Thank you everyone who came out to the Town Hall meeting last week! It was a great success and I look forward to planning more of these sessions.
There is an AFA-CWA Base Meeting April 16th from 1-5pm. This is a formal AFA meeting that will devote most of the time to discussing the upcoming agenda items for the International Board of Directors Meeting next month. However, I will provide time on the agenda for Q and A.
March 20 Town Hall Meeting
The AFA-CWA Town Hall Forum was a great success! Many Flight Attendants joined in the conversations that ranged from LEC duties, grievance procedures, negotiation processes, TA clarification, and many more topics.
The intent behind the Town Hall Forum is to provide your LEC Officers and LEC Committee members a chance to sit down and talk with you- in an informal setting.
The entire 4 hours was devoted to doing just that and it was very successful.
I will be planning more Town Hall forums over the next few months!
Here is a recap of the items discussed:
1. The new survey
It was made very clear that FAs want a chance to share their thoughts on a survey. The MEC and current Negotiating Committee members have been in discussions to prep for the survey and this is great feedback. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on why it is important for all FAs to have a chance to share their thoughts. The MEC is looking into the Hart Corporation and Survey Monkey for survey possibilities.
2. Why hasn’t the survey come out already?
The vote was just over a month ago. Since this time the MEC met with Paula Mastrangelo, AFA Staff Negotiator, to discuss the next steps. Also, the MEC was in discussions over the new Mobilization Committee (just announced), creating the new AFA Alaska Facebook page (launched this week), plus brainstorming for upcoming mobilization trainings.
The MEC met last week for the monthly MEC meeting. During this meeting the MEC met with members of management; Ben, Andy, and Ron, to discuss potential dates for mediation and to share why we believe the TA failed.
The survey will be coming out in the next few weeks.
3. Are there any “activities” planned for the upcoming shareholder’s meeting?
The shareholder’s meeting is on May 8th in Anchorage. The MEC has not made formal plans for events on this day due in part to the fact that we are not allowed to use non-rev travel for “action” events. However, several ideas were discussed on what we could do and I will be looking into these ideas next week. Stay tuned!
4. What happened in December to get us to a TA so quickly?
Several factors may have come into play in the December session – 1. The action planned for December 19 had the company very nervous. A big marketing campaign was due to launch on this day and having hundreds of blue AFA t-shirts in all our stations was proving to dash a happy announcement. Also, the remaining items on the table were fairly close and management came in ready to work.
Delta is a huge concern for the company right now. The attack on our home turf and our route system is a financial detriment that is only going to get worse, in their eyes. So, it is in their best interest to get a deal with the FA group and turn all their efforts to the fight with Delta.
5. Are the LEC Presidents involved in the process?
Yes, we are. During negotiations the MEC sets a conf call at the end of each session to discuss what transpired at the table. On occasion, the NC may ask for a conf call during the process to brain storm ideas and seek clarification on ideas. Also, each member of the team is assigned an LEC P to call and communication with during the process to keep everyone informed.
6. How could the LEC Ps not understand how bad this TA was?
The LEC Ps are bound to represent the members and the desires of the members. From the survey the members ranked money, flexibility, and language clarification as high priorities. Paid for sit times, scope protection, etc. all ranked higher than sick leave or attendance. The LEC Ps discussed, at length, their positions on the TA. We voted to support the TA to go out for your consideration because it met the goals of the survey.
The results of the vote illustrate a totally different view and we will go back in and address the issues brought forward from the new survey.
7. Who chooses the new NC team?
The voting members of the MEC are the LEC Presidents. The entire MEC will interview the candidates, but the ultimate decision lies with the LEC Presidents: One vote per president. In the event of a tie vote the MEC President breaks the tie vote.
In the event of a change in LEC Presidents (LEC P) as a result of the current election cycles in PDX and SEA, the newly elected LEC P will have an opportunity to sit in the interview process, but this person will not have a vote. The intent of this is to allow the current LEC P and the LEC P-elect an opportunity to discuss the candidates- allowing the LEC P-elect to have input. Also, this will ensure that the new team members get to work immediately and attend training if they have not already done so- not delaying the process any longer.
Questions from the TA:
“The summary confused us. Why do a summary and not focus on the actual language?”
The purpose of the summary is to offer a highlight of the changes in each section. The team did realize that a comparison chart is another great way to highlight changes and this format will be available for the next TA.
What is the process at the table?
Both sides decide on the sections to discuss. A general discussion takes place to see how close, or far apart, each side is. If AFA has an idea on a section and the Company is willing to review the proposal, AFA will break away from the table and draft a proposal. The proposal looks like a section of the contract that includes new language, excludes language that is not relevant, and show changes to language if need be. This proposal is given to the company and they review. During any session several sections could be passed back and forth.
When all sections have been completed the work of pulling the sections together begins. This happens with members of both sides who go through the entire TA to ensure that the language is captured and correct.
Both AFA and the company agree that it will be important to take a little more time during this process to prepare the language. But, as with any agreement, clarifications in the form of LOAs and arbitration decisions will occur, and do occur, during the length of the agreement.
The discussion touched on topics for concern, 480 thresholds, sick leave, vacation, JA-no ja on a day traded away, period (!), and insurance caps. Jake did provided insight from the table on each of these sections and managements unwillingness to budge in many areas.
The main goal of the company was to increase productivity. This will be a focus in the next round of negotiations. It will be important to understand where the members are willing to go in certain sections in response to the company’s desires.
Many in the room explained that flexibility is key and a top priority. Others enjoyed the pay increase, but were concerned about the impact of the attendance policy.
The most important point reflected in the meeting is the fact that the company does not appear to value the group. The 6 JD Power Awards, other awards, support from our customers all fall on deaf ears. The group feels strongly that they helped the company achieve the financial success we enjoy today by passing the extension and now it is time for the company to show their appreciation by providing healthy raises and flexibility.
Also, based on discussion I will be drafting information on the differences between AFA meetings: MEC, LEC, Base Meetings, etc, and how decisions are made at the MEC level and who directs the discussion at the negotiation table. Look for this communication next week.
The duties of each LEC Office (President, Vice President, Sec-Treasurer, and Council Representative) is clearly defined the in AFA Constitution and By-Laws. You can find the link on the AFA website or by visiting afacwa.org
We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting-
Jake, Linda, Toni, and Laura