Negotiations Update February 5-7, 2013
Dear Flight Attendants,
This week’s round of bargaining played out in fits and starts, but we ended the week positioned to proceed forward and to begin exchanging full comprehensive proposals. Yes, you heard it right—at our next session beginning March 18th, we will receive the first compensation proposal from management. All along, they have been saying how much they value our contribution to Alaska’s success so we’re expecting a package that truly recognizes that contribution.
Section 11: Reserves. At our last session, we had TA’d and signed a term sheet outlining all provisions. This session, we finalized the language and “re-TA’d” the section.
Section 12: Exchange of Sequences. We finally TA’d this section after months of discussions. We gained jet bridge trades which will greatly increase flexibility and allow Flight Attendants to trade or giveaway whole or partial non-international sequences at the airport—including on RONs! Additionally, now Open Time will open with ALL days open. In an effort to drastically improve the functionality of OT for all Flight Attendants, we have made several changes to this system.
Members of the Negotiating Committee will be attending the AFA Board of Directors meeting February 9-13, so a comprehensive explanation will be put out after their return. Unfortunately, management has communicated a snippet of information regarding S12 in the “Grab n Go” posted on the Inflight webpage, which has already begun to generate a ton of concern and speculation out on the line. Flexibility of schedule is a hallmark of our job, so we understand the interest in any changes to this section. Again, a more comprehensive explanation is forthcoming, but we’ll give you a preview.
OT starts with no closed days. Only trips that have been traded into OT (code TR) or trips dropped for coupon drops (code CP) will count towards closing days. Pairings will have the trade code information viewable. The current system allows the Company (after the first 24 hours) to close the days subjectively based on a variety of factors: “reserve coverage, sick calls, and historical usage.” The TA’d language allows a particular day to be closed only after the threshold is reached. Smallest domiciles will close at three sequence departures per day and Seattle at nine sequence departures per day (based on current staffing), with transparent system in place. If a FA picks up a trip from OT with one of the codes, it will open OT if the day is at the threshold.
No more “pre-funding” of OT with 25% of TFP of number of FAs in the base. Rather, all trips are potentially assignable to FAs by PBS, which will lead to more Lineholders and less Reserves. Trips can simply be posted into OT if the day is open, which is how OT will be populated. Quartile (“stepped”) trading system of opening trading for each successive 25% of domicile for four 24 hour periods. OT is therefore “funded” with more senior trips than today at each seniority (because currently OT is made up of the PBS “cast offs” unwanted by all).
Eliminated three-leg difference restriction and day-for-day trade restriction. Provided the day is open, trips can simply be posted to OT with no pick up. (Again, if the day is open, one can simply post a turn to a 4-day trip on that day with no trip pick up.) Number of days in the sequence is irrelevant—only the start date of the sequence matters. Even if the day is closed, sequences can be exchanged if they are the same day of departure, e.g., a 4-day can be exchanged for a turn in OT and vice versa as long as they have the same initial departure date.
There is a lot more to this section, so stand by for more!
Section 15: Leaves of Absence. Even though this section had already been TA’d, the recent incident with flight #473 made it apparent that some further clarification of the language was needed to remove ambiguity concerning when a FA is removed from a pairing when a medical emergency occurs on the aircraft. We do appreciate management’s willingness to reopen this TA and clarify the language.
Section 3: Scope. We gave management our initial proposal on Scope. This proposal packages several important job-protection provisions which guard against the Company funneling our flying to other carriers. We included provisions to protect our flying against encroachment of CPA (capacity purchase agreement) flying. As Alaska Airlines expands, we want our members to participate in and benefit from that added flying. We addressed “Wet Leasing” (when another air carrier is contracted on a short-term basis to provide aircraft and crews to fly our flying) and put parameters limiting its duration. Additionally, we addressed the scope of our duties and stated that the terms and conditions of any additional “buy-on-board” activities (excluding items for consumption on the aircraft) would have to be negotiated
Crew Rooms – We can all agree that the SEA crew room is TOO SMALL. Happily it is about to more than double the size. The space has been identified and is adjacent to the current crew room. We look forward to construction beginning soon and I know we will all be happy when we can enjoy some more elbow room in SEA. An audit is ongoing at all other domiciles to assess the appropriateness of the current crew room size and identify larger spaces if warranted.
Our next session begins March 18th in Seattle. We anticipate receiving management’s comprehensive proposal which will encompass compensation, sick leave, per diem, retirement and insurance, and all other open items. We have scheduled additional dates through August.
In the meantime, stay informed by checking out the latest negotiations video update on our You Tube channel and the other resources linked below in ‘References’. Please continue to show your support for your Negotiating Committee by wearing your AFA pin and/or your (soon to be vintage) “Four Bases, One Voice” bracelets. If you have a question or concern, fill out a VOICE Comment Card or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When management’s team hands us that comprehensive compensation proposal, they need to see the entire group of over 3,000 Flight Attendants behind us and know that we speak for everyone!
Your Negotiating Committee – MEC President Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Tracy, Karina Cameron-Fetters, Jake Jones and Staff Negotiator Paula Mastrangelo
AFA Alaska Negotiations channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/AFAALANegotiations
Alaska Airlines Negotiations Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/alaskaairlines.negotiations
“Four Bases, One Voice”