Hello this APFA Vice President Brett Durkin with the APFA Hotline for December 31, 2004.
There are several items on my agenda this week. Although this has been a short week it has been a busy one.
My department has been meeting with the Company for several months to create a process which would allow unused trigger training slots to be awarded to flight attendants and allow you to obtain service or equipment quals which you do not process. This week the APFA and the Company were able to agree on a six-month test which will be available to flight attendants for the January trigger training classes. This will be done on a volunteer basis and open slots will be awarded based on system wide seniority. When the awards are made you must have DO’s on your schedule for the dates of the training and it must not create an illegality, as you will not be trip removed for this volunteer training. If those two conditions are not met on your schedule at the time of the award the slot be awarded to the next person on the list. Flight attendants will receive training pay and A12 travel to and from training. You may not receive training on equipment or service outside of your operation, this also excludes purser classes and you may not be on reserve during the training month. This should be helpful for Flight Attendants needing a specific piece of equipment for laterals or for bases where AFS flying may show up in open time but you have no way to get the qualification because your base does not have AFS flying on the bid sheet. For complete text of the letter of agreement see the APFA website. You should receive an HI6 message explaining the volunteer trigger procedures.
Item 2: Buy on Board this is something we have been watching very carefully and will continue to monitor. There are meetings scheduled between the APFA and AA the first week of January in reference to this extremely sensitive issue. As the Company continues to look for new revenue/cost saving opportunities it must also be cognizant of the increased workload being placed on flight attendants. My staffing team is identifying target flights for observation and we will continue to compile documentation on all aircraft types to support our position. All of the options being offered ie, BOB, personal entertainment devices, and handheld credit card devices place increased workloads on flight attendants. We will keep you informed as this issue progresses.
Item 3: The Vice Presidents office that oversees System Board of Adjustment would like to invite any one interested to attend a Training Seminar on 31R and Grievance preparation. This is an opportunity to learn more about the SBA department, and get helpful information on various subjects such as 31R investigations, file and case management and how to conduct a hearing. There is limited space available for the training, anyone interested in attending will be accommodated on a first come first served basis. Please contact Division Representative Barbara Rives at APFA VM 8209 for more information. This training will take place on Friday January 14 from 0900 to 1600 at APFA in the Unity pays conference room. This is available to all members in good standing.
Item 4: President Tommie Huttto-Blake continued on her commitment to visit each base with visits in New York and Boston over the past two weeks. Please visit the APFA website and check for dates National Officer visits to your base.
Item 5: Here's the operational outlook for the New Years weekend. The sick list remains above 1700. International Option II is and will be open for the weekend, coverage is limited, there will be some flights at minimum crew especially at JFK and IMA and some tack on flying can be expected. Domestic coverage is thin but Option II is not open for the 31st, however, this could change.
A shortage of crews is anticipated on January 1st, due mainly to schedule conflicts the Company is pre plotting AVBL trips for Jan 1 and there will probably be no VMC’s for Jan 1st. These numbers are fluid and will change based on operational necessity.
I would like to wish each of you a happy and prosperous new year on behalf of the Officers of APFA. We have many challenges facing our work group in 2005 please get involved and stay informed. Here is Leslie Mayo with the rest of the Hotline:
Thanks Brett... this is Leslie Mayo with the remainder of the Hotline for New Year’s Eve, 2004.
APFA President Hutto-Blake spent part of this week in Boston visiting both International and Domestic Flight Attendants in Operations. Many Flight Attendants stopped by to talk with Tommie and other Union Reps in Ops, ask questions and offer suggestions on how you’d like to see your Union proceed. Tommie’s visits will continue with a stop at San Jose, California the afternoon of January 12th and San Francisco Ops the morning of the 13th. Please take the time to meet with Tommie and have your voice heard firsthand. LAX Base visits are scheduled for January 24th and 25th, with MIA and ORD in February and wrapping up with DCA and RDUI in March. Stay tuned to the hotline and the website under Hot Topics for more information on these visits.
The 4th Quarter Skyword is being mailed to your homes beginning today. Please take notice of the pullout On-Duty Contract Guide in the center section. Take it with you on your trips as a supplement to your current Contract and RPA Guide. If you are on the Skyword Online list, you will be sent a hard copy of the Contract Guide next week. Don’t forget to log onto the website next week to read Skyword as well. A complete Contract is in the process of being completed by both parties and printed by the Company which combines the September ’01 Contract and the ’03 Restructuring Agreement concessions as required under Article 24 of the CBA. As soon as it’s printed, it will be distributed to all Flight Attendants at your bases.
The 4th Quarter Skyword also includes information on the 2005 Membership Opinion Survey set to begin online on January 18th via the APFA website and conducted by the University of North Texas. Please be sure you are registered at apfa.org as you will only be able to access this survey on the UNT website by linking through www.apfa.org.
Regarding the APFA Leadership Summit, today was the final day to RSVP to the Secretary to the President. This invitation is being hosted by the National Officers and was extended to all APFA members in good standing who have held the position of National Officer or those who were candidates for National Office in the 2003 Election via a letter sent earlier this month. Transportation will be provided to and from the DFW Airport by calling 817.540.0108 upon landing. Although this meeting is a closed session, we will be reporting on the outcome of this meeting in the next issue of Skyword.
For those flight attendants with questions surrounding the Supplemental Insurance APFA previously offered, please contact the Insurance Company directly at 888.219.9459.
For all Flight Attendants laying over in MIA please be advised that due to insurance purposes, the transportation company will only carry Flight Attendants who are in uniform and/or display their Crew ID’s.
On last week’s hotline it was reported that Buy On Board will be available on 620 transcons. Since we don’t have 620 transcons, this was not accurate. It will be available on 620 flights over three hours including HNL flights.
Let’s get rolling with rumor control:
Question: “I heard that AA will announce in January 2005 that they will no longer fund our pension. Is this true?”
Answer: Although AA has given APFA no indication of any big announcements in January or any other month, I can’t help but wonder where all the big-announcement-in-January questions are coming from. In any case, the above question is possible under only two scenarios: 1) The Company approaches the Union for more concessions which would cause bargaining to occur and the contract to be reopened like it was in ‘03. This has not happened at AA. Or, 2) American goes bankrupt and requests a bankruptcy judge to abrogate our Contracts. This is currently happening at US Airways and United due to their purported dire financial situation that starts with plundering their Union members of their futures. This has not happened at AA.
Question: “I heard that over 1000 Flight Attendants are going to retire in 2005.”
Answer: APFA is not aware of the number of Flight Attendants planning to retire in January. The monthly average of F/A attrition is about 40. Statistics on F/A retirements can be found in the 4th Quarter Skyword and on the website at www.apfa.org under Retirement.
The other rumors relating to F/A layoffs, pay cuts and American Eagle taking over our Domestic Operation are still, at this point, wholly false.
Not a lot of industry news this week, however, next week should be a different story with the bankruptcy judge making a decision on US Airways’ request to abrogate its Unions’ Contracts on January 6th.
Please keep our 4,541 furloughed flight attendants and 20 full-time military APFA members in your thoughts. Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.