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Preference Month Bidding for 2019 Engagement Events

Date: November 23, 2018

Earlier this month we received a communication from Senior Vice President, John Slater, inviting us to attend one of thirty-three Flight Attendant engagement events during the 2019 calendar year.  These series of events are intended to reinforce our core4, reconnect us with other Flight Attendants and leaders from across the company and to recommit to deliver “Caring customer service.”  This is an event that is being designed for attendance by 25,000 Flight Attendants. 

Here’s the part where we really need your attention. Without debating the intent behind the event or the expense associated with conducting an event of this magnitude, it’s important for all of us to understand that management has the right to determine the types, frequency and location of any training we are required to attend. While our Contract provides for this paid training, we do have a concern about the manner in which this training has been presented to Flight Attendants. We need to take the time now to reset the discussion that is taking place on the line as it relates to the announcement of this training immediately following the announcement of staffing reductions on certain international flights.  

Many of you have communicated directly with us how upset you are about these staffing reductions. We understand that you see the move in this direction as being short-sighted and not customer focused. And, yes, we’ve heard from those of you who have suggested the money for the training might be better spent staffing airplanes. Further, we’ve heard from several of you who are already discussing that by its nature as an “invitation”, you don’t intend to attend this training.

It is absolutely true that John Slater in his November 16th message “invited” each of us to attend this training. While it may be true that the connotation of an invitation suggests you have the ability to decline, we all need to be very clear this is actually “an invitation you cannot decline.” These thirty-three events in 2019 are being scheduled based on mandatory attendance (“required training”) at these events. We should all be very clear from the onset that those who do not attend the event will receive a performance letter of warning 2.

Understanding this is a required training, we all need to focus on the upcoming Preference [Month] bidding for the 2019 Engagement Events which opens on December 1st and will comport with the following schedule:

Bids Open

December 1, 2018

Bids Close

December 16, 2018

Bids Awarded

December 17, 2018

Insufficient/No Bids Assigned

December 17, 2018

Awards Posted on CCS

December 18, 2018

Your status as Flight Attendant or International Purser will determine the months that are available for you to preference month bid because International Purser Recurrent Training will be conducted in combination with this training event. Preference month bids will be awarded in bid seniority order.

As with any competitive bid process, we encourage you to Bid to Cover Yourself.  If you fail to submit a sufficient number of choices to cover yourself or if you do not submit a bid, you will be assigned a preference month after all valid bids have been awarded.  The order of award for insufficient and no bidders will be assigned in inverse order of seniority, beginning in February through November for Flight Attendants and February through June for International Pursers.

To access step by step instructions for preference bidding, go to the company’s website, Inflight Services>Crew Scheduling>All Flight Attendants>2019 Flight Attendant Engagement Events – Preference Bidding User Guide.

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