Here are Miami’s preliminary manning numbers for August.
Regular Selections 2879
Reserve Percentage 17.1%
Voluntary Leaves 12
Total Headcount 3904
The co-terminal and satellite job numbers for August are;
PBI: 24 FLL: 96 ATL: 32
Despite our efforts to mitigate the number of reserves, drivers such as holiday periods, high sick volume, elimination of AVBL schedules, and pay protection without obligations have made it difficult to reduce the number of reserves needed on a monthly basis. Our reserve percentage has been hovering around 17%, but the base has grown by 200 heads, so an increase in reserve numbers will follow the headcount increase.
Make no mistake; we have presented the Company with many options to lower reserve numbers. Their answer is to plow ahead with more reserves. We will continue to fight to generate more line holders.
As we have said before, Miami is geographically challenged, and this is something we will NEVER be able to overcome. We have so many destinations in the Caribbean, Central America, and domestically that are termed “short stage length.” Most of the islands, also many cities in the north and central US, are only 1-2.5 hour flight times from Miami. These short flight times make it very difficult for the optimizer to build trips that are either, high time or few legs. It cannot build productive trips with short stage lengths. This is why many of our trips have 3 legs per day because the optimizer is programed to avoid pay and credit. Also, due to schedule and frequency, many of our destinations only operate two times daily. The first flight operates as a turn; the second is a short layover.
Our contract has legality parameters for building trips. If the Company meets those contractual requirements, we are limited in our ability to make changes or demand specific sequence desires. The optimizer is programmed to maximize productivity and minimize pay and credit. For example, building trips around a commutable schedule is a challenge because revenue management determines frequency and departure time. This does not mean that we don’t try to get improvements every month. We do, and your feedback is important to us.
Miami is primarily a Latin America and Caribbean hub, and the Company has made it clear that there are no short or medium-term plans to increase our long haul flying, In fact, they are discontinuing service on two flights and moving one to DFW. Also, as long as the South American economies remain depressed there will likely be little growth.
Everyone wants high-time, one-leg-per-day, 18-hour layovers, late sign-ins, and/or early returns. That is an impossible task, but trust that’s what we all want and strive for. If Miami was located 3 hours east to make every leg at least 3 hours, we would be in business for a beautiful bid sheet!
August Bidsheet-Rockets, IPD Sign In, P-Time
The August bidsheet contains some significant changes to rocket flying. Contractually, under Section 14.I.2. of the JCBA, IPD sequences must have a minimum layover of 14 hours, non-reducible. Section 14.I.4. allows an exception for rockets per base, on an individual basis. These are specific sequences that are built with less than a 14-hour layover.
When the JCBA was negotiated, most Deep South flights departed after 2200 and sequences were built with less than 14 hours. Now that EZE and GRU depart earlier, they no longer contractually qualify as rockets and are legally built sequences. However, the layover cannot be reduced below 14 hours in actual operations.
The EZE rocket had a 15.06 layover for July. Under the current Contract, that rest was reducible to 10 hours in actual operations. Beginning in August, it can only be reduced to 14 hours. The Company explained that they need a 3 hour buffer to maintain the EZE short layover. So, EZE will have a 38.40 layover.
We were able to maintain the short GRU 16.25 hour layover. The Company was willing to compromise the 3 hour buffer by 35 minutes. If we do not experience significant delays in August, they will continue to build the trip as is.
Keep in mind; the 1.15 hour sign in for IPD trips goes into effect in August. This means that all IPD legs have an additional 15 minutes added to the duty day. This further shortens IPD layovers by 30 minutes making these trips even more challenging to build.
International P-time will be pay and credit starting in August. Currently P-time is pay, no credit. Some of the LIS lines that contain carryover trips will have LHR built into the lines up to the line value. Pure bids cannot exceed 95 hours. So, since the pay and credit in August for LIS will be 28.41, the lines can only be built with a maximum of three sequences, or a partial carryover with one LHR added to the line.
NEW SYSTEMS and CONTRACTUAL PROVISIONS—Scheduled for the August bid month.
The planned launch timeline for the new scheduling and reserve systems is:
July 21 at 2300, HBT-first runETB (Electronic Trade Board) July 22 at 0400 HBT
ROTA (RSV Open Time Assignment) July 26 at midnight HBT
Opens for August bids
UBL (Unsuccessful Bidders List) July 31
Sunset of Old Systems:
Old Ends for July Schedule
TTOT (Trip Trade with Open Time) July 28 at 2250 HBT
HIPREF July 31 at 2359 DFW (CT)
TT Entries in FOS (HT, HTT, HTO) July 31 at 2359 DFW (CT)
HIBOARD July 31 at 2359 DFW (CT)
TARS (Time Accrued Reserve System) July 31 at 2359 DFW (CT)
Make-up, Option II, and Critical Coverage July 31 at 2359 DFW (CT)
Miami is scheduled to transition to PBS in May 2019. Until then, we will still use the HIB entry in FOS to enter bids and the on-line bidding tool will be status quo.
As FOI approaches, there seems to be some confusion regarding payment of sick time. We will continue to be paid for trips missed as we are currently paid today.
Currently, reserves who call in sick for a specific sequence are not charged for the value of the trip, rather they are charged for a reserve day (3.56 or 4.10 depending on if it is a 30 or 31 day month.) With the implementation of PBS, reserves who call out for a specific trip will be charged the same as a line holder (trips missed).
Presidential Grievance Regarding Pay Protection, Resolved!
In a major victory for APFA, the Presidential Grievance on Pay Protection has been resolved in APFA’s favor. With the arbitration less than a week away, the Company approached your APFA leadership to resolve the case.
Faced with almost 20 years of bargaining history and a witness list that included a current APFA Base President, a current APFA Base Vice President, the current APFA Interim National Vice President, former LUS Base Presidents, former LUS Master Executive Council Presidents and others, the Company decided they would rather settle the grievance on our terms than take a chance at arbitration.
This grievance arose when the Company abruptly changed the way they calculated pay protection when a LUS Flight Attendant was rescheduled or replaced due to crew or equipment substitution. In 2016, the Company began deducting cancelled segments from the pay protection provisions under Section 10.J. of the LUS Red Book. These same protections appear in Section 10.J. of the Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement, so their change in calculation would have carried forward in the implementation of the JCBA if left unchallenged by APFA.
APFA is pleased the Company came to this resolution that benefits our members without placing the issue before an arbitrator. Under the resolution that was reached, the Company will pay all the outstanding NODs that have been filed since 2016. Additionally, it restores the previous methodology of calculating the pay protections for rescheduling or when a Flight Attendant is replaced as a result of crew or equipment substitution. Under those circumstances, a Flight Attendant is guaranteed the greater of what she/he actually flies or the value of her/his originally awarded/assigned sequence, including payment for any cancelled segments. It is important to note that not every change to a sequence constitutes a rescheduling. Section 10.J.1.of the JCBA outlines the sequence changes that do and do not trigger these provisions.
The programming necessary to satisfy these contractual provisions will take some time to accomplish. In the meantime, here is how the provisions will be applied:
- For LUS Flight Attendants, effective July 1, the provisions will be restored using the processes currently in place.
- LAA Flight Attendants will continue to receive pay for cancelled segments as they do today until August.
- Beginning August 1, a manual process will be established for LAA Flight Attendants to claim the pay protections. For claims submitted in August and September, the Company will pay them as soon as possible but no later than December 31, 2018.
- Beginning October 1, the manual process will continue until the programming is in place to automate the process. However, the claims submitted from October 1 forward will be paid within the normal payroll process time frames.
Pay Protection Settlement, What Does This Mean to Me?
What is rescheduling? A Flight Attendant who is required to operate a segment/s not originally scheduled in her/his scheduled sequence, or another Flight attendant operates a portion of the Flight Attendant’s original trip (Crew Substitution).
What is changing within rescheduling? A Flight attendant who is rescheduled and has cancelled segments (flight/s not operating) will be guaranteed the pay value of her/his originally awarded/assigned sequence, as published or actual, whichever is greater, included cancelled segments. This pay protection will also apply to a Flight Attendant who is replaced as a result of crew or equipment substitution.
What isn’t rescheduling and what is not changing? A Flight Attendant who is not required to operate segments other than those originally scheduled in the sequence, but has a cancelled segment/s at the origination, mid-sequence or at the end of the sequence. Cancelled segments under these conditions and full sequence cancellations are not pay protected, unless it is the Flight Attendant’s last trip or trip within the last series of trips for the month.
Note: Rescheduling is not deadheading into position, diversions, or delays of scheduled segments.
You are going to be responsible for submitting a Direct Connect claim until the automated process is in place. This is done in your personal mode on the Flight Service website. *See below.
Direct Connect- Crew Pay Connection
We have a single point of contact to report issues and submit pay correction requests. Once you submit a report, the online tool assigns a case number that you can use to track its progress. An email is also sent to your aa.com mailbox confirming your request was received. You no longer need to contact Pay Comp. The Direct Connect hyperlink is directly below your name on the Flight Service website. Steps to submit a report:
If your request is related to an improperly credited trip, you will need:
- Sequence / Pairing number, and origination date,
- Flight number and originating date.
- Your name, employee number, and email address should already appear on the form,
- Enter required fields, including a report category selection from the drop down menu,
- Use the message box to outline the details of your request,
- Submit your request,
- Select “Ticket Log” tab to review status of your request.
You should receive a confirmation number and a ticket number almost immediately. Retain the ticket number to track the progress of the request. You can expect a response in 5 to 7 days.
Report to the Airport/Call Out Pay
Once you have left your residence, if your sequence subsequently cancels and Crew Schedule did not notify you more than 3 hours before departure, you are entitled to call out pay. You must make contact with Crew Schedule to receive call out pay. Let them know you are at the airport or that you have left your residence.
If you are at the airport for any length of time, you may be entitled to more than 3 hours, so it is important to get a release time from scheduling. Don’t leave any pay behind!
Mid-Sequence Call Out Pay
If you report to the airport mid-sequence and do no flying, you are entitled to 3 hours pay and credit for the day. Make sure that the RPT is noted on your HI3 (if not, contact Crew Tracking) and send claim form to Direct Connect on the Flight Service page to receive the proper pay.
All FOS functions will not be disabled. There will still be many entries that you can/need to use.
Transportation from MIA to West Palm Beach (PBI) for Reserves
It is approximately 70 miles from Miami Airport (MIA) to West Palm Beach Airport (PBI). The only public transportation available is on Tri-Rail, the commuter rail system that links metropolitan areas in Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Service on this system is directed primarily to commuter work hours and can be inadequate for early morning, late night, and weekend time periods. Many commuters are on reserve and have no viable way to travel to PBI. Miami Flight Service agrees to provide ground transportation to/from MIA Airport and PBI Airport under the following conditions:
- Transportation will only be provided for MIA reserve Flight Attendants assigned a PBI trip sequence.
- Transportation will be provided between MIA and PBI only.
- Transportation must be requested through the hotel/limo desk at the time of assignment.
Many of the trips originating out of PBI and FLL have very early sign-ins. As a courtesy please call in sick or request a PO as early as you can. There isn’t a provision going forward to call people from their preferred co-terminal when on ready reserve.
Attendance Policy, HI10M
Be sure to check your HI10 once a month for discrepancies such as late sign-ins (LR). Remember that a seat swap after sign-in requires a new sign-in. If you receive a short call out for a trip and the scheduler says she/he will waive your sign-in, make sure the LR does not show on your HI10M. Sometimes the scheduler forgets to send the message.
If you get a TM and there are extenuating circumstances such as traffic jams, train delays, etc, speak to your manager right away. She/he can investigate and usually there are several people who also had a problem that day. You may be able to have the TM excused.
If you find any issues with your record, address them with your manager while they are fresh in your mind. Be proactive with your attendance to prevent problems later. Let us know if you need our assistance.
The Company is going to introduce a new attendance policy in the next few months. The APFA has not been consulted or notified of the details.
Absence of 7 Consecutive Calendar Days or More
This is an important piece of the current attendance policy that you can use to keep yourself from progressing through the steps of the policy. Per the policy, a single sick absence of 7 consecutive days or more (unless you’ve had one year with no chargeable absences) will count as 2 points. You can have the 2 points reduced to 1 point by calling the Absence Return Centurn (ARC) at 817.967.6700 and answering a few questions related to your illness. A message will be sent to your manager that the absence is to be reduced, but no medical information will be shared with her/him. This must be accomplished within 10 business days of clearing the sick list.
Gina Blakely 917.749.5032 and Christine Grandillo 917.549.8177 are our current Professional Standards reps. They do a wonderful job, most of it on their own time.
There is no such thing as a perfect trip, a perfect day, a perfect relationship, or a perfect person. As the saying goes, “one person’s ceiling is another person’s floor.” In other words, perception is key. When it comes to crew members, what was a perfectly satisfactory trip to one may have been a living nightmare to the one on the other side of the cart or the cockpit door. Too often, a bad trip can be attributed to conflict with our colleagues.
Conflict occurs when our expectations of others, or our job performance goals and objectives aren’t shared. We always hope our differences will be few, but should conflicts arise Professional Standards can discuss them openly and resolve them quickly, without Company intervention.
The APFA Professional Standards Representatives at our base are available to facilitate conflict resolution by reflecting your concerns before problems deteriorate into unmanageable turmoil on the airplane – or even escalate into action by the Company.
The APFA Professional Standards is a voluntary, confidential service offering members the opportunity to resolve conflicts or concerns with co-workers without management involvement. The only way this program works is if all parties cooperate. The goal is conflict resolution, not discipline.
It has been reported that Flight Attendants are not calling the Professional Standards reps back when they make the initial call, or subsequent calls. Please make a return call if you receive one. They are not there to judge you or the situation.
Trip Trade Services
Trip Trade Services are high on the call volume we receive. Trip Trade Services won’t be licensed after July 31st to perform trip trades or ETB transactions. They will still be able to bid for you until PBS.
The Company has made it abundantly clear that giving out your Jetnet passcode is a direct violation of the rules of conduct, and could potentially result in disciplinary action.
Until next time, fly safely!