In this Edition
- ASHSC Committee Update
- Benefits Committee Update
- Communications Committee Update
- EAP Committee Update
- Grievance Committee Update
- Hotel Committee Update
- Human Rights Committee Update
The Seattle Air Safety, Health, and Security Committee has continued working towards creating a safer work environment for our workgroup. We have participated in discussions around changing processes and announcements as we continue to grow and change. The Flight Attendants that conduct our Cabin LOSA observations had their annual recurrent training and are getting ready for the audits that will begin again in October.
This year, the switch from Summer to Fall seems to have happened overnight. With this change, we are starting to see the fall storms and the days are getting shorter. It’s important to remember to review and adjust some of our habits to stay safe. With more darkness, be aware of your surroundings, especially in parking lots, on layovers, and other places that aren’t well lit. While driving during this transition period, be aware that there are still lots of people out and often they aren’t wearing clothing that’s geared towards the dark. We also deal with a lot more wind which requires additional attention while driving.
Both NOAA and the national Weather Service have lots of good information on their websites. A couple of links follow:
Benefits, Retirement & Maternity
Our Benefits Committee is always very busy assisting Flight Attendants with planning their medical, maternity, and workers comp leaves.
When a staffing leave is offered, many calls are generated regarding benefits while on a staffing leave. We had many SEA based Flight Attendants that are on the October staffing leave. It is very important to double check your benefit enrollment when you return. An email will be sent from our benefits department with a link to your benefits enrollment.
The 2024 annual enrollment period is right around the corner. This year, the dates are 10/24/2023 – 11/17/2023. This is your once per year time to review your benefits and make any changes for plan year 2024. Our Benefits Committee will be doing base sits 11/9, 11/10, 11/16 & 11/17. Watch for detailed information regarding annual enrollment.
Our Benefits, Retirement and Maternity committee are committed to helping our SEA based Flight Attendants in any way we can.
We launched our first newsletter since bringing on new committee members. As with any change, there will be some growing pains, and we are working to streamline our processes.
Moving forward, you will receive two regular email communications from us each month. The first will be our monthly committee update (like the one you are reading now) containing information/updates on a portion of our committees, being sent the 2nd Wednesday of each month. The second will be a monthly newsletter, coming the 4th Wednesday of each month.
In addition to the above communications, we will send out emails when we need to get important information out to the membership.
We are also going to focus on social media. We have already launched our new Council 19 Facebook group, and we will be launching our Instagram page soon. Moving forward, we will continue to evaluate other social media platforms to keep our members informed. As always, we will continue to make posts on our Council 19 webpage https://afaalaska.org/sea.
Are you looking for a counselor? Alaska is in the process of switching to a new provider for company sponsored EAP benefits, which will be available in early 2024. In the meantime, we want to ensure that you have access to timely and quality counseling services. EAP has compiled a comprehensive list of providers that you can choose from if you need extra support. We can also assist you in finding someone who matches your needs and preferences, especially if this is your first time seeking professional help. Please visit the AFA EAP website for resources or email Andrea Korican at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lisa Haugen at email@example.com and share your personal email for an updated list.
We continue to see professional standards concerns with social media misuse, unauthorized trip trades, bullying, and unprofessional behaviors on the airplane. We urge you to resolve any conflicts or issues through respectful dialogue and mutual understanding. Remember that everyone may be facing different challenges and stressors at work or in their personal lives. If you encounter a situation that you are unsure about or that makes you uncomfortable, you can always seek confidential guidance and support from an EAP Professional Standards representative or chairperson. They can help you with strategies and solutions to address or cope with your concerns.
Joint Meetup with AFA and ALPA Professional Standards Committees
Your AFA Professional Standards Committee, in coordination with ALPA’s Professional Standards Committee, invites you to coffee and snacks in the Seattle Village (i.e., the crew lounge on the first floor of the North Satellite) on October 19 from 0800 – 1100.
AFA and ALPA are making a joint effort to provide information about the committees and how they can support you on the line. The AFA and ALPA Professional Standards Committees are each part of their respective Assistance Programs available to all union members.
Your Professional Standards Committees goal is to provide you with a better understanding of who we are and how our two committees work individually and together to assist our fellow flight attendants and pilots. This is an opportunity to ask any questions you may have and gain a better understanding of how the professional standards process works. We are committed to assisting our fellow crew members by resolving situations that arise at the lowest level possible so they can continue to perform their duties professionally and safely in an increasingly challenging work environment. Please take a few minutes to stop by for coffee and snacks and meet our committee volunteers! We look forward to the opportunity to serve you!
On September 12, 2023, there was a Grievance Committee Update published for the 3rd quarter of 2023. Items discussed included:
- Steps of Discipline
- Subjects of most recent discipline
- Recent Arbitration/Mediation
- Recent grievance Settlements
- Grievances recently filed, denied by management and currently awaiting arbitration dates
Steps of Discipline
As stated in the update, the steps of discipline are:
- Confirmation of Oral Warning (COW)
- Written Warning (WW)
- Suspension – the number of days varies
These disciplines remain in your file for 18 months and then are eligible for removal. It’s important to understand that each violation builds on another, regardless of if they are related or of a different nature. So, if a Flight Attendant is still within the 18-month period of a previous discipline, then a subsequent violation will be the next step and the 18 months starts again.
For example, a Flight Attendant receives a COW for being late to plane and causing a delay. Twelve months later, the Flight Attendant loses their IMD and is issued a WW. Eight months later, the Flight Attendant forgets to do their CBT and is suspended. Even though it’s been 20 months since the first violation and the COW will have been removed from their file, they are still in the steps of discipline for the WW, so the next step is still suspension.
For more information regarding the removal of discipline, refer to the CBA, §19.D:
DISCIPLINARY EIGHTEEN (18) MONTH REMOVAL
All letters of discipline (warning or suspension) will be expunged after eighteen (18) months after the date of issuance and, at the request of the Flight Attendant, will be removed from the Flight Attendant’s personnel file.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Not all violations follow the steps of discipline. Some violations, including but not limited to, theft or sick leave abuse is cause for termination, even if the Flight Attendant is not already in a step of discipline.
Unlike other violations, attendance disciplines follow a separate track and are dependent on point accumulation. Refer to the CBA, §32.E.1 to learn more about the steps of discipline related to occurrences of absenteeism. It is up to the Flight Attendant to be aware of the status of their own point accumulation. Make sure that you are utilizing your Quarterly Point Reduction form to help mitigate your point accrual. You have until the end of your next sequence to designate the sequence for your point reduction form. If you don’t submit your form in time, it will be denied, and your points will stay. In other words, a Flight Attendant can’t wait until the end of the quarter and try to use their form for a sequence weeks prior if they had already returned to work and flown subsequent trips since.
For example, a Flight Attendant calls out for a 4-day trip. They are off for 3 days and then report to work for their next 4-day trip. The Flight Attendant has to submit their Quarterly Point Reduction Form prior to their release on Day 4 of their trip.
Your hotel committee continues to advocate for the best hotels possible, while maintaining the language in our CBA.
We have seen an increased number of Crew Care reports coming through which is great. Please remember to continue to send the reports for both complaints and compliments. These reports are essential when we are evaluating markets. The Crew Care reports can be accessed directly on your IMD by clicking the API Icon, or on the Inflight Website, Hotels, Hotel Links, My Crew Care.
Our committee has been busy doing site inspections the last couple of months. Members of the committee have recently conducted inspections in CUN, BWI, DEN, SJC, ONT, EWR & PIT. Upcoming inspections include NAS, RDU, GUA, ZIH, IAH, and BNA.
We have seen recent new hotels in Downtown Seattle, and Downtown Chicago, we hope you are enjoying these great new locations and properties!
We hope you have been utilizing the API quick link on your IMD for all your hotel information and needs. Important information like shuttle pick-up times/locations, hotel amenities, and more can be found via the link. The quick link will be replaced with a stand-alone app in the next couple of months. We are currently testing the app and are happy with what we see so far. More information will come on this as we get closer to the launch. We are also planning a base sit in Seattle to highlight the functions!
A note from Yan Yan Teague, Local Human Rights Chairperson:
Hello Council 19,
After four years as your LEC Human Rights Chairperson, I have decided to step down at the end of the year.
To quote Chris Jackson as Washington in Hamilton:
“If I say goodbye, the nation learns to move on, it outlives me when I’m gone”
While I by no means am comparing my position to that of the nation, I do believe that it is important to get a fresh new perspective in this position. I know there is still so much to tackle, but I am proud of what we were able to accomplish in the past four years.
To ensure we have an equitable process in selecting a new Chairperson, the SEA LEC will hold interviews for eligible candidates during the week of December 4, 2023. If you are interested, please plan to bid around that week. All interviews will be conducted using Google Meet video conferencing.
Visit our AFA Alaska Human Rights Committee page to learn more and download roles and responsibilities of the committee. Interested candidates should submit a resume along with a cover letter outlining your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than November 1, 2023.
Find Us on Social Media
You can find the most up to date information on our Council #19 Facebook Group. Click below to join our group and stay connected. Also, our communication team is researching other social media platforms, more information will come soon!