The insurance coverage for FA’s when you retire and what is the change?
You can retain your coverage when you retire but you can’t change your coverage. There are 10 years of service you need to be age 62-65.
The Productivity Premium Program (PPP) why was it re-structured and was it the union or company that wanted the change?
It is a combination of both. AFA wanted to recapture vacation counting toward the QPP/PPP goal. AFA was able to achieve that, but the company also wanted to restructure the program to highlight their high-travel months. The resulting provision (PPP) was a compromise on both of our positions. We were able to achieve vacation (even pre-blocked, unpaid vacation) counting toward meeting the goal; however, management demanded in exchange that Flight Attendants be credited with 5 additional TFP per month. Recurrent training, all the Minimum Pay Rules, and CBT are credited above the bid award and will count toward meeting the 5 TFP additional per month.
Now that vacation counts toward meeting the PPP goal, consider that a Flight Attendant who has 28 days of vacation per year would have to fly an additional 112 TFP under the QPP in order to meet all QPP targets for the year (28 days x 4TFP/day = 112 TFP). Under the PPP program, a Flight Attendant would have to have an additional credit of 60 TFP per year (5TFP additional credit needed per month x 12 months = 60 TFP).
Because the program month blocks have been restructured, the JNC believes that it will be easier for Flight Attendants to target and meet the PPP goals.
Are we ready for negotiations in October?
From a union structure standpoint, it would be tight. Given all that is going on at the moment (JCTE fixes, Open Time negotiations, Merger issues, and normal day-day membership representation duties), AFA is spread pretty thin. If the TA is voted down and we go into Section 6 CBA negotiations in October a lot would have to happen:
- A new negotiating committee would have to be interviewed and elected.
- A negotiations survey would have to be prepared and sent out to all L-VX and L-AS members to complete. The responses will help define our bargaining priorities in negotiations for a full new CBA. The L-VX Flight Attendants will still be flying under the L-VX Work Rules and the current L-VX pay. However, as part of our union, their priorities must be considered in constructing the opening proposals.
- The new negotiations committee will construct our opening proposals to management which must be reviewed and confirmed by the MEC.
- During this period and the negotiations, L-VX Flight Attendants will be working under different work rules. The concept of our 480 is foreign to them. They must work a minimum of 70 block hours per month.
The JNC and MEC believes if we bring them into our journey and onto our Contract prior going into full Section 6 negotiations, we will be a stronger force, rather than a divided work one going into Section 6.
It sounds like we can throw a wrench into the timeline from the Company’s webcast yesterday if we vote this down?
Of course, management would like to integrate all the work groups as soon as possible in order to achieve the synergies of this merger and recoup some of the costs. If the TA was not ratified and the Flight Attendant groups are not integrated, then the rest of the airline could “merge” around the Flight Attendants. This is the case at AA/US and UA/CA where the pilots are integrated, but the Flight Attendant groups are not. Obviously, this is not optimal and the Company would not capture all the benefits of this merger in this situation.
Why is IT so screwed up and then they force things on us that don’t work?
I feel your pain and unfortunately this is what we have to work with and the merger is going to happen and we can’t hold up the merger because of Jeppesen. Those things need to be fixed and OT and Payroll hasn’t been forgotten. We are not apologizing for company, but AFA is maxed out. The system sucks and is barely workable. We are truly sorry for the OT debacle.
Why didn’t the Company agree to change the 480 and why don’t they want to tackle this?
Honestly, management doesn’t want to go there and they don’t feel they even have to address the 480 in Merger Negotiations. They feel that this is a matter for Section 6 negotiations. If we are going to be effective in addressing the 480 issue we need to start educating the L-VX Flight Attendants and the newer L-AS Flight Attendants also.
Will cross fleet flying happen soon?
This will happen and actually is starting to happen because the Boeing aircraft works better E-W and Airbus S-N. Crew Planning is looking at optimizing the abilities of both aircraft type in the network.
It seems that there are only good things in this TA. Is there anything that is bad?
The TA does only contain improvements for the L-AS Flight Attendants. Some Flight Attendants feel that the increased duration of the JCBA (December 2021) is a negative because it delays the start of AFA negotiating the next CBA. There are different ways to look at this additional wait time before going back into negotiations. This additional time provides for the L-VX Flight Attendants to work under the L-AS work rules and provisions and understand their importance and then we would go into Section 6 negotiations as a unified group. However, it does delay our ability to address other contractual provisions that are important to the membership in negotiations.
Isn’t an extension usually just extending an existing contract?
Yes, you are correct and with this extended duration we worked to achieve some benefits to the existing CBA while also maintaining things that the company wanted to take away. However, we were able to achieve several improvements for the L-AS Flight Attendants in addition to the negotiated percentage increases to the pay scale.
How does the insurance premiums frozen at the 2019 rates work?
Under our current CBA in force, there is a provision that freezes the medical insurance premiums at the 2019 actual $ rates. The 2019 rate is determined by percentage caps in our current CBA Section 23.A.1. If the TA is ratified, the rates would be frozen at the 2019 rates through 2021 and realistically 2022 because we would be in negotiations at that point.
Management could not change provisions of the medical insurance plans to recoup any money. Our CBA (and the JCBA) stipulates that the Flight Attendant medical plans be the same as those offered to pilots. In the pilots’ CBA, all the provisions of the plans are outlined and detailed and cannot be changed. The pilots’ CBA is in place through 2020 and will continue during any amendable period when they are in negotiations.
Why can’t we get retro pay for all of the new compensation such as stranded pay for the L-VX FA’s?
Stranded pay is a manual process. It would be complex and further overwhelm the L-AS pay analysts (and there is no one on the L-VX side to process this) who are already overwhelmed by our many manual pay provisions. At the end of the day, it is a cost/financial issue.
People think the AFA officers are getting additional TFP?
This provision is more a “reallocation” of who pays for the additional TFP. Under the JCBA, the additional TFP will be paid by the Company and not by Members’ dues dollars. This will free up additional dues dollars for other member services. Keep in mind that LECPs are always on call and can hardly fly but currently are getting paid 65 TFP, which is less than the Reserve guarantee of 90 TFP or even the line average of 75 TFP. The provision brings them up to 75 TFP. The MECP pay has not changed since the mid-2000s. Local and MEC budget are available for member review upon request.