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Our 1st System Board of Adjustment

We are excited to report that on July 20, 2022, we held our first System Board of Adjustment Hearing with management since being elected as your Representatives. The System Board of Adjustment is part of the final stage of the Grievance process and is spelled out in Section 13 of our contract. The Board hears disputes which arise out of grievances, or out of the interpretation or application of the Agreement (contract). 

The Board consists of two members, one from the Union and one from the Company. At the hearing, each side has an opportunity to present its case to the Board. If the two members can’t agree on a resolution, or agree on a procedure for breaking the deadlock, then the Board can appoint a third, neutral member (an arbitrator) to hear the case and make a final and binding opinion and award. 

At this hearing, AFA’s Board member was Cynthia Berrios and the Company’s Board member was Michael Sperry. Presenting the Union’s position was AFA Senior Staff Attorney Richard Wrede, assisted by MEC President Maria Salinas. Presenting the Company’s position was Glenn Biffignani, assisted by Loral Blinde.

At the hearing we addressed several outstanding grievances and issues. 

Grievance # 00-99-2-2-22 - Untimely distribution of Bids. – AFA agreed to withdraw this grievance since the Company has consistently met the contractual timelines since we filed the grievance. 

Grievance # 00-99-2-1-22 - Reserves being required to self-notify – We had a lot of conversation about this grievance. We have agreed to work on a resolution of the issue and are in the process of drafting a Letter of Agreement mutually acceptable to the Company and AFA which will not disadvantage our members. We will communicate more about this settlement when it is finalized with management.

Disciplines – We addressed several Discipline cases. We were able to reach agreement with Management on resolution of these grievances. Due to the personal nature of the cases, we cannot give you more information.

Additional Issues which were raised with Management during the hearing:

1. Payroll mistakes.
2. Sick time balance available and accessible electronically. We have been waiting for 6 months for this to be resolved.
3. Raido software problems during line improvement 1 and 2.
4. Requested ice, water, and lavatory service in Jacksonville due to the extreme aircraft temperatures.
5. Schedulers assigning trips to reserves before 72 hours.
6. Dominica Hotel – We have not filed a formal grievance on this hotel. Instead, we have been attempting to resolve the issues through discussions with management. They have addressed some of our concerns. We continued to highlight problems with the property at this hearing. Specifically, the issues remain with locks which lock from the outside and pests in the rooms. We were able to show management evidence through photographs provided by Flight Attendants, explain our concerns directly and make suggestions on improvements. We felt management understood our needs and we are hopeful that they will see that fixes are made. We will continue to monitor the situation in Dominica and press for improvements where possible.

We were encouraged by the exchange of interests and the sincere tone of the conversation at the System Board Hearing. We felt management listened, understood our role and the process. We hope that we can resolve our issues without resulting to the three-person Board with the Neutral Arbitrator, but if not, that remains an option available to us. 

It was exciting to see our contract work to resolve our issues. That’s why we voted for AFA representation. If you think you’d like to be involved with grievance handling, please let me know. It’s empowering.

In Unity,

Maria Salinas – MEC President
Raul Daumont – MEC Vice President
Melissa Mateo – MEC Secretary/Treasurer