Dear Flight Attendants,
The Master Executive Council (MEC) has received quite a bit of feedback in response to the “New Sick Leave Communication” email sent by Managing Director of Inflight Services Ron Calivin, dated April 1, 2014. Many of you have specifically requested the MEC to respond to the communication. In that email, management stated an intent to begin sharing charts and data highlighting one’s sick leave usage and balance. The charts and such will be contained in emails sent following a sick leave event. According to the email, management plans to include de-identified information about the individual’s peer sick leave average and the highest peer sick leave balance as well.
If you did not receive this email in FirstClass, you should contact your base supervisor. AFA has reason to believe management is experiencing continuing issues with their FirstClass distribution lists. This is not the first time in recent memory that AFA has received feedback from our membership indicating problems with Inflight communications via FirstClass. Because not everybody received the communication there is a rumor out on the line that the email (and the new policy) was retracted, but this is not true.
Many Flight Attendants have expressed they are upset with various aspects of the new policy highlighted in the email—particularly the peer comparison. The reality is that management is allowed to communicate with Flight Attendants regarding their sick leave usage as long as such communication is not disciplinary in nature. Flight Attendants may be disciplined for sick leave usage solely pursuant to the Attendance Policy outlined in Section 32 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement—except in the case of sick leave abuse.
If management were in violation of a contractual provision or established practice, AFA would take immediate action by filing a grievance. A Flight Attendant is not required to respond to email(s) sent in response to a sick leave event and the receipt of such email is not disciplinary in nature. Therefore, AFA does not find grounds to object to this new practice. It’s essentially a similar practice as the “get well” communications that management has been sending for some time now following an individual’s sick leave event.
Rest assured the MEC has communicated our members’ feedback to Inflight management. If you are concerned about the April 1st communication and/or aspects of the new policy, we encourage you to contact your base supervisor or Ron Calvin. Inflight management has publicly stated a desire to have open and honest two-way communication, so AFA encourages our members to take them up on the offer. If you think management is being too paternalistic or passive-aggressive, tell them so!
Your MEC—Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Yvette Gesch, Becky Strachan, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn and Sandra Morrow