JNC Update - September 19, 2011
The JNC met with
US Airways management in mediated talks August 23-26 in Denver. The talks
focused on Hours of Service, Benefits and Leaves of Absence.
The main focus of discussion was the Hours of
Service provisions of the Agreement. The FAA is in the process of issuing new
duty and rest rules for pilots. The new pilot FARs represent the biggest change
in federal regulation in related to this area in decades. Generally speaking,
the proposed regulations shift the emphasis away from pilot block limitations to
limitations on the length of duty hours based on the time of day.
The new pilot rules have shifted from the
current limitations on block hours to a maximum number of duty hours and
segments depending on the time of day. The proposed pilot FAA regulations
include many other changes including allowing pilots to fly up to 10 hours block
in a single duty period depending on the scheduled check-in time.
After several delays, the final regulations
were supposed to be released in August 2011. Because of lobbying by certain
segments of the industry, particularly the air cargo carriers, the regulations
are now scheduled to be issued in November. This timing, of course, is subject
to change. What is also unknown is how the pilots will react to the new rules in
the course of their negotiations.
East Flight Attendants are co-paired with
Pilots and the rest and hours provisions for Flight Attendants, generally
speaking, match the pilots. The East contract contains a number of "me-too"
clauses providing that Flight Attendant rest and duty provisions shall match
those of the pilots. A main topic of conversation is ensuring that Flight
Attendants receive any benefits the revised pilot regulations may contain.
The next scheduled talks are September 27 – 30
in Washington, DC at the offices of the National Mediation Board. At the
September session, we will continue discussion of hours of service as well as
focus on compensation and benefits. During the September meeting, the Federal
Mediator will evaluate the progress of negotiations and determine whether to
schedule more meetings.
The key difficulty in reaching an agreement is
the unwillingness of US Airways management to put the economic resources into
this agreement to reach a deal. With the East Flight Attendants locked into a
bankruptcy contract, along with management’s refusal to provide wage parity
increases to West Flight Attendants, management has had little incentive to
reach a deal. Make no mistake; management has saved millions of dollars off of
the backs of both the West and East Flight Attendants.
That is all changing. With the East contract
becoming amendable, and the West contract long past the amendable date, all US
Airways Flight Attendants can fight for a common goal. Management needs to come
to the September negotiations in DC with a wage proposal which recognizes the
sacrifices Flight Attendants have made to the success of this carrier.
If management refuses to move the process
forward, then our path is clear. We will need to ask our members take a strike
vote in order to demonstrate to management that our Flight Attendants are united
in demanding a fair agreement.
In the coming weeks, the JNC will be providing
more information about the process of striking under the Railway Labor Act and
AFA’s unique form of striking, C.H.A.O.S.™
The Joint Negotiations Committee
MEC PRESIDENT – Mike Flores
MEC PRESIDENT – Deborah Volpe
JNC MEMBER – Carol Austin
JNC MEMBER -
AFA US Airways Website
Questions about WINGS? Please contact the EDS
Help Desk at (480) 693-6029 for assistance. More
information can also be found
AFA Local Numbers
Council 41 DCA 703-212-8090
Council 70 PHL 215-492-0840
Council 89 CLT 704-527-0325
US AIRWAYS Benefits Information 800-872-4780
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