Friday, September 17, 2021
20th Anniversary of 9/11
September 11th changed our industry forever. On this 20th Anniversary, Penelope and I had the privilege of attending three events to represent New York as a base and show our strong love and eternal remembrance of our heroes/colleagues that left us that day. I am so grateful to all the LGA Flight Attendants who showed up at the World Trade Center to join us in our wreath ceremony for our heroes. Sandra Cook did not hesitate to help coordinate the event, and I am thankful. Our National President, Julie Hedrick, National Vice President Larry Salas, Communications Chair, Paul Hartshorn, Jr., and our Contract Department Chair, Jeffrey Petersen, joined us during this meaningful ceremony which made it more meaningful. New York is grateful to have the support of our National Officers on this momentous day.
COVID-19 Vaccine and the Federal Mandate
As most of you have read through communications from both the Union and the company, some countries have begun requiring a vaccine for entry or even for entering public places, including hotels we stay in for layovers. Although this issue has become somewhat controversial in our nation, it concerns me when it hits home, affecting a Flight Attendant’s flexibility, attendance, and, quite frankly, overall work-life quality. Now I do not take the position of telling any member to get vaccinated or not. Still, as we face the federal mandate and the decision by countries we fly to limiting entry to unvaccinated individuals, I encourage those Flight Attendants who have been vaccinated to please submit their vaccine cards to the company. This will update your status and avoid any scheduling limitations. I support whatever decision a Flight Attendant makes about how to approach the vaccine issue. Still, unfortunately, my support will not preclude or protect you from the consequence of not getting vaccinated in the workforce. As an officer of the APFA, I do my best to make all my decisions based on the facts and laws with which we must work. As difficult as it may be, we are also individuals with our own opinion, but my opinion has no bearing on how I listen to and handle your concerns. Remaining respectful of the diversity of our membership is paramount, but when an issue is associated with legal requirements, we must respect both government and labor laws.
Layover Hotel & Transportation Issues
When reporting issues with either a hotel or transportation to/from, please always be sure first to submit a hotel debrief form on the APFA website. This is vital to immediately address issues and make the right people aware of what we are experiencing with the hotel/transportation. We appreciate you sharing your concerns with us but need you to get these to our hotel department as soon as possible. You may report hotel/transportation issues here.
Update Your Personal Information With APFA
As we continue contract negotiations, you should update your contact information with APFA to receive critical information about the negotiations process. If you have questions or need to update your information, you may do so here.
New Delhi, India Speaker Staffing
The company has communicated that they will not be staffing the JFK-DEL flights with speakers due to the shortage of speakers at the base. In case you were wondering, the company posted a forecast for 30 Hindi speakers to LGA. They received one transfer in SEP and none for OCT and NOV. It concerns me that even if we only have one speaker at the base, any speaker would be denied the right to fly the pairing. The company plans to hire Hindi speakers, which will return the language designator to the DEL pairing in the allocations. Once the Hindi speaker numbers increase, this will change the language requirement in the PBS run for JFK-DEL. I will stay in constant communication with the company about this issue. Please be sure to email Penelope or me if you have any specific concerns.
We will be returning to our long layover hotel in MDE for October.
Reserve Out of Base
The Company has initiated several investigations regarding Flight Attendants on Reserve while out of base. The Company tracks this using the Flight Attendant’s travel records, even on other airlines. Please take a moment to read the Company’s Attendance Policy as well as JCBA Section 12.H.1. You are entitled to two contractual Personal Days (POs) per year for personal emergencies. You also are entitled to additional POs when approved by your FSM. Whether those POs are chargeable or not is up to your FSM. When in doubt, please reach out to an APFA rep for advice. Unfortunately, after sitting in more meetings than I care to attend I strongly urge you that while on Reserve, you ensure you are within the 2-3 hour time frame for any Reserve assignment. Failure to do so can lead up to consequences including and up to termination.
Communicating with Base Officers
Please do not utilize social media venues such as FB messenger or other social media sites when communicating Union business. We do not check these venues for Union business. We are finding important information being sent over these venues, and unfortunately, this can delay us from responding to you. You are welcomed to text message us if you use your Name and Employee number. Our official form of contact is the APFA email. If possible, please do not email Union business using your company email; we prefer you to use your personal email.
Please continue to send the allocations feedback directly to us. Although we respond to concerns when we have time via FB, when you send us direct feedback, we can use it as data to convey the urgency of chances necessary to allocations. I have received a lot of feedback on the transcons and turns out of LGA. I am discussing these with the company, but please keep in mind that we are still not operating a full schedule as we had pre-pandemic. Thank you to all who have taken the time to reach out.
Every day Penelope and I see the strength and work ethic of the greatest base in the system. While the company keeps us both very busy, we are determined to do everything we can to continue making New York a strong and healthy base. We could not do this without your support and communication. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve you and ask that you please care for one another.
Christian M. Santana
APFA LGA Base President
APFA LGA Base Vice President
Proud to Represent New York-LGA