In This Edition
- Grievance Committee Update
- Join the Delta AFA Campaign
- UNCF Commitment Aircraft
- Mental Health Awareness Month
Grievance Committee Update
Our Grievance Committee has been very hard at work ensuring disciplinary due process and contractual compliance on your behalf. The collective bargaining agreement (CBA) requires a minimum of 13 arbitration dates yearly to dispute discipline/termination cases and contractual issues. AFA typically prioritizes termination cases to return a Flight Attendant back to work as soon as possible; however, we seek a balance between discipline and contractual cases. AFA and management mutually decide which cases to arbitrate next based on many factors.
Steps of discipline are confirmation of oral warning (COW), written warning (WW), suspension (varied number of days) to termination. COWs, WWs, and suspensions remain in the Flight Attendant’s file for 18 months, and then are removed. If a Flight Attendant is in a step of discipline and gets another violation, the new violation will build on the previous violation. Management doesn’t always progressively travel up the steps of discipline. There is no middle ground or progressive discipline for certain violations. If management investigates a Flight Attendant for theft or abuse of sick leave, for example, management will terminate the Flight Attendant if there is evidence to support its findings; if there is no evidence, then the Flight Attendant will most likely be issued a record of discussion (ROD). A ROD is not considered discipline.
For Your Information – Block2Block Team Messaging
Everything that Flight Attendants and other employees type in the team messaging feature of Block2Block is recorded, saved, and regularly reviewed by management. Anyone in the company who has access to the system can log on to a flight and use the system to communicate or just see what is being said. Also, if they choose, they can go back and review conversations from past flights.
Subjects of Most Recent Discipline
- Sick leave and FMLA abuse—terminations on the rise due to travel audits among other things. Anything written in the advertising comments on trip trades and personal drops can be seen, even if later deleted. Also, recorded telephone conversations with Crew Scheduling can be referenced for use by management in discipline. If management determines abuse it results in termination. The Company will be looking at sick leave patterns around holidays as well. This means, for example, if a Flight Attendant has called in sick for 3 of the last 3 Mother’s Days, s/he may be called in for a sick leave abuse meeting.
- Timecard fraud—for example: delaying boarding door closure to obtain sit pay. Management has terminated for this violation.
- Drug/alcohol violations
- Theft. Anything other than an opened/used bottle of water, unused pilot crew meal or purchased food removed from the aircraft will result in termination.
- Harassment and discrimination
- Reserve Flight Attendants commuting during the reserve availability period (RAP) even if self-assigned a trip and/or not being in base for the entirety of the RAP (except as provided for in §11.C.5 on the last day of the block). Management has terminated for commuting during the RAP several times.
- Commuter Violations
- Flight Attendant released from DHD and used D8Y home
- Flight Attendant used D8Y when they picked up out of base
- Flight Attendant used D8Y to/from incorrect cities
- Flight Attendant used D8Y for pleasure travel. Commuter audits are being used for researching whether commuting reserve Flight Attendants are in base for their full RAP, and if not, it typically results in termination.
- Social media violations including sending friend or follow requests to passengers on social media based on information gained from Block2Block. Also, postings which can be deemed harassing or discriminatory typically result in discipline ranging from written warning to termination.
- Lost IMD or other required items
- Failing to complete CBT—even if Flight Attendant just forgets to hit the close out x at the top to switch it from in process to complete.
- Uniform Issues—Flight Attendants can and have been pulled from working their flights without pay for uniform non-compliance and/or issued discipline.
Recent Arbitration Awards
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-29-20-Violation of §30.C.4 Computer Based Training (CBT). The Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement [Training], past practice, and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when on or about January 21, 2020, it significantly increased the number of evaluated drills conducted during recurrent training (RT) and considerably changed the requirements to demonstrate proficiency and pass said drills. To pass all 36 drills with the required perfect score, the Company published 39 videos for Flight Attendant viewing with total watch time of 39 minutes and 40 seconds, none of which Flight Attendants were compensated for watching.
Details: Unfortunately, the arbitrator found in favor of the Company. The arbitrator did recognize the merits of the Union’s case; however, the CBA did not provide for the decision for which we hoped.
Recent Grievance Settlements
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-45-17-Violation of §10.S Pre-Cancellation and Schedule Changes. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §10.S [Scheduling: Pre-Cancellation], past practice and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it altered Flight Attendant schedules due to a schedule change/flight retiming using inapplicable Pre-Cancellation language without prior notice to or approval from AFA.
Details: All pre-cancellations, retimes, flight routing changes and aircraft downgrades that occur in advance of the day of departure of a sequence will be handled under §10.S [Pre-Cancellations] beginning Tuesday, June 1, 2021, at 12:01 AM Pacific Time. Click here to read the settlement agreement.
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-144-19-Violation §13.D.1 Uniform Allotment and Optional Pieces. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §13.D.1 [Uniforms: Uniform Allotment/Credits], past practice and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it refused to give Flight Attendants the ability to purchase Luly Yang inspired by Alaska Airlines optional uniform pieces (which are or will be available for purchase at the Alaska Airlines Company store) with their contractual uniform allotted funds.
Details: The Company is not obligated to sell Luly Yang items at the Company Store; however, if it does, all Luly Yang items will be sold at cost to all Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants. Click here to read the settlement agreement.
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-165-19- Violation of Vacation Trading Past Practice. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement § 14 [Vacation], an established past practice, and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it violated an established past practice for a real-time, electronic vacation trading system and the subsequent failure of that system to allow SEA-based Flight Attendants to access and trade vacation at the established start time.
Details: On or about October 28, 2019, the Company’s Flight Attendant vacation trading system went down for 20 minutes affecting many Flight Attendants’ ability to trade their vacation. Approximately 57 Flight Attendants contacted AFA due to the outage. The Company agreed to pay each of those 57 Flight Attendants 1.0 TFP no later than their March 19, 2021, paycheck. Click here to read the settlement agreement.
Grievances Recently Filed and Denied
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-384-20-Violation of §10.S Scheduling Notifications. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §10.S [Scheduling: Pre-Cancellations], past practice, and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it used non-contractual scheduling notifications sent to Flight Attendants via the Crew Scheduling system in order to communicate and assign alternate flying or an obligation to call Crew Scheduling within a specific window of time. If a Flight Attendant accepts such non-contractual scheduling notification(s), which is neither contact by Crew Scheduling via Company email nor via primary phone contact as defined in §10.S.1.a, the scheduling notification(s) violates the contract by abrogating the Flight Attendant’s ability to: (1) decline the alternate assignment and waive pay protection (§10.S.2.b), (2) decline the “out of original footprint by more than two hours” alternate assignment and call Crew Scheduling between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM (local domicile time) the night prior to the start of the original sequence (§10.S.2.c), or (3) waive pay protection and be relieved of any further scheduling obligation (§10.S.3).
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-386-20-Violation of §8.Q & §8.R Contactability and Notification of Delay or Cancellation. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §8.Q [Hours of Service: Contactability] and §8.R [Hours of Service: Notification of Delay or Cancellation], past practice, and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it used non-contractual scheduling notifications sent via the Crew Scheduling system in order to communicate and assign revised flying to Flight Attendants who were off-duty on a remain overnight (RON). Such scheduling notifications are in violation of the contractually defined means of contact and/or the Flight Attendant’s obligation to respond pursuant to these provisions.
For more information, including the status of previously filed grievances, please visit the Grievance Committee Activity Page.
Please contact your Local Grievance Committee if you have any questions about the Grievance Committee update.
Join the Delta AFA Campaign
Volunteer Delta Air Lines Flight Attendants have been actively working to organize and build their Union and AFA continues to support them in their efforts. Activities are continuing to ramp up and the AFA organizing team is seeking Flight Attendants from Alaska and other AFA airlines who would like to get involved. If you have personal connections with Delta Flight Attendants, commute or travel regularly on Delta, or are interested in supporting the organizing effort, please take a moment to complete the online contact form or scan the QR code to the right.
Want to Know More?
You can read more about the Delta AFA organizing campaign at https://www.deltaafa.org.
UNCF Commitment Aircraft
Human Rights Committee
On April 26, 2021, Alaska Airlines proudly received its newest livery, an aircraft that symbolizes the Company’s support for education and equity – called “Our Commitment.” This aircraft was inspired and designed in partnership with the Air Group Black Employees (ABEA) business resource group and others. The profiles on the side of the aircraft are 14 children and grandchildren of Alaska’s employees. Located at the L/R1 doors are two inspirational quotes: “The time is always right to do what is right,” (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) and “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world” (Nelson Mandela).
Alaska’s partnership with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) began in 1991. Over the years, Alaska has supported UNCF’s fundraising efforts through donating tickets and event sponsorship. In 2017, UNCF became a LIFT Miles partner enabling students to attend college tours and travel back and forth during school semesters at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This is like other partnerships and sponsorships the Company presently has with many colleges and universities throughout the route network.
As this aircraft travels around our system, it represents Alaska’s commitment to promote equality and education. It encourages us as an airline to do the right thing by amplifying the conversation around education and equity.
If you have any questions, please reach out to your Local Human Rights Committee.
Mental Health Awareness Month
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)/Professional Standards Committee
If you have a mental health condition, you’re not alone. One in 5 American adults experiences some form of mental illness in any given year. And across the population, 1 in every 20 adults is living with a serious mental health condition such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or long-term recurring major depression. Unfortunately, many people don’t seek treatment or remain unaware that their symptoms could be connected to a mental health condition. Trying to tell the difference between what expected behaviors are and what might be signs of a mental illness isn’t always easy. Each illness has its own symptoms, but common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents can include the following:
- Excessive worrying or fear
- Feeling excessively sad or low
- Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
- Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
- Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
- Avoiding friends and social activities
- Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
- Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
- Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
- Changes in sex drive
- Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don’t exist in objective reality)
- Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior, or personality (“lack of insight” or anosognosia)
- Overuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
- Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”)
- Thinking about suicide
- Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
- An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance
If you’re concerned about any of these signs either in yourself, a love one or a flying partner, please reach out to your AFA EAP Committee for confidential support and assistance. Call (949) 470-0493 or locate your local AFA EAP Committee Members at https://afaalaska.org/eap.