AFA Horizon Air MEC – Negotiations Session 4

AFA and management met February 5th, 6th and 7th, 2024, to continue negotiations for our new contract. The AFA Committee consists of MECP Lisa Davis Warren, Heather Coleman, Lexie Massey (all current Flight Attendants) and our Staff Attorney and Negotiator, Kimberley Chaput. Management was represented by Shelly Parker, Vice President Station Ops and Inflight; William Casalins Altimar, Manager, Inflight Labor and Performance; Amber Hopkins, Director, Finance; Latrice Lee, Senior Corporate Counsel, Alaska Legal; and Molly Gabel, Partner, Labor and Employment (outside legal counsel).  At this session, Jamie Moore, AIMS rep/MEC Reserve Chair, and Claire Michaels, MEC Scheduling Chair, assisted AFA, and Mick Neiman, Director Crew Support, worked with management.

We are getting down to the nitty-gritty of our contact: Hours of Service and Scheduling. While we did not reach agreement on any of these articles, we staked out our positions and began working through areas of disagreement.

During this session, the parties passed proposals on: 

Article 5 (Hours of Service)

AFA proposed increases to our rest periods and decreases in our duty periods (both scheduled and rescheduled). Management wants to keep these where they are currently. We codified the practice of giving new hires eight (8) golden days if they complete new hire training by June 30, and four (4) if they complete training on or after July 1. We are working on ways to regulate the use of golden days when the Flight Attendant will be working only a few days in a month. (This mostly happens when a Flight Attendant has an Alaska training date within the first ten days of the month or is going out on a leave of absence. If there are not enough days of work, and too many golden days, PBS is unable to build a legal line. We want to ensure that the remaining Flight Attendants are not, in turn, awarded inferior lines due to the current restrictions in PBS. 

The parties did agree to move all pre-bidding due dates to the 26th of the previous month (e.g., training bids, golden days, PDOs, etc). This will make it easier for Flight Attendants to remember the due dates while giving management a little more time to process them. We are also working on adjusting release time when deplaning takes longer than expected. Finally, they proposed increasing the minimum sick call out time from one hour before departure to two hours, which would match the reserve call-out period. AFA will respond to managements last proposal at our next session.

Article 6 (Crew Scheduling)

Management gave AFA its opening proposal, and AFA responded. Unfortunately, it appears that we have some pretty significant differences in our proposals, but we will not really know the extent of that until management responds at our next session.

SAP. Management only asked for a few items, but they were pretty significant. They want to retire the SAP settlement, which currently pays 12 credits to each Flight Attendant in some circumstances when SAP does not work properly. They did not propose anything to replace this settlement. Additionally, they want to make Independence Day a SAP blackout day, while removing Veteran’s Day from the list of SAP blackout days.

AFA proposed allowing Flight Attendants to drop to minimum guarantee in SAP; increasing the credits that would be in SAP when it opens; eliminating the ban on trading transition trips in SAP; and ending SAP blackout days.

Rescheduling. Management also wants the ability to reschedule Flight Attendants any time after 1400 the day before the trip. Currently, Flight Attendants can only be rescheduled after check-in for the first day of the trip, and then after report on subsequent days of the trip. They cannot hold flying until after you check in. This is a significant change that gives them a lot more flexibility while increasing your chances of being rescheduled.

AFA proposed that “greater of” pay include any applicable premium or holiday pay attached to the original or new trip. We did not propose any other changes.

Trading. Management proposed decreasing the maximum duty period for base turns from 14 hours to 12. We understand that a 14-hour duty period does not allow for much flexibility of things don’t go precisely to plan, but we also want to make sure base turns remain a viable option for flight attendants. They also want to reduce our currently unlimited right to split a trip with Open Time—if you are using day-at-a-time vacation, you would be limited to one split. Finally, management wanted to revert back to considering calendar days rather than duty periods for trades with open time.

AFA rejected the first two of management’s proposals. We did not counter on the limitation on splitting trips, but we did propose limiting base turn duty periods to one hour less than maximum duty period (currently 14, though we propose reducing that to 12, so the final outcome remains unsettled).

Other. AFA also proposed requiring a minimum percentage of maximum and minimum credit lines; creating a better mix of trip lengths; limiting the number of lines that could contain coverage awards; and increasing trading flexibility. Management will respond at our next meeting.

Next Session

Our next session will be March 26th, 27th and 28th, 2024. This will be another critical session, as AFA responds to Articles 5 and 6 and management makes its first proposal on Article 7, Reserve. We will update you again after those meetings. 

Thank you to our Flight Attendants who attended our Worldwide Day of Action picketing event on February 13th. We represented at both the Portland and Seattle airports along with siblings from Alaska, United, Southwest, and American, as well as other airlines. Alaska Flight Attendants voted 99.48% yes, to authorize a strike. They had a participation rate of 93.47%. We will continue to tell management what happens when Flight Attendants are united!

Remember that we are Stronger Together, Better Together!

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