February 28, 2014
Dear Flying Partners:
We did it. You voted to approve the Agreement on Bargaining and Representation, which also includes the new Negotiations Protocol Agreement with management. With this we have secured our voice and our contract. We have equal participation in negotiations and the continued support of AFA for a smooth transition on our representation moving forward. Nothing changes today – but we set the stage for the best possible results.
We are making history by partnering AFA and APFA to use the combined strength and resources of our two unions to negotiate the best contract at the world’s biggest airline. We bring 65 years of bargaining experience with AFA to this merger and we proudly stand in solidarity with our new flying partners at American to honor our histories and launch our promising future as American Flight Attendants working together – 24,000 strong.
There is no doubt we are ready to take full advantage of the benefits of the US Airways/American merger. Beginning next week, AFA and APFA will form a joint negotiating team with equal number of representatives and professional advisors. We will spend the next 60 days preparing an opening proposal based on the best of both contracts and input from all Flight Attendants at the New American. Our joint negotiating committee will prepare a survey for all 24,000 Flight Attendants to provide feedback.
Following our preparation, management has agreed to meet for 150 days with an intensive schedule that averages three weeks a month in an effort to reach an agreement on a combined contract. We will utilize the services of the National Mediation Board and other expedited bargaining methods to reach an agreement that you can vote to ratify. If an agreement cannot be reached, only the open items will be submitted to arbitration based on an economic standard that will produce improvements over our current contracts. The entire process includes timelines that lead to implementation of a new single contract no later than the first quarter of 2015.
We will work diligently over the next year to ensure our contract reflects our valuable contributions to the success of American Airlines. We will be contributing to an efficient combination of our airlines and as we continue to enforce the contract we have today we will look forward to the potential benefits afforded through the largest network in the world. Unity pays.
This vote means that we will transition representation to the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), but not without the support of AFA throughout the entire process. Nothing changes today for representation. We will jointly file a single carrier petition with the National Mediation Board in June, which will lead to certification of APFA as the representative in summer or fall. In the meantime, our contract remains in effect and AFA will continue to enforce it. Even after APFA’s certification, AFA will continue to enforce our current US Airways contract and related grievances.
Our agreement with APFA ensures a smooth and effective transition for US as equal partners in the merger with a strong voice in shaping our future at the New American Airlines. We will continue to speak up and demand the best possible representation. And, we will join our flying partners ready to form new friendships based on mutual appreciation of our collective histories and future hopes. We can be proud of what we have accomplished as members of AFA and this is our strong foundation for what we accomplish moving forward with APFA.
Roger Holmin, President
AFA US Airways MEC