October 9, 2022
Participants for AMFA:
Bret Oestreich – National President
Earl Clark – Region I Director
Will Abbott – Region II Director
Anthony Christner – Interim Airline Representative
Lucas Middlebrook – Legal Counsel
Participants for Sun Country Airlines:
Eric Levenhagen – Chief Human Resources Officer
Paul Wroble – VP Technical Operations
Bobby Purzitza – Director of Maintenance
Jacki Thompson – Legal Counsel
Laurie Lofgren – Labor Consultant
The AMFA-SCA Negotiating Committee is providing this update to the Membership at Sun Country Airlines (SCA). This is the only official authorized source of negotiating communications by the Committee.
The parties held a two-day bargaining session, October 4-5 in Minneapolis to commence Section 6 bargaining toward a first collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for the SCA group. At the outset of Day 1, AMFA proposed a Letter of Agreement (LOA) that would have memorialized the status quo in compensation, 401(k), and work rules; created a just cause provision and grievance process; as well as a dues checkoff provision to easier facilitate the payment of dues to support collective bargaining. The purpose of the LOA was to cement current status quo and provide the parties stability while they bargained toward a complete CBA. AMFA has proposed and agreed upon similar LOAs at other carriers when new groups have elected union representation. Unfortunately, the Company flatly rejected AMFA’s proposed LOA without offering a single counterproposal. Simply put, SCA said no and refused to even negotiate toward an LOA that would have demonstrated its commitment to the hard-working AMTs while a full CBA is being negotiated. We are disappointed with the Company’s unwillingness to engage in discussion over a short-term LOA and urge SCA to reconsider its shortsightedness in this respect.
Once the Company failed to engage with the proposed LOA, AMFA was prepared and immediately pivoted and passed multiple articles to be negotiated as part of a full CBA. On Day 1, AMFA proposed the following articles: Preamble; Purpose of Agreement; Grievance Procedure and Arbitration. The Company did not respond to these articles on Day 1. The Company did, however, deliver a presentation through Greg Mays and Dave Davis regarding the current operational state of the Company.
At the beginning of Day 2, the Company passed counterproposals on the Preamble, Purpose of Agreement, Grievance Procedure, and Arbitration Articles, which AMFA had proposed on Day 1. AMFA passed two additional articles to the Company on Day 2 – Union Security and Savings Clause. The parties then spent time in caucus reviewing the respective proposals and counterproposals. Upon conclusion of caucus, AMFA passed a counter on Grievance Procedure and the parties were able to reach tentative agreement (TA) on four separate articles: Preamble; Purpose of Agreement; Savings Clause and Arbitration (now entitled System Board of Adjustment). The Company, as part of its Arbitration counter proposed changing the name of the article to System Board of Adjustment and AMFA accepted this name change. As the Parties bargain toward a full CBA, they will endeavor to reach tentative agreement on individual articles. When the parties tentatively agree to an article in this fashion, it is referred to as a TA. That TA’d article is then set aside as the parties continue with other articles to complete the entire CBA.
While we are disappointed the Company would not engage in negotiation toward the LOA we proposed, we do see four TAs during the first negotiation session as a positive first step toward a full CBA that will reward your hard work. The Parties have scheduled additional bargaining dates for November 14-15 and December 13-14 in Minneapolis.
We would like to thank the observers that joined Day 1 of negotiation, and if you would like to be an observer in future negotiation sessions, please communicate with your ALR. Stay engaged, remain informed, and continue to support the Negotiating Committee as that support increases the Committee’s ability to bargain a CBA your hard work deserves.