I know you have a lot of questions about me and where I stand on issues that most affect you. Here you will find my stance to most frequently asked questions.
Transparency – A thorough examination and changes of our governance, including our elected and appointed positions, that give the Power and Voice back to the membership.
While I feel the sentiment that participation in this investigation, monetary or not, is a personal choice, it is also a private one individually. But as a candidate for National Office I feel we owe it to our constituents to let them know, not only if we would participate or not, but also why or why not. This is a learning experience for everyone and as leaders it’s not enough to just say we will or will not participate.
With that said, I fully support the members that have chosen to support this cause with or without their own money. One’s rights and democracy does not end when they join a union. Nor should they (we) sit silent if they feel their Voice and Will have been stripped away. While I stake my campaign and reputation on being a staunch advocate for inclusion and unity, I also support one’s right to seek remedy when they feel they have no other. Having and exercising one’s right to protest an action perceived wrong, is no more divisive than disallowing the protest. My word of caution would be to those joining the DOJ is to remember it is an investigation, a retrieval of facts. It is aimed at the company and any individuals that acted in bad faith or misrepresented/misled the membership.
Where this investigation goes is anyone guess. We must allow the process to unfold and be willing to accept and move on with the results in unity. No shame for participating if it goes nowhere, No shaming of those that do not share your view if it does. Without these DOJ backstops to level the playing field, corruption and control will prevail.
Now, me personally, I support a DOJ investigation into the facts and anyone that chooses to fund it. It is a private civil matter at this point and as citizens of a country first, members of a union second, they should have that right. They should also be willing to live with the results and let it go to fight the next battle if it results that there was no wrong doing. I have not donated $41 of my money as I feel that may taint my ability to lead the APFA members and cooperate with a DOJ investigation when I’m APFA President. But I will cooperate fully with both the investigation and the outcome. I hope this clears up any questions as to my allegiance to the membership.
Vote Bob Ross – 4 APFA National President
Make it a mission to change the perception of the Flt. Attendant roll to that of a First Responder. I’ll challenge the News, Media and the Entertainment industry when they portray us as anything less than professionals. I will challenge you also, to think of yourselves as professionals that deserve professional salaries and benefits.
Eliminate – We are working under the full terms of a Yes vote contract, therefore, it should be eliminated and a system in place to allow greater flexibilities.
Our union has not done enough to protect our health and safety while on the aircraft and I will make it my mission to address and correct it. This is a really important issue to me and should be to everyone.
I think Cabin Air quality and Cabin Fume, whether caused by back flow of jet exhaust of hydraulic leaks, is a health concern that’s been overlooked or purposely sidelined because the our multi-million dollar CEOs realize they are great cause for alarm should it be known how unhealthy it is for employees and passengers. Our unions have not done enough the protect the safety of Flt. Attendants, which would have a positive effect on passengers as a byproduct. Add to that the cabin air quality after 200+ passengers and all the mixed germs an enclosed environment produces, and we have a peatry dish cultivating. Now, add to that the physical requirements of lifting and pushing heavy items above our heads all day everyday and it creates articles like this one.
We need to strengthen and enforce OSHA and labor rules to protect us and the unions have done a really poor job of looking out for cabin crews. That will change with my term, I promise. It’s despicable how Flt. Attendants have been left out of any say in our own health and safety, yet we are demonized for using any sick time and held to standards far above the average worker.
No more “Fly Now, file for Medical Leave later!” They either address fix these Health and Safety issues, support the “10 hour or more Rest” issues, and recognize all we do that jeopardizes our bodies or they pay us hazardous duty pay while they figure it out.
APFA inherited this PBS system brought over from the LUS contract called the Red Book. Now it’s dumped in the lap of APFA. They had no idea how bad this system could be and to add to that, AA management tried to manipulate it to maximize the flying within the Christmas Holiday week. The system was not designed to do that… but one day it could. They also maximized the flying in December at LAA causing hundreds more to be subject to reserve and availability during the last two weeks. But they could do this without violating seniorities due to our bid system. I believe “Harm to One, is Harm to All!”
This whole debacle has now become a campaign issue, and to some degree it should. Both the company and union have been working on a PBS for many years. As we have seen, LUS has it crammed down their throats unfinished. Why? Because the company could. It’s in their contract, as now it’s in ours. However, I voted against this PBS and its open-ended start date with TBD attached all over it. The LAA FAs are just becoming aware of this system and its downsides, thanks to the outcry from the LUS FAs.
We at LAA have been fighting against a PBS system for many years while the union has had committee after committee trying to work hand in hand with the company to find a system to implement. We went on strike in 1993 in part over a PBS. In 1999 I was very vocal at Roadshows against a PBS system and “Scheduling Initiative” to be part of our contract. The TA was voted down miserably and the LAA anger bled over to enable the best contract we’ve ever had in 2001… without PBS. It’s no secret the LAA FAs have resisted the formation of a PBS system while our negotiators have been steadfast to see that we get one. We realize it may be a reality soon, but I have been advocating against it and will continue to do so.
I’m incensed that an inferior system has been thrust on our LUS members and has them being treated like Guinea Pigs. To throw money at them to get them to fly Christmas week, out of seniority order in many cases, instead of fixing the problem is suspect to me. It seems like a test case to see how we’ll react if it happens in non-Holiday months and beyond, and it is wrong. I say, take the money and run now but we file seniority grievances anyway and demand payment for every month a violation occurs. My bet is payment will come LAAs way too, in an attempt to do three things. 1) DP will look like Santa Claus again. 2) The current administration will get credit for securing it during an election Time Frame, and 3) the unfairness of it will drive another wedge between us.
I keep being asked what would I do if the LUS PBS problem is still in effect when I take office April 1st. The Time Frame between Jan. and April, when a new president takes office, will be a good time to set some new expectations with the company and address the boundaries we will accept going forward. I do not want any system to be established, especially one where any member is used as a Guinea Pig. We haven’t even begun to see how badly we can be affected by the optimizer when this is complete.
My personal feeling, if I have the authority, will be to shelve the PBS altogether and return to the more reliable system and not to participate in any test scenarios. I understand there are many cases where someone received the best Dec. schedule they’ve had in years. But, if a schedule was obtained by the violation of another, nobody wins, we all lose. I will also grieve to abolish the Hard 40 as a result because it is tied to PBS as well as any Pay and vacation programs. It may not happen because its now in our contract, but we need a President that is determined to go in and negotiate it. When they say, “Why should we?”, I’ll use a page out of their playbook by responding with, “It beats the alternative!”
Regardless of our CEOs personal opinion, we deserve a fair Profit Sharing program on top of our wages and our wages MUST be true Industry Leading.
Last amended in 1936, I’ll take it before Congress to amend or lift its discriminatory and draconian restrictions on our rights to negotiate. Airline employees were added in 1936 when air travel was a luxury. Today we are saddled with the inability to strike while we continue to subsidize the Multi-Billion dollar Hotel, Rental Car and Tourist industry who have given nothing back to support us. Aren’t you also tired of subsidizing the use of Credit Cards for free travel that even you can no longer afford it?
Readdress the Retiree Travel and Medical benefits and bring in a company’s to introduce for a Union sponsored Medical plan to compete with the company plan.
Committee to address and fix the hardships and equality each Flt. Attendant at each base faces.
To address the Lifetime Country Club mentality that persists. New and inexperienced must be invited in and blended with reps. that are willing and able to return to the line.