APFA Special Hotline
Wednesday, July 15, 2020

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  • American Airlines Sends Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) Notifications
  • July 2020 Voluntary Early Out Program (VEOP)
  • Extended Voluntary Leaves of Absence (EVLOA)


***CLARIFICATION***
Clarification is Highlighted in Yellow Below

American Airlines Sends Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) Notifications
 
American has notified APFA of an anticipated overstaffing situation in the Flight Service department and will be issuing WARN notifications accordingly. In anticipation of this announcement, APFA continues to push Congress to extend the Payroll Support Program (PSP) within the CARES Act, which would preserve frontline aviation worker's jobs and health benefits beyond the current October 1st expiration date. This legislation has kept aviation’s first responders connected to their pay and benefits, and out of the overburdened unemployment lines. 

We know that receipt of a WARN notice adds to the uncertainty and anxiety already caused by the pandemic. We want you to know that your APFA Leadership is doing everything in our power to protect jobs and benefits. National Leadership, along with APFA's Government Affairs department, will continue to work alongside other Labor Unions on Capitol Hill to extend the Payroll Support Program. We will continue to challenge the Company on furlough numbers to preserve as many jobs as possible. The joint letter from APFA, TWU-556, representing Southwest Flight Attendants, and AFA-CWA outlines the importance of the ‘Call to Action’ to let our Congressional Representatives know that we are aviation’s essential workers, and we need to remain credentialed, trained, and ready to accommodate increased customer demand as it returns. 

Please continue to take action to preserve aviation jobs. Contact your appropriate representatives by clicking here.

To comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) Act, American must notify potentially affected Flight Attendants at least sixty (60) days in advance of any potential involuntary furlough. (Note: Only California, Illinois, and New York require that letters be sent to each Flight Attendant.) This notice serves as tentative notification of furlough and is not a guarantee that you will be furloughed. Historically, these notices have been sent to the “worst-case-scenario” number of Flight Attendants.  As stated above, our goal is to mitigate the overage with leaves and early out programs to lower the number of Flight Attendants subject to an involuntary furlough.

As we look toward the future, it is clear that difficult decisions must be made. The estimated overage of Flight Attendants on October 1st, 2020, is still projected to be 7000 - 8000. However, to account for the possibility of future schedule changes, the most junior 9,950 Flight Attendants are included in the WARN notification, which will reach an occupational seniority date of April 12, 2002. Our goal is to mitigate this overage with voluntary early out and voluntary leave packages so that involuntary furloughs will not be necessary. APFA has secured Letters of Agreement from the Company on both options that are superior to what is required by our JCBA, and they have been unanimously approved by the APFA Board of Directors. 

The following voluntary early out and leave options will be available for our workgroup:
 
July 2020 Voluntary Early Out Program (VEOP)

VEOP Letter of Agreement

The early out options include three different options to address the needs of the Flight Attendant workgroup:

Option A: Ten (10) Years or More of Occupational Seniority: Extended Payout
Option B: Ten (10) Years or More of Occupational Seniority: Lump Sum Payout
Option C: Fewer Than Ten (10) Years of Occupational Seniority


Below, please find a breakdown of each VEOP option available.

Option A: Ten (10) Years or More of Occupational Seniority: Extended Payout

Eligibility

Flight Attendants with ten (10) or more years of occupational seniority in active status as of July 15, 2020. Flight Attendants awarded the VEOP are subject to the existing Attendance and Performance program until the start of their VEOP.

Pay

The equivalent of six (6) months of pay, spread out over 12 months. Thirty-eight (38) hours of pay per month at your applicable JCBA hourly rate for a period of twelve months beginning at the start of the VEOP. The rate of pay will be based on the hourly rate at the start of the VEOP, and no other premiums will be paid.  

Travel

A one-time allotment of eight (8) round-trip, positive space passes to be used within five (5) years from the start of the VEOP and travel as if active for twelve (12) months from the start of the VEOP as described above. 
  • For those who qualify under the 65-point plan:
At the beginning of the 13th month from the start of the VEOP, retiree travel will continue in accordance with company policy (D2R). Eligibility for the 65-point plan will be determined at the date of separation from the Company (expiration of the 12-month pay period).
  • For those who do not qualify under the 65-point plan:
Flight Attendants who do not qualify under the 65-Point plan will receive twenty-four (24) months of travel privileges at D2R status, in accordance with company policy, at the date of expiration of the twelve (12) month pay period. 

Vacation Payout:

Any accrued vacation for use in 2020/2021 and/or 2021/2022, not used as a result of the VEOP, will be paid out as soon as practicable, but in no case later than the 15th of the month following the end of the 12-month pay period, unless otherwise required by law. 

Health Benefits:

Eligibility for medical, dental, and vision benefits at active rates for thirty (30) months following the start of the VEOP.  During the 30 months, the Flight Attendant will be responsible for the employee portion of all premiums. COBRA benefits at active rates will run concurrently beginning with the 13th month following the start of the VEOP.

For Flight Attendants Qualifying for the 65-point plan ONLY:

The Company will establish a Retiree Health Reimbursement Arrangement (RHRA) for all Flight Attendants who meet the eligibility requirements of the VEOP and qualify for the 65-point plan as of the date of retirement from the Company. The RHRA credits may be used for qualified medical expenses for any qualified medical plan.  


 
Option B: Ten (10) Years or More of Occupational Seniority: Lump Sum

Eligibility:

Flight Attendants with ten (10) or more years of occupational seniority in active status as of July 15, 2020. Flight Attendants who are awarded the VEOP are subject to the existing Attendance and Performance program until the start of their VEOP.

Pay

456 hours of pay at the Flight Attendants JCBA hourly rate only (no premiums) paid as a one-time lump sum no later than August 15, 2021. The lump sum payment will be subject to tax withholding as required by law. The hourly rate will be based on the rate of pay from the start of the VEOP.

Travel:

A one-time allotment of eight (8) round-trip, positive space passes to be used within five (5) years from the start of the VEOP. 
  • For those who qualify under the 65-point plan:
Flight Attendants will receive Retiree travel in accordance with Company policy upon the start of the VEOP (D2R status).
  • For those who do not qualify under the 65-point plan:
Flight Attendants will receive twenty-four (24) months of travel at D2R status in accordance with Company policy upon the start of the VEOP.

Vacation Payout

Any accrued vacation for use in 2020/2021 and/or 2021/2022, not used as a result of the VEOP, will be paid out as soon as practicable, but in no case later than the 15th of the subsequent month following the start of the VEOP, unless otherwise required by law.

Health Benefits

Eligibility for medical, dental, and vision benefits at active rates for thirty (30) months following the start of the VEOP.  During the 30 months, the Flight Attendant will be responsible for the employee portion of all premiums. COBRA benefits at active rates will run concurrently, beginning at the start of the VEOP. 

For Flight Attendants Qualifying for the 65-point plan ONLY:

The Company will establish a Retiree Health Reimbursement Arrangement (RHRA) for all Flight Attendants who meet the eligibility requirements of the VEOP and who qualify for the 65-point plan as of the date of retirement from the Company. The RHRA credits may be used for qualified medical expenses for any qualified medical plan.


 
Option C: Less than Ten (10) Years of Occupational Seniority

Eligibility

Flight Attendants with fewer than ten (10) years of occupational seniority who are in active status as determined by Company as of July 15, 2020, shall be able to bid for this option. Flight Attendants awarded are still subject to the existing attendance and performance program until the start of their VEOP. 

Pay:

None.

Travel

Twenty-four (24) months of D2R status upon commencement of the VEOP, in accordance with Company policy. 

Vacation Payout:
 
Any accrued vacation for use in 2020/2021 and/or 2021/2022, not used as a result of the VEOP, will be paid out as soon as practicable, but in no case later than the 15th of the month following the start of the VEOP unless otherwise required by law.

Health Benefits:

Eligible for six (6) months of active rates of medical, dental, and vision benefits upon commencement of the VEOP.  During the six months following the start of the VEOP, a Flight Attendant will be responsible for payment of the employee portion of all premiums, which will be direct billed. An additional twelve (12) months of COBRA at full rates will be available, beginning with the seventh month from the start of the VEOP.
 
Additional VEOP Considerations for All Options
  • The Company will determine the starting dates and the total number of VEOPs that will be offered. VEOPs will be awarded by occupational system seniority order. 
     
  • A Flight Attendant awarded a VEOP will not be subject to involuntary furlough.
     
  • Any Flight Attendant who participates in the VEOP shall not be eligible for any other form of severance pay (other than described above) and shall be released from the Company and removed from payroll upon the start of the VEOP. 
     
  • If the Company receives a request for information from a state or local agency with responsibility for unemployment compensation claims, the Company will respond by providing factually accurate information regarding employee status. The Company will not actively contest an employee’s claim for unemployment compensation benefits.
     
  • Flight Attendants on any option will not accrue sick or vacation time after the start of the VEOP and will not accrue occupational or longevity seniority following the start of the VEOP. 
     
  • A Flight Attendant may not use their paid sick or vacation at any time after the start of the VEOP, but any unused sick time will be paid out pursuant to JCBA Section 26.D.5.
     
  • Participation is voluntary on the part of the Flight Attendant, and she/he shall execute a general release of all claims in a form to be prepared by the Company.   The form will be available during the election period.
     
  • Once awarded, a VEOP must be accepted.


Extended Voluntary Leaves of Absence (EVLOA)

EVLOA Letter of Agreement

Eligibility:

Any Flight Attendant in active status as of July 15, 2020, shall be eligible to bid for the EVLOA. 

Are you currently on a PVLOA?

If you are currently on a PVLOA that does not end until October 1, 2020, or later, you may select one of the following. The benefits of the PVLOA will end at the start of the EVLOA, whichever option you choose.
  • a. Convert your PVLOA to an EVLOA and start the benefits to the EVLOA and following benefits beginning October 1, 2020; OR
     
  • b. Request to have the new EVLOA begin at the end of your current PVLOA term, subject to the following benefits and consideration.
The Company will determine the starting dates, awarded duration (15, 18, 24 months), and the total number of EVLOAs that will be offered and/or awarded.  EVLOAs will be awarded in system seniority order.

Once awarded, the Flight Attendant must accept the EVLOA. The Company may reduce the duration of the EVLOA with at least 60 days' notice to APFA and the impacted Flight Attendants but will meet and confer with APFA before doing so. If the Company cancels or reduces any of the EVLOAs, the Flight Attendants on leave will be offered return to work dates in occupational seniority order and drafted back to work in reverse occupational seniority order.

You may be required to work a carryover trip prior to the start of an EVLOA.

Benefits:
  • For the duration of the leave, Flight Attendants shall be paid out in accordance with the chart below at their JCBA hourly rate.
  • No other pay will be provided (premiums or minimum guarantees). The pay will be divided and paid out on pay dates pursuant to the JCBA. 
     
  • Any accrued vacation that will not be used as a result of the EVLOA will be carried over and available for bidding upon return to work. You will not be eligible for vacation buyback.
     
  • A Flight Attendant will be eligible for Reserve during the first month back from an EVLOA; however, you will only be required to serve Reserve if your seniority requires.
     
  • You will accrue company seniority, occupational seniority, and longevity seniority for the duration of your EVLOA.
     
  • You will not accrue sick and vacation and shall not be eligible to use paid sick or vacation time during any portion of your EVLOA.
     
  • You will be eligible for non-revenue travel, including online jumpseat per company policy, as if you are active.
     
  • Should a new crew base open during the EVLOA, you will have the option to bid for the new base and, if awarded, return early from your EVLOA.
     
  • You will be eligible for active rates for medical, dental, and vision, life insurance, and AD&D benefits. You will be responsible for payment of the employee portion of premiums.
     
  • The Company will not actively contest unemployment claims. 
     
  • The Company may offer additional EVLOAs and grant voluntary extensions.

APFA will be maintaining a Questions & Answers document to help answer your questions and concerns. As always, your APFA Leaders are here for you and always available to help answer your questions during this most challenging time.
 
In Solidarity,
 
Julie Hedrick, APFA National President
Joe Burns, Negotiations Attorney
Larry Salas, APFA National Vice President
Alin Boswell, APFA Joint Scheduling Implementation Committee
Kelly Hagan, APFA Negotiating Committee
Patrick Hancock, APFA Retirement Specialist
Mark Littleton, Assistant to the APFA National President
Kim Tuck, APFA Retirement Specialist
Brian Walsh, APFA National Contract Chair
 

 
About APFA: 
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) represents the 27,000+ Flight Attendants of American Airlines, an airline that consists of aviation professionals with a diverse history brought together from multiple airlines. From APFA’s inception in 1977, the Union has fiercely advocated for the Flight Attendant profession. Our Union has been at the forefront of the fight for workplace equality, legislative affairs, and worker’s rights.
 

 
APFA Headquarters:
(817) 540-0108 | www.apfa.org | 1004 W. Euless Blvd, Euless, TX 76040
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