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Company Clarifies Reductions to Vacation Accrual While on Special COLA

Date: October 17, 2020

Section 12.A.8.

Vacation Letters for Flight Attendants were available as of September 25, 2020 and since that time, those who participated in the Special COLA offerings during the vacation accrual year have been questioning the vacation reduction they are seeing published in these letters.

Pointing to an April 10, 2020 communication where AFA identified contradictory information about vacation accrual while on Special COLA and advised Members of our understanding of the impact of Special COLAs on vacation accrual based on information we were provided by the company, people have expressed confusion. 

The company, in an effort to eliminate the confusion and clearly communicate the impact of Special COLAs on vacation accrual, has published their explanation for the reductions in the 2021 vacation days.  Pointing to a miscalculation of 2019 vacation days where Special COLAs did not reduce vacation accrual, management explained that the 2019 vacation accruals were not reduced as they should have been for Special COLAs taken during that vacation accrual year.   The company explained that vacation reductions were not applied retroactively for 2019 and, as a result of that error, those who took Special COLAs during the 2019 vacation accrual year did not experience a vacation reduction. The IFSW dated October 15, 2020 included the following information:

A Special COLA is a reducible Leave of Absence. Under the terms of Section 12.A.8. of the Agreement, for each thirty (30) days or major portion thereof during which a flight attendant is on a Special COLA, vacation accrual will be reduced by one-twelfth (1/12).

In 2019, we failed to correctly apply this reduction for flight attendants who participated in Special COLA during the vacation accrual period, resulting in flight attendants accruing more vacation than they should have accrued. While not entitled to full accrual under the Agreement, the Company did not apply the reductions, nor did we take back the reductions that were given in error. This reduction will apply for 2020 and continue to apply unless otherwise specified in the Special COLA packet created for each Special COLA. 

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