February 27, 2015
This month the National Secretary/Treasurer and I traveled to Washington, D.C. for our first face-to-face meetings with our new our lobbyist from The Keelen Group, Mr. Frank McCarthy. Mr. McCarthy scheduled a very active two days of meetings for us with various Congressmen and their senior staff that hold influential positions on Aviation and Transportation Subcommittees. Mr. McCarthy coordinated our visit with leadership from the Southwest Airline Pilots Association (SWAPA): President Paul Jackson and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Chip Hancock. SWAPA is also a client of The Keelen Group. We attended our meetings with the Congressmen (ten meetings over a two-day period) as aircraft maintenance technicians and pilots working jointly to advocate for legislation in the upcoming FAA Reauthorization Bill that will further our members’ interests and help protect our members’ careers in future regulations. We also attended a presentation by the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA), a member-based group that helps the FAA make rules regarding various aspects of aviation (http://www.rtca.org/). We are exploring opportunities with the RTCA to expand our influence and have our unique concerns and insight shared as legislation and regulations are drafted.
The following week the National Safety & Standards Director; Region II Director; Local Safety & Standards Chairmen from Locals 4, 11, 18, and 32; AMFA-SWA ASAP Representatives; Professional Standards Chairman from Local 32; and I met with SWA VP of Maintenance, Landon Nitchke, and his leadership team. Issues discussed were administrative concerns with the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), SWA’s support of the Professional Standards Program, and establishing an ongoing working group focused on safety concerns that are not able to be resolved at the local level.
On February 17-18, 2015, the SWA Facility Maintenance Technician (FMT) negotiations continued in Dallas, Texas, and the negotiation update has been posted to the AMFA National Website. The next scheduled session for the FMTs is March 3-4, 2015, and for the AMTs is March 11- 12, 2015.
At Alaska Airlines, the opportunity for submitting contract proposals for the upcoming Section 6 Contract Negotiations started last month and will close on March 31, 2015. Please be sure to submit your contract proposals on time for them to be brought forward in the process.
On February 24, 2015, we held our Joint Advisory Council Meeting in Orlando, Florida where we discussed a wide range of topics we are working on such as the SWA negotiations, Annual Membership Survey results, legislative initiatives, Shop Representative Training, and enhancing our Professional Standards Program.
For more carrier specific updates and further information regarding AMFA and the airline industry, please visit the AMFA National Website at www.AMFANational.org. Our most determined efforts will only succeed with your continued support and participation – please stay informed.