Frequently Asked Questions about the TA

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I read the full Tentative Agreement (TA)?

The full agreement is available on the American-Agents.org website here.

What if there isn't a presentation at my workplace? How will I learn more about the Tentative Agreement?

You may want to start by watching the explanatory video, which is available here on YouTube. You can also read a summary of the TA or read the full document here.

When will I be able to vote on the Tentative Agreement? A company called BallotPoint will administer the voting. BallotPoint began mailing a packet of information to all eligible voters during the week of November 9. Voting will continue through 2 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) on November 30, and the votes will be tallied and the results announced on December 1.

Who is eligible to vote? Can I vote on the Tentative Agreement? CWA/IBT members in good standing may vote on the agreement. To be a member in good standing for the purposes of the ratification vote, LUS members must be current on their union dues and LAA employees must have completed a membership form by October 9.

How can I find out if I am a member in good standing and am therefore eligible to vote?

Check with your local union officers or send an email to [email protected] asking us to check on your status.

WAGES AND HOURS

Will our raise be retroactive to the expiration of the LUS contract? No. How do shift trades work in the TA?

Probationary employees may shift trade after they have completed 120 or more calendar days of employment (including training). Airport and Travel Center employees may trade with up to two other agents, and must submit the request no later than 4:00PM local time the day before the trade. Minimum trade is for one hour or more. Reservation employees may trade with up to four other agents and must submit the request no later than one hour prior to the trade. Minimum trade is for one hour or more. Multiple person trades in relation to one shift will count as a single transaction toward the quarterly shift trade maximum.

The company in its discretion may approve an untimely shift trade request based on extenuating circumstances.

Shift trades are allowed a maximum of 32 times per quarter (“Swap Offs” do count, “Swap Ons” do not count). Exchanging shifts (this does not have to be an equal number of hours) on the same day or within a 30-day period between two employees will not count toward the 32-trade maximum. Employees may work a maximum of 16 hours during a 24-hour period, and up to 14 hours on consecutive days as a result of shift trades.

What about CSS pay?

Former LUS Customer Service Supervisors (CSSs) at airports and LAA Operation Control (OCs) will now be called Customer Service Coordinators (CSCs), and they will receive a job premium of $2 per hour.

What about the hours that I VTO?

Now, all the hours you VTO (or “TL”) within the week will count towards your weekly qualifier of 40 hours for the purposes of determining your OT

Is there a signing bonus like the one the company gave to other work groups?

No. The Bargaining Committee chose to focus on obtaining the highest possible wages—the highest in the industry—rather than a signing bonus, which would be a one-time-only payment. Higher wages are a permanent and ongoing improvement in our members’ paychecks, result in higher overtime wages, and allow members to make higher contributions to their retirement accounts, resulting in higher matching contributions in the long run. It is to the Company’s advantage, not ours, to focus on one-time bonus payments, rather than long-term, steady improvements in take-home pay.

HOME-BASED REPRESENTATIVES

How will the TA impact HBRs?

We negotiated excellent improvements for the Home-Based Reservations Agents. As many of you know, in some cases they were treated like second-class citizens. Home-based reservations agents, many of whom had no benefits at all, will receive the same benefits as other Passenger Service Employees, including vacations (beginning in 2017), sick time, and holidays (beginning in 2017). We were able to gain large pay increases for the HBR agents, which significantly closed the gap between HBR and OBR agents pay rates.

PAID TIME OFF

Is there an increase in the number of sick days?

Sick Time increases to 12 paid days, and the days will rollover to the next year up to a maximum of 1,400 hours.

What if I exhaust all my paid sick time while taking FMLA (for myself)?

After exhausting your paid sick time, you will now be given the option to choose either unpaid sick time or paid vacation accrued.

What does the Tentative Agreement say about vacation time and holidays?

Employees will receive up to 5 weeks of paid vacation, plus an additional 2 weeks of paid Holiday Vacation.

Will we be able to swap vacations?

You cannot swap vacation amongst employees, but you can request or waitlist alternative weeks.

What about Option 1 and Option 2?

LUS employees had Holiday Option 1, which is no longer being offered due to what the Company claimed were costs for the administration time needed for just a small percentage of employees (currently less than 5% with LUS). All employees will bid the more popular Holiday Option 2 for two additional weeks off.

FURLOUGHS

Is there a danger that some employees will be furloughed?

No employees would be furloughed “to the street” during the life of this contract. If the Company downsizes or eliminates stations, you may exercise your seniority to move to another position. The TA improves upon the current contract by requiring 30 days notice, instead of 14, and by requiring the Company to pay moving expenses to a full-time employee who displaces to a full-time position in a different location.

OUTSOURCING

When will all the redcoats be gone?

The redcoats will be eliminated as their contracts expire, and all will be gone within twelve months of ratification.

What does "in-sourcing" mean?

In-sourcing means bringing jobs previously lost to outsourcing back into our work group. It is the opposite of outsourcing.

Why did the bargaining committee agree to any outsourcing of jobs in this agreement?

We agreed to limited outsourcing of some jobs to save over 1,000 jobs and maintain work in 30 cities. The 403 employees affected will be covered by protections negotiated for no furloughs and no displacement for baggage service employees. There will be no station reductions. The TA eliminates the use of redcoats and outsourcing for kiosk work (as is currently the case at LAA) and places it firmly with CSA/CAR employees. The Company plans to hire additional workers to pick up these duties, and our union will represent the new employees. The TA provides for 17 duties that must be performed exclusively by CSC/CSA employees. Most of the duties that may be done by contractors in the TA are contractor duties in the current contract. 

SENIORITY

What does the Tentative Agreement say about seniority?

Everyone will have date of hire seniority. Our union will form a Seniority Committee that will review any questions. LAA employees will have the same seniority they have today with regard to bidding. The two seniority lists will be merged.

I'm a former Eagle/Envoy agent. Where do I fall on the new payscale?

Your company seniority will be used to determine where you fall on the pay scale.

HEALTH INSURANCE

What kind of health insurance will I have in 2016?

All work groups will keep their current medical plans and contributions in 2016. Before the 2017 annual enrollment period, the CWA/IBT Association Bargaining Committee will prepare and present to the Company an alternative health insurance plan. The Company has signed a Letter of Agreement stating that we will meet to review and consider that plan. If we are unable to agree on an alternate option, employees will have the LAA health insurance options for 2017. If better plans cannot be negotiated in 2016, everyone goes to the AA plan with a 21% employee cap on the total cost burden of insurance in 2017. There are multiple LAA options for LUS employees who are now choosing among those plans, some of which are more expensive and some of which are not.

BARGAINING PROCESS

Who from our union participated in the bargaining?

Our Bargaining Committee is made up of rank-and-file passenger service employees and union staff experienced in contract negotiations. From CWA, members Kenneth Grunwald, Tom Gunning, Roxanne Hartfield, Vickey Hoots, and Richard Shaughnessy serve on the Committee. You can read more about them on this web page. In addition, CWA staff members Ron Collins and Marge Krueger also serve on the Committee. IBT members David Mays and Brian Nicoll serve on the Bargaining Committee. Andy Marshall and Kim Barbaro were the IBT staff persons on the Committee. Staff did not vote on anything in the TA or whether or not to recommend ratification of the TA. The rank-and-file committee members voted on each article and six out of seven members voted to recommend ratification of the TA.

Were there attorneys at the bargaining table?

Yes, the CWA/IBT Association had attorneys who specialize in labor law and the Railway Labor Act (RLA) at the bargaining table, and we also had additional attorneys available by teleconference. Additional subject matter experts were always on standby to respond to requests quickly.

How often did the Bargaining Committee meet with the Company?

The two sides met on more than three dozen days over the course of 10 months. On some days, the Bargaining Committee met in caucus and worked together to draft proposals or counter-proposals or to develop bargaining strategy.

Has the union taken a position on whether or not we should vote to ratify this TA?

Yes, the Bargaining Committee worked hard for 10 months to negotiate this agreement. Six out of seven members of the Committee voted to recommend ratification to the members. Therefore, the CWA-IBT Association of Passenger Service Employees and our unions recommend that members vote to ratify this Tentative Agreement.

RATIFICATION PROCESS

How will we vote on the TA?

The CWA/IBT Association will use a third-party, BallotPoint, to conduct the TA ratification. BallotPoint will send a packet of materials to all CWA/IBT Association members who are eligible to vote on November 6. The packet will contain detailed instructions and a summary of the TA. Each eligible voter will be given an access code that he or she may use to vote by telephone or on the Internet. We will conclude the vote on November 30th at 2:00 p.m. (EST) and announce the results on December 1.

What will happen if a majority of eligible voters vote against ratification of the TA?

If the passenger service employees at AA reject the TA, the parties will return to the bargaining table. Negotiations would likely resume in 2016. The Company is now in negotiations with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU), which would make scheduling bargaining dates with our Bargaining Committee difficult. The Company is not obligated to meet with us on more than one day per month. If the Company maintains its current position at the bargaining table, which it may legally do, the parties can ask for a mediator from the National Mediation Board ("NMB"). If mediation is unsuccessful, the parties will be released from their bargaining obligations, which means that after a "cooling off" period, AA could implement its proposals (i.e., the current TA). In that case, the CWA/IBT Association, if it so chose in accordance with the CWA and IBT Constitutions, could authorize a strike. During a strike, AA would not pay employees their wages. Most states deny unemployment compensation to strikers.

If we do not ratify the TA, will Legacy American employees have any job protections?

The Railway Labor Act's ("RLA") provisions protect employees from discrimination by a carrier even if the TA is rejected. However, the RLA would not prohibit the Company from changing the wages or conditions of employment of LAA employees, because the status quo provisions of the RLA only prohibit unilateral changes in wages and working conditions where there is a pre-existing collective bargaining agreement ("CBA").  The CWA/IBT Association and American Airlines signed a Letter of Agreement ("LOA") in February 2015 that provides preferential hiring opportunities and allows an LAA passenger service employee to have union representation in disciplinary hearings. Those protections will continue if the TA is rejected.

Do LAA passenger service employees pay dues to CWA now?

No. LAA employees do not pay union dues and will not unless and until we have a signed collective bargaining agreement with the Company.