Moving Forward Without Delay, and Without Haste
Many of us at APA have been working long and hard to get a Tentative Agreement in place that is reflective of your value as the frontline leaders of this airline and the sacrifices you have made every day to keep this operation running. There is no doubt that the time is long overdue for management to recognize our efforts and our value to the airline with a new collective bargaining agreement.
That being said, it is essential we move towards reaching a new agreement in a way that complies with our governing documents and our established protocols and procedures. The APA Constitution & Bylaws and Policy Manual, our governing documents, reflect the wisdom gained from decades of experience, past mistakes, and are the culmination of many lessons learned. As President of your Association, my job is to ensure that we follow the letter and spirit of our governing documents at all times.
As you know, last Saturday I was notified by the Chairman of our Negotiating Committee that a proposed Tentative Agreement had been reached with the company’s negotiating team. It was my duty to notify the Board and set a meeting to convene, after the required amount of time had passed for them to review this proposal, so that the Board could consider the TA and take action. Since calling for the meeting, it has become clear to me that in an effort to “make it happen,” important provisions of our Constitution & Bylaws and Policy Manual may not have been strictly adhered to by some involved. Our Constitution & Bylaws includes specific protocols for the conduct of negotiations, and our Policy Manual specifically prohibits your National Officers, Board of Directors, and Negotiating Committee from taking any actions in haste when it comes to negotiations. In light of questions that have arisen regarding full compliance with our governing documents, and the need for additional information to be presented to the Board, it now appears that convening a meeting for Monday, October 31, to consider the proposed TA is not in the best interest of the Association.
We have been here before. Those who have come before us and experienced these exact same issues have learned these lessons. Our governing documents have evolved to prevent us from making the same mistakes again. They have cautioned us from acting in haste. They prevent us from conducting negotiations without two or more members of the elected team physically present. They have warned us against loose implementation schedules without penalties for compliance.
We have waited too long and come too far to not act with great prudence and care to deliver the contract we all deserve. The Board must be thorough in its deliberations over what has been presented by the Negotiating Chair. For those reasons, I am rescinding the call for a meeting on the 31st of October.
I will work with the Board Steering Committee to determine when the appropriate time is to convene a meeting where the entire Board of Directors can be briefed on the terms of the proposal and the events leading up to the agreement on the proposed TA, and to deliberate, without haste, on the facts and circumstances, and decide on the appropriate path forward.
I believe this is the prudent and appropriate course in order to ensure that we all meet our obligations to the membership as set forth in our governing documents. We will continue to move forward towards a new contract without delay, but as importantly, without haste.
Thank you for your continued confidence and support.