Dear Flight Attendants,
Your Negotiating Committee (NC) has been working with management to clarify intent and/or achieve improvements to language in the Tentative Agreement (TA). Our efforts have been in response to feedback we have received from the Membership during the first round of roadshows and direct communications with the NC. You may consider the following clarifications and revisions as superseding the TA language where appropriate.
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Section 9 Junior Available (JA)
You cannot be JA’d into vacation.
The TA already indicates that you cannot be JA’d while on vacation or on the last day of vacation in 9.B. However, some have been concerned that the language does not specifically prohibit being JA’d into a vacation period. Specific language preventing this is not in our current Contract, but this has never been the practice to JA into vacation and management does not intend to change practice. The parties will add clarifying language during final cleanup.
ACARS (Aircraft Addressing and Reporting System) is an approved method for notification of JA.
The current contract does not specifically address the use of ACARS but this has been established practice for many years. Technically notification via ACARS is still being “contacted in person on Company property…” per 9.C because the pilots must pass the ACARS along to the Flight Attendants in order for the notification to have occurred. There is no intent to change practice so we will add clarifying language addressing ACARS during final cleanup.
If you have been assigned to a JA sequence and subsequently trade away the JA, you are not “re-JA’able” during that same calendar day.
The above does not apply to Flight Attendants who simply pick up a JA sequence and subsequently trade it away. However, you are protected from being JA’d again if you are given a JA while on duty and subsequently trade away the JA while still on duty. That is, you will be ineligible to be given another JA upon completion of your current sequence.
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Section 12 Exchange of Sequences / Open Time Implementation Letter of Agreement (LOA)
Management has agreed in writing to the following clarification:
“It is our mutual understanding regarding the new Open Time System that, upon
1) Only the “Day of Sequence Departure” will be considered when evaluating
whether or not a trip may be dropped into OT if that day is open. Additionally, only the day of departure will be considered when a Flight Attendant is trading a trip a trip in OT, regardless of the number of days of either sequence and whether or not the days of the traded sequences are “open days.”
2) Even if an OT day is closed, a trade (trip for trip) may be executed if the “Day of Sequence Departure” is the same for both sequences, regardless of the number of days of either sequence.
Additionally, this application may be changed by either party as outlined in the ‘TRIAL PERIOD’ section of the Open Time Process Implementation LOA one year after implementation, unless changed sooner by mutual agreement, and the provisions outlined in 12.D.7 a. and b. of the TA will then apply until amended by both parties.”
Keep in mind that the parties have agreed during the (minimum one year) OT trial to test out higher or lower threshold closing numbers which may vary by domicile. If the OT liability proves to be too great even after reducing the threshold closing numbers, the parties agreed to count each day of a sequence toward the threshold closing number for each day the sequences touches. After one year either party can back out of the MOU and the language defaults to that in the Section 12 TA. Then AFA and management would negotiating a new OT system. This is all covered in the OT Implementation LOA.
Be assured this MEC has pledged to place the product of those negotiations (the re-negotiated OT system) out for Membership ratification.
(You can skip this part unless you want to know why there was a need to seek a clarification on the section above.)
Flight attendants have been confused by the discrepancy between language in the body of Section 12 Exchange of Sequences and in the Open Time Implementation Letter of Agreement. The reason there is language regarding Open Time in two different sections of the TA is because this was the deal brokered by the mediator. You see, there was a disagreement between the parties in regards to the original Open Time Section tentative agreement which was largely the reason the parties entered mediation.
Ultimately the parties agreed that the new Open Time system (looking at only the day of sequence departure when dropping a trip into OT or trading a trip with OT) would be tested for at least a year. (This is all the in the LOA at the end of the TA.) If the trial does not work out for the parties, then OT would default “back to Book.” That means what is written in the body text of Section 12 of the TA would govern OT while the parties negotiated a new OT. This change would be that “day for day” would be the consideration when dropping a trip into OT – all the days have to be open; and “day for day” would be the consideration when trading a trip with an OT trip.
As has been pledged at the roadshows, the MEC intends to place the re-negotiated agreement out for Membership ratification. During the trial period (or longer if the trial works out) OT is governed by the language of the OT Implementation LOA which supersedes but works in conjunction with the language of the body text in Section 12.
Unfortunately, there was an oversight by both parties and one critical line of language was missed in the LOA. This oversight was pointed out at the roadshows and has been often discussed on social media. However, be assured that management and AFA had multiple discussions about this concept at the table and in front of the mediator. We have been communicating as much at the roadshows but management has confirmed the intent to resolve the discrepancy during final formatting.
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Section 14 Vacations
Longevity Paid Time Off (PTO) Implementation Schedule
Flight Attendants must achieve 800 Flown TFP between March and December 2014 in order to qualify for the extra week of Longevity PTO upon completion of 25 years of service. “Flown TFP” is a new term in Section 5 Definitions: “All TFP exclusive of Stranded pay, Minimum Pay rules and Reserve Guarantee.” Management has confirmed Flown TFP is the appropriate qualification for achieving 960 TFP for Longevity PTO (or 800 TFP between March and December 2014).
Anything and everything paid in TFP except Stranded pay, Minimum Pay rules and the Reserve Guarantee is factored into the qualifications for achieving Longevity PTO. Sick Leave, Vacation and even Longevity PTO is included in the definition of Flown TFP along with many other applications in which TFP is paid. This significantly lowers the threshold to achieve Longevity PTO for many of our senior Flight Attendants !
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Section 16 Sick Leave/On the Job Injury – Sick Leave and the Rolling 12 Month Lookback
Paragraph 16.A.3 incorrectly states the application for Flight Attendants on an unpaid leave. The language should have the following application:
“Any month a Flight Attendant is on an unpaid personal, military, extended, medical, maternity, FMLA, Workers Compensation, parental leaves of absence or on a furlough (including voluntary furlough) will receive an unpaid credit of 1.333 TFP for each day on such leave.will not count toward the twelve (12) bid month look-back threshold calculation (of 240 or 480 Worked TFP).The look-back will extend into the prior year to include additional bid month(s) equal to the number of excluded bid month(s), such that twelve (12) full bid months are included in determining if either threshold has been met. A Flight Attendant with less than one (1) year of service will receive full sick leave accrual until such time that s/he has twelve (12) full bid months of active service, at which point the thresholds above will apply.”
Paragraph 16.A.4 will be amended as follows:
“Months in which a Flight Attendant is on a leave of absence coordinating sick leave (or vacation with short term disability) shall be excluded from rolling twelve (12) bid month calculation in paragraph A.1 above. for a period not to exceed ninety (90) days and in no circumstances more than four (4) bid months. The look-back will extend into the prior year to include additional bid month(s) equal to the number of excluded bid month(s), such that twelve (12) full bid months are included in determining if either threshold has been met. A Flight Attendant with less than one (1) year of service will receive full sick leave accrual until such time that s/he has twelve (12) full bid months of active service, at which point the thresholds above will apply.”
With paragraph 16.A.4 amended above, this means there is no 90 day cap on the lookback when a Flight Attendant is coordinating sick leave while on a leave of absence. This is application is consistent with the language in other sections relating to the 480 TFP threshold.
Paragraph 16.A.5 (re-numbered from 16.A.4) will be the EXAMPLE (unchanged, just re-numbered) from the TA 16.A.4.
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Section 21 Compensation
Longevity pay is a minimum of $1 per TFP (the TA incorrectly indicates only $1 in 21.C) which is paid starting upon completion of 20 years of service as an Alaska Airlines Flight Attendant. That is, one qualifies for the Longevity Premium as if there were a Step 20.
Additionally, the Longevity Premium will be paid on all Worked TFP (which is all TFP exclusive of Sick Leave and Vacation). The TA currently reads that Longevity Premium will only be paid on “actual flights flown, APSB, training, Association Business (UB), and Company Business (CB). Therefore, Longevity Premium will also be paid on Minimum Pay Rules and everything else paid in TFP except Sick Leave and Vacation/Longevity PTO. The language will be revised during final formatting.
Minimum Pay Rules
Sit Pay will be paid above Reserve guarantee and all other Minimum Pay Rules will be paid towards Reserve guarantee.
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480 Implementation Schedule
Because no one knew that Vacation would no longer count toward the 480, it would be unfair to consider any months prior to the TA’s ratification count date – because no one was planning for that. So, the accruals will be calculated as below:
VACATION 480 for 2015 accruals: Just for 2014, FAs will only have to accrue 400 worked TFP for full vacation accrual in 2015. That means from March 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014, a FA must accrue 400 worked TFP for full vacation accrual. In 2015, s/he must accrue 480 worked TFP during the full calendar year.
INSURANCE 480 for 2015 Benefit: Same as above for Vacation ↑ EXCEPT, Sick Leave and Vacation are included in the “400” minimum threshold.
SICK LEAVE 480 for 2014: Until management implements the 2 sick banks, ALL sick leave accrued will go into your “Primary Bank.” To determine your sick accrual (full, half or none), management will do a “rolling weighted average” for 2014 to determine what your accrual will be. For example – they will multiply the number of months accrued working TFP + VACATION, starting with March to equal 12 months. See the chart below:
|Month||Worked TFP in month+ VAC||“weighted average multiplier” to get 12 months||Total TFP toward 480|
|March||40||March x 12||480|
|April||60||(March + April) x 6||600|
|May||30||(March + April + May) x 4||520|
|June||50||(March + April + May + June) x3||540|
|July||20||(M + A + M + J + July) x 2.4||480|
|August||40||(M + A + M + J + J + August) x 2||480|
|September||45||(M + A + M + J + J + A + September) x 1.71||487|
|October||50||(M + A + M + J + J + A + S + October) x 1.5||503|
|November||40||(M + A + M + J + J + A + S + O + Nov) x 1.33||499|
|December||20||(M + A + M + J + J + A + S + O + N + Dec) x 1.2||474*|
|January 2015||45||(M + A + M + J + J + A + S + O + N + D + Jan) x 1.1||484**|
|February 2015||40||(M + A + M + J + J + A + S + O + N + D + J + Feb) x 1||480|
* This indicates that in January, the FA would have the reduced (½) SL accrual for that month.
** This indicates that in February, FA would have full SL accrual again.
From March 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014, any month in which a Flight Attendant is on a leave and coordinating sick leave will not be counted and the weighted average will be derived from months worked on a case-by-case basis.
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Some have concluded that the TA is incomplete because the NC is having discussions with management to reach clarity on these various provisions. The NC and the Master Executive Council strongly believe that discussions of this nature are not detrimental to the TA. In fact, these discussions have served to capture improvements and mitigate some of the negatively perceived provisions of the TA. Ideally all language would be completely resolved before a TA is put out for ratification but the reality is that TAs are constantly being tweaked all the way up to publication.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide how to evaluate this information but we hope that you will find this helpful as you work through the decision making process.
Your Negotiating Committee – MEC President Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Tracy, Karina Cameron-Fetters, Jake Jones and AFA Staff Negotiator Paula Mastrangelo