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Association of Flight Attendants-CWA United Master Executive Council

Tentative Agreement: Reserve Improvements and Reserve Preferencing

Date: August 3, 2016
Type: AFA Article

Reserve Improvements

Improving the Reserve System
Recognizing how difficult reserve life can be, the JNC spent more time negotiating the Reserve System than any other Section of the Tentative Agreement.  The end result is a Reserve system which provides flexibility for Reserves, maximization of earning potential, and protection against arbitrary company actions.    

The Reserve System in the TA looks very different than the Reserve System management negotiators wanted to impose.  The following includes some of the highlights of the Reserve System as well as an explanation of the improvements to the CAL/CMI Reserve System.

Maximizing Earning Potential
Reserves will now have the ability to pick up on days off from other Flight Attendants and be paid above the guarantee. 

A Reserve may also pick up from open time on days off in certain instances including to avoid drafting and purple/white flag pairings.

Preserved combination of Reserve override and 78 hour guarantee which represents an increase in guaranteed pay for CAL Reserves with more days off.

Maintained control over trip assignments through Reserve Preferencing. 

Maintaining Flexibility and Control
Reserve Preferencing allows Reserves to preference trips not just coming back from days off but before every Reserve availability day.   This automated system removes crew scheduling discretion and eliminates favoritism.  Explanation of Reserve Preferencing >    

Maintains 12 days off from UAL agreement.   

Virtually eliminates “bumping.”  Reserves may not be displaced from trips assigned through Reserve Preferencing and may not be displaced for Ready Reserve assignments within 15 hours to check-in.  That means displacement only can happen for the relatively rare Ready Reserve assignments outside of the 15 hour window. 

Release to check in for assignments from Reserve Preferencing and Ready Reserve assignments within fifteen hours.

Reserves covered by 35-in-7 rule.  

Protecting Days Off
Protecting days off for Reserves was one of the most contentious issues in these negotiations.  Company negotiators wanted to impose the CAL system of moveable days without any changes.  Your JNC negotiators were able to beat back that effort and end up with strong contract language which will drastically minimize assignments into days off, penalize crew scheduling for the failure to plan properly, and compensate those Reserves who are assigned into days off. 

The protections in the contract include:

  • Strong order of assignment language which obligates the Company to use any available Reserve or standby prior to assigning into a day off. 
  • No days moveable or changeable in advance. Assignments into days off may only be made from days of availability into Reserve days off meaning the Company only has one to three occasions to make such assignments each bid month.
  • Reserve volunteers must be offered assignment prior to involuntarily assignment and will receive either 5 hours of add pay on the first day or 200% for pairings worked into the second day off. Company can offer purple flag pairings to Flight Attendants (Lineholders and Reserves) to minimize assignments. 
  • Based on our analysis of past data and the changes to minimize such assignments, assignments into the first day off will be very rare and assignments into more than one day off will be extremely rare.   

Straight Reserve
Putting together three agreements with different Reserve systems is no easy task and involved change. After much deliberation and careful consideration of Flight Attendant feedback, the JNC agreed to straight Reserve in bases except for HKG, FRA, LHR, NRT, and HKG. These bases were an exception because of the limited turnover in these bases.  

Improvement to the CAL/CMI Reserve System
The Reserve system in the Tentative Agreement contains many new concepts and many improvements to the CAL/CMI Reserve system. 

  • Minimum of 5 hours pay and credit averaged per duty period.  (This means no more 2 1/2 hour 1 days pairings going toward guarantee or 7 hour 3 days pairings going toward guarantee).  
  • Increased rest and shorter duty days which are particularly important for Reserves.
  • More days off (12). This is a major economic item expanding the number of Reserve days off by 20%. 
  • Standby (Airport Alert) for 4 hours sit = 5 hours pay and credit toward guarantee. No more ability for scheduling to extend standby to 6 hours.
  • Optional 100 monthly max/cap. Waivable 100 hour max.
  • Improved Reserve trip trading. Once assigned a pairing can trade with other Reserves or Lineholders. 
  • Reserve Preferencing allows Reserves to preference/select trips not just returning from days off or standby but before every Reserve availability day.  The automated Preferencing assignment system removes crew scheduling discretion/favoritism.
  • Picking up time from other Flight Attendants on days off and picking up white and purple flag pairing on days off.
  • Can only be turned to another assignment when blocking in- if it's to prevent drafting. 
  • The 1-in-7 rule now based on whole calendar day rather than 24 hour breaks.
  • Very limited ability to be worked into day off.
  • Longer time to return call from scheduling, now 30 minutes instead of 20 minutes.
  • Reserve override plus Reserve guarantee means more money guaranteed per month for Reserves.
  • 35-in-7 rule applied to Reserves. 

Reserve Preferencing

Chicago-Based Reserve Comment on Preferencing:
"I was awarded 100% of my first choice preferences this month, released to check-in and can't be bumped. It works for me and many others. Reserve preferencing is just a different kind of flexibility. The nice thing about it is you can preference for every day you are on reserve not just coming from days off. 

"One example for this month: I was on for a block of 5 days beginning on the 14th. I preferenced a 4 day trip with a check in time of 1922 for my first choice which I was awarded on the 13th at 1900. I am then released to check in and cannot be bumped. I have the whole day off basically on the 14th since I don't have to be there until 1922. I return on the 17th at 23:35 and have 12 hours free from duty, making me good at 1135 for a 1 day on the 18th. Now I could have put in a preference for a 1 day trip but I was far enough down the list that I didn't. I found out at 1900 on the 17th that I was "released for the day" for the 18th, which doesn't lower my guarantee.

"I have high hopes that we can make this all work and I look forward to flying with all of you someday!!"

Reserve Assignment Process 
All Reserves shall be grouped based on their number of days of availability. Reserves shall be classified as having 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, or 4-days or more of availability. Within each group Reserves shall be placed in credited flight time accrued (TMAC) order.

Reserve Preferencing 
Assignments are posted at 1930 each day. Request window closes at 1600 for trips departing next day (0500-2400).

Up to 10 requests with up to 6 criteria per request. Criteria include:

  • Specific Pairing
  • Co-terminal
  • Pairing length
  • International/Domestic
  • Layover City
  • Earliest Check-In
  • Latest Arrival
  • Equipment
  • Standby Reserve (based on days required)
  • Position

An assignment shall be considered a match if ALL criteria within a request is satisfied. If preference is matched the Reserve is released to check-in and may not be displaced. 83% of the assignments are made through the preferencing process.

Reserve Post Preferencing Process
At 1930 Reserves who are not assigned via the Reserve Preferencing System (either no match or did not preference) may be either:

  • Released from contact until the evening prior to their next available day, or
  • Assigned to the Ready Reserve list (must remain available for contact).

Ready Reserve List
Once assigned Ready Reserve remains phone available.

At 15 hours prior to check-in Ready Reserves are released to check-in

Ready Reserves may also preference. Options include:

1 - Standby Reserve

2 - Minimum Flying

3 - Maximum Flying (if assigned will automatically opt to over 105 hrs)

4 - Volunteering to be assigned into the first day off

5 - Volunteering to be assigned into 2 or more days off

6 - No Preference

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