Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Dear AFA. A democratic, Member-driven Union of Flight Attendants for Flight Attendants. Today is Tuesday, August 7, 2012 and this is Washington, DC Council 21 Volunteer, Mark Gangler reporting.
Joint Contract Survey Closed
Our 2012 Joint Negotiations Contract Survey closed at 1700 CDT on Sunday, August 5, 2012. We appreciate the efforts of those who chose to participate and define the foundational blocks upon which we will begin our Joint Contract Negotiations.
The next few weeks will be busy ones for our members of the Joint Negotiating Committee as they continue training and preparations for the upcoming negotiations, review the extensive survey results you have provided and begin the work of creating our Opening Proposal. Our first meeting between the Joint Negotiating Committee and management is the last week of this month, so a great deal of work will happen between now and that meeting.
There remains much more work yet to do. Continue to provide feedback to your Local Council about your priorities in our negotiations. Clarify any issues you feel should be addressed resulting from the survey and express your view of the concepts you feel need to be included in our next Contract.
It is imperative that we all remain engaged and committed to achieving a positive outcome for a Contract that will define our future for the next decade. Remain educated and informed through our Flight Attendant Negotiations Network (F.A.N.N.), Dear AFA and E-Lines. Attend Local Council meetings, have discussions with your flying partners and show your support by wearing your AFA pin. This is the beginning of our journey to a single Contract with improvements to our quality of life. Now, more than ever, is the time for all of us to work together for successful negotiations!
PreCheck Screening in DCA
Yesterday, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) implemented a “Proof-of-Concept” program at Reagan National Airport (DCA) to allow uniformed Flight Attendants and pilots with company identification to use the PreCheck security lanes. The program is specific to the DCA location at this time and is separate from the Known Crewmember program, which is scheduled for DCA deployment later this year.
The purpose of the PreCheck screening lanes is to allow the TSA to use the existing risk-based security measures and create a more efficient screening process for crewmembers. In addition to existing exemptions for crewmembers, the expedited screening process provides the ability to keep shoes on, light outerwear, jackets and belts on, and leave your laptop in the bag for screening. The TSA also includes additional random security measures throughout the airport. Expedited screening is not guaranteed and is available depending on the circumstances.
The PreCheck screening lanes are available at the North and South piers in DCA and are open to a mixture of travelers and not for the exclusive use of crewmembers. As such, the TSA is not allowing Flight Attendants and pilots to go to the front of the PreCheck screening lanes at this time. However, because of the expedited nature of the program, it should be an effective and quick screening process for crewmembers even without admittance to the front of the line.
Using Hotel Transportation Self-Help
Under our Contract, Section 6.C.4.c. requires layover hotel-provided transportation to collect Flight Attendants within 35 minutes of block arrival. If transportation is contracted independently, in other words, not the hotel van, transportation should be available within 45 minutes of block arrival.
Self-help is allowable per our Collective Bargaining Agreement and it is strongly recommended you seek self-help to ensure adequate rest on layovers. When the wait for transportation exceeds the time limits set forth in our Contract, use the Self-help provisions of our Contract and take a cab to the place of lodging. Submit an expense report to the company on your return to the domicile for reimbursement of this contractually-authorized expenditure. If you are not reimbursed promptly, file a Local Council Worksheet and call your Local Council Office for assistance.
Using Hotel Walk Self-Help
A Flight Attendant can ‘walk’ her/himself to another hotel when the assigned hotel room is not ready within thirty (30) minutes of arrival. If your hotel doesn’t provide the basics of Section 3.K.1. (“safe, clean and quiet accommodations with adequate and available eating facilities”), then you can utilize self-help in finding appropriate accommodations. You should first attempt to resolve the issue with the hotel management. If you are unsuccessful, call the hotel desk and request assistance with your problem.
The conditions for when it is appropriate for a Flight Attendant to walk themselves may vary, but may include such things as no hot or cold water, no power, no heat or air conditioning, broken door locks, bugs or vermin of any kind, absolutely no food availability, noise that prohibits a restful layover or any situation which threatens personal safety or well-being.
Remember, you must first try to resolve the problems with the hotel itself. If there is no positive solution after attempting to fix the issue with the vendor, contact the hotel desk through FLT-LINE. Failing the above options, you have the right to use personal resources to utilize another hotel and/or transportation company. Once at another hotel, it is your responsibility to inform the crew desk immediately to provide new contact information. You should also update OPBSK on transportation arrangements for the return to the airport for your next duty period.
If self-help is used, you should use the United company expense report and attach a copy of your Flight Attendant Report along with copies of all hotel/transportation receipts, and turn them in to your domicile supervisor to start the reimbursement process.
Finally, and most important, ALWAYS submit a TVLLOG report via Unimatic to ensure that both the company and AFA will have a report of the incident. TVLLOG should be used any time a hotel or transportation irregularity occurs which interrupts or hampers your layover experience. Be concise and specific. Don’t forget pertinent information such as room numbers, ID numbers and dates, inbound flight numbers and names of hotel or transportation employees spoken to during the ordeal. As always, your AFA Local Council office is available should you have any further questions.
Use TVLLOG Not United Voices
Section 3.K of our Collective Bargaining Agreement states that our layover hotels must be safe, clean and quiet accommodations with adequate and available eating facilities. In the event you encounter a hotel that does not meet these standards you should file a TVLLOG.
We encourage each Flight Attendant to write a separate TVLLOG for every layover in which a problem occurs. TVLLOG reports help your AFA MEC Hotel and Transportation Committee help the Membership at large. When the number of TVLLOG reports submitted reaches a substantial level in relation to the daily room volume at a given hotel, this gets the company’s attention as this is a clear indication a problem exists at the property.
While United would prefer that Flight Attendants use “United Voices” to report hotel and transportation issues, AFA strongly recommends that all Hotel and Transportation issues be reported exclusively via TVLLOG. In this way, AFA is automatically a recipient of these issues and the database used to track these issues is programmatically updated based on the information provided by the Flight Attendant.
To submit a report; simply input “TVLLOG” when logged into Unimatic and fill the form. Once you finish entering in all the applicable information, tab to the bottom of the page and enter. Your TVLLOG will be added to the database. This way, we can trend certain incidents and use the data collected for future consideration when issues are identified.
Access to the Members Area of Unitedafa.org
The Members Area of our website includes useful information that is restricted to Members and closed to the public. Access to this area also allows you to submit AFA reports and subscribe to Local Council newsletters and E-Lines. To access the Members Area of the website, you must create an AFA Account on the AFA United MEC Website Member Account Login page:
1) Go to www.unitedafa.org.
2) Click on the “AFA” tab.
3) Click on “Your Account”.
4) Click on “Create Your Account” and follow instructions.
If you already have an account, but have forgotten your password or pin, click on the “Forgot your password or have no PIN?” link on the AFA United MEC Website Member Account Login page. This page also includes instructions if you are having trouble logging in.
That’s all for this evening! Thank you for calling. Remember: One Airline. One Contract. Building Our Future Together!