Dear Flight Attendants,
Your AFA-CWA Alaska Master Executive Council (MEC) is pleased to report two beneficial changes to Section 16 [Sick Leave/On the Job Injury] that impact Flight Attendants who are on a medical leave of absence (MLOA) or worker’s compensation leave of absence (WC).
In 2012 we became aware that the Company was misapplying Section 16.H:
“During a leave of absence of thirty (30) days or more, granted to a Flight Attendant, sick leave will continue to accrue at a rate of seven (7) TFP per month for a period not to exceed ninety (90) days.”
We discovered that unless an illness or injury conveniently began on the first of a bid month and ended on the last day of a bid month, the appropriate sick leave accrual was not being credited. For example, if a sixty-day leave began on May 15 and ended on July 15, only seven TFP would have been credited for the full bid month on leave (June). If a leave had begun May 15 and ended June 29, no sick leave would have accrued because there no was no full bid month on leave. Consequently, we filed a grievance—a grievance which was recently settled. This is the full settlement document: 36-99-02-14-12 Settlement 2013-09-19.
We are pleased to announce that for the first ninety (90) days of a medical, maternity or worker’s compensation leave of absence, sick leave accrual will now be credited for each thirty (30) day period at seven (7) TFP per month, regardless of start and end dates. If there are additional days beyond thirty (30), sick leave accrual will be prorated at the rate of twenty-three hundredths (0.23) TFP per day for a partial month rounded to the nearest tenth (0.1) TFP (not to exceed 21 TFP).
Flight attendants who have been on a leave of absence that overlapped or began after September 14, 2012, will have the additional accrual credited to their sick leave banks. The adjustment process was completed by Inflight Administration and is reflected on your December 20th flight crew pay sheet. You will not see a specific line item that reflects the additional TFP. It has been added directly into the total for December.
In order to verify the amount credited take your November sick leave bank total, then add December’s accrual amount (this is for S/L earned on TFP flown or credited) then subtract that from your total. The difference is the amount you have been credited as a result of the grievance. We realize that it would be much easier if there was just a line that referenced the amount credited for the correction and your normal accrual but unfortunately the flight crew pay sheet is not set up to do so.
If you believe that you should have received this sick leave accrual and you don’t see it on your December 20th flight crew pay sheet, or you have any questions regarding the amount, contact Inflight Pay and Leave Analyst Supervisor Debbie Bakke via email (Debbie.Bakke@alaskaair.com) or at (206) 392-6139. Also contact Debbie if you are on a leave of absence and need to use the additional sick leave.
In addition your MEC has agreed to early implementation of the agreed upon tentative agreement (TA) change to Section 16 C. Currently, this language only allows a F/A on an approved medical-related leave of absence to use sick leave to supplement her/his income up to no more than ninety (90) TFP per month. This also applies to those who coordinate sick leave with Short Term Disability (STD) or California State Disability.
Effective December 12, 2013, a Flight Attendant may opt to use sufficient sick leave to be paid up to 120 TFP: AFA LOA 2013-12-02-A Section 16.C 70-120 TFP of Sick Leave. Those Flight Attendants who are currently on an approved medical-related leave will have a one-time ability to change the amount of sick leave that they are using if they wish to do so. Those who wish to make a change to the amount of sick leave they are using on an applicable medical leave should contact their payroll administrator no later than Sunday, January 5, 2014. This will enable you to make a one-time change to use up to one hundred twenty (120) TFP of sick leave beginning December 2013 and effective for the duration of your approved medical-related leave.
Because of the very short lead time until the deadline of January 5, 2014, we encourage any affected Flight Attendants to review their flight crew pay sheets and contact Inflight administration if appropriate as soon as possible!
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Terry Taylor, Yvette Gesch, Melanie Buker, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn and Sandra Morrow; MEC Benefits & Retirement Chair Terry Taylor; MEC Grievance Chair Jennifer Wise MacColl; and AFA Senior Staff Attorney Kimberley Chaput