ExpressJet Flight Attendants Negotiation Update

Your IAM joint contract negotiations committee met from Monday, July 20, 2015 and continued through Thursday, July 23, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Proposals were passed on the following Sections:

Section 5 Travel Expenses

Section 6 Training

Section 9 Sick Leave

Section 11 Leaves of Absences

Section 23 General

We expected much more progress to be made on these Sections, unfortunately due to inaction on the Company’s part that was not possible. In addition, vast division remains on several key issues contained within these Sections.

In Section 11 Leaves of Absence, one of the most extensive sections in the CBA, we focused on sick and vacation accruals, along with medical benefits while on different types of leaves. Section 5 Travel Expenses has very few open items but those contain substantial differences. We were able to resolve most issues in Section 6, Training. Section 9 Sick Leave has been whittled down to just a few open items as well but some of those items have the potential to greatly impact the membership, which is not being taken lightly. Section 23 General, encompasses many different topics such as out of base parking, commuter clause policy and jumpseating. We are aware that these issues will affect the day-to-day quality of life of our members, so we are continuing to fight hard to protect your rights.

We remain determined to achieve an industry leading agreement, while the Company has shown that it is their intent to negotiate a subpar agreement. Your negotiations committee is unified in our resolve to bringing our membership a contract that they deserve, as safety professionals.

Negotiations will continue on September 14 through September 17, 2015 in Houston, Texas.

The dedicated website for negotiations can be accessed at: www.iamoneuniononevoice.org

Also, you may opt to have the updates sent to you via email by signing up through the District 142 website, www.iamdl142.org.

ExpressJet Negotiations Update

Your IAM joint contract negotiations committee met in Kansas City, Missouri from April 7-10. In addition to your IAM negotiations committee, also present were the National Mediation Board appointed mediator Jack Kane and the Company’s committee members Rick Berry, Manager of Contract Administration, Katie Clark, Manager of Legal Services and Sharon Armstrong, ERJ Inflight Director.

We began with a general overview of all open issues. After that, we focused on the sections that contained specific issues that were the closest to resolution. We passed proposals on Section 17, Investigations which we were able to make progress and reach a tentative agreement on that section. Then after much table discussion on Section 9, Sick Leave, we received a company proposal on this section and after reviewing the proposal your committee feels we can resolve several key issues. Your committee has written a counter proposal and will be prepared to present to the company next session.

Overall, while this session was the most productive that we have had in quite some time, there are still substantial differences on many issues. We welcomed the mediator’s presence and look forward to benefiting from his input. However, due to being in the mediation process it does hinder our ability to meet as frequently due to his scheduling constraints.

Our next negotiation session will be June 9-11, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. We will also resume our webcasts that week and if you have questions please email sgonzales@iamDL142.org with ‘Webcast Question’ in the subject line and we will make sure it is addressed.

EXPRESSJET NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE

In earlier updates, we explained the process of Mediation and what this step means to the ExpressJet membership. Now that we are in Joint Collective Bargaining, the first step was for one or both parties to file a request seeking assistance from the National Mediation Board (NMB) to get an agreement, this was done by the company just prior to our last scheduled negotiation session. While we have been fighting for improvements in our joint agreement, the company is more focused on concessionary negotiations. When it became a clear to the company that the IAM negotiating team was not willing to entertain any forms of concessions, they stopped talks and proceeded to request the assistance of the NMB. Recently, both parties were advised by the NMB that mediator Jack Kane has been assigned to our case.

The Mediator will now reach out to each party and establish a time for both parties to come back to the table and report to him what their outstanding issues are and what they are willing to do. The Mediator will then meet with each side in an attempt to get the two sides to come to an agreement. His involvement is to guide the talks – he cannot dictate that either side accepts the other’s offer.

After our last announcement that the company requested the NMB to get involved in our talks, we received many emails from people believing that we are getting ready for a strike. That is totally untrue. For most negotiations covered under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), NMB intervention is common and is generally the time when we are able to reach a Tentative Agreement. We have attached a flow chart showing where we are in this process.

Should you have any questions regarding talks or the process of Mediation, please contact your local grievance representative.

IAM 1
Fraternally yours,

Sara Gonzales
GENERAL CHAIR

Mediation Q & A

We have received several questions regarding the Company’s decision to file for mediation. We have included many of the questions in the Q & A below. However, if you have further questions please do not hesitate to reply to this email.

1. What is the process for mediation?
The National Mediation Board (NMB) may become involved in mediation when the parties fail to reach an agreement in direct bargaining. Either party, the Company or the Union individually, or both together, may request the NMB’s services to assist in the collective bargaining process. Once the NMB has assigned a mediator to the process, negotiations continue with the help of the mediator until an agreement is reached or the Board determines that its efforts to mediate have been unsuccessful, at which time it seeks to induce the parties to submit the dispute to arbitration. If either party refuses the proffer of arbitration, the Board issues a notice stating that the parties have failed to resolve the dispute through mediation. The notice triggers a thirty-day cooling-off period, after which either side may avail itself of self-help, which may include an employee strike.

2. Was there a threat to strike made?
No, there are very strict legal guidelines and processes that employees governed under the Railway Labor Act must follow in order to strike or threaten to strike.

3. What does entering into mediation mean to our current negotiations?

It means the National Mediation Board may assign the same mediator currently assigned to the ERJ contract or an additional mediator to facilitate our negotiations. That facilitation includes setting dates and locations for negotiations sessions, actual mediation between the two parties and monitoring progress. However, the mediator has no authority to force agreement upon the parties or to dictate the terms of settlement.

4. When will negotiations sessions begin again?

Now that the Company has made the decision to file for mediation under the CRJ contract, the Company will have to officially file and the NMB may appoint a mediator as discussed above. The IAM is willing to meet at any time; however, the mediator may assist in setting a location and dates for the next sessions. We will send out updates as soon as we have information regarding the mediator assigned and any upcoming negotiation sessions.

5. Who is filing for mediation now?

The Company made the decision to file for mediation for the CRJ contract.

6. Can you file for mediation for just particular sections of the contract or is it for the entire contract?

No, once you file for mediation the NMB is involved in all aspects of contract negotiations until you have reached a tentative agreement or mediation is deemed unsuccessful as outlined above in question 1.

7. Why is the Company filing for mediation?

The Company has been unable to address our reasonable proposals and therefore determined they need help in bargaining over our differences. Remember, these differences did not happen overnight as we had indicated in previous updates. While progress on many items was being made there were still substantial differences on specific items. Just a few of the items are sick time, commuter clause and per diem. We will have more updates regarding contested issues in future negotiations updates.

8. Has the committee tried to resolve the dispute?

Your negotiations committee has worked tirelessly to develop reasonable proposals based on our current ERJ and CRJ contracts and we are willing to continue talks, with or without the participation of the NMB, in an effort to reach an agreement. However, the Company feels it’s necessary to file for mediation. We do not object to this filing and we welcome any opportunity to bargain a contract that we deserve and that addresses our needs.

9. Why is the mediation filed separately for CRJ and ERJ if we are in joint contract negotiations?

As you know we are currently under two separate contracts, one for CRJ flight attendants and another for ERJ flight attendants. The IAM had already entered into negotiations for the ERJ contract at the time the merger was announced between Atlantic Southeast and ExpressJet. During those negotiations the Company made it clear they were not interested in negotiating for the ERJ contract and the IAM chose to file for mediation at that time. Once the IAM was certified by the NMB as the bargaining unit for both CRJ and ERJ flight attendants, we entered into joint contract negotiations to merge the two groups’ contracts. In order to have the NMB intervene in the joint contract negotiations it is necessary for a filing for mediation to occur for the CRJ contract.

10. Is there a problem or something personal with the negotiating committee that caused the Company to file for mediation?

No, there is nothing but professionalism displayed by your negotiations committee members in all dealings with the Company. This filing is due to fundamental differences in what the Company is willing to offer and what we are willing to accept. We refuse to go backward.

11. Does the entire negotiating committee agree on the specific issues that we are in disagreement with the Company on?

Yes, we agree unanimously that we are doing the right thing by standing our ground in negotiations. Throughout our negotiation it has become more and more apparent on our committees that regardless of which mainline partner we support, what base you’re from or if you’re CRJ or ERJ, we all want the same things.

As industry leaders it is now more important than ever that we stand together in solidarity. These negotiations will have a profound and lasting effect not only on the flight attendants of ExpressJet, but also on the entire regional industry. It is our responsibility to defend our collective bargaining rights for our families and ourselves, so that we may maintain and improve our quality of life. It is up to us to build and progress our profession as safety professionals.

Fraternally yours,

Sara Gonzales
GENERAL CHAIR

CRJ AND ERJ – UNITED IN NEGOTIATIONS

Your negotiating committee was scheduled to meet this week in Atlanta to continue negotiations. Unfortunately, on Monday the company notified the IAM that they wanted to cancel this week’s negotiations due to our reasonable proposals and demands during the last bargaining session.

In addition to canceling negotiations, the company discussed filing for mediation with the National Mediation Board (NMB) on the CRJ contract. We advised the company the IAM does not object to seeking NMB assistance in achieving a Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement for all of our ExpressJet membership.

Prior to entering into joint contract negotiations, the IAM had filed for mediation for the ERJ contract and the NMB assigned a mediator. As we have stated in previous negotiation updates, some progress was being made on a joint contract; however, your negotiating committee has reached a point where there are fundamental disagreements with the company on several specific issues such as per diem, sick time and commuter clause. While we are prepared to continue talks in an effort to reach solutions, we are not willing to accept the Company’s demands which would have a significantly negative financial impact on our members. We will defend our position on these issues and successfully conclude these negotiations remaining industry leaders.

Mediation for collective bargaining is a process that occurs when a neutral third-party mediator appointed by the NMB assists both the Company and the Union in reaching agreement in contract negotiations. While the NMB appointed mediator has no authority to force agreement upon the parties or to dictate the terms of settlement, he or she does have the authority to require the parties to meet for purposes of negotiations.
Your Negotiating Committee remains committed to maintaining our industry leading pay, work rules and benefits for all ExpressJet Flight Attendants. We have no interest in allowing the Company to drag the ExpressJet Flight Attendants into the regional airline industry’s race to the bottom. ExpressJet management may think they can dictate our negotiating rules, but they should think again. We will bargain, but nobody will dictate to us.

Your committee will continue to stand strong. We are dedicated employees, safety professionals and first responders, and we deserve to be treated and compensated as such. At this time we will await the appointment of a mediator by the National Mediation Board. We are prepared to continue negotiations at any time.

Fraternally yours,

Sara Gonzales
GENERAL CHAIR

Negotiations Update – August 14, 2014

Your IAM joint contract negotiations committee met from Monday, August 11, 2014 and continued through Thursday, August 14, 2014 in Kansas City, Missouri.

We were joined this week by IAM Grand Lodge Representative Tom Regan to assist our Negotiations Committee, and we welcome working with Tom as we move forward.

This week’s session was spent regrouping, organizing and strategizing to move forward as a group. We were also able to continue work on the Scheduling Section. We plan to meet with the Company next week to review all open sections in an effort to expedite resolution of open issues.

For scheduling issues please continue to utilize and send all documentation to the following email addresses:

CRJscheduling@gmail.com for CRJ FAs
ERJscheduling@gmail.com for ERJ FAs

District 142 will announce the next webcast in the coming days. You can watch our last webcast at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/iam-flight-attendant-truth-squad. If you are unable to join the webcast live and have questions you would like addressed please email sgonzales@iamDL142.org with the subject “Webcast Questions”.

The dedicated website for negotiations can be accessed at: www.iamoneuniononevoice.org
Also, you may opt to have the updates sent to you via email by signing up through the District 142 website, www.iamdl142.org.

Negotiations Update – July 31, 2014

Your IAM joint contract negotiations committee met from Monday, July 28, 2014 and continued through Thursday, July 31, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Our focus for this week’s session was on Rescheduling/Reassignment, Cancellations, Extension and Drafting.  

We are aware scheduling issues are still happening; however they must be reported for the issue to be resolved. We need your help to accomplish this and this will also help us in negotiating this section. In your email we need the date and time the incident occurred, the number that you called crew scheduling from, screenshots of the issue or date pairing began with pairing number and a detailed explanation of the issue.  Essentially, please supply any and all details that are associated with the incident.   Please send all documentation to the following email addresses:

                CRJscheduling@gmail.com  for CRJ FAs

                ERJscheduling@gmail.com for ERJ FAs

The next webcast will be Monday, August 11th at 4pm at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/iam-flight-attendant-truth-squad . If you are unable to join the webcast live and have questions you would like addressed please email sgonzales@iamDL142.org with the subject “Webcast Questions”.

The dedicated website for negotiations can be accessed at: www.iamoneuniononevoice.org

Also, you may opt to have the updates sent to you via email by signing up through the District 142 website, www.iamdl142.org.

Negotiations Update – July 17, 2014

Your IAM joint contract negotiations committee met from Monday, July 14, 2014 and continued through Friday, July 18, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.

As mentioned in the last update, your negotiation committee met to continue work on Scheduling and Compensation proposals.  The Scheduling and Compensation Sections are very complex and are considered the core of the CBA.  Your committee is working to bring the language from both CBAs together as well as target solutions for challenges that the membership is currently experiencing.  In addition, the IAM Strategic Resources Department is working closely with your negotiation committee to analyze and breakdown several cost factors of the CBA.  Our goal is to ultimately propose both Compensation and Scheduling Sections together in their entirety.

The next webcast will be Monday, August 11th at 4pm at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/iam-flight-attendant-truth-squad . If you are unable to join the webcast live and have questions you would like addressed please email sgonzales@iamDL142.org with the subject “Webcast Questions”.

Negotiations Update – June 26, 2014

Your IAM joint contract negotiations committee met from Friday, June 20, 2014 and continued through Thursday, June 26, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.

After much discussion, your negotiations committee came to a consensus that in order to successfully negotiate the Scheduling Section, it must coincide with the Compensation Section. We strongly believe this will provide the most leverage in order to maximize our outcome in negotiations.

Due to the complexity and magnitude of both the Scheduling and Compensation Sections your committee worked independently this session and will continue to do so through the next session as well. We plan to meet again with the Company on July 29th and plan to proceed with negotiations on Compensation and Scheduling at that time.

The next webcast will be July 15th at 4pm at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/iam-flight-attendant-truth-squad . If you are unable to join the webcast live and have questions you would like addressed please email sgonzales@iamDL142.org with the subject “Webcast Questions”.

Negotiations Update – May 22, 2014

Your IAM joint contract negotiations committee met this week on Tuesday, May 19, 2014 and continued through Friday, May 22, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.

This week, your negotiating committee continued work on Scheduling, specifically on revolutionary solutions to issues we are currently experiencing with duty-in procedures and hotels and rest during IROP situations. The Reserve subsection proposal is currently being developed and through research we are finding game-changing ways to vastly improve our reserve members’ quality of life.

We also had open dialogue with the Company regarding bidding and are currently exploring our options with interest-based bargaining in order to achieve the goals of our members in this section. Interest-based bargaining is a process that enables traditional negotiators to become joint problem-solvers. However, both parties must agree to move forward with this style of bargaining.  Your Negotiations Committee was trained on this type of negotiations last year, along with the Company by the National Mediation Board.  This process may work very well in some unique sections or subsections, so we are carefully weighing our options to be able to accomplish the best results possible.

We are waiting on the Company to confirm dates for June negotiations and we will update you once we have confirmation on our next meeting dates.

The next webcast will be contingent on our next meeting dates but if you have any questions you would like addressed please email sgonzales@iamDL142.org with the subject “Webcast Questions”.