Council 35 Membership Meeting November 2 in SFO
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. The next meeting for Council 35 members will be November 2 in the SFO Terminal 2 Conference Room. This meeting will be open to all Council 35 members in good standing who have submitted a membership application. The purpose will be to provide members the opportunity to ask questions and receive updates on the latest issues that are impacting Council 35 members. Light refreshments will be offered, so please complete the online registration form to help with attendance expectations. Click here to view the Meeting Agenda.
Disciplinary Process Changes and Improvements Begin Nov 1
AFA has reached an agreement with management to align disciplinary processes to match AS standards. Historically at VX, the Reliability Policy was combined with performance discipline, which escalated F/As through the disciplinary steps at a faster rate. At AS, the attendance and performance disciplinary policies are separated into “tracks” which may exist concurrently on an F/A’s record. The VX Reliability Policy has now been defined as a “no-fault” program, and monitors attendance issues only. In the event an F/A is on a level of discipline through the Reliability Policy, it will not be considered if a performance issue for that same F/A is discovered. The performance disciplinary steps will remain the same, however cannot be combined with Reliability Points to escalate the F/A to a higher level of discipline. Please review the Establishing Separate Disciplinary Tracks for Performance and Reliability Letter of Agreement that defines the separation of “tracks” and outlines the new procedures for Reliability and performance discipline.
New Jump-seat Policy with Revision 16
Flight Attendants may now enjoy less restriction when jump-seating on Virgin America flights and experience more freedom while commuting/deadheading in uniform. The new policy allows those in uniform to “be a guest” while assigned to a guest seat during a commute or deadhead flight. F/As may sleep, watch the IFE, use PEDs and the internet. Additionally, F/As may sit in the jump-seat out of uniform, with minimal dress code restriction.
Seniority Verification Letters
By now you should have received your Seniority Verification letters by US Mail. Several of these letters have been returned and Council 35 officers will be distributing the letters via V-files in the Virgin Villages this week. For more information, please review the October 27 Seniority Merger Update from the Seniority Merger Integration Committee (SMIC). If you have not received your Seniority Verification letter, please contact the SMIC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AFA Membership Applications Needed
Every VX Flight Attendant must complete and submit a membership application to become an official member of AFA. 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. Completing an application ensures that you have the right to participate in voting activities and to attend membership meetings.
Grievances and AFA Representation at Meetings
Council 35 has been in attendance for over 100 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 33 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.
FAQs and Rumor Control
What happens if I try to use the commuter policy but can’t provide proof of commuting challenges?
When you encounter challenges with commuting, notify CSS as soon as you are aware and the COM code will be added to your line. If commuting by air, retain your paper boarding passes to provide as evidence of your attempt to commute. If commuting by ground, screenshots of 511 alerts should be taken. If the evidence you provide is not sufficient, the COM code will be removed and discipline may occur. If no evidence is submitted at all, and no attempt is made to justify the use of the Commuter Policy, the COM code will be converted to a NSH or Late depending on the situation. Please be sure to keep a copy of the VX Commuter Policy to reference while experiencing commuting difficulties. For more information about the policy please refer to the FAQs or contact your Council 35 officers.
Can you explain the boarding priority for using the cabin seat agreement on AS flights? It appears that all pilots regardless of airline, get priority over VX Flight Attendants when flying on AS flights.
Pilot jump-seaters (OAL) board at J8 and F/A cabin seat riders board at K2. VX employees traveling under ZED zero board at E7. The priority list is automatically generated and CSAs work off that list to assign seats. Therefore, to have a better priority while commuting, it is recommended that you list as a ZED zero via MyIDTravel.
When will VX transition to the AS monthly pay schedule and what will happen to our deductions?
Management has confirmed that VX will continue to be paid on the current bi-monthly schedule, with deductions occurring in both pay periods. Currently there are no transition plans in place to convert to the AS pay schedule, as it requires VX F/As to be on the AS crew scheduling system.
Is it true that if my spouse has insurance through his/her own employer, he/she may not be on my AS health benefit plan?
Coverage for spouses is available if the spouse does not have the option to obtain health benefits through their own employer. If the spouse has coverage, and the employee wishes to insure their spouse with additional coverage, the spouse must take the coverage offered through their own employer as the primary insurance provider and the AS health benefits would provide co-insurance. For questions regarding this issue, please reach out to Alaska Air Group Benefits Center.
When completing open enrollment for health benefits, there was no option to select travel plans. When will open enrollment begin for Team Travel?
This year Team Travel open enrollment has been separated from the health benefits open enrollment. You may make changes to your travel selection 11/15/17-11/30/17. For questions regarding this issue, please reach out to VX Team Travel.
Please let us know if you have any questions or thoughts! You can reach us at email@example.com.
Your Council 35 Officers – Melissa & Jamie