PED Policy Finally!
Management has finally released the long-awaited new and improved PED policy for Virgin America Flight Attendants. The policy was tied to the Inflight Manual (IFM) therefore changes needed to be included in a revision cycle. The policy, in relation to personal PED use, was taken from the AS Flight Attendant Manual. Please review the policy to ensure understanding of the changes as it relates to using your personal PEDs while on duty. If you have any questions about the new policy, please contact your Council 35 officers.
Grievances and AFA Representation at Meetings
Council 35 has been in attendance for 68 meetings with VX Flight Attendants since June 1, when the Grievance Letter of Agreement went into effect. These meetings have been for investigations and issuance of discipline. To date, we have filed 21 grievances on behalf of Flight Attendants to dispute discipline issued and for contractual violations. If you want to know more about the grievance process please review the Letter of Agreement and the July 5 Council 35 News for an explanation of the just cause employment relationship. If you need representation for a meeting with management, please contact your Council 35 officers.
Upcoming Commuter Policy
In just a couple of weeks on October 1, we will begin the trial period of the newly negotiated VX Commuter Policy. If you have any questions about the policy, please review the FAQs. In November, we will be sending another survey requesting participation of members to give feedback on the effectiveness of the policy. If you have any additional questions, please contact your Council 35 officers.
Membership Applications Needed
According to our records, 30% of VX Flight Attendants have not submitted a paper membership application. Although the National Mediation Board has ruled that AFA is our collective bargaining representative, VX Flight Attendants are not automatically considered an AFA member. Everyone must complete and submit a membership application to become an official member. Please be aware that this form cannot be completed online. The hard copy form must be submitted directly to an AFA representative or mailed to the AFA International Office in D.C. You can download and print one by clicking here. Completing an application ensures that you have the right to participate in voting activities and to attend membership meetings.
Save the date—Council 35 Town Hall Membership Meeting
AFA Constitution and Bylaws require that local councils hold a membership meeting twice per calendar year. Our first meeting was held in June with United Council 11 to discuss the AFA Board of Directors Meeting Agenda. We are planning our next meeting for November 2. Stay tuned for updates for location, time and agenda topics. If you wish to bid the day off, please keep in mind the meeting will be held in SFO.
Inflight Management’s Recent Email about Changes to VX Inflight
VX Flight Attendants have asked Council 35 officers for clarification on a recent email from VX inflight management which stated upcoming changes expected for F/As. It was mentioned that we are on the AS AFA contract, which is incorrect. VX F/As will not be on a merged contract with Alaska Flight Attendants until we have a ratified merged agreement. Additionally, some new terms caused confusion, specifically relating to the ITL position. Alaska’s lead flight attendant position, is called the “A” Flight Attendant. They do not have a separate lead program, with separate bidding pools. All are assigned to positions during the single group bidding process. To differentiate the two programs, instead of using the term ITL, VX management would like to transition to the term Legacy VX “A” Flight Attendant.
FAQs and Rumor Control
Is Alaska sending ghost riders on our flights to audit us?
No. Alaska is not sending ghost riders on VX flights to audit and report back to AS corporate. Jeff Butler, VP of Inflight and Call Centers, has made it clear that this practice has never been a consideration as they receive ample information about flights and customer service issues from guest initiated communications.
Will changing my hire date on the new I9 requirement affect my seniority?
No. Management has assured AFA that putting today’s date as the hire date will not in any way affect seniority, benefits, retirement or travel privileges.
If I pick up on my day off as a reserve will I get paid for it or will it just help me get to my guarantee sooner?
Management has agreed that reserve Flight Attendants who pick up on their days off will receive a credit above their guarantee.
When we achieve Single Operating Certificate (SOC) in early 2018, will we be covered automatically by the AFA Alaska Flight Attendant Contract?
Single Operating Certificate is the approval granted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to two airlines to allow them to operate their aircraft for commercial purposes as one airline going forward. It is a major regulatory step forward toward the eventual merger of the two airlines into a single entity. Achieving SOC does not mean that all work groups will be fully merged and integrated at that time. VX F/As will see some company-wide benefit changes through the process of integration (with SOC being part of that process), however we will not automatically be covered by the AS contract at SOC. Integration of the VX F/As into the AS contract is currently being negotiated. Although there is no set time for negotiations to be completed, AFA and management have a vested interest in making the process as smooth and expeditious as possible.
When will we see a return of the Flight Locator by Crew feature?
Council 35 officers have had multiple conversations with management about the return of this feature and management has stated that the functionality of Flight Locator by Crew will not be returned. The VX legal department has instructed that the feature be removed, and the company is obliged to follow their instruction. The company did say that CSS would provide crew information if we call and ask, however your Council 35 officers recognize that the process is a hassle.
Please let us know if you have any questions or thoughts! You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Council 35 Officers – Melissa & Jamie