Hafa Adai Fliers!
I started out writing about our grievance system. Then I realized that what you really want to know is, what is happening in a few specific cases. This is fragile territory. It is important to protect the privacy of Flight Attendants who are involved in incidents. AND, if a case is on-going, we don’t want to negatively influence decisions that are yet unmade. So, in the most general way, here’s some stuff your union has been working on lately.
Paycheck problems. Some FAs were missing money. They reported it, and the Company failed to issue corrective checks within two business days as contractually required. The grievance we filed resulted in those FAs receiving two (2) additional hours of flight pay.
No Flight Attendant was found responsible for the slide deployment last month. The slide was not in the floor brackets when it popped. The door was disarmed. And cross checked.
About sick calls from a foreign land. If you become ill or injured downline, make certain that you call Scheduling – personally. Don’t just tell the guy with all the phones and radios. Don’t assume that Scheduling has gotten the message. Make the call to Scheduling yourself – as required by our contract (Section 11, I).
Contract negotiations are speeding along at a snails pace. Go get the official news at the official site: ourunited.org. More than that I really cannot say. We have requested longer, and more frequent meetings – but the Company can only arrange for one week each month. They pick the city one month, we pick the next. The week before, and the week after, these Table Talks, your Joint Negotiating Committee meets in Chicago to work on contract language, and prepare the proposals that are currently being shifted back and forth. And on it goes. Our next session with Management starts October 13th, in Los Angeles.
Manual Compliance. Please make certain that your manuals have all the latest revisions. Have your book checked off by a supervisor BEFORE you report for work. Having an incomplete manual can cost you if caught: the FAA will issue personal fines, and the Company will hit you with a performance “incident.” This is your responsibility.
Union Dues are also your responsibility. AFA has been extremely lenient in allowing some of you to lapse much too long. That must end. Pay what you owe! Jose can help set up a payment plan for those who are in great arrears. It’s not fair when everyone isn’t paying his fair share. We are all enjoying the securities and protections that this union provides – including the opportunity to participate in the negotiations that will determine the future of this special island base – and our careers. Pay your part! Proudly wear you union pin.
Support your Officers and Negotiations Team. We are standing by to read all incident reports you are asked to write – BEFORE you pass them to the Company. We will be there to go into the Office with you, when summoned. When something goes wrong – we will work with you to make it right. Jose is our Man on the Island: sometimes handling a dozen issues at once. He is fast on finding answers, quick to communicate – and he spends a lot of time on Guam!
AFA Executive Board Meeting: This Board is made up of the MEC Presidents from each of the 19 airlines represented by AFA. We came together in Washington D.C. last month to share information about individual carriers, industry trends, legislative action, and technology updates. Dr. Michaels, head of OSHA, discussed the new workplace rules and protections for FAs. We should be receiving more information simplifying the changes soon. We also discussed the new pilot regulations that will be going into effect at the start of next year. While we are not covered by these rules – they are certain to affect our pairings.
This might not be bad news. It’s too soon to tell. We’ve lost a lot of time, and planes. Other bases have been hurt too, though not as badly. Still – we have secure jobs and a minimum wage. And – we get to live on Guam! (Or commute to a place we prefer!) Things could be worse. Personally, I remain confident that things will get better. Much better.
Anyway – we are in for the ride – so fasten your seatbelts and hang on.
Fly safely, and keep in touch.
In Solidarity, Suzanne