I want to address several areas of concern that have been brought to my attention regarding the ETB. The ETB, now in its fourth month of existence, has undergone some changes since its inception. It would not be a stretch to imagine there could be more changes as the board evolves.
From the beginning of negotiations the Company was insistent on the elimination of our flying options. The Company’s initial proposals demonstrated an effort on their part to eliminate as much of our scheduling flexibility as they could. The entire negotiating process was about one thing: Money. The Company had created an artificially high dollar saving target that continued to increase as the negotiations continued. Other than the termination of the defined benefit pension plan by the bankruptcy court the second largest cost saving item in the agreement (the first being the pay cut) is the elimination of the options replaced by the monthly maximum flying obligations. That provision, if left to stand alone, would have allowed no resource for anyone to lower or increase their monthly obligation. The ETB was created as a means to allow the flying obligation to be adjusted either downward or upward. The ETB is a more viable tool for this process because reserves are allowed to utilize the board to pick up trips on off days and thus be paid for those trips above guarantee. The net result was a system that would allow some form of flexibility both in terms of scheduling and income. I have heard comments that the first come first serve nature of the ETB violates seniority. I disagree. Everyone has the same chance to pick up trips on the ETB and can do so. The A/IL, based on seniority is for trip improving. The A/IL does not allow for someone to raise or lower their obligation...that is what the ETB does. The ETB is the only tool for adjusting our obligation and therefore will be most effective for that purpose if open to everyone on a first come first serve basis. Reserves that pick up trips on off days are picking up those trips from line holders who are trying to lower their obligation. While it is true in the old world trips dropped for 50 or 75 hour option would go to open time, the options are now gone and without the ETB everyone would be responsible for flying their block value.
Another concern is why is there a difference between "company time" and "flight attendant time". The answer is because we have the A/IL. If there was no A/IL then all time would be the same. The only way to augment schedules or obligations would be through the ETB (flight attendant time) or some equivalent system. The trips in each line are the responsibility of the owner of that line. Because the A/IL allows a line holder to trip improve off those trips (company time) on a daily basis any time loss through that process must be made up with company time from the A/IL. Under our present system we have the ability to change our schedules and trip improve via the A/IL and reduce or increase or flying obligation via the ETB. It is therefore important to realize that any time picked up from the ETB increases a line holders obligation. It is not possible to reduce that obligation through the A/IL. For those who were on low options this system is not as functional as the old system. However there is an element of functionality to it in that for those who could not hold a low option or for those who need obligation flexibility on a month to month basis there is now an opportunity to lower the flying obligation. There is also the ability to increase flying without being locked into a high option.
There is also procedural issue regarding the ETB I would like to mention as well. It goes under the heading: "if it can happen, it will happen". F/A Smith had a trip posted on the ETB to drop. On the day prior to the trip it had not yet been picked up and F/A smith went on the bid sheet with a list of trips. Her ETB trip was picked up that morning after her call to scheduling. When scheduling got to F/A Smith they gave her one of her A/IL choices even though her ETB trip was no longer in her line. Her obvious intent was to fly only if the posted trip was still in her line but since she did not tell scheduling that was her first choice they correctly awarded her a trip. The moral of the story is to tell scheduling to process your list only if the trip you have posted to drop on ETB is still in your line.
For your information, as of Tuesday, August 10, 170 flight attendants have applied for the VFLR II. The Company will be accepting applications until August 26, 2005. Such Application and Bid Form must be received and in the possession of In-flight Administration no later than August 26, 2005 at 11:59 pm. You may fax your Application and Bid Form to (703) 872-6476. You may verify receipt of your Application and Bid Form by checking on theHub. In-flight Administration will post on theHub each afternoon (Monday through Friday) a searchable list of forms received. The list will be available after 5 pm and include forms received prior to 11 am that day.
The Company is offering a Voluntary Separation Incentive Program, VSIP 2005, for eligible flight attendants. If you are a participant in the VSIP 2005 you will voluntarily resign from the Company in exchange for certain non-revenue travel benefits. It is likely you will not be eligible for unemployment compensation. The VSIP Application and Release Form must be postmarked no later than September 3, 2005 and received by Inflight Services Administration no later than September 8, 2005. These dates will allow for someone who could not hold a VFLR II award to consider the VSIP 2005. Please reference the VSIP 2005 details on theHub at:
For those scheduled to return from Voluntary Furlough (VF) on December 2, 2005 you have been sent a packet from the Company detailing your choices. Those choices are to: 1) return to work on December 2, 2005, 2) extend your voluntary furlough indefinitely or 3) accept the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP) in exchange for certain non-revenue travel benefits. For those who choose to extend your furlough you are reminded that unlike the VFLR programs you ARE eligible to retire off the voluntary furlough. If you retire off the voluntary furlough you are also eligible to access your sick bank for a cash payout or medical premium offsets per the 2004 agreement. Please reference all the details of the VF options in your packet or on theHub at:
SPECIAL MEC MEETING AND MEC MEETING WITH AWA MANAGEMENT
The MEC will conduct a special meeting at the PIT MEC office on Tuesday August 16, 2005 at 1:00pm. The agenda for the meeting is: 1) discussion with our bankruptcy counsel regarding the confirmation hearing for the plan of reorganization and 2) an election for the office of MEC President. The new MEC President will take office on October 17, 2005 to fill the remainder of the term to be vacated by the current MEC President on October 16, 2005. Members in good standing are encouraged to apply for the position of MEC President.
The MEC will meet with the AWA MEC and AWA senior management on August 18, 2005 in
PHX. I will provide you with an account of both meetings in a timely manner.
LECP Council 89