- Our Grievance Committee protects all Flight Attendants from arbitrary and unjust disciplinary action and upholds our collective bargaining agreement. This update briefly summarizes the committee’s work over the past quarter.
- Management has issued discipline lately for a variety of reasons. Read on for more information about why management is disciplining and terminating Flight Attendants.
- If you’ve faced a situation that you believe might be a contractual violation, please report the issue through the AFA Alaska Online Support Center.
Our Grievance Committee has been very hard at work ensuring disciplinary due process and contractual compliance on your behalf. Our contract requires a minimum of 13 arbitration dates yearly to dispute discipline/termination cases and contractual issues. Termination cases are usually prioritized to return a Flight Attendant to work as soon as possible; however, we seek a balance between discipline and contractual matters. Our Grievance Committee and management mutually decide which cases to arbitrate next based on many factors.
Steps of discipline are confirmation of oral warning (COW), written warning (WW), suspension (varied number of days), and termination. COWs, WWs, and suspensions remain in a Flight Attendant’s file for 18 months and are then eligible for removal. If a Flight Attendant is in a step of discipline and gets another violation, the new violation will build on the previous one. Management doesn’t always progressively travel up the steps of discipline. If management investigates a Flight Attendant for theft or abuse of sick leave, for example, they will terminate the Flight Attendant if there is evidence to support its findings; if there is no evidence, then the Flight Attendant will most likely be issued a record of discussion (ROD). A ROD is not considered discipline. There is no middle ground for certain violations.
Many Flight Attendants believe they will not get disciplined if they’ve been good employees, have no-to-low attendance points, receive positive passenger comments, are at a certain seniority level, etc. This is not the case; regardless of good working qualities, if management believes a Flight Attendant committed an offense, they will be disciplined.
If a supervisor or manager calls and asks questions about a flight, work-related concern, or disciplinary issue and no AFA Representative is on the call, you should assert that you would like to consult with an AFA Representative and have them present on the call with you before proceeding.
Subject of Most Recent Discipline
- Sick leave and FMLA abuse. Terminations are on the rise due to travel audits among other things. Anything written in the comments/remarks on posted trip trades and personal drops is visible to management, even if eventually deleted. If management determines abuse, it results in termination.
- Theft. Removing anything from the aircraft other than an opened/used box of water, unused pilot crew meal, or purchased food will result in termination.
- Timecard fraud. Example: intentionally delaying boarding door closure to obtain sit pay. Management has terminated for this violation.
- Reserve “Roulette”. Not being within two hours of base for a Reserve Availability Period (RAP) and calling in sick only once given an assignment. Management considers this a terminable violation and regularly reviews the trip trade postings and history related to sick calls. Even deleted trade history or postings can be seen by management.
- Lying in an investigation
- Drug/alcohol violations
- Refusing scheduling revisions or ignoring requests to call Crew Scheduling when contractually obligated to do so
- Reserves commuting during their Reserve Availability Period (RAP), even if self-assigned a trip or not being in base for the entirety of their RAP. Management usually gives a two week suspension on the first offense.
- Social media violations, including sending a friend or follow request to passengers on social media based on information gained from Block2Block.
- Commuter violations (management conducts commuter audits monthly)
- Flight Attendant released from DHD and used D8Y home
- Flight Attendant used D8Y when they picked up out of base
- Flight Attendant used D8Y to/from incorrect cities
- Flight Attendant used D8Y for pleasure travel.
- Lost IMD or other required items
- Failing to complete CBT, even if a Flight Attendant simply forgets to hit the close out button at the top of the window to change the transcript from in process to complete.
- Uniform issues. Flight Attendants can and have been pulled from working their flights without pay for uniform non-compliance.
- Late to gate/flight delay
Section 32.C.5 of the collective bargaining agreement defines a Short Sick Call as “When a Flight Attendant calls in sick less than two hours (2:00) prior to scheduled check-in.” If you do not want to be assessed 2.5 points, you must call in Sick Leave On-Line at Scheduled Check-in per section 32.C.6. The call to Crew Scheduling must occur after scheduled check-in and not simply after you check in on Block2Block.
|July 2023||Disciplinary Grievance|
|August 2023||Contractual Grievances|
|September 2023||Disciplinary Grievance|
|October 2023||Disciplinary Grievance|
Recent Contractual Arbitration Awards
Recent Grievance Settlements
Grievances Recently Mediated
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-60-23-Violation of §19.A and §7.B Disciplinary Meetings and Probationaries. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §19.A & §7.B [Grievance Procedures: Dismissal and Disciplinary Procedure; Probationary Period: Discharge, Discipline or Furlough], past practice, and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it refused to conduct investigatory, work performance, disciplinary and dismissal meetings with probationary Flight Attendants per the contractual meeting requirements with regard to pay, scheduling and union representation.
Details: Probationary Flight Attendants will be issued discipline the same as non-probationary Flight Attendants. Probationary Flight Attendants will also have access to Union representation either via email or via phone/in person depending on the severity of the alleged offense.
Grievances Recently Granted by Management
Grievances Recently Withdrawn
Grievances Recently Filed and Awaiting Management Response
Grievances Recently Filed and Denied
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-215-23-Violation of §10.J.4 Bidding Packet and Bidding Times and Violation of Grievance Settlement 36-99-2-116-18. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §10.J.4 [Scheduling: Bid Packets and Bidding Timelines], Grievance Settlement 36-99-2-116-18, past practice, and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when on or about July 10, 2023, it and/or the NAVBLUE Preferential Bidding System (PBS) vendor did not provide an administrative lock-out function or a mutually agreeable alternate solution to allow for the correction of a technical issue when processing bid awards without opening up the system to all users.
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-248-23- Violation of §32 and Roberts Decision. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §32 [Attendance], past practice, the Roberts Award 36-99-2-49-03, and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it unilaterally rolled out state leave laws on a state-by-state basis rather than applying the most liberal of state leave laws to all Flight Attendants regardless of domicile, thereby disparately treating Flight Attendants within the Collective Bargaining unit, in violation of Roberts.
Grievances Previously Filed, Denied by Management and Currently Awaiting Arbitration Dates
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-22-14-Violation of Required Maternity Leave. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Section 15.D. and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it failed to require Flight Attendants to begin Maternity Leave after the 28th week of pregnancy.
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-55-17-Violation of §21.V Winds Aloft Adjustment of Sit Pay in JCTE. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §21.V [Compensation: “Scheduled” or “Actual” For Minimum Pay Rules (MPRs) and/or Sit Pay], past practice and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when its Jeppesen Crew Access (JCA) trading system displayed each posted trip as a static ‘snapshot’ taken at the time of posting rather than a ‘live’ view, thus denying the Flight Attendant the ability to determine whether a trip is eligible for 1.0 TFP of Sit Pay due to an automated scheduling adjustment (e.g. by the Winds Aloft program).
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-40-19-Violation §25.B Failure to Provide a Safe and Healthy Workplace. This alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §25.B [Air Safety, Health and Security: Safe and Healthy Workplace], past practice and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it failed to provide a safe and healthy workplace when it installed new bulkheads on the retrofitted Airbus (“Aura”) aircraft that effectively renders the aft assist handles near doors L1/R1 as unusable and unnecessarily increases the likelihood and potential severity of Flight Attendant injury during an emergency evacuation.
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-41-19-Violation of §25.D.2 Failing to Notify MEC President and ASHSC of Reconfiguration or Re-design Prior to Final Decision. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §25.D.2 [Air Safety, Health and Security: Safety Information], past practice and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it failed to notify the MEC President of a decision to reconfigure or re-design the interior of the Airbus aircraft and when it failed to discuss with the ASHSC the parties’ interests and concerns for inflight safety prior to making a final decision on the reconfiguration/re-design.
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-162-19- Violation of §12.C.1 Real-Time Trading Procedures Grievance 36-99-2-28-17 Mediated Settlement. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §12.C.1 [Exchange of Sequences: Trading Procedure], past practice, its mediated settlement of grievance 36-99-2-28-17 and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it agreed but failed to adhere to its July 5, 2017, mediated settlement of grievance 36-99-2-28-17: To have AFA and Alaska representatives meet with Jeppesen to explore the capabilities of the system and how to align the front-end with the “real time” experience of the back-end user. This is a continual violation as such meeting did not take place in a reasonably timely manner, and sufficient action was not taken to rectify the underlying system issues.
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-36-20-Violation of §25.B ANC Training Facility. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §25.B [Air Safety, Health and Security: Safe and Healthy Workplace], past practice, and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it conducted Recurrent Training (RT) drills in Anchorage, Alaska in the Ross Aviation Hanger, and on or about February 16-19, 2020, the external temperature ranged from 18 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit and when the hanger door opened, frequently without notice, the internal hanger temperature dropped to as low as 46 degrees. After the external hanger door opened it took approximately two hours with a loud heater to get the internal temperature back up to the low to mid 60s.
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-207-20-Violation of §10, §11.D & §24.L Bundled Scheduling Notifications. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §10 [Scheduling], §11.D [Reserve: Scheduling/Notice of Time to Report] and §24.L [General and Miscellaneous: Company-Provided Inflight Mobile Device (IMD)], past practice, and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when its Jeppesen Crew Access (JCA) scheduling system sent bundled scheduling notifications to Flight Attendants on their Inflight Mobile Devices (IMDs) or directly in Crew Access, requiring Flight Attendants to batch acknowledge or ignore such notifications and thereby resulting in Flight Attendants potentially waiving multiple contractual protections via an extra-contractual point of contact (i.e. Crew Access scheduling notifications).
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-384-20-Violation of §10.S Scheduling Notifications. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §10.S [Scheduling : Pre-Cancellations], past practice, and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it used non-contractual scheduling notifications sent to Flight Attendants via the Crew Scheduling system in order to communicate and assign alternate flying or an obligation to call Crew Scheduling within a specific window of time. If a Flight Attendant accepts such non-contractual scheduling notification(s), which is neither contact by Crew Scheduling via Company email nor via primary phone contact as defined in §10.S.1.a, the scheduling notification(s) violates the contract by abrogating the Flight Attendant’s ability to: (1) decline the alternate assignment and waive pay protection (§10.S.2.b), (2) decline the “out of original footprint by more than two hours” alternate assignment and call Crew Scheduling between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM (local domicile time) the night prior to the start of the original sequence (§10.S.2.c), or (3) waive pay protection and be relieved of any further scheduling obligation (§10.S.3).
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-386-20-Violation of §8.Q & §8.R Contactability and Notification of Delay or Cancellation. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §8.Q [Hours of Service: Contactability] and §8.R [Hours of Service: Notification of Delay or Cancellation], past practice, and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it used non-contractual scheduling notifications sent via the Crew Scheduling system in order to communicate and assign revised flying to Flight Attendants who were off-duty on a remain overnight (RON). Such scheduling notifications are in violation of the contractually defined means of contact and/or the Flight Attendant’s obligation to respond pursuant to these provisions.
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-84-22-Violation of §21.J Ground Delay Pay. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §21.J [Compensation: Block and Ground Delays], past practice, and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it did not pay ground delay pay accumulatively, requiring each delay to go over 11 minutes to be eligible for pay, when a flight (same flight number/same routing) returns to gate one or more times.
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-176-22-California Family School Partnership Act Violation of Past Practice and Roberts Award. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of past practice, the Roberts Award 36-99-2-49-03, and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it unilaterally disallowed the California Family School Partnership Act for those Flight Attendants based in Los Angeles (LAX); then reinstated, with no notice, the state law for LAX based Flight Attendants only, but not for the other California based Flight Attendants in San Diego (SAN) or San Francisco (SFO), and not for the rest of the Flight Attendants based in our system, Seattle (SEA), Portland (PDX) or Anchorage (ANC), in violation of Roberts.