In This Edition
- Celebrating Hispanic-Latinx Heritage Month
- PBS Subcommittee Appointment
- Why a $5 Starbucks Card is Important to Your Contractual Rights
Celebrating Hispanic-Latinx Heritage Month
Human Rights Committee
September 15 marks the first day of Hispanic-Latinx Heritage Month in the United States. The celebration, which is also referred to as National Hispanic Heritage Month, began as Hispanic Heritage week when it was established by legislation that was signed into law by President Lydon Johnson in 1968. In 1988, the single week event was expanded to a month-long period to be celebrated each year from September 15 to October 15.
September 15 is of significance as it marks the anniversary of independence of the Latin American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico also celebrates independence on September 16, Chile on September 18, and Belize on September 21.
Learn More About Hispanic-Latinx History
You can learn more about the accomplishments of Hispanic-Latinx Americans through some of the dedicated websites and resources below.
- Library of Congress – National Hispanic Heritage Month
- National Archives – Hispanic Heritage Month
- National Park Service – Hispanic Heritage Month
- Smithsonian Institution – Latino Center
- Alaska Air Group Latin Culture Resource Group (LCRG) – Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month (AAG sign-on required)
Hispanic-Latinx Heritage Month AFA Pins Coming in 2022
The AFA Executive Board recently passed a resolution recognizing Hispanic-Latinx Heritage Month and providing for the creation of a new diversity AFA pin in celebration. You can read the complete text of the resolution by clicking here. The new pin will be undergo the design and development process over the next year and will be made available in September 2022.
If you have any questions, please contact your Local Human Rights Committee.
PBS Subcommittee Appointment
Master Executive Council (MEC)
Our Master Executive Council (MEC) conducted interviews this week for an additional PBS Subcommittee Member as previously announced in the August 6 AFA Update email. The MEC would like to thank the candidates who demonstrated willingness to represent our Flight Attendants. After thorough consideration, the MEC has appointed SAN-based Flight Attendant Steven Patronsky to the position.
Representing the membership and upholding contract compliance are the aspects of the work that most excites Steve about being appointed to the PBS Subcommittee. His volunteering history for AFA includes work on the Scheduling and Hotel Committees. Steve’s recent accomplishments include completing a Master’s Program at the University of Central Florida and remodeling a 50’s era Mid-Century home in Orlando.
About the Position
The PBS Subcommittee, part of the Scheduling Committee, works with the company and the Inflight Crew Planning Department to maintain the company’s preferential bidding system and oversee the bidding and bid award processes. The Subcommittee represents and advocates for the MEC position in matters pertaining to bidding and the preferential bidding system. Additional information about the position and subcommittee can be found by clicking here.
Why a $5 Starbucks Card is Important to Your Contractual Rights
In early 2020, our Grievance Committee included information in an AFA Update about a settlement agreement related to management issuing $5 Starbucks cards to ANC-based Flight Attendants for meeting an attendance goal back in 2015. You can read the original communication from March 25, 2020 by clicking here (scroll to the Grievance Committee Update article, then the Recent Settled Grievances heading). Due to the pandemic and other administrative issues, management is just now distributing the Starbucks card as agreed upon.
So Why Is This Important?
The issue at hand isn’t so much about the amount of the Starbucks card but rather what management did wrong. The priority of our Grievance Committee is to ensure that management complies with our collective bargaining agreement (CBA). In this case, management violated the CBA by awarding gift cards to a particular group of Flight Attendants for having better attendance rates than others without negotiating it with AFA. Gift cards, which have a dollar value, are considered a form of compensation which is a negotiated part of our CBA.
If our Grievance Committee had failed to address this contractual violation, regardless of how small it may seem, it could open the door to management making other attempts to change our compensation or working conditions in violation of the CBA. This settlement agreement protects your rights and makes all Flight Attendants equal in terms of the CBA. Although it may only be $5 to each Flight Attendant, the overall cost to management for the settlement agreement is significant and a reminder not to violate the language in our contract.
If you have questions about the settlement agreement or reasoning behind it, please feel free to reach out to your Local Grievance Committee.