As February Ends

Hafa Adai Flyers!

This is time of rapid change in our industry, our union and our airline.  Here’s the latest news.

Rsei, our Secretary Treasurer, has left us for a while; his Air National Guard unit has been deployed.  (He asked me not to report this officially, until after he left.)  We are uncertain how long he will be gone, but Bobbie Tudela has stepped up to work with Kathleen and me during his absence.

Getting everyone’s dues current is essential to our strength as a bargaining unit.  Our voting power depends on the number of members in good-standing.  At s-UAL, because they have been in AFA for so long, ALL FAs have dues automatically deducted.  Therefore all 11,000+ of them have their voice/vote counted.  At s-CAL we still have thousands of members who owe dues dollars, a few dozen here at Air Mike.  This severely diluted our voice at the Board Of Directors meeting earlier this month.  We will need ALL those votes once negotiations begin….

PLEASE, sign the dues check off form and catch up if you have missed a month or two during our transition.

To pay by credit card. Go to:   www.afanet.org/payment

Or you can mail a check to:
AFACWA
PO Box 79797
Baltimore, MD  2179-0797

The AFA Board of Directors met in February.  This, the highest governing body of our union and is made up of the officers of 22 airlines. It meets once a year to amend the Constitution and By-Laws under which we operate. Kathleen, Bobbi and I attended.  Since I had the experience of attending the IAM equivalent four years ago, I was able to clearly mark the differences in how these two massive unions conduct the business of controlling budgets and allocating expenses.  We flew a small Guam flag at our table and took to the microphone to make our identity and needs known.

By the way –  I told you in my last blast, that we could expect our dues to go up to $50.  I was wrong!  This was much debated at the BOD – we finally ended up with dues of $48.  It was a small compromise that will have a harsher impact at smaller, less well paid, airlines.

Since the CAL officers were present at the BOD, there were many opportunities to talk negotiation strategies.  Obviously I am not going to list that stuff here.  What you need to know is that your best interests are being protected and we are doing our part to complete this merger as quickly as possible.  Kathleen and I will be traveling to Chicago the last week of February to attend negotiation classes with our Continental counterparts.  CAL is preparing to be at the Table, talking about a new contract in March.   We have also formally notified Management that we want to begin our CMI contract talks too!

All this will be happening immediately after the results of the vote on the United contract become known March 1st.  It is still unclear exactly how things will progress – but it is coming soon – AND FAST.  A lot depends on the UAL vote, of course.  But whatever the outcome of that ballot, CAL and CMI are preparing to move forward.  IF we are all at the same table, working for the Single Contract – Great.  IF we must do things in succession, we will.

NOW is the time to submit your contract proposals!  We’ve already collected several pages, many are duplications, some of are original and interesting!  GET YOUR IDEAS IN – NOW.  Do it in writing – here – or in the union box in the office.   Be aware, that electronically, this is a  MUCH faster place to contact us.  The union box doesn’t get opened seven or eight times a day like this email address!

Speaking of which – the Grievance submission form that Tony found on the internet is an excellent tool for getting your issues quickly brought to the attention of your officers.  It’s much more efficient than the “Do I have a Grievance?” form on the table in the office.  Please use it if you think you have an issue.

Go to: cmiafa.org or click here – You’ll find this form and other useful information there.

Since Kathleen and I will probably be off-island a lot in the coming months, we have asked Phil Rayphand to be the immediate go-to person on Guam while we are gone.  He is knowledgeable, and in easy contact with us at all times.  As are you, actually!

Unless I am in the the air – you can ALWAYS reach me at this e-dress (shendricks@cmiafa.org) or on my Stateside cell:  (808) 436-7932

One last thing – PLEASE stop writing each other up!  If you have a problem with a co-worker – talk to them!  If you are uncomfortable with that – talk to us or with another FA who can intercede for you.  Bev Haines and Karen Ives are trained to help you solve inter-personal problems without endangering anyone’s career.

AND, if you are one of those people who have not been pulling your weight on the aircraft – GET WITH IT!   These little planes leave nowhere to hide.   When there is a lot of work to be done – there is a LOT of work to be done!   Remember: no one is done working until EVERYONE is done working.  Get out of the galley or from behind the curtain.

Help each other – and try to make it fun!

Suzanne