Update on Payroll Support Program
December 24, 2020
All of us have been eagerly anticipating news on how the benefits of the Payroll Support Program (PSP) will benefit our Flight Attendants as well as the processes that will be implemented to bring people back to work. We share your frustration that, after our long, hard fought efforts resulted in Congress passing this long-overdue legislation, it is currently languishing on the President’s desk, awaiting his signature.
After moving the bill through Congress, President Trump called on Congress to add additional money in the form of larger direct payments to Americans, an effort that house Democrats quickly joined him on. Unfortunately, that effort has now stalled in the Senate. And, while there can be no minimizing the frustration all of us are feeling, given the road we’ve traveled to this accomplishment, none of this is exactly surprising. We’ve watched over the past several months as efforts to get relief to Americans, including airline workers, has hit one snag after another.
We remain optimistic that the legislation will move forward but, given the proximity to the Christmas holiday, it’s unlikely to be immediate. As the clock ticks bringing us closer to Christmas, a far more likely scenario leads us into next week, when Congress returns on December 28. Hopefully, efforts will move forward early in the week.
In reality, even if the legislation was to be signed today, it’s not realistically possible to spin up meetings and begin the processes necessary to begin distribution of recall notices on the holiday. Your MEC Officers have been in meetings with management the better part of this week to get answers to our questions and to better understand how the complex moving pieces will come together to get everyone back to paid status given that January schedules have already been awarded.
We know you’re looking for answers, as are we. We are committed to resuming talks with management to identify solutions, obtain answers and get that information to you as quickly as possible. If we learn more over the weekend, we’ll communicate it. At this point, however, outside the control of either management or the Union, expect talks to resume early next week. In the meantime, be reassured we are prepared to engage with management should circumstances change unexpectedly and we will communicate with you when information becomes available.