In This Edition
- ACTION ALERT: Call Congress to Extend the CARES Act Payroll Support Program
- Vanguard Retirement Webinars
- Telephonic Support Groups for Flight Attendants
- Ground Commuting During Significant Weather Events
- Temporary Requalification (RQ) Training Timeline Modification
ACTION ALERT: Call Congress to Extend the CARES Act Payroll Support Program
Government Affairs Committee
We need to generate phone calls to Congress every day. Flight Attendants and family members should be making two calls to the Senate line and one call to the House line.
We are calling for a six month aviation Payroll Support Program extension through March 31, 2021, to protect our jobs. This is the most successful jobs program of the CARES Act and it needs to be extended since COVID-19 cases are again on the rise.
All of aviation labor is standing together to call on Congress to pass a clean extension of the Payroll Support Program before the summer Congressional recess. Waiting until September for this action is too late because October planning will be done and hundreds of thousands of workers will already be told they are out of work. Already, Delta Air Lines pilots and United Airlines workers have received WARN notices.
We need urgent action on this now:
1. Call your Representative and Senators: Flight Attendants and family should make three calls every day. Two to the Senate line and one to the House line.
House: (888) 907-9365
Senate: (888) 848-4824
Hello, I am a constituent calling to ask [Representative]/[Senator] to help save my job as an essential worker. Take legislative action in July to extend the CARES Act Payroll Support Program for aviation workers in order to avoid massive job loss in October. Keep us connected to our jobs, our paychecks, and our healthcare. Thank you for your urgent attention to this.
3. Tell 5 flying partners and your friends and family to do the same!
A CARES Act extension must pass Congress before they recess later this summer. Take action now and plan to keep taking action every day throughout July.
Vanguard Retirement Webinars
As the company will be offering early out packages, your AFA Retirement Committee, in conjunction with Vanguard, the company’s 401(k) plan administrator, will be conducting an online webinar to provide information and answer questions about the planning process for retirement. More information from Vanguard is below.
Switching from earning a paycheck to living off your retirement savings and Social Security is a big change. If you’re within a few years of retiring, learn how you can turn your savings into a steady paycheck. This webinar will help you answer:
- How much will my retirement cost?
- Where will I find the money to pay for retirement?
- How do I make my savings last as long as my retirement?
- How do I invest my money during retirement?
Dates, Times, and Registration Information
Two sessions will be available:
- Friday, July 17 – 10 AM PDT
- Wednesday, July 29 – 1 PM PDT
Advanced registration is required and can be completed using the link below:
If you have any questions about the upcoming webinars, please contact MEC Retirement Committee Chairperson Terry Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Telephonic Support Groups for Flight Attendants
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)/Professional Standards Committee
Build your resiliency by joining these telephonic support groups just for Flight Attendants. Groups are sponsored by your AFA EAP/FADAP and facilitated by a confidential mental health professional. All Flight Attendants are welcome.
Learn some techniques on stress management, decision making under pressure, emotional balance and connect with flying partners during this period of uncertainty in the Aviation Industry. Join any or all sessions. No pre-registration required.
Calls start on Monday, July 13 and are scheduled Mondays (July 13, 20, 27, August 3) and Fridays (July 17, 23, 31, August 7). Each call begins at 12 PM PDT and will last one hour.
(855) 544-2320 or (401) 648-9218
If outside the U.S., follow the directions here.
Ground Commuting During Significant Weather Events
The MEC recently mediated Grievance 36-99-2-30-19, Violation of Section 28.G.2 Ground Commuting Policy. This grievance arose out of the February 2019 snow events. The grievance alleged the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement Section 28.G.2 [Domiciles: Commuter Policy/Ground Commuting Policy], past practice and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when during the February 2019 Pacific Northwest snowstorms, it did not allow Flight Attendants to use the ground commuter policy because the Company did not consider a snowstorm-related ground commuting failure to be unanticipated.
Originally, we sought to arbitrate this grievance, however it seemed better with this particular case to mediate the issue with an unbiased mediator. Arbitration results in a decision made by the arbitrator usually with one side winning and the other side losing; whereas mediation allows both parties to have a say in the outcome. An arbitration award cannot change or add contract language, it may only interpret what was already present, however in mediation the parties may come to agreements about adding or changing language.
The issue was resolved very favorably with the addition of language for ground commuting during significant weather delays. This adds protections for Flight Attendants attempting to get to work whether the weather event is anticipated or not. The new language adds a detailed process for management to follow, thereby removing any subjectivity, which typically was only a detriment to our Flight Attendants.
A complete copy of the sideletter of agreement that includes the newly agreed upon language related to ground commuting during significant weather events has been uploaded to the AFA Alaska website and can be accessed by clicking here.
If you have any questions about the grievance or sideletter of agreement, please contact your Local Grievance Committee.
Temporary Requalification Training (RQ) Timeline Modification
For Flight Attendants returning from a leave of absence or who have been unable to complete Recurrent Training (RT) by the end of their eligibility period, completing Requalification Training (RQ) is a requirement before being able to return to work. Section 30.B.3 of the joint collective bargaining agreement (JCBA) requires management to offer a full RQ class within the first five working days of every month, but this requirement has recently caused significant stress for many of our Flight Attendants. Due to a recent changes in how management interprets the eligibility period of Flight Attendants who are required to take Requalification Training (RQ), the home study CBT that must be completed prior to attending class is no longer made available until the first day of the month when scheduled to attend class. With this change, Flight Attendants who might be scheduled to take RQ on the 2nd of the month would not even have access to the CBT until the 1st of the month.
Due to this very compressed timeline that Flight Attendants are now being given to complete the CBT prior to RQ, the MEC approached management to work to extend the period of time that would be available to complete the CBT prior to class. We were able to reach a temporary agreement with management to extend the contractual requirement for the Company to offer a full RQ class from within the first five working days of the month to having the class offered no sooner than the seventh working day of the month. The temporary agreement also provides pay protection for any affected Flight Attendants between the fifth working day of the month (the contractual requirement to offer class) and the day prior to when the Company actually offers the class. Even with this temporary extension to the Company’s requirement to offer a full dedicated RQ class, Flight Attendants who are due to take RQ may continue to exercise their contractual right to trade into the RQ slot in any regularly scheduled RT class during the month if space is available.
This temporary agreement will take effect with the August 2020 bid month and will remain in effect through at least the December 2020 bid month. A complete copy of the letter of agreement is available on the AFA Alaska website and can be viewed by clicking here.
If you have any questions, please contact your Local Grievance Committee.