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Wednesday, October 25, 2017
As reported in a previous hotline, APFA members will have input in the process of selecting a new uniform that best meets the needs of Flight Attendants. APFA’s number one priority is to select a new uniform that is modern, comfortable, reliable, and most importantly, safe for all Flight Attendants.
Part of that process includes the selection of a Flight Service Uniform Advisory Team of up to 30 Flight Attendants from all bases as well as APFA union representatives.
As part of this team, Flight Attendants who choose to participate will be involved in decision-making regarding new fabrics, color and small design changes from the current patterns. They will also help coordinate and manage fabric testing, extensive wear testing and participate in additional decisions regarding the new uniform.
To apply for a position on the team, please submit an online application available on the Flight Service website no later than November 10, 2017. Special Assignment (SA) pay will apply with a time commitment of between one to three meetings per quarter over the next 12-18 months.
We encourage you to reach out to your Base President or FSM for more information on this opportunity.
APFA will make the final selection of Uniform Advisory Team members in the next few weeks with a goal of having the full team in place and functional by the end of November.
APFA National Secretary
Monday, October 23, 2017
Staffing Changes on IPD Flights on the 787-9 and 777-200 – LAA
APFA recognizes the challenges many of you have endured with staffing levels on IPD trips flown on the 787-9.
Thanks to your feedback and continued participation in time studies of the extra workload associated with the plating of Business Class entrees, increased main cabin seats, single cavity ovens, new dishes, galley packing and cart construction (just to name a few), the Company has agreed to increase staffing from 9 to 10 Flight Attendants on the 787-9.
By identifying the need for an additional Flight Attendant, both from a safety and a level of service perspective, APFA was able to secure this much needed change in staffing.
Effective with the February bid month, the number 10 position will be assigned to work main cabin aisle on this aircraft. Flights scheduled with a duty day exceeding 18 hours will continue to be staffed with 11 Flight Attendants as is currently done today.
Due to the completion of the retrofit of the 777-200s from a 3-class configuration to a 2-class configuration, staffing will be reduced from 11 to 10 Flight Attendants effective with the March bid month.
As with the 787-9, flights scheduled with a duty day exceeding 18 hours will continue to be staffed with 11 Flight Attendants on the 2-class configuration of the 777-200.
The station assignment charts and service flow diagrams for both aircraft will be updated in the Flight Attendant tablet on February 1 and March 1, 2018.
Monday, October 23, 2017
Bids To Be Re-run for Some Bases – LAA
APFA was notified by the Company this morning that due to Crew Planning not being notified of a purser class that took place last week, bids will be re-run for the following bases:
DFW – LAX – LGA – MIA – ORD – SFO
Friday, October 20, 2017
- Annual Thresholds for Sick and Vacation – LAA
- Application of Vacation Pay to OE Trips within an Approved FMLA – LAA
- Extended Waits for Hotel Rooms – LAA/LUS
- Uniform Reaction Update – LAA/LUS
Annual Thresholds for Sick and Vacation – LAA
As we approach the end of the calendar year, please be aware that the 420-hour threshold for sick and vacation is still in effect for LAAFlight Attendants. An average of thirty five (35) paid hours for each active month, for a minimum of 420 paid hours for the year, must be maintained in order to accrue sick and vacation. Remember, the 420-threshold is reduced by thirty five (35) hours for any inactive months in 2017. An inactive month is any month in which you were in an unpaid status for more than 15 days during that contractual month.
Please take notice of your total paid hours and eligibility hours for the current year by pulling up your HISK in DECS. Simply type “HISK” and then hit the “Enter” key to pull up your current year’s accruals’ record. Move down to the “Sick and Vacation Summary” sections. So long as your “TTL FLT PAID HOURS” meets or exceeds your “ELIGIBILITY HOURS,” you are on track with meeting your personal threshold for sick and vacation.
The greater of your PPROJ or GUAR is credited towards your TTL FLT PAID HOURS; and, your ELIGIBILITY HOURS is simply your personal threshold at the time of pulling your HISK.
If you were to pull up your HISK today, you would see your sick and vacation accruals as well as your total flight paid hours from January to September. Your HISK is updated on or around the 10th calendar day of the new contractual month to reflect accruals and paid hours earned in the last contractual month.
Additionally, although a Voluntary Leave of Absence (VLOA) is an unpaid status, Flight Attendants still accrue sick and vacation while on a VLOA, regardless of the duration of the leave. If you were on a full-month VLOA, you would see the letter “L” under your SK/VC columns. This “L” indicates a reduction of your personal threshold by 35 hours, but at the same time, an accrual of sick and vacation in that month.
Note: There are currently NO thresholds to maintain Company subsidized health benefits and there is NO threshold to maintain employment.
Application of Vacation Pay to OE Trips that Fall within an Approved FMLA – LAA
On May, 2, 2015, language from Section 9 of the JCBA was implemented allowing all trips to be eligible for paid sick hours. As a result, LAA members are now able to be paid with sick time for OE trips.
This created an unforeseen problem since many Flight Attendants who call in sick also file for Family Leave (FMLA) which allows for the substitution of vacation pay when sick time has been exhausted. Many members contacted the Company and the Union because they felt they were being harmed by the inability to be paid when they had OE trips that fell within their FMLA.
Section 9 of the JCBA only concerns sick time, and the issue of substitution of vacation pay with an approved FMLA was not addressed at the time it was implemented. Since JCBA language and Company policy both specify that VC, VX, and PVDs may be used with FMLA for self when sick time has been exhausted and must be used with FMLA for others, this change aligns pay for OEs while on FMLA with the contract and Company policy.
With FMLA for self:
• Use of sick time is required
• Use of scheduled VC, VX is optional if no sick time is available
• Use of up to 6 PVDs from next year’s accrual is optional if no sick time is available
With FMLA for others:
• Use of sick time is not permitted
• Use of scheduled VC or VX is required
• Use of up to 6 PVDs from next year’s accrual is optional
Kim Coats Tuck
APFA Interim National Health Chair
APFA National Contract Chair
Extended Waits for Hotel Rooms – LAA/LUS
As a reminder, The APFA National Hotel Department needs to hear from anyone experiencing extended wait times for hotel rooms as well as any other issues you may experience with hotels or transportation.
Direct reports from Flight Attendants are the most effective way to get issues addressed with both the Company and the vendors.
A. Marie Plevritis
APFA National Hotel Chair
Uniform Reaction Update – LAA/LUS
Friday, October 20, 2017
The APFA Board of Directors has determined that the upcoming National Officer re-run election will be conducted by mail ballot. This rerun election will be conducted under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
The dates for the election have not yet been determined; however, it is important for APFA to have your correct mailing address and contact information on file in order for you to receive your ballot in a timely fashion.
Please use the link below to verify and/or update your address, email and phone number. Stay tuned for upcoming hotlines regarding the dates of the National Officer re-run election and always remember that YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!
APFA National Ballot Committee Chairperson
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
November 2017 PBS Bid Award Summary – LUS
The November 2017 PBS Bid is available for viewing in the Crew Portal via the PBS Award tab. Any Flight Attendant who has a question about his/her award or believes he/she may have received a mis-award should notify the Flight Attendant Bidding Resource Center (FABRC) at (800) 327-0117 Option 5
Below, you will find the November 2017 PBS Award Summary for CLT, DCA, PHL and PHX along with a few definitions for some of the key terms to help you better understand the award summary chart:
1. Shadow Bid/Pay Purpose Only Bid – Crew Scheduling shall run PPO bids during the regular PBS award process. PPO bids are run with the same bids and settings as the regular bid with the addition of the bids (standing or actual) of any Flight Attendant, including Flight Attendants on a Voluntary Leave of Absence (VLOA), who is off the entire bid period to determine what she/he could have held for shadow bid/pay purposes only. Such PPO awards shall only be used for this pay determination and shall not change in any way pairing/sequence awards as published in the final line awards.
2. “Line of Time” shall mean a monthly unit of Flight Attendant flying containing a minimum of seventy (70) credit hours and a maximum of ninety (90) credit hours per bid period. The Company may flex the maximum line value by an annual amount of twenty-five (25) hours, but in no case more than five (5) hours during any given month. As an exception, a Flight Attendant may indicate a bid choice which may allow the bid award to exceed the bounds specified by bidding a High or Low bidding option.
3. The Company may set a targeted line average between seventy-five (75) and eighty-five (85) hours. In months the Company flexes the maximum to ninety-five (95) hours, the targeted line average may be set to no more than eighty-eight (88) hours. The targeted line average is a global parameter which will be respected while awarding Flight Attendant sequences pursuant to her/his seniority.
4. Low Lines Option – For the November 2017 Award, lines constructed in accordance with this bid option shall be constructed to no less than forty (40.00) hours, and no more than 69.59 credit hours.
5. High Lines Option – For the November 2017 Award, lines constructed in accordance with this bid option shall be constructed to no more than one hundred and ten (110.00) hours and no less than 90.01 hours.
6. Flight Attendants who select the Low Option during a given bid month and also hold at least seven (7) days or more of vacation during that month, shall be given priority to achieve a PBS result below the minimum line value ahead of other Flight Attendants who may be more senior but do not hold vacation.
Vacation Extension (VEX) Requests for December 2017 – LUS
• Opens – October 19
• Closes – October 31
Submit via VEX Form on Wings – Flight Service – Lines & Pairings (Bidding) page
A Flight Attendant who is scheduled for a continuous vacation block of at least seven (7) days, may elect to place up to a total of four (4) days off BEFORE or AFTER, or SPLIT on either side of such vacation. The days off will act as a pre-planned absence and will carry NO pay or credit. Such days off will be counted toward the Reserve’s scheduled Golden Days. Such block of four (4) days, or portion thereof, may be extended into the next bid period.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Clarification to the Most Recent Benefits Enrollment Hotline – LAA/LUS
In all of the American Airlines Health Plans, Standard, Value and Core, once you have met the combined deductible and out of pocket max, the plan covers in-network medical expenses at 100%. Some of the posted examples in the recent Health Hotline were not accurate in showing this.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing between the Health Plans is the cost of the premiums vs. the cost of the deductible. Premiums are the price you pay for your coverage. They are not applied to your deductible or out of pocket maximum. It is up to you to determine whether the greater cost in premiums for the Value Plan is worth it in order to have a somewhat lower deductible.
For an Employee and Spouse, premiums for the Value Plan cost $2,832.36 more per year than the Standard Plan. The deductible for the Value Plan is $800 vs. $1700 for the Standard Plan.
For an Employee and Child(ren), premiums for the Value Plan cost $1960.80 more per year than the Standard Plan. For an employee plus 2 or more children, the deductible for the Value Plan is $1,200 vs. $2550 for the Standard Plan.
For a Family, premiums for the Value Plan cost $3,812.76 more per year than the Standard Plan. The family deductible for the Value Plan is $1,200 vs. $2550 for the Standard Plan.
The combined deductible and out of pocket maximums for Employee Only:
Value Plan – $2,400
Core Plan – $4000
The Core Plan is the least expensive in terms of premiums, but it has the highest combined deductible and out of pocket maximum.
Remember, all health care plans (Core, Standard and Value) cover the same medical care, however, the premiums, deductible, and out of pocket maximum will vary depending on the plan that you elect and the number of people who are covered.
Note: Even if you are not making changes to your current elections, we suggest you go online and make a print-out or take a photograph of your current coverage. Your current coverage other than Flexible Spending Account (FSA)/Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution amounts are supposed to be the default if you do not go online and enroll, but better to be safe than sorry.
You must enter a new FSA or HSA contribution amount each year. 2017 FSA funds of $500 or less will roll over for use in 2018. Any 2017 FSA funds in excess of $500 must be used prior to the end of the year.
There is more detailed information about all of the Company’s health plan options available on www.my.aa.com.
Union Benefit Planners
There have been a few glitches with the Union Benefit Planners online enrollment system, and they are working to get these corrected as quickly as possible. A link with more information about the coverage options they offer is included below.
Please be aware that the online enrollment form they provide is also used for Unions other than APFA, so the form is not solely designed for Flight Attendants.
Please call the phone number provided in the following link if you have questions or run into difficulty enrolling in the UBP benefits:
Kim Coats Tuck
APFA Interim National Health Chair
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
The Company has announced that the November bidding issues have been rectified and the Online Bidding Tool is functioning correctly. If you previously submitted a bid or tried to submit your bid through the bidding tool, please double-check to ensure what you submitted is what you intended.
The bidding window has been extended and will now close on October 22, 2017 at 0001 HBT. (midnight on the 21st.)
Reserve seniority numbers have been corrected on the Flight Service website.
Only full month VLOAs were awarded for November.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Bidsheet Debacle – LAA
We have been hearing from many of you regarding the numerous discrepancies and issues associated with the November bidsheets as well as the online bidding tool. APFA is as fed up and frustrated as you are.
The Company has stated that it is in the process of working on resolutions. APFA will be closely monitoring the situation to make sure our members are adequately represented in yet another failure by management to address its systemic IT problems.
We will provide more information as it becomes available.