Council newsletter, Jan. 2024

AFA Horizon – Council 16 Newsletter (BOI, PAE, SEA, GEG)

In case you missed it, check out the last newsletter

Happy New Year!
A new year is a fresh start on the calendar, full of hope and potential. It’s the perfect time to connect with your loved ones and friends. Whether you’re celebrating in person with your circle, or you’ll be far away from one another today, we hope you take some time to reflect on the past and celebrate the potential future. 

As we head into 2024, our ability together to create a better future is contained in the present.  Together we can create a successful future by creating a successful present. 

AFA is stronger together, better together!

BOISE base visit
LEC Officers are coming to BOISE. Please join us on THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22 at 13:00 at the Applebees Bar & Grill next to Boise airport – 2810 W Elder St, Boise, ID 83705. We look forward to seeing you there and hearing what is important to you in our continued representation to Members of Council 16. This event will end around 15:00.

Reduced Credits vs. CLOAs
For Jan24 and Feb24, Council leadership has approved management’s request, following an in-depth conversation, to increase reduced credit lines above the contractually allowed maximum of 15% (6.N.1.b) in some Council 16 bases. The decision to allow more than 15% of scheduled bidlines at a domicile to be reduced-credit lines, is because doing so aligns with council leadership’s objective to reduce, or eliminate, the number of leaves of absence offered by the company solely for the purpose of reducing excess staffing (CLOA). Not having staffing reduction leaves keeps YOU working, on the payroll, earning healthcare and travel benefits, and more; and can give all flight attendants more scheduling flexibility during the month.

Council leadership continues to be optimistic that Horizon leadership will be able to secure more flying to eliminate the need for staffing reductions and promote the growth of our airline by growing our route structure and increasing total number of aircraft. They want to see Horizon be AAG’s leading, and ideally, only regional carrier.

Save the date
Flight Attendants across the industry are fighting to raise the standards for our careers. No matter the uniform we wear, our fight is the same. In 2024, the world will see us fighting together. More information to come. Fly safe and take care of one another!

Power of the pin
The AFA pin symbolizes our collective strength as Flight Attendants, history, and power. It tells the world that wings unite us. It means that we are never alone! It means that we have the right to speak up and we will use our voices to beat back discrimination and press forward on the issues that matter to Flight Attendants today.

It’s our legal right to wear our pin as a part of our uniform – including our newest flying partners still on probation. Wearing our pin means we take pride in our work as aviation’s first responders and we will always take action to defend our careers and our contracts.

Tens of thousands of Flight Attendants are in negotiations across the industry. Others are working to improve our careers outside of Section 6 contract negotiations. Let’s show management and the flying public our solidarity. Stand with your flying partners and put on your pin every single time you go to work.

No matter the uniform we wear, the routes we fly, or the years we have worn our wings, we are AFA.

Council meeting, February 15

In advance of the MEC meeting, currently scheduled for February 19, there will be a Local Council meeting to review and discuss the agenda of the MEC meeting. Please join us on February 15, 2024 at 15:30 via Google Meet.

Join by phone – 1 (601) 851-1147‬ PIN: ‪718 665 300‬#

Negotiations session 2
Your AFA Negotiations Committee met with management for Negotiation Session 2 on Dec. 6-8. Representing you at the table was Committee Members- Heather Coleman & Lexie Massey, MEC President- Lisa Davis Warren, and AFA Staff Attorney & Negotiator- Kimberley Chaput.

The Committee met with Vice President Station Ops & Inflight- Shelly Parker, Director Finance- Amber Hopkins, Manager Inflight Labor & Performance- William Casalins Altimar, Senior Corporate Counsel, Alaska Legal- Latrice Lee, and Seyfarth Shaw LLP Partner, Labor & Employment- Molly Gabel.

Management started the session by presenting their opener.  While it does not seem excessive, the devil is in the details, many of which they were unable to explain in the absence of someone from scheduling. They did, however, make clear that they were committed to a contract that was “competitive with the regional industry.”.  The committee made it clear that YOU do not want competitive, you demand industry-leading.

Dashboard credit: AFA Alaska

Both sides continued going through some of the “easier” areas of the contract. These are less complicated sections that do not involve scheduling or compensation. Of course, every section does involve some cost, and the committee hit a wall in this regard during this session. Management refuses to discuss any item that has any cost, insisting that they be “back-burnered” to discuss all economic items at one time.  For example, training was discussed, and the committee requested an increase in training pay.  Management was willing to talk about non-economic items but refused to discuss the pay increase.  

During this session, the following articles were discussed:

  • Article 8: Training – As noted, there was no progress on the economic issues.  A list of minimum hotel standards was created, specifically for training, allowing a 30-minute wait for transportation and up to another 30-minute drive from the hotel to training.  This is not a concern for recurrent, which is close to PDX but comes into play for company-wide trainings such as the CARE Retreat.  Additionally, it differs for food options.  Training hotels would require two food options near the hotel.  This locks down standards for training hotels for the first time, so management cannot make unilateral changes.
  • Article 12: Uniforms – Management is still rejecting AFA’s proposal that they pay for new-hire uniforms.  Both sides also agreed on continuing the practice of paying for shoes and cold-weather gear out of your uniform bank.  Although the committee hated to let go of a proposal, they did not feel that the issue was sufficiently important based on the survey results.  The committee is still trying to adjust the amounts for those items based on inflation, but so far management is unwilling to do that.  
  • Article 21: Association Activities – The committee proposed increased flight pay loss for Union volunteers, along with other items that cost them money.  Management has been unwilling to discuss the concept until talks on economics.
  • Article 23: Grievance Procedure and System Board of Adjustment – Both sides agreed to a 60-day cap on the length of disciplinary investigations, measured from when management knew or should have known of the alleged infraction.  This can be extended if the flight attendant being investigated is on sick leave, vacation, or leave of absence.  Right now, there is no cap — meaning management could call you in for something that happened years ago even if they knew about it!  Additionally, management is continuing to refuse the proposal that failing to respond to a grievance within contractual time limits would mean that the grievance is granted.
  • Article 26: Safety, Health, and Security – The committee has proposed additional circumstances that would allow flight attendants to remove themselves from trips for safety reasons — being in the vicinity of an active shooter and assisting with medical care that requires, or requires preparations to use, emergency medical equipment.  The committee has also proposed paid training and flight pay loss for Safety Committee members who participate in ASAP and SMS meetings, along with a request to increase the frequency of Fatigue Review Board meetings from quarterly to monthly.  Management has promised to research and respond by the next session.

Discussions deadlocked on Article 13 (Seniority) first discussed in session 1.  The open issue is management’s refusal to remove the provision that the company will not calculate company seniority differently for Flight Attendants than it does for other work groups.  They can’t say why this language should be removed, but they have this new philosophy that Horizon should no longer have any “me-too’s” in any contracts.  The committee disagrees wholeheartedly with this sentiment. 

The committee finalized tentative agreements on the following articles:

  • Article 1: Recognition and Scope
  • Article 10: Medical Examinations
  • Article 15: Furlough and Recall
  • Article 16: Transfers between Domiciles
  • Article 17: Moving Expenses
  • Article 18: Hostage Benefits
  • Article 22: Association Security and Dues Check-Off
  • Article 24: No Strike, No Lockout

These articles were tentatively agreed to during session 1, and only needing language clean-up, including the commitment to using non-binary language in the next contract.  The only exception was in Article 17, all company-requested moves would be entitled to full moving expenses (packing, unpacking, moving van, storage, insurance, etc.).  Currently, moves less than 350 miles only qualify for, in essence, a U-Haul and mileage.

At the next session, discussions will cover Article 9 (Sick Leave), and Article 25 (General), which includes the commuter policy, along with the other already-opened Articles.  If there is time, discussions may take place on Article 11 (Vacation).  Then in February, discussions on scheduling will start. This is quicker than usual, as it is very helpful that management is responding to AFA proposals quickly, which has not always been the case in past negotiations.

The next negotiation session will be January 3-5, 2024.

Council status report

If you have an unresolved outstanding balance pay online.  If you happen to find yourself in an arrears situation and do not know the amount owing or have any questions regarding what months you owe, please contact Council leadership.  We are here to help!

Know your contract

  • Article 22.C (Leave of Absence) “Flight Attendants shall pay membership dues or service fees as set forth herein except that payment for membership dues or service fees shall not be required as a condition of employment during leaves of absence without pay in excess of ninety (90) days, or during periods of permanent transfer to a classification not covered by this Agreement.”

Note: Payment of membership dues or service fees for the first 3 months of an unpaid leave, including CLOAs, will not be auto-deducted and must be paid manually by the Member.

Until the next check-in, fly safe!

“Stronger Together, Better Together”