Council 21 - Washington DC
LEC Vice President
Local Update on 69-hour line build average for May and beyond (Apr 02, 2020)
Dear Members of Council 21,
I would like to address the current and anticipated changes to the flying in the DMV area and the impact that this may have on the May bid schedule, as well as the impact that was experienced for April flying. Regarding the reduced line averages for April, this was a unilateral decision by the MEC President who verbally made this agreement with management without consultation or approval of the MEC, and we were simply advised after the fact.
On Friday, March 27th, the Local Council Presidents (the MEC body) was asked by the MEC President, Ken Diaz, if we would be willing to allow the company to build line averages to less than 69 hours for the May bid month.
First and foremost, this is clearly not provided for in our contract and is in conflict with Section 7, Scheduling, A. 3. Furthermore, I strongly objected to conducting business via a conversation outside of a special meeting which is provided for in our AFA Constitution and Bylaws. This type of questioning and polling during a MEC update is not how we should be doing the business of the Membership. Special meetings are designed for specifically this kind of business. They can be scheduled with 24 hours’ notice and include pertinent agenda items with written records of such business. This would allow for discussion among the MEC and a clear and collective approach to addressing such issues.
Despite my objections, the MEC was queried for direction without proper briefings from relevant MEC committees and chairpersons. In the end, we were tasked to decide how to proceed for the May bid schedule.
As a voting member of the MEC, I am essentially being asked to decide on behalf of the Membership to knowingly and willingly agree to a concession to our Collective Bargaining Agreement over a phone conference, by a made-up process, with no Letter of Agreement or any other mechanism that provides MEC direction. In the end, I and the majority of the MEC determined that it was in the best interest of the Members to follow our contract.
Now, let’s take a look at what is really happening with the concession to build lines less that sixty-nine (69) hours as outlined in our CBA. If your line has 35 hours of actual flying; you are working for free until you pass the 71:00 min threshold to increase your pay. If you are asking me to agree that more flight attendants work for free, rather than be on reserve for 78 hours guaranteed with contractual opportunities to increase your pay, then I need direction from you at the next Local Council Meeting. The next meeting will be held on April 22.
The dedicated volunteers and representatives of Council 21 are available to support you 24x7 while we work through these uncertain times. I will continue to advocate for more MEC oversight, not less, and I promise to keep you updated with information as it becomes available.
We’re all in this together.
Local Council 21
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