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Tentative Agreement Q&A’s

T/A Q&As By Category

40-Hour Scheduling, 401(k), Compensation, General, Healthcare, Implementation, LUS-Specific, Mediation/Arbitration, New Hires, Premium Pay, Profit Sharing, Reserve

40-HOUR SCHEDULING

Letter of Agreement – October 19, 2014
The company has agreed to drop the 40-hour scheduling language from the Tentative Agreement. APFA is now focused on the implementation timeline for this provision. The removal of this scheduling limitation will greatly enhance scheduling flexibilities for LAA and LUS Flight Attendants.

Health Benefits Threshold: Flight Attendants will now be able to trade or drop below 40 hours, all the way to a zero month if desired, while retaining company-subsidized health benefits.
 
Vacation and Sick Accrual Threshold: Flight Attendants must be paid* 480 hours in a calendar year for vacation and sick accrual. The 480-hour requirement will be adjusted down for any month in which the flight attendant is not active.**
 
Employment Threshold: Flight Attendants must be paid* 204 hours a year (17 hours per month average) in order to retain employment, however, that number is adjusted down for any month the flight attendant is not active.**
 
* Paid hours include vacation and sick hours.
** An “inactive month” is any month where a Flight Attendant is not technically available to the company for 15 days or more. In other words, if a Flight Attendant has an inactive month(s) due to an injury on duty, VLOA (bid leave), unpaid sick, medical leave, unpaid Family Leave for example, that month will not count towards the annual hourly threshold for vacation and sick accrual or employment threshold.
 
Q: What does the Agreement provide?
A: The scheduling limitation of 40 hours will be removed and a Flight Attendant will be allowed to drop to zero (0) hours in a month via trip trades and drops. Flight Attendants will still bid a line of flying but will be allowed to use the Trip Trade System (TTS) and the Electronic Trade Board (ETB) to drop below forty hours.
 
Q: Why did management agree to this now?

A: The Company has repeatedly indicated they want to resolve labor contracts and move forward with the merger. That is why they were willing to put a premium of $82 million per year into the agreement over what could be achieved in arbitration. The company has a number of labor contracts to resolve and, as this 40-hour minimum agreement shows, management wants to finalize the Flight Attendant agreement and move forward with labor peace.
 
Q: What if the T/A is rejected?
A: This offer is contingent upon successful ratification of the T/A. If the T/A is not ratified, this agreement to eliminate the 40 hours will be withdrawn and will not be presented to the arbitrator. We will revert back to the language of the T/A without the 40-hour Letter of Agreement and that will be what is presented to the arbitrators. The company was willing to make this move, which they were unwilling to make during the 150 days of negotiations, to help conclude the agreement.
 
Q: How does this agreement benefit Flight Attendants?
Introduces a scheduling flexibility never before seen at US Airways allowing Flight Attendants to drop down to zero hours in a given month.
Improves flexibilities contained in the America West Agreement. The current AW provision provided for Flight Attendants to drop down to zero hours in a vacation month. With this new feature, Flight Attendants can drop down to zero in any given month, regardless of whether it is a vacation month.

Restores LAA Flight Attendants’ ability to drop to zero hours in a given month and improves flexibility for LAA Flight Attendants by eliminating the threshold for healthcare benefits.

Preserves all of the previously-discussed flexibilities in the T/A (vacation splits, bid leaves, PBS, etc.) and adds a highly-valued LAA flexibility feature: the ability to choose to not work in a given month.

Thresholds are no longer a monthly obligation; they are now a look-back on a calendar year basis.

Q: How many hours do I need to work in a year? What happens if I don’t meet the annual threshold?
A: In order to be eligible to accrue sick and vacation, a Flight Attendant must be paid a minimum of four hundred eighty (480) hours during the calendar year, or be paid an average of forty (40:00) hours per active month during the calendar year if the Flight Attendant has been inactive during the calendar year due to unpaid status.    

The LAA 420-hour benefit threshold will be eliminated effective January 1, 2015.
 
Q: What if I work a partial year?
A: Any months that a flight attendant has been considered inactive, including but not limited to months due to injury on duty, VLOA (bid leave), unpaid sick, medical leave, unpaid Family Leave shall not count towards the 480-hour calculation. In other words, 480 will be reduced by 40 hours for each month a Flight Attendant is inactive.
 
Q: If I do not reach 480 hours, will I not accrue VC or SK?
A: If you remain active for 12 months but do not reach 480 hours, you will not accrue vacation or sick. If you are inactive for one or more months, the average of 480 hours per calendar year would be reduced incrementally by 40 hours per month.

Question below corrected from “paid” to “on-duty” 10.20.14
Q: Has the hourly requirement for Family Medical Leave changed?
A: No. Flight Attendants will need 504 on-duty hours a year to take advantage of Family Leave.
 
Q: What hours will count toward the 480 hours?
A: All paid hours will count towards the 480 including sick and vacation hours.
 
Q: When is this effective?
A: All health benefit thresholds will be eliminated beginning January 1, 2015.

APFA is working with the company to determine when these provisions can be incorporated for LUS Flight Attendants, considering PBS begins in February 2015.
 
LAA Flight Attendants will remain status quo under the current 420-hour threshold for vacation and sick accrual, except for the health benefits’ threshold, which will drop to zero hours beginning January 2015. LAA Flight Attendants will move to the 480-threshold concurrent with the implementation of TTS and ETB for LAA Flight Attendants.

Further details on implementation will be announced as they are resolved. Click here to read the Letter of Agreement.

In the event the T/A is not ratified, the 40-hour scheduling Letter of Agreement will be withdrawn. The following 13 questions pertain to the 40-hour scheduling limitation:
Q: I heard that we won’t get credit toward the 40-hour minimum schedule (for purposes of sick and vc accrual as well as company subsidized health insurance) for Electronic Trade Board hours (HIBOARD) we acquire once PBS begins. Can you clarify?

A: All credited hours count for the 40-hour monthly minimum including paid sick, vacation, and trips picked up via the ETB or Trip Trade System (TTS) count towards the 40-hour minimum. 

Example: A Flight Attendant comes out of PBS with 45 hours in her/his line (three 15-hour trips). If, at the beginning of the month FA goes on ETB and picked up a 15-hour trip making her/his line worth 60 hours, FA would be able to drop one of the 15-hour trips later in the month. That is because she would be projected to 60 hours and dropping one of her/his PBS trips would still leave her above 40 hours.  As this example shows, the ETB trips count towards the 40 hours. 

The confusion may come from a provision which is actually an added protection for LAA Flight Attendants on unpaid sick leave. If a Flight Attendant has less than 40 hours and does not have sick leave to cover her/his sick call, s/he will now have a number of options, as opposed to the current situation at LAA where a Flight Attendant would not accrue sick leave for the month if s/he was sick more than 15 days. 

  • S/he can pick up TTS time later in the month to get above 40.  
  • S/he could do nothing and go out on a medical leave of absence, in which case s/he would not accrue sick leave if her leave was greater than 15 days.  (Current LAA would not accrue sick even if using sick leave.)  
  • S/he could make a reasonable effort to pick up time through TTS and by doing so still accrue sick leave for the month.  

The reason this provision on reasonable effort only includes the TTS and not the ETB is simple:  there is no way to track whether a Flight Attendant made a reasonable effort to pick up a trip on the ETB, whereas the TTS system can track whether a flight attendant put in a bid. The flight attendant must make a reasonable effort to pick-up the lost time as a result of not having an adequate sick bank or take a medical leave of absence.  A flight attendant who doesn’t make up the lost time or does not make a reasonable effort to pick up the time or takes a medical leave of absence for 15 or more days will not accrue sick time.

Q: Is the 40-hour monthly minimum a threshold to maintain employment?
A: No, we do not have a threshold for employment with the T/A. The current AA threshold for accruing sick and vacation and maintaining company-subsidized medical will no longer exist.

Q: I’m a low-time flyer and I don’t care about company-subsidized medical benefits. At LAA, today we have to fly 420 hours a year in order to maintain those benefits. However, I don’t ever meet that threshold because I don’t need health insurance. I just don’t want to fly 40 hours a month. How will this work for me?
A: You have plenty of options to fly less or not at all in a given month.

You can split out your vacation bids in up to 9 different places throughout the year. (Read the Q&A below regarding vacation splits.)

You can request one of the many leaves of absence available to flight attendants:

• Voluntary (Bid) Leave of Absence
: You will accrue full vacation, sick, and subsidized company health benefits.

  • Personal Leaves and Educational Leaves.
  • If you are sick, you have sick leave available (paid or unpaid)
  • Family Medical Leave 


Q: I’m a low-time flyer. I like to fly a couple of zero hour months during the year. With this new provision of 40 hours, how will I be able to do that?
A: You can split out your vacation bids up to 9 different places throughout the year. or,
You can request one of the many leaves of absence available to flight attendants:

• Voluntary (Bid) Leave of Absence
: You will accrue full vacation, sick, and subsidized company health benefits.

  • Personal Leaves and Educational Leaves.
  • If you are sick, you have sick leave (paid or unpaid)
  • Family Medical Leave 


Q: I’m a high time flyer and I’m concerned I won’t be able to fly high time because of the 40-hour scheduling minimum for all flight attendants. Meaning, no one will be dropping trips because they all have to fly 40 hours.
A: With PBS, if you desire high-time flying you can bid and hold up to 110 hours with Preferential Bidding. In addition, you can pick up more time via the Electronic Trade Board (HIBOARD)/Trip Trade System if you desire.

With PBS, Flight Attendants will be able to bid for lines as low as 40 hours and as high as 110 hours. This provision will allow flight attendants to be awarded a line that will require fewer transactions to achieve their monthly optimal schedule.

Q: I do a lot of trip trading and I’m concerned that I will lose flexibility with the 40-hour monthly minimum.
A: The new contract will provide increased flexibility for the LAA work group with the new Trip Trade System, including new parameters for picking up trips, vacation filler days, “double up,” i.e. the ability to schedule two trips in one duty day, working on vacation days if desired, and “double dip” i.e. the ability to work on days you are receiving pay protection.

Q: With PBS, can I bid a 40-hour line and then drop my trips to another flight attendant bringing me below 40 hours?
A: No, you will not be able to trip trade/drop below 40 hours with another flight attendant or with the Electronic Trade Board (ETB).

Q: Will we have to fly an additional 40 hours in our vacation months?
A: No, your vacation hours will be included in the 40-hour monthly calculation. If you bid/hold 7 or more days of vacation, you will have priority to hold a low-time line.

Q: What is a vacation split?
A: A flight attendant may split his/her vacation into multiple periods of time off throughout the year. The minimum vacation split is 4 days, with the exception of one split, which may be between 1-3 days.

If your vacation accrual is 35 days, you could split your vacation up to 9 times.

• You could split your vacation into 8 periods/months of 4 days plus 3 filler days or a 3- day vacation equaling 35 days.

  •         4 days of vacation in each month of January, March, May, June, July , August, October, November, December and 3 filler days to use throughout the year.
  •         In each of these months, you would be required to work 24 hours to meet the 40-hour monthly minimum.

• You could split your vacation into 5 months of 7 days each.
o 7 days of vacation in May, July, August, November, December.
o In each of these months, you would be required to work 12 hours to meet the
40-hour monthly minimum.

• You could split your vacation into 3 months of 10 days plus 5 filler/vacation days.

  •         10 days of vacation, entire month off with low bid line of 40 hours in May, August, November. The 5 filler days could then be used throughout the year.

Q: If I take a voluntary bid leave, will I have to pay for my health insurance?
A: No. You will continue to accrue full vacation, sick and company-subsidized health benefits while on voluntary bid leave. This was a provision AA flight attendants lost in 2003, and have now regained with this T/A.

Q: How many hours do I have to fly to maintain my company subsidized health insurance? What do I have to do to be considered “active” for the month so that I can receive full vacation and sick accrual?
A: At the end of the year, there will be no “look back” to make sure you have achieved a certain number of hours for sick accrual, vacation, medical or employment. As long as you are considered active for the month, you will continue to accrue full vacation and sick hours and retain company-subsidized health benefits.

Q: What does it mean to be “active” in any given month in order to accrue vacation, sick and company-subsidized medical benefits?
A: Being available to the company for 15 days of the month means that you are considered on “active status” and, technically available to the company. Your days off, days between paid sick leave, voluntary leaves of absence (bid leaves) and vacation are considered active days. You change to inactive status only if you have an unpaid personal leave or unpaid medical leave that brings your active days within a given month below 15 days.

Q: When will the 40-hour scheduling minimum begin?
A: The 40-hour scheduling minimum will not begin for LAA Flight Attendants until after PBS begins. This will give Flight Attendants time to get acquainted with Preferential Bidding. Therefore, it will not be for at least two years or longer.

401(K)

Q: Why are LAA and LUS not receiving the same 401(k)contributions/match?
A: To mitigate the effect of LAA Flight Attendants’ pensions being frozen in November 2012, the parties agreed to establish higher company contributions for a five-year period ending in 2018. As of January 1, 2019 all LAA Flight Attendants will receive a company contribution of 3% and a company match up to 2.5%.

LUS will realize the same economic value as LAA’s higher 401(K) contribution by adding to the company contribution of 3% a company match up to 2.5% plus a $3,000 health care transition payment.

COMPENSATION

Q: While LAA and LUS Flight Attendants at the Top of the Scale will see a wage increase of 9.1% and 12.3% , respectively on DOS, what’s the impact of the TA on the pay of Flight Attendants, who are in their first or second year?
A: Based on a comparison of the pay rates and wage increases of the current contracts at LAA and LUS with those of the T/A, the most junior Flight Attendants will see their wages increase significantly over the 5-year term of the T/A.  

  • The wages of a first year Flight Attendant will increase annually by an average of 5.7% at LAA and 8% at LUS.
  • The wages of a second-year Flight Attendant will increase annually by an average of 5.1% at LAA and 7.7% at LUS.  
  • Under the T/A, in combination with the normal step increases, the wage rate of a current first year Flight Attendant after DOS +48 will be 51.5% higher than today’s pay at LAA ($32.70 v. $21.58), and 48.9% ($32.70 v. $21.96) higher at LUS.

Under the T/A, in combination with the normal step increases the wage rate of a current second year Flight Attendant after DOS +48 will be higher than today’s pay by 62.7% ($38.14 v. $23.44) at LAA and 64.3% ($38.14 v. $23.21) at LUS.

Q: How did the team come to the hourly rate increases?
A: On Friday, September 19th we agreed to wage rates that were 3% higher than Delta’s. In response to our TA, on Wednesday, September 24th, Delta announced it would increase its top of scale (TOS) wage rate by 4% and all other steps by 3%, effective April 1, 2015. We notified senior management of this development and CEO Doug Parker agreed that he would match the TOS rate, the one step that Delta had raised above the 3% we had already agreed to. On DOS (December 1, 2014), TOS will rise by 4% to $53.52, a 9.1% increase at LAA and a 12.4% increase at LUS.

The out-year increases are as follows: 2% DOS+12; 2% DOS+24; 2% DOS + 36; 3% DOS+48. This will top us out at $58.50/hr Domestic (excluding premium pay add ins) and $62.25/hr with International Premium Destination (IPD = Europe, deep South America and Asia flights) Override pay.

GENERAL

Q: Will jumpseats be issued by FCFS, seniority or a hybrid?
A: The jumpseat is a “cultural” issue and will be decided by a vote of the combined membership in July 2015.

Q: Did we retain the LUS weight-restriction language, which allows a jumpseater to be excluded from the final weight count when a flight is weight-restricted?
A: The JNC made it very clear to the company our position on weight restriction. The company was not willing to agree in the JCBA to remove a revenue passenger to accommodate a jump seat rider in either the cockpit or Flight Attendant jumpseat. The JNC secured a “me-too” with the pilots stating that if APA negotiates a better rule it will apply to flight attendants, and the application of the policy must be non-discriminatory.

FURLOUGH

Q: Since the new American Airlines is expected to grow, why is furlough protection even addressed in the contract?
A: Over the five-year term of the T/A, the company fully anticipates expanding its operations. During this time, Flight Attendants will continue to retire and leave the airline for other reasons. Based on these factors and the company’s continued success, there is no reason to believe that anyone will be furloughed now or at any point during the term of this T/A. The T/A simply provides guaranteed furlough protection for a year following implementation of the scheduling changes, including PBS. This protection extends to all Flight Attendants on the property as of the Date of Ratification.

In other words, in the event the company downsizing and a subsequent need for the company to furlough our members, no Flight Attendant on the property as of the Date of Ratification, November 9, 2014, will be furloughed as a result.

PBS

Q: In the Redbook, we have language that states LUS will have PBS no later than 24 months following ratification. We want PBS so we can realize all of the improvements in the contract immediately. Does the T/A extend the 24-month implementation requirement?
A: No. PBS is to set to begin at LUS beginning February of 2015. The T/A does not interfere with that timetable.

Q: When and how will Preferential Bidding Service (PBS) be implemented? If we vote no, can we avoid PBS? I’ve heard I won’t like it.
A: PBS has a target date of February 2015 at LUS and 2016 for LAA. PBS will be included in our joint contract regardless of a negotiated or arbitrated Agreement. PBS has evolved a great deal since its introduction decades ago. The potential for building an even more flexible schedule with today’s technology is greater than ever before. There will be extensive training at LAA, much like LUS is experiencing now, before anything is put into place.

SIGNING BONUS

Q: Why no signing bonus?
A: Based on the survey results, Flight Attendants wanted the money incorporated into our hourly pay rates. Money put into the wage scale gets paid year after year, while signing bonuses are a one-time deal.

UNIFORMS

Q: What if my luggage breaks before 3 years are up since I read I can’t order one online more frequently than every 3 years?
A: If your luggage is damaged and you need a replacement, notify your FSM to have it replaced.

Q: Will the company raise the price of uniform items so that they are no longer affordable?
A: APFA will address any and all unreasonable fluctuations in price that render uniform replacement items unaffordable.

Q: Will I be required to use my uniform “dollars” to buy the new uniform?
A: No. The new uniforms will be distributed to everyone outside of the uniform allowance.

CREW MEALS

Q: Are there any crew meals in this T/A?
A: Crew meals will be provided to Flight Attendants working International Premium Destination (IPD) sequences originating at PHL and/or CLT and for any flight over 12 block hour.

SICK POLICY / SICK TIME ACCRUAL

Q: Why is there a difference in sick accrual between LAA and LUS?
A: A critical objective in negotiations was to make sure that the value of a T/A was allocated fairly among the LUS and the LAA Flight Attendants. In this instance, the improvements to the LAA Flight Attendants’ sick accrual were staggered. Had the team not done this, the cost of that improvement would have caused an imbalance in the allocation of the T/A’s value for the two legacy groups.

Q: Did LAA maintain the current sick policy or is there now a sick policy in the T/A like LUS has?
A: Legacy AA’s sick policy is not incorporated into this T/A. Instead, several negotiated protections and improvements are included in the contract in this area.

For example:

  • All sick time will now be paid and credited at 100%
  • Sick Accrual in T/A is now 1,500 hours (LAA currently has a max accrual of 1,000 hours)
  • The company is restricted from asking for a doctor’s note simply based on the number of times a Flight Attendant calls in sick
  • There is no longer a monthly cap on the number of hours paid when a Flight Attendant calls in sick.

HEALTHCARE

Q: If the LUS Flight Attendants are getting a $3,000 transition payment to help offset health insurance costs and LAA is not, isn’t that a bonus for them? If the T/A is supposed to support both sides being equal, what is LAA getting?
A: The $3,000 payment for LUS Flight Attendants achieves two objectives:

First, the LUS Flight Attendants curently have better medical coverage than the health plans at LAA. The T/A provides that the LUS Flight Attendants will shift to the LAA Plans in 2016. The $3,000 payment is intended to cover some of the additional costs that the LUS Flight Attendants will bear because of this change.

Second, to achieve the goal of parity in the T/A, we had to consider that the LAA Flight Attendants have a higher employer contribution to the 401(k) than do the LUS Flight Attendants, and that the LUS Flight Attendants are moving to the LAA health plans, which, as mentioned above, are more expensive than the LUS Plans. The chart below shows how we balanced these differences so as to achieve parity among the two legacy Flight Attendant groups.

Q: Is the Company moving to a single healthcare plan for ALL employees or just Flight Attendants?
A: The company is moving to a single healthcare plan for all employee groups. The majority of AA’s workgroups are already on the AA plans and as each labor contract is completed, the covered workers will move to the AA plans. The JNC impressed upon the company the importance of softening the impact of this by keeping LUS on its current healthcare for 2015 and providing a $3,000 transition payment to defray the costs. Both LAA and LUS Flight Attendants will have choices in healthcare as will the entire company.

Q: Will Short-Term Disability (STD) be part of Open Enrollment?
A: Yes, STD will be an optional part of open enrollment, most likely offered to LUS in 2016.

Q: Why is the $3,000 for LUS Flight Attendants taxed?
A: The transition bonus is like any other bonus and will be taxed as income.

Q: Does the $3,000 transition bonus for LUS Flight Attendantsoffset the higher cost of health care if the T/A is ratified?
A: The $3,000 is a transition payment to help LUS Flight Attendants migrate to the new plan.

IMPLEMENTATION

Q: When will PBS be implemented for LAA at the earliest?
A: 2017

Q: What provisions go into effect immediately?
A: The pay and per diem increases go into effect December 2, 2014. Under this agreement, economic provisions that benefit Flight Attendants go into effect up front whereas the other provisions that save the company money, such as PBS, go into effect when they can be programmed. Many sections of the T/A, which do not require extensive programming such as the Grievance and System Board sections, Scope, Union Dues, etc will also go into effect immediately. 

Q: What contract section will I work under until a provision of the JCBA goes into effect?
A: Until a provision of the JCBA goes into effect, LAA flight attendants and LUS flight attendants will each work under the applicable provisions of their respective current agreements.

Q: Are penalties included in the implementation timeline?
A: The implementation letter contains timelines and a set of commitments to implement various provisions of the T/A. The implementation timeline has a built-in penalty because the T/A includes the economic increases (pay, premiums, etc) at the beginning of the agreement but the savings to the company through PBS and a combined operation come several years into the agreement. In other words, the company loses money by delaying the implementation of the scheduling system. 

Beyond that, the Scheduling Section gives the union a strong role in implementing the scheduling provisions through the Joint Scheduling Implementation Committee (JSIC). The Implementation Letter also identifies priority items for early implementation such as the new Reserve system, the pay protections and the automated Trip Trade System. 

Q: What does “as soon as practicable” mean?
A: As “soon as practicable’ means the Company will immediately commence necessary steps to implement the provision but requires time to resolve identified issues such as programming changes or change necessary procedures. The items identified by “as soon as practicable” should be implemented in the first half of 2015. Examples of items the company has agreed to implement as soon as practicable would be the last live leg and the voluntary duty day waiver provisions for LAA flight attendants and the 1 for 2 duty pay for LUS flight attendants. 

Q: How will LAA Flight Attendants be paid for vacation prior to PBS implementation?
A: LAA Flight Attendants will be paid trips missed for their vacation until PBS implementation. LAA flight attendants will also be able to use PVDs (limit of six per year) which will be paid at a daily rate of 3.5 hours. 

Q: Will LAA Flight Attendants be able to use vacation for FML illnesses?
A: Prior to PBS implementation, LAA Flight Attendants will be able to use the current year’s scheduled vacation at trips missed just as they currently do. Flight Attendants will also be able to use up to 6 PVDs at a daily rate of 3.5 hours for an FML illness.

Q: When can I transfer between bases?
A: LAA and LUS Flight Attendants will be able to transfer between bases when all Flight Attendants are under one common crew management system (Flight Attendant Operational Integration). That is anticipated to be between two and three years from now, after PBS is implemented on the LAA side and LUS Flight Attendants migrate to a common scheduling platform on the LAA FOS crew management system. 

Q: When will rotating Reserve begin? How will it affect Reserves currently on the property?
A: The new rotating Reserve provisions will not apply for two years from now until PBS implementation for LAA Flight Attendants and until Flight Attendant Operational Integration for LUS Flight Attendants, some time in 2017.

Until that time, both LAA and LUS Flight Attendants will continue to operate under the provisions of the current Reserve rotation (straight Reserve for LUS and rotating Reserve for LAA). No LAA Flight Attendant on the property as of the Date of Signing will be subject to straight Reserve.

LUS SPECIFIC

Q: In the Redbook, LUS has language that states PBS will be in effect no later than 24 months following ratification. We want PBS so we can realize all of the improvements of the contract immediately. Does the T/A change the 24-month implementation requirement?
A: No. PBS is to begin at LUS beginning February of 2015. The T/A does not interfere with that timetable.

Q: In the Redbook, we have language that states LUS will have PBS no later than 24 months following ratification. We want PBS so we can realize all of the improvements in the contract immediately. Does the T/A extend the 24-month implementation requirement?
A: No. PBS is to set to begin at LUS beginning February of 2015. The T/A does not interfere with that timetable.

Q: Will LUS Flight Attendants receive Profit Sharing checks for 2014?
A: Yes. LUS Flight Attendants will receive their profit sharing check in 2015 based on the company’s profits for all 12 months of 2014.

Q: Is the Company moving to a single healthcare plan for ALL employees or just Flight Attendants?
A: The company is moving to a single healthcare plan for all employee groups. The majority of AA’s workgroups are already on the AA plans and as each labor contract is completed, the covered workers will move to the AA plans. The JNC impressed upon the company the importance of softening the impact of this by keeping LUS on its current healthcare for 2015 and providing a $3,000 transition payment to defray the costs. Both LAA and LUS Flight Attendants will have choices in healthcare as will the entire company.

Q: Does the $3,000 transition bonus for LUS Flight Attendantsoffset the higher cost of health care if the T/A is ratified?
A: The $3,000 is a transition payment to help LUS Flight Attendants migrate to the new plan.

Q: Why is the $3,000 for LUS Flight Attendants taxed?
A: The transition bonus is like any other bonus and will be taxed as income.

Q: How do wage rates in the T/A compare to current LUS “Red Book” pay rates?
A: The current Top of Scale (TOS) at LUS today is $47.62. The T/A TOS on Date of Signing (DOS) will be $53.52. All wage rates at every year and pay step will increase by 2% for the first three years and conclude with a 3% increase in the last year of the contract. These out-year pay increases exceed the pay increases specified in the Red Book. By the end of the agreement, the top of scale will be $58.50 as compared with $49.06 in the Red Book.
 
Q: Will the 401(k) plans be enhanced for LUS Flight Attendants?
A: Yes. LUS Flight Attendants will gain a Company contribution of up to a 2.5% match in addition to the maintained 3% Company contribution.
 
Q: Will the TI override be increased?
A: Yes. The TI (now called International Premium Destination, or IPD) override will be increased to $3.75 per hour. In addition, report times for IPD duty periods will decrease for LUS Flight Attendants from 1:30 to 1:15.

Q: Does the T/A change the report times for NTI (now called NIPD)?
A: Yes. The report times for any sequence (pairing) originating with an NTI (NIPD sequence) will now match the Domestic LUS report time of 1:00.
 
Q: Did we keep any of the LUS scheduling rules?
A: Yes. The industry-leading provisions in the LUS contract have been preserved. Specifically, the JNC was able to retain the vast majority of the Scheduling, Reserve and Hours of Service rules. This was no easy task as the company wanted to gut the Red Book rescheduling rules and essentially treat line holders as Reserves.
 
Q: Are the Legacy American Airlines (LAA) Flight Attendants’ “ATC” and Diversion Pay” provisions maintained in the T/A?
A: Yes. This provision maintains important pay protections associated with Air Traffic Control, de-icing, and other “stop at the gate” delays that will pay Flight Attendants flight-time pay instead of “Holding” pay.
 
Q: Does the T/A provide for improvements for LUS Reserves?
A:  Yes.   The T/A maintains the new Red Book Reserve Assignment process.  In addition, The T/A provides an additional day off for LUS Flight Attendants.  This increases the total days off to twelve (12) days off per bid month of which eight (8) will be Golden days and four (4) Flex days. 
Reserves will also receive 12 hours of Home Domicile Rest.

Q:  Will RON rest contain a “behind the door rest” feature?
A:  Yes.  Although RON rest may be reduced (a current Red Book provision) a Flight Attendant must receive 8 hours of “behind the door” rest.   If a Flight Attendant does not receive the ability to obtain such rest, notification to Crew Schedule will result in rescheduling the next departure to obtain the rest. 

Q: Have LUS Duty Rigs been improved?
A: Yes. In addition to maintaining the five (5) Hour Day and the 1-3.5 Trip Rig the Duty Rig has been improved to 1-2 versus the current Red Book 1-2.25. 

Q:  Has the two (2) hour “Report/ No fly” pay been improved?
A:  Yes.  Report/No fly pay will be three (3) hours.

Q:  Does the T/A provide for “Satellite Bases”. 
A: Yes.  The LAA Satellite language has been maintained.  This is an improvement for LUS Flight Attendants, as the Red Book does not provide for Satellite Bases. 

Q:  Does the T/A contain protections for long Block Hour Duty Periods?
A:  Yes.  The T/A includes the Red Book pairing construction Hours of Service chart based on number of flight segments and time of check-in for the Duty Period.   In addition, any duty period that contains a block time in excess of 8:59 is limited to one duty period and two live segments.  In other words, a sequence (pairing) cannot have long block time duty period “embedded” in a multi-day sequence (pairing). 

Q: Does the T/A provide for Holiday Pay on Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day and New Years Day?
A: Yes. The T/A provides for a “flat rate” of $75 dollars for any sequence (pairing) that touches any of the above-compensated holidays.  This improves on the current Red Book Holiday pay formula based on the number of hours a LUS Flight Attendant was on duty during the Holiday.  For example, if a sequence merely touches a compensated holiday by one minute, the Holiday Pay will be the full $75.00 rather than mere pennies based on the current Red Book formula.

MEDIATION / ARBITRATION – October 28, 2014 (updated)

Q: Will we be better off in mediation/arbitration if the T/A is voted down?
A: If this TA is not approved, the membership would be choosing to go to arbitration which is their right. Under the APFA constitution, the union does not have the authority to simply agree to modifications of a failed T/A (via mediation) and impose that upon the membership. For obvious reasons that would be unacceptable as it would circumvent the will of the membership. Any modifications reached once the T/A was rejected would constitute a new T/A which would require another months-long balloting process. That is not going to happen as the Company has been crystal clear that they will not wait for a second ratification balloting.

Although the answer could stop with the first paragraph, a couple of other points deserve highlighting. First, the arbitration dates are set starting in the first week in December. That obviously does not leave time for continued discussions since the parties will be preparing for arbitration. While the Negotiation Protocol Agreement states the parties will use mediation prior to arbitration, in the context of a failed T/A these discussions will be very narrow and limited to defining the issues for arbitration. Second, this management team has been very clear that they will not add money in the context of a failed T/A as they do not want to set a precedent for other employee groups.

Finally, it is somewhat grasping at straws to believe that on the major economic issues the company will be somehow now willing to budge. Issues such as profit sharing and a common medical plan have implications far beyond the Flight Attendant workplace. That is why during the 150 days of extensive negotiations, the Company would not budge on these issues. If the Company were to provide these to the Flight Attendants all the other work groups would demand the same. It simply is not going to happen. 

Q: What Happens In Arbitration?
A: If this Tentative Agreement gets voted down, the Negotiations Protocol Agreement mandates that the outstanding disputes get sent to binding arbitration within 90 days. There will not be another ongoing round of negotiations if this T/A is rejected. The mediation that follows a “no” vote, if any takes place, will focus on narrowing down the issues we will decide in arbitration.

To put the situation in context, our T/A is worth about $193 million more annually than the current value of the two contracts (LUS and LAA) combined. “Market rate” is approximately $111 million annually above the current combined value. Since “market rate” is the standard for arbitration, any agreement we reach in arbitration will likely be approximately $82 million annually below the value of this T/A.

Simply put, this is not like traditional Section 6 negotiations where an agreement gets voted down and eventually the parties get back to the table, which typically results in FAs losing tens of millions dollars.

The Negotiations Protocol Agreement says, “Prior to arbitration, the parties shall use mediation.” That provision was put into the agreement based on the idea that if the union and the company were not able to reach an agreement by the end of the 150 days of negotiations, we could try a last ditch effort to bridge the gap. The reality is, we have been in negotiations for 150 days and all during that time they have been overseen by Jim McKenzie, a mediator selected by the parties and appointed by the National Mediation Board.

We have no doubt that the mediator made every effort and used all his experience and skill to move the parties to an agreement. The end result is a T/A that is worth at least $82 million a year above the market rate, the standard the arbitrators cannot exceed.

Q: Why won’t there be more money on the table in arbitration?
A: The following reasons make it highly unlikely that this mediator or any other mediator could convince the company to put more money on the table following the rejection of a T/A:

•   The company has stated very clearly and repeatedly that the T/A is its final offer and that we will go to arbitration if it is rejected. Management believes that they have exhausted the possibilities of mediated negotiations, and would have little “use” of further mediation prior to arbitration.

•   Considering the amount of mediation that has already taken place, any mediation that occurs before arbitration will probably be limited to narrowing the number of issues that would be submitted to arbitration. If the T/A is rejected, the issues in dispute are all economic including wages, healthcare, retirement contributions, etc. Together, the values of each economic component comprise a comprehensive package. None of them can be settled without affecting the overall cost of a JCBA. If the arbitrators improve one component, it will mean the money has to come from other components – and all combined within a mandatory framework of a total value that is $82 million less than what we achieved in the T/A.

•   In mediation, the company would have no incentive to put anywhere near $193 million in annual improvements on the table, knowing the worst it could do in arbitration would be $111 million a year beyond the combined value of our current contracts combined. It is no secret that the company does not want to encourage any labor group to reject a first T/A in the hope that a second T/A will be better. With negotiations ongoing at American and other work groups, the company will not want to set a precedent of rewarding “No” votes with better T/As. And for us, if the T/A is rejected, there will not be negotiations for another T/A. Instead, we will have our contract decided in arbitration, and we will lose about $410 million dollars over the life of the contract.

•   The company agreed to a T/A that is so much richer than the outcome of an arbitrated contract because the T/A is the product of good faith negotiations and requires ratification by the FAs. The value of these successes and their positive impact on labor relations will be completely lost if the arbitrators dictates the terms of the contract.

The Numbers:

•    The combined value of the current LUS and LAA contracts is $1.611 billion per year (on average).

•    The Tentative Agreement has a value of $1.805 billion per year (on average) which is an increase of $193 million or 12% over the current combined contracts. 

•    Arbitrators must comply with the Negotiations Protocol Agreement (NPA), which restricts their authority to awarding a contract that is market-based in the aggregate. 

•    The value of a contract that is market-based in the aggregate, including profit sharing, is $1.722 billion per year, an average annual increase of $111 million. The arbitrators cannot issue an award that exceeds this amount. With that cap, the arbitration will result in a contract that is at least $82 million less than the T/A’s value.

•    Under the NPA, the arbitrators can only decide “outstanding disputes.” If the TA is rejected, the outstanding disputes would be comprised of economic benefits: wages, premium pay, 401(k), medical, vacation and sick. This means that the arbitration will result in the loss of $82 million in economic benefits. The work rules would not be in dispute and would remain the same in a contract decided by the arbitrators as they are in the T/A.

TAvsArbChart

Under the terms of the Negotiations Protocol Agreement (NPA), the arbitrator is not authorized to provide more than “market based in the aggregate.” To bring our contract to market rate (without profit sharing) means $61 million of improvements must be added to our current contracts (CLA and Red Book).

Adding the value for Profit Sharing (based on the company’s own published earnings reports and Profit Sharing potential), which brings our current contracts to true market rate, would mean another $50 million annually. Since the arbitrator cannot exceed Market Rate, this means $111 million of improvements to our current contracts is the cap at Arbitration.

Our T/A totals $193 million in negotiated improvements. We secured $82 million above Market Rate.

If the T/A is not ratified, the only things that are subject to change are the following six items:

  • Wages
  • Premium Pay
  • Sick Accrual
  • Vacation Accrual
  • Medical Plan
  • 401(k)

NEW HIRES

Q: While LAA and LUS Flight Attendants at the Top of the Scale will see a wage increase of 9.1% and 12.3% , respectively on DOS, what’s the impact of the TA on the pay of Flight Attendants, who are in their first or second year?
A: Based on a comparison of the pay rates and wage increases of the current contracts at LAA and LUS with those of the T/A, the most junior Flight Attendants will see their wages increase significantly over the 5-year term of the T/A.

  • The wages of a first year Flight Attendant will increase annually by an average of 5.7% at LAA and 8% at LUS.
  • The wages of a second-year Flight Attendant will increase annually by an average of 5.1% at LAA and 7.7% at LUS.
  • Under the T/A, in combination with the normal step increases, the wage rate of a current first year Flight Attendant after DOS +48 will be 51.5% higher than today’s pay at LAA ($32.70 v. $21.58), and 48.9% ($32.70 v. $21.96) higher at LUS.
  • Under the T/A, in combination with the normal step increases the wage rate of a current second year Flight Attendant after DOS +48 will be higher than today’s pay by 62.7% ($38.14 v. $23.44) at LAA and 64.3% ($38.14 v. $23.21) at LUS.

PREMIUMS

Q: Were there improvements to vacation, sick or pay premiums?
A: The JNC insisted that we preserve the LUS provisions in the areas of Vacation, Sick Leave and premiums, which means we would win them for LAA Flight Attendants. These are top of the industry provisions and obtaining these LUS provisions for the entire workgroup was a major win at the table. A few of the improvement are as follows:
• Lead pay
• Aft Lead pay
• Galley pay
• Purser pay
• Speaker pay
• International Override of $3.00/$3.75 depending upon the flight
• Vacation will be 35 days at top years of service
Sick hours will accrue at 4.5 hrs/mo. at LUS and increasing over the term of the contract at LAA from 3 to 4.5 hrs/mo.

Q: What is the difference between International Premium Destination (IPD) Override and International Override?
A: IPD is paid at $3.75 an hour for all flights to Europe, deep South America and Asia. International Override for other international destinations such as Mexico and the Caribbean is $3.00 an hour.

For IPD flights, Flight Attendants will sign in 1:15 prior to departure instead of the current 1:30 at LUS and 1:00 at LAA.

Q: Is Holiday Pay included in this T/A?
A: The JNC negotiated Holiday Pay for three holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s) for the combined workgroup at $75.00 per holiday. This rate simplified the complicated language in the LUS Contract.

PROFIT SHARING

Q: Why do I keep hearing LUS Flight Attendants are getting profit sharing while LAA Flight Attendants are not?
A: Under the current LUS Contract (The Redbook) there is a provision for profit sharing – and that provision applies to 2014 profits. Each airline remains under their respective contracts until ratification or an arbitrated award in the event the T/A is rejected. Profit sharing was converted into fixed wages in the T/A at $50 million annually. That $50 million is a larger amount than the total we would receive for profit sharing at the current earnings level AA has achieved to date by nearly two percentage points.

The following was submitted by Dan Akins, top labor airline analyst, regarding profit sharing valuation and how the ‘profit sharing factor’ is determined: “AAL reported record profits in the third quarter resulting in a consolidated pretax profit margin of 8.5% according to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or “GAAP.” GAAP is the standard accounting methodology under which all public companies are required to adhere when reporting financial results to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the public.

This distinction is important as companies often also report what are called non-GAAP results to provide more insight into their results beyond what is legally required under GAAP standards. LUS’ profit sharing language clearly states that the basis of its profit sharing plan is ‘pretax profit margin’ as calculated “as reported according to GAAP accounting practices.”

Under GAAP accounting, AAL reported consolidated pretax profits of $949 million from $11.1 billion in total revenues. This equates to a pretax margin of 8.5% using GAAP accounting practices. For the first nine months of 2014 the pretax profit margin is 8.1%.

To put this in perspective, the value of the T/A has an annual premium of $82 million of fixed wage increases and other improvements beyond the standard market-based contract improvements of $111 million. In order to exceed this $82 million annual premium with profit sharing, the pretax margin would need to be 20% for each and every one of the next five years. A 20% pretax margin is nearly twice the highest annual pretax margin posted by either LAA or LUS in any of the past 20 years.”

Q: I don’t see Profit Sharing in the Agreement. Why?
A: Profit Sharing was converted into actual wages in the T/A at a value of $50 million dollars annually above and beyond the T/A’s increase of $61 million a year to accomplish market rate. That number is based on the company’s published earnings reports and its own estimates of future profits. The company was not willing to move forward with Profit Sharing and we believed we would not do better in Arbitration.

RESERVE(updated 10.31.14)

Q: WILL LAA FLIGHT ATTENDANTS BE FORCED TO SERVE AN EXTRA YEAR OF ONE ON/ONE OFF RESERVE ROTATION DUE TO THE LANGUAGE IN THE T/A THAT CALLS FOR STRAIGHT RESERVE FOLLOWED BY THREE OFF/ONE ON?
A: No. APFA received clarification from the company that all LAA Flight Attendants on the property as of November 9, 2014, will be grandfathered into the current Reserve rotation. This means Flight Attendants will serve Reserve one on/one off for a period of three years from their first Reserve month based on operational necessity. After three years of one month on/one month off (provided seniority warrants), those Flight Attendants whose seniority is still subject to Reserve based on operational necessity will serve one month on/three months off.

Q: WHAT IS A ‘SPLIT TRIP?’ HOW WILL A RESERVE BE PAID IF ASSIGNED OR AWARDED A SPLIT TRIP?
A: A ‘split trip’ is a portion of a sequence that was originally part of a published sequence. See Section 10.M for more information on split trips. For LAA Flight Attendants, nothing changes the way Reserves are paid for assigned trips/sequences. For LUS Reserves who are assigned a split trip under the T/A, the five (5) hour minimum day will apply to all trips/sequences as well as the five (5) hour average for multi-day sequences with a three (3) hour minimum. In other words, a single duty-period will pay no less than 5 hours, a two-day trip, no less than 10 hours, a three-day trip, no less than 15 hours and a four-day trip, no less than 20 hours.

While split trips will still exist under the T/A , LUS reserves will no longer be called to the airport for a 2-hour/1-day trip or 4-hour/2-day trip as is often the case today.

Q: HOW ARE DAILY ASSIGNMENTS PROCESSED?
A: For Reserves, daily assignments from Crew Schedule will be processed in reverse seniority order, unless a Reserve has requested “Aggressive Reserve Status.” Reserve assignments will be awarded as follows:

·               Groupings based on the number of Reserve days available;

·               RAP Shift (Reserves not on a RAP, will not be called);

·               Least to most previous Daily Assignments (tracked by the “ASG indicator”) which are the total number of calendar days a Reserve has been assigned and reports for a sequence/s as awarded/assigned by Daily Crew Schedule (vs. Future Crew Schedule), except for trips assigned while on Aggressive Reserve status).

Q: WHAT IS “AGGRESSIVE RESERVE STATUS?”
A: Aggressive Reserve Status is a voluntary election by a Reserve indicating a “call me first” for daily assignments on Reserve days, FDs and/or GDs regardless of hours flown and days available. Once an aggressive Reserve accrues 40 hours, all other hours picked up as an Aggressive Reserve are pay only, no credit.

Q: WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES FOR A RESERVE WHO ELECTS AGGRESSIVE STATUS?
A: When a Reserve chooses Aggressive status, a list of preferences can be sent to Crew Schedule. Preferences can include specific sequences, length of trip/sequence, report times, Standby or specific RAP. When a sequence meeting the preferences opens, the Reserve is obligated to fly the sequence. In other words, the Reserve who says, “call me first” is obligated to answer that call and fly the trip that meets her/his preferences. Reserves may change their “aggressive” status on a daily basis.

Q: IS THERE A “CALLING OUT OF TIME” or MAX HOURS FOR RESERVES?
A: Yes. The monthly maximum for Reserves is the same as the monthly maximum for Lineholders. The Lineholder maximum is ninety (90) credited hours. This may be increased by up to five (5) hours per month in a Flex month. The total number of flex hours cannot exceed twenty-five (25) hours per calendar year.

A Reserve will able to “call out of time” once they are within the 5-hour minimum day of the monthly maximum. A Reserve will not be required to accept an assignment that would result in her/him exceeding the monthly maximum. Importantly, a Reserve shall not be required to be available to the Company once s/he has reached the monthly maximum, e.g., 90 hours – less the minimum day (5 hours) – and will be released from any obligation to be on call for the remainder of the month.

For example, in a month where the maximum is 90 hours, the “Call Out Time” is the difference between the monthly maximum and the value of a minimum day (5 hours). Therefore in such a month, a Reserve may call out of time for the month when such Reserve reaches 85.01. In a month where the maximum is 92 hours, the “Call Out Time” is 92 hours less 5 hours. Once the Reserve meets the requirement of 87.01, s/he may elect to “Call Out Time” or exercise her/his contractual rights found in Section 12.L of the T/A.

Q: DOES ‘TIME PICKED UP’ IN AGGRESSIVE RESERVE STATUS COUNT TOWARD THE “CALL OUT TIME”?
A: The first 40 hours of time (pay and credit) will count toward the call out time. Time picked up by a Reserve beyond the 40 hours while in Aggressive Reserve Status will not count toward the call out time/max Reserve hours.

Q: WHY?
A: A Reserve in “Aggressive” status is telling the Company s/he desires to be called first (in seniority order) to fly during Daily processing to accrue maximum pay. Crew Schedule will still need Reserves available throughout the month. The Aggressive Reserve provisions achieve a balance between Reserves wishing to maximize their pay while remaining under maximum hours for assignments from Crew Schedule.

Q: WILL THE COMPANY FORCE A RESERVE WHO ELECTS “AGGRESSIVE STATUS” AT ANY POINT IN THE MONTH TO FLY”?
A: Yes. A Reserve who places herself/himself in “Aggressive Status” election will be responsible for the trip s/he indicated a preference for if such trip becomes available. “Aggressive Status” is voluntary and may be changed by the Reserve Flight Attendant throughout the month.

Q: CAN CREW SCHEDULE MOVE THE FLEX DAYS AT WILL?
A: No. A Reserve will only be assigned a trip that conflicts with a FD ONLY if no other Reserve is legal and available for the trip. Crew Schedule is now required to adhere to the contractual order of assigning trips to Reserves. The Reserve section of the T/A outlines a strict order of assignment to ensure Reserves are not routinely scheduled into their FDs.

Q: IF A RESERVE IS ASSIGNED A TRIP INTO HER/HIS FLEX DAY(S), HOW IS THE DAY RESTORED?
A: The FD is restored at a date later in the bid month by mutual consent of the Reserve and Scheduling. If no agreement can be reached or there are no available days left in the bid month the Reserve will be paid above guarantee for the value of the Reserve day on a pay-no credit basis.

Q: WILL A RESERVE HAVE AN UNINTERRUPTED CREW BASE REST PERIOD?
A: Yes. The 8 hours and 30 minutes (8.30) uninterrupted Crew Base Rest Period for LUS will remain intact. Crew Scheduling may contact a Flight Attendant should there be an operational need to notify the Reserve of a schedule change to her/his next flying assignment during those 8.30, but a Flight Attendant never has to be available at any point during any scheduled rest period.

Q: DOES THE RESERVE SECTION CONTAIN RESERVE AVAILABILITY PERIODS (RAP)?
A: Yes. Rather than keeping a Reserve on call 24 hours a day, the RAP means that Reserves are only available for assignment 12 hours a day. The Company will determine the start time for each RAP on a Crew Base by Crew Base basis with each RAP beginning on the hour. No more than four (Section 12.G.1.) RAPs will be allowed per Crew Base. RAPS will be pre-determined and published for the entire bid period based on the flying schedule for the Crew Base(s).

Q: WHAT ARE THE COVERAGE TIMES FOR RAPS?
A: The 12-hour RAP periods will vary by Crew Domicile based on the flight schedules. The RAP shifts will remain consistent throughout the bid month and will be published in the bid package prior to bidding.

Q: WHEN ARE RAPS BID?
A: RAPS are bid for the following day after all of the trips and Standby shifts have been awarded. Crew Schedule will begin processing Reserve assignments at 1700 Home Base Time and will conclude next day assignments by 1800 Home Base Time.

Q: WHEN ARE RAPS AWARDED?
A: RAPS are awarded/assigned after all trips and Standby shifts are awarded. Any Reserve not awarded a trip or Standby shift will be awarded/assigned a specific RAP.

Q: CAN A RESERVE BE CALLED OUTSIDE OF HER/HIS RAP PERIOD?
A: A Reserve can never be extended outside of her/his RAP involuntarily (Section 12.G.5). A Reserve will not be required to remain contactable outside of her/his RAP period.

For example:

A Reserve has a RAP from 0800 to 2000. The Reserve will not be required to be contactable before 0800 and after 2000.

Q: WILL RESERVES ON A RAP WHO RECEIVE AN AWARD OR ASSIGNMENT FOR THE NEXT DAY BE AUTOMATICALLY RELEASED UNTIL THE CHECK IN TIME FOR THE TRIP?
A: Release will occur at the end of the RAP or earlier upon Crew Schedule consent with a next day assignment. In a system based on RAPs, only a percentage of Reserves will be on call at any given time, and no Reserve will be on call 24 hours a day. A Reserve on a RAP when next-day assignments are released remains obligated for that RAP unless released by Crew Schedule. If release were to occur automatically upon the awarding of a trip, there could be a situation where no Reserves are available.

Q: HOW WILL A RESERVE BE NOTIFIED OF AN ASSIGNMENT?
A: Reserves will have the option of electronically inputting bids for trips, Standby and RAPS. Reserves can also input “Standing Bids” for sequence preferences, Standby shifts and RAPs. Awards will continue to occur at the same time they do now and Reserves will be required to acknowledge through voice response or another automated system. If a Reserve fails to follow the confirmation procedures as required, s/he will be removed from the assignment. If a Reserve is not assigned a next day sequence, s/he must be notified no later than 2 hours before sign-in (3 hours for a co-terminal) of any same day assignment.

Q: THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF STANDBY SHIFTS – A FOUR HOUR SHIFT AND A SIX HOUR SHIFT. CAN A RESERVE BE EXTENDED FROM A FOUR- TO A SIX-HOUR SHIFT?
A: No. A Reserve cannot have their Standby shift extended except to accommodate Boarding Duty. If a Reserve is required to remain beyond her/his Standby end time to complete boarding duty, the Reserve will be paid minute for minute pay/credit for the additional time plus the appropriate Standby. In addition, a Reserve may not be assigned a sequence scheduled to depart later than two (2) hours after the Standby scheduled release time.

Q: DOES A RESERVE HAVE TO CONTACT CREW SCHEDULE UPON THE COMPLETION OF A TRIP OR STANDBY SHIFT?
A: In no case will a Reserve have to contact Scheduling upon the completion of a trip or Standby. A Reserve on a sequence and, therefore, unavailable to contact the automated system prior to 2100 HBT will be responsible for reviewing and acknowledging her/his future assignment through the automated system (which may include a voice response system) no later than one (1) hour after release.

Q: CAN A STANDBY BE ASSIGNED BOARDING DUTY THAT IS BEYOND THE SCHEDULED END TIME?
A: In the T/A, a Standby will not be assigned boarding duty unless the estimated time of arrival (ETA) of the inbound crew is prior to the end of her/his Standby shift. In actual operations if the crew does not arrive before the end of the Standby shift, such Standby will be replaced by an oncoming Standby if available. If no other Standbys are available and, as a result, the Standby is not released as scheduled due to the boarding assignment, s/he will be paid for the additional time at a rate of one minute pay/credit for each one minute beyond the end of the scheduled Standby. A Standby may volunteer to board outside her/his scheduled Standby duty and would receive pay/credit on a minute-by-minute basis.

A Standby will NOT be required to board a flight if the expected departure time is projected to be after the end of the scheduled Standby time. A Standby may volunteer to do so and would receive pay/credit on a minute-by-minute basis.

Q: HOW WILL THE PREFERENTIAL BIDDING SYSTEM (PBS) HELP RESERVES?
A: With PBS, both Lineholders and Reserves bid their schedules at the same time. PBS does two things; it creates more lines and provides greater flexibility for Reserves when bidding Reserve lines.

PBS does not allow “conflict bidding”. In other words, PBS does not allow a Lineholder to bid lines in the next bid month that conflict with carryover trips in the current month. By not allowing this type of conflict, Reserve coverage does not have to be piled up at the end of and the beginning of every month. Days off can be spread out more evenly and mathematically awarded unlike the current Reserve line generation process.

Q: WILL PBS ALLOW RESERVES TO BID MORE THAN SIX RESERVE DAYS IN A ROW EITHER DURING THE MONTH OR DURING A MONTH-TO-MONTH TRANSITION?
A: No. Reserves cannot bid for more than 6 days on in a row. This will mean the end of the company-controlled placement of “Not Legal to Fly” (NFL) days. NFL days will only be required as the result of irregular operations.

Q: WILL PBS ALLOW RESERVES THE ABILITY TO BID FOR A LINE AND, IF NOT SENIOR ENOUGH TO HOLD A LINE, BID FOR RESERVES DAYS OFF?
A: Yes. Reserves will be able to bid for lines followed by Reserve day-off choices.

Q: Will LAA Flight Attendants be forced to serve an extra year of the one on/one off Reserve rotation due to the language in the T/A that calls for ‘straight reserve followed by three years of one on one off?’
A: No! APFA received clarification from the company that all LAA Flight Attendants on the property as of November 9, 2014, will be grandfathered into the current Reserve rotation. This means Flight Attendants will serve Reserve one on/one off for a period of three years from their first Reserve month based on operational necessity. After three years of one month on/one month off (provided seniority warrants), those Flight Attendants whose seniority is still subject to Reserve based on operational necessity will serve one month on/three months off.

Q: Can you explain the Reserve rotation please?
A: If the Reserve staffing requirement at your base reaches your seniority, newly- hired Flight Attendants will be subject to serving straight Reserve the first 12 months following initial training. This does not apply to those Flight Attendants on the property prior to Date of Signing (DOS).

After one full-year of being subject to straight Reserve, Flight Attendants will serve one on/one off for a period of three years, according to base operational necessity.

After four years, Flight Attendants whose seniority is still subject to Reserve based on operational necessity will serve one month on/three months off.

Q: When will rotating reserve begin?  How will it affect reserves currently on the property?
A: The new rotating reserve provisions will not apply for two years from now until PBS implementation for LAA Flight Attendants and until Flight Attendant Operational Integration for LUS flight attendants, some time in 2017. 

Until that time, both LAA and LUS flight attendants will continue to operate under the provisions of the current reserve rotation (straight for LUS and rotating for LAA). LAA flight attendants currently on the seniority list will not be required to sit straight reserve when the provisions are implemented.  Since the new rotation requires straight reserve for the first year following date of hire and one-on, one-off/one-on, three off for three years, there is a possibility certain LAA reserves may be required to sit one on one off reserve for a certain number of months longer than anticipated.  This is a PBS programming issue regarding whether the system can be programmed to have varying sets of reserve rotations. How reserves will be impacted depends on a number of factors including how many reserves are needed at the time and the timing of implementation. The Joint Scheduling Implementation Committee will work on this issue to minimize the impact on Reserves currently on the seniority list. 

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M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
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APFA Events

Financial Planning Seminar

March 7 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

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APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Financial Planning Seminar

March 7 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

2024 BOD Convention

March 19 @ 9:00 am - March 21 @ 5:00 pm
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