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This is APA Communications Director Gregg Overman with the APA Information Hotline for Wednesday, March 22.

APA BOARD OF DIRECTORS RESUMES SPECIAL MEETING: The APA Board of Directors reconvened at union headquarters in Fort Worth at 9 a.m. for this week’s special meeting.

Today’s first agenda item was an economic and financial analysis decision briefing by Negotiating Committee Chairman CA Don Iorio, who detailed for the board the process that led to the retention of the Air Line Pilots Association’s economic and financial analysis services. CA Iorio noted that economic and financial analysis supports the APA membership “on all matters related to the economic portions of our collective bargaining agreement — compensation, work rules, and [the company’s] ability to pay.” The different courses of action under consideration were 1) an internal APA department, 2) an external agency with internal department representative, or 3) an external agency. After assessing each of these options, CA Iorio and the other participants in the review process concluded that retaining ALPA E&FA would provide the best overall value to the membership.

The next presentation was by Blue Engine Message & Media, a Washington, D.C.-based public relations agency. APA circulated a request for proposal in January to five public relations agencies. The agencies under consideration were then vetted by the Public Relations Research Ad Hoc Committee, the Communications Committee, and the Communications Department, with Blue Engine Message & Media emerging as the top pick. APA’s request for proposal emphasized the need for greater membership engagement and unity as part of achieving the union’s stated goal of securing a mid-contract adjustment. APA has also cited the need for assistance in the fight against Norwegian Air International.

Government Affairs Committee FO Shawn Gray and other members of that committee briefed the board on a series of issues, including Norwegian Air International, the pilot shortage, rumors about another increase in pilot retirement age, and the “Cadillac Tax” on high-value health care plans in the Affordable Care Act. FO Gray indicated that, to the best of his knowledge, there is no substance to any rumor about a change in the mandatory pilot retirement age. He also noted that the proposed GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act contains language deferring the Cadillac Tax for several more years.

To discuss the challenges surrounding Norwegian Air International, the Government Affairs Committee was joined by:

  • International Alliance Committee Chairman FO Rob Baker and members of that committee;
  • Delta CA Don Wycoff, longtime ALPA official and former IFALPA President
  • Elizabeth Baker, ALPA Director of Government Affairs
  • CA Chip Hancock, Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman for the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association
  • CA Coley George, Director of Industry Affairs for the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots
  • Brian Golden, Transport Workers Union Local 514
  • Julie Frederick, Government Affairs Representative for the Association of Professional Flight Attendants

A portion of that discussion took place in executive session.

The board also spent a portion of the afternoon in executive session with General Counsel and APA Legal. In addition, the board approved a motion authorizing CA Carey to spend a total of $248,000 (which includes funds already spent) to compensate “the reasonable attorney’s fees and reasonable expenses incurred in arbitrating and preparing closing briefs” for four grievances. Additional detail may be found in the link at the end of the next paragraph.

R2016-11, “Disclosure of All Motion and Resolution Disposition to Membership,” which the board previously voted to approve, amended the APA Policy Manual Section 1.06 to specify that APA will include in its daily board meeting updates information regarding “main motions and resolutions which are defeated, postponed, referred, and laid on the table.” In accordance with this resolution, this hotline message includes a synopsis of today’s session reflecting all main motions and resolutions that the board addressed.

The board recessed at 5 p.m. and will reconvene at 9 a.m. tomorrow, with the meeting scheduled to continue through mid-afternoon. All open portions will be live streamed for remote member viewing.

That’s it for now. Thanks for checking this hotline.

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