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APFA Hotline – T/A Q&As, Balloting, Roadshow Schedule, Other T/A Info, Understaffing, FML/New Hires, LTD, Cabin ASAP, Retiree Benefits Enrollment, IOD, Government Affairs, Hotel Update
October 25, 2014
This was another busy week for the APFA leadership and membership including two DFW Roadshows on Monday and Friday and the Fall Board Meeting and Training on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. More than 600 Flight Attendants from both LAA and LUS attended this past week’s roadshows. There were so many great questions and a lot of good information exchanged. Thanks to everyone who took the time out of their busy schedules to get the information from the Joint Negotiating Committee firsthand.
It’s important for APFA members to have all of the facts surrounding the T/A in order to make an educated decision. Below are a few Q&As specific to Reserve, Furlough Protection, Profit Sharing, Sick Accrual and Health Insurance in the T/A. For an entire list of Q&As, please click here. To see all of the information about the Tentative Agreement, go to the APFA Website by clicking here.
Tentative Agreement Q&As
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: 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: 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.
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: 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.
T/A Roadshow Video Excerpts
For those Flight Attendants who are unable to attend a Roadshow or who would like to review some of the valuable information presented, APFA has uploaded Roadshow excerpts to YouTube. These video spots were filmed over the past several weeks at Roadshows around the country and are part of the overall presentation by the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) and APFA’s professionals including Dan Akins, Airline Economist and Rob Clayman, APFA’s attorney for negotiations as well as AFA Staff Attorney Joe Burns.
Laura Glading, (Intro, Threshold/40-Hour Letter of Agreement) – http://youtu.be/N2qfw9rnopQ
Roger Holmin, (Intro) Former US Airways MEC President – http://youtu.be/UW8ulxjmqw0
Randy Trautman (Scheduling), IMA Base President, JNC Negotiator – http://youtu.be/vY9A8VqeD4k
Paul Hartshorn (Reserve), JNC Negotiator – http://youtu.be/EMYTFZh6INg
Neil Fernandez (Vacation/Sick), JNC Negotiator – http://youtu.be/iFLMe6Aqeqs
Rob Clayman, (Value and Compensation) APFA’s Negotiations Counsel – http://youtu.be/8NKYlHI75pA
Dan Akins, (Aggregate and Airline Industry) APFA’s Airline Economist – http://youtu.be/CY6Yjcm04G0
Joe Burns (Health), AFA Staff Attorney – http://youtu.be/rsTQWFPL2MY
Members of the JNC, along with APFA and AFA’s negotiations’ attorneys and the nation’s top labor Airline Economist, Dan Akins, are out in the field conducting Tentative Agreement Roadshows for the membership. Remaining roadshows are as follows: Miami (10/27-28), St. Louis (10/29), Pittsburgh (10/29), DC (10/31 and 11/1), Phoenix (11/3-4), LA (11/5-6) and San Francisco (11/7). Please take the time to attend one of these important events. You will not be sorry! Scroll to the bottom of this email for exact times and locations of the remaining Roadshows.
LAA / LUS
T/A Language and Highlights – firstname.lastname@example.org
The full T/A draft language is available online for Flight Attendants to review. There are also several copies in operations and crew rooms throughout the system. Flight Attendants should have already received the T/A Highlights booklet which was mailed to all Flight Attendants’ homes last week. The booklet is also available for download at www.www.apfa.org. If you would like a replacement, please email email@example.com with your full name, address, employee number and base, and one will be mailed to you.
LAA and LUS
T/A Call Center: (682) 292-0244
APFA has set up a T/A Call Center to answer members’ questions about the T/A. Flight Attendants from both LAA and LUS are ready and waiting to respond!
M-F, through November 7th
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Central Time
LAA and LUS
T/A Balloting – firstname.lastname@example.org
T/A Balloting packets were mailed on October 10th to all LAA and LUS Flight Attendants. If you have not yet received a ballot, of if your VIN or PIN were misplaced, please send an email to email@example.com to request a replacement. Include your full name, mailing address, employee number/badge number, phone and base. The balloting period is 30 days in length. Members may cast their vote via the internet or by telephone. Votes will be counted on Sunday, November 9, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. Central.
If you are not an APFA member, to have your vote counted you must become a member no later than the 5th day prior to the end of the balloting period – by close of business on November 4. Sign up now, by clicking here. Also, if you are a member in bad standing (more than 60 days in dues arrears), to be eligible to vote you must arrange to be in good standing by the close of business on November 4. To do that, contact the APFA Dues Department by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To vote by phone: 800-698-3789
To vote by Internet: https://ballotpoint.com/apfa
Remember, you may vote as many times as you like, but only your last vote counts. If you’ve misplaced your VIN and PIN, please email email@example.com.
Understaffing – firstname.lastname@example.org
Understaffing (LAA) – Eligibility for understaffing pay is based on the staffing formulas published in Sign-In/Pre-Flight pages 1.6-1.9 of the Flight Attendant Manual. In some cases AA will bid more Flight Attendants than required. This is currently the case on the 737 where all aircraft are being bid with 4 Flight Attendants even though not all aircraft have been reconfigured to require a minimum crew of four. If a 737 still configured with 16/134 departs with only three Flight Attendants, understaffing would be based on the level of service and load outlined in the manual.
FML and New Hires – email@example.com
In order to be eligible to take Family Leave, Flight Attendants must have at least twelve months of company service and 504 on-duty hours. For New Hires, the twelve months begins with date of hire; that date can be found in DECS – HI8. For example if your date of hire is 10/31/13 you will not be eligible for FML until 10/31/14. To verify your on duty hours, visit the Flight Service Website – Medical Information – View FML hours.
Long Term Disability Holiday – firstname.lastname@example.org
Flight Attendants will notice zero deductions for LTD premiums on the October, November and December paychecks. This is due to a “positive plan experience,” and as a result, the company is giving Flight Attendants a premium holiday for the last 3 months of the year. By no means does this indicate that your coverage has been halted. If you have any questions, please email the APFA Health Department.
Cabin ASAP Reporting – email@example.com
Any Flight Attendant who experiences a technical problem when attempting to submit a written report to the Cabin ASAP program should report their ASAP incident via the Cabin ASAP Reporting hotline. These problems should also be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAA Cabin ASAP Reporting Hotline, 1-888-294-0017
LUS Cabin ASAP Reporting Hotline, 1-800-363-2545
Retiree Medical – email@example.com
If you have retired and are enrolled in American Airlines’ Retiree Medical, your Benefits Enrollment window for 2015 is open now, and closes 10/31/2014. Your enrollment window is prior to the LAA Active Medical insurance enrollment period.
There has been a substantial increase in the premiums (more than doubled) for retiree medical so be careful allowing previous selections to just “roll over” to next year. If a retiree wishes to continue the same coverage for next year, double check the pricing and then make the desired coverage selection. Doing nothing, could prove very expensive!
Retiree Benefits Enrollment ends 10/31/2014. For additional information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benefits Enrollment – email@example.com
LUS – Benefit enrollment October 20 – 31, 2014
LAA – Benefit enrollment November 3 – 14, 2014
IOD – firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have been injured at work while performing your duties, you have the right and responsibility to report the injury to your employer. The company is obligated to take your report and, based on state law, the Worker’s Compensation Insurance Carrier will determine whether the claim is compensable or not. If your claim is denied and you disagree with the insurance carrier, you have the right to dispute that decision with the State/Worker’s Compensation Commission.
Get Out The Vote – email@example.com
On November 4th, millions of Americans will exercise our fundamental right and responsibility as part of a free democracy by voting. Historically, midterm elections have a low voter turnout. But this year, there are so many important races and issues that will be decided that Flight Attendants should make every effort to cast their vote The APFA encourages its members educate themselves on the issues. As always, your vote is a personal choice –you decide.
APFA Government Affairs supports candidates based on issues that are first and foremost important to Flight Attendants. We urge you to ask yourself, which candidate supports issues that are important to Flight Attendants? How important is it to vote for candidates that represent your best economic interests, and the Flight Attendant profession?
Visit vote411.org to find out more about early voting, absentee voting, or your local polling location. Election day is November 4th! Make your voice heard. VOTE!
Senator Markey Calls For e-Cigarette – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Edward J. Markey D-MA has called on the Department of Transportation to take swift action in banning e-cigarettes on board aircraft, both in the passenger cabin and cargo areas. Senator Markey had previously joined his colleagues to urge the Department of Transportation to finalize rules banning e-cigarette use in the passenger cabins of commercial airplanes. A recent incident and fire in the cargo hold at Boston Logan’s airport has reignited the issue and prompted the Senator to urge final action from the DOT. Senator Markey was instrumental in getting the Transportation Safety Administration to reverse its decision to allow small knives back onto passenger airplanes.
Hotel Update – Departmentemail@example.com
SAT/long layover – We have a new hotel in this market. Please visit the Hotel Page for hotel information and amenities. Site inspections are taking place in the following cities:
For Temporary Relocations, including FCO on the 24th, click here.
Tentative Agreement Roadshow Schedule
October 27—MIA/IMA – 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Hotel MIA (Auditorium at the airport)
MIA Airport Auditorium/Concourse D, 4th Level (ABOVE the American Airlines Credit Union)
October 28—MIA/IMA – 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Miami Airport Marriott
1201 N.W. 42nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33126
Hotel Number: 305/649-5000
APFA will pay for parking/Shuttle service to/from Hotel is complimentary
October 29—PIT – 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Hyatt Regency Pittsburgh International Airport
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Regency Ballrooms D, E, F
1111 Airport Boulevard
Findlay Township, PA 15231
Phone: (724) 899-1234
October 29—STL – 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Marriott St. Louis Airport
10700 Pear Tree Drive
St. Louis, MO 63134
APFA will pay for parking – Shuttle service to/from airport is complimentary
October 31 & November 1—DCA-AA/DCU-US – 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Crystal City Marriott Reagan National Airport
1999 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202
APFA will pay for parking – Shuttle service to/from airport is complimentary
November 3 & 4—PHX – 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
The Doubletree Tempe
2100 South Priest Drive
Tempe, AZ 85282
Complimentary Parking and Shuttle Service to/from airport
November 5 & 6—LAX – 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Hilton Los Angeles Airport
5711 West Century Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045
APFA will pay for parking – Shuttle service to/from airport is complimentary
November 7—SFO – 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront
1800 Old Bayshore Highway
Burlingame, CA 94010
APFA will pay for parking – Shuttle service to/from the airport is complimentary
AmericanAirlines + US Airways
“On Our Way”
APFA National Communications Chair