Negotiations

New Year, New Update!

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on

January 7, 2018

Dear AFA Member,

The issues discussed in this union update are:

  1. LAX-based crew members forced to waive their rights
  2. Itemize your taxes!
  3. Contribute to your retirement with a one-time contribution
  4. Airport Standby (APS) is not allowed in JFK or FLL
  5. NY State taxes for out-of-state residents
  6. AFA’s 2nd letter to Norwegian COO regarding poor rostering
  7. Scholarships available to AFA Members

LAX-based crew members forced to waive their rights

FLL and JFK crew members transferring to LAX and LAX-based new hires were mandated by OSM Aviation to sign forms waiving their rights as California workers. The Union is very upset with this because it unjustly strips away the rights of LAX crew members afforded to them by the state of California and it undermines Contract Negotiations between the Company and the Union. AFA’s Legal Department wrote a letter demanding that OSM Aviation rescind the requirement for LAX-based crew members to waive their rights. A copy of this letter is found below. As a reminder, any time you are asked by the Company to sign something, notify the Union immediately.

AFA letter to OSM Aviation

Itemize your taxes!

*TAX TIME* It’s time to do your taxes and for those if you who are in a hurry to get your $200 refund we ask you to please stop and consider the benefit of itemizing your taxes. Because most of our layovers are international, we are eligible to claim more of a reimbursement when we file our taxes. If you itemize your taxes, your $200 refund can turn into $2,000 if you itemize.

You can use several different websites to help you figure out the maximum amount you can claim by inputting your layovers throughout the year. The most popular per diem calculation websites are PerDiemCalc, EZperdiem, and PerDiemMax.

When you calculate the total amount you can claim on your taxes with the above per diem websites you can either do your taxes yourself (there are instructions on the websites on how to input the numbers into TurboTax) or you can give those figures to your tax professional so she/he can claim it for you.

www.perdiemcalc.com

www.ezperdiem.com

www.perdiemmax.com

Got a big tax refund? Contribute to your retirement with a one-time contribution.

Contributing to a 401(k) without a Company match is not the smartest financial move and until the Union negotiates a 401(k) match with the Company, you may be better off looking for retirement options elsewhere. If you’re like most Americans who make less than $135,000, one of the smartest things you can do is make contributions to a Roth IRA. If you didn’t get a chance to contribute to a Roth IRA in 2017, there is still time! Federal law allows you to make 2017 contribution to a Roth IRA before the tax deadline of April 17, 2018. As always, consult a financial advisor before making any final decisions on your retirement.

Airport Standby (APS) is not allowed in JFK or FLL.

Your Union became aware that cabin crew members were being assigned airport standby in recent months. We wrote to the Health, Safety, and Environment Manager at Norwegian and they confirmed that airport standby is NOT allowed in the US bases because our crew rooms are not suitable for airport standby. If you are assigned airport standby, please notify the Union immediately. The LAX crew room is not yet finished and it’s undetermined whether or not it’s suitable for airport standby.

NY State Taxes for out-of-state residents

Two months ago, OSM Aviation started deducting NY State taxes from all JFK-based crew members, regardless of their state of residency. It’s the Union’s understanding that out-of-state crew members are exempt from paying NY State Taxes and have spoken to the Company about this. They said their hands are tied because they were told by NY State that everyone had to pay NY State taxes, regardless of where they lived. The Union is looking into this issue with AFA Legal and we will provide you with another update soon. If you are JFK-based and not a resident of NY, whatever taxes you paid to NY State last year and this year can be refunded to you by filing out the Nonresident and Part-Year Resident Income Tax Return Form IT-203.

AFA’s 2nd Letter to Norwegian’s COO regarding poor rostering.

Five months ago, on August 17, 2017, the AFA sent a letter to Norwegian’s Chief Operating Officer, Asgeir Nyseth, about poor rostering, over-hiring of crew members, and excessive standby days. All of these factors have had a detrimental effect on our paychecks. Many of you also wrote personal emails to Asgeir explaining the effect our poor rosters are having on our livelihood and our ability to pay our bills. To date, none of us have received a response from Asgeir, which prompted the Union to write another letter. Our 2nd letter to Asgeir asks that he meet with us to discuss solutions to the poor rostering problems we continue to face. A copy of the letter can be found below:

AFA letter to Asgeir

Scholarships available to AFA Members

Our union membership provides opportunities for at least three different scholarships, and the time for applying is now!

AFA – This is a scholarship funded by AFA.  The deadline for applications is April 10, 2017.  Details to send to members are on the AFA website (http://www.afacwa.org/scholarships).

CWA – This is the Joe Beirne Scholarship offered by CWA. The deadline for applications i s April 29, 201 7 .   Details on this scholarship are on the CWA website (http://www.cwa-union.org/pages/beirne).

Union Plus – There is a suite of scholarships, educational discounts, and loans available for union members (https://www.unionplus.org/college-education-financing).  One additional “click” brings up the scholarship applications that may be submitted online by the deadline of January 31, 201 7.

In the next week, we will send out a Negotiations Update announcing a “Contest” to highlight the one (1) year we have been negotiating a contract. It’s been a very long and frustrating process for your Union’s negotiating committee and for you, the cabin crew, who have no control over your schedules and continue to work for wages far below what every other international carrier is paying their crew members. The issues we are fighting for in Contract Negotiations are important to us as CCMs and go to basic respect and dignity. Please wear your AFA pin and fly safe.

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