minimum, use those monies to defray the retiree health costs for active Flight Attendants when they retire. 

NMB Selects Former APFA President as Deputy Chief of Staff
Michael Kelliher, former APFA president from 1988-1990, and a current mediator for the National Mediation Board, has been selected to fill the Deputy Chief of Staff position at the NMB. Michael received his Undergraduate and Masters Degrees from the Brennan School of Business at Dominican University. His focus has been on issues related to conflict resolution and negotiations. Michael began working for the NMB in 2010 and joins another former APFA President – Denise Hedges – who began her work with the NMB in 2000 and was appointed as Senior Mediator (ADR) in 2009. Congratulations Michael!
 
New, New York! – hotel@apfa.org
We are pleased to announce that, after receiving your numerous hotel reports from the field, we have secured a new long layover hotel in NYC effective June 30th! We have also signed a contract for a new short layover hotel for SLC. Please refer to the APFA Hotel Department’s page for more information.  

Temporary relocations are currently set for layovers at REC, MCI and LAX. Please refer to the Relocation page on the APFA Hotel Department’s web page for more information. 

Combined Operation Update and Changeover Pairings – scheduling@apfa.org
Combined Operation Update
APFA was updated by management this week on progress in preparation for combining Domestic and International at each base with an adjacent operation. We are on track for implementation in the spring of 2015. Once the operations are combined, all Flight Attendants will be assigned to the Domestic base. International qualifications will be a part of the *9. For instance, all IDF and DFW Flight Attendants will be based at DFW. Sequences will be awarded/assigned based on the qualification.

Prior to PBS, we will continue to see separate selections constructed with Domestic or International trip sequences. Relief and AVBL selections could see some mixing of sequence types, but a new remark will be programmed to permit preferencing DOM or INTL.

The end result of this path will bring increased flexibility to all of us. Domestic Flight Attendants required to become ditching qualified will have more opportunities to voluntarily utilize their new qualification. For International Flight Attendants, relief could come from the single Reserve list for the combined operation and the ability to fly Domestic and International. For both operations, Reserve assignments will be more predictable due to a single list at the base, and all Flight Attendants will be able to use their seniority to bid what they prefer from a single bid sheet at the base. TTOT will include all open sequences as will HIBOARD, and the lists for MU, Option II and CC will be combined. It’s a significant change, and one that should bring improvements for all of us.

Changeover Pairings
Did you know that trip sequences that originate in one month and terminate in the next month are subject to change? They may be longer or shorter than the original sequence and this may affect both legalities and pay for vacation removals. See page 6 of the ODCG for more details.

Bed Bugs –  health@apfa.org
We’ve been hearing lots of chatter about bed bug infestation on Social Media. If you are planning to file a Worker’s Comp claim for bed bug bites, you should be prepared to provide pictures of the actual bed bugs and/or pictures of the markings they leave behind. You should report any bed bugs to the hotel front desk immediately. 
 
Also, contact the APFA Hotel Department and provide the name of the hotel, the date of your stay and the room number. Be sure to file your IOD with the FSM or MOD at your base and to seek medical treatment from a Worker’s Comp network provider. NOTE: These claims are typically denied without some type of proof outside of actual bug bites. If you need more assistance, contact the IOD or Health Rep on Duty.
 
SOC and JSC Updates – safety@apfa.org
A reminder from the Joint Security Committee (JSC) on clearing US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and passport compliance
As a result of the disappearance of Malaysia flight #370, the US CBP is closely monitoring passport compliance. The US CBP has notified American Airlines about an increase in incidents of crew member passport inconsistencies.

Crewmembers are expected to present a current passport that exactly matches the information provided by the airline. Crew member passport information in DECS is transmitted by AA directly to the TSA and US CBP. Ensuring the passport database sent by AA exactly matches the crewmember passport presented on arrival is the responsibility of each working crew member. All crewmembers should ensure their most current passport information is up to date in DECS.

Failure to do so may result in being delayed or denied entry into another country or upon return to the United States. Please note that it may take up to 24 hours for the data base to reflect edits and updates, so please plan accordingly when scheduled for an international sequence.

Your passport information must include the following:

  • Name as it is appears on your passport
  • Issuing country
  • Current passport number
  • Issue and expiration date
  • Birthdate
  • Gender
  • Birth City / State / Country

Updates to your passport can be made using the following entries in DECS:

  • US Citizens use the HI18/US* entry
  • Non US citizen use the HI18/FP* entry

Note: If after entering HI18/US* or HI18/FP*, your name does not appear or is incorrect, enter name exactly how it appears on your passport.

HI18/US

  • Enter information
  • Type ET (End Transaction) to save the data
  • “OK,” will appear

HI18/FP

  • Enter information (Do not add the preceding P if it appears in your passport number, the mask selected indicates)
  • Type ET (end Transaction)
  • “OK,” will appear

VC Move Ups for August and Flight Attendant Tablets – contract@apfa.org
VC Move Ups
Earlier this week Crew Resources announced that Vacation Move-ups would be available for August at most domestic bases as well as IDF & IMA.  Use HISEND form number 3 to make a request.  The deadline to submit a request is Wednesday, July 2 at 1000 Central Time.
 
Tablets
As you know, the Flight Attendant Tablet is a required item while on duty since we are in the testing phase to have them replace our heavy, bulky manuals. Since the tablet is also needed to record all inflight sales, not having a working or available tablet can create problems for those FAs having to share their device inflight. Should you accidentally leave your tablet at home the MOD at your base should have a loaner tablet available. 
 
If you are experiencing problems with your tablet please contact the tablet help desk at (800) 343-0343 or tablet therapy located at each base in the operations areas. In addition, please remember Professional Standards should be your first point of contact to resolve any issues that may arise among Flight Attendants.
 
Maximize Your Pension – retirement@apfa.org
When you retire, your selection of a “Joint Annuitant” determines how you would leave your pension to a survivor. What happens if you were to die before you retire? Does anyone inherit your pension? Federal law requires that a pension plan must allow a pension to be inherited by a legally married spouse, including legally married same-sex spouses, regardless of whether your state recognizes your marriage. The default amount mandated by federal law is for the surviving spouse to get 50% of your joint and survivor pension.

APFA negotiated a better benefit. If you file a QPSA (qualified pre-retirement survivor annuity) form you can designate that your spouse receives up to 100% of your joint and survivor pension should you die before you retire. For Flight Attendants, this benefit is paid by the company. If you do not fill out this form, should you die before benefit commencement, your spouse will only receive the default 50% of your pension. This form is only effective till you get ready to retire. Once you make your selections for form of benefit at retirement, this QPSA form is replaced by your new selections. This form can be found on JetNet and the APFA Website.

Asiana Crash and MH 370 Update – legislation@apfa.org
Asiana-NTSB Hearing
The NTSB held its Sunshine meeting on last summer’s Boeing 777 crash at SFO. A number of safety issues of interest for Flight Attendants came out at the hearing. There were 12 Flight Attendants on the flight and although all suffered injuries and three were ejected from the plane, they all survived, and they performed heroically in evacuating the aircraft and contributed significantly to the fact that there were only 3 fatalities. Two major issues came out of the investigation: The first is the strength and location of Flight Attendant jumpseats on the 777, and the second is the deployment of the slides/life rafts. In the accident, two of the slides deployed inside the aircraft trapping two Flight Attendants. It was only through the swift action of their colleagues and rescue workers that they were freed. APFA will request a briefing from the NTSB on these two issues in the near future.
 
Malaysian Airlines Flight 370
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau issued a 58-page update on the search for the missing aircraft. The most detailed report so far, it outlines why they are moving the search area south of their original location and indicated they will be hunting for the plane in an area roughly the size of the state of West Virginia. The underwater phase of the search is expected to resume in late August or early September. Two newer pieces of information are that the investigators believe that 1) the plane was likely flying on auto pilot for the last 5 hours of flight, and 2) that hypoxia was raised as an example of why the plane would continue for so many hours under a controlled straight flight without communication. Investigators underscored that there is no evidence indicating that the plane lost pressure. The disappearance is still a complete mystery and the search could continue for a year or beyond.
 
Clinical Depression – eap@apfa.org
Clinical Depression is a common mental illness and affects more than 19 million Americans each year.  It causes people to lose pleasure from daily life, can complicate other medical conditions and can lead to suicide.  A concern about depression is one of the most frequent calls we at the APFA EAP department receive.  Depression can occur to anyone at any age, race or ethnic group and is never a normal part of life. 
 
Although about 70% of individuals with depression fully recover with effective treatment, less than half seek treatment, mainly because they think it isn’t serious or don’t want it to affect their ability to continue to work or that it is a personal weakness rather than a serious mental illness.
 
Learn to Recognize the Common Symptoms of Clinical Depression

  •    Persistent sad or anxious mood
  •    Sleeping too much or too little
  •    Change in appetite, which cause weight loss or weight gain
  •    Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment
  •    Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  •    Fatigue or loss of energy
  •    Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless
  •    Thoughts of suicide or death

 
If you have five or more of these symptoms for two weeks or more, you could have clinical depression. Help is available. Call the APFA EAP Department at 1-817-540-0108, ext. 8701 for confidential assistance.
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REMINDERS!

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!

Staffing
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 Communications Chair

Account


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