Friday, October 1, 2021
Negotiations Update #5
Last week, your APFA negotiations team met with the Company in DFW to continue contract negotiations. It was a busy week as we exchanged proposals on thirteen sections. These were sections under discussion prior to the COVID-19 crisis. As part of our overall strategy in focusing on key priorities, we are moving to reach agreements where possible and carry over key issues until later in negotiations. Here is a chart of the sections under active negotiations last week:
During the four days of bargaining, we reached Tentative Agreements on six sections. A Tentative Agreement (TA) means all of the language is agreed upon and, when all sections are completed, becomes part of an overall tentative agreement subject to membership ratification.
Changes to the TA’d Sections
Section 7 Uniforms:
- Included the stringent standards (Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX®) or comparable on the quality of uniform fabrics.
- Included the tablets in the protections for stolen or damaged items.
Section 17 Co-Terminals:
- Updated language and maintained the current book.
Section 18 Charters:
- Added 1:15 ground transport pay if given a two-hour report to a location at an airport other than an airport gate.
- Rejected attempts to increase charter positions not included in PBS.
Section 19 CRAF:
- Standardized CRAF pay at the higher rates.
- Secured that CRAF flying assigned before 0800 (CT) the day prior to departure will be on a systemwide basis and those after, if time permits.
- Added 777-300 and 787 series aircraft, and
- Updated the language throughout the section based on experience with recent Afghanistan CRAF activation.
Section 21 Probation:
- Management pushed for a longer probationary period while limiting transfers during that period, but we maintained the current book.
Section 28 Medical Examinations
- Maintained current book.
Other Open Sections
We also discussed seven other open sections.
The company did not provide us with a Crew Accommodations proposal but will provide one in our October session. A key issue here is the failure of the company to provide hotels promptly in the case of rescheduling or cancelation.
Our plan to resolve this issue involves pressuring the company for immediate relief but also securing contract language for a long-term fix. Steps taken include filing a Presidential Grievance at the same time as the pilots union, emailing the company, and our major push in bargaining. While this has produced changes in the staffing of the crew accommodations desk, providing some immediate relief to the problem, we have been crystal-clear– short-term fixes are not enough. We need stronger contract language!
Section 37, General, was tabled, meaning we will deal with it later in negotiations. One major issue in this section deals with taking away management’s ability to remove a Flight Attendant from the jumpseat due to weight and balance.
Another key issue in this section includes our proposals to update the commuter policy. The commuter policy is too restrictive compared to those throughout the industry. It fails to allow for commuting on other carriers and also for the fact that flights can fill up quickly, especially given the changes to the revenue standby rules. With the displacements and full flights, commuting has become even more difficult, and the company needs to accept and acknowledge this reality. There is no reason they cannot agree to provisions that have become standard throughout the industry. This issue will not go away, and management will have to deal with them later in bargaining.
The other sections are under discussion, and we will have more information after the October negotiations section. Overall we had a productive week of negotiations and remained focus on fighting for our key priorities. We will meet the week of October 25th to continue the discussion on these sections.
We want to thank all of you who sent in feedback on the hotel situation to David Seymour. If you have not sent an email, the link is here. At this stage, we are building the contract ACTION team and encourage all interested members to join.
Stay tuned for the negotiations survey coming soon!
Your APFA Negotiating Committee
Kelly J. Hagan
Joe Burns, Lead Negotiating Attorney