- We secured a firm commitment from management for industry leading pay.
- Tentative agreement was reached on Air, Safety, Health & Security; Grievance Procedures; Expenses; and Performance Based Pay (PBP) & Retirement.
- Discussion continued on Commuter Policy and Jumpseat & Pass Privileges.
- The next negotiation session is January 10-12.
Commitment: Industry Leading Pay
We recognize our Flight Attendant group is struggling with skyrocketing inflation and cost of living. Over the last several sessions, we advocated for short-term solutions providing immediate relief until a new contract is ratified.
Although management considered and ultimately declined a “bonus” or interim pay increase, we secured their commitment to place Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants at the top of the industry in pay at the outset.
Management guarantees this is not an exaggeration – they commit to initial pay rates above all U.S. airlines, with a downline market review (i.e., additional adjustments based on other airline pay increases similar to the recently ratified pilot contract). The rates in a new contract would be effective back to December 2022. Management’s proposals thus far have aligned with their commitment.
While we know this does not address immediate needs, both parties are working within an aggressive bargaining schedule to achieve an industry leading agreement as soon as possible. Although negotiations take time, the frequency of our meetings is nearly unheard of in the industry. We have made substantial progress so far, with discussion and/or tentative agreements on more than 60% of the sections in our contract.
Candidly, we expect progress will slow somewhat in coming sessions, starting early next year, as we begin opening sections with clear economic impact. We currently have negotiation sessions scheduled through April. We will continue pushing forward while still ensuring we take the time necessary to achieve an agreement we all deserve.
*It is important to note management’s commitment is predicated on the aggressive schedule. There is a slight possibility the schedule may lead to an impasse, in which case both sides may adjust priorities accordingly.
This week, our Negotiating Committee and Mobilization Committee Chairperson met with management for Negotiation Session 6. *Our Negotiating Committee is supported during this process by AFA International Collective Bargaining and Legal departments.
Tentative agreement was reached on Sections 19, 22, 25, and 29, securing several improvements while maintaining current provisions. Section 12 “Back to Book” and Grievance 1 were both removed in preparation of negotiating a new Section 12: Exchange of Sequences. Discussion continued on open sections, including Commuter Policy and Jumpseat & Pass Privileges.
A Letter of Agreement (LOA) was signed on Hotel Gain-Sharing. Both parties agree a gain-share program, allowing a Flight Attendant to waive their hotel room and split the cost savings with the Company, is a win-win solution. The LOA indicates a timeline for further discussion and implementation.
Watch the Session 6 Recap Video
Listen to the Session 6 Recap Podcast
Our Negotiating Committee will continue advocating for contractual improvements in future sessions. Be on the lookout for additional updates after each negotiation session concludes. Our next scheduled session is January 10-12.
During negotiations, proposals are exchanged on single sections and discussed between parties. When we agree on everything in a single section, we tentatively agree on the section and set it aside with the ability to revisit if necessary. Here is an overview of tentative agreements from this session:
- Section 12: Exchange of Sequences: Back to Book – removed in preparation of negotiating a new Section 12
- Section 19: Grievance Procedures – incorporated addendum and maintained provisions
- Section 22: Expenses – TBD per diem rate until economics discussion. Incorporated surface DHD reimbursement LOA, secured reimbursement for passport photos & expedited fees
- Section 25: Air, Safety, Health & Security – secured pay protection for Flight Attendants staying with injured crewmembers, added language on pandemic provisions
- Section 29: Performance Based Pay (PBP) and Retirement – TBD 401K match rate until economics discussion. Secured retirement end-of-year true-up. Retitled section from “Profit Sharing” to PBP
- Grievance 1 – removed
- LOA: Hotel Gain-Share – includes timeline for discussing/implementing ability to waive a hotel room and split savings between Flight Attendant and Company
Continue supporting our efforts by staying informed and wearing your AFA pin while flying and at company functions (i.e., training, CARE Retreat). We are Stronger Together, Better Together.
Joseph Lombardini says
“Although management considered and ultimately declined a “bonus” or interim pay increase, we secured their commitment to place Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants at the top of the industry in pay at the outset.”
I certainly hope the Negotiating Committee continues to push AS for some sort of immediate raise or substantial bonus for the FA work group. There is absolutely no legitimate reason why this should not happen, other than AS wanting to hold our workgroup hostage as a negotiation ploy! It is nearly impossible for new hires to live on the starting wage, and those of us who have been here any length of time watch our buying power erode as inflation continues to increase. Nothing about this says CARE, does it??
Industry leading pay sounds terrific but what are they expecting us to give up in order to achieve that???
Jeffrey Peterson (MEC President/Negotiating Committee Chairperson) says
So far management has been surprisingly ‘gentle’ with their proposals. However, we’ve been mostly working on the easier and less contentious sections. That will definitely change when we return from the holiday break for the next round of negotiations because we’ll be talking about “the big stuff”: scheduling, hours of service, 480, attendance policy, sick leave, et cetera. Then we’ll really know which way these negotiations are going
Rest assured the Negotiating Committee is unwilling to sacrifice our work rules and benefits in exchange for industry leading pay!
Kathy Atwood says
Please look deeply into the commuter policy. The only thing we have left is out seniority. It’s not fair that many Alaska employees are being bumped off flights because new hires, 2022 seniority, are getting on flights before us with 1992 seniority. Many employees are not jumpseat qualified (CSA’s, corporate, etc).
These commuters choose to live in a different city that they are based, the rest of us shouldn’t be penalized for that.
Jeffrey Peterson (MEC President/Negotiating Committee Chairperson) says
Thank you for writing in, Kathy
This is a really tough one because the Negotiating Committee has received a lot of feedback alternatively advocating for expanding commuter benefits (including requests for positive space for commuters) and restricting the commuter priority. For background info, the commuter priority is a Company policy — although primarily used by pilots and Flight Attendants
We know for a fact that ALPA Alaska has no interest in further restricting the commuter priority, so even if AFA Alaska were to negotiate restrictions, there would still be many, many employees traveling on the commuter priority
Another statistic that the Negotiating Committee needs to be mindful of is the fact that just shy of 40% of Flight Attendants today are registered commuters. Realstically, any diminishment to commuter benefits is likely to contribute to a failed TA vote
On the flip side, we know that more senior FAs flying space available pleasure find it unacceptable to be bumped by a relatively junior commuter traveling on the commuter priority — especially when the commuter is going back home rather than to work
We’re doing our best to balance the disparate opinions about how to proceed with the Passes & Jumpseat and Commuter Policy sections. Not easy!