For release to pre-merger AS councils only
Open Time Tentative Agreement reached
Your Negotiating Committee recently reached an agreement in concept with Alaska Airlines management regarding a new Open Time system. As a reminder, the Master Executive Council (MEC) ended the Open Time Trial last July (see “Open Time Trial Cancellation” for additional background). The MEC’s decision was based on overwhelming membership feedback from the Open Time satisfaction surveys and pursuant to Collective Bargaining Agreement §12.F.9 [Exchange of Sequences: Open Time Trial]. The parties have been negotiating a potential successor Open Time system ever since AFA provided notice to management of the cancellation last summer.
The Negotiating Committee presented a draft full text Open Time Tentative Agreement (TA) for the MEC’s consideration two weeks ago. The MEC was impressed with many elements of the proposed new Open Time system, which is in many ways a fusion of the 2012-2015 “Back to Book” Open Time system and the current system. Some highlights of the proposed Open Time system include incorporating the beloved “day for day or greater” trading of Back to Book with the ability to drop into Open Time much like the current system.
The MEC unanimously voted against releasing the Open Time TA due to a lack of implementation guarantees
Despite the Negotiating Committee’s best efforts, management would not agree to implementation guarantees. The MEC and the Negotiating Committee held a special conference call meeting last week to discuss our concerns with a lack of such guarantees. After much consideration, the MEC has unanimously voted against releasing the Open Time TA for membership ratification.
The MEC has heard loud and clear that you expect meaningful and specific implementation guarantees. Therefore, the MEC is sending the Negotiating Committee back to the table to achieve implementation guarantees, and management has been informed of our expectations. Management acknowledged receipt and is planning to meet with Jeppesen in the coming week or so to discuss options.
What is “Back to Book”?
The “Back to Book” Open Time system is the trading system outlined in the 2006-2010 Flight Attendant Agreement as modified by the 2011 AFA Arbitration Award No. 6-99-2-18-11 “Withholding Open Time.” This modified trading system was in place 2012-2015. The contractual language associated with this system is found in CBA §12.F [Exchange of Sequences – Back to Book: Open Time Trading]. The “Back to Book” Section 12 Exchange of Sequences follows the regular Section 12 and precedes Section 13 Uniforms in your contract. The arbitration award follows LOA 6 Contract Implementation Schedule and precedes the index.
Where is “Back to Book”?
Flight Attendants have been inquiring where is the “Back to Book” Open Time system. Management has been citing “IT limitations” as the reason for why reverting “Back to Book” is still delayed: “If reverting, the timeline for rolling back will be dictated by IT limitations” (§12.F.9.a [Exchange of Sequences: Open Time Trial]). Management says that Jeppesen has not had the resources to program “Back to Book” due to all available resources being allocated to implementation of the new crew tracking and trip trading system. However, the next scheduled update to the trading system places Alaska onto the “main branch” of the program, which is more or less the stock version.
Therefore, it seems obvious to AFA that IT limitations can no longer be used as an excuse for why “Back to Book” is delayed. We will be filing a contractual grievance disputing the “Back to Book” implementation delay in the coming days.
AFA will provide an update once management formally responds to the grievance and has an opportunity to meet with Jeppesen to consider implementation guarantees. After all the disappointments with extremely delayed implementation timelines and a disastrously executed transition to the new trip trading system, it’s time to make a stand!
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Linda Christou, Lisa Pinkston, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn, Melissa Osborne, 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