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1.31.20 – MIA Base Brief – February 2020

Friday, January 31, 2020

MIA Base Brief – February 2020


In This Brief


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APFA Budget
National Officers Elections
JCBA/Contract
Coronavirus
Company Email for Union Business
Annual Vacation Bidding
Vacation Buyback
Pay Protection-Canceled Legs
Direct Conflicts/FAR Illegal-Pay Protection
Attendance Incentive Credit/Bank Point
Reserve Carryover Waiver
Uniform Alterations Reimbursement
Investigations, Right to Representation: Section 35-R
Admirals Club
Aircraft Lighting

 

APFA Budget


Hello Miami! It’s hard to believe we’re well into a new decade. Due to budgetary issues, all budgets have been required to take significant cuts for the foreseeable future, including the bases. This means that we are going to have a reduction in the reps at the base. We are committed to providing the base with the service you expect and deserve. It may take a bit longer to get a reply to an email, text, or phone call but we will reply.

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National Officers Elections


The first round of National Officer election results is out. Roughly only 9,000 of 28,000 members voted. There will be a runoff for all four Officer positions.

The runoff ballots will be mailed on February 7th and must be received by March 9th.

If you need to update your address with APFA, email member@apfa.org. The Company does not notify APFA of address changes. If you do not receive a ballot, be sure to email the ballot@apfa.org with plenty of time to receive it and return it by the due date.

Please exercise your right to vote.

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JCBA/Contract


Five years have already gone by and the JCBA became amendable on December 17th, 2019. The Railway Labor Act covers airline contract negotiations. Under this act contracts do not expire, they become amendable. What does this mean? Our current JCBA will remain in full force and effect during negotiations until a Tentative Agreement is reached. There are many steps in the process of reaching a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (Contract) before a mediator could release the parties into self-help.

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Coronavirus


As of this writing, the Company has suspended flights to mainland China from LAX and DFW through March 27, 2020. The situation is very fluid and changing rapidly so stay tuned to hotlines and emails.

APFA is committed to protecting our members and is monitoring the situation closely.

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Company Email for Union Business


Please do not use our individual Company email addresses for union-related business. Not only are those mailboxes not necessarily monitored daily, the Company can monitor and spot-check anyone’s email at any time, so it’s not appropriate to have union-related messages there. Please use the email addresses provided above.

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Annual Vacation Bidding


The yearly vacation bidding opens on Monday, February 3rd at 1200 CT. This is the second year of our new vacation system. Vacation accrued is awarded for the vacation fiscal year of May 2020 through April 2021 and is based on your domicile/base seniority held in January 2020.

Remember we no longer use the HIVC entry in DECS/FOS to bid. You access the Annual Vacation Bid and Award (AVBA) via Crew Portal (faportal.aa.com) under the monthly bidding tab. Your annual accrual and number of days available to bid will be on the summary page.

faportal.aa.com > Monthly Bids > Vacation > Annual > Bidding Ballots

Reminders for vacation bidding

  1. You will bid ALL vacation in the first round of bidding.
  2. You can bid for multiple vacation periods during the fiscal year.
  3. You can bid for a number of vacation splits up to the days you have available to bid. All vacation blocks must be four (4) or more days of vacation.
  4. The one exception is that you can bid for one block that is less than four days. It can be one (1), two (2) or three (3) vacation days.
  5. You can bid to have up to six (6) vacation days as Filler Days that can be bid and awarded monthly later.
  6. Any block of seven (7) consecutive vacation days or more will receive pay and credit of four (4) hours per day. Any block of less than six (6) days will receive pay and credit of three and one-half (3.5) hours per day.
  7. The secondary bid allows you to bid for any remaining vacation days that were not awarded in the primary bid.
  8. All days awarded or assigned will be available for monthly rebid in Crew Portal Vacation Management System (VMS).

 

You can maximize the value of your vacation days by bidding for a period that occurs after your annual pay rate increase.

Bidding Dates
Primary Bid Opens:  03 FEB, 1200 CT
Primary Bid Closes:  04 MAR, 1200 CT
Primary Bid Results Posted:  10 MAR, 1200 CT
Secondary Bid Opens:  10 MAR, 1200 CT
Secondary Bid Closes:  17 MAR, 1200 CT
Final Results Posted:  20 MAR, 1200 CT

If you need assistance you may reach out to the FABRC through VIP-CREW, or APFA headquarters at 817-540-0108 extension 8171.

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Vacation Buyback


If you were awarded Vacation Buyback, your payment will be in your June 15th paycheck. When paid out, the vacation buyback is considered a lump sum payment. Per IRS regulations it is taxed at supplemental rates. For 2019, according to the IRS, the rate was 22%.

Since this is not a bonus, your regular 401k election and company contribution/match will apply. If you want to defer a larger percentage of this payment into your 401k, you must change your contribution election for that paycheck. This will require you to make two changes, one before the paycheck and one after. Consult with Fidelity for information regarding deadline dates for the transactions.

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Pay Protection-Canceled Legs


All pay protection for canceled segments are reviewed by Crew Compensation at closeout on the 9th of the subsequent month. Should your sequence involve a canceled leg, you are pay protected for the greater of what you fly, or the scheduled time of the entire trip if another crew flies any part of the sequence. In addition, you are pay protected for the greater if you are rescheduled. Other than Last Trip/ Last Series, these are all reviewed by Crew Compensation.

Direct Connect messages from Crew Compensation are being auto-generated stating that there are no changes to your hours. This is obviously creating confusion. Once the review at closeout is complete, the pay protection if warranted will be applied.

 

Direct Conflicts/Far Illegal-Pay Protection


If you have a FAR Illegal removal (FI), you are paid for the value of both sequences. For a Direct Conflict (DC), meaning a sequence overlaps another, the pay of the first trip measures against the second trip.

For example, you have two 10-hour trips back to back. You arrive a day later from your first trip which makes you FAR Illegal (FI) for the second. The first trip is now worth 15 hours. You are pay protected for the full value of the second trip since they did not overlap. The pay value for both trips in this scenario is 25 hours.

In the case of a Direct Conflict (DC), you get in the next day causing a direct overlap with the second trip. The first trip becomes worth 15 hours, the second was worth 10 hours. The original scheduled value of both trips added together was 20 hours. You would be owed the difference of five hours in this scenario as a result of the trips overlapping.

 

Attendance Incentive Credit/Bank Point


In order to receive the incentive credit (bank point) for a holiday period, you must not any incur absence for the entire period, including but not limited to: Jury Duty (JD), Bereavement (BR), Personal Off (PO), Sick (SK/US), any FMLA, Qualifications (QI/QD), and Injury on Duty.

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Reserve Carryover Waiver


If you want hours that carry over into a reserve month to go above your reserve guarantee, you must indicate this by checking the “Waive to Allow Carryover to be Days Off” waiver in your PBS reserve ballot at the time of bidding. Failure to indicate this waiver will result in those hours and days counting toward your reserve calling out of time obligation.

 

Uniform Alterations Reimbursement


This is the link for the uniform alterations reimbursement form. Print, attach the required documents and submit to the uniform coordinator at the FYI Center in operations.

https://aaflightservice.aa.com/pdf/reimbursement_form_alterations.pdf

 

Investigations, Right to Representation: Section 35-R


You are entitled to union representation in Company investigations and Corporate Security searches. If you are notified by your manager that you are withheld from service or are required to attend a meeting, notify one of us immediately if you want representation. While we are notified of meetings and investigations, we do not attend unless our assistance is requested.

Below is the contractual language that applies:

R. RIGHT TO UNION REPRESENTATION 
The APFA does not question the right of the Company supervisors to manage and supervise the work force and make reasonable inquiries of employees, individually or collectively, in the normal course of work.
  1. Investigative Meetings
In meetings for the purpose of investigation of any matter which may eventuate in the application of discipline or dismissal, or when written statements are taken relating to such matters, or in meetings of sufficient importance for the Company to have witnesses, or more than one (1) Company supervisor present, the Flight Attendant, if she/he requests, shall have an APFA representative present. Such meetings will be delayed for a reasonable period of time, not to exceed four (4) hours, to allow the APFA representative to be present, provided the Flight Attendant remains at the place of the meeting while awaiting the APFA representative. The presence of an APFA representative at such meetings shall in no way interfere with the conduct of the meeting.
  1. Document Exchange
In meetings held for the purpose of investigation of any matter which may eventuate in discipline or dismissal, or when written statements are taken relating to such matters, or in meetings of sufficient importance for the Company to have witnesses, or more than one (1) Company supervisor present, the Company will provide the Flight Attendant with copies of all documents related to that meeting. The Flight Attendant will be permitted to review the documents before the meeting begins. If the Flight Attendant requests union representation, she/he will be permitted to confer privately with such representative before the meeting begins. Such conference will not normally exceed fifteen (15) minutes, but in no case will such conference unreasonably delay the meeting. Once the meeting begins, such meeting will continue uninterrupted. For confidentiality purposes, all names and other identifying information may be expunged from any documents provided by the Company, at the Company’s option. In any investigation involving alleged harassment, such as sexual, racial, religious, etc., the contents of the documents will be typed in their entirety and provided to the Flight Attendant, except that names and all other identifying information will be expunged for confidentiality purposes.
  1. Second APFA Representative as Scribe at Investigative Meetings in Paragraph R.1
    1. A second APFA representative at an Investigative meeting will be permitted for the sole purpose of taking notes.
    2. The presence of an APFA representative, either as a Flight Attendants’ designated representative or as a silent scribe, will in no way interfere with the conduct of the meeting nor may the APFA’s decision to add a second APFA representative as a scribe delay the meeting.
    3. Should problems develop for the Company as a result of it permitting a scribe at an Investigative meeting, the Company will notify the APFA of such problems and the parties will attempt to solve them. The Company retains the option to discontinue the practice in the event that problems persist which cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of the parties.
  1. Presence of Union Observer during Company Security Department Investigative Interviews.

The Company will permit a union representative to be present as a silent observer during Company Security Department investigative interviews in accordance with the following terms:

  1. Flight Attendant(s) interviewed by a Company Security Department representative as part of a Company Security Department investigation may, upon request by the Flight Attendant(s), have an APFA representative present during such interview to act in the role of a silent observer.
  2. Should it be impossible for an APFA representative to be available or if an APFA representative cannot be readily available upon request, (within one (1) hour) the Company’s Security Department will not be required to delay the interview. In such circumstances, a Flight Attendant who is being interviewed by the Company Security Department may (1) request the presence of another Flight Attendant who is covered by the AA/APFA Agreement, who is available within one (1) hour, and who is not also being interviewed, to act in the role of a silent observer; or (2) request a brief consultation with an APFA representative by phone prior to the interview. A Flight Attendant who elects to consult with an APFA representative by phone will be provided, generally five (5) to ten (10) minutes, to speak privately with an APFA representative prior to the interview. Although such Flight Attendant’s luggage and other personal possessions will remain with the Flight Attendant, she/he and her/his luggage and other personal possessions must remain in plain view of the Security Department representative during the private phone consultation to ensure the integrity of all evidence is preserved.
  3. Should a silent observer be present during the Company Security Department’s investigation interview, such silent observer, whether an APFA representative or another Flight Attendant, may not interfere with or impede the investigation and/or interview. If a silent observer fails to comply with the terms of Paragraph R, the Company will exclude the silent observer from the area in which the investigation and/or interview is being held and the Company will continue with the process.
  4. In the event that Company concludes that problems have developed for the Company as a result of its permitting an observer to be present during Security interviews, the Company will notify the APFA of such problems and the parties attempt to resolve them. The Company retains the right to modify or cancel Paragraph R.4.a.-d in the event problems persist that cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of the Company. 

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Admirals Club


Flight Service has notified us that potentially creating a boarding pass for the purposes of entering the Admirals Club could result in a travel policy violation.

The Travel Guide has the full Admirals Club policy, in part below:

Starting November 1, 2019 team members will need to show their Verification Pass (the boarding pass used to get through security) when entering the Admirals Club.

Reminders:

If you have an Admirals Club membership (either from purchased membership, credit card promotion or one-day pass), please be advised that you and your travelers may only access the lounge if you are traveling same-day as a passenger on American or a partner airline.  Otherwise, access is prohibited.  The Admirals Club membership is not intended for team members to utilize before, during and after work hours.  If you do access the lounge while traveling, remove any company badges, name tags, or lanyards while in the club, and change out of your entire uniform (this includes all uniform pieces) prior to arriving at the lounge. These same guidelines apply should you access any other airline clubs/lounges.

The Admirals Club is not intended for use by team members while working a trip (including deadheading) or as a break area before, after, or between flights/during “sit time.” If you’re a commuter headed to work, we invite you to enjoy the lounge in your home city prior to departing on a flight to your base city. However, you may not wear any portion of your uniform and should avoid calling attention to yourself as an American team member while in the lounge. Likewise, after your trip is finished and you’ve completely changed out of your uniform, you may access the lounge in your base city before catching your flight home.

Separately from the Travel Guide:

Falsifying or manipulating travel records is prohibited; examples of such conduct include creating fake PNRs, booking non-revenue travel for an ineligible traveler or using more guest passes or vacation passes than allotted.

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Aircraft Lighting


Lights on, lights off, sidewalls off, sidewalls on, too bright, too dim? Professional Standards has been receiving an overwhelming number of calls about aircraft lighting.

They ask that you try to work this issue out amicably on the airplane. Aircraft lighting is covered specifically in the manual, so when all else fails, follow the manual as specified.

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Until next time, fly safely!

Randy

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

Phone: (817) 540-0108
Fax: (817) 540-2077

 

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