February 13, 2017
Participants for AMFA:
Bret Oestreich – National Director
Earl Clark– Region I Director
Bob Cramer – Local 4 Airline Representative
Craig Hamlet – Local 11 Airline Representative
Shane Flachman – Local 18 Airline Representative
Mike Young – Local 32 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 Collins – Director, Central Region
Mark Lyon – Sr Manager, Labor Relations
John Donnelly – Manager, Financial Planning
Shawn Jensen – Manager, Maintenance Control
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 February 7 and 8, 2017, to continue negotiations on the Maintenance Control Appendix. As has been noted in earlier updates, the Appendix for the Controllers will contain all language that is specific to their group and will reside in the back of the Mechanics’ Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
We started on February 7, with our Committee in caucus to work up our counter to the Company’s last proposal for the Maintenance Control Appendix from the January session. After our morning caucus we presented our counter proposal, which included changes in Article 4: Classifications, Article 5: Hours of Service, Article 6: Overtime and Holidays, Article 9: Seniority, Article 10: Filling of Vacancies, Article 11: Vacations, and Article 24: General and Miscellaneous. In our proposal our Committee accepted a few items the Company had been requesting, which we feel was big movement on our part - the biggest was accepting a sixteen-hour duty limit for the Maintenance Controller group.
When we presented our counter proposal to the Company we discussed each item, explaining our reason for the proposal. The Company then caucused to respond to our proposal. When we got back with the Company later in the day, they presented us with a counter offer on all the articles we presented. In the Company’s proposal they moved off their position on multiple items and accepted our proposals, which got us much closer to finishing the Maintenance Controllers Appendix. After this proposal we had about five items remaining to work on: capturing the Out of Service Desk and its functions, additional duties assigned by management not typically performed by Maintenance Controllers in the industry, extra hours paid as a bonus for controllers on twelve hour shifts, bidding out parameters, and minimums slots off for vacation and floating holidays. We then took a caucus to again work up another counter.
Before the end of the first day we returned with another counter. We withdrew our Out of Service Desk position proposal with the understanding that the function of the Controller at the desk is customarily performed work that will continue as Maintenance Controller work, agreed to and added examples for additional duties that may be required to be performed by Maintenance Controllers, accepted the three hour bonus for twelve hour shift controllers, offered a different concept for bidding out parameters, and -- with Company input -- offered a twelve percent number of slots for vacation or floating holidays. After discussions the Company asked to review overnight.
The morning of February 8, the Company informed us they accepted our last proposal on all issues. During discussions that followed our Committee explained we needed to make a minor change to the field service language for duty time; the Company did not object. We then asked the Company to send a clean copy for our Committee to review. Our Committee reviewed the entire Maintenance Control Appendix, and when finished we only had one change to propose to the overtime rules on current covered employees of the agreement coming in to Maintenance Control. The rule would put them on the list with average number of hours worked in the department. We got back with the Company explaining all of our changes, except in overtime, were just clean up and had no change to intent. The Company accepted the overtime language with Company added language that would restrict a covered employee from working overtime until released by a supervisor and working a controller desk on their own. After getting through that we finally had a tentative agreement (TA) on the Maintenance Control Appendix. As with the Mechanics’ portion of these negotiations, Article 14: Wage Rules and Article 15: Wage Rates will be addressed as part of the overall economic package.
We then informed the Company we have an additional proposal we will be purposing to Article 24 in the Mechanics’ Agreement related to an audio and video surveillance policy. A short discussion ensued. We then moved to preparing for the next mediated agenda item - Technical Training Instructors. We explained to the Company we believed they owed us a counter on the topic and that Technical Training Instructor language should be placed within the main body of the Agreement. We identified the following articles that need to be worked: Article 4: Classifications (this article has been TA’d twice), Article 5: Hours of Service, Article 7: Training, Article 8: Field Service (regarding out of town training), Article 10: Filling of Vacancies, and again Article 14: Wage Rules, and Article 15 Wage Rates will be addressed as part of the overall economic package. Due to neither side having their subject matter experts (SMEs) available for the Technical Training Instructor issues, we mutually agreed to end the session.
Our Committee was encouraged by the progress made these last few days. We also want to put to bed a rumor that we have put the Aircraft Maintenance Technician negotiations on the back burner. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everything we have been discussing will be part of the Mechanics’ Agreement and must be completed in order to come to an overall TA. Also, the mediator lays out the agenda.
We again would like to thank the SMEs, Rob Cush and Jason Leyda, for their time and contributions to the process. Please contact your representative to answer any questions you may have related to these negotiations.
On a final note, in a letter to all mechanics dated February 10, 2017, Landon Nitschke and Trevor Stedke erroneously stated that you, the members, should “gain permission to see and vote on the Company’s proposal.” Mr. Nitschke and Mr. Stedke are either confused or misinformed given that neither are present at the negotiating table. There is simply no comprehensive proposal that would even be possible to be sent for membership ratification at this point. Therefore, it is irresponsible for Mr. Nitscke and Mr. Stedke to make such a statement. As we cautioned previously – please continue to watch what the Company does as opposed to what it says. We are scheduled to resume negotiations on February 14-16, March 6-7, and March 30-31.
Your Negotiating Committee