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May Schedule Development Process

Date: April 1, 2020

Information about the May 2020 schedule development process has recently been the subject of much conjecture.  The fact of the matter is the Union, to date, has not been provided with the Domicile Schedule Letter (DSL), that is, the flying assigned at each domicile location for the month of May.  In fact, Crew Schedule Planning, the department that builds the pairings with the flying and assigns it to each domicile, has not received from Network Planning the aircraft schedule the company plans to fly in May. Until such time as we see the schedule, everything is subject to change.

The reasons for the delay should be self-evident.  With each passing day, as more and more regulations affect what happens to individuals who travel to other areas of this country or out of this country on arrival, it is becoming increasingly difficult to know what flights should and actually will be operating with any sense of reliability.  Management is working to finalize that schedule as soon as reasonably possible with the best information available and, at this point, not later than April 6.  We share an interest in having the schedule built with accurate information.  Without it, all of us are subject to reassignment throughout the entire month; an outcome that is neither desirable or intended under the terms of our Contract.

Other discussions about how schedules will be built have occurred based strictly on the realities of our ratified Contract. That is, Section 7.A.3. stipulates that the line average at all bases is to be not less than 69 hours. Reserve Schedules require a minimum of twelve (12) days off and our Contract provides management with the ability to build Reserve schedules with more than twelve (12) days off.  When built with more than twelve (12) days off, Flight Attendants have the contractual option to restore days of availability, with a commensurate increase in Reserve minimum, back to the minimum twelve (12) days off provided they do so during the timeline outlined in the Contract. 

Keep in mind, the efforts of the Union in advocating for the federal economic stimulus package were intended to accomplish support for working people. The grants in the relief package do provide paychecks for workers, not bailouts for airlines. These grants do one thing and one thing only: fund paychecks and benefits for two million hourly workers - Flight Attendants, pilots, gate agents, mechanics, the people who clean planes, cook the food, and help people through the airport.

It is also important to understand, we are not bargaining and, most assuredly, we’re not looking at offering concessions. We have a ratified, fully-enforceable contract with which management is obligated to comply and we have no disagreement with management over the terms of the Contract.  While your leadership is fully engaged with management during this period of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to understand we are prepared to discuss those circumstances that require any kind of decision-making.  That is what your leadership is elected to do; to administer the terms of the Contract in the interest of the Membership.

Be assured, as additional information becomes available, we will communicate that information through our normal communication channels – MEC website, Committee Reports and shared information with your Local Council leadership. In the meantime, let’s avoid speculation and innuendo. The circumstances with which we are currently all dealing are, realistically, fraught with frustration and anxiety. Let’s avoid anything that will increase either of those items for each other. Now is the time for us to stand together and support each other. That’s the only way we are going to see this through successfully to a full return to profitability.

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