March 13, 2023
Participants for AMFA
Bret Oestreich – National President
Will Abbott – Region II Director
Jason Salazar – Airline Representative
Ernest Harris – Member at Large
Lucas Middlebrook – Legal Counsel
Participants for Spirit Airlines
Robert Jones – Vice President, Labor Relations
Jackson Fowler – Corporate Counsel – Labor Relations
Barney Whaley – Regional Director Maintenance
The AMFA-Spirit Negotiating Committee (the “Committee”) is providing this update to the Membership at Spirit Airlines (Spirit). This is the only official authorized source of negotiating communications by the Committee.
The Parties held a three-day bargaining session on March 7-9 in Fort Worth to continue bargaining toward a first collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for the Spirit group. The Company began Day 1 by presenting counterproposals to Article 21 – Grievance Procedure, Article 22 – System Board of Adjustment, and Article 9 – Seniority. The Parties also discussed the Furlough and Recall article and how it related to Article 9 – Seniority. AMFA presented counterproposals to Article 26 – Union Security and Article 12 – Leaves of Absence. The Parties engaged in productive dialogue as it related to Article 26 – Union Security and the Company was able to return a counterproposal to this article prior to conclusion of Day 1.
AMFA began Day 2 by presenting counterproposals to Article 21 – Grievance Procedure and Article 22 – System Board of Adjustment. The System Board of Adjustment article details the process by which a grievance proceeds to and through arbitration. The Company did not pass any counterproposals on Day 2, but instead spent the day developing counters it planned to pass on Day 3. AMFA worked diligently in caucus on Day 2 and was able to present counterproposals to Article 7 – Training and Article 9 – Seniority. The Parties remain unable to reach a tentative agreement (TA) on the Training article given the Company’s stubborn insistence on incorporating its unilaterally developed Travel and Entertainment policy as it relates to out-of-pocket expenses incurred by mechanics while away from station for training. Therefore, the Parties agreed to “table” this article, which means it will be placed aside and revisited later while the Parties focus on other articles. AMFA also presented a first proposal on a Political Action Committee (PAC) article that would allow Spirit mechanics to contribute directly to AMFA’s PAC, which provides our craft with a representative voice in D.C.
AMFA, to begin Day 3, presented counterproposals to Article 26 – Union Security and Article 10 – Furlough and Recall. The Company provided counterproposals to its Management Rights article, Article 21 – Grievance Procedure, Article 22 - System Board of Adjustment, and Article 17 – Safety and Health. The Company also proposed, for the first time, a No Strike/No Lockout article. The Company made productive movement with its Union Security and System Board of Adjustment counters. Therefore, with some additional changes discussed and agreed to, the Parties were able to reach TA on Article 22 – System Board of Adjustment and Article 26 – Union Security.
As referenced in our February update, we were cautiously optimistic the Company committee would begin to settle into its role and adopt a more collaborative approach to bargaining with AMFA. Despite some open disagreement at the table during the first few days of this session, the Parties were able to reach their first TAs since their initial session in November 2022, and we look forward to reaching additional TAs when the Parties reconvene at the bargaining table in May.
The next session was originally scheduled for May 2-4 in Fort Lauderdale, but the Company advised it could no longer meet to negotiate on May 2 as it had Company meetings it must attend. Therefore, AMFA will use May 2 to work internally to develop proposals and the Parties will meet to negotiate May 3-4. The Company continues to maintain its position that you, its own employees, may not attend negotiations as observers; however, AMFA remains completely transparent and if you wish to attend as an observer in the AMFA caucus room, please reach out to your ALR, Jason Salazar, to arrange for attendance as an observer in this respect.
Please stay engaged, remain informed, and continue to provide the Negotiating Committee with support. Your solidarity and support will increase the Committee’s ability to bargain a CBA your hard work deserves.
AMFA-Spirit Negotiating Committee