Minimum Pay Rules (MPRs) in eMaestro for 11 hours on March 31st
Most of you are probably aware that all Minimum Pay Rules (MPRs) were temporarily displayed in eMaestro for approximately eleven hours between midnight and 11am on March 31st. After the most recent Maestro crew tracking software update that went into effect that night, eMaestro obviously became capable of accepting the new MPR data. The software update was installed in preparation for MPRs to go “live” in May.
Management did not intend to implement MPRs early
Management did not intend to implement MPRs earlier than next month. That position has not changed. The MPR ‘switch’ was flipped “on” inadvertently when incorrect data was entered into a programming table in the Maestro crew tracking program (which also coordinates with eMaestro). Once management became aware of the issue, the table was corrected extremely quickly and the pairing values were immediately updated in eMaestro to their “non-MPR” values.
We probably know what you’re thinking…
The Master Executive Council (MEC) and the Contract Committee probably know what you’re thinking: this is just another example of management being able to “fix” something quickly when it benefits them. (“It’s taken almost five months to get all the MPRs implemented but less than thirty minutes to turn them off!“) Plus now that you know the MPRs are ready to be turned on in eMaesto and it’s just a matter of a few data entries in a table, you’re thinking management should pay the MPRs for the entire month of April at the very least.
Management has agreed to pay MPRs on all eligible sequences that were picked up or traded during the ‘live’ window on March 31st that are subsequently flown
Before we completely go there however (too late?), you should know that management has agreed to pay MPRs on all eligible sequences that were picked up or traded during the ‘live’ window on March 31st that are subsequently flown. The additional good news is that management says there is no need to submit an Activity Claim Form. Inflight administration will be able to track all MPR-eligible trips picked up or traded during the window that are subsequently flown.
Detailed background on the MPR implementation timeline
This information is found after the signature line below.
Management: “We would start the MPRs earlier than May 1st if possible but…”
Several members of management expressed variations on the following sentiment during negotiations: “We would start the MPRs earlier than May 1st if possible but that’s really how long it’s going to take.” Keep in mind these discussions very much influenced the language of the Contract Implementation Schedule in regards to MPR implementation: “One-hundred and twenty days after [Date of Signing (“DOS”)] – but no later than May 1, 2015.”
Management’s reasons MPRs cannot be implemented prior to May 1st
Even if eMaestro appears ready to go now, management reports the Alaska payroll system has not been properly tested with the new MPRs and will not be fully ready until May. AFA and management have even discussed the possibility of implementing MPRs 120 days after the DOS of December 17, 2014. This would be in mid-April and is only about two weeks earlier than the “no later than” date of May 1st.
However, attempting to start MPRs in mid-April would require the payroll system to be fully up to speed no later than early May. This is because any activity in a month is processed in the payroll system shortly after the close of the month and is paid approximately two weeks later on the 20th of the following month. Paying MPRs starting in May provides another full month of testing of the payroll system—all the way up to the first week of June. AFA has vetted management’s estimates regarding the payroll system and finds the estimates to be sound and management’s concerns about implementing MPRs earlier than May 1st to be reasonable.
* * *
We hope you will find this information helpful in order to understand the MPR “glitch” and many of the reasons why it has taken until May 1st to implement the MPRs.
Your MEC—Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Yvette Gesch, Becky Strachan, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn, Sandra Morrow and Stephen Couckuyt; MEC Grievance chairperson Jennifer Wise MacColl; and
Your Contract Committee—MEC President Jeffrey Peterson, Kristy Stratton, Lisa Pinkston, Jake Jones, Christina Frees and AFA Senior Staff Negotiator Paula Mastrangelo
Detailed background on the MPR implementation timeline
Management was adamant that all MPRs could not be implemented immediately
Management was adamant in negotiations that all MPRs could not be implemented immediately. This was due to the complexities of re-programming several interacting systems and further complicated by limited Internet Technology (IT) resources. As it turns out, there really was a lot that required change.
In order to automate MPRs changes were needed in at least four separate processes and five different programs
In order to automate MPRs changes were needed in at least four separate processes: pairing building, pairing bidding, crew tracking, and payroll. Changes were needed in at least five different programs: AOS and Jeppesen (pairing buiding), Navtech’s Preferential Bidding System (bidding), Maestro/eMaestro (crew tracking) and Alaska payroll. If any one of these does not recognize Minimum Pay Rules properly or does not pass along the appropriate information to the next process/program in the series, the entire system breaks down and MPRs would not get paid correctly.
Until all the processes could be automated, management agreed to Sit Pay
Until all the processes could be automated, new or revised MPRs would have to be paid manually. The Negotiating Committee and the MEC strongly advocated for all MPRs to be implemented immediately—even if that required each flight attendant to submit an Activity Claim Form for every MPR until automated. After several impassioned discussions, management agreed to compensate flight attendants for Sit Pay starting on the date of ratification. (The 4 trip duty period minimum and the “midnight to midnight” rule would continue or until superseded by the new MPRs.) Management was very firm there was no way for the Company to ensure the other MPRs would get paid correctly if tracking was done by Activity Claim Form under a manual process.