Covid Vaccination Concerns
Being AFA Officers we have a duty to fairly represent all our members regardless of personal beliefs, we will continue to represent our entire membership. We have heard from members who want us to advocate for mandatory vaccinations and members who want us to advocate for voluntary vaccinations. This is a complex issue with strong opinions on both sides. It’s just not possible to advocate for both at the same time. That being said, AFA Alaska has advocated for neither position. We have, however, continued to inform management regarding the varying opinions of our membership and their concerns.
The reality is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has very clearly stated that companies are well within their legal rights to implement a vaccination requirement as long as they offer accommodations for religious or medical exemptions—provided such accommodations do not pose an undue burden on the company. There is no freedom protected by law that is violated in doing so, but nonetheless, we understand the concerns from many of our members about the perceived violation of their personal liberties and their bodies.
If the company does decide to mandate the vaccine, that decision will trigger discussions between the union and management. We can not impose anything on the company, we can only negotiate.
Grievance vs Gripe
Not all concerns brought forward to AFA can be resolved by the union. Knowing the difference between a Grievance and a Gripe is key to understanding how we can assist you.
A grievance is a formal challenge to management that our contract has been violated or that unjust discipline has been issued. Example: “Charter flying was awarded out of seniority order.” We have specific contract language citing how Charter Bids will be awarded, therefore, this could be a grievance.
Prior to filing a grievance, your local union reps will attempt to resolve the concern with management, if that proves to be unsuccessful, a formal grievance may be filed.
A Gripe is a complaint that is not a contractual violation.
Example: “It’s not fair that I was flown into a day off”. It may not seem fair, but it is contractual, therefore this would be considered a gripe. Or “I thought I had the day off because my flight canceled, why did I get a no show? This isn’t fair! Our contract states that you must report as scheduled if no contact is made with crew scheduling for canceled flying, therefore this would be considered a gripe.
Occasionally we hear from members that are upset because they were unaware of contractual language or a company policy that has been violated. It’s everyone’s responsibility to know our work rules. Not knowing the rules doesn’t prevent management from issuing discipline.
Your SAN union reps are always available to help determine when a complaint is a gripe or a grievance. We are always willing to assist you with contract interpretation. SAN@afaalaska.org
Please ensure that you have our contact information saved on your phone. You never know when you may need to reach out to us.
Performance Investigations and Disciplines
Discipline for failing to complete quarterly CBTs is continuing to trend. Flight Attendants returning from leave are given 60 days to complete CBTs. The Council 15 Grievance Committee has been successful in assisting FAs dispute discipline when evidence of technical difficulties exists. Being busy and forgetting to complete the CBT has not been accepted as extenuating circumstances to miss a CBT deadline and the discipline will remain. If more than one CBT deadline is missed, discipline will progress to higher steps on the discipline scale (i.e. 2 missed CBTs in 18 month period will escalate to a Written Warning, 3 to a suspension, the 4th could result in termination).
Monthly audits are occurring, and Council 15 has seen disciplines for misuse lessen however there are still Flight Attendants that are using it incorrectly. Please be sure your registered cities are current and comply with guidelines set forth in the commuter program.
D8Y Commuter status is a negotiated benefit and those traveling on D8Y status have a very high priority, traveling above executives on leisure travel and all other nonrevs.
Flying using D8Y Commuter status is for flights starting/ending in your HOME RESIDENCE AIRPORT and SAN AIRPORT only. you can take a flight that has a connection, but only if all legs are on Alaska Metal.
You CAN NOT use D8Y status for out-of-base pickups, releasing from DH and flying home, or between any cities that do not start and or end in SAN or the Airport where you reside. for these examples, you would list as E1Y.
Management continues to assert that we are properly staffed.
While their plan may look good to them on paper, those of us flying every day certainly feel otherwise. While we endure the constant barrage of Reassignments, Premium Trip notifications, and Reserve burn-out; management continues to rely on a pre-COVID game plan that is no longer valid. It’s time for management to evaluate their staffing models and account for the impact of the pandemic.
Know your work rules:
Download a copy of the Contract to your mobile device.
Review: Section 10.R [Reassignments] & 10.S [Pre-Cancelations] &
Section 8 [Hours of Service].
Save your Local Union Reps contact information:
Email & Office Phone Number are monitored throughout the day
SAN@afaalaska.org or Call 206-457-2010 ext 5
Line Holder Scheduling Questions
COVID-19 Points Forgiveness Extended Through September 2021
The Section 32 Attendance Policy Points Related to COVID-19 MOU provides Flight Attendants an opportunity for points adjustment for the COVID-19 related absences with supporting documentation.
Your Council 15 officers encourage members to submit the form for absences related to COVID-19. Please review the MOU for details on what points are eligible for adjustment. This process is manual, so allow some time for the adjustment to show on the attendance record. To request a points review, visit: Alaskasworld> Inflight> Administration> Performance> COVID-19 Absence Reporting Form. See Bulletin #2021-0046 for more information.
Leaves, Benefits, Retirement
If you have any questions regarding various Medical Leaves, FMLA, and Worker’s Compensation please reach out to our Local Benefits Committee Chairperson Sonia Quackenbush
Retirement questions should be directed to our Local Retirement Committee Chairperson, Stephen Couckuyt.
Contact information for all local committees can be found here.
When too fatigued to fly, you have the option of notifying Crew Scheduling that you are unfit to fly by calling in Fatigued. Once you call, you are put immediately into 10 hours rest, whether at domicile or mid trip. Once this rest period ends, you may be required to rejoin your original trip.
There is no penalty for utilizing the Fatigue Risk Management Program (FRMP). Following a fatigue call, you are required to submit a fatigue report within 48 hours of the end of your rest period. The Fatigue Review Board (FRB) meets regularly to review submitted reports. You may be contacted if they have any questions. If your event falls within the fatigue guidelines, the report will be accepted. If the FRB determines that your event does not meet the guidelines, it will be coded as sick or sick on-line and appropriate points will be applied.
If you would like more information (including the list of fatigue event categories) please review the Fatigue Risk Management Plan Manual on Alaska’s World. The FRMP Letter of Agreement may be found by clicking here. It is also available on your IMD. ASFA Supplemental> Collective Bargaining Agreement> Fatigue Risk Management Plan