ALPA Communication

Many of you may have seen ALPA’s recent communication to their members. We now know they are in talks that could lead to economic gains and we will be watchly closely as our bankruptcy Me Too is still in effective.

Also, the ALPA E-line could lead one to think our bankruptcy Me Too expires when we reach our ammendable date – not so. The Me Too clause stays in effect until we have a ratified Agreement that replaces our present CBA. We will keep you updated as we get more information.

AFA Payroll Update

Immediately after the December 31, 2016, payroll period AFA heard from Flight Attendants with a slew of payroll problems. These ranged from underpayment, not receiving a check, overpayment, and repayment issues. As a consequence AFA set up a meeting with Inflight and Payroll on January 11 to sift through these different issues, try to understand what happened, and get resolutions. While we do not have definitive solutions at this stage, we can pass along the following information and advice, which may help Flight Attendants in the interim.

Virtually all the payroll problems are related to our ability to drop to low hours, defined as below 50 hours, which was the previous drop floor before LOA 6. We now have hundreds of Flight Attendants regularly dropping below 50 hours, and many of those below 37.5 hours. This reality was not contemplated by our Contract’s payroll language (Section 18.J.2.) nor by the Company’s payroll system.

As a result, the Company has continued the practice of paying Flight Attendants 37.5 hours on each paycheck (16th and 1st) regardless of their actual hours for the month. This has placed a number of Flight Attendants in “overpayment” status, because each month they continued to be paid more than they fly.

Starting with the December 31st paycheck the Company stopped paying Flight Attendants 37.5 hours if they had less than 37.5 hours for the month (they were already paid 37.5 hours on the 16th). As a result, those Flight Attendants did not receive a paycheck on the 31st nor did they receive a paystub. The Company did this to stop overpaying Flight Attendants.

While AFA does not agree with how the Company implemented its “fix” on December 31st, your MEC recognizes that we have real payroll issues which Section 18.J.2. of our Contract does not address. AFA’s long-term goal is have the Company pay Flight Attendants only for what they fly each month. In the meantime, Flight Attendants should understand how the Company is going to administer payroll, and, therefore, how they can try to avoid or mitigate payroll issues:

1. Flight Attendants will not receive a paycheck on the 1st of the month if they do not have more than 37.5 hours for the month.

For the time being the Company is going to continue to pay Flight Attendants 37.5 hours on the 16th paycheck REGARDLESS of how many hours are on their line, based upon a full active month. Therefore, if you have only 35 hours on your line for the month, and you are paid 37.5 hours on the 16th you are not due any money on the 1st and will not receive a paycheck (in fact, you now owe money). We understand that not receiving a paycheck each pay period is a real problem for Flight Attendants, because you have no record of accruals or what you might owe or be due to the Company. This is one of the issues we are trying to get fixed.

2. If you have less than 37.5 hours for the month you are going to owe for overpayments.

As follows from #1, if you have less than 37.5 hours for the month you will always be overpaid. In this case you will eventually be placed into a repayment status (after 3 paychecks). Again, AFA does not like the fact that the Company is continually overpaying Flight Attendants with low hours. This also requires a fix. Nevertheless, please be aware that if you fly low hours Payroll will eventually send you an email with an overpayment amount and repayment options.

3. The “best” way to repay overpayments is through payroll deduction.

Flight Attendants should be aware that Section 18.J.6. of our Contract permits the Company to take back overpayments. The “default” procedure under the Contract is for the deduction of 10% of net earnings from each paycheck until the overpayment is satisfied. Payroll will send an email offering the 10% deduction as an option, as well as other payment options. Flight Attendants are only obligated to the 10% option. However, Flight Attendants are free to choose other options if they wish. But, please be aware that if you choose an option other than payroll deduction (such as cutting the Company a check for the overpayment) you may be overpaying in taxes. Weigh carefully your options before you make a choice. Please also be aware that if you fail to choose an option the Company will default to 10% deductions.

4. Flight Attendants with more than 37.5 hours can avoid payroll issues.

If you absolutely need to avoid overpayments and need to receive a paycheck each pay period (if only for a few dollars), the best strategy is to assure you have more than 37.5 hours each month. This may mean a very small check on the 1st, but at least you will receive a check and paystub with a record of your accruals.

However, for Flight Attendants that need to pay health insurance each paycheck you may have to fly well in excess of 37.5 hours to cover the premium contribution for each paycheck (16th and 1st). Of course, eligibility for health insurance is not tied to the hours your fly. But, failure to fly enough hours to cover payroll deductions will mean that you will have to find alternative means to pay your health insurance premium contributions.

AFA understands that many Flight Attendants were broadsided by December’s payroll problems. AFA was caught off-guard, as well. Nevertheless, the payroll issues we are experiencing are a result of the new privilege to drop to low hours. Low paychecks and no paychecks are inevitable. Until we can get a fix for the unfortunate payroll side effects of low hours Flight Attendant should only drop their lines to a level that allows them to manage the consequences.

Your MEC’s goal is to have an update and some fixes for low hours payroll issues in March.

Women’s March on Washington

AFA and CWA are participating in the Women’s March on Washington (www.womensmarch.org) on January 21. This will be an historic event that raises the issues that our union has championed for decades: equality for all, economic equality for women and justice in the workplace. It is an opportunity to shine the light on the importance of the labor movement for our role in supporting democracy, organizing to improve conditions at work and empowering women and others to use the power of the collective to address issues that would otherwise be suppressed without our unions. Our messages will be:

Unions = Pay
Unions = Rights
Women: Join Unions, Run Unions
Date:
January 21, 2017
Time and Place:
Meet at AFA Office at 8:00 AM – 501 3rd St. N.W., Washington, D.S. 20001
Public Transportation is highly recommended. Closest stations are Judiciary Square or Union Station. http://resources.womensmarch.com/#f=Transportation.
CWA is chartering buses to depart from North Carolina, New Jersey and New York. If we get enough interest (quickly) to fill a bus at Dulles, we will be able to add that as well. If you want more details about the bus transportation contact Taylor Garland at tgarland@afacwa.org.
So that we can get an accurate headcount, please RSVP to Taylor, tgarland@afacwa.org. We will also provide specific event updates to those who RSVP.
The rally starts at 10:00 am at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street SW, a few blocks from the CWA building (insert link: https://www.womensmarch.com/event-details) The march begins at 1 pm.
We invite all of you to join us in D,C. on January 21, 2017 for this momentous event. (insert ink to womensmarch.com website)
Because the March is scheduled for the day after the inauguration, there is very limited hotel availability. If you’re commuting in for the event, we recommend you reach out to a friend or relative in the area who can accommodate you the night prior. Flying in the day of would need to be very early, prior to 8 am. Should you be unable to find a place to stay in the area, please let us know. We don’t want any lack of accommodations be the reason you cannot otherwise attend.
As we prepare to honor Dr. King this weekend, let us take his words to heart and own the responsibility we share as activists for justice. “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights and that we will stand strong to press forward on economic justice for all.
Please join us for this historic event and the opportunity to make our voices heard.

February Bidding

The following information is what Flight Attendants can expect for February flying, this is based on what we have received from the Crew Planning department and Delta:

The Regular Line average for all bases will be approximately 76 hours.

There will be an increase in flying above January hours system wide of around 700 hours.

  • CRJ200 is up almost 500 hours, mostly in MSP.
  • CRJ900 up almost 200 hours, will be noticed more in LGA with some in DTW but a decrease in MSP.
  • CDO trips are down 20 on the CRJ900.
  • 3 day trips are up by 100.
  • A slight increase in aircraft changes are expected in order to increase block per duty day.

PBS Crew Room Bid Assistance

Available in all bases:

01/11 Wednesday 800–1700 local time
01/12 Thursday 800–1700 local time
01/13 Friday 800–1700 local time
01/14 Saturday 800–1700 local time


What’s New?

For Reserve Line bidders; in PBS under the Other Options tab you may now select all Reserve Line options, anytime of the month, and place them in your Standing Bid!

Bidding Tips

  • Always SAVE after every entry.
  • Always DISPLAY/PRINT at the end of each saved session to see all entries in their respective scopes. Then make a copy or take a screenshot with the time stamp.
  • Select the correct bid scope (REGULARRSV and CDO).
  • AVOID work (for example avoid the CRJ if you want to fly the CR9).
  • DESIRE time off (if you desire any type of work PBS will try to award as much as possible!).
  • Not certain you can hold a Regular Line next month? Bid in both Bid Scopes, Regular and Reserve. Please always look at the PBS Bid Packet which has the number of Reserve Lines for the month. The packet is available at noon Central Time Zone on 10JAN in endeavorairnet.com>Crew Resources tab>Crew Planning quick link>FA Bid Pack.
  • Utilize the Filter – The Filter is one of the most useful tools at your disposal to search for the types of options you most desire. You can improve your quality of life by simply analyzing the following: desire to overnight at a station in a warm climate, start a work period 1 hour after your commuter flight, end a pairing’s last non DH flight in a specific city, etc…
  • One of the strengths of PBS is that you can bid for everything you want. Bid smart by always having a “complete” bid in case you’re unable to hold your most important preferences.

Common Bidding Errors:

  • Placing same weight on all bid preferences – PBS will decide what is most important if you place High or 1000 on multiple entries!! Adjust values knowing that any entry is “asking” for what you want. Also, some parameters such as weekends off, will score multiple times a month. Weekends off could be worth 4,000 points in February. Consider point values based on maximum possible occurrences. Desire days off at 1000 is worth at least 11,000 total for a Regular Line holder. Is that more important than possibly Valentine’s Day or President’s Day? PBS may award more days off making you work on important dates not scored appropriately.
  • CDO Line is not awarded even though there are items selected in the CDO bid scope. You MUST Desire CDO line in the Other Options tab to be awarded a CDO Line.
  • Reserve Line is not awarded even though items are selected in Reserve bid scope. You MUST select Reserve bid scope>Option Class -Reserve Request>Reserve Line -Desire Reserve Line!
  • What is on your schedule for next month? During PBS bidding, the Calendar tab in PBS will display your vacation dates, IRT dates, The Experience date, manager assigned Meeting date, etc. Any stand alone date on your calendar will require that PBS assign work next to that date. Our contract states that you must have 2 consecutive duty days unless you Allow Single Duty Day in the Other Option tab. We advise that all Flight Attendants check their schedule before bids close on the 15th at noon Central time. This protects against forgetting about a single duty day meeting, 1 day trip you picked up on 30JAN, or that lonely Reserve day at the end of your January schedule!

Please utilize the PBS bidding experts in all bases this month!!

FYI regarding VACATIONS! If you did not bid for a vacation in 2017, Crew Planning assigns them to guarantee that you will be paid. Unassigned vacations days, are unpaid. Look at the February bid packet to find open vacation weeks! Contact crewplanning@EndeavorAir.com for vacation bid status, VAC info and general Flight Attendant questions.

Reserve Standing Bid Options

We have great news regarding the Reserve Standing Bid Options!

When LOA 6 was implemented, all the PBS Bid options for Reserve were not available when creating a Reserve Standing Bid. The AFA Reserve committee recently met with Crew Planning and asked if this could be implemented so that Reserves would have all options available when creating Standing Bids. Crew Planning realized that it had not been turned on for the Reserve Standing Bid. This has now been corrected.

For those that Bid Reserve, you will find the same options under the “Other Options” tab for a standing bid or monthly bid. The Standing Bid is a great tool in case you forget to bid. The PBS Solver will utilize your standing bid if you fail to submit a monthly bid. Also, When you have a standing bid, the system will ask you to import your standing bid when you begin the bidding process. This is helpful because it will have all the preferred options already loaded and all you have to do is tweak your bid.

Starting with the February Bid month, Reserves will now have ALL the Reserve options and Reserve preferences included in the Standing Bid option including first/last out and Ready Reserve options. If you currently have a Reserve Standing Bid, make sure that you update your Standing Bid in order to benefit from all the reserve options.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact a committee member.