The past three sessions of negotiations have been some of the most productive weeks we have had in over 2 years! The IAM & XJT have 3 more weeks of negotiations remaining in 2016! With that said, there are a few misunderstandings about what happens in negotiations, and how the final TA will be presented.
1) Why can’t the negotiating committee tell us exactly what we will be shooting for in terms of top out pay, work rules, etc.?
Think of negotiations like this: If we communicate to everyone that we are shooting for $75 top out pay (for example!) but, really, we want to walk away with $55 top out pay, everyone would think that we failed because we didn’t get the $75 that we initially told them we were shooting for. In order to maintain our bargaining power, we must keep our hand confidential so we don’t get played!
On the flip side: If we communicate to everyone that we want $55 top out pay, we just gave the Company our bottom line, and they will negotiate down from there. Meaning we would possibly settle around $45/50, and again it would appear as a failure because we didn’t get the $55.
**Remember these figures are all used for examples!
It does not benefit us to “show our hand,” it hurts us!
2) Why can’t the negotiating Committee show sections that are Tentatively Agreed to or TA’ed?
Let’s say Uniforms has been tentatively agreed upon. We intentionally do not publish those details because we could still reopen that section in the final moments before a complete TA to gain a bit more money in another section like Compensation or Benefits. If we had published Uniform details, and then the final TA comes out, and you notice that the Uniform bank isn’t as high as we had initially published, you begin to question why the Union is incorrect. However, the decision was made to benefit the membership in another way. As the adage goes, “nothing is final until it is ALL final.”
3) Will everyone have the opportunity to vote or will this contract go right into effect?
Every member will have the opportunity to vote in their base for a specific length of time, and that will determine whether the membership accepts or rejects the TA. Keep in mind that when you are voting on a contract, you should consider all sections of the contract. We have strived to ensure that every single word in every single section is the absolute best language possible. We encourage you to take the time to read through the TA carefully and with an open mind, to be sure you have made an accurate decision when you vote.
Timeline of the Negotiation Process
- Legacy XJT Flight Attendants were represented by IAM
- Legacy ASA Flight Attendants were represented by AFA
- ASA-XJT Merge was announced in 2010
- The Union Representational Election took place in 2011
- Joint Contract Negotiations began September 2012
- XJT Management filed for mediation September 2014
- 6 days of negotiations took place over the next 19 months
- January 2016 IAM filed for the Proffer of Arbitration, in order to get the NMB and XJT management to the bargaining table
- April 2016, IAM-XJT negotiations resumed, with several weeks scheduled through the remainder of 2016 (By filing for the proffer, the IAM was successful in getting back on track towards a JCBA)
“In business as in life, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.”
Chester L. Karrass
Melissa Brennan Marche’ Johnson-Cooper
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