In This Edition
- Protect Our Contract – Don’t Perform Duties Belonging to Other Work Groups
- Help End Human Trafficking: Take the Survey
Protect Our Contract – Don’t Perform Duties Belonging to Other Work Groups
Over the course of many decades, all of us have worked hard to improve our working conditions and strengthen our collective bargaining agreement (CBA). These improvements have been achieved through several avenues including demonstrating our solidarity during contract negotiations, lobbying management to make changes that benefit our profession, and rigorously enforcing the contractual language that we have already achieved. It is the responsibility of each of us to continue to protect and defend our contract and hold management accountable for what has been agreed upon by both our Flight Attendants and the Company.
Recently, management has made it known that they are having a particularly difficult time recruiting and retaining frontline employees in various locations throughout the route network. This includes staff who are directly employed by the company, those who are employed by subsidiaries of the company (e.g., McGee Air Services), and contract vendors who provide above- and/or below-the-wing services at various stations. The situation has caused a noticeable impact to the Company’s operations and has resulted in some on-the-ground functions being adjusted or modified due to staffing in some situations.
We all know that Alaska Airlines focuses on hiring Flight Attendants who exhibit kindness and demonstrate a willingness to help. Because these traits are such a pervasive part of our culture, it may be tempting to want to jump in and assist our coworkers from other work groups when we see that they are short staffed. Unfortunately, this causes more harm than good for several reasons.
As previously mentioned, it is up to each of us to protect the provisions of our collective bargaining agreement. Section 24.D of the CBA says in part: “A Flight Attendant will not be required to perform work normally assigned to a cleaner, provisioner, ramp or operations agent.” Just as we expect other work groups to honor our contractual language by not performing Flight Attendant duties and responsibilities, it is similarly important that we respect other work groups and their normally assigned scope of work as well. Doing so protects the security of both Flight Attendant jobs and the jobs of our coworkers in other departments.
Customer service, ramp, mechanics, pilots, fleet service, catering, and other work groups receive specific training to perform their duties that Flight Attendants do not have. We must allow our colleagues to do the work that they have been trained to do to ensure that it is done in compliance with applicable regulations and to company standards. If there are concerns with staffing in a particular department, management needs to receive the corresponding reports of flight delays, complaints from passengers, and performance audit results. These are all indicators that management uses to adjust and ensure that our colleagues in other departments have the support that they need. If this data is skewed to show that no problems exist, then no changes will made by management to ensure proper staffing and service levels.
The best way that Flight Attendants can show support for other work groups who might be experiencing short staffing is by reporting the issue to ensure that it gets attention from the right levels of management. This can be accomplished by submitting a Flight Attendant Irregularity Report (FAIR) detailing the date, flight number, and specifics of the situation (e.g., areas that were skipped/missed, etc.).
If you have any questions, please contact your Local Grievance Committee.
Help End Human Trafficking: Take the Survey
AFA is partnering with United Against Slavery in a global effort to end the scourge of human trafficking. As Flight Attendants and aviation’s first responders, we are uniquely positioned to identify human traffickers and assist their victims.
Human trafficking is a billion-dollar business, but Flight Attendants can be 100,000 Eyes in the Skies to recognize and report it. We can be the ones to make the difference.
Historical efforts to gather and understand information to implement effective solutions for this crime have been a challenge and success seemed unattainable. Why? They have not involved collecting the knowledge that only those on the frontlines have.