WHY WE HAVE SO MANY RESERVES (AND SO SENIOR):
It amazes me that hardly anyone seems to know why this has happened to us all. How did reserve go to 30 plus years?
(This is how I comprehended Doug Parkers presentation on January 10, 2019):
Reserve ratios went up for LAA and rotating reserve began for LUS.
USAirways always had approx 20% reserve ratios. They have also always been straight reserve, so the bottom 20% were on reserve and that is just the way it was. Some people were on reserve for 10-15 years!
American had only 12% reserves. They also had a rotating reserve, so it was not just the bottom 12% on reserve, but as it rotated, even at the worst level of 1-on-3-off, approximately the bottom 40% were affected.
These reserve numbers (20% and 12%), according to Doug Parker are directly related to contractual limitations and language from the new JCBA which adopted mostly USAirways’ work rules, thus, the reserve numbers on the American side went from 12% to 20%, almost doubled.
LUS group saw their reserve group go from 20% affected to a whopping 80% affected and LAA saw their reserve group go from 40% affected to nearly 80% affected. (Note, these numbers and percentages vary from base to base, mainly due to how many new hires each base has, which I will discuss further on).
Below images taken from Doug Parker’s presentation of January 10, 2019
A note to APFA here: Doug Parker said on January 10, 2019 that the JCBA language is what is driving the reserve numbers and that 20% is inline with the airline industry with similar contracts, he stated that he is more then willing to do anything that will bring the reserve numbers down. It is in the company’s best interest and of course our members best interest to have as few of reserves as possible. He also said that he wants to hear any and all our ideas to accomplish that. So I think it’s important to understand that no one wants high reserve numbers. What specifically is in our contract that has driven the numbers from 12% to 20%?
Although lowering the reserve ratios would help, it is not going to be a true fix. Doug Parker also said he doubted that these numbers could be lowered back to the 12% unless our contract was dramatically changed. I am assuming it would need to be changed in a negative way, less sick pay, less legal rest, more flight duties etc.. We’ll see; everyone seems to think it can be improved and I have seen several ideas. One idea (something that we had in the past), is secondary lines that are created after PBS runs. ALL the open time that seems to end up in TTS should be built into lines or monthly schedules!
The other MAJOR reason why reserve has reached so far into the seniority is because of the fact that we simply have very few flight attendants between 7 and 20 years seniority. We only have 250 FA’s (that is less then 1% of the entire work force) with 11-15 years.
NOTE: The above image illustrates our general voting power if based on seniority!!
This is due to the fact that nearly no one was hired, at ANY airline, for approximately 10 years after 9-11. This is a stark fact; we have a huge gap of few FA’s in that 10-20 year group. Even with our current rotating reserve, if we had a fair amount of FA’s in that big gap, THEY would be the ones on the 1-for-3 rotation and it would not be going up to 30 years!
So our current rotation system, particularly the 1-for-3 jumps right over the empty 10-20 year group and is into 30 years right away.
Note 2: Apparently 2019 is slated for 1080 new hires to add to our ranks, but this is not confirmed.