November 30, 2016
The holiday season is now upon us. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have to work undesirable shifts and spend time away from family and friends during the holidays. We must be aware that the holidays may be a time of joy, but they are not always a time of peace. Balancing your family’s expectations with work commitments and social obligations can make this the most stressful time of the year. At the job, the stress of a quick fix or making a schedule may sometimes be stressed more than compliance or you may be working shorthanded as manning levels may be lower due to vacations and/or illness.
We all need to make a conscientious effort to remind each other to perform our daily tasks correctly. The un-measureable results will prolong our lives and keep us healthier a little longer. Before the season gets too busy, try these strategies for reducing holiday stress and to have a positive impact on our daily activities, hobbies, and work related activities and environment.
Prioritize tasks and activities
Keep it simple (less time= not perfect)
Take care of yourself – rest, exercise, and a balanced diet are important to keep you healthy
The spirit of the season – do something for the real spirit of the holiday. The NEC wants to wish all of you a safe holiday season.
I would also like to thank Region Directors Earl Clark and Mike Nelson; Local Presidents Joe Rajca, Tim Cullen, Dale Dixon, Joel Behnken, and Frank Amore; Airline Representatives (ALRs) Bob Cramer, Mark Dahl, Shane Flachman, Craig Hamlet, Jason Munson, and Mike Young; and National Staff Ryanne Pelletier and Trevor Flint for their involvement, dedication, and continued support in helping the Association stay on track during all the important current events as well as with the National Executive Council (NEC) transition period.
In November we have been very busy on the elections, referenda, and survey front. On November 22, 70% of the AMFA–Southwest Airlines (SWA) Appearance Technicians voted by large majority to ratify a Contract Extension Letter of Agreement. The AMFA National Membership Survey, AMFA–SWA Cleaner/Utility (Appearance Technician) Negotiator, and AMFA–SWA Facilities Maintenance Technician Tentative Agreement are in process and scheduled to be tallied in December. In addition, we are currently in the nomination process for Region II Director and AMFA–SWA Outsourcing Liaison Representative.
AMFA and SWA met in Dallas, Texas, on November 1–3, 2016, for a scheduled two and a half day Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) mediated negotiation session to attempt to bridge the gap on the Company’s alleged must-have changes to our scope language. After much discussion, the Company reverted to its original proposal and rejected everything else we proposed, with the exception of a system-wide mechanic to aircraft ratio that would exist at the time of ratification of an agreement. The Committee’s full Update #47 is posted on the National Website. We met for a second session on November 28–29, 2016, to continue work to bridge the gap on the Company’s alleged must-have changes. Please give the ALRs the full support they need to assess the perspective language. The Committee’s full update for this session will be available and posted soon. Our next AMT session is scheduled for December 6–8, 2016.
On November 1–3, 2016, AMFA and Alaska Airlines met to continue negotiations in Seattle, WA. We did another review of where Alaska Technicians would be ranked for all-in wages (all-in wages include base pay, license premiums, line premium, and maximum longevity) within the current airline industry. Here is the projected ranking for airlines for all-in wages: Southwest, Delta, American, United, JetBlue, Alaska, Spirit, Hawaiian, Allegiant, and Frontier. AMFA presented our comprehensive counter proposal to the Company with some minor changes and the Company gave us their counter proposal. They were unwilling to make any changes from their previous proposal on all-in wages; the only change they made was to agree with our increase to the inspector, lead, trainer, and RII premiums from $1.50 to $1.75 an hour. They also told us that they will not give us any improvements on our retirement plans or medical insurance caps and are not willing to make any changes in Article 2, Scope. Please give the ALRs the full support they need to assess the perspective language. The Committee’s full Update #15 is posted on the National Website. Our next Alaska Airlines AMT session is scheduled for December 1–2, 2016, in Anchorage, AK.
The NEC and the AMFA–SWA Negotiation Committee have approved the Facilities Maintenance Technicians TA and the complete text of the TA has been sent out for review of the members prior to a vote. A meeting will be held on December 8, 2016, at the Love Field Embassy Suites to answer questions from the membership regarding this agreement.
On November 16 and 17, the NEC attended General Membership Meetings at Local 14 (SEA), Local 32 (PHX), and Local 18 (HOU). Again, Thank you to the many members who helped in transportation, security escorts, and scheduling of these meetings for the members during the station visits.
The NEC will continue station visits for both Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines across the system. On November 3 and 4, the NEC and Local 11 President and ALR did a SWA station visit at DAL. On November 15 and 16, the NEC and Local 4 President and ALR did a SWA station visit at BWI. The meetings were at the hangar and the line, and we met with the members on all shifts and all workgroups. We discussed several topics, including NEC introduction, AMFA current status events that are in the pipeline, and had a Q&A session to gain member feedback.
It is extremely important to update your email, phone number, and other contact information at your Local, your carrier, and on the National website at www.amfanational.org. The NEC intends to utilize all of AMFA’s resources that are in place to identify issues, concerns, and challenges from the membership, Airline Representatives, and LEC. Our objective is to make the necessary changes to improve our communication processes and to make AMFA members informed, unified, and wiser.