Dear Seattle Flight Attendants,
First of all on behalf of Jake, Linda, and myself thank you for your continued support in the recent election! The votes in this election saw a 50% increase over the election 3 years ago and that speaks volumes to the fact that you are engaged, involved, and care about your union leaders.
Since the TA vote on February 14th I have been fielding phone calls, emails, and having great conversations with many of you. We have been discussing the pros and cons of the TA, moving forward with the next round of negotiations and what your officers do for you on a daily basis. What I have been learning from these conversations is that I can do a better job of communicating with you and explaining what your officers do on your behalf.
Let’s start with the recent vote on the TA. I want to take a minute to explain my support of the TA and what that statement means. As an LEC President my job is to review a TA when the negotiating committee reaches an agreement with management at the table. In reading the TA I must weigh all the good and some of the not so good that is contained in it. This is not an easy job and the MEC spent 13 hours reviewing the TA in December before we decided to send the TA out to the members for a vote. I supported sending the TA out to you because you are the only person who can decide if the TA is right for you. I also supported all the great improvements and pay increases in that TA. Were there some areas that gave me a little heartburn? Yes, there were.
However, the decision to accept this TA was yours to make, not mine. I did find that the TA provided many improvements which I knew you needed to review. That is why I supported the TA to come out for a vote. Had I denied the TA and sent the team back to the table I would have not been representing your rights to review the document and decide if it was the right direction for our group.
The MEC interviewed new candidates for the negotiating committee last week. During the day and a half interview process I kept one thought on my mind, “Who is going to best represent the members at the table?” All of the LEC Presidents had heard from their members and we kept your comments and insights in mind as we discussed the candidates. We had amazing candidates interview and the decision was very difficult. But, I feel confident that the selection represents the best interest of our Flight Attendants. For those of you who are concerned with the seniority level of the negotiating committee members know this; Jeff Peterson has 15 years seniority and the LEC Presidents have an average of 19 years or more of seniority. Rest assured your desires will be represented at the table and as a 22 year Flight Attendant I am looking out for the senior Flight Attendants in this area!
One positive aspect of the TA failing is that I have had an opportunity to talk directly with you. You may think this is crazy of me to say, but I have thoroughly enjoyed talking with all of you and hearing your thoughts and/or concerns. I have increased my understanding of the group and feel that I can accurately address your issues with management moving forward.
The Town Hall meeting in March was a huge success and I will be planning more of these events. The meeting covers more than negotiation updates- it allows your officers a chance to sit down and talk with you and listen to what is happening in your working world. These meetings also offer us a chance to share with you what we have been doing on your behalf and how we fight for your every day. It is important that we keep these levels of communication open and flowing to ensure that we are all on the same page. We may not always agree on the issues, but healthy debates are good and they help us find the collaborative solutions.
Speaking of communications have you seen the new AFA Alaska Facebook page? Please like this page and stay up to date on what we are doing: http://www.facebook.com/alaskamec or search for “AFA Alaska”
If you are not on social media remember that you can find all the updates on the MEC website: www.alaskamec.org. We are also looking to update the MEC website and enhance the MEC discussion forum. We want all of you to feel that you have access to the information that directly affects you.
The minutes from the April 16th AFA-CWA Base meeting are posted on the website:
Dates to Remember
v Don’t forget to join us May 8th at 5am in the food court area of Sea-Tac airport for the Alaska Airlines Shareholders event. A couple of reminders:
1. Probationary Flight Attendants should not attend a solidarity event.
2. Wear your blue AFA t-shirt
3. Because the event is inside security wear your badge and no children are allowed.
Send me an email if you want more information.
v May 12-15 the Negotiating Committee goes back to the table in Tempe, Az.
v May 20th is the launch of the new AFA Mobilization Committee and we are planning an event on this day. The Seattle Mobilization training is May 13th, 8am-10am, 11am -1pm, and 2pm to 4pm. The link to sign up for one of these training sessions is: http:/alaskamec.org/mobilization/training/
If you are interested in the Mobilization committee please contact LEC Mobilization Chair Krystle Cook- Lcook907@icloud.com for more information.
The new term of office for your LEC Officers begins July 1, 2014. Council Representative- elect Adam Clarey is heading to Washington, D.C. in June for officer training. I look forward to training both Adam and Stephanie Adams in their roles as your newly elected council representatives. Mentoring is a top priority of mine during the next three years and I encourage anyone who is interested in AFA work to send me an email or call me. We have committees in need of volunteers and the best way to begin your education with AFA representation is by joining a committee!
Thank you, again, for the opportunity to serve as your LEC President. I am honored to represent an amazing group of Flight Attendants and humbled by your support.
Laura, Jake, Linda, Tonnette
Officers-Elect: Adam Clarey and Stephanie Adams