This is APFA National Communications Coordinator, Jeff Pharr, with the Weekly Hotline Update for Wednesday, November 24, 2010.
Details are still being finalized for our meeting with National Mediation Board's Director of Mediated Services, Larry Gibbons. The dates are set for January 4-6, 2011. Location has yet to be determined.
The APFA Negotiating Team will meet in DFW mid-December to prepare for the meeting.
The debut article from APFA Treasurer, Steven Baumert, has been published in Skyword Online. Steven writes about his first impressions of the APFA Headquarters Staff and Department Coordinators as well as his activities over the past three months as Treasurer. The article can be read here.
TWU NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE
TWU Maintenance and Related, and the Stores have a mediated conference set for December 14-17, 2010 with their NMB Mediator, Jack Kane. This is the first bargaining session since both groups rejected Tentative Agreements on August 24, 2010.
ATTENTION INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT ATTENDANTS
Effective with the upcoming Duty Free Commission check, all commission payments will be made via direct deposit. Paper checks will no longer be issued. DFASS has advised that the deadline to sign up for direct deposit for the third quarter commission check is Wednesday, December 1, 2010. In order to sign up for direct deposit go to the DFASS website at https://aa.dfasscrewhub.com. If you have any questions you can contact DFASS at 888-388-9373 ext. 101.
|Update: Based on further discussions with DFASS and Flight Service, DFASS has agreed to issue traditional paper commission checks for those FAs that do not meet the December 1 deadline to sign up for direct deposit for the upcoming 3rd quarter commission. However direct deposit will be the only method of commission payment beginning with the 4th quarter check. If you do not have the opportunity to sign up for direct deposit by December 1, be sure to do so as soon as possible.|
FROM THE SAFETY AND SECURITY DEPARTMENT
The TSA announced yesterday that Flight Attendants would also be exempt from the AIT Body Scanners. Crewmembers in uniform will be required to present photo identification and will proceed through the regular metal detectors. Should a crewmember set off an alarm, a pat down may be required.
APFA President Laura Glading stated, "We applaud the TSA decision to allow Flight Attendants to be exempt from the new enhanced security procedures. Flight Attendants are required to go through an exhaustive background check and rigorous training before the first day of flying and should not be subjected to these security checks. This decision will allow the entire security process to move more quickly. The TSA made the right call on this.
"APFA will also continue to pressure for all Flight Attendants to be included in any plans for a system wide aviation Biometric Crew Pass ID Badge Program that has recently been tested at a few airports."
The alternate screening that was announced last week for Pilots, set to begin in the first quarter of 2011, will use the existing Cockpit Authorization Security System (CASS) database. CASS was developed for cockpit jumpseat access for qualified pilots and dispatchers in May 2004. The Joint Security Committee looked into obtaining CASS for Flight Attendants but at the time, CASS did not provide any benefit to the Flight Attendants and due to the significant start up and maintenance costs associated with CASS, the Company believed there was no justification to support the costs. APFA has on numerous occasions requested that American add Flight Attendants to the CASS database, but of course the costs was always an issue and reason for denial. Now it is a different story, as Flight Attendants would benefit greatly from being a participant in the CASS database. APFA will continue to pursue relief for our Membership that could include adding Flight Attendants to the CASS database or a similar alternative that will satisfy TSA concerns.
Aircraft aficionados, sometimes affectionately referred to as "geeks", may be familiar with the Airplane Geeks Podcast. Max Flight and his crew have been "Podcasting Aviation Greatness Since 2008".
This week's episode #124, "Body Scanners & Cougars, Oh My!", has a very special guest, our very own Safety and Security Coordinator, Kelly Skyles. Kelly is very knowledgeable and entertaining on the program. Several topics are discussed including how an aircraft is qualified to become a part of Americanís fleet. Kelly also thoroughly explains and discusses the new TSA procedures, the newly announced plan for Pilot exemption, and where the Flight Attendants stand in the process. The interview was recorded prior to yesterday's announcement from the TSA regarding Flight Attendant exemption. The information, however, is still very current and enlightening.
The program can be heard directly from the Airplane Geeks website or via iTunes. The Podcast is about an hour so you may want to download it to your iPod and listen during one of your ever so productive sit-times. Open the iTunes store and search ëAirplane Geeksí. Kelly is featured in episode #124 - the download is free.
Willingness to Serve (WTS) Notifications for Base Chairperson, Base Vice Chairperson and Base Operational Council Representatives for all bases will be mailed, and available for download via the APFA website by December 7, 2010. Anyone interested in further serving your union should complete the form and return to APFA. The forms are due back in the designated P.O. Box by 10:00 a.m. CST on January 6, 2011. Ballots will be mailed on January 26, 2011 and electronic voting must be completed by 10:00 a.m. CST on February 25, 2011.
As a reminder you must be a member in good standing to both run for office and to cast your ballot.
APFA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
The third quarter APFA Executive Committee meeting will be held December 7-8, 2010 at APFA Headquarters. The meeting will begin at 09:30 on Tuesday, December 7, 2010. All members in good standing are welcome and encouraged to attend.
1004 West Euless Blvd
Euless, Texas 76040
JFK ñ ORD RETIREMENT BRIEFINGS
The next APFA Retirement Briefing will be presented on December 3, 2010 from 13:30-15:30 in the Mark DuPont Room (next to Pilot Operations) at JFK. APFA Retirement Specialist, Patrick Hancock (IDF) and Mickey Sullivan (JFK) will conduct this lively and informative briefing. The seminars are open and useful to all Flight Attendants from all bases, but particularly important to Flight Attendants planning to retire in the next 10 years.
To make the most of these briefings, print and bring your personal pension estimate and plan calculation formulas from JetNet.
A subsequent Briefing has been scheduled for ORD on December 14, 2010 - additional information is forthcoming.
RETIREMENT REPRESENTATIVE TRAINING
APFA will conduct Advanced APFA Retirement Representative Training on Thursday, December 9, 2010. If you would like to volunteer as a Base Retirement Representative, please contact your Base Chairperson about attending this training.
DELTA DELTA DELTA - REJECT REJECT REJECT
Delta Air Lines Stock and Stores workers are the third work group to reject union representation at the carrier. Ninety percent of the members participated with 607 votes being cast ñ 166 in favor of unionization and 439 against.
Earlier this month, both the Flight Attendants and the Baggage and Cargo Handlers voted against representation.
The union, International Association of Machinist (IAM), blames company interference in the election. The IAM is investigating allegations of widespread interference in both this and the Baggage and Cargo Handler election. The Association of Flight Attendants is also conducting an investigation in the Flight Attendant's election.
The National Mediation Board unanimously found Delta guilty of illegal election interference earlier this year in an election for Flight Simulator Technicians.
One more work group, Passenger Service, including Gate and Ticket Agents, has ballots in the field. Their voting ends December 7, 2010.
The APFA Headquarters office will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 25 and 26, in observance of the Thanksgiving Day Holiday. Regular office hours will resume on Monday, November 29. Your Headquarters and Base APFA representatives wish all members and their families a Happy Thanksgiving.
Please remember there are currently 1,111 members on furlough and awaiting recall.
The Wings Foundation is much more than can recycling, though that is an important source of the funds they distribute to members in need. If you are an active American Airlines Flight Attendant and you primary home has been destroyed, please contact WINGS Disaster Relief. Visit their website for fund raising activities, to find base representatives, forms for donation ($$$, PVDs, etc.), or applications for assistance. See how you can help at your base. Wings was created by and is managed exclusively by AA Flight Attendants. Wings provide services only to AA Flight Attendants.
Check out Wings and all our APFA supported organizations through these links:
Wings // Airline Ambassadors // UNICEF/Champions for Children