In This Edition
- Novel Coronavirus Outbreak
- Black History Month AFA Pin
- Negotiating Committee Interviews
- Uniform Returns & Packing Materials
- REMINDER: Contractual Supporting Documents
- Managing Negativity
Novel Coronavirus Outbreak
Air Safety, Health, & Security Committee (ASHSC)
The novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019, is creating growing concern for air travel. The first known case has now been confirmed in the United States. AFA is contacting our airlines in an effort to put in place information and precautions for crewmembers. We are sharing what we know about the virus now, although health officials are still determining the full implications of the virus and how it is spread.
NOTE: It is important that crew redouble efforts to take the best steps against spread of communicable disease. Review personal safety and universal precautions in section 4.200 of the Flight Attendant Manual (FAM).
AFA is calling on all airlines to institute emergency measures immediately, including providing crew members the latest information regarding the 2019-nCoV outbreak, identification of signs/symptoms of illness (in oneself and others), and procedures to manage potentially ill persons – utilizing information from relevant U.S. authorities including the CDC, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and international authorities including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). We are also encouraging airlines to adopt AFA recommendations from our Communicable Disease Incident Response Checklists.We will provide additional updates as more information is available. We will continue to press airlines for action on this as we work to keep aviation’s first responders, our counterparts in the flight deck, and our passengers safe and healthy.
Black History Month AFA Pin
Master Executive Council (MEC)
At the December 2019 meeting of the AFA Executive Board, a resolution was unanimously passed in recognition of February as Black History Month. The resolution established a special commemorative pin for AFA Members to wear throughout the month of February.
Our Local Executive Council (LEC) Officers have been provided with a limited supply of these special edition pins and will soon be making them available to you. Please be on the lookout for information directly from your LEC Officers with instructions on how you can obtain your own Black History Month AFA pin!
Negotiating Committee Interviews
Master Executive Council (MEC)
Our current Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA) becomes amendable on December 17, 2021 but also contains an early opener clause for the negotiating process to begin as early as December 2020. In anticipation of early openers, the Master Executive Council (MEC) will be conducting interviews for the Negotiating Committee during the March Regular MEC Meeting, to be held March 10 and 11, 2020. All three Negotiating Committee positions are up for interview and consideration. Per the AFA Constitution & Bylaws, the MEC President is the chairperson of the Negotiating Committee and rounds out the Committee as the fourth member.
The Negotiating Committee is charged to negotiate and institute the needs and desires of the Flight Attendants into an effective collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The Committee should have a good working knowledge of the current CBA and be willing to devote their full time to the Committee during negotiations. The members of this Committee shall serve as the CBA Interpretation Committee until a new agreement is completed.
Selection of Committee Members
- Any person seeking a position on the Negotiating Committee must submit a resume to the MEC
- Committee Members will function until a new Committee is selected
- The Chairperson of the Negotiating Committee will be the MEC President or her/his designee
- Committee Members are selected by majority vote of the voting members of the MEC (LEC Presidents)
Committee Member Duties & Responsibilities
The duties and responsibilities of the Negotiating Committee shall include the following:
- The Committee, with the advice of the Staff Negotiator shall have the authority to conclude an agreement, subject to the provisions of Article XII of the Constitution and Bylaws.
- All members of the Committee, including alternates whenever possible, shall complete a negotiations training seminar prior to writing an “opener.”
- Be familiar with Union policy and keep abreast of new developments in the industry.
- Utilize the facilities and resources of the Union and the experience and knowledge of Union Officers, International Office staff and study committees of the Union. (eg., Legal, Retirement and Insurance, Wage and Working Conditions, etc.).
- Maintain a current record of the:
- Financial condition of the company.
- Management lines of authority and methods of communication.
- Operations statistics and experiences of the airline which may be used in bargaining, grievances, litigation, etc.
- Be familiar with the wishes of the Flight Attendant group with respect to wages, working conditions, and work rules, through, for example, system-wide distribution of contract surveys, periodic road shows, etc.
- Prepare the contract opener with the advice of the Staff Negotiator
- Provide regular updates to the membership on the status of negotiations
- Proof CBA language and agree with the Company on implementation and effective dates
- Review tentative agreement with the MEC
- Prepare membership summary package and Roadshow schedule
- Present the tentative agreement to the members
- Proof printed agreement and prepare CBA index
- Prepare CBA interpretations for new concepts
- Remain available as a resource for interpretations
- Maintain a complete record of the negotiations, including proposals, notes and communications, and such record is the property of AFA-CWA. A copy of this record will be forwarded to the International Office by the Negotiating Committee.
- Maintain contact, through the MEC President, with IAM, ALPA, TWU, AMFA, and other applicable labor unions on property
Flight Pay Loss Reimbursement
Flight pay loss (FPL) reimbursement will be provided to Negotiating Committee Members at the rate of 6 TFP at “A” pay for 8 hours of work. FPL is not reimbursed for days that solely contain travel to/from an activity.
Expressing Interest and Interview Scheduling
The MEC will hold interviews during the March Regular MEC meeting from March 10-11, 2020. Bid around the interview date or plan to arrange your schedule accordingly to accommodate.
Interested candidates should submit an expression of interest and resume online at https://forms.gle/6vj5XPxDwv9x54eb9. The deadline for submissions is 5 PM Pacific time on Tuesday, March 3. After that time, MEC Secretary-Treasurer Linda Christou will contact qualified candidates to schedule a specific interview time.
Please note that in order to submit an expression of interest, you must have a Google account. If you do not have a Google account, you can create one for free at https://accounts.google.com/signup.
Any questions regarding the Negotiating Committee positions or application process should be directed to MEC President Jeffrey Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Uniform Returns & Packing Materials
Our Uniform Committee has recently received reports that some Flight Attendants have been told that their uniform return shipments were improperly packed when dropping them off at FedEx shipping locations. Some Flight Attendants have been told by FedEx personnel that they would be required to purchase additional packing supplies including “fill” material to prevent the contents in the package from shifting.
According to paragraph B.7 of the Flight Attendant Custom Uniform 2020 Letter of Agreement, Inflight management will assist Flight Attendants with uniform returns and provide appropriate packing supplies at no cost to the Flight Attendant upon request. If you experience a problem with FedEx personnel accepting your return shipment due to the way it is packaged, it is recommended that you bring the package to an inflight supervisor at any base and ask them to provide the necessary packing materials and assist you with sending the shipment back to Unisync.
If you have any questions, please contact your Local Uniform Committee.
REMINDER: Contractual Supporting Documents
When there is a disagreement or difference of opinion regarding the intent of contractual language or how a contractual provision should be applied, AFA and management work through an established process to attempt to resolve the dispute. Depending on the issue at hand, the resolution might be documented in one of several forms: a letter of agreement, memorandum of understanding, labor memorandum, or contractual settlement agreement. Regardless of the format, these documents are contractually enforceable and supplement the provisions of our collective bargaining agreement.
To allow for the easiest possible access, these contractual supporting documents can easily be accessed from the contract home page of the AFA Alaska website at https://afaalaska.org/contract. You can also access them on your IMD through the Good Reader app by tapping ASFASupplemental > Collective Bargaining Agreement.
If you have any questions about contractual supporting documents, please contact your LEC President.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)/Professional Standards Committee
Many work environments have at least that one negative person whose only way of communicating is through a string of complaints. Escaping that individual at 30,000 feet is difficult. Relentless negativity tears away at our resiliency and ability to ignore the behavior. While we cannot change the way other people behave, we can change the way we react. Below are suggestions which may help you manage our own responses to negative communication and limit its impact.
Don’t Take it Personally
Negative individuals tend to find something wrong in almost every situation. Being negative may also be one’s main way to engage or connect with others. Negativity is sometimes correlated with self-esteem and inter-generational communication patterns. A person who chronically finds problems with other people may truly be unhappy with themselves and/or demonstrating the strong influences of familial communication.
“You” and “I”
Replace “you” statements with “I” statements. People feel attacked when their behavior is directly pointed out. Feeling attacked causes the person to become defensive and may create unnecessary conflict. For example, instead of “You always complain about working with her, and it gets old.” try “I feel uncomfortable when people discuss their feelings about our co-workers with me.”
Make it a Challenge
Try to say something like “We always seem to have something to talk about, but it is usually negative. Let’s only talk about cheerful situations today.” Beginning with a positive comment increases the probability your listener will be receptive. Giving feedback in this manner may also allow you to point out the negative tone of conversation of which the complainer maybe unaware.
Offer or Seek Assistance from Your AFA EAP
Allowing a person to bombard you with their negativity may actually reinforce that behavior. Everyone manages some negativity in their lives. It is important for your own mental health to limit the accumulation of others’ issues. If someone is clearly struggling, remind her/him that AFA EAP offers confidential assistance. Say something like “You know it sounds like it might be helpful for you to give our EAP a call. I think they might be a good listener and resource for you.” Then, give them AFA EAP’s number: (949) 470-0493. Remember, AFA EAP is also available to you to help you maintain your resiliency in dealing with negativity.