In This Edition
- Continuing to Advocate for Flight Attendant Protections
- COVID-19 Related Temporary Leaves of Absence
- Company COVID-19 Resources
- Maternity Roundtable Cancelled
- COVID-19 PST Cancellation Exception
- Managing Your Anxiety Around Coronavirus
Continuing to Advocate for Flight Attendant Protections
Air Safety, Health, & Security Committee (ASHSC)
An AFA communication from March 3 (Coronavirus [COVID-19] Update) contained a comprehensive list of the requests that AFA had made of management at the time. AFA Alaska officers and representatives have been in constant communication with management since that time to continue to advocate for these requests along with additional protective measures and changes to company policy/procedures to protect our Flight Attendants. AFA has requested that management post a copy of this list along with the current status of each request. Once management posts the list, we will provide a link to the information.
COVID-19 Related Temporary Leaves of Absence
AFA and management have agreed to the implementation several temporary leaves of absence (LOAs) and other mitigations to offset the impact of COVID-19. These temporary LOAs include:
- Educational Disruption Leave of Absence (EDLOA) – for Flight Attendants who cannot fulfill their scheduling obligations due to the closure of their minor child’s school or childcare provider due to COVID-19.
- Voluntary Quarantine Leave of Absence (VQLOA) – for Flight Attendants who are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 as determined by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Flight Attendants who reside in the same household as increased risk individuals, and Flight Attendants who wish to remove themselves from the workplace due to suspected exposure to COVID-19 (no diagnosis or symptoms are required)
- COVID-19 Workplace Exposure Leave of Absence (CEWLOA) – for Flight Attendants who are recommended or required to go into isolation/monitoring or quarantine due to work-related exposure to COVID-19. The recommendation or requirement for isolation/monitoring or quarantine must be from the Company, the Flight Attendant’s physician or other qualified healthcare provider, the CDC, the local Department of Health, or other applicable government agency.
All of these temporary LOA options provide the ability for Flight Attendants to purchase and maintain health insurance at active employee rates even if you do not have enough sick leave and/or vacation/Longevity PTO to coordinate with an approved Medical Leave of Absence or other LOA directly related to COVID-19.
More details about these LOA options, including eligibility and documentations requirements, can be found in the COVID-19 Leaves of Absence and Related Mitigations Memorandum of Understanding.
How Do I Apply For One of These LOAs?
Please contact Matrix at 1-888-205-2590 to apply for one of the COVID-19 temporary LOAs.
If you have any questions about leaves of absence, please contact your Local Benefits Committee.
Company COVID-19 Resources
Management has created a subsite of Alaska’s World that contains the latest company news and updates on COVID-19 along with a list of actions being taken by management, several FAQ pages, and a resources page. To access the subsite, click the Coronavirus (COVID-19) banner above the Water Cooler link on Alaska’s World or click here.
Maternity Roundtable Cancelled
The Maternity Roundtable event scheduled in Seattle on Friday, March 27 has been cancelled. Assistance with maternity-related questions is always available from the Local Benefits Committee.
COVID-19 PST Cancellation Exception
Management has announced a temporary exception for cancellation of positive space travel (PST) reservations due to COVID-19. Effective March 12, 2020, any PST reservations canceled within 14-days of departure will be returned to the Employee’s Fly account. In order to have your credits returned to you, you will need to submit a request through the Fly website. From the Fly home page, click on the “Contact Us” tab in the menu bar and choose the subject “Positive Space Travel”. In the message box, indicate that you would like to cancel your reservation due to COVID-19 and be sure to include your confirmation code. Employee Travel will cancel your PST reservation for you and redeposit the credits back to your Fly account.
Managing Your Anxiety Around Coronavirus
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)/Professional Standards Committee
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new risk, not a familiar one. Its status as a new health problem with which we are unfamiliar contributes to our heightened anxiety. Remember, anxiety is a protective measure. It’s signaling you to scan for risks and find methods to safeguard yourself. Embrace your anxiety for what it is…. a “pay-attention” signal. However, ensuring that your anxiety doesn’t exceed your ability to continue functioning is important. Below are some suggestions that may help you modulate worry so it remains in the healthy response range for you and your family.
Get The Facts
Find credible sources of information about protective measures from sources you can trust. This might include the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, your local or state public health agencies, your family physician and AFA.
Assess Your Vulnerability to Continuous News
Although you will want to keep informed, limit worry and agitation by lessening the time you spend watching or listening to upsetting media coverage. Remember to take a break from watching the news and focus on the things that are positive in your life and things you have control over.
Engage in protective measures recommended by reliable sources so you can continue to function. Taking effective action steps not only protects you physically but emotionally. Action provides us with a sense of control. It reduces or “grounds” our anxiety. You may have discovered some action steps that were particularly effective for you when past national health alerts occurred. Borrow what worked for you then and use those techniques now.
Maintaining social networks can foster a sense of normalcy and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. Remain flexible in your methods of connecting with others especially if vulnerable friends and family have chosen to engage in social distancing.
Communicate With Your Children
Discuss the news coverage of the coronavirus with age-appropriate information. Parents can help allay distress by focusing children on routines and schedules. Remember that children will observe your behaviors and emotions for cues on how to manage their own feelings during this time.
Seek Additional Help
If your worry begins to amplify beyond the protective range and into the overwhelming range seek assistance. Your AFA EAP can help you identify local professional help. If you are already under professional care for an anxiety disorder stay in close communication with your treating provider. Virtual therapy sessions may even be available to you. AFA EAP can be contacted at (949) 470-0493.