“Has [Alaska Airlines management] specified exactly how much more productivity they want from the flight attendants? I know many people are wondering this. If they have, maybe you could let us know! 🙂 And is it more TFP in general or…? Thanks! :-)”
From Alaska Airlines Vice President of Inflight Services Andy Schneider:
This is a good question. The goal is to get as much of a FAs pay into hard-time flying as possible. We believe airlines that are able to do this for all workgroups will be more sustainable over time and less susceptible to the industry’s seemingly endless cycle of ups and downs. Our goal (every work group has productivity goals) over the next three years is to achieve 77% of pay through hard time and 23% through other items (sick leave, training, deadhead, vacation, etc). I want to reiterate that the purpose of all of this is to build a strong company that will be here for an entire career and is more immune to the down-cycles that have plagued many of the industry’s employees’ careers.
A secondary belief is that those who work more should accrue the benefit and not subsidize those who chose to work less. For example, health care coverage costs the same for someone working a great deal or very little. The rates of accruals are the same for a flight attendant who works a full schedule (the contract defines the line average that the company is required to build as between 78 TFP and 85 TFP) as it is for those who work less. In most jobs, employees who work less accrue less benefits.
Having said that, we are keenly aware that many Flight Attendants enjoy flexibility and we are not interested in scaling that back. As you know, we are working hard to modify the Open Time system to allow for more flexibility than Flight Attendants have today.
As a last thought, we opened with several suggestions with the stated intention of putting any dollars that would be saved through productivity increases right back to wages for Flight Attendants, and we also ultimately heard AFA’s concerns about personal productivity within pairings, which lead to agreement on minimum pay rules which actually reduces the amount of pay through hard time, but was still the right thing to do, so we agreed to it. We are fully aware that the negotiating committee has strong thoughts about what we have asked.