AFA Supporting you at Your Local Council
January 26, 2023
Our Union directly advocates for our issues and fights for us every day! Understanding how our Union is structured can offer insight on where you can find resources or assistance when you need it.
Each Local Council has a number of Local AFA Committees that address specific issues important to our jobs. These are trained volunteers who become experts in supporting areas that affect our job functions. To best understand the structure of your Local councils and how they operate, here are just a few of your Local Committees:
Local Schedule Committee (LSC) —
The Local Schedule Committee has a contractual role is submitting recommendations as to the sequencing of pairings in a line of flying for lineholders as well as day off patterns for Reserves specific to their base. Each month, the LSC receives the pairings that are constructed by the company and the quotas (the number of lineholders) as determined by Crew Schedule Planning. It is based on these parameters that recommendations for Flight Attendant schedules are developed. Other variables such as the amount of vacation and the number of hours of flying assigned at the base, as well as expected Reserve vacation, etc., are all considerations the company uses in establishing the parameters under which LSCs submit recommendations. Based on these parameters, to the extent possible, LSCs recommend sequences of flying (and Reserve day off patterns) based on the general preferences of the base. However, because these parameters change on a monthly basis, there may be times when the utilization set by the company requires scheduling that does not match those preferences. For example, there are distinct differences in the schedules when line averages are high versus when they are low. In a low line average environment, the hours available are “spread out” often resulting in pairings with different values (and destinations) to be used to meet the utilization target. These changing parameters drive the variability we often see in schedules from month to month.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) / Professional Standards (PS) —
EAP/PS volunteers are specially trained AFA Members, peer professionals, who assist Flight Attendants and their families who may need support and assistance in any number of areas of their personal and professional lives. This dedicated group of individuals is available 24/7 to assist with issues arising from alcohol/drug use, marital/family issue as well as other stress-related issues requiring additional emotional support.
Our AFA EAP volunteers are trained to help individual Flight Attendants and their family members to successful navigate through these issues in their personal lives as well as to succeed in addressing professional issues or concerns arising in the workplace. The work of this committee exemplifies what we mean when as a Union we say, “Flight Attendants helping Flight Attendants.” We encourage you to reach out to these trained and dedicated individuals as your first resource and as an alternative to reporting individuals to the company who may need our collective support and assistance. One call to 800 424 2406 is all it takes to secure this assistance.
The Grievance Committee has a dual role in education and contract enforcement. Addressing those areas where potential disputes may arise in the application of the Contract, these volunteers work to ensure first our understanding of the provisions of the Contract and, where necessary, are prepared to enforce the negotiated provisions using the grievance processes outlined in Section 23 of our Contract.
Safety, Health, and Security (SHS) –
Local Safety, Health, and Security Committees work with and through our MEC Safety, Health & Security Committee to address our concerns in the workplace and to advocate for safe work practices that ensure we all return home safely from every work assignment.
Safety, Health, and Security (SHS) –
Your Local Safety, Health, and Security Committee works with Flight Attendants to identify and address issues specific to your base which makes the need for individual reporting essential.
In the safety arena, data is power.
The reporting structures in place support the need for data to address what can, at times, feel like an ever-increasing list of questions/concerns. Your Local Council Safety, Health and Security committee reviews each IOR from Flight Attendants at their domicile and that is marked for a copy to go to AFA. They highlight concerns to our MEC Safety, Health, and Security Committee to act on all highlighted reports ultimately working with representatives from management and the FAA to address company or systemwide issues for resolution consistent with industry regulations.
Hotels & Transportation —
Our MEC Hotel & Transportation Committee is contractually a part of the hotel selection process by inspecting hotels identified by the company to be used for Flight Attendant layovers. Inspections are conducted using an objective set of mutually agreed upon standards to ensure accommodations are safe, clean, quiet with adequate and available eating facilities to support our nutritional and rest needs in the performance of our safety responsibilities. Local Hotel Committee volunteers work with individual Members to report and address issues arising at our layover facilities through our AFA Hotel Reporting System which will ensure these issues are fully investigated and resolved in the interest of our Members consistent with the standards.
The Local Reserve Committee, working hand in hand with the Local Grievance Committees, supports Flight Attendants on Reserve status with day-of-operation issues. The Local Reserve Committee is made up of Flight Attendant volunteers who are experts in providing support for Reserve rules, legalities, bidding, and the Reserve Preference system. Working with our MEC Reserve Committee, these volunteers assist in providing guidance and support to ensure you have all the tools you need to succeed while navigating the challenges of Reserve.
Understanding the work all of these dedicated AFA volunteers do on each of these committees behind the scenes, much out of our line of vision in the operation, is the first essential step in fully appreciating the efforts of our Union. Because this work often goes unnoticed, it’s easy to take for granted the work that is done on our behalf and in the interest of avoiding issues that might otherwise arise during our work day. Often work is done and problems are avoided without us ever realizing the effort that has been put in place to enforce the Contract under which we all work.
All of these unseen efforts come together to improve the overall quality of our work life and are essential components in our shared responsibility to enforce our Contract. We trust that this shared insight into the work of our AFA Committees will provide you with insight into what it is that AFA is doing on our collective behalf. Beyond that, we hope this will encourage you to get to know your Local Council Officers and volunteers and to find areas of interest where you can become part of the greater effort to collectively make our work lives better. Doing Local Committee work is a great way to not only learn about our Contract but also our Union. Becoming involved is a great way to learn more about yourself and your individual capabilities which you might not have previously considered. Get involved!