I wish all of you a Happy New Year. Let us hope that 2005 brings prosperity to US Airways and us. I would like to thank those who attended the CLT Road Show last week. A lot of questions were asked and answered. There are still several avenues available for you to have your questions answered. The AFA web site allows you to post questions and receive an answer via email. The Company has posted a Frequently Asked Questions section on theHub (http://thehub.usairways.com/index.htm). Don’t hesitate to call the CLT office with any questions you have.
There were several questions asked at the Road Show that I would like to include in this E-Line:
WHEN WILL WE BE ABLE TO DROP/PICK UP TRIPS FROM THE ELECTRONIC TRADE BOARD and WHAT ARE THE LIMITS? - The actual start up date is to be determined. This T/A effectively eliminates the “options” one month after the implementation of the ETB therefore it is logical to assume the Company will move quickly to put the ETB in place. It may take some time to implement the board electronically but the Company will establish a temporary Crew Trip Trade Desk in the interim period. There is no limit to the amount of time that can be picked up from the ETB (FAR legalities notwithstanding). A Reserve who picks up time from the ETB will be paid that time ABOVE the 71 hour guarantee. Lineholders will be allowed to drop trips down to 50 hours (assuming trips are picked up).
AS A LINEHOLDER WHAT WILL MY MONTHLY FLYING OBLIGATION BE? - The greater of the primary line award or post-SAP line award.
WILL THERE STILL BE SECONDARY LINES? - Yes. In addition secondary lineholders will be able to augment their secondary line after the line awards by calling scheduling and picking up open time on a first-come/first-served basis; secondary lineholder obligation will be the secondary line value or the augmented line value.
WHEN CAN A RESERVE CALL OUT OF TIME? - Prior to line construction the Director of Crew Scheduling will establish the monthly maximum for each domicile of 85, 90 or 95 hours. That maximum will apply to lineholders and reserves. A reserve can call out of time at the established monthly maximum less 4:59.
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY SICK BANK? – Your sick bank remains untouched. There will be a limit of 1500 hours going forward but if you have more than 1500 hours your bank will not be reduced but you will not accrue additional sick time.
IF I CALL IN SICK DO I ACCRUE SICK TIME FOR THAT MONTH? – It depends. In a month you are available and call in sick you will only accrue sick time if your sick bank exceeds a certain amount. For 2005 your bank must contain 300+ hours to accrue sick time in a month you call in sick. The required bank amount decreases over the lifetime of the agreement. The intent is to eliminate those with little or no bank to call off sick for five hours and get five hours back from the Company.
WHAT ARE THE CHANGES TO THE BID SHEET? - The bid sheet will exist but it will not have to be “seeded” with open time. The current practice of touching a weekend trip will change. A lineholder having a trip that works on Saturday and/or Sunday will be required to work those weekend days. You do not have to fly the scheduled trip, just the weekend days that the trip touches.
HOW DOES THE RESERVE DUTY CHANGE TO 0001-2400 WORK? - Future will still process Reserves beginning at 1500. A Reserve coming on duty at 0001 will be processed by future at 1500 the day prior to coming on duty. Such a Reserve will have three options: 1) Can contact crew scheduling and be available by phone contact; 2) Can leave a list of trips with crew scheduling; 3) Do neither and be passed to Daily scheduling. This does have an upside to it, especially for those who commute to reserve duty. If you pick up a trip from future and are thus released (current book) you are not required to be in base until the report time for that trip. Can you say “latest departure”? The downside is that if you do not get anything from Future and you are a reserve F/A returning to duty after days off you will be available for duty for trips departing after 0201. Obviously there are no trips scheduled to depart at that time but you would technically have to be in base and able to report by that hour. It is my understanding that Daily will not begin processing open trips at 0001 but will continue the 0500 practice.
HOW IS ANY OF THIS BETTER FOR RESERVES? - As I have said in previous E-Lines every effort was made by the negotiating committee and the MEC to eliminate LTO and restore seniority for Reserves. We were unsuccessful in that attempt but certainly not for lack of trying. What the T/A does is offer Reserves a chance to increase their earnings by picking up trips from the ETB to be paid above guarantee. In theory a Reserve could pick up a 20 hour 4 day from the ETB, not be utilized by the Company for the entire month and end up with a 91 hour paycheck. Go figure! As DH is 50% pay/no credit any DH pay will also be paid above guarantee. Reserves will be grouped in five hour LTO groupings and will then be offered available trips in seniority order within each group. Reserves with 7 or more days of vacation will be able to slip any or all days off out of the vacation period. 3 off days may be slipped out of vacation of less than 7 days.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE T/A IS NOT RATIFIED? – If the agreement is not ratified the Company’s 1113c motion to abrogate our contract will be heard in court. AFA will present our side and the judge will then decide the fate of our contract. His decision will be either to throw out our existing contract or leave it in place. The Court will not write our contract and will not require the Company to impose their last offer. The Company will be free to impose WHATEVER they want. I can only guess what that may be.
WHY DID THE MEC NOT ISSUE A RECOMMENDATION AND HOW DID I VOTE? - The MEC decided to accept this proposal as a T/A and send it out for ratification after months of negotiations. As many of you are aware earlier Company proposals were far worse than this one. The committee fought long and hard to eliminate the most onerous items in the earlier proposals and did so. From July until mid December the Company stood their ground and moved very little. I truly believe the Strike Authorization Vote convinced the Company to actually negotiate with AFA during the final week leading up the December 16th proposal. AFA was scheduled to begin our case in court the following day absent a T/A. As a group we felt the membership should be the ones deciding the issue rather than the Court and thus voted unanimously to send it out. As for a recommendation we voted unanimously to send it out “silent”. In my view this T/A changes so much in our contract and impacts all of us in different ways that I could not clearly tell anyone how to vote. For some, the agreement may contain a way out; for others a way to increase their paychecks and stay in. Options will be gone and that will hurt some, but the possibility exists that through the ETB we may all be able to find a way to make the agreement work. Each of you will have to decide whether this agreement provides you with the means to do the job most of you love to do. It is your choice to make. Hopefully whatever the outcome US Airways will be a better place to work in the future. I cast my ballot FOR shortly before writing this E-LINE.
As you know the polls will close at 4pm EST January 5, 2005. If you have not received a ballot please call our office at 704 527-0325 so we can give you the information you will need to vote.
© Copyright 2004. Council 89 CLT AFA -CWA US Airways - Council89@afausairways.org