As reported a few weeks ago on afaalaska.org (“Open Time Negotiations Survey Suspended Due to a Technical Problem”), the Open Time negotiations survey went offline because of an unforeseen glitch. Shortly thereafter the Master Executive Council (MEC) made the decision to leave the survey down in order to address membership feedback sent to leadership (“Update on Open Time Survey Suspension”). After much consideration AFA is re-posting the survey. Previously submitted surveys are on file, so it is not necessary to re-take the survey unless you wish to revise your responses.
About minimum flying and other undesirable options…
What was the feedback? Members expressed frustration with the last question in particular: “Some changes MAY be required in order to negotiate a better Open Time system. IF that becomes necessary, I would prefer to see them in the following order, with 1 being the change I would be most willing to accept and 8 being the change I would be least willing to accept.” Although there were several concerns, feedback was mostly centered on apprehensions that the survey seems to suggest a monthly minimum is a possibility.
A survey can be used as a communication tool to both membership and management in addition to being an informational tool for the Negotiating Committee and leadership. In this case, the reference to minimum flying in the survey was definitely not intended to communicate AFA’s desire to actually seek or even allow minimum flying. In fact, it was intended to do the exact opposite. Management tends to bring up minimum flying in every negotiation, so we wanted to have additional ‘ammunition’ to respond to such a proposal.
Be assured the entire MEC and the Negotiating Committee are adamantly opposed to a monthly minimum. We know changes to “the 480” were very controversial in this current contract, so we were (and are) highly confident the membership would rank any reference to minimum flying as dead last. It was unintentional and unfortunate that the survey would cause so much controversy. The survey was designed to simply determine priorities in a comprehensive list of possibilities that either the union or management might voluntarily address or be forced to address in one way or another.
The MEC and the Negotiating Committee will go so far as to say that we’re encouraging you to take (or re-take) the survey and rank “minimum flying” last on the list. We will also tell you that we fully understand you do not wish to accept any of the items on the list in that last question, and we will proceed with crafting our opening proposal accordingly. If you are opposed to answering the last question altogether, then you have the ability to completely skip it (just don’t fill in any of the bubbles). There is also a “free form” comments field at the end of the survey if you would like to provide additional feedback.
*** Note: Previously submitted surveys are on file, so it is not necessary to re-take the survey unless you wish to revise your responses. ***
Pursuant to AFA Alaska Collective Bargaining Agreement §12.F.9.b. [Exchange of Sequences: Open Time Trial], AFA and Alaska Airlines management will begin negotiations on a successor Open Time system due to cancellation of the Open Time Trial. AFA is surveying the membership regarding Open Time in order to guide the Negotiating Committee in writing our opening proposal for negotiating a new Open Time system.
Your candid responses are appreciated.
You must enter your Arctic number in order to take the survey. We’re asking for your Arctic number to ensure each Flight Attendant receives one vote and is not for tracking purposes. If a survey is submitted more than once with the same Arctic number, only the last response will be counted.
If you have any creative solutions or ideas regarding Open Time, please share them in the free form comments field at the end of the survey.
The Master Executive Council (MEC) knows that many of you are tired of taking surveys about Open Time, but this is a different survey than the satisfaction surveys that went out during the Open Time Trial. Now that the MEC has canceled the trial, it is extremely important that every Flight Attendant take this negotiations survey. AFA very much wants every voice to be counted regarding a new Open Time system.
The survey will close at noon Pacific Time on Friday, October 7th.
Thank you in advance for your feedback!
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Yvette Satterlee, Lisa Pinkston, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn, Tim Green and Brice McGee
Your Negotiating Committee – MEC President Jeffrey Peterson, Kristy Stratton, Lisa Pinkston, Christina Frees and AFA Senior Staff Attorney Kimberley Chaput