Q & A

UPDATED January 29, 2014!

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ABR Q&A January 29, 2014-

1.   How does this agreement differ from the CLA?
The Agreement on Bargaining and Representation/Negotiations Protocol Agreement (ABR) provides for full participation of AFA in the bargaining of the Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement, including equal participation on the bargaining committee, a joint survey of Flight Attendants, a joint process for developing an opening proposal and bargaining with management. The ABR also provides significantly expanded time for negotiations with five months of negotiations with an average of three weeks per month of actual bargaining.

The ABR provides both the AFA/US Airways agreement and the CLA will be considered in any arbitration and includes an improved economic standard for arbitration. The AFA/APFA opening proposal will be based on the best of both contracts. The ABR also includes more detailed language for arbitration including AFA and APFA designated representatives on any arbitration panel.

2.    What is the economic standard for the arbitration?
The JCBA must meet all of the following tests:

  1. The total value of the JCBA as applied to pre-merger US Airways Flight Attendants must be greater than the total value of the AFA/US Airways Agreement as applied to pre-merger US Airways Flight Attendants.
  2. The total value of the JCBA as applied to pre-merger American Flight Attendants must be greater than the total value of the CLA as applied to pre-merger American Flight Attendants.
  3. The total value of the agreement must meet the standard of market-based in the aggregate meaning based on Delta and United/Continental.  If the United and Continental Flight Attendants do not have an agreement by the time of the JCBA there will be a second arbitration if necessary to adjust the economic value for increases.
  4. AFA and APFA will jointly secure financial analysts who will have access to Company financial information to ensure that the agreements are properly valued. This language protects us against the key concern that Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement could result in an overall lesser economic value for US Airways Flight Attendants.

These are minimum protections and we will be negotiating hard, and in unity, for the best possible contract provisions at the new American.

3.  How were the specific carriers chosen for market aggregate?
The ABR provides that the market based in the aggregate will include Delta and United/Continental.  These are the network carriers which most approximate the Company’s business model.  It also represents the carriers the Company has long-considered in contract comparisons.

4.  What will happen with representation?
AFA and APFA agree to file jointly with the National Mediation Board by June 9, 2014 a petition for a single carrier determination.  AFA will support APFA’s certification as the representation of the Flight Attendants at the new American Airlines.  That means sometime this summer or early fall APFA will become the representative of the Flight Attendants at the new American Airlines.  AFA will continue to enforce the collective bargaining agreement until the JCBA is implemented and for a period after according a maintenance agreement with APFA, which includes all outstanding grievances.
5.  Will we get to vote on representation as well?
AFA has been clear that Flight Attendants would get a vote on representation and bargaining.  This is your vote.  As part of the ABR, AFA agreed not to contest AFPA’s certification as representative of the Flight Attendants at the new American Airlines. Further, we negotiated with APFA that we will have immediate representatives on the APFA BOD. AFA will continue daily administration, enforcement and implementation of our current contract by our trained pre-merger US Airways Flight Attendant representatives and the AFA Legal department. AFA will administer our contract (“Red Book”) and any related grievances until full implementation of the new single contract (JCBA) and the resolution of all outstanding grievances.

6.   Will we have the full rights of membership when APFA is certified as the representative and will we have to pay an initiation fee?
We will have the ability to immediately sign up for APFA membership with all of the rights and privileges of other members. We will not be required to pay an initiation fee.
7.   What if this ABR gets voted down?
If the ABR gets voted down there would be no guarantee that the US Airways contract would be considered in the new contract at the new American. We would make an assessment regarding a possible representation campaign. If we were unable to prevail in an election of the combined Flight Attendant group, APFA would become the representative and the provisions of the CLA would control negotiations and arbitration for a joint collective bargaining agreement. If AFA prevailed in a representation election, the CLA would not apply but we would face the difficult task of negotiating a merged contract with a deeply divided workforce. We believe the ABR is the best option for defending our contract in this merger and building unity among Flight Attendants to best leverage our collective strength in these negotiations and the future.

8.    Does the ABR mean we will keep our contract language?
What the ABR provides is both the AFA/US Airways agreement and the CLA must be used in the negotiations for the JCBA giving us a better opportunity to retain favorable provisions from the AFA US Airways agreement. The ABR provides a process for reaching a single agreement.  It does not specify that any particular provision of the AFA/US Airways Agreement or the APFA CLA will be included in the new agreement. That will be determined in the bargaining for the joint collective bargaining agreement, based on our opening proposal of the best of both contracts and negotiating principles that includes adopting whole sections of contract language.

9.   Are my bargaining rights protected even with arbitration as the backstop?
Yes. First, you have the right to vote on the process that ensures equal representation throughout the negotiations and arbitration. The arbitration process is different from that included in the CLA.  We worked with APFA to include several protections within the process to achieve a better result such as including both contracts for consideration in any arbitration.   As indicated above, we also included strengthened economic standards for any arbitrations.  Including Flight Attendants in the arbitration panel is significant too.

10.  If we vote yes will we immediately go under the CLA?  What happens to our current contract?
No.  Our current contract (the AFA/US Airways ‘red book’) will remain in effect until a Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (“JCBA”) goes into effect following the negotiations and arbitration if necessary.   Under the language we negotiated, the JCBA will be based on both the AFA/US Airways Agreement and the APFA/American Flight Attendant Agreement.

11.  Will the 3-party MOU talks continue now?
Yes. If we ratify this Tentative Agreement we will meet with the company within 10 days to continue MOU discussions for merger related issues. These issues include items such as pass travel, jumpseat, assignment of flying and a monetary recognition for the contributions of US Airways Flight Attendants to a successful merger.

12.  Will this vote affect the seniority integration agreement?
No. Our Seniority Protocol Agreement is a separate document from our agreement on bargaining and representation. The integration process mirrors the AFA Seniority Integration Policy, utilizing the Occupational Seniority Date for AA and the Seniority Integration Date (SID) (commonly referred to as “Date of Hire”) for US. There will be an adjustment of 40 days for American Flight Attendants on the seniority list prior to January 1, 2013, to reflect time spent in initial Flight Attendant training. Actual training start dates will be utilized for Flight Attendants hired at American in 2013 and later.

13.  All parties in the merger have been reimbursed for their expenses. Will management reimburse AFA as well so this process doesn’t have to come out of our daily representation budgets?
Yes.  As is customary in negotiations for a merged agreement, management is required to assume the costs of these negotiations.  We negotiated that management must pay all cost of the negotiations and any arbitration, any costs of seniority integration, and provide meeting spaces and positive space transportation.