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11.11.19 – Letter from Lori Bassani, APFA National President

Monday, November 11, 201

Dear Fellow APFA Member,

As we near the holidays and we are all anxious what that may bring, I have a few items of importance that I’d like to talk to you about regarding our Union.

Here’s How It All Began

As you know, our administration took office just prior to FOI and a new JCBA being put into place, and PBS being introduced into all bases at incremental phases. The punitive attendance policy was dropped on us in our second month in office and we hit the ground running on several fronts.

The combining and unification of our different cultures and contracts was in full swing and along with the confusion, contract violations ran rampant kicking the Union’s grievance machinery into high gear…not to mention nine existing Presidential grievances that needed immediate attention. Internally, we brought in extra representatives to assist with the major changes coming our way and headquarters was buzzing like a hive of bees. Add early negotiations to the mix and the pistons were firing on all fronts. I want you to know that there is a hefty price tag for the integration of our work groups. While extra expenditures were a necessary part of the process to address all of the major changes and provide the best service possible for our members, we can now review where we are and adjust our sights going forward.

And How We Got Here

Flight Attendants got raises and the monthly bid max was increased to 110 hours, which meant your Union representatives, whose pay is based on monthly bids also increased our Union’s overall costs. Since APFA’s budgeting was based on 90-hour months, the truth is there wasn’t a reality check or a forecast based on the greater amount of pay PBS would bring to the table. And the expenses have grown exponentially. The good news is flight attendant pay has gone up but the bad news is our Union isn’t bringing in more money to offset higher operating expenses and increased trip removal costs that are paid for reps to represent our members. In point of fact, APFA’s dues of $41 per month has remained mainly static since 2002. Ours are among the lowest dues in the industry. We’ve been able to keep it low because we are not paying outside national organization fees or using dues money to organize other unions. Needless to say, this series of events led us to where we are now.

Where We Are Now

Recognizing the need for a financial tune-up, I have ordered a full review and independent analysis of our Union’s finances which is currently being conducted to analyze our current financial status and provide future forecasting and recommendations. The findings will be reported to our National Officers, Executive Committee, Base Presidents and the National Budget Committee this week. Once we receive a full factual briefing, we are prepared to make any adjustments necessary to provide a solid general budget for our treasury going forward. Keep in mind that the general fund treasury is separate from the NNRF (Negotiations and Negotiations Related Fund.)

Our negotiations fund (NNRF) remains one of the healthiest in the industry. As was stated in my last hotline, this fund was created after APFA’s historic strike, by board resolution in 1994. Click here to read the resolution.

Where We Are Going

Following our full briefing, your Union is prepared to make any adjustments necessary to maintain a strong financial foundation. And while we jumped onto what seemed like a fast-moving train, we are laying solid groundwork to forge ahead into a secure and promising future. Thank you for coming along with us on what has been quite a rocky ride. Fasten your seatbelts. Hook up to Go-Go. Negotiations is switching into high gear in the New Year. What do we need from you? We don’t need spectators, we need a few thousand good activists to get involved and be a part of the change we intend to make in our industry not only for APFA Members but for Flight Attendants everywhere!
In Unity and Solidarity, 

Lori L. Bassani
APFA National President



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