This message is for pre-merger Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants
On Tuesday, March 13, AFA released information about the April bid re-award that recently took place. The initial need for a re-award came about after several bid protests were filed based on the original April line awards. After further investigation, the protests were found to be valid and the error occurred due to programming in the new web app user interface of Navblue PBS. The programming error affected the bids of 22 Flight Attendants which required that action be taken to properly honor those bids. Resolving the bid protests was bound to have an impact on the previously awarded lines of Flight Attendants beyond those who initially filed bid protests.
After Navblue corrected the necessary programming but prior to running the bid re-awards, Crew Planning and the PBS Committee had the need to perform some administrative work in PBS to ensure that Flight Attendant bids properly reflected those that were originally entered prior to bids closing on March 10th. Performing this work required that PBS be switched back into the normal bid entry mode so that the necessary work could be done. The system does not contain the ability to be switched into a “maintenance” or “offline” mode where administrators can work in the system while preventing Flight Attendants from also making entries. As a result of this, it was also possible for Flight Attendants to log in to the system and make bid entries during the period of time that the administrators were in the system verifying the integrity of original bids.
Section 10.J.4 of the Flight Attendant collective bargaining agreement states that a Flight Attendant must submit her/his bid by 9 AM Pacific time on the 10th of the month prior to the bid period. Management’s failure to have PBS properly programmed to prevent additional bid entries while the administrators were working in the system has resulted in a clear contractual violation. At no time did AFA agree to an exception or waiver to this contractual provision.
The MEC had substantial discussion regarding what transpired, including the possibility of requesting that a full re-bid be conducted for the month of April. The option of a full re-bid was determined to be unfeasible as it would have had a greater negative impact on Flight Attendants, especially those who would be unable to participate in the re-bid (on vacation, etc.) as well as those who had planned their schedules around the F/A-to-F/A and Open Time trading timeline.
AFA will be pursuing resolution to the contractual violation through the grievance process and every other avenue at our disposal. The MEC Grievance Committee has already filed grievance number 36-99-2-116-18 addressing management’s failure to comply with the contractual bidding timeline. We will also be calling for a meeting with inflight management to have additional conversation about the new Navblue PBS user interface, the associated programming errors, and the necessary steps that need to be taken to prevent reoccurrence of a similar situation.
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Linda Christou, Lisa Pinkston, Terry Taylor, Mario de’Medici, Melissa Osborne, Tim Green and Brice McGee