There is a lot of history to Open Time negotiations. See the following communications for additional information:
- [AS] Open Time Negotiations Update – December 2017
- [AS] Open Time Update – September 2, 2017
- [AS] Open Time Negotiations Update – June 1, 2017
- Open Time Negotiations Update – March 3, 2017
- Open Time Negotiations Session 2 Update – December 7-8, 2016
- Open Time Negotiations Begin (November 18, 2016)
- Open Time Trial Cancellation (July 21, 2016)
- Open Time Trial Update May 2016
- Open Time Trial (January 15, 2016)
- October 2015 Open Time Update
AFA and management have reached an Open Time agreement in concept
The AFA Negotiating Committee* (not the Joint Negotiating Committee) and Alaska Airlines management reached an agreement in concept for a new Open Time system back in December. However, the Negotiating Committee and the Master Executive Council (MEC) agreed that the best course of action prior to formalizing a tentative agreement (TA) was to determine how long it would take for Jeppesen to program the new system. So…management sent the programing requirements off to Jeppesen for an estimate. Then AFA waited…and waited.
Open Time vs. Merger
After repeated inquiries during the intervening period, AFA finally received the estimate from Jeppesen in early February. At that point, AFA was also on the cusp of reaching a Merger TA. Both efforts (Open Time and the Merger TA) would require significant programming resources from Jeppesen and Alaska Airlines IT that physically could not be done at the same time due to resource limitations.
The MEC was faced with making another challenging decision: Which goes first? On the one hand, Open Time implementation under the current contract has been hanging out there for a very long time, so it should be prioritized. On the other hand, going forward with Open Time first would very likely delay “Full Implementation” (i.e. Legacy Alaska and Legacy Virgin America flying together), which would also delay Legacy Virgin America (L-VX) FAs being brought into the full Legacy Alaska (L-AS) contractual work rules. A final complicating factor is that realistically it would not be possible to roadshow and vote on both a Merger TA and an Open Time TA at or around the same time. Plus, how would AFA attempt to explain the Open Time situation to L-VX when they are not even living with the current L-AS contractual trading rules?
Merger TA first, then Open Time
The MEC made the difficult decision to move forward with the Merger TA first and then tackle Open Time after the outcome of the Merger TA ratification vote is known. The benefit of this approach is that the Jeppesen programming resources formerly assigned to Open Time could be re-focused on achieving Full Implementation on time—if not early. The MEC realizes this approach will be frustrating to many, but we are doing our best make the most out of a largely no-win scenario.
More information will be forthcoming once the outcome of the Merger TA ratification vote is known, and the MEC has an opportunity to determine the best strategy going forward.
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Linda Christou, Lisa Pinkston, Terry Taylor, Mario de’Medici, Melissa Osborne, Tim Green and Brice McGee
* Your AFA Negotiating Committee – MEC President Jeffrey Peterson, Kristy Stratton, Lisa Pinkston, Christina Frees, and AFA Senior Staff Attorney Kimberley Chaput