Negotiations Update April 15-18, 2013
Dear Flight Attendants,
This session was a roller coaster of a week for your AFA Negotiating Committee. It started out on a negative note and ended with a renewed commitment to forging ahead and narrowing the gap.
The week started off somewhat contentiously before talks had even started because management disallowed our “Show Us the Money” pin backers over the weekend. Many of you had started to wear the pin backers when the memo came out banning them.
The Master Executive Council was in Seattle to meet with the Negotiating Committee and receive management’s response to our comprehensive proposal. Management did not meet with us on Monday, saying that some on their team did not have the date reserved on their calendars. For us, it was a wasted day and wasted resources.
On Tuesday, a key member of management’s team was unavailable to meet. At this point, we were doubting management’s focus and commitment to Flight Attendant negotiations. We contacted CEO Brad Tilden, who agreed to meet with the MEC and the Negotiating committee that same day. The extended meeting took place at corporate HQ with Brad, COO Ben Minicucci and Vice President Labor Relations Shane Tackett and VP Inflight Services Andy Schneider.
A very frank discussion ensued regarding frustrations with these negotiations and relations between AFA and management. Management reaffirmed their commitment to negotiations and to good labor relations. How to get the talks back on track was the focus of our discussion. All agreed that the parties engaging in some “off the record” discussions might be helpful to jump-start negotiations. As a sign of good faith, the MEC resolved that the officers and the Negotiating Committee would not wear the pin backers during this session.
Negotiations resumed on Wednesday morning. Both teams continued to exchange proposals on non-economic sections: section 3 Scope, S27 Association general, S16 Sick Leave. We are moving closer in all those sections.
We gave a power-point presentation to management detailing Flight Attendants’ loss of real buying power as a result of wages not keeping up with inflation. The presentation highlighted FAs contribution to Alaska’s success and the many awards FAs have earned consistently over the years.
Neither the AFA nor the management negotiating teams passed formal comprehensive proposals this week. However, both sides engaged in detailed discussion about components of the proposals. The mood at the table was much improved from the beginning of the week. At this point in negotiations and as talks progress, the elements of comprehensive compensation proposals may rapidly and significantly change so we will not be reporting out specifics about our proposals. However, we will keep you informed about how negotiations are going in general.
We’ve gotten reports of individual FAs or groups of FAs taking their own solidarity actions such as wearing colored ribbons, etc. While we admire your spirit, we have to caution everyone against taking independent actions not sanctioned by AFA. We do not want to see anyone disciplined over this.
Our next session is in Seattle in less than a week and a half, starting on April 29. Until then, please remember to wear your AFA pin as a sign that your Negotiating Committee has the support of over 3,100 Flight Attendants.
Your Negotiating Committee – MEC President Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Tracy, Karina Cameron-Fetters, Jake Jones and AFA Staff Negotiator Paula Mastrangelo
“Five Bases, One Voice”
AFA Alaska Negotiations channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/AFAALANegotiations
Alaska Airlines Negotiations facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/alaskaairlines.negotiations
[Important: Going forward the Negotiating Committee will read every comment card just like today. However, we will only confidentially publish non-anonymous comment cards. That is, for a comment card to be pushed there must be some identifying information on the card such as a name or arctic number. We will continue to “scrub” the identifying information from the cards when published.]