We are happy to be report that last night the Senate agreed to a bipartisan bill that will provide direct aid to airlines, including funding airline worker paychecks. While the bill did not address all of the labor protections requested for working people, it is crucial for the protection of our IFCs and JetBlue. Thank you to those who contacted your Senators and requested them to support direct aid to our crucial transportation workers.
Yesterday, we sent you an email updating you on requests we have made of JetBlue Management in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Late yesterday afternoon, we received answers to many of those questions, so and have included the responses (without editing) to the following questions:
- Most governmental offices are closed. What should an IFC do if her/his passport expires?
They will continue to process Flight and Inflight Crewmember passports under the expedited process ($60.00 fee – see attached document)
- Have you determined how to handle Recurrent Training or any required training that IFCs need to remain current?
JetBlue has worked with A4A and the FAA for temporary relief of certain training requirements to match CDC measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Approval was granted for Crewmembers to forgo donning emergency equipment and/or perform certain training scenarios with items that come into contact with the face.
Instead, Crewmembers demonstrate how they would don the following equipment without having to put it on:
- Emergency oxygen system, including protective breathing equipment
- CPR Masks used in performance drills for cardiopulmonary resuscitation
- With the announcement that borders will be closed from most other countries including Mexico and Canada, what accommodations will be made for commuters who are currently living outside the U.S?
Crewmembers living outside the US can employ use of EMR/UMR due to COVID-19 – that allows Crewmembers to draw on PTO for lost time (or go unpaid) and have no dependability infraction.
- Will the Company temporarily allow fact finding or disciplinary meetings to be done telephonically with a Peer Observer to allow social distancing and reduce risk?
We will temporarily suspend in-person requirement in order to permit social distancing and will revisit that change on Wednesday, April 15. The CM and Peer Observer will announce themselves and confirm they are the only individuals on the call. Leader/Crew Relations will remind CM and Peer Observer that recordings are not permitted.
- Is JetBlue is in full compliance with Governor Cuomo’s COVID-19 Emergency Sick Leave Law?
As stated in Joanna’s message regarding revisions to our sick leave policies (March 14, 2020), if IFCs are ordered to quarantine, they will be exempted from the dependability policy – that is in line with the job protection language of the NYS PFL for COVID-19.
- We are still receiving concerns about Blue Turning and the appearance to customers that IFCs can be exposed. Will you give further consideration to suspending Blue Turns for the time being?
We have previously answered this question for you and are continually assessing the situation. However, this is not under consideration at this time.
- We have several IFCs who fall into a high risk group due to their age and are renewing our request to allow IFCs to drop to zero and release as many as possible from commuting for Reserve when their schedules have been cancelled and there are an abundance of Reserves available?
We continue to recommend that IFCs bid for R&R as a reasonable solution for the situation you describe in your question – and in fact, re-opened the option for May R&R yesterday, at your suggestion.
- Will JetBlue designate a lavatory onboard for crew use only?
We are assessing the reasonableness of doing this, but there is not an easy solution, for example, on the E-190, there are only two lavs.
- Will JetBlue limit the number of IFC ASBs to allow social distancing in IFC Lounges?
We continue to look at all situations to maximize the safety of our crewmembers. We limit the number of ASBs in our lounges and have advocated that Base Leadership periodically assess the lounges to ensure compliance with social distancing.
While we don’t agree with the all responses for these issues facing our IFCs, we appreciate the responses to our requests and willingness to look for solutions. We will continue to advocate on behalf of our IFCs to address any concerns regarding COVID-19 and related matters. If you have any questions, concerns, or requests for assistance, please submit them at the website, and a TWU representative will contact you.