Negotiation Q & As

When do we start paying dues?

TWU has an internal policy that TWU Members do not start paying dues until after they have they have ratified their first contract. Dues will not be collected until a Collective Bargaining Agreement is in place.

How long will contract negotiations take?

They will take as long as they take. We are building this agreement from the bottom, up. This process takes a while. We are pushing the agenda to get additional negotiating dates. The TWU has always been committed to putting out full efforts to reaching a Tentative Agreement (TA) as soon as possible. You're continued involvement and attention can help us achieve timely goals.

Is the negotiating team exploring home basing and jumpseating on Atlas Air and offline carriers?

We are building the contract from the ground up. If this were an established contract, we would have a better idea about the issues facing our Membership. In order to gain a clearer understanding about how home basing affects all FSI Flight Attendants, we will conduct additional surveys of the Membership for more clarity on establishing a proposal for home basing. The initial survey was very general, and we are now at the point where the Negotiating Committee (NC) needs to request more guidance from you. Questions about home basing and commuting will factor in to our next survey.

Can Atlas Air nullify their contract with FSI and/or sell the Flight Attendant contract to Atlas Air during contract negotiations (or once a contract is settled)? Would it be a better use of time and resources to negotiate directly with Atlas Air?

In all contracts there is successorship language to handle a transition due to merger or acquisition. If FSI did decide to sell to Atlas, then Atlas Air would be obligated to continue negotiations with TWU. Your workgroup has made it's decision, and no one can deny that decision by attempting an ownership change.

We can't bypass FSI to negotiate with Atlas Air, because we do not have standing with Atlas Air.

Why did you start negotiations with uniforms? Aren’t there more important things to address?

It is important to establish a foundation for negotiations. It's usually easier to begin with things that are not particularly controversial. For example, we are currently discussing a grievance process. This an important part of the contract, but it is not a controversial part, because we are just settling on a process for grievances with Management. As we settle the items that are less controversial, we will move into the more difficult pieces of the Tentative Agreement.

What has the tone at the table been?

We are starting to build a rapport with Management. The initial sessions have involved the NC & Management "feeling each other out." This is why we started with the "low-hanging fruit." As we progress, we are building a relationship that will allow us to more effectively negotiate the more difficult items for our Membership.

What is the order of priority for the various things we want to address. Where do we see this list? How long do you discuss particular issues?

This will be determined by the in-depth survey. We will take our marching orders from you. Regarding how long a discussion takes, it really depends on how far apart we are on an issue, and how long it takes for us to reach a consensus. We are usually negotiating multiple items at a time, depending upon how detailed discussions are.

Are we allowed to have a Union Rep in disciplinary meetings?

We have discussed this in the last two meetings with Management. We have been told that this is a negotiable item, and the company is not willing to acquiesce at this time. The company has asked for a list of qualified people who would be available to sit in on a meeting. We will be putting out a request for volunteers who would be willing to serve in this capacity. We will provide training to you, then after we provide this list to the company, we hope they will agree to allow this process to begin, even if we have not reached a TA yet.

How do you plan on enforcing FSI contractual provisions that are contradicted by the Atlas Air Cabin Crew Policy Guide?

This is one of the difficulties we face. Often when we ask a questions or make a proposal, we are told that is something that is controlled by Atlas. Our position is, you can't have it both ways. The National Mediation Board has authorized the TWU to negotiate your work rules with FSI, so FSI needs to be able to make the contractual decisions that will affect your flying with Atlas Air.

Can we wear TWU pins to show our support?

We have asked that question of Management. The company has again stated that this is a negotiated item, and they have not agreed to allow you to wear a TWU pin, yet. This is still an item that is on our "to-do" list, but until it is approved, we ask that you not wear a Union pin while on duty.

How can we best address the apparent violation of FARs by scheduling? Is the NC doing anything about the length of our duty day in negotiations?

There are LOT of gray area in the FARs concerning flight attendants. The best way to address any perceived FAR violations is to:

  1. Always screenshot your trip at the start
  2. Keep notes of all changes and conversations with scheduling
  3. Screenshot all changes to your schedule
  4. Screenshot the end of your trip
  5. Use this form to detail the problem and submit your screenshots

If we believe there is a FAR violation, we will work with you to help address the problem. Encourage your crew members to also submit their concerns via our form and via company forms. We ask that you not violate the established chain of command. We need to stay within current company policies and procedures.

Concerning the length of duty day, that will be addressed via detailed surveys of the Membership.

When will we negotiate about pay? I am hearing of more and more cancellation of trips on our bidlines. Are we negotiating pay protection?

Compensation will be one of the final items we negotiate. Of course, pay protection will be a future survey item, but the NC believes that if you are scheduled to work, if you do everything to ensure you are prepared to perform your duties, and you flight is cancelled, you should be pay protected. What that will eventually look like will depend on the survey results and the negotiations process.

Many of us who have consistently been used on our volunteer days off, over the last four or five years, are now going unused. Will the negotiating team take this into consideration when compensation talks begin? It will take a significantly higher hourly rate to offset the loss in day off premium, additional credit rig, and additional per diem that we've grown accustomed to. Is FSI overhiring to drive us out?

We have been told at the table that the company is planning to perform expansion and they plan on pursuing additional contracts. We have been told that all the hiring that is happening is occurring for all the right reasons. We welcome all the newer Flight Attendants and hope everyone is used productively. There can be reasonable restrictions placed in a contract that can protect current Flight Attendants against over-hiring, and we will definitely be looking at that.

Does FSI or Atlas have a contract guaranteeing us things such as "Business Class" or better seating for deadheads, which we are not receiving. How can we confirm the benefits we are supposed to receive from third-party contracts are being upheld?

We have requested these contracts, and the company has denied them quite strongly. They will not provide those for us. If we were to find out that there was some type of violation of a third-party contract, that is something we would have to pursue legally. We are attempting to negotiate a contract in good faith with Management, and we certainly hope the Company is doing the same.