Dear Flight Attendants,
A short time ago, the National Mediation Board (NMB) officially notified the AFA and management negotiating teams that it has delayed our return to mediation until July by canceling the negotiations session scheduled for the week of May 12th.
Once in mediation, the NMB has control over our meeting schedule and they have the authority to decide that a mediation session should be canceled.
Do we agree with this decision? No! We would always be ready to meet and make progress in our quest for a new contract. We have expressed our frustration that there is no available meeting date in June. Despite our protests, mediation will resume in late July.
Even if we wanted to meet earlier than July, AFA and management do not believe it is in the best interest of either party to proceed without the sanction of the NMB. However, as a show of good faith management has agreed to absorb AFA’s costs resulting from the relatively last-minute cancellation.
Given that we have no choice, AFA will make good use of the downtime. We have already established meeting dates for our own internal review of the negotiations survey. Additionally, we will hold a joint AFA negotiations training with the Negotiating Committee and the Master Executive Council (MEC) leadership. AFA International trainers, legal staff and department heads will also participate in the training.
While this is an unfortunate delay, we are determined to take advantage of the situation and use it to prepare for the next session and demonstrate to the NMB–and management–just how serious we are about getting back to the table and fighting for the contract that we all deserve.
Our sincere thanks to management for covering the cancellation fees. The parties are looking forward to getting back to the table the week of July 21st.
Your MEC–Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Yvette Gesch, Becky Strachan, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn and Sandra Morrow; and
Your Negotiating Committee–MEC President Jeffrey Peterson, Kristy Stratton, Lisa Pinkston, Jake Jones and Christina Frees