By Linda Christou: AFA-LEC 19 Secretary-Treasurer
Membership in the union is extremely important and now more than ever. With a looming vote for a new contract for our group it is important for you to be up to date on your dues. If you are delinquent and in “bad standing” in your dues whether it is for 1 month or 12 plus months your vote will not be counted as it disqualifies you from voting for anything that arises.
Here is a quick re-cap of dues…monthly dues is usually taken out of your 20th paycheck but if you are on a leave of any type (worker comp, medical leave, voluntary furlough education etc.) you will be required to pay for the first 3 months of that leave and after that you don’t pay dues until you return to work and this is according to the AFA-CWA by-laws. If there are months that you don’t fly enough and they cannot be auto-deduct from your 20th paycheck you’ll need to pay them yourself (always good to check that 20th paycheck). If you ever receive an invoice from the International office that means you owe dues and will need to pay them via online and or check sent to them.
Our International Membership department has stepped up the progression on informing FA’s of their delinquencies and sending out Standing 2, 3 and 5 letters to inform you what you need to do to become current. Here is a synopsis of the progression of steps for non-payment… Standing 2 letter indicates you are now in bad standing and this is the first stage of the AFA-CWA delinquency process. A flight attendant goes into S2 when you have ONE or more dues billings that are over 90 days old and remain unpaid. Standing 3 letter indicates that the FA remains delinquent after receiving the initial “Bad Standing” warning letter. You now receive your S-3 letter certified mail return receipt (if AFA International has a incorrect address on file the LEC President or Secretary will put it into your co-mail file at work and it is treated as if sent via certified mail). Nonpayment could result in discharge per our FA Collective Bargaining Agreement, Section 26 C & D. Standing 4 is in pending status which means your International membership department is researching your account for you. Standing 5 is your final warning and this becomes very serious. After receiving your S-2 and S-3 letters for nonpayment, our International AFA office in Washington DC sends a letter to Alaska Airlines requesting discharge for nonpayment and a copy of this letter is also sent to your LEC President.
If you find yourself unable to pay the full amount you need to contact the International office to set up a payment plan called a Promissory Note Agreement. They’ll send the agreement of which you must sign it and send it back for it to be valid. Once this is agreed upon you must make your MONTHLY payments that have been agreed upon until the balance is paid in full. If you do not make your monthly payment for the promissory note that could be revoked and if that happens you will need to make your payment in full to avoid a S-5 letter. Deferral of dues can only occur if you are on a current leave. If you have received anyone of these notices please do not disregard and either contact the International office or Becky Strachan – ANC LEC President.