Negotiations Update – January

Horizon Negotiations Update

AFA and management began negotiations this week, and we had a fairly productive session. AFA’s committee members are MEC President Ed Hawes; Flight Attendants Joelle Fuhrman and Tanya Phillips; and our AFA professional negotiator and attorney, Kimberley Chaput. Management’s team consisted of Kieran Whitney, Managing Director, Inflight; Michelle Abidoye, Managing Director, People and Labor Relations; DeeDee Caldwell, Director, Inflight; Taylor Ball, attorney; Melissa Pierce, Employee Relations; and Brittany Audette, financial analyst.

AFA opened the talks with a reminder that the Flight Attendants made (and are still making) significant sacrifices in order to help Horizon secure jet flying, and that it’s our time to reap the benefits. We helped management get where they are now and, after some hardships that had a lot of impact on our work group (pilot shortage, flying going to Skywest, AIMS issues and now PAE not opening as scheduled), we are ready to negotiate a much improved contract.

You can view our opener by clicking here. (AFA Opener 1-22-19.pdf) Our opener is based on the results of the survey you took last fall and the input of your elected Local Executive Presidents, Heather Coleman and Kirk Hansen. In many areas we did not list specifics, just that we wanted improvements. That was intentional. We know that airline negotiations can drag on for months and sometimes years. We wanted to be sure that, at the time we actually discussed a particular section, our information and proposals fit with the current situation.

You can view management’s opener by clicking here. (Horizon Air Opener Proposals to the Association of Flight Attendants FINAL.pdf) Theirs is much shorter than ours which is not surprising since the last contract opener under Dave Campbell provided work rule changes that favor managements position of continued productivity increases.

We were able to tentatively agree to the articles that neither side opened on:

  • Preamble
  • Seniority (Article 13)
  • Furlough and Recall (Article 15)
  • Hostage Benefits (Article 18)

No changes were made to these sections, so the current provisions will be incorporated into a new contract upon ratification.

In addition, we discussed but did not reach tentative agreement on the following articles:

  • Duty-Time Expenses (Article 4). The Company proposed a four-cent increase in per diem in return for eliminating crew meals. They also proposed an option for a Flight Attendant to decline parking in exchange for a $36 per month payment (based on the average cost of parking in the five domiciles). AFA will respond to this proposal at the next session.
  • Physical Examinations (Article 10). We are very close to agreement on this Article. Currently, when the company doctor determines that a Flight Attendant is not fit for duty, that’s the end of the road—other than filing a grievance and taking it to arbitration. We have proposed to adopt the system used by AFA Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants and their management. When the company doctor makes a decision, the Flight Attendant can submit a report by a doctor of her/his choosing. If the two doctors disagree, they will appoint a third doctor, whose determination is final. This basically streamlines what would happen if we went through an arbitration process so that the Flight Attendant can get a much faster result. We should reach tentative agreement at the next session.
  • Domiciles (Article 16). AFA proposed a provision for filling temporary vacancies (1-3 bid periods) at domiciles (this is sometimes called a temporary duty assignment). The pilots were able to do this during the closing of ANC, but since we had no language, we had to deadhead flight attendants to and from ANC. Under our proposal, Flight Attendants would bid for and be awarded temporary duty at another domicile according to their seniority. They would bid a line at the base where the temporary duty exists and upon bid award stay in base for the duration of the bid. They would receive per diem or similar stipend during their stay, be provided a hotel for the month, and be provided positive space travel at the start and end of the bid period, as well as one trip home during the bid. Management was amenable to the concept, and we expect to reach tentative agreement at the next session.
  • Moving Expenses (Article 17): The parties agreed to change the mileage rate from a flat 22.5 cents per mile to the greater of 22.5 cents per mile or the IRS rate for moves. Additionally, AFA proposed eliminating the difference between a move of 350+ miles and those under 350 miles. Management has tabled the proposal until we start working on economic issues.
  • Association Activities (Article 21): We discussed AFA’s proposal for a Company paid flight pay loss bank of 21 hours per month (the average credit of a 4-day trip) to compensate AFA representatives for trips dropped to perform union activities. We will discuss this more in depth at the next session.
  • Association Security (Article 22): AFA proposed language to help flight attendants who fall behind in their dues (usually while on a leave of absence) by allowing arrearages to be payroll deducted. Management will respond at our next session.

Our next session will be February 6-8 in Seattle. We are committed to updating you after each session. Make sure we have your email address so that you can receive our emails. Updates will also be posted on the AFA horizon website, https://afahorizon.org/ and on our official AFA Horizon Facebook page, HZN AFA. “Like” our page to see posts in your newsfeed.

Please wear your AFA pin to show support for your contract and your Negotiating Committee. Remember, we’re stronger together and better together!

**Negotiations Update**

Dear Fellow Flight Attendants,

Here is a quick update from the Negotiation Committee.

We kicked off negotiations Tuesday (January 22nd) in Seattle with Management and submitted our contract opener. Within the opener we outlined those areas of the contract that through the Flight Attendant survey were high priority items that needed to be addressed during negotiations.

The following highlights our first session with management:

  • Shared our contract opener
  • Worked on Articles 4, 10, 16, 17, 21, 22
  • Set up future meeting dates

We will be posting brief recaps of each session followed by more detailed updates after our monthly sessions. You will be able to find these updates on our www.afahorizon.org website as well as our HZN AFA Facebook page. Please be sure to “like” our page to receive the updates.

It’s important for each of us to be wearing our AFA pins and attending the crew sits that our Action Contract team (ACT) will be hosting monthly in PDX and SEA throughout the negotiation process. Your ACT representatives will be your source for accurate information that comes straight from the Negotiation Committee. They will also be answering questions and receiving feedback from you to bring back to the Negotiation Committee.

Look for upcoming posts “Get to know your Negotiation Team”

and “Get to know your Act Contract Team (ACT)”. You will be able to find these on our www.afahorizon.org  website as well as our HZN AFA Facebook page.

For a calendar of negotiation dates and when crew room sits are being scheduled please look at the AFA google calendar on www.afahorizon.org.

Your Negotiation Team,

 

Tanya Phillips, Ed Hawes, and Joelle Fuhrman

Local 16 Base Meeting

In accordance with the AFA Constitution and Bylaws, we will be holding a base meeting prior to the AFA Board of Directors meeting. We will review the Board agenda and review the proposed AFA budget for the 2019/2020 fiscal year. 

If you would like to attend, please join us. We will be there with Alaska and Compass AFA officers.  

When: February 11th, 1:00PM – 4:00PM

Where: SeaTac Office Towers (same building as 13 Coins, across from the airport)

We will send out future reminders with detailed information as the date gets closer. 

Communication – Mixed Pairings

Mixed Pairings-APR19 Bid

The AFA Master Executive Council was recently informed by Inflight management that they are planning to build trips (pairings), starting with the APR19 bid, that will contain both E-175 and Q 400 flying.  There may be delays with the timeline, but the current plan is to start using mixed pairings in April bid.

Your AFA MEC Scheduling Chair, Callie von Borstel, and LEC 17 Scheduling Committee Chair member, Peter Oxentenko, are currently working on mixed pairing solutions within the current bid(s) and past bids as a test. Testing mixed pairings within existing and past bids allows us a better understanding of the effects, if any, on overall domicile line credit values, aircraft swaps, duty time, and layovers (rest).  Undergoing these test solutions is time consuming and involves many factors within the pairing optimizer.  Once our AFA mixed pairing testing is complete your MEC should have a greater understanding of the overall result/impact per domicile.

As Inflight management moves forward with their plan of mixed pairings for the April bid they have assured us there will be many opportunities for those who do not regularly fly a specific aircraft type to reacquaint themselves before the April bid.  We are not sure of the avenue(s) management may take in this regard, but they will outline a plan soon for distribution and implementation.

Mixed pairings can create greater efficiencies in scheduling of a flight attendant’s time given that there is greater opportunity for the scheduling software to develop trips from the number of flights available. This can have a positive affect for Flight Attendants, as it lowers trip sit times, decreases the number of DH’s, and other operational inconveniences that may impact your flying.  Mixed pairings also increase flight attendant productivity which can translate into overall cost savings for the Company.

In our opinion there are also draw backs to mixed pairings.  Flight Attendants who prefer a specific aircraft type may not be able to choose pairings without both aircraft types on his/her line, depending on seniority.  We are also concerned that credit values, duty times, and layover (rest) as well as aircraft swaps, may be impacted.   Your MEC scheduling chair will be looking at this very closely, domicile by domicile during the trip build test period.  Remember it is the utmost importance that you do not rush and take the time to be safe when switching back and forth between equipment types on mixed pairing trips.   Mistakes can happen when there is pressure to minimize a negative impact of departure times with aircraft swaps.

As a reminder, all Horizon Flight Attendants are qualified on both aircraft types in our current fleet and our collective bargaining agreement does not preclude trips that contain both aircraft types.  However, we do have language that limits aircraft swaps. As we work through the AFA mixed pairings test builds, we will have a better understanding of the impacts and will work with inflight management to minimize those impacts to the greatest extent possible. Please reach out to your local officers if you have questions regarding your domicile and mixed pairings.  Information on who your local officers may be found on www.afahorizon.org.

Thank you for reading and staying informed.

SRM – Q400 Supplies

Good Evening

I attended on behalf of Heather Coleman a SRM about Q400 supplies. We went through what may occur when we try to mirror the green bag from the E to the Q. They will be similar bags but have minor differences.

We discussed the movement of the med link form from the forward overhead to the atlas behind the forward jump seat. No significant risk was found as we have not had any reports of and E event encountering problems about retrieving the check list.

A minor change will be that we don’t restock the supplies until we are missing several items out of the bag. PDX and SEA would restock the bags when we leave them on row 1 seat between turns. FAB had a few staffing concerns from a restocking perspective.

No other major issues where found and we can expect this change to occur from mid Jan through feb. FAIFs will be issued to discuss the change.

Bryan Grosvold 

MEC ASHS Chair 

Horizon Air AFA Local Vice President #16  

SEA, GEG & BOI 

503-789-6014

Spokane Hotel Report and Follow-up

On December 11th, 2018, AFA and IBT representatives, Horizon Management and the Ruby River Hotel management met onsite to address numerous complaints from Flight Attendants about the hotel, namely cleanliness.

AFA addressed each complaint with HZN and Hotel management and their plans for the hotel to resolve the issues.  

Onsite Hotel Inspection: We toured rooms throughout the property that were selected by AFA/IBT.  Our primary focus was on specific rooms that had generated complaints. We observed improved cleanliness and were able to point out some areas that could use some attention. We tested the door locks and thankfully found no failures. There were signs of wear and plans for renovation of all guest rooms is going to be done in stages with an unknown timeline. We also saw random guest rooms in each of the six buildings and found the rooms were ready for occupancy as well.

Transportation: The hotel is “committed” to improving their airport pick-up performance and has agreed to begin a shuttle to the local area when it receives a second van in service. We have not received any timeline. Please file a report immediately if your van is delayed.

Elevator: There is still no elevator on property. We agreed to this exemption based on the hotel’s promise to assist in carrying crew bags to second floor rooms. Currently they are not doing this, even on request.  We have not reached a complete resolution on this as night arrivals would require the only employee on staff to leave the front desk unattended. Please file the appropriate report immediately if you request assistance with you bags and are denied.

Food: The restaurant remains out of service and has been gutted as it begins a major renovation. Hotel management has offered an alternative breakfast buffet; however, this doesn’t work with crew departure times. Hotel management says it is providing a “grab and go” to those leaving prior to the buffet opening, but there is still no confirmation this is happening consistently. If you are not provided a “grab and go” breakfast please file a report immediately with Crew ConneX. Any safety related issues with food should be reported using an Irregularity Report.

Cleanliness: The “mold” issue was explained as long-term residue from charcoal-based bath bars accumulating. Hotel management has stated this residue is nearly impossible to remove from grout and caulk lines. There is an effort being made to remove all residue and re-caulk tubs/showers. The residue in toilets was explained as long-term hard water staining. The team was comfortable with the explanation after careful review of the rooms and following the discussion of follow-up plans, especially the focus on housekeeping attention to detail and their deep cleaning schedule, which is being developed.  Please report and photograph any issues with room cleanliness on Crew Connex and/or in an irregularity report if safety related.

Next Steps: The team was in agreement that the hotel is making strides to resolve the cleanliness issues brought to their attention. That said, AFA and IBT remain vigilant that the agreements made with the Red Lion management must be adhered to even under the new Ruby River management team. When this property was a Red Lion, hotel management agreed that hotel staff would carry bags to the second floor and transport crew locally to restaurants. Since the change, new hotel management has not honored these promises. And finally, the closure of the restaurant leaves crew members no choice but to cross a busy street on foot. The risk of crossing Spokane’s main artery at night, on foot, and in severe inclement weather in our future, presents too much of a safety hazard.

Management in place has responded, due to AFA’s request for further review on the GEG property:

“Since the visit on 12/11 the company has not received any reports with concerns surrounding safety, security, rest, access to food or complaints of any type, so I am quite surprised to hear there are still “outstanding concerns.”

The company is committed to insuring the safety and comfort of our crews and will move promptly to address any concerns that are raised at the Ruby River Hotel or any other property.”

And finally,

Of the most recent hotel changes, the company has overridden the unanimous first choice property in three of four markets.  The secondary market choices do meet the AFA Minimum Standards Checklist, but were not the team’s preferred property during our sourcing visits because of availability of food and recreation opportunity, and the general hotel amenities in comparison to our choice property.  Budget is definitely a factor in management’s final decision.

Please continue to report any hotel concerns via your CrewConnex ap and/or any safety concerns in an Irregularity Report.

Thank you for your continued reporting,

Jane Casey

AFA MEC Chair, Accommodations and Transportation