System Reserve Meeting Report - November/December 2022
December 20, 2022
MEC Reserve Report – November/December 2022
MEC Reserve Committee
December 20, 2022
The System Reserve Meeting with management covering both November and December was held on December 9, 2022, via Microsoft Teams™. Present for AFA were Matt Stegehuis, MEC Reserve Committee Chairperson, and Jeff Heisey, MEC Secretary-Treasurer. Present for the company were Tina Austin, Manager of Inflight Crew Scheduling Process Quality and Training, Jill Fox, Matthew McKenna and Samantha Washington, Senior Managers of Inflight Crew Operations, Mia Corpuz, Director of Inflight Operations Crew Scheduling, along with other Crew Scheduling representatives.
Reserve Christmas Wish List (RCWL) 2022
We reviewed the company’s preparedness for the upcoming Reserve Christmas Wish List (RCWL) period. Management confirmed Assistant Managers Brianna Bognar and Ammar Ikanovic will be leading the group of schedulers handling this specialized assignment process outlined in Section 8.H.8.c. of the Contract.
Reserve (Next-day) Assignments Must be Completed BEFORE 1930 HDT
We provided management an example received from a Local Reserve Committee where a Reserve’s next-day assignment was placed on his schedule at 1930 HDT and was still coded as having been part of the “clean-up” process. This is not compliant with Section 8.F.1. which requires next-day assignments be made available “no later than 1930 hours.” Said another way, the processing of assignments must be completed prior to 1930 (i.e., 19:29:59) so that Reserves may begin ascertaining their assignments at 19:30:00 (“between 1930-2400” HDT).
We also reminded management of the automation pieces in place specifically programed with this timeframe in mind; those are the CCS Reserve Assigned screen and CCS Reserve Acknowledgement messages. Assignments for the following day made at 1930 or after must conform to the Ready Reserve assignment provisions of Section 8.G. of the Agreement, and should be coded as such to avoid confusion. Management committed to take the issue back to ensure assignments are completed in a timely manner.
Order of Assignment from Standby (Settlement IAH 1252-19)
After reporting Flight Attendants were assigned out of order from Standby on several occasions, we were surprised to learn of an assertion that was made by Crew Desk management there is no obligation to follow the Standby order of assignment agreed upon through the Settlement of IAH 1252-19 until work on the CCS Standby List has been completed. There is no basis for this assertion. Standbys are to be assigned consistent with the settlement even if it requires manual intervention while the programmatic updates are pending. Jeff will follow up with Labor.
Post Meeting Addendum: In a follow-up discussion with Labor, it was determined there was a misunderstanding by some scheduling personnel. Order of Assignment from Standby is to be made consistent with the settlement.
Improper 35-in-7 for Pairing Flown as a Lineholder
We provided management with an example where a pairing was improperly flagging a 35-in-7 violation due to a previous pairing picked up on Reserve days off. Although there is an ongoing known issue with this calculation in the automated Reserve Preferencing system, in this case it was occurring during a manual process in the COSMOS system. We are told the IT Automation team is still investigating. There have been no further reports.
Reserves Are Not Required to be Phone Available After Blocking-in
A Local Council reported a Reserve who had already been released to legal rest on block-in was then contacted by Scheduling in an attempt to give a second-assignment. To be clear, once released to legal rest on block-in, Reserve Flight Attendants are not required to be phone available until completion of the legal rest period.(Note: Scheduling may begin attempts to contact a Reserve during the last hour of the legal rest period at the home domicile). Management understands this requirement under the Agreement and will follow-up with schedulers.
Reserve Ordering During ‘Clean-up’ vs. Ready Reserve
Following reports of out-of-order Ready Reserve assignments, it was determined the scheduler had not properly considered Ready Reserve preferences due to an incorrect setting on the Reserve Availability screen in uCrew. As a matter of background, unlike the Flight Attendant-facing availability screen in CCS that is automatically adjusted at 1930 HDT to include Ready Reserve preferences, the scheduler-facing availability screen in uCrew must be manually adjusted once the “clean-up” assignments are finished. Management committed to include reminders to use the proper screen settings during their daily briefings.
How Duty Time is Reflected When a Second-Assignment Later Cancels
When a Reserve is second-assigned but the second-assignment later cancels, a manual entry is required to capture the duty time for the second assignment. Once the cancelled segments are removed, scheduling will manually add a “DUTY” segment in the pairing for the time on duty related to the second assignment. As a secondary benefit, this presence of this duty segment in the pairing ensures the legal rest period is calculated based on the actual release time. Flight Attendants should always verify their duty credit following a canceled segment.
Ensuring Consistent Assignment of Pre-0500 Check-ins
We are again hearing from west-coast locations there is inconsistency in the assignment of pre-0500 check-ins for the following day; in some cases, it is reported these assignments are being made improperly during the “clean-up” process. Management stated they were unaware of any specific issues and requested examples for follow-up.
The proper procedure, outlined in Section 8.H.5. of the Contract, provides open positions with check-in times between 0001 and 0459 inclusive shall be assigned to Ready Reserves. Additionally, in order to comply with the notice-of-assignment provisions of Section 8.K., these assignments shall be made the day prior to the check-in and assigned to Ready Reserves who are available for the day the assignment is made and who are legal for the duration of the assignment. It is improper to assign these check-ins during the clean-up process because Flight Attendants would not at that time have been assigned to Ready status for the following day. If there are no legal and available Ready Reserves the day prior to such a check-in, Scheduling is then required to wait until after 1930 HDT once the next-day’s Ready Reserve list has been finalized.
Follow-up: Manual Process for ‘FA’ Picking Up ‘FML’ Position
We have previously advocated for Scheduling to establish a manual process under Section 7.I.12. for a “FA” (Flight Attendant not possessing the International Purser qualification) who wishes to pick up an International Purser (“FML”) position that has been assigned to an “FA” Reserve who does not have the special qualification. (When attempting to trade the assignment, the existing automation returns an error message identifying an International Purser qualification is required to complete the trade despite the fact a decision has already been made to assign the pairing to a Reserve Flight Attendant not having the requisite qualification.)
Management has confirmed a manual process is now in place. Flight Attendants who are not in the International Purser (“FML”) sub-base who wish to pick up an “FML” position from an “FA” Flight Attendant who has advertised the trip must contact the Crew Desk in order to do so.