The AFA Alaska-Virgin America Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) just wrapped up this week’s session of merger negotiations, our fourth so far; we met with management from Tuesday, September 26th through Thursday, September 28th in Seattle, WA. Representing management: Vice President of Labor Relations Greg Mays, Vice President of Alaska Airlines and Virgin America Inflight & Call Center/Guest Services Jeff Butler, Managing Director of Labor Relations-Air Elizabeth Ryan and Virgin America Manager of Labor Emily Kimmel.
Management presented the Joint Negotiating Committee with a comprehensive transitional proposal on the first day, which provided a springboard for discussions the remainder of the week. The parties are starting to reach tentative agreements on transitional items in several sections of the Alaska contract.
The Joint Negotiating Committee is planning on soliciting your feedback regarding your expectations and/or priorities for these negotiations in the very near future. We know that our combined membership of over 5,000 will not ratify a transitional-only contract. Be on the lookout for the merger negotiations survey to be released early next week.
Keep in mind that merger negotiations are a different process than regular negotiations. These talks are not under the jurisdiction of the National Mediation Board or Section 6 of the Railway Labor Act, and neither AFA nor management believes that the entire contract is open for discussion. Discussions are focusing on a short list of items. All the provisions in the AFA Alaska contract (scheduled pay raises, etc.) will continue in force for pre-merger Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants; all the provisions in the Virgin America work rules will remain in effect for pre-merger Virgin America Flight Attendants unless modified and/or superseded by the AFA Virgin America letters of agreement.
Our next merger negotiations session is scheduled for October 24-26.
Your JNC – MEC President Jeffrey Peterson, Jennifer Wise MacColl, Jamie Cogen, Lindsey Steele and AFA Senior Staff Negotiator Paula Mastrangelo