Contractual Modification Approved by Roll Call Vote
By majority roll call vote, the Master Executive Council (MEC) has approved a contractual modification that will maintain the current open time trading rules inclusive of Section 12 Exchange of Sequences. This modification will remove the requirement to program back to book trading rules and the application of Section 12 Exchange of Sequences: Back to Book.
Not an Easy Decision
This was not an easy decision to make because there are valid arguments for and against granting a contractual waiver. The MEC voting procedure outlined in the AFA-CWA Constitution & Bylaws, Article VII.D.5.b [Master Executive Councils –> Master Executive Council Meetings –> Voting], allocates each voting member (LEC President or designee holding proxy) of the MEC one vote on any issue before the MEC. A majority determines the outcome, unless a roll-call vote is requested. During a roll call vote, each voting member of the MEC casts one vote for each member in good standing s/he represents.
Roll Call Voting Record on Back to Book
The motion put forward was to direct the MEC President to draft a side letter of agreement to strike out all of Section 12 Exchange of Sequence: Back to Book and execute the sideletter with management. During the roll-call, votes were cast as follows:
Council number, number of active members in good standing, name of voting delegate, votes for the motion, votes against the motion
Based on the votes of the LEC Presidents (and proxy holders), the motion was adopted by a vote of 4273 votes for the motion and 1267 votes against the motion.
Interested in more information regarding Back to Book?
We are aware that nearly half of our Flight Attendants have never worked under the trading rules contained in Back to Book, nor do they have any familiarity with eMaestro. Background information is available below.
If you have any questions about the Open Time, back to book, or the MEC vote, please contact your LEC President.
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Linda Christou, Matt Cook, Terry Taylor, Mario de’Medici, Melissa Osborne, Tim Green and Brice McGee
Back to Book – What Does it Mean?
On May 1, 2006, Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants ratified a Collective Bargaining Agreement through May 1, 2010. In 2010 during an economic downturn, Alaska Flight Attendants ratified a contract extension through May 1, 2012, with an early opener clause in 2011.
The 2006 CBA contained negotiated and ratified open time provisions that were incorporated into the system known as E-maestro, the predecessor to Crew Access. Alaska Airlines management and AFA disagreed on the application of the rules and trading when Crew Scheduling violated our agreement by withholding trips from open time. The parties agreed to utilize the grievance process, and AFA filed grievance #36-99-2-18-11. A neutral third-party arbitrator ruled against AFA in the final and binding arbitration award and provided a decision to both Alaska Airlines management and AFA on how to incorporate and interpret the agreed language. This arbitration award is consistent with the 2018-2021 Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement, which may be found in Section 12 Exchange of Sequences: Back to Book.
In November 29, 2011, AFA and Alaska management met to discuss early openers and begin the negotiation process of Section 6 negotiations under the Railway Labor Act. The parties agreed on December 12, 2013, to put forward a tentative agreement for membership consideration that subsequently failed. This required another round of negotiations that began on June 25, 2014.
When the second tentative agreement passed it contained an open time trial period with a cancellation clause, Section 12.F Exchange of Sequences. The open time trial was negotiated due to feedback from members who were unhappy with the trading rules combined with the arbitration award. This required the negotiating committees to look for ways to improve the arbitration award and bring flexibility back to our schedules.
On July 8, 2016, we selected our Joint Negotiating Committee, and began working towards a joint collective bargaining agreement to combine Alaska Airlines and Virgin America into a single carrier. On July 21, 2016, we cancelled our Open Time trial with Alaska management. The cancellation of the Open Time Trial is pursuant to Section 12.F.9 and required the parties to begin negotiations on a successor system.
In the midst of this, on January 30, 2017, we transitioned from E-Maestro to Jeppesen Crew Access (JCA).
Negotiations for a successor system deadlocked in 2019 due to implementation penalties and a disagreement on the proposal with Alaska management. This required the MEC to compare our current system with the rules that applied to back to book. We reviewed the trading rules, TFP, open days, adequate reserve coverage, 25% funding, day for day trading, implementation, dropping, threshold sequence numbers and other components. After reviewing the two systems our MEC made the decision that it was in the best interest of the members to maintain the current system and spend our time preparing for early openers of contract negotiations in the fall of 2020.