Negotiations Update February 26, 2013:
Clarification of Section 12 Exchange of Sequences Tentative Agreement – Open Time
Dear Flight Attendants,
It has come to our attention through many communication channels there are rumors, confusion and frustration surrounding our recent tentative agreement with management specific to Open Time. Your Negotiating Committee would like to take this opportunity to review the process, the provisions and the enhancements to our current and future agreement.
Minimum 12 Open days will be open in a month for at least 24 hours commencing when Open Time becomes available.
Following bid awards a minimum amount of Open Time for each domicile consisting of TFP equal to 25% of the total number of Flight Attendants in the domicile.
Example: 1000 Flight Attendants there will be minimum of 250 TFP in the domicile after awarding of bid lines.
Flight Attendants may pick up sequences from Open Time up to four (4) hours prior to departure. Scheduling may assign trips in OT to Reserves from 12:00 noon on the day prior to check in.
A Flight Attendant may trade a sequence for another sequence containing more days, without respect to the number of flights contained in the sequences.
Trades may be for fewer days if the sequence to be placed on the FA’s line is within a three (3) flight difference of the traded sequence. If a FA is picking up or trading for more than s/he is giving to Open Time, then the difference in the number of flights is unlimited.
Trades involving multiple sequences must be traded day for day or for a greater number of days.
Note: There is a binding arbitration award regarding our Open Time. The award allows management to withhold trips after the 25% threshold meets or exceeds 50% and may be drawn back down to 25% but not below, after hitting the 25% it must grow back to 50% before management pulls back the second round of trips and this process is ongoing for the first 24 hours. If the TFP in the domicile falls below the 25% management must place the held trips back into Open Time in the same order they were withdrawn. For example the beginning amount of TFP is 250, once the number of TFP in OT reaches 500, management may withhold trips taking the amount of TFP in the domicile back to 250 and they have to let it grow back to 500 TFP again before they may pull back any additional trips. After a few hours management usually begins pulling trips because the threshold is hit relatively quickly. After the 24 hours of Open Time commences management closes the days in the month and places all the trips back into the system. This is why you will see many trips placed back into the system on the day after Open Time closes, currently the 19th, that were not included in the Open Time availability of trips.
Management came to the Negotiating Committee with the idea that we could come up with a resolution that provided staffing reliability as well as limited open time liability which in turn would provide Flight Attendants with a trading system allowing for more sequences to be available for trading, flexibility and give away or we could keep OT the way is it with the arbitration award. Management is not looking to allow more “down-trading” but rather provide Flight Attendants with options while protecting the operation.
The new bidding system will no longer require management to “prefund” our OT with the 25% TFP calculation described in the current process. Management will build as many lines as possible with TFP that would usually have been put aside to fund the old OT system. In addition, all of the days in the month will begin open and only close once their daily sequence threshold is met. We agreed to allow a Flight Attendant to give away their sequence directly to OT provided the day of the origination of the sequence is open. The days are closed based on the actual number of OT sequences originating in that day. A Flight Attendant may not give directly to OT more than 40 TFP net. Actual examples will be provided for you in the Tentative Agreement when presented to the members for voting.
The maximum number of pairings allowed in Open Time in each domicile on any given day will be based on 1 sequence per 200 Flight Attendants, with a minimum of 3 sequences per day per domicile. More than 50 Flight Attendants will be round up to two hundred.
Example: Total of 650 Flight Attendants in a domicile would allow maximum of 4 sequences per day. Three (3) sequences for first 600, 1 sequence for next 50. To add additional sequence the base would need to increase to a total 850 FAs.
In order to keep OT trading open and allow FAs to trade into better sequences than they were able to hold we established a quartile system. If a day is closed by a higher quartile you can trade your sequence with OT or place your trip directly into OT if the day is open. You may take a four (4) day sequence and trade it with a one (1) day sequence and the preceding days will not affect the trade. The trade is based on a sequence for sequence trade. If a day is closed and an OT sequence is picked up the day will reopen and allow another FA to drop in their sequence. Days will open and close throughout the month while facilitating a trading/give away system
The top 25% will have FA to FA and Open Time trading open on the 15th of the month. The next 25% will open on 16th allowing the top 50% of FAs in a domicile to trade with OT and FA to FA trade. The 17th will allow the next 25%, which is the top 75% of Flight Attendants in the domicile access to Open Time and FA-to-FA trading. On the 18th all Flight Attendants will be allowed access to trading with Open Time and FA to FA.
The reason the quartile system is in place is to keep the system from being loaded with all of the undesirable trips such as the 4 day GDLs, 3 day ANC, 3 YVR just to name a few. The OT system will never return to the system we once had prior to the arbitration award. The Negotiating Committee was tasked with returning trading and flexibility back to our group. The Local Leadership and Negotiating Committee given the options available and binding awards issued through our grievance process than negotiated our new OT system. With our new OT system the Flight Attendants receive our flexibility and a mechanism for trip trading back, while management received daily staffing reliability to assist in operational performance.
Our new OT system will create a mechanism for our Lineholders to trades trips and recreate their schedules, allow for funding of Self Assignment for Reserves later in the month the day prior to their availability period and in addition it will limit the overall number of junior assignments (JAs) or reassignments which were caused due to scheduling and coverage issues. The system will also create a domicile calendar where all days open for trading until the agreed threshold is met with ability to have any day reopen in the month when the threshold drops back down below the maximum number of sequences allowed on that day. With these new improvements the FA group is now in control of the open and closing of days rather than at management discretion.
The Negotiating Committee understands change is difficult and as with any new concept we ask that you please take a moment to read over the specific contractual language once a full Tentative Agreement is provided to the membership.
Your Negotiating Committee – MEC President Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Tracy, Karina Cameron-Fetters, Jake Jones and AFA Staff Negotiator Paula Mastrangelo
“Four Bases, One Voice”