May 1, 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
Peter Manikowski – Legal Counsel
Participants for Alaska Airlines
Jenny Wetzel – VP, 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
Josh Madsen – Director of Health and Absence Mgmt.
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 April 25-27 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 7 – Holidays. A tentative agreement (TA) was ultimately reached on this article incorporating a change to the CBA whereby an employee on a 10-hour shift may, on their regular day off, bank their holiday at 10 hours.
After the TA on Article 7, we held informal discussions on possible changes to the CBA with respect to the wage review process, Article 23, Paragraph R. A term-sheet agreement was made on Paragraph R and full language on this entire article will be bargained further in later sessions.
Further on Day 2, we passed proposals on Article 5 – Hours of Service and Article 10 – Vacancies. Based on the members’ feedback from our surveys, our goals with these proposals were many-fold. We have heard you and we expressed to the Company how concerned the membership is about the number of shift realignments, junior trainee employees having more favorable schedules than senior employees, and unposted or “ghost” vacancies. We strongly told the Company the quality of life of Alaska employees is becoming poor and we need to turn it around with solid CBA language.
Along this same philosophy, we made a proposal to incorporate the Trade Day/Shift rights in the CBA as opposed to the current approach of the Company being able to unilaterally implement their policy. Our proposal would streamline the Trade Day/Shift and give you more control over the trades (subject to supervisor approval). The Company has signaled they are initially aligned with our approach, but the devil is in the details. We are hopeful strong Trade Day/Shift language will come into the CBA.
Josh Madsen from the benefits group then gave a presentation on insurance items. This was an informative discussion, and we requested some information from the Company about other work groups’ insurance terms. We hope the Company will provide this information before the next session and before the Company makes its formal proposal on Article 22 – Insurance. We reminded the Company of our goals on insurance: fairly and consistently-priced benefits which provide good coverage and ease of use.
On Day 3, the Company shared its feedback on our initial proposals on articles 5 and 10 and an extensive informal discussion was held about scheduling and bidding. We continue to reiterate that scheduling and bidding are critical elements to working at Alaska Airlines and the employees need the most predictable and favorable schedules possible.
The next bargaining session is scheduled for May 23-25 in Anchorage. Your 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.
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