You have reached the APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, March 20, 2009. This is Frank Bastien, National Communications Coordinator.

APFA NEGOTIATORS VISIT BASE OPS AREAS

Members of APFA’s Negotiating Team scheduled visits to all Base Ops areas, today, March 20 in their continuing effort to keep the APFA membership informed of the progress in our ongoing mediated bargaining for a new working agreement with American. Future Base Ops visits are planned for April 20 and the specifics of the times and places are detailed through a link on the main page of the APFA website. If you missed the March 20 sessions, mark your April calendar and stop by to meet members of the team who will be available to answer your questions, hear your comments and dispel rumors.

After today’s sessions, two negotiators are heading for London Heathrow to be available Saturday afternoon, March 21 and Sunday morning March 22 to the over 200 members laying over or arriving over the weekend. The meeting place is the downtown layover hotel Crew Room and the times are: Saturday, March 21 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 22 from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. If you will be in LHR, please stop by to meet with negotiators Ray Baylis (IOR) and Mario St. Michel (JFK) and get the facts about mediation and where we are in negotiations.

NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE

Mediated talks with the Company continued in Atlanta last week. APFA presented proposals and discussion ensued on the following articles: Article 11 – Language, Article 20 – Medical Appeals/Arbitrations and Article 34 – Purser. APFA looks forward to receiving counter-proposals when mediated talks resume in the DFW area on March 31. The APFA Negotiating Team continued meeting internally this week. During the week of March 24 the APFA and Company’s scheduling subcommittees will meet to review the results of the VTF program and continue discussions on Article 10 – Reserve.

Keep informed on our mediated talks and article discussion status through two new documents posted at the top of the Negotiations page. Go to: index.php?&view=category&id=351. Website login is required.

APFA LEADERSHIP MEETS WITH BRITISH AIRWAYS UNION COUNTERPARTS

Last weekend, APFA President Laura Glading and APFA Vice President Brett Durkin met in London with Union officers from the Civil Air Transport sector of Unite (www.unitetheunion.com), representing British Airways Flight Attendants. Information and strategies were exchanged and discussed in light of the ongoing efforts of both of our respective employers to secure Anti-Trust Immunity from the US. government and to establish a “joint business agreement” with not just BA, but several of the oneworld alliance carriers. We have learned in the past that the concerns of front line workers are far from the top concern when the company goes courting at the corporate level. They despise cooperation among employee groups, which is why we intend to continue speaking with our sisters and brothers across the pond, to establish and maintain a close relationship.

PHONE TREE INFORMATION

APFA is gearing up the Phone Tree! Soon you may be receiving a call from an APFA InfoRep to verify your phone numbers, your email address and to find out how you get your Union and Negotiations information. As talks proceed, we must be ready to mobilize and get the word out. An accurate Phone Tree is a vital part. If you receive a call, please take the few minutes necessary to share your updated contact information.

Keep in your thoughts our current 1,167 members on furlough and awaiting recall.

Remember that the Wings Foundation has a website with information on base contact numbers, donation forms and assistance requests. (www.wingsfoundation.com) Contact your local reps for fundraising activities at your base or near your home.

Thank you for calling the APFA HotLine.

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NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD MEMBER APPOINTEE

President Barack Obama has selected Senior Mediator Linda Puchala to replace the current Bush appointee Read Van de Water on the National Mediation Board. On March 6, APFA had joined other unions in urging Van de Water’s replacement. In her letter, APFA President Laura Glading wrote: “The National Mediation Board still carries the Bush-era anti-worker stamp that marked his presidency.” Now, in response to the President’s appointment of Ms. Puchala, Glading expressed her approval of Obama’s choice, calling her extremely competent, and commenting, “[when confirmed], the appointment of Linda Puchala will result in a more worker-friendly National Mediation Board. This will have a positive impact on the ability of workers to bargain for good pay and benefits, and restore the middle class in the United States.”

If the name of President Obama’s appointee sounds familiar its because Linda Puchala was the mediator assigned during the APFA/AA bargaining in 2000, leading up to our ratified agreement on September 12, 2001.

(from www.nmb.gov) Linda Puchala is the Sr. Mediator (ADR) and the Associate Director of Alternative Dispute Resolution Services. She joined the National Mediation Board in May, 1999, as a Mediator, working on both airline and railroad cases.

Prior to joining the Board, Ms Puchala had over 30 years of experience in Labor Relations, including work as President of a major airline union and Staff Director of a public employee union.

NEWS FOR OUR FURLOUGHED OR SOON-TO-BE FURLOUGHED MEMBERS

Earlier this week the company mailed information concerning the Travel Separation Program to our members currently on furlough as well as those who will be furloughed on April 1. The letter explains how those who do not have regular Jetnet access can get details of the Travel Separation Program and how to elect this option. Keep in mind that by electing this option you are resigning from the company and forfeiting any recall rights. If you were at least 50 years of age at the time you were furloughed with at least 15 years of Company Seniority you would still be entitled to retiree benefits at age 55 provided you continued to meet obligations such as prefunding for your retiree medical benefits. The deadline to accept this offer is Monday, March 30 at 2300 central time. A copy of the letter is posted on both the Furlough and the Recall pages of APFA.org.

We know many of our members found employment with American Eagle during their previous period of furlough and might be interested in returning to American Eagle if opportunities were available. While they are not currently hiring, it is possible that they could be recruiting in the very near future. American Eagle stated they would be extremely interested in rehiring those who previously worked them. If you would like to be notified should American Eagle be in a position to hire Flight Attendants, please send an email to Brent Peterson, National Contract Coordinator at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you did not previously work at American Eagle, but are interested in being considered for positions if they were to recruit please also send an email to Brent.

SECONDARY ROUND VACATION BIDDING

Just a few days remain to get in your Secondary Vacation bids.

Secondary round bidding for the 2009/2010 vacations closes 0800 central on Monday, March 23. Results will be posted (in HI10) by 1700, March 30.

SCHEDULING QUICK QUIZZES

Test your Contract IQ by taking one of the latest APFA Quick Quizzes. With both Domestic and International versions, the quizzes focus on some very common Scheduling questions and scenarios. Have your On-Duty Contract Guide (ODCG) handy to find the answers. The link to the quizzes is on the APFA.org main page.

NOTE TO RESERVES WHO RECEIVED VOLUNTEER TO FLY (VTF) ASSIGNMENTS

The VTF trial period at DFW, IDF, DCA and DCA-I ended on March 15. For those Reserve Flight Attendants who received a VTF assignment under the test program (whether an actual sequence or the 4-hour minimum), the additional pay will not be reflected on your HI1 as "above the guarantee." However, as long as the sequence flown is coded "RU," or the 4-hour minimum VTF pay (if applicable) is indicated, the correct pay calculation should take place. (Please note that when the 4-hour minimum applies, it may take up to a week to be reflected on your HI1). As with other incentive pay, the VTF hours above Reserve guarantee will be paid in the final paycheck of the subsequent month. Please check your ePays statement carefully if you are due this payment.

DUES WHILE ON LEAVE

The APFA Treasurer reminds those Flight Attendants currently on or who will be going out on an Overage Leave that you remain dues obligated during the leave. Once you return from your leave, if you have not prepaid your dues or paid monthly throughout your leave, you will have sixty (60) days to set up a payment plan for the dues accrued and owed. This payment plan must result in payment of your dues accrued during the leave in a time period no longer than twice the length of your leave. It is easier to prepay your dues upfront, or to leave a credit card on file for monthly billing. You will still receive a monthly statement. Make your arrangements via email to the Dues Department at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Or call headquarters extension 8154.