Your Flight Attendant Negotiating Committee (FANC) met with the Company and our National Mediation Board appointed mediator for continued negotiations/mediation in Cincinnati on August 18 – 20.
On Day 1, the Company presented the Union with a new proposal on Section 28 – Hours of Service, and the Union presented a counter Section 28 proposal on Day 3. While the parties were able to move closer on some issues, we still remain apart on important areas of Section 28, including rest and show times, with the Union seeking increased rest and greater show times and the Company seeking to align those areas up with the current pilot contract.
On Day 2 of negotiations, the Company gave a presentation on health care in support of their proposal to turn control of your health care over to the Company. Under current contract language, Flight Attendants receive the same Group Medical, Vision, and Dental plans as provided to other unionized groups at NetJets at the same cost paid by those other employees, which at this time is zero. The Company continues to propose that Flight Attendants participate in the medical, dental, and vision insurance benefit options that are offered to non-unionized NetJets employees, which is entirely at the Company’s discretion. Further, the costs, payment of the premiums, and other terms of coverage for Flight Attendants will be the same as for non-unionized employees who participate in the options. The Union has proposed to lock-in the coverage and benefit levels currently in place at no-cost to Flight Attendants. The Union has further proposed that the Company may not make changes to its Group Medical, Vision, and Dental network providers, plans, or benefits that result in lesser coverage or benefits for Flight Attendants than those provided to Flight Attendants at date of ratification. Needless to say, the parties remain far apart in this area.
Our next negotiation session is scheduled for September 2- 4 in Reno, Nevada. Because of our mediator’s full schedule, we have no additional meetings scheduled for the 2014 year at this time but may meet with the Company outside of mediation. This will be discussed in Reno. The negotiations process has been extremely slow moving and we completely understand the frustration you are feeling, but the stakes for all Flight Attendants and their families could not be higher and we will not capitulate to the Company’s concessionary demands as they reap ever increasing profits off of our hard work.
Membership Conference Call
We apologize to all of you regarding the issues with the most recent conference call held on August 19. The Hotel provided us with a regular room phone instead of a conference call device leading to an error in recording the call. For those that were on the call, you were enlightened by one of your fellow Flight Attendants concerning change in culture exhibited by executive management. For example, when questions were asked about Owners serving themselves alcohol and how this compares with FAA regulations, it is unfortunate the best answer we can give is that it’s apparent to us that the Company does not care. When we are asked about the general sentiment on the road that Flight Attendants are being worked to the point of exhaustion, the only explanation we can conceive of is that the Company simply does not care. The fact of the matter is that they have made it abundantly clear to us that their only concern is making more money off of our hard work in order to send more profits to Berkshire Hathaway and that the financial and physical well being of Flight Attendants is of little concern to them.
There were also questions on the phone call regarding placement of the Challenger 605. As of our last meeting with the Company, there has not been a decision regarding if the 605 will be a flight attendant attended aircraft or in what fleet it will be placed. We will keep you informed of any developments in this area
As many of you know, the Company has been hiring Flight Attendants. This is a wonderful thing! As of today we have 8 new Flight Attendants that have completed their standards rides and are out on the line. Three more are in the final stages. The current class has 7 and they will be finished at the end of the month and we have another class of 7 and a class of 5 waiting to be scheduled class dates. The final class has 2 in the queue and the Company is searching for a few more candidates to round out the class. Final numbers are flexible as training standards have been raised and the probationary period has been extended to a year.
Questions have been raised regarding the staffing of the Gulfstream and why the new hires are coming into the Falcon. The Gulfstream fleet is currently in disposal. We realize this is confusing due to the fact that very few have left the property, but there are many factors that are in play. Nonetheless, it is unlikely that the Company will add staffing to the Gulfstream fleet given their continued efforts to dispose of Gulfstream aircraft . As far as the new hires, the contract states that they will placed in the Falcon. Hopefully, this will free up the cross utilized Falcon/Global Flight Attendants to fill duty slots on the Global leaving the Gulfstream FA’s to fully cover the Gulfstream flights. This is a COMPANY issue. They are picking and choosing what flights to crew and which flights not to crew. All we can do is continue to inform the FAEC when you pick up a plane that hasn’t had a Flight Attendant and make sure that your pilots report the flights to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many Flight Attendants are concerned regarding the recent terminations of Flight Attendants. The Union is challenging all terminations and is fighting to return those Flight Attendants to active duty. For the rest of you, do not worry. Do the job you were trained to do, leave the aircraft in a flight ready condition, follow the contract and respect your fellow crew members. The fact that you are being overworked is not the fault of the crew member picking up your aircraft, and not performing your duties is not “sticking it to the company,”; it is simply making it harder on your brothers and sisters here at NetJets.
As always, we are working as hard and as fast as we can for you. Do not hesitate to contact any of your FAEC or FANC with any questions you may have regarding any issue.
Our next conference call will be during our Reno mediation on Thursday,
September 4th. Details to follow in a separate Flight Line. Please pass the word.
Your FAEC, FANC, and IBT Local 284