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MEC Reserve Committee Report

Date: September 8, 2014

The September System Reserve Meeting was held in conjunction with the first meeting of the Issue Resolution Committee for Reserve Preference on September 4, 2014.  In attendance for AFA were Kaitlin White, MEC Reserve Chairperson, Cameron Matthews, MEC Reserve Vice-Chairperson, and Jeff Heisey, MEC Secretary/ Treasurer. For the Company, Mark Kilayko, David Hammon, Laureen Demus, and Terri Miazga from OPBSK attended.

Reserve Preference Issues

IDs built using FSY vs FSF
We reviewed an ongoing issue where scheduling is building three (3) position IDs as FS, M, N positions to cover open positions on a flight.  However, often the purser position has already been filled and there is not a need to cover an open purser (FS) position.  As a result, the FS position created on the three position ID is being assigned a Y work position.  When these IDs are then assigned in Studio, Flight Attendants who preference Y positions are still being assigned the FSY position which leads to confusion. The Company has agreed that they will send out a bulletin to schedulers asking them to not build 3 position meter IDs. Instead they will build less than three (3) position IDs using either a one or two position ID as coverage warrants.

Narita Manual Reserve Assignment Process issues:
The Narita Reserve Committee reported there were several days that the CLLR Reserve Preference Reasons Report did not match the assignments given in Unimatic. The Company indicated there was an issue with the coding for the Narita domicile which necessitated completion of the CLLR Reserve assignments using a manual process. This issue has been fixed and should no longer be a problem. 

Buffers Applied in Reserve Preference Process
A 1 hour buffer is applied to all Flight Attendants in motion during the CLLR Process.  NRT had sent in an example of a Flight Attendant who was no longer in motion (blocked in a 1300) but was not legal for a trip assignment because the computer program improperly applied the extra hour buffer.  This issue has been fixed.-

35-in-7 in Reserve Preference
A Flight Attendant entered a preference for a specific ID which results in an automatic waiving of the 35-in-7 for the seven day period before and after. Once the waiver is applied,  the J-diagnostic did not appear in the Flight Attendant's line of flying until the subsequent ID was assigned while on converted status.  This issue has been identified in Unimatic and the Unimatic team is working on the fix. We will be following up with the Company next week to determine when this fix will be finalized.

Qualified Purser on Base or Like ID
We identified an issue where, with the CLLR Reserve Preference System, a Deadheading Flight Attendant was counted as being a part of the base or like ID. This issue has been identified and isolated and the fix will be in place with the next system software update which is planned for early next year. We will continue to look for situations where deadheading Flight Attendants with a purser qualification are assigned to a flight and there is a need for a qualified purser on the ID.   When these situations arise, If necessary, we will remind the Company to manually assign these IDs until this automation is fixed.

System Failure to Assign a Requested Specific ID number
On August 30th, we received a report from a SFO Flight Attendant who had entered a preference for a specific ID. This ID was not assigned to the requesting Flight Attendant and was instead assigned to another Flight Attendant in the same "stack" in the denial mode.  On further review, neither Diane, Chad, and Kaitlin could determine why the requesting Flight Attendant was not awarded the ID. The company is following up with the vendor for possible reasons.

Notification of Reserve Preference System Problems
We identified a breakdown in communication between the Company and AFA when there is an issue with the Reserve Preferencing System.  On August 12 there was an issue with the DEN and West Coast assignment process. The Company did not notify the Union of the issue. The DEN office was only made aware of it once Flight Attendants complained they did not have their assignment by the 1900 Contractual deadline. Moving forward the Company has agreed that when they scheduler reaches out to advise the Scheduling Supervisor of a problem and/or of a need to complete the process manually and potentially passed the 1900 deadline they will then contact the Local Council Office.

Including ONSB locations on the Reasons Report
We spoke to the Company about the possibility of adding specific airport locations to the ONSB assignment in the Reasons Reports. The Company has indicated that this would be a large programming undertaking and is not likely to occur in the near future. We remind all Local Reserve Committees that the best way to look at Flight Attendant assignments in the CLLR process is to print the ASNSHO daily and this is especially important at those locations with Co-terminals.

Entering Standing Preferences During the Reserve Preference Window
We discussed  that Flight Attendants are not allowed to enter a Standing Preferences during the 4 hour Reserve Preference window. The Company believed that this was fixed on July 31. We tested it following today's September 4th meeting and have confirmed that Flight Attendants are still unable to enter standing bids during the 4 hour closed window. Kaitlin will be following up with the Company next week and will report any updates on this issue.

Deletion of Standing Preferences
In August we identified an issue with Standing Preferences being deleted as a result of transfer activity at the domicile. We have been advised by management this issue has been fixed.  However, September 28th will be the first transfer process since the fix was implemented. We anticipate there will be no issues with Standing Preferences however, if you encounter any problems please advise the MEC Reserve Committee immediately and provide examples.

We are also there are issues with using the CLLR Reserve Preference System on  the 1st day of the transfer for the Flight Attendants(s) who is (are) going from one location and serving Reserve the 1st day after they report to that new location. We will be monitoring this issue closely to determine if a fix can be put into place.

Deleted Preferences Still Being Honored
We have received reports from LHR and NRT in regards to Flight Attendants deleting preferences that wind up showing up on the Reasons Report.  This was attributed to yet another coding error this is now fixed. If you have additional examples please send them to the MEC Reserve Committee.

Pre-0500 Check-ins
Flight Attendants being assigned pre 0500 check-in are not being RLSEd for the previous CLLR day. The Company will be reminding schedulers of this requirement and following up with the messaging system that identifies which Flight Attendants should be released.
Flight Attendants assigned ONSB over the last few days of the month will trigger a 35-in-7 or another legality that may not be an issue. The programing for Reserve Preference assigns a value to all assignments and looks at Standby assignments as a 5 hour per day value.  In other words, a Flight Attendant who is assigned a 3 day ONSB on the last day of the month and has a 4 day trip on the 3nd day of the new month, the system will create a fake 1 in 7 legality. When the assignment in placed in the FAs line in the assignment optimizer will be GUARd for the trip on the 3rd day of the new month even though the Flight Attendant may very well be legal for the ID. The Company has indicated that they have a fix  that should be in place for the September/October schedule transition where the GUAR will not be passed over to Unimatic when the assignments are finalized.

Using "RSVP" when Assigning Ready Reserves
We have been receiving reports that some schedulers are not using RSVP when using ASNRSV. The Company did indicate that there are times when it is not possible to use RSVP in the operation. We understand that in irregular operations and times of extreme reserve shortages they need to use people in the most effective manner. The Company did agree that when coverage is normal RSVP should be used and they will follow up with the schedulers.

Not Every Question on Reserve Preference Should be sent to  the Union
We have received several reports from Flight Attendants about asking questions about Reserve Preference and being told immediately to contact the Union. We reminded the Company that Flight Attendants believe that both the CLLR process and the Ready process are a part of Reserve Preference. The Schedulers need to listen to the Flight Attendants question before sending them back to the Union. The Union fields questions on CLLR Reserve Preference while schedulers should be able to address questions or issues with Ready Reserve Preference.

Flight Attendant Schedule Months Reconciled in CLLR Reserve Preference System
On June 27th there was a problem system wide with the Reserve assignments. The Calendar in Studio had been programed so that the schedule month for June ended on June 30. The last day of the June Schedule month was actually June 29th. This is why there were no 4 day assignments given on June 27. When this error was recognized action was taken to correct all of the schedule months for the remainder of the year. We reminded the Company that there needed to be a procedure in place to ensure that the schedule months were updated for 2015 now that the calendar has been set.

System Reserve Meeting

Inefficient scheduling issues
We discussed the construction of IDs to cover other domiciles and then using the assigned Reserves ineffectively. When Flight Attendants are sent out to cover other domiciles and then used as "enhanced staffing" for the ID it is costly for the company and frustrating for Flight Attedants. The Company recognizes that these IDs are typically built to cover a changing operation and often are the result of aircraft swaps. In certain locations it is difficult to bring crews in on late notice and they often are bringing crews in only to realize the aircraft swap did not occur and now they have FAs with nothing to cover.

Notification of schedule changes
We discussed the lack of notification to crews of updates to their IDs. The Company expressed a view that they are notifying crews appropriately.  We are asking that you continue to provide us with information when this does not happen. If you have reports of Flight Attendants either not being notified or being notified of changes inside their legal rest period,  please let the MEC Reserve Committee know.

Layovers at Home
We discussed the building of IDs at certain location that contain layovers in the home domicile location. The Company agreed to remind schedulers to look at the ID construction when moving or assgining flying from one location to another.

ONSB assignments past the 5 hour window
We discussed the increase in the number of Flight Attendants being assigned IDs with departures past the 5 hour ONSB window. We also discussed the increase of ONSB positions in SFO and the importance of understanding where the scheduled crews are coming from.  On days with more connecting crews in SFO for the all-night flying segments the union believes that there should be additional stand-by resources. We are still asking the all Reserve Committee to continue collecting information on Reserves who are being assigned IDs outside of the 5 hour window. Please forward that information to the MEC Reserve Committee for our ongoing discussion on the assignment of ONSB.

PQ trades between Non-qualified Reserves
We discussed the issue of non-qualified Reserves being unable to trade qualified flying with another non-qualified Reserve or Line holder. While this issue was previously discussed in August 2012 when the issue first came up, we will be following up on the manual process implementation intended to fix this issue.

35-in-7 issues
We identified 35-in-7 issues that are not triggering the "J" diagnostic in the Flight Attendants line of flying. This issue has been identified and we are waiting for information about a proposed fix. We anticipate having an update on this fix next week.

Partial Vacation Days
We discussed the issue of the credit time for partial vacation days not being included in the TMAC portion on the RSVFLY/RSVSKD screens. The company will be doing more research as to how these partial days are being loaded into lines of flying.   We have reason to suspect this issue may only affect those Reserves who have partial vacation days on days off in the Reserve line of flying.

If you have any questions please let us know.

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