The drastic changes to April flying have resulted in an unprecedented number of ongoing systemwide disruptions to Flight Attendant schedules: pre-cancellations, flight time changes (“re-times”), flight routing changes, et cetera. Flight Attendants are often given revised flying with completely different flight numbers and/or flight routing and initial report times that are many hours earlier than their original report time.
Crew Access notifications
Multiple ‘bundled’ notifications
Multiple ‘bundled’ Crew Access notifications have made the situation even more confusing. Flight Attendants are being inadvertently stuck with unwanted alternative assignments because they acknowledged a Crew Access notification for pay protection. However, they later realize that same “good news” notification was bundled with other notifications for undesirable alternate assignments such as re-times reporting way earlier than originally scheduled. Acknowledging Crew Access notifications is “all” or “nothing.” Consequently, AFA filed a contractual grievance on this issue yesterday.
Confusing contractual citations
Additionally, AFA has become aware that Crew Access notifications have included confusing references to what appear to be contractual citations that are not related to our contract. AFA has confirmed these citations are from the pilot contract, and we have addressed this concern with management. Pilot crew schedulers have been advised by management to stop including the contractual references in the notifications effective immediately.
Disputing re-times and reassignments
AFA filed Grievance No. 36-99-2-45-17 “Violation of §10.S Pre-Cancellation and Schedule Changes” regarding re-times between 15 and 21 minutes back in June 2017 (click here for the July 2017 Grievance Report >). Management sustained the grievance (meaning they agreed the contract was violated) shortly thereafter in July 2017. However, AFA and management disagreed with the remedy (i.e. the “fix”) for the violation, and we have been in negotiations over the remedy since then.
Unfortunately, other developments and shifting priorities continually complicated our efforts: ongoing Crew Access violations, payroll issues, a merger, Open Time negotiations, Recurrent Training and management leadership changes all along the way. We know this sounds like AFA leadership is making excuses, but we want to be transparent about how long we’ve known about the issue, and why it’s still not resolved.
In the meantime, AFA also added several other contractual disputes related to reassignments to the Alternate Dispute Resolution (i.e. pre-grievance) process. The parties have continued to negotiate over a long-term remedy to all the reassignment-related disputes, including re-times. We had been making more progress towards a mutually acceptable solution lately…but then the COVID-19 pandemic happened. The parties will continue to work towards a long-term resolution to the disputes, but AFA and management agree that Flight Attendants need at least a temporary solution in place now.
COVID-19 Schedule Changes Letter of Agreement
Starting tonight at midnight Pacific Time, AFA and management have agreed to temporarily administer all Flight Attendant schedule changes that occur in advance of the day of departure of a sequence just like pre-cancellations under Section 10.S [Pre-Cancellations] with the exception of §10.S.1.c (re: cancellations reported between 8pm and midnight the day prior). This would include flight time changes (i.e. re-times), flight routing changes, etc. This temporary letter of agreement is not a permanent change to contract and will be in effect through the end of May.
Summary of provisions
- Re-times, flight routing changes and other schedule changes that occur in advance of the day of departure of a sequence will be treated just like pre-cancellations except under §10.S.1c. All scheduling obligations and scheduling and pay protection options pursuant to §10.S except for §10.S.1.c apply to pre-cancellations as well as re-times, flight routing changes, et cetera. This includes but is not limited to the following:
- The Company may offer an alternate assignment to open positions that may include multiple sequences on the same day(s) as the original assignment. The Flight Attendant may (1) accept the alternate assignment or (2) decline the alternate assignment and waive pay protection.
- However, if the alternate assignment contains a check-in that is more than two hours earlier and/or a release time that is more than two hours later than the original assignment (“footprint + 2 hours”), then the Flight Attendant may decline and agree to call Crew Scheduling between 6 PM and 8 PM local domicile time the night prior to the day of departure of the original assignment.
- If the Flight Attendant calls back Crew Scheduling between 6 PM and 8 PM local domicile time the night prior to the day of departure of the original sequence, then the alternate assignment offered must operate within the check-in and release times (“exact footprint”) at domicile of the original sequence. If no such alternate assignment exists, then the Flight Attendant will be pay protected and relieved of further scheduling obligation.
- “I didn’t mean to acknowledge the Crew Access scheduling notification and/or I don’t want the new assignment” provision
- A Flight Attendant who acknowledges a Crew Access notification for an unwanted schedule change occurring in advance of the day of departure of the sequence may re-establish her/his scheduling obligations and scheduling and pay protection options under §10.S [Pre-Cancellations].
- The Flight Attendant must call Crew Scheduling prior to 6 PM local domicile time on the day prior to the day of departure of the sequence in order to be eligible for this provision.
- Extension of the “Pre-Cancellations Due To COVID-19 Schedule Changes” LOA (executed 3/28/2020) through May 31, 2020
- Please do not call Crew Scheduling until the day prior to the day of departure of the sequence.
- You may waive pay protection and be relieved of further scheduling obligation by emailing Crew Scheduling (“CrewSked FADesk” <CrewSked.FADesk@alaskaair.com>) no later than one day prior to the date of departure of the sequence.
We know that is a lot of information for one update. The Master Executive Council (MEC) hopes this temporary LOA will provide at least some short-term relief to all the confusion and disruption caused by the COVID-19 schedule changes. As your direct representative on the MEC, your LEC President is available to answer questions that you have about the LOA or the information above. You can find contact information for your LEC President by clicking here.
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Linda Christou, Matt Cook, Terry Taylor, Mario de’Medici, Melissa Osborne, Tim Green and Brice McGee