March 22, 2020
This is a challenging time for employees at American Airlines. CWA/IBT association recognizes your challenges every day to do you jobs. Find below answers to questions that you have asked. Some of the information is new and in some cases is different. This is the correct answer. Please continue to submit questions and will respond to them as soon as possible. Be safe.
Note that the period to request a voluntary leave has been extended for employees that were active as of March 19th to March 30th.
Q. On the EO why is the company not paying out sick time?
A. Sick time payout is paid at retirement. If you decide to retire after the early out, your sick bank will be is paid out at 8.65 per hour which is in accordance with the JCBA.
Q. Agents are worried if they take 3 months and want to come back at the end of the three months can the company extend them without agreement of the member?
A. No, the leaves are voluntary and therefore would not be extended beyond what you were initially granted.
Q. Agents are asking if they take a vloa and then there is a furlough would they get furloughed.
A. Should there be any furloughs during your voluntary leave of absence it would be handled in accordance with Article 12 of the JCBA just like any other leave of absence. Per the JCBA, furloughs would be in accordance with your passenger service seniority.
Q. If the VLOA was taken and they currently just covered the employee for medical, could they switch to family coverage due to life event (job for spouse)
A: If during the time you are out on VLOA, you have a qualifying life event (which includes your spouse losing coverage) you will be able to add new dependents to your medical coverage. You may have to go through a verification process before they are added.
Q. Can you combine the early out with the 1 year VLOA?
A. No. At this time we are offering the Early Out or the voluntary Leaves. You will need to choose what works best for you and your family.
Q. If you take the early out, will you still be able to choose family medical coverage and would the rates be the same as the active employees for the following year?
A. You can only continue the current coverage that you have on the voluntary leave. You could also choose to drop your coverage. You will not be able to add dependents unless you have a life event. You can participate in annual enrollment for 2021 if you continue to be on leave and will get the same rates as active employees for the duration of your voluntary leave.
Q. If you choose the 3 or 6 month VLOA can you elect to drop your vacation weeks to whatever may be available after your return to work? Can this be available to all not a station option?
A. Vacations periods that occur during a leave can be rebid on available slots upon your return. If no slots are available, unused vacation would be paid out early the following year.
Q. If someone signed up for the 3 months VLOA can they change it to a longer VLOA and if so how?
A. At this time we are asking that you choose the duration of VLOA that you want. At the end of your VLOA, if additional leaves are available your request would be considered.
Q. Why is the company giving money to the pilots to take VLOSA but no one else?
A. The pilots have different provisions in their collective bargaining agreement which include pay protections for cancelled flying.
Q. When they close one of the clubs what options do those employees have?
A. All passenger service employees have the option of VLOA or Early Out. If there is a club closure, the company will outline the options available to those team members. At this time, we are looking to find work that can be done. Unfortunately, this is a time of uncertainly so this may change.
Q. Can we get the company to increase the number of swaps so the people wanting to take off but not a long time can give their hours to those that need them?
A. The Company is currently looking into this and discussing with the union.
Q. If you take a 12 month leave how would we be able to use the vacation from this year? Is it a buy out of the vacation time or could we bid it?
A. If you take the 12 month leave, any remaining unused vacation from this year would be paid out after the first of next year.
Q. For someone who takes a longer VLOA and is still on VLOA, will they get to bid VC for next year when it is time to bid VC?
A. The contract has a provision for those on leaves of absence to bid for vacation as long as they advise their station admin by October 10th that they want to participate in 2021 vacation bidding.
Q. If you have people on a VLOA and a furlough and there was a recall who comes back first?
A. If the company were to furlough employees, it would be in accordance with passenger service seniority regardless if you were on a voluntary leave. Recalls are also done in accordance with the JCBA and by passenger service seniority.
Q. If a members goes on a vloa and is furloughed does the insurance benefits start all over or does the time on the leave count toward the 90 days of benefits?
A. The 90 days of benefits would begin on the effective date of the furlough, if eligible, per the JCBA.
Q. Probationary employees. Will they get cut before furloughs? Can they take leaves?
A. Probationary employees are eligible for the voluntary leaves.