Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

6.01.18 – (LUS) – Considering Becoming a Speaker at FOI?

Considering Becoming a Speaker at FOI? – LUS

Please be aware that current LOD/O and LIP qualified Flight Attendants only have until June 18, 2018 to decide to keep their foreign language qualification after FOI.
The Speaker Program replaces the LOD/O program at FOI, and there are some important changes to consider before deciding to opt in or out of your foreign language qualifications. Reference JCBA Section 15 – Foreign Language Speaker for all the details, up to and including the following considerations:

  • Qualifying as a speaker is a long-term commitment. Once you become a speaker, you may only drop your language qualification if you have at least 10 years of occupational seniority (bidding seniority) and are able to hold a language drop proffer (bid). Normally, these proffers are only offered once per year in September.
  • If you are awarded a base transfer due to your speaker qualification (instead of seniority) you may be locked in to your base for six months (new hires with less than one year seniority may be locked into the base for one year).
  • Speakers will be included as part of the crew complement staffed for the route (they will no longer be on separate pairings like they are today).
  • As a speaker, you may also bid for and fly trips that do not require your language qualification, however, based on speaker staffing at your base, you may be assigned speaker trips over your non- speaker trip selections.

If you do nothing, you are opting OUT of all foreign language qualifications you have as of October 1, 2018.

If you choose to keep your qualifications, you do not need to re-test. You must submit your ballot on Jetnet between now and the deadline (June 18, 2018).
You may change your mind up until the deadline. The last ballot you submit will be counted. A chart is available showing each speaker’s seniority at each base. This will show where you would fall on the list.
FAQs
 
Q: Why would I be locked in to a base?
A: A lock-in is a contractual commitment to ensure predictability when it comes to speaker staffing and matching foreign language requirements to each base’s needs. (reference JCBA 15.B for more information)Q: How can I get out of the program if it is not for me?
A: You may not exit out of the speaker program unless you have a minimum 10 years of occupational seniority and you have the seniority to hold the language drop proffer (bid). These proffers are typically offered only once per year in September. The number of speakers awarded a language drop is based on staffing at each base. Requests are processed in seniority order, but there is no guarantee you will be released from the program. (reference JCBA 15.L for more information)Q: What if I want to drop more than one language qualification?
A: You must meet the same criteria as above and submit a separate drop proffer for each language. Each request is processed in seniority order.

Q: What is the additional pay if I participate in the speaker program?
A: As a speaker, you will receive a $2.00 per hour premium for flights that require your language qualification.

Q: When will the speaker program start?
A: October 1, 2018

Q: Will the LUS LIP program continue?
A: No, the LIP and LOD/O program go away at FOI and will be replaced with the JCBA speaker program.

Q: How will speakers be staffed?
A: Contractual language in JCBA Section 15 provides details on how speakers will be staffed. Generally, speakers are staffed as follows:

  • Narrowbody
    • Up to one per flight
    • Can work any position/cabin
  • Widebody
    • Up to one per cabin (e.g., business and main cabin)
    • May be restricted from galley positions if fulfilling the speaker requirement for the flight
    • 200 or more main cabin seats may have up to 2 main cabin positions designated as speakers
    • The Purser/Lead Flight Attendant may also be a speaker

Q: Will a certain number of speakers be held to sit reserve?

A: If speakers are needed as line holders, there may be few or no reserve speakers for a given language. Speakers will not be ‘held back’ to sit reserve.

Example #1:

In CLT for March, the Company requires 12 German speakers to staff the CLT- FRA daily flight. There are 12 total available German speakers in CLT. Three of those German speakers are on reserve for the month of March per their rotation.

Because the total number of German speakers needed in CLT for the month of March is 12, all of the German speakers will be forced into a line requiring a German speaker, leaving no German speakers on reserve.

Example #2:

In PHL for June, the Company requires 32 Spanish speakers to staff the Spanish departures on the PHL bid sheets. There are 50 total available Spanish speakers in PHL. Seven of those Spanish speakers are on reserve for the month of June per their rotation.

Because the total number of available Spanish speakers exceeds the need for PHL in June, no speakers will be pulled off of reserve to fulfill the speaker requirement.

Q: How will seasonal speaker positions be handled?
A: The seasonal LOD/O program goes away. If you are a speaker for a seasonal destination, you will need to opt into the speaker program in order to be considered a speaker.

Q: If I am in the speaker program, could that limit my ability to transfer to another base?
A: Yes. A speaker could be held at their base if their speaker qualification is needed. In this case, a mutual transfer with a Flight Attendant holding the same speaker qualification would be granted. If you are currently serving a lock-in at the time of mutual transfer award, JCBA 15.B.3 states that the remainder of the lock-in will be assumed by the Flight Attendant transferring to the base requiring the language qualification.

If your language qualification is not needed at your base, you would be permitted to transfer utilizing the vacancy or mutual transfer options.

In Unity,

Paul Hartshorn Jr.
APFA National Contract Chair
contract@apfa.org

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