Note from your Master Executive Council (MEC): This document was prepared by the AFA International office as a resource for flight attendants and is available on the AFA Board of Directors website here as well as on the AFA Alaska website here.
Your AFA Dues 2015: Funding Our Flight Attendant Priorities
As union members, our power comes from two sources:
1) an informed, active membership speaking as one; and
2) all of us contributing dues to resource our priorities.
Member dues maintain the essential programs and services that AFA members rely on every day. Everyone hears about negotiations, contract grievances and due process with job security, but your union dues support so much more – especially since our union is the leading voice on safety, health and security in the cabin.
AFA leaders examine every budget to ensure we can maximize the value of our dues. We are AFA – the dues are simply one way that we all chip in and collectively contribute to defend and advance our careers.
The method established within our Constitution and Bylaws (C&B) ensures that the dues structure is reviewed annually. Prior to the start of each fiscal year, we take a snapshot of the dues average of all CWA members, including AFA, to determine the dues rate for the future budget year. This dues realignment, referred to as the ‘CWA dues average,’ is a part of our Merger Agreement, which was approved by a full AFA membership vote in 2003. Dues may be increased above this dues average in order to support the priorities of AFA members, but through careful review and respectful consideration AFA leaders were able to hold dues to this average dues rate.
AFA is committed to maintaining a sound financial base to support activities that benefit Flight Attendants. Our dues rates are still among the lowest in aviation. Mergers have resulted in AirTran and US Airways AFA members (approximately 20% of our membership) no longer contributing to our collective resources. Despite this resource challenge, locally elected Flight Attendant leaders who form the AFA-CWA Board of Directors successfully adopted a budget to keep that vast majority of our budgets exactly the same. The only change made to budgeting was a restructuring of the number of AFA staff, which reduced the budget maintained by our International Office.
Local, MEC, Negotiations and System Board budgets will remain the same – which maintains our democratic member-driven organization by pushing the $2 monthly dues increase to the budgets that directly fund representation at a local level. Meanwhile, AFA utilized an Early Out option to restructure our professional staff ranks. Although fewer staff remain, we were able to maintain strong AFA Departments of attorneys, professional negotiators, safety, health and security experts, AFA EAP mental health professionals, Government Affairs specialists, Membership Services/Accounting and we are in process of redesigning Communications with new, combined positions.
We were also able to maintain all of the affiliations that keep our voice strong through coordination with other aviation unions, the AFL-CIO resources and national structure as well as coordination with transport unions around the world. This maintains our standing in legislative or policy discussions in Washington, DC and around the world – critically important perhaps more than ever as globalization presents serious threats to our jobs, as well as opportunities if we continue to exercise our voice effectively through our world-wide networks. (See the 2015 International President’s Report for a review of some of this work)
Dues have held relatively steady, increasing just three times over the past 22 years. Beginning in June of this year, our dues will change to $50 per month in accordance with our Constitution and Bylaws. When you consider the voice we have through our union, and all of the work we must do to advance and defend our careers – we are putting our dues dollars to good work. Our collective action, organized through our union and funded by our collective contributions, is what really makes the difference. We are all AFA and we encourage all Flight Attendants to join and stand with us: “We are Stronger Together, Better Together.”
Dues Dollars Help Provide:
- A legally binding negotiated contract.
- Due process to defend our jobs and grievance procedures.
- Professional negotiators and labor attorneys.
- Expert safety, health, and security advocates for your protection.
- A strong voice on Capitol Hill.
- An award-winning AFA Employee Assistance Program.
- Strength in numbers as a member of a democratic, member-driven organization
- Flight Attendant focused advocacy.
We are AFA – our dues are simply one way that we all chip in and collectively contribute to defend and advance our careers.
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Yvette Gesch, Becky Strachan, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn, Sandra Morrow and Stephen Couckuyt