In This Edition
- REMINDER: Call Congress to Extend the CARES Act Payroll Support Program
- Onboard Service Expansion
- Free Online Learning Course—African American History: From Emancipation to the Present
- REMINDER: Flight Attendant COVID-19 Survey
- Grievance Committee Update
REMINDER: Call Congress to Extend the CARES Act Payroll Support Program
Government Affairs Committee
Keep up the pressure on our lawmakers to do the right thing and extend the CARES Act Payroll Support Program. The House of Representatives is scheduled to break for recess on July 31st and the Senate on August 7th. Make your calls today and every day!
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.
Onboard Service Expansion
Master Executive Council (MEC)
Last week, management implemented an expansion of onboard service by increasing beverage choices for passengers and re-introducing hot beverages as an available menu option. This expansion of onboard service took place despite vocal objections by our Master Executive Council (MEC), Inflight Service Committee, and Air Safety, Health, & Security Committee (ASHSC). Among these objections are management’s failure to adequately address the increased risk of exposure that our Flight Attendants are facing due to the additional time being spent interacting with passengers to offer the prescribed service. In light of the recent nationwide increase in COVID-19 cases and many jurisdictions postponing or rolling back plans to reopen businesses, the expansion of onboard service seems counterintuitive and does not indicate that management is serious about “owning safety”.
The MEC is currently developing a survey to gather more information about the specifics of how the expanded onboard service has impacted our Flight Attendants. More information will be available in soon in another AFA update.
Free Online Learning Course—African American History: From Emancipation to the Present
Human Rights Committee
Yale University is currently offering a free course on African American history taught by Jonathan Holloway. Professor Holloway was Professor of History, African American Studies, and American Studies at Yale University and Dean of Yale College.
This course represents a unique opportunity to assist in fulfilling our union’s promise to redouble our efforts to seek out, listen to, and amplify the voices of black and brown Flight Attendants within our Union and to address the systemic racism in our Union, our industry and our nation.
Additional information about the course can be found in the excerpt below from the Yale University website. You can access the course directly by clicking here.
About the Course
The purpose of this course is to examine the African American experience in the United States from 1863 to the present. Prominent themes include the end of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction; African Americans’ urbanization experiences; the development of the modern civil rights movement and its aftermath; and the thought and leadership of Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X.
Warning: Some of the lectures in this course contain graphic content and/or adult language that some users may find disturbing.
This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 50 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Spring 2010.
REMINDER: Flight Attendant COVID-19 Survey
As a reminder, AFA International is currently running a Flight Attendant COVID-19 Survey to collect Flight Attendants’ experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is essential to our work with our airlines, the federal government, and Congress to get your feedback.
Is there available PPE at work? Have you tested positive for COVID-19? How many trips have you worked since March? What’s your experience with aircraft cleaning? Are you on leave?
All individual responses will be de-identified, kept confidential and only utilized publicly in the aggregate.
Grievance Committee Update
The Master Executive Council (MEC) has been very hard at work ensuring disciplinary due process and contractual compliance on your behalf. The contract requires a minimum of 13 arbitration dates yearly to dispute discipline/termination cases and contractual issues. AFA typically prioritizes termination cases in order 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 a 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. 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. There is no middle ground for certain violations.
Subject of Most Recent Discipline
- 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. (Temporarily there are Covid-19 exceptions).
- Sick leave and FMLA abuse—Terminations on the rise due to travel audits among other things. Anything written in the comments posting of trip trades and personal drops can be seen, even if eventually deleted. If management determines abuse it results in termination.
- Timecard fraud—For example: Holding the door open to obtain sit pay. Management has terminated for this violation.
- Drug/Alcohol violations
- Reserves commuting during reserve availability period even if self-assigned a trip. Management has terminated for this reason several times.
- Social media violations Including “friending” passengers on FB from information gained from the IMD
- 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
- Lost IMD or other required items
- Failing to complete CBT—even if FA just forgets to hit the close button within Cornerstone to switch the CBT from in process to complete.
Recent and Upcoming Arbitration/Mediation
Recent Arbitration Awards
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-52-17-Violation of §§11.H.3.b & 11.H.4 JCTE Denying Unlimited Trading of Reserve Days Due to Classification as a Reserve Block Split. This grievance alleged the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §§11.H.3.b & 11.H.4 [Reserve: Reserve Exchange of Days, Pick-Ups and Trades/Reserve Day/Blocks], past practice and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when its Jeppesen Crew Access (JCA) trading system denied unlimited trading of reserve days pursuant to §11.H.4 due to JCA incorrectly classifying such trade as a reserve block split pursuant to §11.H.3.b.
Arbitrator’s Decision: The grievance is denied. Alaska Airlines did not violate Sections 11.H.3.b & 11.H.4 and/or any and all related sections of the collective-bargaining agreement or past practice when its Jeppesen Crew Access trading system denied transactions where Reserve Flight Attendants sought to give away less than an entire block more than once per month. Alaska Airlines properly classified these transactions as a reserve block split pursuant to Section 11.H.3.b.
Recent Grievance Settlements
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-30-19-Violation of §28.G.2 Ground Commuting Policy. This alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §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.
Details: See the July 13, 2020 AFA Update for more information.
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-159-19-Violation of §11.F, §11.F.13 and §11.D.2.c Airport Standby Reserve and On Duty at 4:29 am. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §11.F [Reserve: Airport Standby], §11.F.13 [Reserve: APSB on Duty at 4:29 am] and §11.D.2.c [Reserve: Notice of Time to Report], past practice and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when it failed to or inconsistently compensated Flight Attendants when they were: 1) Sitting airport standby (APSB) prior to 4:29 am; 2) Sitting APSB prior to 4:29 am and while on said APSB was given a flight assignment prior to 4:29 am; and 3) Sitting APSB prior to 4:29 am and while on said APSB was given a flight assignment after 4:29 am.
- Reserve Flight Attendants sitting airport standby (APSB) prior to 4:29 am local domicile time who do not receive a flight assignment during APSB:
- Will be compensated pursuant to §11.D.2.c at one and one-half times (1.5x) the trip rate in that duty period of which one-half times (0.5x) the trip rate will be paid above guarantee for the APSB assignment if the Flight Attendant receives less than nine (9) hours’ notice of the APSB assignment; or
- Will be compensated straight time (1.0x) towards the reserve guarantee for the APSB assignment if the Flight Attendant receives at least nine (9) hours’ notice of the APSB assignment.
- Reserve Flight Attendants sitting APSB prior to 4:29 am local domicile time and while on said APSB are given a flight assignment prior to 4:29 am will be compensated one and one-half times (1.5x) the trip rate for all TFP flown or credited or APSB in that duty period of which one-half times (0.5x) the trip rate will be paid above guarantee.
- Reserve Flight Attendants sitting APSB prior to 4:29 am local domicile time and while on said APSB are given a flight assignment after 4:29 am will be compensated one and one-half times (1.5x) the trip rate for all TFP flown or credited or APSB in that duty period of which one-half times (0.5x) the trip rate will be paid above guarantee.
Click here to view the complete settlement agreement.
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-116-18-Violation of §10.J.4 Bidding Timelines. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Section 10.J.4 [Scheduling: Bid Packets and Bidding Timelines], past practice, and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when on or about March 13, 2018, management re-opened its Preferential Bidding System (PBS), NAVBLUE, for a full bid re-award for April 2018 because it was not programmed to match the bid “duty on” preference on the new web application user interface. However, due to system limitations the re-award required the PBS to reopen which allowed access for Flight Attendants to submit new bids after the contractual bid submission deadline.
Details: The Company and AFA will The parties will actively work on installing an administrative lock-out function (or other mutually agreed upon solution) in the NAVBLUE bidding system (or any successor system). The lock-out function will allow the ‘back end’ of the bidding system to be opened for bid protests, technical issues, or other adjustments while locking out Flight Attendants from altering their bids on the ‘front end’. It is unknown whether NAVBLUE can accommodate a lock-out function exactly as described in this paragraph. If it is not possible, the parties will work together and mutually agree on the alternate solution and how it would work. If an alternate solution is not mutually agreed upon, AFA reserves the right to refile this grievance.
Compensatory Settlement: The Company will pay compensation to all Flight Attendants whose adjusted April 2018 bid resulted in a loss of four (4) or more TFP and at least one day of flying from their original April 2018 bid. Approximately 150 Flight Attendants are in this pool, plus two additional Flight Attendants who do not meet the requirements but whose situations present unique circumstances that warrant settlement. The total TFP amount to be paid out is 1130.6 TFP. A list of said Flight Attendants will be provided to the Company by the Association pursuant to this Settlement Agreement. The Company will pay the TFP to all the above-named Flight Attendants no later than on their June 20, 2021, paycheck. For any affected Flight Attendant who is inactive (due to separation or furlough) as of June 20, 2021, the Company will mail a check (less applicable withholdings) to the Flight Attendant’s last known address. The pay will be at the respective rates in effect on the day the Flight Attendant is paid. Payment will be paid above the reserve guarantee if applicable.
Click here to view the complete settlement agreement.
Grievances Recently Granted by Management
Grievances Recently Filed and Denied
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-200-20-Violation of §25.C.1 Failure to Include ASHSC in Safety Meeting. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §25.C.1 [Air Safety Health and Security: Safety Meetings], past practice, and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when on or about April 3, 2020, it failed to include the Air Safety, Health and Security Committee (ASHSC) in a meeting to discuss passengers who were scheduled to travel on Alaska flights after disembarking from a cruise ship which had suffered an outbreak of COVID-19. The company instead opted to brief AFA about the issue after the meeting and decision was made about how to proceed.
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-201-20-Violation of §10.Q & §11.E.4.d Violation of Reserve Assignment List Order. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §10.Q [Scheduling: Low-Bid Option] and §11.E.4.d [Reserve: Order of Assignment, Assignment of Open Sequences/Assignments], past practice, and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when its Jeppesen Crew Access (JCA) scheduling system places low-bid option and no-bid lineholder Flight Attendants who pick up reserve days and opt out of the Reserve Assignment List (LTFA) at the top of the list rather than listing them in inverse seniority order following all other Reserves within the same classification (AM/PM/ER) and with the same number of days of availability.
Grievance No.: 36-99-2-207-20-Violation of §10, §11.D & §24.L Bundled Scheduling Notifications. This grievance alleges the Company’s violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement §10 [Scheduling], §11.D [Reserve: Scheduling/Notice of Time to Report] and §24.L [General and Miscellaneous: Company-Provided Inflight Mobile Device (IMD)], past practice, and all related sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement when its Jeppesen Crew Access (JCA) scheduling system sent bundled scheduling notifications to Flight Attendants on their Inflight Mobile Devices (IMDs) or directly in Crew Access, requiring Flight Attendants to batch acknowledge or ignore such notifications and thereby resulting in Flight Attendants potentially waiving multiple contractual protections via an extra-contractual point of contact (i.e. Crew Access scheduling notifications).
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.