Horizon AFA Negotiations Update – February 2019
AFA and management met again this week, and while we did work hard, negotiations were shortened because of Friday’s snowstorm. AFA’s committee members are MEC President Ed Hawes; Flight Attendants Joelle Fuhrman and Tanya Phillips; and our 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.
This week we reached tentative agreement on Article 16, Transfers Between Domiciles. We added a new section that allows the Company to create and fill temporary vacancies (up to three bid periods) when a given domicile is short-staffed. While it won’t be required, it adds more flexibility when the bases are temporarily out of alignment.
During this session, we also discussed but did not reach agreement on:
- Article 4, Duty-Time Expenses – The big items in this Article, of course, are hotels, crew meals and per diem. AFA wants to adopt stronger language on hotel standards, and both sides are committed to creating a better process for remediating problems at our current hotels. AFA also wants to keep crew meals, and management does not. While we know our crew meals are not always fresh and wholesome, we also know that for many of us, a crew meal is the only thing they have time to eat during a duty day. We also pushed for an increase in per diem and proposed adding a COLA (cost of living increase) so that our per diem would increase each year by the percentage of inflation. Management owes us a response on our proposal at the next session.
- Article 14, Leaves of Absence – AFA presented our LOA proposal on the last day of the session. We proposed retaining coverage for a longer duration during leaves, as well as some items to improve leaves overall. We suggested language to spell out how light duty would work and to add a provision about pay protection and trip drops if a Flight Attendant is subpoenaed to testify in an action arising out of her/his employment.
- Article 21, Association Activities – We discussed a proposal for management to cover more of AFA’s flight pay loss when we need to drop trips to conduct Union business. Management agreed, so we are working out the details.
- Article 23, Grievances – Besides negotiating our contract, AFA’s other major task is to enforce it by filing grievances when we believe that management has violated the contract. This Article provides the rules and procedures for filing and ultimately arbitrating grievances. We have agreed to drop the current practice of filing a grievance worksheet before we can file a grievance. Both parties agreed that this was just an unnecessary step that delayed the grievance process. We also discussed streamlined provisions for grievance mediation and arbitration.
Our next session will be March 5-7 in Seattle. In the meantime, our Action Contract Team (ACT) will be in PDX and SEA on February 10, 11 and 12 (weather permitting). ACT Chairs Sirkka Haagen and Jennifer Levcun. They’ll be passing out AFA pins and taking pictures or accepting selfies of Flight Attendants wearing their pins. Join the fun by submitting your selfie to email@example.com.
Our updates will also be posted on our website, https://afahorizon.org/ and on our official 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!
Hello fellow Flight Attendants,
Your Negotiation Committee met with Management this week, February 5th – 7th. The meeting was productive with both sides starting a deep discussion on Hotels. In consideration for how much of our lives are spent in them, crew hotels and how they are selected is very important. We are actively working on improving the contractual language in this area which will provide us with a greater role in crew hotel selection.
Here is a recap of the week:
- Worked on Articles 4, 16, 23
- We have reached a tentative agreement on Article 16
Please take time to attend one of the upcoming ACT (Action Contract Team) crew sits in Portland and Seattle. Your ACT Chairs Jennifer Levcun, Seattle domiciled flight attendant and Sirkka Haagen, Portland domiciled flight attendant have been working hard and are looking forward to keeping you updated on how the Negotiations are going. This is your time to ask questions and see what your Negotiation Committee is doing for you.
If you would like to get to know who your ACT Chairs are, visit our AFAHorizon.org page. Please check out our Facebook page HZN AFA and “LIKE” and “SHARE” with your fellow co-workers.
There will be a full update posted on AFAHorizon.org.
We are Stronger Together, Better Together
Your Negotiation Team,
Tanya, Ed and Joelle
Greetings Flight Attendants!
Back in October, we announced an opening for an alternate position for the PBS Committee. The alternate committee member’s duties are to fill in while one of the primary members is on leave or vacation, to maintain adequate AFA representation when dealing with the company. When actively serving, the alternate member will assist with general bidding questions, NAVBLUE system testing, preliminary awards and protests. We are pleased to announce that the MEC has selected Deb Harding-Elliott as the alternate PBS Committee member. She has now been officially trained on both the bidder and administrative side of PBS.
Now that the latest round of bidding and protests is complete, we can also announce that Claire Wilson (Michaels) will be going out on Maternity Leave starting February 14th. Since she will not be available to assist during her absence, please direct all PBS-related questions to Lexie Massey or Deb Harding-Elliott via the PBS Joint email address.
Lexie Massey, Claire Wilson (Michaels) & Deb Harding-Elliott
Joint PBS Committee-AFA
Building Better Working Relationships
Humans are naturally social creatures – we crave friendship and positive interactions, just as we do food and water. So it makes sense that the better our relationships are at work, the happier and more productive we’re going to be.
Good working relationships give us several other benefits. Our work is more enjoyable when we have good relationships with those around us. Good relationships give us freedom from spending our time and energy overcoming the problems associated with negative relationships. Most importantly, successful working relationships are criterial to crew resource management and thus safety.
So what are the characteristics that make up good, healthy working relationships?
- Trust – This is the foundation of every good relationship. When you trust co-workers, you form a powerful bond that helps you to work and communicate more effectively. If you trust the people you work with, you can be open and honest in your thoughts and actions, and you don’t have to waste time and energy “watching your back.”
- Mutual Respect – When you respect the people who you work with, you value their input and ideas, and they value yours. Working together, you can develop solutions based on your collective insight, wisdom and creativity.
- Mindfulness – This means taking responsibility for your words and actions. Those who are mindful are careful and attend to what they say, and they don’t let their own negative emotions impact the people around them. They are conscious communicators.
- Welcoming Diversity – People with good relationships not only accept diverse people and opinions, but they welcome them. For instance, when your flying partners offer different opinions from yours, you take the time to consider what they have to say, and factor their insights into your decision-making.
- Open Communication – We communicate all day, whether we’re sending emails and IMs, or meeting face to face. The better and more effectively you communicate with those around you, the richer your relationships will be. All good relationships depend on open, honest communication.
So, what can you do to build better relationships at work?
- Develop Your People Skills – Good relationships start with good people skills including how well you collaborate, communicate and deal with conflict.
- Identify Your Relationship Needs – Look at your own relationship needs. Do you know what you need from others? And do you know what they need from you? Understanding these needs can be instrumental in building better relationships.
- Schedule Time to Build Relationships – Devote a portion of your flying day toward relationship building, even if it’s just in minute increments. Small and even routine interactions help build the foundation of good relationships.
- Focus on Your EI – Spend time developing your emotional intelligence (EI). Among other things, this is your ability to recognize your own emotions, and clearly understand what they’re telling you. High EI also helps you to understand the emotions and needs of others.
- Appreciate Others – Show your appreciation whenever someone helps you. Everyone wants to feel that their work is appreciated. So, genuinely compliment the people around you when they do something well. This will open the door to great work relationships.
- Be Positive – Focus on being positive which is both attractive and contagious. It will help strengthen your relationships with your flying partners. No one wants to be around someone who’s negative all the time.
- Avoid Gossiping – Don’t gossip. Gossip is a major relationship killer at work. If you’re experiencing conflict with someone in your group, talk to them directly about the problem. Gossiping about the situation with others will only exacerbate the situation, and will cause mistrust and animosity between you.
- Stretch Yourself – Occasionally, you’ll have to work with someone you don’t like or someone that you simply can’t relate to. But, for the sake of your comfort and everyone’s safety, it’s essential that you maintain a professional relationship. When this happens, make an effort to get to know the person. It’s likely that the person knows full well that the two of you aren’t on the best terms, so make the first move to improve the relationship by engaging in positive exchanges. While you’re talking, try not to be too guarded. Ask the person about their background and interests. Instead of putting energy into your differences, focus on finding things that you have in common. Just remember – not all relationships will be great; but you can make sure that they are, at least, workable!
From your AFA EAP: 800-424-2406