A. Negotiating Committee
a. The Master Executive Council shall select the Negotiating Committee from among the active members in good standing. The Negotiating Committee shall function until an agreement is concluded under the provisions of the Railway Labor Act, and shall remain an active committee until the next Negotiating Committee is selected. A new committee shall be selected nine (9) months prior to the date a "Section 6 Notice" is served, providing however, that the Master Executive Council by majority vote may replace any member of the Negotiating Committee at any time. If a member of the Negotiating Committee resigns, the Master Executive Council may select a replacement. The Negotiating Committee selected should include a member, or members, who have had previous experience, insofar as is practicable.
b. The maximum number of members on a Negotiating Committee shall be as follows:
(1) Airlines with 1 to 149 active members in good standing, a total of one (1) plus the Master Executive Council President.
(2) Airlines with 150 to 1200 active members in good standing, a total of two (2) plus the Master Executive Council President.
(3) Airlines with over 1200 active members in good standing, a total of three (3) plus the Master Executive Council President.
c. In the event the Master Executive Council feels it necessary to appoint other members to the Negotiating Committee, the Master Executive Council may petition the International President.
2. Duties and Responsibilities
The duties and responsibilities of the Negotiating Committee shall include the following:
a. The Committee, with the advice of the Staff Negotiator shall have the authority to conclude an agreement, subject to the provisions of Article XII. of the Constitution and Bylaws.
b. All members of the Committee, including alternates whenever possible, shall complete a negotiations training seminar prior to writing an "opener."
c. Committee members shall be familiar with Union policy and keep abreast of new developments in the industry.
d. Committee members shall utilize the facilities and resources of the Union and the experience and knowledge of Union Officers, International Office staff and study committees of the Union. (eg., Legal, Retirement and Insurance, Wage and Working Conditions, etc.).
e. Committee members shall maintain a current record of the:
(1) Financial condition of the company.
(2) Management lines of authority and methods of communication.
(3) Operations statistics and experiences of the airline which may be used in bargaining, grievances, litigation, etc.
f. Committee members shall be familiar with the wishes of the flight attendant group with respect to wages, working conditions, and work rules, through, for example, system-wide distribution of contract surveys, periodic road shows, etc.
g. The Committee, with the advice of the Staff Negotiator, shall prepare the contract opener.
h. The Committee shall provide regular updates to the membership on the status of negotiations through, for example, newsletters, hotlines, telephone trees, etc.
i. The Committee shall maintain a complete record of the negotiations, including proposals, notes and communications, and such record is the property of AFA-CWA. A copy of this record will be forwarded to the International Office by the Negotiating Committee.
3. Communication Plan
Prior to the onset of negotiations, each MEC, in coordination with the Negotiating Committee shall develop a plan for communication.
4. Staff Negotiators
a. A pool of Staff Negotiators shall be maintained by the International Office. This pool also may include, but not be limited to: Labor Relations Associates, active flight attendants with negotiating experience (former Negotiating Committee members), Assistants to the International President, if qualified, or AFA-CWA staff attorneys.
b. The Master Executive Council, with the concurrence of the Negotiating Committee, shall have the sole authority to select a Staff Negotiator, to determine what duties that individual shall perform, and to move that individual from the airline if warranted.
c. No less than four (4) months prior to the amendable date of a flight attendant agreement or at the time the opener is drafted, whichever comes first, the International President shall provide a list of Staff Negotiators available and willing to serve. The Master Executive Council, with the concurrence of the Negotiating Committee, shall select a Staff Negotiator. The Master Executive Council President shall notify the International President of the selection.
d. At the conclusion of negotiations, the Master Executive Council President or designee shall furnish a written report to the International President evaluating the Staff Negotiator's job performance. This report shall be retained on file and may be used by others in order to facilitate Staff Negotiator selection.
1. Each flight attendant group of the AFA-CWA in preparing for negotiations shall investigate available procedures and means for expediting negotiations and the conclusion of an agreement.
2. Each flight attendant group of the AFA-CWA, in preparation for contract negotiations, shall meet and consult with other AFA-CWA flight attendant groups employed by carriers with whom they share common ownership or management or whose airlines are members of a common marketing alliance. The purpose of the consultation shall be to ensure that the best interests of all flight attendants are considered during the process of amending collective bargaining agreements, whether or not they are being conducted under the Section 6 provisions of the Railway Labor Act. Such meetings shall be coordinated through the International Office and shall include the participation of a representative or Officer of the Union.
3. Contract Openers
a. No less than four (4) months prior to the amendable date of the flight attendant agreement, the Negotiating Committee shall meet at the International Office, if practical, to determine the changes which are to be proposed to the company and draft an opener incorporating such changes. The Negotiating Committee shall receive any assistance they deem necessary in the preparation of the proposed agreement.
b. The opener shall conform, to the fullest extent possible, with all Union policy.
c. The opener shall be submitted to the Master Executive Council for review and approval either by a mail canvass or at a regular or special meeting. A copy shall be furnished to the International President.
d. At least sixty (60) days prior to the amendable date, the Committee shall make arrangements with the company for the exchange of openers. Every effort shall be made by the Union to conclude a new agreement by the amendable date.
e. Although there should be some latitude for bargaining, contract proposals, in general, should be realistically obtainable.
f. In lieu of preparing a contract opener, before entering into first agreement negotiations with the company at a newly organized carrier, the Negotiating Committee will meet with the Transitional Master Executive Council to jointly develop the bargaining priorities for the flight attendants at that airline.
4. Whenever available a designated representative of AFA-CWA shall be present at all negotiations during direct mediation stages, and in no case shall any meeting of any nature take place once the thirty (30) day cooling-off period commences without the presence of a designated representative of AFA-CWA.
5. Contract Ratification
a. Collective Bargaining Agreements
Collective bargaining agreements reached under Railway Labor Act Section 6 negotiations shall be subject to membership ratification.
b. Side Letters of Agreement
Ratification of side letters of agreement (side letters) shall normally be by Master Executive Council vote only. However, the Master Executive Council of an airline may vote for membership ratification of a particular side letter if after due consideration of all factors, including time and expense, the Master Executive Council decides by recorded vote that membership ratification of a particular side letter is warranted. A vote for membership ratification of a particular side letter shall be limited to that side letter only and shall not establish a precedent for membership ratification of any future side letter(s) on that or any other airline.
c. Membership ratification votes shall be conducted by secret mail ballot or electronic balloting in accordance with Section IX. of this Policy Manual, except that:
(1) The vote may be held promptly by secret ballot at special membership meetings held by each Local Council on the airline if the members of the airline are on strike; or
(2) The Master Executive Council, with approval of the International President of the Union, may decide to conduct the vote by secret ballot at special membership meetings held by each Local Council on the airline if a strike is possible in the near future. In the event of a vote at membership meetings, reasonable arrangements shall be made for members who could not attend such meetings because of leave of absence, vacation, sick leave, scheduled or assigned flight duty, or assigned Union business to submit secret ballots prior to the actual meetings.
d. In the event of a mail/electronic ballot, approval by a simple majority of ballots cast of members eligible to vote will ratify the agreement. In the event of a vote by membership meetings, approval will be governed by a simple majority of votes cast by the members on the airline at such meetings who vote on the agreement. Rejection of a working agreement submitted to membership ratification shall be considered a vote for a strike if the Master Executive Council decides to so designate on the ballot.
e. In the event of a mail/electronic ballot, the Master Executive Council will determine the number of days for the completion of the ratification vote. The Master Executive Council shall provide a sufficient amount of time for the ratification ballot, taking into consideration the availability of the membership to vote, provided that use of a period of less than eighteen (18) days from the date ballots, or electronic balloting instructions, are mailed to the postmark date shall be with the concurrence of the International President. The requirement for a postmark date as outlined in Section IX. does apply to contract ratification ballots.
f. A copy of the proposed agreement to be ratified will be provided to each Local Executive Council President to be made available to the membership, and a summary of the agreement will be provided to each member.
(1) The MEC has the right to request that the proposed agreement distributed to the membership consists of the complete language of the contract and that there are no missing or incomplete sections.
(2) The MEC has the right to approve the language of the proposed agreement summary and any supporting documentation that is intended to be sent with the proposed agreement before distribution to the membership.
(3) The MEC will have the final approval on how and when a proposed agreement and summary will be distributed to the membership.
g. A secret mail ballot to Aloha or Hawaiian members for contract ratification may, at Master Executive Council option, be returned by members to a postal lockbox in Honolulu and the ballot count be conducted and certified in Honolulu by a three (3) member committee consisting of members appointed by the International President from other Local Councils in Honolulu.
6. Strike Vote
a. The approval by majority vote of the Airline Master Executive Council, with the advice of the International President, is mandatory before a strike vote of the members of an airline may be taken. In the event of a mail/electronic ballot, the Airline Master Executive Council will determine the amount of days for the completion of the strike vote. In no case shall the Airline Master Executive Council provide less than eighteen (18) days from the date ballots, or electronic balloting instructions, are mailed to the count date. The requirement for a postmark date as outlined in Section IX. of the Policy Manual does not apply to strike ballots.
7. If, during negotiations, any irreconcilable differences arise between a Negotiating Committee and the Staff Negotiator, such differences shall be referred to the International Officers of the Union.
8. Negotiating practices and methods shall conform to the procedures laid down in the Railway Labor Act, as amended.
9. The International Office shall make available legal advice and/or attorney upon request of the Master Executive Council to all domiciles on the strike date and every day thereafter as necessary to assist with legal questions in the flight attendants' effort to carry out a legal withdrawal of services.
a. Each airline Master Executive Council and Negotiating Committee will contribute to AFA-CWA negotiations coordination by:
(1) Increased exchange of information among AFA-CWA member carriers. Use of the staff and periodic meetings at the International Office among AFA-CWA negotiating committee chairpersons will be resources for this purpose.
(2) Encouraging visible support for members on other carriers involved in negotiations.
b. Airline Master Executive Councils will support regional airlines involved in negotiations. This should be done on the most effective basis, which may include geographic location, code sharing relationships and parent-subsidy relationships.
C. Contents of Contract
In the negotiation of employment agreements, or through administrative arrangement with the company, every reasonable effort shall be made to achieve and maintain the following:
1. Industry Standards--Improvements in pay, working conditions, rules and other contractual provisions in terms of the most favorable contract signed for a comparable airline.
2. New Routes/Equipment--A re-opener provision requiring the company to meet and negotiate rates of pay, working conditions, and crew complement prior to the utilization of new routes and/or new, or modified, aircraft not covered by the existing agreement
3. Scope--A clause specifying that:
a. All flight attendant work, domestic or international, (including all in-flight cabin work of every description) is covered by the agreement; and
b. AFA-CWA-represented flight attendants on the system seniority list will perform all such work for the airline in accordance with the terms of the agreement; and
c. Any parent or holding company will be bound by the agreement.
4. Flight/Duty Limits
Flight time limitations, rest periods, on-duty provisions, and flight time credit for purposes of eliminating excessive duty days and to assure adequate compensation and days free of duty during a calendar month, and to ensure proper implementation of the FAA's flight attendant duty time regulations while preserving contractual protections that exceed the requirements of the regulations.
5. Elimination of B-Scales
Complete elimination of all "B-Scales" is to be a top AFA-CWA bargaining priority. Every Section 6 opener shall include a proposal to reinstate pay rates (supplemented by interim applicable increases) in effect for "B-Scale, pay brackets prior to implementation of the "B-Scale" at that carrier. Each negotiating committee shall make every reasonable effort to achieve this goal and to improve "B-Scale" rates until it is achieved. AFA-CWA shall adamantly oppose any management effort at further "B-Scale" incursion in pay or benefits or to establish any type of "C-Scale," using all legitimate means available to the Union and members.
An appropriate company-paid retirement and insurance plan for flight attendants.
7. Crew Rest
a. Requirements that rest facilities at layover stations meet union approval; eg., that quiet, secure, single rooms be provided; that flight attendants on flights having layovers of more than one (1) hour be provided with adequate rest facilities.
b. Provisions allowing for adequate on-board rest on long-range flights and on-board rest facilities in a quiet, stable, well-ventilated, non-smoking area of the aircraft designed to insure safety.
c. Requirements that sufficient on-board rest facilities for ultra-long range operations include bunks/berths for flight attendants in addition to the items listed in 7.b. above. (Board 2008)
8. Service Limits--Limits on ground and air service which insure safety and taken into account crew complement, flight time, and passenger load.
9. Union Security--Checkoff for dues, initiation fees and assessments, together with agency shop or union shop clauses or their equivalent.
10. Flight Pay Loss/Union Office
a. Flight pay loss for Union representatives while on approved AFA-CWA business, and AFA-CWA office space, paid by the member's company.
b. Flight pay loss for Union representatives while on approved AFA-CWA business, which is not paid by the company, shall be paid directly to the member by the company and billed by the company to AFA-CWA for reimbursement.
11. Union Leave--A provision establishing a right to a leave of absence for flight attendants who are elected or appointed to serve in an official capacity with AFA-CWA, including:
a. Provisions permitting such flight attendants to retain and accrue seniority, longevity, retirement and insurance benefits, and all other flight attendant rights and benefits (i.e., schedule bids, domicile transfer).
b. Provisions requiring the airline to "re-qualify" when necessary, any flight attendant who has been on Union leave, immediately upon return to work, at company expense.
12. Flight PAC Check-Off--A procedure allowing Flight PAC check-off for members wishing to make such direct contributions to the Union's Political Action Committee.
13. Membership Data--A clause requiring the company to provide on a timely basis directly to the AFA-CWA Office all membership-related information, including name, address and domicile changes, all status information, furlough, leave and termination lists, and system seniority list.
14. Merger Protection--Protection covering mergers and similar arrangements, including reduction in force resulting from mergers, code share alliances, wet lease agreements. Such protections to include successorship provisions, labor protective provisions (LPPs) equal to or better than the Allegheny-Mohawk LPPs, and clauses permitting AFA-CWA, in its discretion, to reopen the agreement.
15. No Strike/Management Rights--The Union shall not negotiate a "no-strike" provision or "management rights clause" in any employment agreement.
16. First Right of Hire--Provisions for preferential hiring of AFA-CWA-represented flight attendants displaced by furloughs, bankruptcies, shutdowns, labor disputes, or grounding of aircraft.
17. Flow Through Agreements--Provisions for preferential hiring of AFA-CWA-represented flight attendants employed with regional carriers by major/national carriers within the same airline "family."
18. Follow the Work Rights--Provisions requiring that flight attendants shall be entitled to transfer employment with the sale or other disposition of identifiable airline assets.
19. Civil Rights Policy--No AFA-CWA agreement should discriminate against any flight attendant on the basis of age, color, mental or physical disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion, gender, social, or sexual beliefs, creed, or status as either a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era.
20. Domestic Partner Benefits--Provisions extending to the domestic partners of flight attendants all of the rights and benefits provided by the contract to flight attendants' spouses or other dependents.
21. Drug/Alcohol Testing--Provisions allowing access to EAP and related rehabilitation and other services for flight attendants who have a positive drug/alcohol test result, and further providing return-to-work rights following successful completion of any EAP recommended program, to protect flight attendants' privacy, confidentiality and other rights in the drug/alcohol testing process.
22. Provisions protecting and assisting individuals with disabilities to the extent possible without violating the collective bargaining agreement or the rights of other AFA-CWA members.
23. Provisions for the payroll deduction of contributions to the Pegasus Project and/or any similar AFA-CWA Master Executive Council approved fund.
24. Language requiring that terms and conditions for flight attendant domiciles located outside the U.S. be negotiated prior to the opening of the domicile.
25. Provision that all new hire flight attendants must be eligible to work in the U.S.
26. Language to prohibit the Company from engaging in wet lease operations if it would result in a reduction in force or involves strike breaking.
27. Language providing that flight attendants shall not be required to engage in strike breaking either on their own property or any other airline through subservice flights.
28. Language requiring the Company to negotiate any additional duties beyond those traditionally and historically performed by flight attendants.
29. Provisions addressing issues such as visas and other immigration and residency matters, access to local banking, housing and medical facilities, and other problems unique to flight attendants in international operations, particularly those based outside the United States.
30. EAP Bargaining Goals
a. Management recognition of AFA-CWA's EAP as an alternative source of assistance.
b. Joint management/AFA-CWA development of company EAP Policy and Procedures.
c. Development and inclusion of AFA-CWA on an EAP Advisory Board. Advisory Board to:
— Recommend EAP Policy and Procedures
— Recommend the EAP service model
— Recommend EAP vendor
— Recommend EAP related activities; i.e .health promotions, dependent care
— Coordinate activities beneficial to both management and union EAP
— Assist in reviewing the activity of the EAP Vendor
— Assist in recommendation of a Behavioral Health Care Provider
d. Inclusion of AFA-CWA's EAP in development of procedures for and response to all Company critical incidents.
e. Active financial investment of Company in supporting AFA-CWA's EAP.
f. Inclusion of AFA-CWA EAP as one of the gateways in Managed Health/Substance Abuse care (AFA-CWA EAP will pre-certify initial services while the Company will provide concurrent utilization review for ongoing treatment authorization.
31. Provision to provide jumpseat reciprocity for all AFA-CWA-represented carrier.
32. Language establishing specific time lines and time limits for the various stages of the next round of collective bargaining. Such language may include, but not be limited to, an early exchange of contract openers, a limit on the length of time that will be spent in direct negotiations and a limit on the length of time that will be spent in mediation before a release from the National Mediation Board must be jointly requested by the Union and Company.
33. Language ensuring that all flight attendants working full time are eligible for all the rights and benefits provided under the FMLA.
34. Language which limits cameras to the area outside the flight deck door and that the recording capabilities are subject to the same limitations as the Cockpit Voice Recorder.
35. AFA-CWA shall adamantly oppose any management effort to lower hourly wage rates by imposing a compensation package requiring a flight attendant to make up for lost wages through income earned by commission from sales of on board products and services. AFA-CWA shall also oppose any management attempt to propose future pay raises based exclusively on commission-based sales of on board products and services. Commission income that is earned in addition to contractual hourly wages and which benefit our members is acceptable.
D. Comprehensive Campaigns
Membership participation and support are recognized as essential to obtaining the best possible contract in each negotiation. The current environment mandates that each negotiation be supported through a comprehensive campaign. The International Office shall assist each Master Executive Council in developing and implementing such a campaign.
E. Contract Implementation, Enforcement and Education
a. All contracts and side letters should be available to the membership on-line.
b. Negotiating committees and staff negotiators will work with the AFA-CWA Communications and Research Department to ensure prompt printing and distribution of the agreement and side letters, if possible in a format which permits inclusion in the contract booklet. Note: Some contracts have the Company entirely responsible for the printing and others the responsibility, or cost, is divided between AFA-CWA and the Company.
c. As soon as the contracts are printed and distributed, begin a "Don't Leave Home Without It" campaigns, analogous to GOTV or pin campaigns, to educate and encourage flight attendants not to leave on a trip without their contract for reference.
d. Following each contract, the staff negotiator in conjunction with the negotiating committee will develop a series of information pieces to help educate the membership on the most important changes of the new agreement (e.g., a new reserve system, new international duty times). Each piece would highlight a single element of the contract. The info pieces should be distributed throughout the first year of a new or first contract, at the minimum, at the rate of one per month or biweekly. The info pieces could be in the traditional info rep card format, e-lines, hotline messages or as articles in other newsletters.
e. Following each contract ratification, there should be a grievance "refresher" course (an info rep card, an article, an e-line, etc.) on enforcement of the agreement, including the grievance process at that airline, for the membership. The staff attorneys will develop a model article for this use, which can be adapted to the contractual grievance procedure at each airline. This information should be republished at regular intervals.
f. ISR's will develop, upon request and whenever appropriate, membership training modules keyed to major changes in the agreement (e.g. pref bid).
g. Grievance training, system board training, leadership training and negotiations training will each include a segment dedicated to the importance of monitoring and enforcing new provisions of the collective bargaining agreement.
a. The staff attorney and ISR assigned to a property should attend at least one meeting of the contract roadshow in order to hear the presentation, familiarize themselves with the contract, if a first contract, or important changes, etc., to an existing contract.
b. Staffing permitting, the staff negotiator will remained assigned to the property, working in conjunction with the Negotiating Committee and staff attorney assigned to the property, until the post-ratification wrap up is concluded.
c. There will be ongoing consultation between the staff attorney handling system board and the staff negotiator regarding interpretation of the agreement.
d. Negotiating Committees, MEC's or LEC's are encouraged to hold a review with the staff negotiator and staff attorney assigned to the property to assess the company's compliance with newly negotiated and existing provisions. This review should be targeted to take place no later than six months after ratification, on the anniversary date of ratification, and as often, thereafter, as necessary. Where the company is not complying, a strategy should be coordinated on how to proceed, e.g., collect evidence, file grievance, determine priority for proceeding to system board.
e. Negotiating Committees should attempt to obtain contractual provisions or other agreements that there will be post-ratification cooperation with the company devising training manuals or programs for crew schedulers and supervisors for new contract provisions and grievance/system board awards. When staffing permits, staff negotiator to assist in meeting with company for this purpose.
f. Negotiating Committees and staff negotiator will utilize the resources of the staff attorney and grievance chairpersons in identifying needed improvements to the grievance and system board provisions, for knowledge of current contract grievances, grievances which have been sustained, for possible incorporation in the agreement, as well as for attempting to correct or reverse arbitrations in which AFA-CWA's grievances have been denied.
g. Assist AFA-CWA International in preparing for system board by assuring that all the company memos and bulletins on contract issues are compiled and preserved. These can be important evidence in contract cases. These complete files of memos, bulletins, new and discarded manual revisions will be the property of the council, available for research when filing grievances and during contract cases.
h. Up-to-date benefit information is essential when attempting to enforce benefit provisions. MEC, LEC councils and Benefit Chairpersons are responsible for promptly sending to AFA-CWA International SPDs, updates, memos or any other printed material provided by the Company regarding benefits.
a. Ensure that sufficient copies of thesSummary and the new contract are provided to the International Office so that staff has access to these documents when needed, including the contract in electronic format. In particular, the staff attorneys, staff negotiators and ISR's should receive a copy of the summary and a copy of each contract, so that they will be familiar with the first contract or the changes to an existing contract.
b. From time to time, there are no notes or proposals from prior negotiations in the MEC or LEC office. This places the local grievance representatives at a serious disadvantage when researching grievances. Each Negotiating Committee should maintain a complete set of notes, including both AFA-CWA and Company proposals, which will become the permanent possession of that MEC or LEC council. Or, since some MEC's and LEC's lack the space to maintain voluminous records, a complete set instead could be sent to AFA-CWA Research for archiving. The staff negotiators will continue to submit reports to the Manager of Collective Bargaining, which include all AFA-CWA and Company proposals, a copy of the negotiations notes and other relevant documents. These reports are kept at AFA-CWA International for use when researching for a case, and as a backup to the records kept by the MEC or LEC office.
c. Develop a user-friendly contract violation reporting system for the membership to use, which should include the following:
(1) An internet site or email form for reporting contract violations;
(2) Reports should be directed initially to LEC or grievance rep;
(3) Reports should be reviewable by SBA attorney for SBA research;
(4) Reports should be collected for reference for future negotiations prep (to be reviewed by staff negotiator and negotiating committee when developing the next opener).
d. Contract settlements and arbitration victories should be published to the membership.
e. Encourage LEC's/MEC's to take action against recurring or egregious contract violations, in addition to the standard filing of a grievance. This includes petitions, picketing, informational leafleting, press releases, crew room sits, and so on.