Inflight management recently announced a voluntary training called “Making the Connection” via Inflight Bulletin 2014-0173, which seems to be visible to Seattle-based Flight Attendants only. The training is intended to provide Flight Attendants some familiarization with the duties of a Customer Service Agent and vice versa. AFA was informed of the program but it was rolled out without negotiating the terms of the training with the union.
Available for pick-up in Seattle Open Time
“Making the Connection” is currently being offered in Seattle only and may be picked up out of Seattle’s Open Time. It is available on Mondays through October and is a trial. If the class is successful, the program may be rolled out system-wide.
Flight Attendants in other domiciles are being allowed to pick up the training; however, be advised that management is not offering hotel accommodations in Seattle in order to position for the class. Compensation is quoted as 6 TFP, which is contractually consistent.
“Making the Connection” is not cross training!!!
The training is designed to foster a better understanding between the Flight Attendant and Customer Service Agent workgroups—nothing more. This is not cross training and AFA leadership and IAM leadership will pursue our respective dispute resolution processes if employees of one workgroup are required to perform duties of the other. However, we have no reason to believe this will happen.
AFA disputes the program “follows the same rules as Recurrent Training”
From the bulletin: “This program follows the same rules as Recurrent Training for rest requirements, date change requests and attendance (sick leave and Failure to Report to training would apply).” Through the Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) process, AFA is disputing that the program as described actually follows the contractual Recurrent Training rules for attendance, sick leave and to a certain extent date change requests.
Once AFA and management achieve agreement on the concerns, one or both parties will communicate the outcome. In the meantime, be aware that several aspects of this voluntary training class are in dispute.
Your MEC—Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Yvette Gesch, Becky Strachan, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn, Sandra Morrow and Stephen Couckuyt