In This Edition
- COVID-19 Continuing Developments
- Negotiating Committee Interviews – Additional Opportunity
- Never Refuse a Drug or Alcohol Test
- MEC Meets with FAA to Discuss Recurrent Training
COVID-19 Continuing Developments
Air Safety, Health, & Security Committee (ASHSC)
The AFA Alaska Master Executive Council (MEC) and Air Safety, Health, & Security Committee (ASHSC), in conjunction with our AFA counterparts at Horizon Air and AFA International, continue to closely monitor the situation in regard to the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). A meeting was conducted between AFA Alaska and Horizon leaders on Wednesday to have further discussion about AFA’s requests to improve Flight Attendant protections. This meeting will be followed up by an additional meeting between all Alaska and Horizon labor leaders and management from across Alaska Air Group (AAG) to further discussions about the impact of the virus and the steps that need to be taken to protect Flight Attendants, other employees, and passengers.
AFA Alaska released a communication earlier this week with more detailed information about the requests that we have made of management to improve protections for all of us on the job. In addition to this communication, you can find the most up-to-date, pertinent information about COVID-19 and its impact on Flight Attendants on the Coronavirus Outbreak page of the AFA International website. The page contains the latest news on the outbreak, resources for Flight Attendants to guard against the spread of infection, and links to additional governmental resources such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC.
Negotiating Committee Interviews – Additional Opportunity
Master Executive Council (MEC)
[Note: The MEC has become aware of chatter elsewhere on social media that we’re discriminating against junior and/or Legacy Virgin America (L-VX) FAs. This is due to the reposted opening for the Negotiating Committee that is soliciting for 25+ years occupational seniority and/or prior negotiations experience. This is definitely a misunderstanding about intent. The MEC has already received approximately 20 applications from both Legacy Alaska (L-AS) and L-VX FAs. We have full intention of interviewing all of them for the NC.
With a few exceptions, nearly all applicants have less than 15 years of occupational seniority and no formal negotiations experience. It is the MEC’s desire to have a representative NC, so we are looking to fill in the applicant pool with more senior FAs so that we have a representative sampling of the Membership. Additionally, Section VI.A.1 of the AFA Constitution & Bylaws specifically states “The Negotiating Committee selected should include a member, or members, who have had previous experience, insofar as is practicable.”
It is regrettable that some FAs have misconstrued the call for additional applicants with specific qualifications to mean the NC will be exclusively comprised of FAs with 25+ years of seniority and therefore all L-VX will be locked out of representation on the NC. This is absolutely not true.With only three members on the NC (plus the MEC president as chair), the MEC must consider each appointment very carefully. There are no guarantees who will ultimately be appointed because it will depend on each applicant’s qualifications and interview(s), but the MEC has a strong desire to choose a NC that is representative of all members and all constituencies as much as possible (e.g. seniorities, domiciles, legacy carriers, etc.). ^jtp 03/06/2020 @ 17:50 PT ]
The Master Executive Council (MEC) is currently in the process of scheduling interviews for prospective Negotiating Committee candidates who submitted expression of interest forms prior to the March 3 deadline. In order to provide an additional opportunity, the MEC has decided to re-open the expression of interest process for Negotiating Committee Members. Additional interviews will be conducted at the April Regular MEC Meeting. The MEC is specifically seeking candidates with 25 years or more of Flight Attendant seniority and/or those with previous negotiating experience. Other candidates will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Our current Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA) becomes amendable on December 17, 2021 but also contains an early opener clause for the negotiating process to begin as early as December 2020. In anticipation of early openers, the Master Executive Council (MEC) will be conducting interviews for the Negotiating Committee during the April Regular MEC Meeting, to be held April 7 and 8, 2020. All three Negotiating Committee positions are up for interview and consideration. Per the AFA Constitution & Bylaws, the MEC President is the chairperson of the Negotiating Committee and rounds out the Committee as the fourth member.
The Negotiating Committee is charged to negotiate and institute the needs and desires of the Flight Attendants into an effective collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The Committee should have a good working knowledge of the current CBA and be willing to devote their full time to the Committee during negotiations. The members of this Committee shall serve as the CBA Interpretation Committee until a new agreement is completed.
Selection of Committee Members
- Any person seeking a position on the Negotiating Committee must submit a resume to the MEC
- Committee Members will function until a new Committee is selected
- The Chairperson of the Negotiating Committee will be the MEC President or her/his designee
- Committee Members are selected by majority vote of the voting members of the MEC (LEC Presidents)
Committee Member Duties & Responsibilities
The duties and responsibilities of the Negotiating Committee shall include the following:
- The Committee, with the advice of the Staff Negotiator shall have the authority to conclude an agreement, subject to the provisions of Article XII of the Constitution and Bylaws.
- All members of the Committee, including alternates whenever possible, shall complete a negotiations training seminar prior to writing an “opener.”
- Be familiar with Union policy and keep abreast of new developments in the industry.
- Utilize the facilities and resources of the Union and the experience and knowledge of Union Officers, International Office staff and study committees of the Union. (eg., Legal, Retirement and Insurance, Wage and Working Conditions, etc.).
- Maintain a current record of the:
- Financial condition of the company.
- Management lines of authority and methods of communication.
- Operations statistics and experiences of the airline which may be used in bargaining, grievances, litigation, etc.
- Be familiar with the wishes of the Flight Attendant group with respect to wages, working conditions, and work rules, through, for example, system-wide distribution of contract surveys, periodic road shows, etc.
- Prepare the contract opener with the advice of the Staff Negotiator
- Provide regular updates to the membership on the status of negotiations
- Proof CBA language and agree with the Company on implementation and effective dates
- Review tentative agreement with the MEC
- Prepare membership summary package and Roadshow schedule
- Present the tentative agreement to the members
- Proof printed agreement and prepare CBA index
- Prepare CBA interpretations for new concepts
- Remain available as a resource for interpretations
- Maintain a complete record of the negotiations, including proposals, notes and communications, and such record is the property of AFA-CWA. A copy of this record will be forwarded to the International Office by the Negotiating Committee.
- Maintain contact, through the MEC President, with IAM, ALPA, TWU, AMFA, and other applicable labor unions on property
Flight Pay Loss Reimbursement
Flight pay loss (FPL) reimbursement will be provided to Negotiating Committee Members at the rate of 6 TFP at “A” pay for 8 hours of work. FPL is not reimbursed for days that solely contain travel to/from an activity.
Expressing Interest and Interview Scheduling
The MEC will hold interviews during the April Regular MEC meeting from April 7-8, 2020. Bid around the interview date or plan to arrange your schedule accordingly to accommodate.
Interested candidates should submit an expression of interest and resume online at https://forms.gle/YGCUtxVETB3z9aZW7. The deadline for submissions is 5 PM Pacific time on Friday, March 27. After that time, MEC Secretary-Treasurer Linda Christou will contact qualified candidates to schedule a specific interview time.
Please note that in order to submit an expression of interest, you must have a Google account. If you do not have a Google account, you can create one for free at https://accounts.google.com/signup.
Any questions regarding the Negotiating Committee positions or application process should be directed to MEC President Jeffrey Peterson at email@example.com.
Never Refuse a Drug or Alcohol Test
As Flight Attendants, we are all aware that we are subject to random drug and alcohol testing. This requirement is contained in 49 CFR part 40 and falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation. At Alaska Airlines, the Drug Abatement department, which is part of the Safety Division, is responsible for administering the testing program and ensuring that the company remains compliant with all applicable rules and regulations pertaining to drug and alcohol testing.
At the end of a duty period, many of us eagerly await block in and the opening of the boarding door to see whether or not a drug/alcohol tester is waiting for us. The Drug Abatement department has told AFA that their expectation of the drug testers is that they will be present in the jet bridge when the door is opened. Unfortunately, this does not always happen for a variety of reasons.
In order to prevent any misunderstanding and protect yourself, it is critically important that you never refuse a request to be tested. Failing to cooperate with any part of the testing process is also considered a refusal to test. Alaska Airlines drug and alcohol policy states that refusing to take a test is considered to be the same as failing a test.
Reporting any Drug or Alcohol Testing Irregularities to AFA
If you are notified of a drug or alcohol test and experience any irregularities with the process, fully cooperate with the tester but make a mental note of anything unusual. Irregularities could include:
- The tester is not present in the jet bridge prior to aircraft block in
- The test is conducted in a public restroom that is not closed off to public access
* Please note that even though these items could be considered irregularities, they are not prohibited under DOT regulations. Do not refuse a test based on a suspected irregularity.
Once the test is complete, please report any suspected irregularities to AFA as soon as possible. These reports should be filed as a ticket through the AFA Alaska Online Support Center. Be sure to include the date and time of the test, the name of the tester (if known), the flight number you worked immediately prior to the test, and any details of the irregularity. An AFA representative will follow up with you based your report.
If you have questions about drug and alcohol testing or possible test irregularities, please contact your Local Grievance Committee.
MEC Meets with FAA to Discuss Recurrent Training
Master Executive Council (MEC)
On Wednesday, February 26, members of the Master Executive Council (MEC), including many Local Executive Council (LEC) Presidents, met with representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s Cascadia Certificate Management Officer (CMO) as well as various members of Alaska Airlines inflight, flight operations, and labor relations management. During the meeting, the MEC was able to engage in direct dialog with both FAA and management representatives in an attempt to gain clarity surrounding the considerable changes made to the recurrent training (RT) program over the past several months. The MEC plans to have additional discussion about RT at next week’s Regular MEC Meeting and will provide another update within the next several weeks.