In This Edition
- Cancellation of April & May Recurrent Training
- Reminders About Layover Transportation and Meals
- Reporting Uniform Reactions
- Voluntary Benefits Updates & Information
- AFA EAP Support Services
- CWA/NETT and LinkedIn Learning
Cancellation of April & May Recurrent Training
On Friday, management announced that they would be cancelling recurrent training (RT) for the months of April and May as a precautionary measure in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Along with the cancellation announcement, management also provided information about an FAA temporary exemption granting a two-month extension to Flight Attendants with April and May base months (as well as some Flight Attendants scheduled for RT at the end of March). This exemption will give affected Flight Attendants an additional two grace months during which to complete RT in 2020 (e.g. a Flight Attendant whose base month is April and grace month is May will now have June and July as additional grace months this year).
AFA representatives have requested that management remove the April cancelled classes from rosters in Crew Access as soon as possible in order to allow Flight Attendants to manage their schedules and trade and/or pick up flying if desired. Crew Planning is also in the process of removing RT pre-planned absence from NavBlue to allow Flight Attendants who were scheduled for class in May to bid normally. Management has indicated that they will contact Flight Attendants whose RT class has been cancelled to discuss rescheduling options but they have not yet provided AFA with specifics on what the process for rescheduling will be.
If you have questions about the April/May recurrent training cancellations, please contact Inflight Training management directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reminders About Layover Transportation and Meals
Dedicated Crew-Only Layover Hotel Transportation
The AFA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update – March 19, 2020 provided information about the temporary implementation of dedicated crew-only layover hotel transportation. Management also communicated this information in bulletin #2020-0016, issued on March 17. As a reminder, this crew-only transportation may be either hotel-provided van that is dedicated for crewmembers only or separate contracted transportation. Please reference your trip information in Crew Access to determine whether the hotel or a contracted vendor will be providing layover hotel transportation. You can also find a complete list of dedicated transportation providers on the Inflight website > Hotel, Travel, & Station > Hotel News > Dedicated Transportation.
As always, if you encounter any issues with a transportation provider, please notify your AFA Hotel Committee by filing a CrewCare report.
Food Availability on Layovers
At the request of AFA, management has compiled a list of food availability at each layover hotel throughout the system. This list is updated regularly to ensure the most up-to-date information. It can be found on the Inflight website > Hotel, Travel, & Station > Hotel News > Food Availability.
Your AFA Hotel Committee is here to assist and support you in all matters related to layover hotels and transportation. You can find contact information for your Local Hotel Committee by clicking here.
Reporting Uniform Reactions
Air Safety, Health, & Security Committee (ASHSC)
With the launch of the new Unisync uniform, our AFA Air Safety, Health, & Security Committee (ASHSC) and Uniform Committee would like to offer a reminder about how to report reactions or safety concerns related to the new uniform pieces. Management has outlined the process for reporting these concerns in a document that is housed on the uniform subsite of Alaska’s World. You can access the document directly by clicking here (AAG sign on required).
If you have questions about how to report uniform reactions or need assistance in navigating the process, please contact AFA Uniform Safety Representative Deb Wallstrom at email@example.com.
Voluntary Benefits Updates & Information
Our AFA Benefits Committee has received information that Alaska employees who have either 401(k) through Vanguard or Alaska Credit Union loans may be eligible for modified payment arrangements. National Group Protection (NGP) has also provided information about continuation of coverage for anyone enrolled in the NGP/CAIC supplemental benefits program who takes a leave of absence.
Vanguard – 401(k) Loans
- You can suspend a loan for up to 12 months
- It can take up to two pay periods to process the suspension
- Once the request has been processed, the 12 month suspension begins
- You can reinstate payments earlier without penalty
- You can also make payments during the suspension of any amount without penalty. If you choose to do so, it will not restart your loan.
- You will accrue interest during that time – but this is interest you pay yourself. This may adjust your loan payment amount once your loan is reinstated.
For assistance with Vanguard 401(k) loan suspensions, contact Vanguard Participant Services at (800) 523-1188 (available Mon-Fri, 5:30 AM to 6 PM Pacific time). You can also reach out to Jamie Smalley with specific questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alaska Air Group Credit Union Loans
The Alaska Air Group Credit Union (AAGCU) is offering an emergency skip-a-payment option that may allow customers to skip to three monthly payments on certain AAGCU loans. For more information about this program, including a link to apply, please visit the AAGCU website by clicking here.
AFA Supplemental Benefits – National Group Protection
National Group Protection (NGP) has provided information for those who are enrolled in the NGP/CAIC supplemental benefits program and take a Leave of Absence (LOA). These special provisions include:
- Coverage will continue without interruption during the LOA
- Premiums are not due during the LOA
- CAIC will honor claims during the LOA
- No action is required on your part to maintain your coverage
AFA EAP Support Services
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)/Professional Standards Committee
AFA EAP has put together several resources to help Flight Attendants manage their personal mental health and wellness during the COVID-19 outbreak. All services are available in either a telephone or online format. For a complete list of support services being offered, schedules, and access information, please click here.
Please contact your Local EAP Committee for more information or assistance.
CWA/NETT and LinkedIn Learning
As a part of CWA, AFA members are entitled to take advantage of complimentary online learning through CWA/NETT. CWA/NETT provides you and your family with access to hundreds of online training courses through LinkedIn Learning. This might be the perfect time to brush up on existing skills or learn new ones.
Examples of learning titles include:
- Zoom Meetings
- Microsoft Collaboration
- Microsoft Excel
You can get started by completing this form. The form requires your CWA local number, which you can find on the Contact Us page of the AFA Alaska website under FAQs > Membership and Dues Questions > What’s My CWA Local Number.
If you have any questions, please contact your LEC Officers.