Saturday, May 14, 2022
Negotiations Update #12
Negotiations continued in DFW on April 26th-28th. During this session, we continued discussion with the company on Section 14- International Flying. We also opened and passed a proposal on Section 11-Hours of Service. Internally, we continued working on Section 30-Dispute Resolution and Grievance Procedures, and Section 31-System Board of Adjustment. You may view these proposals on the Negotiations Status page of the APFA website.
Before we detail our negotiations status update which will go into detail on proposals, we would like to highlight a couple of the major issues discussed. In the International Section, the Company is proposing to be able to reduce IPD rest down to ten hours in actual operations. Currently, the Company must provide 14 hours of rest on IPD layovers, which cannot be reduced. Let’s be clear, fourteen hours is a minimum.
As we explained to the Company, IPD flying often crosses multiple time zones and the idea that one is going to fly to Europe, get to the hotel, settle down and be back at the airport within ten hours is completely unacceptable. We have a number of differences discussed below for both domestic and international rest and other provisions, but this is one area where the company is looking for a major concession, and have been told in no uncertain terms we are not interested.
We are also apart from the company on domestic rest, especially how to incorporate the legislated ten hours rest provisions. The company wants to do the bare minimum to comply with the law; we want to build in buffers such as included in the current contract which improves on the FAA minimum. This will be subject to further discussion but rest, both domestic and international, is a major issue.
We would also like to address Delta’s announcement of boarding pay. Under the pressure of a union campaign by AFA, Delta announced that they would now provide boarding pay. This is a welcome development as a competitor is finally providing a much-needed pay component to the busiest and most stressful part of our job. We fully understand the importance of this which is why it was included in our bullet point opener presented to the Company on March 24, 2022. We anticipate this will be a major subject of bargaining when we get to the compensation section.
Section 11- Hours of Service
The Negotiating Team presented our opening proposal for Section 11- Hours of Service. Our proposal includes targeted improvements in key areas of this section benefiting all Flight Attendants.
We proposed increases to the average minimum day calculated on a calendar day basis (today it is duty period based), as well as increases to both the trip and duty rigs. We included an exception to protect ODAN flying. We have also introduced a new “sit rig” for all scheduled/rescheduled sit times in excess of two (2) hours. To alleviate some of the allocations pains, we have proposed the elimination of duty periods with five or more segments.
We have proposed that Reserve Flight Attendants serving Standby will use their Standby Report Time (not the current sequence report time) to determine their on-duty limitations. To alleviate actual operations stressors, we have proposed reducing the operational on-duty maximum from the current fifteen (15) hours to fourteen (14) hours. Additionally, when Flight Attendants find themselves in a position to Voluntarily Extend (VE) there is currently not a backstop (maximum time you can be on duty). We have proposed a two-tiered approach to these extensions (with a three-hour extension per tier, The first extension of 0-3hrs would pay 200%, and 3-6hrs would pay 300%) with each tier having a built-in backstop. We have also proposed expanding the Crew Scheduling Error language to include errors that occur prior to report.
Section 14- International Flying
As reported in Update #11, we are seeking to add a cap to the max duty day when a Flight Attendant voluntarily agrees to an extension of their duty day (VE). Our proposal for VE contains a tiered structure for both pay and length of extension on NIPD sequences (similar to the proposal for domestic flying mentioned above). The first extension for 3 hours maximum (16 hours but no more than 19) would pay 200% for the entire duty period. The second extension for a three (3) hour maximum (19 hours but no more than 22) would increase the pay for the entire duty period to 300%. The Flight Attendant would need to accept each extension. While the company is not opposed to discussing additional pay, they do not want to cap the maximum time a Flight Attendant can be on duty. We will continue discussion of this issue at our bargaining session May 16-19.
While there is no option for VE on Extended Long-Range Flying, we are continuing with our proposal to automatically pay 200% VE on flights that exceed the duty day maximums in actual operations.
There is an agreement on providing an electronic method for processing the voluntary extension.
There is a discrepancy between the language in 14.D.2.a and the chart for 14.D. The language in 14.D.2.a defines Mid-Range Duty Period as a duty period scheduled between 14-15 hours containing either one (1) Domestic segment and one (1) IPD segment, or a one-day turn consisting of two (2) NIPD segments which may be scheduled up to twelve (12) hour block. The chart has the Mid-Range segment restrictions as a duty period may contain either one (1) Domestic segment and one (1) IPD segment, or a one-day turn (2 NIPDs) or two (2) NIPD segments. We are apart as we propose to amend the chart to reflect the current contractual language and the Company proposes to amend the language to reflect the current chart.
After much discussion, the APFA moved off our position to change the debrief period for NIPD sequences when the terminating flight is a domestic segment.
The Company has indicated they want further discussion on International On-Board Requirements.
We remain apart on minimum Layover Rest Periods, which was already discussed above.
The Company has agreed to an increase in Purser training classes to accommodate 100 Flight Attendants a year. Additionally, we clarified a base may have a base-specific Purser proffer when minimum operational requirements are not met (14.L.2.b). We are still not in agreement regarding Purser pay for non-Purser qualified Flight Attendants who fly an open Purser position. Currently, those Flight Attendants receive lead pay, not Purser pay.
Section 30 – Dispute Resolution and Grievance Procedures
Section 31 – System Board of Adjustment Discussions on these two sections continue. We are proposing significant changes to these sections to improve the process of how we enforce the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Although we do not always think about it, these sections are among the most important sections of the agreement. Negotiating language is crucial, but we must ensure management adheres to the agreement. The language in these sections sets the rules on how the agreement is enforced and is very important.
You may view the Union proposals on the updated negotiations status page on the APFA website.
Our next scheduled meeting with the company is May 16th-19th in DFW.
One of the most important parts of contract negotiations is membership involvement and activism. The more Flight Attendants involved, the stronger we will be at the bargaining table. The Negotiating Committee will continue to call on all 25,000 Flight Attendants to help drive the message on complex issues for management to digest. All of us will help management understand why it is important for US to have the Contract we all deserve.
Contract ACTION Team activists spread out in the concourses in domiciles across the system talking to Flight Attendants and signing them up to be part of our effort.
These negotiations belongs to all members, and we need the support and involvement of 25,000 Flight Attendants to secure a great contract. Sign up to be a Contract ACTION Team member and:
- Keep up-to-date on negotiations.
- Discuss info with your flying partners.
- Encourage your flying partners to support actions to pressure the Company to agree to our demands.
Your APFA Negotiating Committee
Kelly J. Hagan
Joe Burns, Lead Negotiating Attorney