March 31, 2023
Participants for AMFA
Bret Oestreich – National President
Earl Clark – Region I Director
Will Abbott – Region II Director
Jarod Mills – Local 14 Airline Representative
Jeff Heard – Local 32 Airline Representative
Lucas Middlebrook – Legal Counsel
Participants for Alaska Airlines
Jenny Wetzel – Vice President, Labor Relations
Sonia Alvarado – Managing Director of Labor Relations
Don Wright – VP, Maintenance & Engineering
Scott Harmon – Director of Maintenance
Kelly Welch – Senior Corporate Counsel
Denise Kliskey – Labor Relations
Karen Themelis – Labor Relations
The AMFA-Alaska Negotiating Committee (the “Committee”) is providing this update to the Membership at Alaska Airlines (Alaska). This is the only official authorized source of negotiating communications by the Committee.
The parties held a three-day bargaining session on March 28-30 in Seattle to continue bargaining toward a successor collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The parties engaged in table dialogue at the outset of Day 1 as to the issues each side had with respect to Article 8 – Field Service & Special Projects and Article 12 – Training. Following the table discussion, the Company presented a proposal on Article 8. The Company, in response to AMFA’s stated interest, proposed language regarding work obligations if a technician returns from a field trip and their tools do not return with them. In addition, the Company proposed language following the morning table discussion intended to ensure a level of hotels commensurate with those provided for flight crews. In addition, the Company proposed options related to expense reimbursement while traveling away from station. AMFA presented a proposal on Article 12 – Training and the parties engaged in an off-the-record discussion regarding this proposal and the issues contained within. The parties then spent the remainder of Day 1 in caucus evaluating each side’s respective proposals.
AMFA, at the beginning of Day 2, presented its counterproposal to Article 8 – Field Service & Special Projects. AMFA proposed, among other language items, a premium rate for all time spent travelling and working while away from station on a field trip. In addition, AMFA proposed that employees on field trips would receive a daily per diem for meals and incidental expenses in accordance with the Governmental Services Administration (GSA) rates. AMFA also made edits to the Company’s proposed language regarding a technician’s work obligations if their tools do not return with them following a field trip. Moreover, AMFA proposed language that would require the Company to send a covered employee on a field trip when certain parts were sent to repair aircraft or equipment for return to service. AMFA also proposed language regarding holiday pay while working a field trip. The parties then spent time in caucus analyzing each other’s Article 8 and Article 12 proposals.
The Company began Day 3 by engaging in open discussion regarding AMFA’s proposal for a requirement to send covered employees on field trips when certain parts are sent to return aircraft or equipment to service. Unfortunately, through this conversation, it became clear the Company was more focused on contract maintenance performing these field trips and was unwilling to offer any meaningful language that would create an obligation to send Alaska technicians to perform this work under certain circumstances. AMFA explained to the Company that you are the most capable technicians to perform this work, and until the Company recognizes this, AMFA advised it was best to table Article 8 – Field Service and reconvene on this issue later in the bargaining process.
The parties were able to reach tentative agreement (TA) on Article 12 – Training. The Article 12 TA includes new language, which requires the Company to reimburse employees in accordance with GSA per diem rates for meals and incidental expenses when attending training away from their home station. In addition, the TA includes language that incorporates delayed flight time into the travel time calculation. And, the parties agreed to new language, which provides that employees will be compensated at double time when required to attend training on their regular days off for training scheduled for less than one week.
The parties also agreed, on Day 3, to reopen the TA on Article 21 – General & Miscellaneous to add a new paragraph requiring the Company to provide single-occupancy hotel accommodations from the same list as crews at Company expense when employees travel away from their home station. In addition, this new paragraph included language regarding reimbursement of transportation expenses if no hotel shuttle is available. The Company is reviewing this language and we expect Article 21 to once again be TA’ed with inclusion of the new Paragraph T addressing hotels and transportation. The parties, after respective caucuses, finished Day 3 with table dialogue regarding forthcoming proposals on Article 5 – Hours of Service and Article 7 – Holidays, as well as a brief discussion regarding insurances.
The next bargaining session is scheduled for April 25-27 in Seattle. The Committee would like to thank all the observers that attended this session. If you would like to be an observer in future negotiation sessions, please communicate with your ALR.
And remember, stay engaged, remain informed, and continue to provide the Negotiating Committee with ongoing support, which increases the Committee’s ability to bargain a CBA you deserve.
AMFA–Alaska Negotiating Committee