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43rd Annual AFA Board of Directors Meeting Update

Date: May 1, 2015

This week your AFA Leaders attended the 43rd Annual Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. Your locally elected Presidents represented you, as a Member of the AFA-CWA BOD.  Their work as a Member of the highest governing body of our Union is year-round, but at least once a year they meet to conduct the business our Union which affects every Member of AFA.  This meeting is part of the democratic process set forth in the AFA-CWA Constitution and Bylaws.  Your locally elected leaders participate in this forum for democratic action within AFA-CWA.

During the three-day Annual BOD meeting the Union leadership benefited from an inspirational presentation from our friend and Congressman, Peter DeFazio, Chairman of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.  Follow-up discussion stressed the importance of standing together in defending our collective bargaining rights. 

Also, the President of Airline Ambassadors, Nancy Rivard, and the host of To Catch A Predator, Chris Hansen, gave a special presentation to increase the awareness of Human Trafficking, how it relates to our industry and our role in potentially affecting a different outcome.

The AFA BOD acted on all 24 advanced agenda items including 2 late agenda items:

Agenda Item #1

2015-2016 AFA-CWA Annual Budget

Adopted

Agenda Item #2

Appointment of Transitional LEC Officers

Adopted

Agenda Item #3

Assistants to the International President

Not Adopted

Agenda Item #4

BOD Meeting, Biennial

Not Adopted

Agenda Item #5

BOD Meeting & Advanced Leader Training

Not Adopted

Agenda Item #6

Dues, Prepayment of Annual Dues

Adopted as Amended

Agenda Item #7

Elections, Direct Membership Elections, MEC

Not Adopted

Agenda Item #8

Elections, Duplicate Ballots

Adopted as Amended

Agenda Item #9

Elections, Eligibility, FA & Leader Qualification Status

Withdrawn

Agenda Item #10

Elections, Local Council Eligibility

Adopted

Agenda Item #11

Elections, Nomination and Election process

Not Adopted

Agenda Item #12

Elections, Postmark Dates

Adopted

Agenda Item #13

Elections, Staff Restrictions

Adopted

Agenda Item #14

Electronic Communications, Website and Social Media Policy

Adopted

Agenda Item #15

LEC Budget, 20%

Withdrawn

Agenda Item #16

LEC Budget, Carry Over at 100%, “Full Carryover”

Not Adopted

Agenda Item #17

LEC Carry Over at 100%

Not Adopted

Agenda Item #18

Merger Policy

Adopted as Amended

Agenda Item #19

Mobilization Fund

Adopted

Agenda Item #20

Negotiated Pension Plan

Adopted as Amended

Agenda Item #21

Petitions, LEC Officers

Not Adopted

Agenda Item #22

Petitions

Adopted as Amended

Agenda Item #23

Retirement of UAL Council 10

Adopted

Agenda Item #24

Transfer of Membership

Not Adopted

Agenda Item #25

BOD Study Committee on the Application of the AFCTCA (FMLA)

Adopted

Agenda Item #26

Credentials Committee

Withdrawn

More details on the action on the proposed agenda items will be updated on the AFA-CWA BOD website at www.afa-bod.org in the coming days. 

Linda Farrow, former MEC Vice President and retired Member of Council 12 LAX, and Diane Tucker, former Local Council 10 SEA President, were awarded our Union’s highest honor – the prestigious Ada Brown Greenfield Lifetime Achievement Award.  This award honors those at or near retirement who have distinguished her or himself through a lifetime of contribution to the advancement of our union.  While this award is typically awarded to only one person annually, the AFA Executive Board approved the award to four women with remarkable contributions to our Union.

If you have any questions about the United MEC or BOD meetings please contact your Local Council.

Joint Negotiations Update

Date: April 24, 2015

The Joint Negotiations Committee (JNC) has concluded another round of negotiations in Houston. 

As you know AFA and United management have been using a process of Facilitated Problem Solving with the assistance of the National Mediation Board (NMB) since last July.  The process has helped both parties reach tentative agreements on a number of subjects and Contract sections.  This process was altered at the beginning of the year in order to increase the work being done.  The parties did so by increasing the number of subcommittees working at any given time, and by talking about entire Contract sections instead of discrete subjects.  Another important change was choosing existing Contract language to “adopt and amend” for use in a new combined Contract. 

We told you in our last update that all parties had participated in a status conference with the NMB at the end of March.  As a result of that conference the NMB strongly encouraged both AFA and the Company to refine the process to reduce the number of subcommittees, and limit the number of participants involved on subcommittees to “decision makers.”  This has proved to be timely given that most of the sections the subcommittees had been working on are now complete, so most of the AFA volunteers who had been working with us have left the process. This month negotiations consisted of four subcommittees which addressed, among other things, Benefits, Sick Leave, the General section, TDY, Reduction of Personnel, Incentives and Hours of Service.  We also continued to work at “adopting and amending” whole Contract sections that didn’t necessarily need to be put into a subcommittee.

The JNC understands it might be confusing to hear that “the process” has been altered yet again, however we’d like to point out that a lot of work has been accomplished since July 2014.  We have a healthy list of tentatively agreed to sections and subjects.  The sections and subjects that remain to be worked on are bigger, more complicated and more inter-related than those that have been resolved so far. The core sections that deal with Scheduling, Benefits, Scope, Compensation and Duration are some of the most important parts of our Contract, so it makes sense at this point to reduce the number of subcommittees and broaden their work as we begin compiling all these separate sections and subjects into a complete Contract.

During this month’s session the subcommittees have been working on the following sections and subjects:

Bidding Timeline

The General Section which includes:

CJA/Reciprocal Cabin Seats

Checked Luggage

Court Witness

Crew Lounges

Crew Meals

Crew Scheduling Recordings

Crossing Picket Line

Date/Time Stamp

Drinking while Deadheading

Electronic Communication

Emergency Assignments

Hotels, Transportation & Expenses

Incentives

Insurance Indemnifications

Jury Duty

Locking Overhead Bins

Management Displacement

Management Rights

Medical/Dental Benefits

New Equipment

Onboard Crew Rest

Parking

Passports, Visas & Immunizations

Paychecks

Printing Agreement

Railway Labor Act

Reassignments

Records

Reduction in Personnel

Retirement

Savings Clause

Sick Leave

Special Assignment/Cobus

Special Transportation

Tidying

TDY

Trip Trading


The JNC also worked on language to adopt and amend the following sections:

Filling of Vacancies

Military Flying

Union Activities

 
As of today we have tentative agreements on the following sections and subjects: 

Cabin Jumpseat/Reciprocal Jumpseat  

Check-in/Debriefing Times

Deadhead

Drug & Alcohol Testing

Family Medical Leave

Grievance

Holding Time

JobShare & Partnership

Jury Duty/Court Witness

Leaves of Absence

Medical Examinations

Missing, Interned, POW

Moving Expenses

Non-Discrimination

Onboard Leader (ISM/Purser)

Personnel Files

Recognition

Records

Safety, Health & Security

Savings Clause

Short Crew Pay

Staffing

System Board of Adjustment

Uniforms

Union Security

Vacations


The JNC would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Flight Attendants volunteers who have spent the last 10 months with us.  Their knowledge as subject matter experts made a huge difference in our work output and in what we have been able to achieve so far. 

The work we have being doing since last July has had all of us focused on finding resolutions that address the needs of three different subsidiaries.  It has required a lot of patience, persistence, hard work and compromise.  Moving beyond that to find resolutions with the Company has required even more.

The JNC will resume negotiations on May 11th in Houston.

In Solidarity,

Cindy Commander, CAL
Ken Diaz, UAL
Kathleen Domondon, CMI
Joey Guider, CAL

Jack Kande, UAL
Kevin Lum, UAL
Marcus Valentino, CAL

Special MEC Meeting Update

A closed Special Meeting of the United Master Executive Council (MEC) was held on March 25 & 26, 2015 in Chicago.  The United MEC Members of the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) used this opportunity to update the United MEC on the status & progress of Negotiations for a Joint Contract that will govern the working conditions for the combined Flight Attendant group at United Airlines.  

Efforts of the Union to develop joint positions on any number of subjects have been ongoing.  In May of last year, a decision was made to modify the process by which subjects would be addressed.  After discussion and deliberation by the Members of the United Master Executive Council, our Union leadership made a decision to engage management using an Interest Based Bargaining methodology (IBB) facilitated by the National Mediation Board (NMB). Representatives from the company and AFA were trained by the NMB in the facilitated problem solving negotiations process in July and August of last year.

Before the process began, time was spent by the company and Union in the development of a protocol agreement to guide the parties through this process.  The protocol agreement typically addresses issues such as where negotiations will take place, what the schedule will look like and who will be involved in the bargaining process. 

It was agreed that this new process would involve a structure of subcommittees where the participants, subject matter experts in various areas of our respective Contracts, would work to develop solutions for the numerous subjects and sections on which we were negotiating.  Regular bargaining sessions were scheduled for two (2) consecutive weeks each month and dates were reserved and have been established through July 2015.  July 23 was established as the target deadline for completing these negotiations.   

Negotiations using the interest based bargaining methodology have been ongoing in Denver, Chicago and Houston over the past several months and are expected to continue in Washington, D.C. in the months ahead.  The intent of these discussions is the development of acceptable solutions that meet the interests of all of the parties involved.  It is important to remember that there are multiple interests that need to be addressed – those of the respective Memberships at United AFA, CAL AFA and CMI AFA as well as those interests of the company.

After several months of meetings, all of the parties involved met with representatives from the NMB in January for a progress report and to review those processes that were working as well as those areas where improvement was necessary to advance the common objective of reaching a Joint Contract.  Topics discussed up until that point included Reserve, “Hours of Service” (discussing duty time, legal rest and trading), Training & Meetings, Vacation, Benefits and Language Qualified.

The JNC continues to work to find entire Contract sections to adopt for use in the new Joint Contract through an “adopt and amend” approach. This process contemplates using existing Contract language from any of the three Contracts that can be “adopted and amended” to meet the needs of the parties involved.   Examples where this process has been employed include our current Contract Sections on Grievance, System Board of Adjustment, Filling of Vacancies, Reduction in Personnel and Expenses, Transportation and Lodging.  We have not yet, however, reached any agreement on these sections.

Regrettably, the JNC reported that progress has slowed in recent weeks.  AFA subcommittee members continue to develop solutions that address Flight Attendant interests as well as those of the company.  However, the JNC reports that we don’t see the same efforts being made from our company counterparts.  While we continue to work to put the different Contracts together the company is clearly trying to develop concepts that don’t exist in either book today.

At the end of the last bargaining session, the JNC and the company had a status conference with the National Mediation Board (NMB) to discuss the progress that has been made since they last met in January.   We are currently waiting to receive the NMB's feedback on the topics discussed.

Following the update that was provided, there was a robust discussion by the Members of the United Master Executive Council and the following Resolution of Support for Our Joint Negotiation Committee was unanimously adopted:

Whereas, the managements of Continental (CAL) and United Airlines (UAL) entered into a merger agreement on October 1, 2010 having an immediate impact on our Members and,

Whereas, the United, CMI and CAL Master Executive Councils entered into Joint Contract Negotiations with United management on December 4, 2012 and,

Whereas, the United Master Executive Council recognizes that the Joint Contract negotiations, facilitated by the National Mediation Board (NMB), may conclude in a possible Joint Tentative Agreement (TA) and,

Whereas, the United Master Executive Council recognizes the significant impact  the transition into and implementation of this Joint Contract and merging of the operations will have on the Membership and, 

Whereas there is a clear need for a transparent process by which the Membership can collectively understand the terms of this Joint Contract for the purpose of making a ratification decision and,

Whereas, the United Master Executive Council recognizes that central to any understanding of the terms of the Tentative Agreement is the need for details of any transition agreement(s) to be clearly outlined and to specify the process by which domicile and/or base populations and flying will be allocated and any automation necessary for implementation will be addressed. 

Therefore Be It Resolved, the United Master Executive Council  directs the United Master Executive Council Members of the Joint Negotiating Committee to advocate that resolution of the implementation and transition issues be incorporated into a Letter of Agreement and, 

Be It Further Resolved, the United Master Executive Council take all steps necessary to immediately advance the Membership Engagement process to inform Members and support our Joint Negotiating Committee in reaching a Tentative Agreement that recognizes the contributions of United Flight Attendants and,

Be It Finally Resolved, the United Master Executive Council President communicates this resolution of the AFA United Master Executive Council to the International President, the CAL & CMI Master Executive Councils, the Joint Negotiating Committee and all United AFA Members. 

United Master Executive Council
Unanimously Adopted
March 26, 2015

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