The Recurrent Training (RT) program for 2020 was unveiled with many significant changes: two days rather than one, verbatim drills, instructor vs. evaluator, the list goes on. Unfortunately, what we didn’t expect was how disorganized and unprepared Inflight Training management would be in delivering this new program. In our last communication about Recurrent Training (January 16, 2020), AFA informed Flight Attendants of the approved exceptions to the “verbatim” evacuation commands when management was unwilling to communicate. Why is management reluctant to be forthright and honest? Management should be held to the same standards they expect us to uphold.
Communication from management to the Flight Attendants has been abysmal at best. The core value of “Deliver Performance” in the Company’s Service Framework says, “I’m accountable and responsible for the success of the operation.” This is followed by, “know and perform my role,” “execute operational timelines,” “use time and resources wisely” and “collaborate across roles to ensure the team’s success.” Management has missed the mark on each. The same value states, “I take initiative to provide accurate and timely information,” which management has failed to do since the chaos of RT 2020 started. Management can keep throwing apologies out, but there is no accountability and no repercussions for them despite the many consequences Flight Attendants have experienced as a result of management’s actions.
Did you know that Instructors have been required to go through up to three different “calibration trainings” due to changing expectations, unclear standards and poor communication? Training materials are constantly being updated for Flight Attendants and Instructors sometimes after class begins, which could mean the difference between a successful or unsuccessful drill. Training management has also been unclear in their communications with base leadership and scheduling leadership, which has set those leadership groups up for being unable to help Flight Attendants or answer their questions.
Failure rates for the drill evaluations in some locations have been as high as 45%. What is meant by a failure rate? You have two attempts at each evaluation to successfully complete the drill. If you do not pass those two attempts, then you are allowed to complete RT but immediately pulled off the line and your Known Crewmember (KCM) access and jumpseating privileges are revoked until you go through remediation training and successfully pass the drill. More information about remediation training and the associated “Special Track” training program will be shared in the next RT communication, which will be published by AFA tomorrow.
We cannot continue RT 2020 on this track. With change there is understandably some stress attached. However, the level of stress added to both Flight Attendants and Instructors is out of control, and something needs to be done. Vice President of Inflight Ron Calvin and his team need to come together and make things right. This was their mess to begin with, and they are not meeting the same standards of near perfection they require from our workgroup. Management can and must do better.
The MEC requested a meeting with management as soon as possible to discuss these failures, and we are hoping management will meet with us next Tuesday. We want management to acknowledge the poor development of RT 2020 drill evaluations, the abysmal execution of the program so far, and the lack of communication and lack of transparency that has caused so much angst amongst our group. What will be done to rectify this unacceptable situation?
To be clear, the MEC takes issue with management in this debacle. We fully support our Instructors and their desire to provide a neutral, fair and supportive environment at each training location.
Stay tuned for the next RT update tomorrow!
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Linda Christou, Matt Cook, Terry Taylor, Mario de’Medici, Melissa Osborne, Tim Green and Brice McGee