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July 27, 2016

Inside this issue:Local Council President Editorial


Local Council President Editorial

Voting for the Tentative Agreement (TA) is now open. It will close August 12th at noon EST (6:00am HST). It has been a long and arduous journey to achieve our Joint TA. For some of us in HNL, this may be the final Tentative Agreement we vote on, certainly the most significant in terms of potential financial gains.

I believe I can say with certainty that every Flight Attendant across our combined group will find things they like in this Tentative Agreement, and things we don’t like. Combining provisions from three existing Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) requires give and take. We have to respect the history, culture, and different expectations each group brought to the table.

Many of us prefer our comfort zone. It is understandable to feel anxious at the thought of change. Others see opportunity at the challenge of facing new experiences and learning new ways of doing things. However we approach this, we must accept that change is inevitable. I choose to embrace it, and make the best of the situation.

We are six years into this merger. It is time for us to move forward as a combined group, to have the ability to experience new flying and work together with our Brothers and Sisters from all 3 subsidiaries. It is impossible to predict exactly how the changes may affect us in HNL, but we’ve been through a lot over our 30+ years of flying together. We are a resilient group. I’m confident we will be up to the challenge.

There are many new and unfamiliar provisions from the CAL and CMI contract incorporated into the TA. I feel our Joint Negotiating Committee did an excellent job capturing many of the best provisions from each contract.

There was considerable debate at the Joint MEC meeting when we approved the TA to send out to the membership for a ratification vote. Some felt it is not our place to recommend the Tentative Agreement, as that might be seen as telling you how to vote. Others felt that as your elected leaders, we know more about the Tentative Agreement than most Flight Attendants, and therefore some members would want to know our honest opinion on how we will be voting.

Let me be perfectly clear, it is not my place to tell any of you how to vote. That is your right as a member in good standing in our democratically driven Union. I only hope that each of you will take the time to ensure you have a clear understanding of the TA to be able to make an informed decision. I'm sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that I will be voting YES.

If you looked at the Industry Comparison Chart included in a previous Coconut Wireless, I hope that you came away with the understanding that this is indeed an Industry Leading Contract. The overall value or $ cost of our TA is the highest in the industry as compared to our peers at Delta and American Airlines.

In conclusion, I hope you will all take the opportunity to vote. If the TA passes, there is every likelihood that our flying may change. My fondest hope is it will not only lead to our base remaining, but actually opening up for transfers. It has been far too long. Some of our Pineapples have been commuting for 18 years, and I’m sure all of us would love to be able to welcome them back to our base again. 

The same can be said if the TA is voted down. There is no guarantee we will continue with life and flying as we know it. Either way, we must stand ready to accept the consequences of our decision. I would caution against focusing on any single provision. We should each put the entirety of the TA on our value scale, and see which way it tips.

You may change your vote at any time before the polls close on August 12th.

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