This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA HotLine for Friday, February 8, 2002.
In an effort to further clarify the recently settled Presidential Grievance relating to Articles 15 and 16 and Appendix F, APFA and the Company have finalized several issues which should be helpful to those of you on Furlough or those of you who were awarded or are considering proffering for Overage Leaves. As a reminder, the Overage Leave proffer ends Friday, February 15, 2002. The Company has not yet announced a seniority or employee number cut-off for those Flight Attendants who will be returning from furlough effective April 1, 2002.
The Q&As relating to furloughed APFA Flight Attendants are as follows:
Question - When will recall notices be sent?
Answer - Furlough Recall notices are expected to be sent out by the end of the week of February 18th. Because the Furlough Recalls are associated with the May 1st Overage Leaves, we cannot finalize the recall notices until the Overage Leave proffer has closed and been processed.
Question - Will the recall notice be sent certified?
Answer - Yes, as noted in Article 16 of the AA/APFA Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Furlough Recall letter will be sent via certified mail to the most recent mailing address you have provided to the Company.
Question - With whom do I change my address at American Airlines while on furlough?
Answer - All address changes must be submitted through PeopleLink at 1-800-4HR-2000
Question - How long do I have to respond to a recall notice?
Answer - Article 16 of the AA/APFA Collective Bargaining Agreement states that you will have 10 days from the postmark date on the Furlough Recall notice to respond in writing.
Question - If I receive a recall notice, can I postpone my return?
Answer - No. The AA/APFA Collective Bargaining Agreement does not provide for a "bypass" option. If you reject the offer of re-employment, the right to preference in re-employment/seniority is permanently forfeited.
Question - If I was on probation at the time of my furlough, will I be required to complete probation upon my return?
Answer - Yes.
Question - Can a Flight Attendant on the recall list bid for an overage leave?
Answer - No. The May through September Overage Leaves will be awarded prior to the return of any furloughed Flight Attendants.
Question - What seniority will I be credited with upon my return to active status?
Answer - Flight Attendants who have completed their probationary period will accrue seniority while on furlough. Flight Attendants who have not completed probation will continue to retain, but not accrue, seniority. For details, see the AA/APFA Collective Bargaining Agreement Article 16 D.5, and D.6.
The Q&As relating to Overage Leaves are as follows:
Question - I am a Domestic low-time flyer and I need to fly 426 hours a year in order to get my full vacation/sick leave. How will the months I'm on Overage Leave be calculated as far as getting to the 426 hours for the year?
Answer - For each month of Overage Leave your vacation/sick leave accrual will be calculated as if you flew your applicable guarantee for the month, e.g., seventy-one (71) hours Domestic Regularly Scheduled. Let's presume that you took an Overage Leave for the months of November and December 2001 and that for the other ten months of the year you were "full time," (didn't take any leaves) but you flew very few hours each month. You would be considered to have flown 71 hours in both November and December so we'll start with a "base line" of 142 hours. You will need to have flown 284 hours during the rest of the year in order to be eligible for full time vacation/sick leave accrual; less than that and you would only be entitled to the Part Time accrual as provided in Appendix R.
Question - I am an International low-time flyer and I need to fly 450 hours a year in order to get my full vacation. If I bid and hold a proffered leave (Appendix R leave) I understand that I will accrue vacation for each month I am on leave provided Flight Attendants are on Overage leave. How will that vacation accrual be calculated?
Answer - The Settlement Agreement provides for "full vacation" for Flight Attendants on a proffered Appendix R leave so long as other Flight Attendants are on Overage Leave. The vacation accrual for the proffered Appendix R. Leaves will be calculated in the same manner as the vacation accrual is calculated for Flight Attendants on Overage leave, i.e., as if you flew your applicable guarantee for the month. Let's presume that you are awarded a proffered Appendix R. leave for the months May, June and July and for the other nine months of the year you are "full time" (no other leaves) but you fly very few hours. We know that other Flight Attendants will be on Overage Leave during May, June and July and as an International Flight Attendant we know that your applicable guarantee is 75 hours. In this example your "base line" is 225 hours (75 times 3). You will need to fly 225 hours during the rest of the year in order to be eligible for full time vacation accrual; less than that and you would only be entitled to the Part Time accrual as provided in Appendix R.
Question - In October and November I was on a personal leave following a Maternity Leave. Because I was on a leave I was not permitted to bid for the Overage Leave, which I had the seniority to hold. My leave is over, will I be able to go back out on an Overage leave between now and the end of April?
Answer - The short answer is, unfortunately, no. The Settlement Agreement does however provide you with the benefits of Overage leave for the month of November 2001.
Question - In the event I bid and hold both the Overage leave and the 10-month leave or 10 months of Part Time, when the Overage leave ends on September 30 will I automatically revert to the remainder of the 10-month leave or Part Time (October and November and then January, February, March and April)?
Answer - You can bid for both but you won't be awarded both the Overage and the full 10-month leave or 10 months of Part Time, because they overlap. Overage Leaves take priority over all other leaves and Part Time; consequently, they will be awarded first. If you hold an Overage Leave that ends in September you will not be awarded a proffered leave (Appendix R) or Part Time for the months of May, June, July or September, October and November. You will however be able to hold a bid for the later block of time off, January, February, March and April, because there is no overlap.
Question - I am currently on an Appendix R. leave for the months of January, February, March and April and I sent a check to the Company for my insurance before the leave began. Will I be getting a refund?
Answer - As part of the Settlement Agreement you are entitled to the benefits of Overage leave and that includes insurance benefits. You will be refunded any amount that you have paid over your normal contribution.
Question - I am currently on a Maternity leave and expect to have my baby on March 26, 2002. Will I be able to bid and hold an Overage leave or Part Time or a proffered Appendix R leave?
Answer - Yes, you will be able to bid for all three and you can be awarded a bid. However, in order to actually take a leave or start a part time flying assignment you must clear the sick list prior to the start date of your leave or part time. Let's assume that you have your baby on March 26 and that your six-week disability period runs until May 7th. You could bid and be awarded an Overage leave that starts on May 1 but in order to actually take the leave, you would have to clear the sick list by April 30th.
Question - Is the Company planning an increase or decrease in the number of Part Time and/or proffered leave awards that will be given this year as opposed to last year and the year before?
Answer - Because the number of Part Time/proffered leave awards depends on several factors, e.g., the number of bids received and the particular base in question, the exact number of awards is not known at this time. The expectation is that the number of awards will be comparable to the numbers awarded in years past, perhaps a little higher because of the reduction in total Flight Attendant hours being flown system-wide.
In other APFA news, unannounced observation rides, also known as ghost rides, are back. APFA is in the process of compiling a list of Flight Service Managers' names from each of the base rosters. Once this is complete, we will publish a new list in Skyword.
HELP EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
The Senate passed a bill this week - H.R. 622 - that included a 13-week extension to unemployment benefits. This bill, which has already been in the House once and stripped of its economic stimulus provisions by the Senate, is now back in the House to be addressed again. This benefit extension has been a matter of discussion since 9.11. It is a result of the current unemployment rate, which, in December, was at a six-year high of 5.8 percent.
APFA is asking all members to call their Representative today in support of the H.R. 622 legislation that would provide an extension of unemployment benefits to our co-workers and others who are currently without a job. Simply go to www.apfa.org, click on the link under "Government" that reads "Write to Congress" and by entering your zip code, you will find your Representative's phone number, address and e-mail address.
APFA has scheduled furlough meetings in New York and Boston. The Boston furlough meeting will be held on February 15 from noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Boston Logan Hilton. The New York meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 26 in the Group Room at JFK airport from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The room is located above the international check-in area. APFA representatives will be available to answer questions relating to the furlough and upcoming recall of at least 400 Flight Attendants.
That's it for this week - thank you for calling the APFA HotLine.