Sunday, December 6, 2015
Dear APFA Flight Attendants:
Your APFA Board of Directors has watched with great concern over the past several months as the Preferential Bidding System (PBS) has been implemented for the LUS Flight Attendants. Where there had been numerous issues previously identified, the December “melt down” has proved that the system is flawed in its current state. Despite warnings and pleading from the APFA Base Presidents and Leadership prior to each bid run, the company proceeded without our advice which led to much of the disaster from the December bid run.
Additionally, PBS was supposed to guarantee a reduction in line averages and subsequently guarantee a reduction in Reserves. When the company ignored the APFA’s input, the result was an increase of reserves at every base and more senior Flight Attendants being forced into flying during the critical holiday period. No excuse from the company can undo the hardship on the quality of life and financial impact of our LUS Sisters and Brothers who were so adversely impacted.
For LAA Flight Attendants, the December debacle affecting our colleagues reinforced our concern about a system that will one day be implemented for the whole work group. Since an injustice to any Flight Attendant affects every one of us, it is unacceptable and repugnant that any of us should be used as “guinea pigs” for something so critical to our careers.
Although after-the-fact remedies are welcome, they are no substitute for getting it right the first time. They also don’t guarantee that other issues won't arise.
For the LUS Flight Attendants your Union is demanding the following:
- Guarantee additional money and manpower for training, follow up and correction.
- Institute paid training at the Flight Attendant’s option to be educated on the areas identified that could affect a FAs bid including nuances that have been recognized, yet haven't sufficiently been communicated.
- Reinstate and maintain the “shadow bid" process until PBS is consistently running correctly.
- Recognize that each base is unique and universal line averages and reserve count do not work. Each Base President's input shall be included in any and all discussions regarding line averages and Reserve headcount prior to the bid run each month.
For the LAA Flight Attendants, your Union demands the following:
- Suspend any implementation of PBS until such time that all of PBS has been proven to work without any “glitches” or issues 100% of the time.
- Provide optional paid training for PBS prior to the introduction of any mock bidding and subsequent implementation.
- Cease and desist any implementation of PBS if the APFA does not have full guarantee of all systems related to PBS and the peripheral programs such as Trip Trade System (TTS) ISAP, and ETB are working.
- Demand all JCBA/Red Book sequence pay protections for December 15th through 31st, as well as additional compensation for the same period due to the unbalanced schedules during the holiday period. In addition a suspension of the MIC language for this time period.
While we are currently working under 2 hybrid contracts before the full implementation of our JCBA, each group will face challenges and obstacles that are unique to each legacy group. However, your Union recognizes that it is essential that we support one another and fight for and demand that no FA or group be harmed in the transition.
Our lawyers have been directed to aggressively explore all available legal remedies that address the multiple issues raised by this scheduling fiasco. These actions may include cease and desist injunctive relief, regulatory challenges and System Board deliberations that hold management accountable for the inexcusable mess they have created. Of course, APFA’s legal strategy will address the unique and differing challenges facing our LAA and our LUS Flight Attendants.