Brothers and Sisters,
As previously announced, the Association leadership of Mike Mayes, Tim Klima, Tom Regan, Gary Peterson, and Andre Sutton participated in a joint conference call with the NMB mediators assigned to assist in our JCBA negotiations and American Airlines Management Negotiators, including Jerry Glass, representing the company. The mediators, Eva Durham and Jim McKenzie, are now responsible for setting the agenda, including dates for the mediated sessions.
The mediators opened the call requesting the parties discuss the differences between our proposals on the duration article of the agreement. The Association has proposed a methodology that includes wage increases that would keep us ahead of Delta and United past the amendable date on an annual basis and an early contract reopened; the company has opposed both of these items which we believe protect our members.
The second discussion involved the Health & Welfare provisions of the agreement. The mediators wanted the Association to provide them a list of all Health & Welfare related items, not positions on them, but a list of the Health & Welfare items that we are bargaining for in these negotiations. While many members often think of Health & Welfare as the cost of medical benefits, there are many other components that make up the insurance article in the CBA. Other Health and Welfare items that must be negotiated include dental, life, vision, accidental death and dismemberment, short term and long term disability, just to name a few. Insurance components that the Association must negotiate include the elimination, or at the very least, limit changes in insurance plan designs and annual costs, the ability to audit any of the plans our members participate in, and a retiree medical insurance bridge; just to name a few. The mediators have set Health & Welfare as the primary agenda item for the next face-to-face negotiating session in January.
The final item discussed on this call by the mediators had to do with the M&R and Stores “Field Trip Procedures” that need to be reviewed and negotiated to a final conclusion.
It is critical for the membership to recognize that the Health & Welfare, Retirement, and Scope Clause of each agreement is just as important as the Compensation Article. It is critical to remember the more the Company takes from your paycheck in these areas to offset their burden, the less each union member takes home. And without a SCOPE, seniority and future job security mean very little.
As we move forward through this process, we will continue to update the membership. Our next interaction with the NMB mediators will be another conference call on December 14, 2018, at 1 pm eastern. The Association will provide the membership with an official update shortly after the call.
In closing and as a reminder, the Association leadership remains committed to meeting anytime, anywhere, in order to reach the JCBA our members can overwhelmingly ratify. The Company continues to hide behind the NMB as the reason they choose not to negotiate between scheduled sessions.
Your Association Executive Negotiating Committee