February 13, 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
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 three-day bargaining session on February 7-9 in Fort Lauderdale to continue bargaining toward a first collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for the Spirit group. At the outset of Day 1, the Company informed the Committee that it would not allow any observers to attend these negotiations. Your Committee explained to the Company the benefits of having observers attend negotiations, including increasing transparency in the negotiation process. Unfortunately, the Company was unwilling to reconsider its position, and for the foreseeable future Spirit has refused to allow you, its own employees, to observe negotiations. AMFA has nothing to hide from its members in the collective bargaining process. It is worth asking yourself why the Company has chosen to bar you from observing this process.
Following conclusion of the observer discussion, the Company presented counterproposals to three separate articles. As you will remember, the Company owed all the pending counterproposals to start this session. The Company presented counterproposals to Article 7 – Training; Article 21 – Grievance Procedure; and Article 22 – System Board of Adjustment. The Company made relatively minor movement in the Union’s direction on most of these articles. Nevertheless, your Committee went to work analyzing each proposal and preparing counters. The Union, on the afternoon of Day 1, presented a counterproposal to Article 7 – Training and advised the Company it would be prepared at the outset of Day 2 to present additional counterproposals.
AMFA, to begin Day 2, presented counterproposals to Article 21 – Grievance Procedure and Article 22 – System Board of Adjustment (arbitration). In these counters, your Committee continued to work to close the bargaining gaps in order to create some negotiating momentum toward additional tentative agreements. The Company, on Day 2, passed a proposal for a Management Rights provision, which can be described as overreaching. In addition, the Company made a counterproposal to Article 7 – Training. Despite some minor movement in the Company’s Training counterproposal, the Parties remained apart and were unable to reach tentative agreement on that article.
On Day 3, the Company presented its first counterproposals to Article 9 – Seniority; Article 26 – Union Security, and Article 12 – Leaves of Absence. The Company’s counterproposals contained heavy-handed edits to AMFA’s original proposals, but your Committee went to immediate work analyzing to prepare counters. AMFA returned counterproposals to Article 7 – Training and the Management Rights Article and presented initial proposals for Article 19 – Transportation and Moving Expenses and Article 17 – Safety and Health. The Parties thereafter spent time in caucus and returned to exchange additional counterproposals prior to completion of the session. AMFA presented a counterproposal to Article 9 – Seniority. The Company presented another counterproposal to Article 7 – Training; but unfortunately, the parties were still unable to reach a TA.
The Parties were able to TA three separate articles in only one day of bargaining in November 2022. However, since that time, the Company’s committee personnel has changed, and the Parties have been unable to TA a single additional article. We remain optimistic the Company’s committee will settle into its role and adopt a more collaborative approach to bargaining and look forward to such productive negotiation during the next session in March.
We would like to thank all the observers that took the time out of their days to travel to and attend bargaining. We would also like to apologize for the Company restricting your access to the negotiation room. The next bargaining session is scheduled for March 7-9 in Dallas. If you would like to be an observer in future negotiation sessions, please communicate with your ALR, Jason Salazar. You are still welcome to attend and join your Committee in the caucus room despite the Company barring you as an observer from negotiation.
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