|In this Issue:
March 13, 2005
negotiated in the 2004 Flight Attendant Agreement the Company is now offering a
Voluntary Furlough with Limited Recall (VFLR). The VFLR will be offered to 500
Flight Attendants to accept a voluntary furlough (due to lack of work) from US
Airways with limited recall rights in exchange for a cash payment and certain
travel benefits, thereby reducing the number of involuntary furloughs. The
complete program details and VFLR Application/Bid Form can be found on theHub or
the AFA website at: http://www.afausairways.org/Eline/mar07x_05.htm
are several KEY points to remember regarding the VFLR:
The Bid is now open and your bid must be received by Inflight Administration no
later than April 20, 2005 at 11:59 EST. You may mail or fax your bid. You may
verify receipt of your bid on theHub.
2. There will be three scheduled release dates June 1, 2005 (200 slots);
September1, 2005 (100 slots); and December 2, 2005 (200 slots). You can bid for
either or all release dates. Keep in mind that bids will be awarded in seniority
order and therefore you may limit your ability to hold a VFLR slot if you limit
your release date choices. The Company will process all bids in seniority order.
You must be in active status as of December 1, 2004 to apply for a VFLR and must
be in active status on the date of your awarded release. Active status includes
flight attendants actively flying the line, claiming paid sick leave, taking the
FMLA/PCL or on military leave.
4. You may rescind your bid prior to the date the Company awards
you a VFLR date. The award date and the release date are not the same. It is
likely that the awards will be posted shortly after the April 20, 2005 closing.
In practical terms if you decide to rescind your bid I would strongly suggest
you do so no later than the April 20, 2005 closing date.
5. Approximately 30 days before your awarded VFLR release date you will
receive a VFLR Release Form. This form is a legal document that acknowledges the
participant has been made fully aware of the program details, releases the
Company from any future liability claims and signifies agreement of all the
terms. The signed VFLR Release form must be returned to the Company on or prior
to your release date or you will NOT GET YOUR $10,000. If you
do not execute the form you will be still be forced to go out on a voluntary
furlough minus the cash. Failure to execute the release form
will not rescind your award.
6. For those who are awarded the VFLR and are 55 years old or older or
those who subsequently turn 55 years old you WILL NOT forfeit
your right to collect your vested pension benefits from the PBGC. The confusion
regarding this issue has to do with language. Do not confuse “retirement”
with the ability to collect your pension benefit. Retirement would include other
benefits such as medical insurance and sick bank buyout, but as you know our
retiree medical benefits have recently been severely impacted. If you are
currently vested in our pension plan (5 years of service) you will still be
entitled to receive your pension benefits (subject to the PBGC guidelines) when
you reach retirement age. In order to receive your benefit you must resign from
US Airways and follow the PBGC notification process to begin receiving your
7. If you have an ERI notification on file and you bid and are awarded
the VFLR the ERI notification will be removed and considered null and void
subject to the retirement rescind requirements. To rescind retirements after
March 1 up through April 1, the employee must notify the Company of his/her
intent to rescind on or by his/her last day of work, or March 15, whichever is
earlier. To rescind retirements after April 1 up through May 1, the employee
must notify the Company of his/her intent to rescind on or by his/her last
scheduled day of work, or April 15, whichever is earlier. For all
retirements after May 1, 2005 to rescind, the employee must notify the US
Airways BenefitCenter and his/her supervisor no less than 30 days prior to the
effective date of his/her retirement.
8. You are entitled to the travel benefits outlined in the VFLR for life
or until accepting employment by another scheduled air carrier. If you
subsequently resign from US Airways in order to begin receiving your pension
benefits you will still keep your travel benefits.
9. The Company will not contest unemployment and will provide a letter
stating the VFLR was as a result of a headcount reduction. Unemployment is
administered by the state therefore an ironclad statement that you will get
unemployment compensation is not possible. Everything possible to facilitate
unemployment compensation has been done by AFA and the Company during the
negotiation of the VFLR.
10. If the VFLR is oversubscribed (more apply than available slots) the
VFLR will be offered again no later than 12 months from the last release date of
the initial offer. The process will continue until the VFLR is undersubscribed.
If you apply but are not awarded a VFLR slot in the initial offer you will have
to reapply and meet all the same conditions and terms in the next offering.
There will be no “standing bid” or “super seniority” if you are not
awarded a bid in the initial offer. In theory everyone who wants a VFLR slot
will eventually get one provided they continue to bid in future offerings.
11. The VFLR Application/Bid form contains the following statement, “I
understand that I may be denied such cash payment if I claim excessive sick
after accepting a VFLR date, but prior to being released on VFLR”. AFA and the
Company will finalize language with respect to excessive sick and the VFLR this
week. The intent of this is not to have someone awarded a VFLR slot burn their
sick bank before their release date. As we all know the Company is looking very
closely at sick calls. AFA also knows that people do indeed get sick and should
not have to forfeit the VFLR cash payment for legitimate sick calls. We believe
we can reach a mutually agreeable policy regarding excessive sick and the VFLR.
The policy will be posted before the application process closes.
12. Again please remember the following: ONCE THE VFLR HAS BEEN
AWARDED YOU CANNOT RESCIND YOUR BID. WHILE THE RELEASE DATES ARE IN JUNE,
SEPTEMBER AND DECEMBER THE AWARD DATE WILL BE WITHIN A MATTER OF DAYS AFTER THE
APRIL 20, 2005 BID CLOSING.
50% PAY/NO CREDIT DH EXCEPTIONS
has been some controversy regarding the DH 50% pay/no credit language in our new
agreement. The new agreement does not contain the words scheduled and/or
unscheduled DH. For the time being ALL deadhead pay will be compensated at 50%
pay/no credit with two exceptions:
flight originally scheduled as a working leg but in actual operation due to
weather and/or mechanical is rescheduled as a deadhead will be paid at 100%
pay/credit. The easiest way to think of this is that the DH must involve the
same city pair as the original working leg. For example if you are scheduled to
work CLT-BOS and that flight is cancelled and you DH CLT-BOS on a different
flight that DH would pay 100% pay/credit. Likewise if you had to DH CLT-PHL-BOS you
would be paid 100%/credit as it is the same beginning and ending city pair.
2. If you DH on a "ferry flight" on which your cockpit crew actually
flies the airplane you will be paid 100% pay/credit. I would assume that if a
different cockpit crew flew the plane you would be paid 50% pay/no credit. Unless
of course it was originally constructed as a working leg and then provision I would apply no matter who flew the plane.
present CATCREW does not understand the exceptions and sees any and all
deadheads as paying 50% pay/credit. It will therefore be necessary to complete a
manual claim in order to be paid correctly. Be sure to include a complete
explanation on the form. Some of you may have already done this and had the
claim denied. Resubmit the claim and add the words "per Rob Fuhr" (Director
of Crew Scheduling)
has also been confusion regarding the side letter in our agreement regarding
cabin cleaning. Interdepartmental communication problems and rumor are to blame
for the confusion. Here are the facts on what we do and don’t do.
DO NOT clean on flights that originate or terminate at stations
west of Kansas City (MCI): DEN, DFW, EGE, IAH, LAS, LAX, PHX, SAN, SEA, SFO.
DO NOT clean on flight segments immediately following a red-eye.
DO NOT clean on Transoceanic International Flights.
DO NOT clean on Non-transoceanic International flights. This
includes ALL Caribbean destinations (except NAS), Mexico, Canada, Belize,
Guatemala and El Salvador. Do not let some agent, pilot or utility person
tell you that San Juan, St. Thomas or St. Croix do not count because they
are US territories.
DO NOT clean on flight segments immediately preceding the scheduled
RON of the aircraft. As far as crew RON the letter of agreements states we
do not clean after our duty day ends (15 minutes after block-in for domestic
and 30 minutes for international). Technically I guess that means if you
have not been able to clean the aircraft by that time you are free to go.
Past practice has always been for the inbound crew to clean the aircraft at
cleaning stations and it is my belief that practice should continue. To do
otherwise may cause arguments among us. Since I don’t set policy I can
only express my opinion and hope we can all work together.
DO NOT DO CABIN SECURITY CHECKS as nothing in our contract requires
us to do so. In fact current policy states that we must be off the aircraft
while utility or the TSA designees perform such checks.
DO NOT clean lavatories or remove trash from receptacles anywhere.
DO clean on arrival at all other domestic stations including hubs
(PHL and CLT). Utility is still available at hub stations but only for
lavatory cleaning, trash removal and irregular cleaning needs. Utility
personnel reduction at hub stations will occur in the near future.
mind that our cleaning duties are the same as they have been. No more, no less.
Gloves are being provided at the hubs by catering. Please make me aware of any
problems or irregularities you encounter regarding an aircraft cleaning issue.
also been brought to my attention that some A flight attendants are only
cleaning the First Class cabin. Times are tough so I suggest we all help
each other. Furthermore it is still the responsibility of the B Flight Attendant
to check all applicable doors/slides upon the completion of passenger deplaning
and prior to cabin cleaning. Until we hear otherwise from the Company I believe
that responsibility should continue as written.
been asked to address the issue of “who stays” on a through flight. The
answer is the same as it has always been. Seniority rules the day regardless of
the pairing differences. An extra is part of the crew compliment therefore if
the extra is the most junior the extra will remain on board provided no delay
will be caused in his/her subsequent flying duties. With reduced turnaround
times it is certainly a challenge having to forage for food between flights and
clean airplanes. I am confident we can work together on this issue.
VP Jerry Glass and I have had several conversations since he received my letter
last month regarding corporate culture. He has also held meetings with our MEC
President regarding similar issues. While nothing concrete has emerged to date
there are further meetings scheduled to address our concerns. I met this week
with the VP of InFlight Sherry Groff, Director of Base Operations Cheryl Lendvay,
Director of Dining and Cabin/Product Steve Kingsley, Director of Training Donna
Heinlein, PHL Base Manager Dave Chapla and Interim CLT Base Manager John Kolesar.
I was invited by Ms. Groff to address her group regarding the morale and
concerns of CLT flight attendants. I expressed our belief that the department
should to spend more time addressing the needs of our group and our product
rather than dependability. I made several suggestions regarding their time
management and availability to our members. I made it clear that the slogan
“Clear Skies Ahead” while catchy is not the way we feel at the moment. I
made it clear that it is not enough to realize that changes need to be made.
I was assured that our dialog would continue and changes will made. I will look
forward to both.
you have expressed interest in committee work. Currently we need to staff our
Hotel and Reserve Committees and increase the staff on our EAP/Professional
Standards committee. As I have come to find out union work is not easy. The
hours are long and frustration levels are high. The budget is tight and the
perks are almost non existent. My goal has been to make a difference. If you
have an interest in joining me, Ann and Glenda in this pursuit please email me
at firstname.lastname@example.org or call
LEC President CLT