On May 22, 2013, a group of AMFA members gathered for Professional Standards Training at the Alaska Airlines Hangar in Seattle, WA. The group consisted of Alaska Airlines members from Local 14 and Southwest Airlines members from Local 32. They were all attending continuous education for their respective local’s Professional Standards Committee.
By David Brooks, National Safety & Standards Director
I know there has been a lot of talk and use of our Professional Standards Program lately, but I would like to try and explain and familiarize you with this program. This program has been established to resolve conflicts between AMFA members before it escalates to management and results in punishment, or in some cases termination.
What are standards? The dictionary defines standards as those morals, ethics, habits, etc., established for authority, custom, or an individual as acceptable. Our Constitution says “Aircraft Technicians are highly skilled and responsible individuals with a public trust, and we shall continually strive for higher standards in aircraft maintenance, servicing, and handling in the interest of public safety and the industry.” We must remember that we are professionals, and must conduct ourselves accordingly; however, we all know that sometimes there is concern, or conflict, and that is where the Professional Standards Committee gets involved.
The purpose of the AMFA Professional Standards Committee is to promote and maintain the highest degree of professional conduct and standards among Association members. The Committee can be found at the local level and will address problems of a professional or ethical nature involving Association members. They will address the problems and resolve conflicts before the situation escalates and it results unfavorably on both the Association and the individuals involved. Some examples of situations handled by the committee would include personality conflicts, non-adherence to standard operating procedures, verbal attacks, written or spoken profanity, or character attacks on someone’s reputation. Some examples of situations that will not be handled by these committees are grievance matters, substance abuse, medical or legal issues. Keep in mind that we try to quell these matters before they get to management. There have been times when management will remand these matters back to the committee; however, once they are aware of the situation and choose to deal with it you are at the mercy of the company and their punishments. This is also the case if one of the parties involved chooses not to participate with the committee. This is the major reason why you should seek them out.
The procedure to handle a case is as follows. If you have an issue, you will first go to your Local Safety and Standards Chairman. He will in turn through the Professional Standards Committee Chairman send two individuals, who are non-biased, to investigate the case, listen to all parties, suggest a resolution to the conflict, and finalize it by instituting the resolution. After this is completed all parties should be satisfied, and the issue will not be addressed by management. All cases will be held in the strictest confidentiality, and when it is finalized, the case is closed, dismissed and no punitive action will follow; however, if there is not a solution and the parties cannot agree, then it will go to management and the case will be subject to company discipline. This is why it is important to keep a professional attitude and use your committee if the situation arises.
If you have any further questions, please contact your Local Safety and Standards Chairmen. His information should be on your Local Website, and he will be able to assist you, advise you, or recommend a course of action. Remember to always strive to use your own code of ethics and professional attitude to prevent any of these cases from being brought forward, but if you are in the situation where you need to use this Committee, this explanation will assist you in dealing with a dispute.
In this issue