As you probably have heard by now, Alaska Airlines management is planning to phase out the old Jeppesen Maestro/eMaestro system and switch to the new Jeppesen Crew Tracking Enterprise on the evening of September 30th. Management recently announced all trip trading will be “temporarily” suspended for up to 78 hours during the cutover. Yes, you read that correctly: more than 3 days! (Full disclosure: Management plans to open up trading as soon as they believe it is safe to do so.)
The AFA Alaska Master Executive Council (MEC) and management have been discussing the impending transition in detail for many months now. The parties have thoroughly explored alternative options for trip trading during the cutover—including manual trading—and we’re all in agreement there is no viable method of keeping trip trading open during this period. That is where our agreement on the issue ends.
Although the MEC recognizes that Maestro/eMaestro is antiquated, the MEC also knows that having trading completely suspended for that length of time is unacceptable to our members—and unprecedented. It is also a contractual violation: CBA §12.C.1. [Exchange of Sequences: Trading Procedures] “The Company will provide and maintain a real-time electronic system for processing sequence trades, pick-ups, drops and give-aways.” Additionally, your AFA leadership anticipates the transition has the potential to significantly and very negatively impact the operation.
The MEC has spent months attempting to negotiate provisions that would help take the sting out of such a major contractual violation and benefit the operation. As of this writing, the MEC regrets to inform you that the parties have been unable to reach an agreement on the cutover. In the MEC’s opinion, the tentatively agreed to provisions do not go far enough to acknowledge such a significant contractual violation, nor to make up for the disruption to Flight Attendant’s flexibility of schedule (which has been lacking these days anyway). Consequently, negotiations have stalled.
Your AFA leaders are sure you will agree that a simple “We apologize for the inconvenience” from management is not nearly enough. Although management is taking steps to minimize the impact, the MEC is also concerned the cutover could easily become an operational nightmare—unless additional measures are negotiated to supplement the existing staffing. Therefore, AFA Alaska calls upon Alaska Airlines management to renew negotiations with us as soon as possible.
Be assured the MEC is continuing to passionately advocate for your interests, and we will not let this issue rest. Stay tuned for further developments!
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Yvette Satterlee, Lisa Pinkston, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn, Tim Green and Brice McGee