Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

2.03.21 – APFA Special Hotline – WARN Notification/Voluntary Early Out And Leave Options

APFA Special Hotline

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

  • American Airlines Sends Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) Notifications
  • February 2021 Voluntary Early Out Program (VEOP)
  • Extended Voluntary Leaves of Absence 2 (EVLOA-2)

 


American Airlines Sends Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) Notifications

The Company has notified APFA of an anticipated overstaffing situation in the Flight Service department and will be issuing WARN notifications accordingly. In anticipation of this announcement, APFA continues to push Congress to extend the Payroll Support Program (PSP), which would preserve frontline aviation worker’s jobs and health benefits beyond the current April 1st expiration date.

Tell your Representatives that we cannot let the PSP lapse like it did in October. We need a seamless continuation of this successful jobs program that has kept us connected to our paycheck and healthcare. Contact the Representatives you vote for and make sure they are supporting you, your family, and your job.

Please continue to take action to preserve aviation jobs. Contact your appropriate representatives by clicking here.

To comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) Act, American must notify potentially affected Flight Attendants at least sixty (60) days in advance of any potential involuntary furlough. (Note: Only California, Illinois, and New York require that letters be sent to each Flight Attendant.) This notice serves as tentative notification of furlough and is not a guarantee that you will be furloughed. Historically, these notices have been sent to the “worst-case-scenario” number of Flight Attendants.  As stated above, our goal is to mitigate the overage with leaves and early out programs to lower the number of Flight Attendants subject to an involuntary furlough.

As we look toward the future, it is clear that difficult decisions must be made. The estimated overage of Flight Attendants on April 1, 2020, is 4,245, reaching an Occupational Seniority Date of March 28, 2016 and Seniority# 21513. Our goal is to mitigate this overage with voluntary early out and voluntary leave packages so that involuntary furloughs will not be necessary. APFA has secured Letters of Agreement from the Company on both options that are superior to what is required by our JCBA, and they have been unanimously approved by the APFA Board of Directors.

The following voluntary early out and leave options will be available for our workgroup:

February 2021 Voluntary Early Out Program (VEOP)

VEOP Letter of Agreement

The early out options include three different options to address the needs of the Flight Attendant workgroup:

Option A – Ten (10) Years or More of Occupational Seniority – No Lump Sum
Option B – Ten (10) or More years of Occupational Seniority – Lump Sum
Option C – Fewer Than Ten (10) Years of Occupational Seniority

Below, please find a breakdown of each VEOP option available.

Option A – Ten (10) Years or More of Occupational Seniority – No Lump Sum

Eligibility:

Flight Attendants with ten (10) or more years of Occupational seniority that are in an “active status,” as determined by the Company, as of the date the bidding window for this VEOP opens shall be eligible to bid for this VEOP option. Flight Attendants awarded a VEOP are subject to the existing Flight Attendant Attendance and Performance Program until the commencement of the VEOP.Pay:

The equivalent of six (6) months of pay paid out over twelve (12) months of time as follows: 38:00 hours of pay per month at the Flight Attendant’s applicable JCBA hourly rate only for a period of twelve (12) months beginning on the date the VEOP commences. The JCBA hourly rate will be based on the Flight Attendant’s JCBA hourly rate of pay at the commencement of the VEOP. No other pay will be provided (e.g., no minimum guarantees or premiums of any sort will be paid). Such pay will be divided and paid out on the pay dates provided in Section 3.N.1 & 3 of the JCBA. Pay will be subject to tax withholding as required by law.

Travel:

A one-time allotment of eight (8) round-trip positive space passes (E Inventory) to be used within five (5) years of the commencement of the VEOP. Travel as active from the commencement of the VEOP through the twelve (12) months of pay as described above.

  • For those that qualify under the 65 Point Plan as the date of separation (i.e. the expiration of the pay period described above) retiree travel will continue in accordance with Company policy. Eligibility for the 65 Point Plan will be determined as of the date of separation from the Company (i.e., expiration of the twelve (12) month pay period).
  • Those who do not qualify under the 65 Point Plan as of the date of separation (i.e., upon expiration of the twelve (12) month pay period described above) will receive twenty-four (24) months of travel privileges at D2R status, in accordance with Company policy, beginning as of the date of separation from the Company (i.e., upon expiration of the twelve (12) month pay period).

 

Vacation Payout:

Any accrued vacation for use in 2021/2022 and/or 2022/2023, not used as a result of an employee’s VEOP, will be paid out as soon as practicable, but in no case later than the 15th of the subsequent month, following the expiration of the twelve (12) month period of pay described above unless otherwise required by law.

Health Benefits:

Eligibility for medical, dental & vision benefits at active rates for thirty (30) months following the commencement of the VEOP. During the thirty (30) months following the commencement of the VEOP, a Flight Attendant on a VEOP will be responsible for payment of the employee portion of all premiums, which will be payroll deducted (or billed pursuant to Company practice for the remainder if earnings are insufficient). A Flight Attendant’s failure to make timely premium payments may result in the loss of coverage, subject to the Company’s regular premium collection process. COBRA benefits will run concurrently beginning in the thirteenth (13th) month following the commencement of the VEOP.

For Flight Attendants Qualifying for the 65-point plan ONLY:

The Company will establish a Retiree Health Reimbursement Arrangement (RHRA) for all Flight Attendants who meet the eligibility requirements of the VEOP and qualify for the 65-point plan as of the date of retirement from the Company. The RHRA credits may be used for qualified medical expenses for any qualified medical plan.

Option B – Ten (10) or More years of Occupational Seniority – Lump Sum

Eligibility:

Flight Attendants with ten (10) or more years of Occupational seniority that are in an “active status,” as determined by the Company, as of the date the bidding window for this VEOP opens shall be eligible to bid for this VEOP option. Flight Attendants awarded a VEOP are subject to the existing Flight Attendant Attendance and Performance Program until the commencement of the VEOP.

Pay:

456 hours of pay at the Flight Attendant’s JCBA hourly rate only (i.e., no premiums) paid as a one-time lump sum no later than the last day of the month following the 12-month period. The lump sum payment will be subject to tax withholding as required by law. The JCBA hourly rate will be based on the Flight Attendant’s JCBA hourly rate of pay at the commencement of the VEOP.

Travel:

A one-time allotment of eight (8) round-trip positive space passes (E Inventory) to be used within five (5) years of the commencement of the VEOP.

  • Those who do not qualify under the 65 Point Plan will receive twenty-four (24) months of travel privileges at D2R status, in accordance with Company policy, beginning upon the commencement of the VEOP.
  • Those who qualify under the 65 Point Plan as of the commencement of the VEOP will receive retiree travel in accordance with Company policy, beginning upon the commencement of the VEOP.

 

Vacation Payout:

Any accrued vacation for use in 2021/2022 and/or 2022/2023, not used as a result of an employee’s VEOP, will be paid out as soon as practicable, but in no case later than the 15th of the subsequent month, following the commencement of the VEOP unless otherwise required by law.

Health Benefits:

Eligibility for medical, dental & vision benefits at active rates for thirty (30) months through COBRA following the commencement of the VEOP. During the thirty (30) months following the commencement of the VEOP, a Flight Attendant on a VEOP will be responsible for payment of the employee portion of all premiums, which will be payroll deducted (or billed pursuant to Company practice for the remainder if earnings are insufficient). A Flight Attendant’s failure to make timely premium payments may result in the loss of coverage, subject to the Company’s regular premium collection process. COBRA benefits will run concurrently beginning upon the commencement of the VEOP.

For Flight Attendants Qualifying for the 65-point plan ONLY:

The Company will establish a Retiree Health Reimbursement Arrangement (RHRA) for all Flight Attendants who meet the eligibility requirements of the VEOP and who qualify for the 65-point plan as of the date of retirement from the Company. The RHRA credits may be used for qualified medical expenses for any qualified medical plan.

Option C: Less than Ten (10) Years of Occupational Seniority

Eligibility:

Flight Attendants with fewer than ten (10) years of Occupational seniority who are in an “active status,” as determined by the Company, as of the date the bidding window for this VEOP opens shall be eligible to bid for this VEOP option. Flight Attendants awarded a VEOP are subject to the existing Flight Attendant Attendance and Performance Program until the commencement of the VEOP.

Pay:

None.

Travel:

For a period of twenty-four (24) months upon the commencement of the VEOP, travel privileges at D2R status, in accordance with Company policy.

Vacation Payout:
Any accrued vacation for use in 2021/2022 and/or 20222/2023, not used as a result of an employee’s VEOP, will be paid out as soon as practicable, but in no case later than the 15th of the subsequent month, following the commencement of the VEOP unless otherwise required by law.

Health Benefits:

Eligibility for medical, dental & vision benefits at active rates for six (6) months following the commencement of the VEOP. During the six (6) months following the commencement of the VEOP, a Flight Attendant on this VEOP will be responsible for payment of the employee portion of all premiums, which will be direct-billed to the Flight Attendant. A Flight Attendant’s failure to make timely premium payments may result in the loss of coverage, subject to the Company’s regular premium collection process. COBRA benefits will run concurrently beginning upon the commencement of the VEOP. At any point during the period of COBRA eligibility if the Flight Attendant or her/his spouse becomes eligible for Medicare, Medicare will become the primary benefit.

Additional VEOP Considerations for All Options

  • The Company will determine the starting dates of each and total number of VEOPs that will be offered VEOPs will be awarded by occupational system seniority order. The Company will make a reasonable effort to release all Flight Attendants who elected the VEOP within twelve (12) months following the awards.
  • A Flight Attendant awarded a VEOP will not be subject to involuntary furlough.
  • Any Flight Attendant who participates in the VEOP shall not be eligible for any other form of severance pay (other than as described above) and shall be released from the Company upon commencement of the VEOP and removed from payroll upon expiration of the period of pay benefits, as applicable (Option A: removal twelve (12) months after commencement of the VEOP; Options B and C: removal upon commencement of the VEOP).
  • If the Company receives a request for information from a state or local agency with responsibility for unemployment compensation claims, the Company will respond by providing factually accurate information regarding an employee’s status. However, the Company will not actively contest an employee’s claim for unemployment compensation benefits.
  • Flight Attendants on any of the VEOP options will not accrue vacation or sick time after the commencement of the VEOP, and will not accrue occupational seniority or longevity seniority following the commencement of the VEOP. A Flight Attendant may not use her/his paid sick or vacation at any time after the commencement of the VEOP, but any unused paid sick time will be paid out pursuant to JCBA Section 26.D.5, if eligible.
  • Participation in the VEOP is entirely voluntary on the part of any Flight Attendant who wishes to receive benefits and such Flight Attendant shall execute a general release of all claims in a form to be prepared by the Company. The Company will make the general release available for review during the period the VEOP is open for consideration.
  • Once awarded, a VEOP must be accepted by the Flight Attendant.

 


Extended Voluntary Leaves of Absence 2 (EVLOA-2)

EVLOA Letter of Agreement

Eligibility:

1. Flight Attendants that are in an “active status,” as determined by the Company, as of the day the EVLOA-2 bidding window opens shall be eligible to bid for EVLOA-2s.,

Options for Flight Attendants on a PVLOA or STLOA as of April 2, 2021:

2. If on a PVLOA or STLOA as of April 2, 2021, the Flight Attendant may elect to convert her/his PVLOA or STLOA to an EVLOA-2 and avail him/herself of the following benefits and other considerations beginning the day the EVLOA-2 commences. The benefits of the PVLOA or STLOA will end upon the commencement of the EVLOA-2 (pursuant to the Flight Attendant’s election).Benefits and Other Considerations:

3. The Company will determine the starting dates of each, awarded duration (3, 12 or 18 months) of each, and total number of EVLOA-2s that will be offered and/or awarded. EVLOA-2s will be awarded in system seniority order.

4. Once awarded, the Flight Attendant must accept the EVLOA-2.

5. If the Company determines they need more Flight Attendants than anticipated during the term of the EVLOA-2s they will meet and confer with APFA regarding options. For operational need, the Company may cancel or reduce the duration of an EVLOA-2 with at least 60 days’ notice to APFA and the impacted Flight Attendant(s). If the Company cancels or reduces any of the EVLOA-2s, Flight Attendant(s) on an EVLOA-2 will be offered return to work dates in occupational seniority order and drafted back to work in reverse occupational seniority order.

6. The Company may require Flight Attendants with carry over trips into the starting month of the EVLOA-2 to complete the carry over trip in its entirety.

7. For the duration of the EVLOA-2, a Flight Attendant on such leave shall be paid in accordance with the chart below at her/his currently applicable JCBA hourly pay rate.

*If the EVLOA-2 start date is not April 1, 2021, then occupational years of service for pay purposes is determined as of the day the EVLOA-2 commences.

8. No other pay will be provided (e.g., no minimum guarantees or premiums of any sort will be paid). The pay will be divided and paid out on the pay dates provided in Section 3.N.1 & 3 of the JCBA following the commencement of the EVLOA-2. Pay will be subject to tax withholding as required by law.9. Any accrued vacation that will not be used as a result of a Flight Attendant’s EVLOA-2 will be carried over and available for bidding upon return to work. Flight Attendants on an EVLOA-2 will not be eligible for vacation buyback for the duration of the EVLOA-2.

10. A Flight Attendant will be eligible for reserve during the first month back from an EVLOA-2, however, a Flight Attendant will only be required to serve reserve if needed based on her/his occupational seniority.

11. At his/her option, a Flight Attendant on a 12 or 18-month EVLOA-2 may attend his/her CQ training in his/her base month or grace month. A Flight Attendant on a 3-month EVLOA-2 will be required to attend his/her CQ training in his/her grace or base month. If completed, training will be paid at the contractual rates.

12. A Flight Attendant on an EVLOA-2 shall accrue Company seniority, occupational seniority, and longevity seniority for the duration of the EVLOA-2. A Flight Attendant on an EVLOA-2 shall not accrue sick and vacation and shall not be eligible to use paid sick or vacation time during any portion of the EVLOA-2.

13. The rolling active 12-month period for events and corrective action pursuant to the Flight Attendant Attendance & Performance Policy shall be tolled for the duration of the 12 and 18 month EVLOA2 for all Flight Attendants on such a leave (i.e., upon return, the remainder of the rolling active 12-month period for a Flight Attendant’s events and corrective action will continue to run as if no such leave had occurred). The Company and the APFA agree to meet and discuss possible mitigation.

14. A Flight Attendant on an EVLOA-2 shall continue to be eligible for non-revenue travel privileges, including the AA flight attendant jumpseat, per Company policy as though she/he were active.

15. Should a new crew base open during the duration of her/his EVLOA-2, the Flight Attendant will have the option to bid for the new base and, if awarded, return early from the EVLOA-2.

16. A Flight Attendant on an EVLOA-2 shall be eligible for medical, dental & vision coverage, life insurance and AD&D benefits at active rates. During an EVLOA-2, a Flight Attendant will be responsible for payment of the employee portion of all premiums, which will be payroll deducted (or billed pursuant to Company practice for the remainder if earnings are insufficient). A Flight Attendant’s failure to make timely premium payments may result in the loss of coverage, subject to the Company’s regular premium collection process.

17. A Flight Attendant will return to the base of record as of the date of expiration of the EVLOA-2.

18. If the Company receives a request for information from a state or local agency with responsibility for unemployment compensation claims, the Company will respond by providing factually accurate information regarding an employee’s status. However, the Company will not actively contest an employee’s claim for unemployment compensation benefits.

19. The Company may offer additional EVLOA-2s and/or grant voluntary extensions of such leaves consistent with the terms of the Letter.

20. If Flight Attendants remain on involuntary furlough at the expiration date of the awarded EVLOA-2, a Flight Attendant whose EVLOA-2 has reached the expiration date will have the option of returning to work or be converted to one the unpaid options specified in Section 23.B.3. of the JCBA.

21. Although the Company has not yet determined whether or to what extent involuntary furloughs will be necessary, the options provided in this Letter shall satisfy all requirement of Section 23.B.1 of the JCBA, the terms of those options, as well as when such options must be offered if involuntary furloughs are required within 6 months from the date of this Letter.


We know that receipt of a WARN notice adds to the uncertainty and anxiety already caused by the ongoing pandemic. We want you to know that your APFA Leadership is doing everything in our power to protect jobs and benefits. National Leadership, along with APFA’s Government Affairs department, will continue to work alongside other Labor Unions on Capitol Hill to extend the Payroll Support Program. We will continue to challenge the Company on furlough numbers to preserve as many jobs as possible.

In Solidarity,

Julie Hedrick
APFA National President

president@apfa.org

Account


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