Q. Why are Virgin employees that have worked as a CSA or in another part of their company having that time counted toward their seniority date as a flight attendant when the merger goes through? This was not ever done for Alaska employees.
A. L-VX Flight Attendants Occupational Seniority is currently determined by they their first day of Inflight Training. For more information on how this will be handled in the integration of the seniority lists, see this webinar video: https://youtu.be/ZyF-eYZMQvE
Occupational Seniority is used for bidding (both schedules and vacation). If a L-VX Flight Attendant had prior service with VX then her/his Company Seniority date would be the original date hired by VX and would apply for pass travel and retirement. This is consistent with how Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants who transferred from another Alaska Airlines department would be handled.
The difference between the two policies is how L-VX Flight Attendants who have had previous VX service are paid. At L-VX if a person transferred internally into the Flight Attendant position, s/he was paid based on Company seniority unlike the policy at Alaska.
In order to address this difference the TA includes the L-VX Red Circle Pay Rates LOA.
If ratified, the LOA takes those Flight Attendants (who worked previously for VX in another department) and holds them at their current step rate until their occupational seniority (or their inflight class) catches up to them. Then they begin to progress through the pay scale as any other Flight Attendant would based on their occupational seniority. The language reads as follows:
1. Effective the last day of the bid month in which ratification of the JCBA occurs, Legacy Virgin America (“Alaska Airbus”) Flight Attendants whose Company Seniority is greater than their VX Occupational Seniority (i.e. date of hire with the Company is prior to their date of hire as a Virgin America Flight Attendant) due to a transfer from another Company job classification will have their pay step “red-circled” at their pay step as determined by their Company Seniority. Such Flight Attendants will remain “red-circled” at that pay step, inclusive of any down-line increases, until their pay step as determined by their Occupational Seniority exceeds their “red-circled” pay step.
2. Once the Flight Attendant’s pay step, as determined by her/his Occupational Seniority, exceeds her/his “red-circled” pay step, then s/he will advance to the appropriate pay step determined by her/his Occupational Seniority. Every anniversary thereafter, the Flight Attendant will advance to the next pay step as determined by Occupational Seniority and receive the appropriate down-line increase(s).”
The JNC’s first proposal to management to address this problem was to allow all AAG employees who were internal transfers to the Flight Attendant position to receive the same application and receive pay based on the Company Seniority. Management refused this proposal as being too costly and potentially having a negative impact to other departments. There was concern it would cause a mass exodus from other operational work groups and that in the end they would stop hiring internally for the Flight Attendant position.
The JNC then had to address the only other alternative which was to bump the current L-VX Flight Attendants who were being paid based on their company seniority several pay steps back to their occupational seniority step. This would have resulted in a loss of pay or no increase for many. The solution that the JNC felt was the most reasonable was to hold them at their pay step until they became equal to their occupational seniority, attempting to do the least amount of harm while phasing out the policy entirely.
For additional information you can watch the TA webinar video on the “Red Circle” LOA here: https://youtu.be/KK2Z9NaGTlM
And find additional questions answered on the “Red Circle” LOA here: