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Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Fellow APFA Flight Attendants,
One of the things the supporters of my candidacy made very clear is that they expect frequent, transparent communication from their elected leadership. In keeping with that commitment, I would like to bring you up to speed on what has taken place in the past few weeks since my term began on April 1, 2016.
The first thirty (30) days of any term in office are hectic and much of my time has been spent transitioning into my position, as well as meeting with Doug Parker and his entire management team in order to set the tone, direction, and expectations of the new Administration. As I’ve stated in prior media outlets, the relationship between Union and Management does not have to be an adversarial one, but there will definitely be defined boundaries to protect the membership going forward. The Company has indicated a desire to address the cultural issues we face, and APFA has made it clear that this must include following through on promises made and committing the resources required to do so.
One of the primary responsibilities of an incoming President, as defined in our Constitution is to appoint the APFA legal counsel. On my first day in office I made some much needed changes to our legal team that I think will better serve our membership. I have appointed Mark Richard, of Richard & Phillips Law Firm as Strategic Counsel. Mark has been involved in public and private sector organizing, bargaining, and coalition building for over three decades with extensive background in aviation employee contracts at Southwest, American, Pan Am, Eastern, Northwest, and United. We have retained the services of Peter Goelz, of O’Neil and Associates for Governmental Affairs and we have redefined our needs and expectations of General Legal Counsel, Mady Gilson.
In addition to hiring and reorganizing our legal and promotional staff, the National President is charged with appointing the APFA National Department Chairs. I am happy to say after nearly twelve (12) years without significant changes to our in-house departments, we now have many new faces with varying degrees of experience and background that I feel will represent our newly combined LAA and LUS membership and eventually allow us to drop the dividing Legacy prefix. I would like to extend a sincere thank you and express my gratitude for the work and effort of our outgoing National Chairs and wish them the best as you start to see them flying the line with you. I would also like to introduce to you the incoming National Chairs:
- National Communications Chair – Shane Staples (MIA)
- National Contract Chair – Chuck Ransdale (CLT)
- National Health Chair – Gabby Harty (CLT)
- National Hotel Chair – A. Marie Plevritis (DFW)
- National Injury on Duty Chair – Bellia Peckson (DFW)
- National Safety & Security Chair – Noelle Weiler (DFW)
- National Scheduling Chair – Daniel Koukes (DFW)
I am confident they will provide the representation you deserve and they are committed to meeting your expectations. Like myself, they have many fresh ideas and they possess the one thing I have requested of all my Union reps: Passion for helping the membership above themselves. I have often stated, you can teach a profession, but you cannot teach passion. It is the one key ingredient you deserve from your leadership and is the motivation behind everything we do.
Throughout my term I will continue to release statements and updates in order to keep you in the loop. In the meantime, thank you for your support and giving me the opportunity to serve.
APFA National President