Your Council 35 Officers have received questions and feedback from Flight Attendants about the “ITM Sick Calls” email from Jeff and Val. In an attempt to manage what appears to be high usage of sick leave, management has opted to enforce their current policy with additional measures. Alaska management views the misuse of sick leave as time card fraud and has been historically vigilant in investigating suspected abuse. Regarding Virgin America teammates, the percentage of Flight Attendants that use sick leave is significantly higher than the percentage of sick leave used by Alaska Flight Attendants, and this causes management some concern. Granted, AFA acknowledges that this is not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison due to differing sick leave policies, however management is still alarmed by the disparity.
Additionally, management has revealed that they will be evaluating Flight Attendant sick leave patterns. Management has indicated that certain trends could indicate sick leave abuse, and they will be investigating these patterns. Although this appears to be a new policy, it has always been the right of management to follow these procedures.
It is apparent that the tone and style of this recent communication is different than the tone historically employed in past communications. Jeff Butler is very straight forward; this can be refreshing to some because it removes ambiguity while others may interpret his bluntness as being too aggressive. Many of you have expressed to us that you feel personally offended by the presentation of the information. If you find yourself feeling that way, we suggest that you respectfully write to Jeff and Val and explain how the email was perceived. If you are not comfortable communicating directly with management, you may write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org we can forward the information to them anonymously.
Finally, if any Flight Attendant is notified by any member of management to attend a meeting regarding sick leave use, please contact your Council 35 Officers immediately at email@example.com. You are entitled to have an AFA Representative present at any such meeting.
Your Council 35 Officers – Melissa & James