January 17, 2023
Participants for AMFA
Bret Oestreich – National President
Earl Clark – Region I Director
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
Gregg Brown – Vice President, Maintenance
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 January 10-12 in Dallas to continue bargaining toward a first collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for the Spirit group. The complete Committee convened in Dallas to bargain with Spirit. Jason Salazar was elected as Airline Representative (ALR) and Ernest Harris joined the Committee as the elected Member at Large. The Company committee also included new faces as Robert Jones (previously with American Airlines) assumed his new role as Vice President of Labor Relations, and Barney Whaley joined their team at the table. Mr. Jones will serve as the Company’s lead negotiator.
The Committee spent the early morning of Day 1 reviewing proposals it intended to pass to Spirit during this session. Following introductions of the various committee members from both sides, AMFA proposed its first pass on Article 7 – Training. The Company asked various clarifying questions and thereafter AMFA presented its first proposal on Article 12 – Leaves of Absence. The Company again sought clarity on some of the items presented in the article, and then returned to its caucus room to begin work reviewing the articles presented by AMFA. Spirit did not propose any articles for AMFA to review on Day 1. Therefore, as Spirit was reviewing AMFA’s Training and Leaves of Absence articles, AMFA began work on additional articles to be proposed to Spirit. The Company returned later in the afternoon and was prepared to present a counterproposal to the Training article. The Company was not prepared to pass a counter on Leaves of Absence. AMFA worked diligently while the Company was in caucus and presented the Company with two additional articles on the afternoon of Day 1. AMFA presented proposals on Article 21 – Grievance Procedure and Article 22 – System Board of Adjustment. Following discussion on the Company’s counterproposal to Training and AMFA’s new proposals, the Parties spent the remainder of Day 1 in caucus.
The parties spent the morning of Day 2 in caucus preparing counterproposals. Upon reconvening at the table, AMFA presented the Company with a response to its counter on Article 7 – Training. The Company was not prepared with counters on any of the additional articles previously passed by AMFA. The Parties engaged in productive discussion regarding AMFA’s counterproposal on the Training article and spent the remainder of Day 2 in caucus preparing their respective responses.
The Company, on Day 3, presented its second counterproposal to Article 7 – Training. AMFA was disappointed with the lack of movement by the Company in some areas, but overall progress was made between the parties narrowing the bargaining gaps on the Training article. The AMFA Committee continued its hard work and was prepared on Day 3 to return another counter to the Company on Article 7 – Training. In addition, AMFA presented proposals on two additional articles in the afternoon on Day 3. AMFA passed proposals on Article 9 – Seniority and Article 10 – Furlough and Recall.
The Company now has seven separate articles proposed by AMFA for which it owes responses. AMFA currently does not have a single article for which it owes a response to the Company; however, AMFA will continue to prepare and present articles in an effort to promptly bargain toward a contract that you have earned through your hard work at Spirit. We are hopeful the Company will be prepared to return multiple counterproposals for negotiation during our next session in February. In addition, to the extent the Company has indicated it needs input from other Company personnel not at the table to respond to certain articles, we expect those personnel to be readily available in advance of any session so as not to slow bargaining productivity.
The next bargaining session is scheduled for February 7-9 in Fort Lauderdale. If you would like to be an observer in future negotiation sessions, please communicate with your ALR, Jason Salazar.
Please stay engaged, remain informed, and continue to provide the Negotiating Committee with support, which increases the Committee’s ability to bargain a CBA you deserve.
AMFA-Spirit Negotiating Committee