March 29, 2016
Participants for AMFA:
Louie Key – National Director
Earl Clark – Region I Director
Michael Nelson – Region II Director
Bob Cramer – Local 4 Airline Representative
Craig Hamlet – Local 11 Airline Representative
Shane Flachman – Local 18 Airline Representative
Lucas Middlebrook – AMFA Counsel
Participants for Southwest Airlines:
Mike Ryan – VP, Labor Relations
Gerry Anderson – Sr Director, Labor Relations
Cindy Nagel – Sr Director, Labor Relations
Bill Venckus – Director, Labor Relations
Scott Collings – Director, Central Region
Mark Lyon – Sr Manager, Labor Relations
John Donnelly – Manager, Financial Planning
The Negotiating Committee is providing this update to the AMFA Membership at Southwest Airlines. This report is the only official authorized source of negotiating communications by the Committee.
We met with the Company in Kansas City, MO on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, for a scheduled three-day Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) and Related mediated negotiation session. We began by presenting our drafted language detailing the "New Line Station" issue that we agreed to in principle at our last meeting (detailed in Update #38). After a short caucus, the Company agreed to our language and the piece was tentatively agreed to. The Company then presented their reply to our "Bereavement" issue (40 hours instead of the current four days) where they added "steps" and "grandparents" to the list of family members that would qualify for this provision. The Company also presented their reply to our "Temporary Supervisor" issue that we discussed at length during our last session.
We worked through the afternoon and ended the day with the two above items tentatively agreed to. First, in the "Bereavement" piece we obviously agreed to the addition of "steps" and "grandparents," plus we were able to add language that would help a member during hard times in that they can extend their leave with Vacation or Floating Holidays. In addition, if a Member does not have Vacation or Floating Holidays available, they will be allowed to use up to four days of accrued "Sick Time." In regards to the "Temporary Supervisor" issue, we removed the current 75-day limit in exchange for a 100% backfill to the vacated position if a member is chosen by the Company to work out of their covered position. Unfortunately, the 75-day limit is only enforceable when the provision is used as originally intended to let a member, on a trial basis, move out of their covered position for up to 75 days without losing seniority. Although this provision was originally intended as benefit to our group, it has morphed into a very contentious Supervisor Vacation Relief Pool in which accurately accounting for days is next to impossible.
After working through the "Bereavement" and "Temporary Supervisor" issues it was the Company’s turn, in the current interested based period of these mediated negotiations, to present a new topic for our next discussion; they chose "Inspections Backfill." We debated this issue for the remainder of the session. AMFA fought and funded three separate arbitrations to win the current Inspection Backfill provisions. This arbitration victory is second to only the "4th Line of Maintenance" issue, also an AMFA win that the Company forced us to arbitrate. The Inspection Backfill provisions are pinnacle in the Airline Industry and we cannot underestimate its value to the membership, whether potentially or currently realized.
Please remember that we are in mediation and are proceeding with a mediator who establishes the rules of our sessions. We are currently in "Interest Based" negotiations and the discussions at the table are open, conceptual, and in most cases off record. We are not able to give detail to specific issues as we do not receive formal proposals. In order for this process to be beneficial to our goal of ultimately reaching a Tentative Agreement (TA) to these negotiations, at this time, these updates must only generally provide details of topics discussed at the table until such time that we agree to the language for a specific item. If we do find the need to revert back to a traditional bargaining process, we will also revert back to our more detailed and thorough updating methods.
As always, do not hesitate to contact your representative if you have any questions. Our next mediated AMT negotiation sessions are in Chicago, IL on April 14 – 15, and again in Chicago on April 18-20. Due to time restraints, the Negotiation Committee will only be presenting one update (#40) for both of the Chicago sessions. Additionally, we have scheduled AMT negotiation for May 10-12 to be held in Dallas, TX.
Your Negotiating Committee