Hello. This is George Price, APFA Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, December 12, 2003.
The Company began testing a new Commuter Policy for flight attendants, effective December 10, 2003. Under this policy, commuters who are unable to make it to base in time for their designated trip due to a flight cancellation or delay will be removed from their trip (no pay/no credit) and without an attendance occurrence. The flight attendant would have the opportunity to make up the time lost via make up or other means. APFA wanted the Company to commit to this Policy by signing a letter of Agreement, however, the Company refused.
APFA has attempted to work with the Company so as to provide additional deadhead flexibility for commuters who have a scheduled deadhead as either the first or last leg of their sequences, but thus far the Company has been unwilling to provide for flight attendants that which has already been agreed to for the pilots. Obviously, this is unacceptable and we are committed to continuing to press for a policy that is equitable to flight attendants. Look for more on this issue in the next issue of SKYWORD.
Effective Monday, December 15, 2003, the 504-paid productive hour calculation will be in effect for purposes of Family Leave administrative eligibility. Through December 21, 2003, you will continue to apply for Family Leave using the paperwork currently available. Beginning Monday, December 22, 2003, you will then apply for Family Leave online at the Flight Service Web site. Please follow the procedures exactly as they are outlined on the Web site. Additionally, Flight Attendants who have had an occurrence from October 22, 2001, to present, and would have qualified for Family Leave with the reduced hour calculation will be able to apply retroactively for these occurrences online. Please refer to www.aaflightservice.com for specific instructions. The next issue of Skyword under the Vice President's report will also include more information on this FML retroactive application process.
From the APFA Health Department: Attachment K of the Restructuring Agreement states that the "lookback" period that begins in May 2004, will require flight attendants who have worked in a rolling 12 month period to have an AVERAGE of 35 hours per active month or 420 hours per year (12 months). " If a Flight Attendant has been inactive during the 12 month " lookback" period due to injury on duty, unpaid sick, Family Leave, or Union Leave he/she must MAINTAIN an average of 35 hours per active month on a rolling 12 month "lookback 'basis in order to be eligible for company subsidized benefits." So, if you have been on a Sick Leave that is Paid (Maternity included) or you have been on a Personal Leave or you have been off for more than 12 months unpaid sick and have had to pay your full Insurance, you would not have to include these months in your equation for computing your benefits calculation. Either you have already paid them in full (at the full rate) or your contributions from Payroll deductions have paid your portion and fulfilled your 35-hour average for that month. We hope this clarifies things. Flight Service and the Benefits Department should be able to assist Flight Attendants with additional questions with regard to their status.
In Washington this week, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have elected to allow extended unemployment compensation to expire as scheduled on December 21, 2003. Despite efforts by both Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Representative Jennifer Dunn (R-WA) to extend unemployment insurance benefits for laid off workers, House Republicans have elected to take no further action in the matter. APFA members are still encouraged to contact members of Congress on the issue of extended unemployment insurance benefits for laid off workers. Congress needs to know from people who are furloughed and those that are not that there is a great deal of support for extending benefits. Contact information for all members of Congress can be found on the Government Affairs page of the APFA Web site.
The Presidential primaries will begin in January. A list of primary dates has been posted on the Government Affairs page of the web site. APFA encourages all members to take the time to register and vote in the upcoming primaries and general election. If you are not currently registered to vote in your district, you can do so by going to www.beavoter.org today.
The Contact Department would like to remind you that uniform points will no longer carry over from one calendar year to another. Each Flight Attendant is allotted 12 points per year, and these points must be used by December 31st of the current year.
Additions to the new Rumor Control Page of the APFA Web site were posted this week. APFA members are encouraged to review the information in this section of the web site in order to help reduce or eliminate misinformation circulating on the line.
AMR American Eagle will hold a recruiting open house in Boston on December 17, 2003 beginning at 0900. The session will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel at Boston Logan Airport located at 207 Porter Street. All American Airlines furloughed Flight Attendants are welcome to attend. They should bring at least two forms of government issued identification with them. Questions regarding these sessions should be directed to American Eagle Recruitment at 817-931-0319. Furloughed Flight Attendants can also apply to AMR Eagle through the Furlough page of the APFA Web site. Remember, furloughed American Flight Attendants hired by AMR American Eagle will not be forced to give up their American Airlines recall rights.
In Industry News:
On Wednesday, American said it would begin new daily non-stop service between JFK and Brussels in May 2004. The flight will be flown using a 767-300.
American announced late last week that James Beer, Vice President of Europe and Asia, will replace Jeff Campbell as the new AMR Chief Financial Officer. Beer began his tenure with American in 1991 as a financial analyst.
Delta Air Lines has approached Pilots at both Comair and ASA for concessions. ALPA, the union representing Pilots at both airlines, said that they have asked Delta management to merge the two airlines into one operating unit in order for the two work groups to better address the issue of concessions.
United has reportedly lined up financing to exit bankruptcy. The airline is said to be seeking $1.6 billion in loan guarantees from the federal government and the additional $400 million from various financial institutions. United is now hoping to emerge from bankruptcy sometime next year.
Northwest Airlink Pilots at Mesaba Airlines have turned down binding arbitration in their contract talks. The National Mediation Board has released Mesaba and their Pilots into a 30-day cooling off period, which will end at 0001 Eastern Time on January 10, 2004. At that time, the Pilots would be entitled to strike.
For more airline industry news, please visit the News and Events page of the APFA Web site.
That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. For the latest information and past editions of the hotline, visit the web site at www.apfa.org. There are 5,760 American Airlines Flight Attendants currently on furlough.