Dear Flight Attendants,
Several Flight Attendants have contacted the Negotiating Committee due to misunderstandings related to management’s latest edition of “Grab & Go.” Please keep in mind that the Grab & Go posted on the Inflight webpage was revised earlier today, so we are referring to the earlier version that is still circulating out there and being discussed on the line.
What is the controversy all about?
“Highlights of Section 14 (Vacations) include the following:
graduated vacation accruals based on annual amount of TFP worked;
vacation pay based on TFP worked; one week of paid time off for
employees with 25 years or more of service who have flown more than
960 TFP in a year.”
Many Flight Attendants have inferred this to mean that AFA has agreed to eliminate all vacation for anybody under 25 years. This is absolutely not the case! All vacation pay is essentially the same as today: 2 full weeks at one year (and prorated if under one year), 3 weeks at 5 years, 4 weeks at 10 years and 5 weeks at 18 years. Flight Attendants with 25 years or more will receive an additional week of paid time off if they have flown 960 TFP in a year (average of 80 TFP per month hard time). No, it’s not a total recapture of the week of vacation lost with the Southwest Agreement in ’94 but it’s a step in the right direction! Finally, the “graduated accruals” concept only applies to those who fly under the 480 TFP. That means Flight Attendants who do not achieve 480 TFP will receive less days of vacation—which are already unpaid under the current agreement—and this will depend on how far below 480 TFP they fly in a year.
By the way, Flight Attendants who do not achieve 480 TFP will no longer have their longevity pay increases held up. Not only that, but Flight Attendants who have been held back under the current agreement due to not achieving 480 TFP in a calendar year will be advanced to their appropriate step rate under the TA. Now that wasn’t in the Grab & Go!
Until we’ve had an opportunity to discuss our concerns regarding the current communications strategy with management and Mediator Gray, we’re going to refrain from commenting any further on the details outlined in the various versions of management’s Grab & Go. However, in our humble opinion management continues to ride the fine line of violating the spirit of our communications agreement. We’ll make sure to pass along to Mediator Gray that our members are missing the communication from AFA and are restless for any news. This is made even more frustrating due to the fact that management is communicating so much!
Some Flight Attendants have asked for clarification to our “Negotiations Update September 9-12, 2013: Mediation Session #3 DCA Recap.” They want to know who “AFA” refers to in the following bullets summarizing the Open Time Implementation Letter of Agreement:
- Quartile System: AFA and management can mutually agree to alter the application. AFA can cancel after six months.
- AFA has the ability to cancel this program after a specified time and it will trigger automatic negotiations on the sections specific to Open Time trading.
“AFA” as referenced above is the Master Executive Council by vote of the Local Executive Council (LEC) presidents per Section VI.B.5.b of the AFA-CWA Constitution & By-laws. The LEC presidents each get one vote which is broken by the MEC president in case of a tie unless there is a roll-call vote. Under the C&B the LEC presidents are given power as your duly-elected representatives to advocate the will of their members. Just remember that these provisions are fail-safe measures in case the trading system proves to be overly restrictive for Flight Attendants or that there is such a broad consensus opposed to the Quartile System that we do not need to or want to wait for the year mark for a membership ratification vote. The MEC would intervene only if action is absolutely necessary. Again, it’s just in case.
Flight Attendants have asked what AFA’s position is on the Company’s employee survey currently underway. The MEC and the Negotiating Committee believe you should take the time to complete the survey but don’t hold back! You may respectively add to or ad lib the following sentiment (or simply copy and paste) in the free form comments section:
“Now that Alaska Airlines is well positioned for the future and making significant profits, we expect recognition for our past sacrifices. Flight Attendants will be appropriately recognized for their contribution to this Company’s success by achieving the Contract they deserve!”
Finally, many have inquired who they should contact on the management negotiating team in response to the Negotiating Committees request to “send the message to management” in our latest negotiations communication. Their team consists of Shane Tackett, Andy Schneider, Elizabeth Ryan, Mike Link and Cindy Petchnik. Since Shane and Andy are the chief spokespersons and ranking officers on their committee, we think it’s appropriate to direct all communications to those two via First Class (Shane.Tackett@alaskaair.com and Andy.Schneider@alaskaair.com). Feel free to use the same paragraph above as a framework for your thoughts. Again, you must be respectful and do not engage in conversation about your personal thoughts regarding bargaining objectives. Just remember the phrase, “My Negotiating Committee speaks for me!”
Our next mediation session is scheduled for October 28-30, 2013, in Washington, DC.
Your Negotiating Committee – MEC President Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Tracy, Karina Cameron-Fetters, Jake Jones and AFA Staff Negotiator Paula Mastrangelo
“Five Bases, One Voice”