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This is APA Communications Director Gregg Overman with the APA Information Hotline for Thursday, March 23.

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

In today’s first order of business, the board voted unanimously to amend the fiscal year 2017 budget to retain Blue Engine Message & Media, a Washington, D.C.-based public relations agency, for the remainder of the current fiscal year.

Retirement and Benefits Committee Chairman FO Brian Bell and committee member FO Kimber Clark updated the board on the committee’s development of a leave guide for our members covering sick, maternity, and various other leave-related items. FO Clark —a registered nurse who is also a member of the Aeromedical Committee, where the project originated — agreed to develop the guide, which is now in the vetting phase.

Benefits Review and Appeals Board Chairman FO Steve Conlon and Director of Benefits Mike Knoerr gave an update on the Supplemental Medical Plan and other APA benefit plans. The BRAB report noted that several board members have asked about an open enrollment for APA members who are older than age 55 and no longer eligible to join the SMP. The board approved a related motion directing the BRAB “to study the feasibility and impact of conducting an Open Enrollment Period on the APA Voluntary Supplemental Medical Benefit Plan (SMP) and to report back to the APA Board of Directors at their earliest opportunity. This Open Enrollment Period shall be limited to APA members who are active (including sick and disabled) at any point during the Open Enrollment Window.”

At the BRAB’s recommendation, the board also approved a motion directing the BRAB “to develop a plan to provide primary retiree medical coverage under the APA Voluntary Supplemental Medical Benefit Plan (SMP) for Pilots retiring prior to age 65 and spouses of retired APA Members and to report back to the APA Board of Directors at their earliest opportunity. This plan shall include SMP conversion to a retiree medical plan for both pre-age 65 and age 65 and older retirees, coverage for surviving spouses and younger spouses of retirees age 65 and older, an improved primary dental benefit with an increased annual plan maximum, and a revised deductible/contribution structure.” 

Compensation ad hoc Committee members CA Pete Gamble and CA Jeff Thurstin briefed the board on how having permanent staff providing greater support to key committees could enable APA to reduce overall spending.

Contract Compliance Committee Chairman CA John Karam briefed the board on a robust contact management solution to monitor and manage membership contacts. Telephone conversations make up the great majority of APA’s contacts with its members, with an average of 15,000-20,000 calls each month. Contact management software would enable the union to properly capture and organize a large volume of data. By doing so, we would be better equipped to identify and track pay and work rule violations and defend our members’ contractual rights. Following CA Karam’s briefing, the board unanimously approved a motion authorizing APA President CA Dan Carey “to expend funds up to the amount of $1,000,000 to deploy a Contact Management Solution as briefed in the executive summary provided by Converge One.”

The board spent a portion of the day in executive session, and also approved the following additional motions:

  • A motion “to authorize the President to donate $15,000 to Clement E. Furlong Ph.D. at the University of Washington for his ongoing research on the effect of fumes on airline crew members and passengers.”
  • A motion to adopt Tasking Order #2017-1.

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 adjourned its meeting at 5 p.m.

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

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