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 negotiations@afahorizon.org.

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!

Negotiations Update – February

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