May 8, 2023
Participants for AMFA
Bret Oestreich – National President
Pat Amore – National Vice President
Earl Clark – Region I 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
Tabitha Rybacki – Paralegal, Labor Relations
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 two-day bargaining session on May 3-4 in Fort Lauderdale to continue bargaining toward a first collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for the Spirit group. As you will recall, this session was originally scheduled as a 3-day session, but the Company cancelled the first day (May 2) to attend management meetings. Despite the Company’s cancellation of Day 1, your Committee met internally in Fort Lauderdale on May 2 to prepare for this session.
At the outset of May 3, AMFA was prepared with counterproposals on two separate articles: Article 17 – Safety and Health and Article 23 – No Strike/No Lockout. In addition, AMFA presented its first proposal as to Article 4 – Classifications, which sets forth each job position and a description of each position’s work. The Company, despite not having met since March and cancelling Day 1 of this session, was not prepared to pass a single article in the morning of May 3. The parties caucused after AMFA presented its proposals and AMFA began preparing additional articles to present to the Company. The two sides reconvened later in the afternoon on May 3 and AMFA presented a counterproposal on Article 21 – Grievance Procedure. The Company presented counterproposals on Article 17 – Safety and Health, Article 12 – Leaves of Absence, and Article 19 – Transportation and Moving Expenses. Unfortunately, the Company continues to strike proposed contract language and replace it with references to Company policy that it can unilaterally change at any time. Your Committee continues to push back on these tactics and have advised the Company on multiple occasions this is unacceptable. The parties, following table dialogue on the various articles that had been passed, caucused for the remainder of May 3.
The Company presented a counterproposal on Article 23 – No Strike/No Lockout to begin the day on May 4. This proposal was, for all intents and purposes, a total rejection of AMFA’s counter and a return to the Company’s original pass. The Company then presented a counter on Article 21 – Grievance Procedure. The Company indicated it had made movement in AMFA’s direction on this article, but your negotiators pointed out that the Company had, in fact, rejected everything from AMFA’s last counterproposal. The Company continues to push for heavy-handed disciplinary options in this article whereby it could suspend you without pay pending its investigation for certain alleged misconduct. Your Committee continues to stand firm against these Company overreach attempts while, at the same time, seeking unique solutions to find common ground.
The Company’s new Vice President of Technical Operations, Allen Messick, visited the bargaining room mid-morning on May 4 to introduce himself to the Committee. The parties spent roughly an hour exchanging introductions with Mr. Messick and discussing issues currently affecting Spirit and its Technical Operations employees. Following Mr. Messick’s departure, AMFA presented a counterproposal on Article 19 – Transportation and Moving Expenses wherein your Committee removed the references to Company policy while again seeking compromise in hopes of reaching a tentative agreement.
The parties spent the next few hours of May 4 in caucus working internally. AMFA, in the afternoon on May 4, returned to the table and presented counterproposals on the five articles for which it owed the Company responses: Article 12 – Leaves of Absence, Article 17 – Safety and Health, Article 21 – Grievance Procedure, Article 23 – No Strike/No Lockout, and the Management Rights Article. The Company did not present a single counterproposal in the afternoon on May 4, and at conclusion of this session, the Company owes AMFA responses on ten (10) separate articles.
Your Committee advised the Company on May 4 that it was planning to begin development of a cover-to-cover comprehensive proposal in hopes of accelerating this negotiating process. In support of this comprehensive approach, AMFA also delivered a written request to the Company seeking information and data that will allow our Economist and Committee to begin formulation of a comprehensive contract proposal.
The parties are scheduled to reconvene negotiations June 20-22 in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. 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