7.Q.1. CCS Notifications – The Big Picture
January 5, 2023
Last Wednesday, management issued a Scheduling alert – “avoid the line to receive 7.Q.1. notifications via CCS.” While, on its face, this approach may seem reasonable enough, it’s important that this option be considered within the context of the “bigger picture.” The company’s message includes, “you have the ability to opt in in to receive notifications on certain reassignments via CCS priority message, rather than having to call 800-FLT-LINE.”
In this situation, there is no requirement for Flight Attendants to call anyone. Section 7.Q. of the Contract provides for reassignments when a loss of flight time has occurred. More specifically, Section 7.Q.1. prescribes how this occurs when the loss occurs on the same calendar day as departure as follows:
1. Notice on same calendar day as departure
Within four hours (4:00) of being notified that a Flight Attendant has lost her/his trip pairing or any portion thereof for any reason other than her/his own unavailability for duty, she/he may:
a. With the concurrence of the company, be relieved of all assignment responsibility with no loss of pay, or
b. Be given a replacement pairing. Upon request a Flight Attendant will be provided a hotel room at Base for reassignments departing the next day.
Notification occurs when there is a direct, two-way exchange of information between the Flight Attendant and Crew Scheduling personnel.
Under our Contract, the company has a Contractual obligation to notify you. Having said this, you also have the option to initiate the call to Crew Scheduling to start the four-hour period during which the company may reassign you. In the absence of a call to you from Crew Scheduling (or a call to them from you), the expectation is that you would be reporting to your base at the designated check-in time.
Management’s message reminding us of the “voluntary option” to elect to receive these notifications electronically creates the appearance of “avoiding the line.” In fact, this extends the period of time for management to make reassignments outside the framework of that for which we have bargained. This concept was developed within the context of staffing shortages while new Crew Scheduling personnel were being trained and added to the department and it was never agreed to by the Union. It was not part of the bargaining for our Joint Collective Bargaining agreement nor was any agreement reached subsequent to that bargaining to provide for this change. And, as our recent experience shows, extended call wait times continue at the Crew Desk and this remains an issue that management must resolve.
On October 7, 2022, our Union filed MEC 13-22 based on the company’s failure to discuss the change and, ultimately, all the possible ramifications resulting from the implementation of this voluntary option. AFA’s grievance requested the company cease and desist from implementing the change to the mutual understanding of Section 7.Q.1. and to rescind company notices on the voluntary option until further discussions with the Union could be conducted addressing all of the Union’s concerns.
As with every provision in our Contract, the current language as understood through bargaining and practice requiring crew scheduling to contact us, has a “value”. It is situations such as these in which we are reminded that sticking with our Contract, being self-controlled in our adherence and patient in our approach, is the way to achieve a mutually successful program that benefits us all, is appropriately valued and is the subject of bargaining.
We encourage you to make thoughtful choices when considering the big picture of management’s scheduling challenges during our Negotiations process.