Tuesday, May 23, 2017
At last week’s meeting at APFA Headquarters, the APFA Executive Committee (EC) considered two Letters of Agreement (LOAs) that the Company has proposed. The first provides for the elimination of the 40 hour scheduling minimum (Hard 40) in the JCBA for all Flight Attendants, increasing minimum thresholds for sick and vacation accrual, and requiring all Flight Attendants to meet a threshold to maintain their employment.
The second LOA would move up the date of the implementation of Sections 8 (Vacations) and 9.D. (Claiming of Sick) of the JCBA for LAA Flight Attendants. (This would be a change to the JCBA’s Implementation Timeline.) The EC concluded that it is for the membership to decide whether or not to accept (ratify) these proposed LOAs. Ballots will be mailed within the next few weeks.
The changes proposed in these LOAs need to be decided now, in order to complete the programming necessary to adhere to the updated FOI timeline announced by the Company last month.
Why are these provisions (LOAs) being considered?
40 Hour Scheduling Minimum (Hard 40) LOA
The elimination of the 40 hour scheduling limitation under PBS has been a topic of ongoing discussion since 2014. The Company must have an answer on this LOA soon, since it takes several months to complete the programming necessary to implement the Trip Trade System (TTS) and Electronic Trade Board (ETB) which are now scheduled to be implemented for LAA in May of 2018. Since yearly thresholds to accrue sick and vacation and maintain employment are included in this LOA, the EC has determined that this is a substantial alteration to the contract requiring membership ratification.
Timeline Adjustment LOA – (Move up of implementation of Vacations, Section 8, and Claiming Sick Leave, Section 9.D. for LAA)
According to the Implementation Schedule, Section 22, Filling of Vacancies, Flight Attendants will be able to transfer at FOI in October, 2018. The Company has proposed implementing Section 8, Vacation, and Section 9.D., Claiming Sick for the 2018/2019 fiscal year, which would align all Flight Attendants’ vacation and sick in preparation for FOI.
Additionally, this LOA includes a one-time lump sum payout to both LUS and LAA Flight Attendants equal to one (1:00) hour of pay-no-credit for all vacation accrued for usage in 2018/2019 (minus applicable premiums.) Again, the EC determined that this proposed LOA requires membership ratification.
The two (2) LOAs will be considered for ratification by the membership independently of each other. The Company maintains that the updated FOI (October, 2018) timeline will proceed whether or not the LOAs are ratified. This means that if the 40 Hour Scheduling Minimum LOA is not ratified, the (Hard 40) will be maintained per current JCBA language (current for LUS and at PBS for LAA.) Likewise, if the Timeline Adjustment for Vacation and Claiming Sick Leave LOA is not ratified, Sections 8 and 9.D. of the JCBA will be implemented for LAA concurrent with PBS instead of with TTS and ETB in May of 2018.
It is important to know that APFA leadership pushed hard to improve the provisions of these LOAs before being faced with the decision to present them for your consideration or having them withdrawn altogether.
In the coming days and weeks leading up to the balloting on these agreements, we will provide the membership with detailed FAQs as well as scenarios of how the updated timeline for FOI will play out with or without the proposed LOAs in place.
It is important to note that each of these LOAs should be reviewed independently of each other based on their own merits. We ask that you take the time to become informed and reach out to APFA representatives for clarification where necessary.
APFA prides itself on being a membership driven union, and as such, your leadership will refrain from advocating a Yes or No vote by allowing each of the agreements to stand on their own merits. It will be up to each member to make an informed decision that represents her/his own best interests regarding these proposed changes.
We expect much discussion surrounding these LOAs with strong opinions on both sides. We ask that you remain respectful of one another throughout the process and know that APFA is ultimately committed to a unified workforce where we can finally drop the legacy prefixes and move forward together, in the spirit of solidarity.