Tuesday, December 1, 2015

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PBS Meltdown for LUS Flight Attendants - LAA/LUS

Dear APFA Member,

As many of you know, the Preferential Bidding System (PBS) experienced a major setback for the month of December for LUS Flight Attendants. So far, the Company has identified over 400 Flight Attendants who, due to a computer code problem, received mis-awards. December 15 through 31 is the most critical scheduling time frame for the Company, as well as the most desired time off by Flight Attendants. This caused many, including those who did not have mis-awards, to not hold a typical bid award. According to the Company, a bid re-run could not take place because AOS, the PBS vendor, could not repair and test the issue immediately. Since the Electronic Trade Board (ETB) had already opened, a bid re-run was no longer an option due to the amount of transactions that had already taken place between Flight Attendants. Needless to say, many LUS Flight Attendants have lost confidence in PBS.

Since March, the PBS program has functioned normally with no glaring errors, unlike the LUS Crew Portal and ETB. The APFA Scheduling Department believes it was a cumulative problem: the high line averages (which results in fewer Lineholders) and the lopsided distribution of flying in the month (which created a lot of trips having to be assigned). These assigned sequences/pairings were deemed as forced time for critical coverage. The LUS Red Book Contract language states no more than 3% of trips can remain unassigned after the PBS award. 

With the 400 mis-awards, to truly gauge the absolute impact to the entire LUS membership is almost impossible. We will not know the full extent of the domino effect until the vendor conducts a complete analysis this week. The LUS Base Presidents, other representatives, National Vice President Rick Knuth and myself have been involved in numerous and lengthy conference calls in the past two weeks, and many ideas were brainstormed. In an effort to hold the Company accountable for the PBS problems, we suggested the idea of “red flagging” every single LUS sequence/pairing for entire month of December. Red flag sequences/pairings are paid at a rate of 150%. In direct discussions with Hector Adler, Vice President of Inflight Service, I explained that the Company needed to make whole all of the LUS Flight Attendants since each of them have been affected by the 400 mis-awards. 

Last week, APFA and the Company agreed to, and announced 150% pay for every LUS sequence/pairing originating December 15 through December 31 as a remedy to the PBS award debacle. There have been questions from APFA members regarding why the entire membership (both LAA/LUS) are not receiving the same amount of pay during that time period. Simply put, this is not holiday pay or a bonus. This was a negotiated remedy for LUS Flight Attendants due to the PBS error. LAA and LUS Flight Attendants currently work under two separate Scheduling systems until Flight Attendant Operational Integration (FOI) in 2017. LAA Flight Attendants were not affected by mis-awards. In accordance with the 2014 Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement, PBS will be implemented for LAA Flight Attendants at FOI, bringing all Flight Attendants together under one Scheduling system.

In the meantime, APFA and the Company will continue to work together as the discussions regarding the PBS system and necessary actions moving forward are our number one priority.

In Unity,

Marcus Gluth
APFA National President
Miami Flight Attendant
ABOUT APFA: APFA is a strong and independent Union comprised of 25,000 hard-working Flight Attendants of American Airlines. Like any organization, opinions and interests are varied. What makes APFA unique, though, is its highly democratic process which allows members to make their voices heard through the direct election of their Union representatives and voting power on all Constitutional changes. APFA is proud of its membership’s diversity, passion, and advocacy.
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