On July 14th in our Trip Trading Freeze communication, the Master Executive Council (MEC) wrote about our frustrations that starting on the evening of September 30th Alaska Airlines management plans to “temporarily” suspend trip trading for up to 78 hours (although management says they plan to open up trading as soon as they believe it is safe to do so). The reason for the trip trading freeze is in order to transition from Jeppesen Maestro/eMaestro to Jeppesen Crew Tracking Enterprise (JCTE)/Crew Exchange.
A trip-trading freeze of this type would be a contractual violation of CBA §12.C.1. [Exchange of Sequences: Trading Procedures]: “The Company will provide and maintain a real-time electronic system for processing sequence trades, pick-ups, drops and give-aways.” That is just one violated provision of many.
The MEC has spent months attempting to negotiate provisions that would help take the sting out of such a major contractual violation and benefit the operation. The MEC has been trying to achieve an eleventh hour agreement that would be acceptable to our members over the past few weeks. At this point we are completely fed up with management and AFA is filing a grievance on the issue.
Trip-trading freeze negotiations
The MEC would like our members to know exactly how this all went down. When we first learned about the trip-trading freeze, the MEC fairly quickly realized this would cause disruption. However, we could not accept up to 78 hours of contractual violations. Of course the MEC started negotiating provisions on behalf of our members that would recognize how impactful this contractual violation would be as well as to minimize operational exposure. It could have been a “win-win” for all parties.
Paid drop coupons or the equivalent
The MEC’s opening position was one day of paid drop coupons or the equivalent in straight compensation for every Flight Attendant on the payroll for every partial day impacted by the trip-trading freeze (approximately three). Management was absolutely shocked we would open on a position that costs approximately $1 million per day. We told them the proposal was to get their attention and to give us a counter proposal. Negotiations continued.
On the operations side, the parties fairly swiftly honed in on a “Super Reserve” concept that allowed Flight Attendants to be on voluntary call with no requirement to call back. This would help supplement the regular complement of Reserves during the cutover. If flown, a “Super Reserve” would receive the greater of 8.0 TFP or actual flying per day—all at premium pay. The only outstanding issue to be resolved was whether premium was double time (2.0x) or triple time (3.0x)—or somewhere in between. The parties also agreed to a liberalized process for resolving attendance points if Flight Attendants were granted Management Drops pursuant to Section 32 Attendance Policy during the cutover.
Positive Space Tickets, et cetera
Back to management’s “counter proposal.” Management refused to counter anything. The MEC attempted to be “more reasonable” (from management’s perspective) by suggesting every Flight Attendant receive an additional complement of positive space tickets (PST) to supplement our current allotment. We even gave them additional options by signaling that we were open to considering a bump to our Employee Choice travel credits. Nada. Management was concerned about setting a precedent for other employee groups asking for pass-related benefits due to contractual violations.
Attendance points credit
Earlier this week the MEC made a last-ditch proposal in which every Flight Attendant receives a credit of two attendance points (including up to two additional bank points if applicable) effective on or around the cutover date. This proposal was completely no cost and fully discretionary within Inflight (as in there would be no need to seek outside approval from executive management). Inflight management rejected the proposal as “too rich” but that they would consider perhaps one point.
What management thinks you are worth…
Inflight management has stated all along they believe the other provisions (the “Super Reserves” and a liberalized points forgiveness policy for Management Drops issued during the cutover) were good enough to make up for the contractual violation. This is what management thinks you are worth in relation to this unprecedented impact to your flexibility: Alaska Air Group will spend several billion dollars to purchase another carrier, but Inflight management can’t give us something that doesn’t cost a penny!
So…that is why the MEC is done with management for now, and we’re filing a grievance.
Considering how Inflight management is behaving these days, the MEC anticipates more grievances coming in the future.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact your LEC president.
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Yvette Satterlee, Lisa Pinkston, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn, Tim Green and Brice McGee