APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, December 18, 2009
- Constitutional Referendum: ballots mailed to members; due January 7
- APFA Board supports five amendments to APFA constitution
- Congress considering extensions to COBRA subsidies: email support through Capwiz today
- Countdown to the “lockdown” (bargaining)
- Willingness-to-Serve notices posted for Ad Hoc places on Executive Committee
- Final days to use your 2009 uniform points
CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM BALLOTS DUE JANUARY 7, 2010
Ballots for the APFA Constitutional Referendum have been mailed to all members. Completed ballots must be received in the designated Post Office Box no later than 9:00 AM (0900) Central Time, Thursday, January 7, 2010. If you have not received yours, or misplaced the original, requesting a duplicate are at the end of this HotLine.
All five items in this referendum are supported by your APFA leadership which feels they are vital to move our Union forward as an efficient and financially secure organization—providing the quality representation all members deserve. Full details of the proposed amendments are available in a national mailing and base briefs. Proposed language changes are also included in the ballot packet and a Question and Answer document is available by clicking here. Here are some of the high points of the proposals:
Item # 1 on your ballot addresses the method of voting and proposes moving from paper ballots—and their expensive production, mailing and processing—to modern and secure electronic voting. The cost savings will permit reduction of the size of the National Ballot Committee, meaning even more cost savings to the membership.
Item # 2 on your ballot concerns the makeup of future Negotiating Committees. With each negotiations, we learn how to best use our resources and how to comprise the most efficient and skilled team to bargain on members’ behalf. This proposed amendment would set the size of future teams at six, plus the President. Two would be elected by the membership, two appointed by your elected Board of Directors and two appointed by the President. Within each of the elected and appointed groups, the split would remain one from each division: Domestic and International.
Item # 3 on your ballot would strip APFA membership and its rights and privileges from those who take a paid management or other position outside of the Flight Attendant “class and craft”. When these individuals return to a Flight Attendant position, they may then rejoin APFA. But while not a Flight Attendant, they cannot vote, attend Union meetings or receive members’ only documents and web access.
Item # 4 on your ballot establishes a method of calculating the monthly dues amount. This would be pegged to the Domestic pay rate at step 12, which would mean currently a modest increase of $1.65 per month. This is a wholly reasonable means of securing a dues structure that can ensure that your Union has the resources needed to provide the best representation, and will eliminate the need for APFA to continue to address this issue with the membership.
Item # 5 on your ballot redefines dues payment obligations. Under this proposal, Flight Attendants in an unpaid status, including but not limited to those on furlough, unpaid sick, etc., will have to pay dues to remain in good standing and exercise union rights. Those affected who wish to defer paying dues until they return to flying can do so. Once they return, they can set up a payment plan for back dues which will restore their status as a member in good standing and the privileges that status brings.
Please carefully follow the instructions in your ballot packet. Each of the five items is voted on separately. The APFA Board—which crafted these proposals in direct response to desires expressed by the membership—is confident that these changes will Move APFA Forward into 2010. Please contact your Base Chairperson or your Vice Chairperson should you have questions about any of the proposals.
COBRA SUBSIDIES EXTENSION BEING CONSIDERED IN WASHINGTON
Bills in both the U.S. House and Senate have been introduced which would extend and expand the COBRA benefit subsidies under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). S.2730 was introduced in the Senate by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and currently has 18 co-sponsors. H.R.3930 was introduced in the House by Representative Joe Sestak (D-PA) and currently has six co-sponsors. Each aims to enhance the COBRA benefit subsidies under ARRA, now assisting a large number of our members. Please go to our APFA Capwiz site today and, with just a few mouse clicks, send emails to your elected officials in Washington, urging their support for the bills (or sending your thanks to sponsors/co-sponsors). There are two separate links, one for the Senate and one for the House. The direct links are:
(Senate) S.2730 – to extend COBRA subsidies
(House) H.R. 3930 – to extend COBRA subsidies
Please do this today!
COUNTDOWN TO THE “LOCKDOWN”
Our mediated contract talks with American are set to resume on January 10 in what is begin referred to as “lockdown” bargaining. Intended to separate the parties from sources of distraction, a location has been chosen outside the immediate DFW area, where the two sides—assisted by our NMB mediator—will work intensely through at least January 21 at settling the remaining open items. In preparation, President Laura Glading has been meeting with counterparts at AA to set the foundation and protocol for the meetings, while members of the APFA “table team” continue their strategizing and review of detailed analyses by our economic and legal experts.
This is a crucial time in our talks, following on the heels of a strong and effective demonstration of member unity in our November 18, system-wide Turn Around event. APFA members and friends—along with supporters from other union groups at American and other airlines—marched, picketed and leafleted at every base city and more, to show our determination to achieve a ratifiable agreement with real improvements to pay, work rules and benefits.
As 2010 dawns, we will enter the 21st month since our contract became amendable. Flight Attendants are literally sick and tired of seeing over $1 million per day in savings from our long-ago sacrifices made to save this company from bankruptcy, only to watch executives reward themselves handsome bonuses again and again. Members can continue to do their part over the next several weeks by staying informed, involved and engaged. Join the tens of thousands who have viewed our official APFA YouTube channel ; follow our Team’s updates on twitter and facebook ; symbolically march together on the APFA Virtual Picket Line . These methods are simple and they do show we are behind our Union and our Team.
Review the Negotiations Update mailed to all members in October and carry it with you. It explains clearly where we stand. It is available online as well from the Negotiations page. (website login required)
WILLINGNESS-TO-SERVE FOR AD HOC PLACES 3 AND 4 ON EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The APFA Secretary, in accordance with Article III, Section 4.J.(1) of the APFA Constitution and Section 12.B.16 of the APFA Policy Manual, has issued a Willingness-to-Serve Notification that the Delegates at the 2010 APFA Annual Convention—commencing March 7, 2010—will elect Ad Hoc Members of the Executive Committee, Places 3 and 4, for a three-year term of office beginning April 1, 2010. Interested members may access the Willingness-to-Serve Notification through the Elections and Balloting page of APFA.org. Members of the National Ballot Committee will retrieve the Willingness-to-Serve Notifications from the designated Post Office Box at 10:00 AM (1000) Central Time, Wednesday, January 20, 2010. A Willingness-to-Serve Notification may be returned to the APFA Secretary at any time prior to the Convention.
UNIFORM ORDERING – FINAL DAYS TO USE 2009 POINTS
Remember that your 2009 uniform points do not carry-over into the new year. Please place any orders for uniform items with the vendor as soon as possible to ensure that you do not lose your unused 2009 points. VF Imagewear’s Customer Service Center will be closed—or have reduced hours—on certain days during the holiday period. The Customer Service Center will close at 3:00 PM (1500) Central Time on Thursday, December 31 for 2009 orders. The last chance to order via the website is 10:00 PM (2200) Central Time on December 31. It is suggested that you not wait until the last day to place an order. The uniform vendor website address is: www.vfsolutions.com/amr
DUPLICATE BALLOTS AND DUES STANDING FOR CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM
If you have not received, or have misplaced, your Constitutional Referendum ballot, a duplicate may be requested by:
* calling the National Ballot Committee at 817.540.0108 ext. 8311, or
* for those with an APFA website password, using the online Duplicate Ballot Request Form from the Elections and Balloting page of APFA.org.
In accordance with the APFA Policy Manual, if both an original and duplicate ballot are received, only the duplicate will be counted. Duplicate ballots will be issued, upon request, up to five (5) days prior to the ballot due date.
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Remember that there are currently 1,410 members on furlough and awaiting recall.
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Consider a donation to Wings, Airline Ambassadors and/or UNICEF/Change for Good this holiday season. Or make it your New Year’s resolutions to get more involved with one or more of these organizations. Check their links from the APFA main page or go to:
Wings // Airline Ambassadors // UNICEF/Change for Good