Good-bye IFM, Hello IMD
As of January 5th, Virgin America Flight Attendants are no longer required to carry the paper version of our manual (IFM) which has now been replaced by the Flight Attendant Manual (FAM) on the Inflight Mobile Device (IMD). For many, this a welcome change, as it lightens our load significantly and brings pre-merger Virgin America Flight Attendants current with technology of the times. The IMD is a great tool and a welcome improvement, and has many features that F/As may enjoy. AFA would like to remind all Flight Attendants, that although the IMD has the capability of being personalized, please do not download any personal information to the device. Any and all activity on the IMD is monitored by the company, and apps or personal emails, should not be added to its content.
“Could this conversation lead to discipline?”
Council 35 officers have been made aware of many occasions where investigatory conversations between Flight Attendants and management have occurred without the presence of AFA. As a reminder, if you are ever asked to discuss a situation or explain an incident to a member of management, your supervisor, or regulatory compliance/safety managers, an opportunity to obtain AFA representation must be offered. AFA recommends that if you find yourself in a situation where you are being questioned and if you feel uncomfortable with the direction of the conversation, then please stop the discussion and ask, “Could this conversation lead to discipline?” If the answer is “Yes” or “Maybe,” then request AFA representation. The grievance Letter of Agreement (LOA) provides protection for every pre-merger Virgin America Flight Attendant in the event management chooses to investigate an incident. AFA highly recommends that you do not resume the conversation until after you have obtained AFA representation.
Down-gauge/Up-gauge of Aircraft
Crew planning and inflight management has developed new procedures for dealing with DRA and DRL resulting from down-gauges of aircraft. This new amendment to the Virgin America Work Rules defines more clearly what to expect in the event of a down-gauge. If you have any questions regarding the new DRA/DRL procedure, or if you have experienced a deviation to the newly created process, please contact your Council 35 officers for assistance.
ASAP for Pre-merger Virgin America F/As
As previously mentioned in a communication from the AFA Alaska Master Executive Council (MEC), pre-merger Virgin America Flight Attendants are now participating in the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP). ASAP is an FAA program that allows Flight Attendants to self-disclose unintentional violations of CFRs or company safety policy without fear of disciplinary action from management or enforcement action from the FAA. The intent of the program is to improve procedure, processes, and training through increased reporting of safety-related incidents that might otherwise go unreported. As of now, ASAP can only be reported online, however plans to launch the IMD application are in the works and should be announced within the next couple of weeks. If you have any questions about ASAP for Virgin America, please reach out to Brad Young, the ASAP AFA representative for pre-merger Virgin America at email@example.com.
The Master Executive Council (MEC) has agreed to the continuation of the Virgin America Commuter Policy. The Commuter Policy will remain in effect until pre-merger Virgin America Flight Attendants are covered under a merged agreement with Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants. For questions about the Commuter Policy please refer to the Commuter Policy FAQ for more details, or contact your Council 35 officers.
CSS and AFA
If you have any challenges with your schedule that requires review or adjustment, please make every effort to find a solution with CSS to manage your schedule. In the event a resolution cannot be met, please forward to AFA for assistance. Keep in mind most scheduling issues may not be addressed immediately, and may have to be resolved after the fact. It is recommended that you keep a record of all correspondence and take notes of all phone conversations to provide the most accurate information regarding the incident for follow up. In the event a scheduling concern is determined to be a work rule or LOA violation, AFA can address the situation with CSS directly and if necessary, file a contractual grievance on behalf of the Flight Attendants involved.
Save the Date—Membership Meeting
The next Council 35 membership meeting is scheduled for April 3, 2018 and will be co-hosted by United Airlines Council 11. The agenda will be the AFA Board of Directors meeting scheduled April 9-11, 2018. Please stay tuned for more information.
AFA Membership Applications Needed
Every pre-merger Virgin America 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 Washington, DC. 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 pre-merger Virgin America Flight Attendants since June 1, 2017, when the Grievance Letter of Agreement went into effect. These meetings have been for investigations and issuance of discipline. To date, we have filed 36 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
Will we get paid the same as Alaska Flight Attendants now that we have achieved Single Operating Certificate (SOC)?
Single Operating Certificate is the process that the company experiences to bring systems together to create a single airline recognized by the FAA. Today is the day we achieved SOC, however this does not mean that all the work groups will be fully merged and integrated at this time. There has been no airline merger in recent history in which labor automatically received pay rates based on the SOC date. Pay rates come solely with a labor agreement, which is a negotiated item. Pre-merger Virgin America Flight Attendants will see some benefit changes through the process of achieving SOC, however anything connected to the Flight Attendant contract will not be enjoyed until it’s negotiated and ratified.
For the Flight Attendant work group to be fully merged, we must have an Integrated Seniority List (ISL) and be covered under a single contract. We do not have a date set for either of these two items to be completed. Negotiations are proceeding on schedule and AFA is hopeful that significant progress is being made towards an agreement.
How do I contact Council 35 officers?
The best way to contact Council 35 officers is via email. Emails are easier to forward for follow up and to have a record of information. All emails and concerns received by Council 35 are held in confidence, and will not be shared for follow up without the permission of the original sender. To get the fastest and most thorough response, please email your concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org. All officers can respond to emails sent to that address which facilitates a more efficient use of resources.
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