February 16, 2016
Participants for AMFA:
Louie Key - National Director
Earl Clark – Chairman and Region I Director
Jason Munson – Airline Representative, Local 14
Mark Dahl – Airline Representative, Local 32
Lucas Middlebrook – AMFA Counsel
Participants for Alaska Airlines:
Greg Mays – VP Labor Relations
Kurt Kinder – VP Maintenance & Engineering
Bob Hartnett – Director, Labor Relations Ground
Sonia Alvarado – Manager, Labor Services M&E
Constance Von Muehlen – Managing Director, Airframe, Engine, Component MRO
Molly Gabel – Alaska Counsel
The Negotiating Committee is providing this update to the AMFA Membership at Alaska Airlines. This is the only official authorized source of negotiating communications by the Committee.
February 8-10, 2016, AMFA and Alaska Airlines met to continue negotiations at the Courtyard by Marriott Anchorage Airport. AMFA and the Company started the first day, which was a half-day session, reviewing the last session’s take away items. The first of those items was Letter of Agreement #6, which deals with chemical dependency. The Company had the letter reviewed by Josh Madsen, Alaska’s Director of Health Benefits & Medical Relations, who made some very simple changes to the language, but after review, both committees decided to leave the letter as is. The Company also came back and stated that they received the information for the union override in Article 11, Leaves of Absence, paragraph J1, and they explained that we would continue to pay the percentage of override that we are currently paying until renegotiated; no specific percentage numbers were exchanged in reference to the union override. Next the Company discussed how we are currently paid in 6 ten-minute periods per-hour, which is explained in Article 6, Overtime, paragraph A. We then crafted a problem statement that states the current language is out of date as current technology can pay to the exact minute. The next article we talked about was Article 5, Hours of Service. The Company would like to explore the use of AMFA technicians to add flexibility in non?AMFA staffed stations, which could include technical oversight. This concept is not unique and is currently used by the Customer Service work group.
On February 9, we began the day revisiting Article 6, Overtime and discussing a union issue, which dealt with an employee being paid out right for field service bypasses. The problem statement to address our concern is that the current penalty process for intentional/unintentional bypass is not preventing the bypasses. Next we discussed the overtime sign-up and award process; with current technology, we should be able to go to an electronic sign-up and award process which should resolve the lack of transparency and inconsistency with sign-up and awarding procedures. After that discussion we moved to explore ideas of compensation in lieu of overtime pay, including comp time off or contributions right into the 401(k) plan.
The next article we decided to tackle in the way of problem statements was Article 14, Sick Leave. First was the Union’s proposal to eliminate, or increase the current maximum sick leave accrual of 1,650 hours. We explained that when an employee hits the maximum 1,650 hours, it causes an unnecessary use of sick leave. Also discussed, was the development of ways to incentivize employees to increase their sick leave bank that could help cut costs and the loss of productive hours. The last item discussed in this article was the possible creation of a sick leave donation bank.
Next, we moved onto a previous item from our last session, which was the video surveillance policy. The Company provided us language that was reviewed by their legal counsel to be added to Article 21, General and Miscellaneous. We explained that we would have our legal counsel review their proposed language and would be ready to respond the following day.
We then moved to writing problem statements for Article 7, Holidays. The Union explained it would like to see two additional holidays added to our current ten holidays. We entered into a lengthy discussion on a ten hour employee that wishes to bank a holiday on his day off only banks eight hours and then when they take a holiday used day off they are short two hours. We discussed alternatives to the current way this is being done; one idea was to bank a day and take a day off before the end of the year. If at the end of the year you cash out for pay or vacation, the days banked on a day off would be converted back to 8 hours. Much more discussion will be needed on this issue which has been discussed in every negotiations since we got banked holidays. The last item discussed in this article was that the alignment of notice does not align with DAT language when giving notice for taking your birthday off using a banked holiday. After discussions we agreed to change the notice from a seven day notice to at least fourteen days and added the option that an employee may use a vacation day if they do not have a banked holiday to take their birthday off.
The last article discussed during the day was Article 8, Field Service. The items discussed in this article included, from the Union, a pay rate for all time spent on field service which could simplify the pay on field service, and a Company problem to clarify the selection of individuals for a special project.
On February 10, we started the day off in a caucus to discuss Article 3, Status of Agreement and Letter of Agreement #14, which is tied to Article 3, as well as the Company’s suggestions for the video surveillance language. When negotiations resumed we started working on the video surveillance policy issue, going back and forth and finally coming to an agreement on contract language that would cover the Company’s video surveillance policy. That was the only item open in Article 21, General and Miscellaneous, so that article is now Tentatively Agreed upon. Next we allowed our legal counsel and the Company’s legal counsel to review Article 3, Status of Agreement and Letter of Agreement #14. Upon completion of those discussions, both committees agreed to keep Letter of Agreement #14 as a stand-alone letter, and the Company has a takeaway item for a proposed change in Article 3, Status of Agreement, that the Union will be provided advance notice of any transaction in a timely manner. The last item of the day was a lengthy, passionate discussion from both sides on Article 2, Scope of Agreement and the Job Security Letter of Agreement #9.
Our Committee would like to thank the observers that took the time to attend. Remember to check your Local’s website for the most up-to-date information on times and locations of negotiations: www.amfa14.org and www.amfa32.com. If you have any questions, please contact your Airline Representative or attend your next monthly membership meeting for a question and answer period.
If you plan to attend a future negotiation session, please contact your Airline Representative to RSVP. We cannot guarantee you a seat otherwise.
Upcoming Negotiation Date - Upcoming meeting accommodations and times are yet to be determined.
|Feb 29 - March 1
|Seattle, WA at CenterPointe in the Baker Room
Agenda will include continued discussions on Article 8,
Field Service; Article 10, Vacancies; Article 18, Safety
|March 28 – 30
|April 11 – 14
|May 9 – 12
Your Negotiating Committee