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AFA Debrief: June 24, 2022

Date: June 24, 2022

 

AFA Debrief – June 24, 2022

  • Flight Attendants Condemn Dobbs Decision, Attack on Our Rights!
  •       Awareness is Key to a Safe Operation
  •       Summer Flying - Carry Your Contract & Reserve Survival Guides
  •       Reserve Preferencing: “Why didn’t I get my preference?”
  •       Restoration of Days Off
  •       July 4th Independence Day – A Contractual Holiday
  •       Unique Characteristics for Layover Hotels at PMI and TFS
  •       Welcome Class 2216!

 

Flight Attendants Condemn Dobbs Decision, Attack on Our Rights

WASHINGTON, DC (June 24, 2022) — Today, the Supreme Court struck down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) President Sara Nelson released the following statement:

"If you believe women are equal, build your union with urgency."

President Nelson's 
statement from May 3 stands:

"The Constitutional right affirmed by the Court in 1973 to safe access and the legal right to an abortion was transformational for women's rights and our jobs. Cabin crew fought executives who exploited our sexuality and pushed gender inequality to undermine the dignity of our work and push the value of our labor into their own pockets. We organized to define our careers, keep our personal choices as our own, and lift up our role in saving lives as aviation’s first responders.

"Choice and self-determination are at the foundation of why we formed our union 75 years ago. In the earliest days of commercial aviation, we were allowed few choices in the workplace. Every part of our bodies and our lives were dictated by management. Airlines only hired white, single, childless women under age 32 who met specific height, weight, and male defined appearance standards. Even if you met those "standards," getting pregnant, having a baby, choosing to marry or gaining a few pounds meant giving up your job and handing in your wings. Our first demands as a union were seniority-based scheduling, to stop managers from using schedules to coerce us to choose between sexual exploitation and earning a living.

"Today anyone with the heart of a Flight Attendant can choose this career, and through our unions we have a voice and legal standing on the job to protect our rights.

"Not everyone will make the same choices, and AFA's members hold a wide range of personal beliefs about the topic of abortion. But the right for each of us to make our own choices about our jobs, our bodies, and our futures is fundamental. That includes the right to protect safe, legal options to anyone who seeks reproductive healthcare. As union members, we understand democracy in our workplaces and in our public square. Americans overwhelmingly support safe, legal abortion. This is not just a radical assault on our rights and settled law, it is an attack against the majority of this country and the ideals upon which it was founded.

"The Justices will not stop here. They will work to strip Americans of other freedoms we have fought for. They will strip the freedom to marry from our LGBTQ colleagues and neighbors. They will strip away our rights to birth control. They have already gutted the right to vote, and our right to fair elections free of corporate influence. Our union will continue fighting for equality and freedom for all.

"We call on airline management to stand with us and for equality, anti-discrimination, and mutual respect. It is not enough that corporations espouse these principles as core to their missions - now is the time to demonstrate this commitment to their employees and passengers. This is about our safety and our freedom. We cannot work if we are not safe."

Awareness is Key to a Safe Operation

The goal of every safe operation is for every employee to return home in the same condition as when they arrived at work.    Injuries can come from many sources and awareness is a key component in injury prevention.

Undeniably, the safest place during taxi, takeoff and landing for every Flight Attendant is in their jumpseat, strapped in. Getting to our jumpseat in a timely manner can, for a variety of reasons, be a challenge.  Skilled pilots recently trained on new aircraft in our fleet, new hire Flight Attendants, full flights as a result of a welcome increase in passenger loads and overall tighter connecting times may all be contributing factors in delaying us getting to our jumpseat. These delays, however, can cause injuries that might occur during any of these critical phases of our flight. 

To a new Flight Attendant who is just getting their footing on a moving aircraft, a quicker taxi might feel a bit rough, perhaps even aggressive.  This, combined with the increased loads and associated compliance checks, means it may cause a delay in getting to our assigned jumpseat. Not hearing a take-off or landing announcement also creates a significant risk.

Awareness on the part of everyone involved is the cornerstone of safety.  During our briefing, we can ask those on the flight deck for their assistance by communicating take-off and landing notifications as early as possible as well as reminding them, especially in short taxi situations, that a quick taxi presents us with challenges in completing compliance checks and getting safely to our seats for take-off.

As Flight Attendants, by starting and completing the safety demonstration and associated compliance checks and securing the galley once the main cabin door is closed, we can then immediately take our assigned jumpseat after having timely completed our compliance checks.  In point of fact, galleys should be secured prior to movement of the aircraft which might best be accomplished prior to door closure. FAR 121.391 (d) requires us to remain seated in our assigned jumpseat with seatbelt and shoulder harness fastened during taxi, takeoff and landing until the aircraft is parked at the arrival gate with the only exception being to address a safety related issue.

This heightened awareness on everyone’s part will play a critical part in the safe operation of each and every flight.


Summer Flying - Carry Your Contract & Reserve Survival Guides

Summer months, while filled with opportunities for outdoor activities, are also filled with summer thunderstorms that can result in delays, re-routes and other travel irregularities.

To protect ourselves during this time, we should all carry our Contract and know our Contractual legalities. This is especially true for Reserve Flight Attendants who are more frequently subject to reassignments when these irregularities occur unexpectedly.

 

Our Master Executive Council Reserve Committee has created several articles and contract support materials to assist you while on Reserve. A PDF version of our Contract and Reserve Survival Guides are available on our website. These PDF versions can be downloaded to your personal electronic devices for quick access.  In addition, some of our newest Members received a new hire badge backer with a QR code on it.  Scan the QR code with your telephone for immediate access to these contract resources.

 

For more information, please contact your Local Council Office.



Reserve Preferencing: “Why didn’t I get my preference?”

With the busy summer travel season often comes irregular operations. Additional pairings created during periods of irregular operations caused by misconnects or flight cancellations often drives negative Reserve coverage; in other words, situations where there are more open trips than there are Reserves legal and available for any given number of days.  The addition of this open time, in combination with a lack of available Reserves, often creates a situation where the Reserve Preference System is assigning open pairings to Reserves in a manner that accomplishes coverage of as much open time as possible.  As a result, one of the most common questions Local Reserve Committees receive during these times is, “I was number one for a ___-day trip. Why did the system not award my Reserve preference?”

While there are a few reasons why it may not be possible to award a Reserve a specific preference, the primary tenant of Reserve assignment process is that the system is designed and will always function to maximize coverage of all open positions.

1.   The Reserve Preferencing system will assign all open positions that can possibly be assigned to the Reserves who are legal and available, even if it means some preferences cannot be honored in order to do so.

2.   All available Reserves are eligible for assignment regardless of whether or not they have a preference on file.

More Open Assignments than Reserves Legal and Available
(Sections 8.D.6.d., 8.D.8. and 8.I.1.h.2.)

  •       When the number of open assignments is greater than the number of Reserves who are legal and available, the Company will designate those assignments that will be left uncovered. (In general, it will be those with the latest report times to allow as much time as possible to determine alternate coverage, if necessary.)
  •        If the number of open assignments of a given length expressed in number of days is greater than the number of Reserves available in the corresponding day classification group, remaining assignments will be covered by Reserves available for a greater number of days. (Here again, it will generally be the assignments with the latest report times that are covered by Reserves in subsequent day-of-availability groups.)

o  In this case, Reserve preferences will be considered for assignment to those Reserves having Reserve availability with a length outside of day classification. However, a preference may not be honored if there is a Reserve available whose number of days of availability more closely matches the assignment.

  •       If there is a trip in open time and there are no Reserves who are legal and available in the originating sub-base of the pairing without assigning into day(s) off, the Company may use a Reserve from another sub-base in that geographical location. However, out-of-sub-base assignments will not be made by the Reserve Preferencing system. They may be assigned manually, either during the post-preferencing “clean-up” process prior to 1930 HDT or after 1930 HDT to Ready Reserves.

Preferences Not Honored
(Section 8.D.10.)

There are a few other circumstances that may prevent a Reserve’s preferences from being honored and/or may cause the Reserve to be assigned out of time accrued (TMAC) order.

A Reserve’s preference may not be honored:

  •       When there is an available Reserve whose number of days of availability more closely matches the assignment.
  •       When honoring a preference would result in decreasing the number of assignments or result in earlier departures being uncovered.
  •       When a Reserve is in-motion (on a pairing) at the time the Reserve Preferencing system runs, the Company may deny a preferencing request for an assignment if the check-in time is within 1 hour of the conclusion of the legal rest associated with the projected arrival of the Reserve.

A Reserve may receive an assignment out of TMAC order:

  •       If they are the only Flight Attendant who is legal, qualified, and available for that assignment; or
  •       If it is the only assignment for which they are legal, qualified, and available.

As an additional reminder, In the event of a Reserve Preferencing system failure or a major disruption to the integrity of the operation, the company may process Reserve assignments manually in TMAC order, considering FIFO order, then the higher seniority as the tiebreaker, if necessary. In this case, Reserve preferences will not be considered.

Your Local Council is provided a report generated by the Reserve Preference System each evening that explains how the system accomplished open assignment coverage. If you ever have concerns regarding Reserve Preferencing assignments, your Local Reserve Committee should be considered your first point of contact.

Additional information concerning the Reserve Preferencing system can be found in the Reserve Preferencing Resources section of our website and in the Reserve Survival Guide.

If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Council.


Restoration of Days Off

When irregularities occur and we find ourselves reassigned as a result of irregular operations, there may be circumstances where we may be eligible for the restoration of day(s) off.

If you are entitled to have you day(s) off restored, this is accomplished by working with Crew Scheduling.  Important highlights to remember:

  •        The day off must be restored within ninety (90) days after the original day off was lost.
  •       The day off restored must be on a regular scheduled workday
  •       In those circumstances where there is a choice of days off to be restored, it will be mutually agreed upon. 

Alternatively, you may elect to be paid for the day. The additional pay for the Restored Day off is 5.0 hours.  You can make a request for pay through CCS using the Electronic Bulletin Board >> Requests

For more information, please review Sections 7.R.1 – 4 of our Contract for additional information.


July 4th Independence Day – A Contractual Holiday for all U.S. bases and Guam

We remind everyone of the upcoming Contractual holiday as set forth in Section 2.Q. of our Contract for all U.S. bases and Guam. Flight Attendants receive additional pay for flight assignments flown on designated holidays.

Holiday Pay is calculated using a formula that considers the number of credited hours flown on the holiday and the number of hours away from home during the pairing as outlined in Section 4.I of our Contract. 

Section 2.Q.2. of our Contract specifies that each Flight Attendant is eligible to be paid for a maximum of five (5) holidays per year. When picking up trips out of base, holiday pay is associated with the holidays applicable for the country of the domicile in which the pairing is picked up and is paid as if the Flight Attendant were based at the domicile where the pairing originates.

Flight Attendants scheduled to attend any training or meeting on a holiday shall receive holiday pay pursuant to Sections 4.I.1 & 2.

Note: Premium pay is not included when determining holiday pay. Time away from home begins at the check-in time of the pairing and ends at the conclusion of the scheduled debriefing time upon return to the home domicile.

For more information and questions regarding pay, please review the Pay Flight Attendant Guide on Flying Together.


Unique Characteristics for Layover Hotels at PMI and TFS

Our layover hotels in Palma de Mallorca (PMI) and Tenerife (TFS) (which will not be mentioned by name as a matter of our safety and security) are both unique properties which are classified as “adult only” facilities.  For your planning purposes, you should be aware that children are not permitted as guests at the property.

If you elect to have your family travel with you while on a working trip having a layover at either of these cities, be aware that it will be necessary for you to secure alternate accommodations, at your expense, for your family.

As a reminder, Section 5.C. of our Contract provides for Hotel Gainsharing.  If you elect to cancel your hotel room in accordance with the Hotel Gainsharing provisions, you will be reimbursed a portion of the savings resulting from the cancellation of the hotel room. 

Welcome Class 2216!

We are excited to welcome our newest flying partners from class 2216 as part of our Flight Attendant community.  Our newest flying partners will begin their careers at bases in DEN, EWR, IAD, IAH, LAX and ORD.

We encourage you to welcome each of them amiably, help them learn from your experience, and get them started on a path to success and adventure in their new career.

Please remember that our newest Members are on probation. To ensure that they receive the most accurate information to support them, direct them to their Local Council for assistance on Contractual issues.

And if you would like to become an AFA Buddy, reach out to your Local Council to learn how you can become part of this vital link to their success.

Reminders:

JUNE – National Safety Month
JUNE – PRIDE MONTH
JUNE – Caribbean-American Heritage Month

 

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