Hello. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, December 27, 2002.

The proffer for Overage Leave and Partnership Flying will close at 0800 Central Time on Tuesday, January 7th. Awards should be posted on or about Friday, January 10th. For more information on Overage Leaves and Partnership Flying, please visit the "Reduction in Force" page of the APFA Web site or refer to Article 16 and Appendix F of the contract. For those Flight Attendants interested in Partnership Flying, the APFA has reactivated the Partner Finder on the web site to assist in locating a partner at your base. Just as a reminder, Partnership flying is awarded after all key and auxiliary blocks have been awarded if an overage still exists.

The APFA Dues Department would like to remind all Flight Attendants awarded a leave of absence that they are dues obligated for the duration of their leave. Once awards are final for any leave proffer, APFA will send a letter to each Flight Attendant awarded the leave outlining their dues obligation and payment options. If you are currently on a leave and would like to make payment arrangements, please contact the APFA Dues Department at 1-800-395-2732, extension 8151.

The APFA Contract Department reminds all Flight Attendants on leave of absence who have not already been fingerprinted that you must complete the process prior to returning to active status. You should submit to fingerprinting at least four weeks in advance of returning to work.

The Willingness-to-Serve Notifications for APFA Base Chair, Vice Chair, Operational Council Representatives (OCRs) and Ad Hoc member of the Executive Committee Place #5 were included in the November/December issue of Skyword. Completed Willingness forms for Chairs, Vice Chairs, and OCRs are due in the designated P.O. Box by 1000 Central Time on January 21st. Willingness forms for Ad Hoc Place #5 are due by 1000 February 11th. Flight Attendants interested in running for any of these positions should indicate the position desired on the line designated for "slate information." Any questions about the Willingness or the election process should be directed to the National Ballot Committee at extension 8311 at APFA Headquarters.

The APFA Hotel Department would like to remind all members who have not completed the 2002 APFA Hotel Survey to do so. Representatives of the Hotel Department will begin tabulating the results in late January. Your input through this survey will be very useful in evaluating properties in the future.

All International 767 qualified Flight Attendants are reminded to complete the 2-class service training by Sunday, January 12th. The training must be completed on-line. It can be accessed through the Flight Service Web site at www.aafltsvc.com or by using one of the Jetsets in Flight Service Operations.

In the past few weeks, the APFA has made the membership aware of the challenges aviation labor faces in Congress this upcoming year. "Baseball arbitration," cabatoge, and extension of unemployment benefits are but a few of the issues that we will be working on. APFA intends to work with other labor unions on many of these since they affect us all in the aviation labor community. However, it is imperative that APFA have a strong presence in Washington, D.C. One of the best ways to ensure this is to have a well-funded Political Action Committee or PAC. These are funds separate and apart from union dues that come from voluntary donations from the membership. Funds in the account are used to make donations to key lawmakers who support Flight Attendant and labor issues. If you would like to join the APFA PAC, simply complete the PAC Card found in the center section of the November/December Skyword. You do NOT have to include your Social Security Number. For more information on the APFA PAC, please go to the "Government Affairs" page on the APFA Web site.

In industry news:

On Friday, United Airlines filed a motion with the bankruptcy court that would void all labor contracts at that airline. This would set the stage for new negotiations and essentially eliminate contractual provisions that took literally decades to negotiate. Once the filing is complete, United will have 51-days to negotiate new agreements with the various unions in an effort to cut as much as 2.4 billion in costs. Otherwise, the bankruptcy court judge in the case may make the final determination on provisions of labor contracts. APFA has been and will continue to monitor events at United as they unfold.

Customer Service and Reservations Agents represented by the IAM have reached a tentative agreement with Southwest Airlines. The agreement includes improved work rules, raises, and stock options. This is the fourth agreement reached between Southwest and various unions this year.

Pilots and America West reached a tentative contract agreement this week. If approved, the three-year agreement would provide Pilots with an 11% raise over three years.

Mechanics at Continental reached a tentative contract agreement with that airline this week. The TA provides raises of an undisclosed amount. Wages will be reviewed in 2004 according to provisions of the agreement.

APFA offices will be closed on Wednesday, January 1, 2003, in observance of New Year's Day. An officer on duty will be available to assist those Flight Attendants with emergency situations. All calls of a non-emergency nature will be routed to the appropriate representative or department for response the next business day.

On behalf of the officers, representatives, and staff of the APFA, we wish you a safe, happy, and healthy New Year!

That's it for this week. Please visit the APFA Web site for the latest information.

Please remember that 2,124 American Airlines Flight Attendants face this New Year on furlough.