10.19.14 – (LAA/LUS) No More 40-Hour Scheduling Limitation in T/A Pending Ratification

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APFA Hotline Update – 40-Hour Scheduling Limitation

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APFA is pleased to share with the membership that 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 an over $82 million premium into the agreement over what APFA could achieve 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.
Q: Has the hourly requirement for Family Medical Leave changed?
A: No. Flight Attendants will need 504 paid 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.

AmericanAirlines US Airways 
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Leslie Mayo
APFA National Communications Chair

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