As most of you know, the funding of union operations rely solely on dues collections. These funds and collected to support different areas of the operation to keep representing the workers under a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Out of the total dues collected, 70% of those funds are used by your Executive Board, Grievance process, Negotiations, System Board, Committee and URep/PSR support system. In addition, these funds are also used to maintain the software and technology that helps in the administration of your local. The remaining 30% goes to TWU International Office to support Government Affairs, Air Safety and Communications Departments, each of which provides expert services and resources to the local leaders. Your local office, 577, has one of the lowest union dues collected in the industry. Below you can see the breakdown with more detail on how union dues are allocated.
1. Local Union
The Local 577 is comprised of elected Executive Board who provide direct representation and work with grievances and the local's agents who monitor the program and other issues/concerns. The Executive Board will answer your phone calls and make sure member interests are represented in front of management. For example, in the event of discipline or a contract violation, the Local will address the issue where it happened and work to get swift resolution. Additionally, elected Executive Board provide representation at the corporate level. The Local also has committees that solve problems in areas such as Safety/Health/Security, Scheduling/Reserve, Hotel/Transportation, Grievances, Uniforms, Payroll,etc. Our committees are there to gather information, aid members in their area of expertise, produce area updates, and participate in union meetings. Aside from the committee structure, the Local Union is set up with a support system that includes Union Representatives (URep) and Professional Standards Representatives (PSR) that Regional Reps manage to help the Flight Attendants with management meetings and self resolution. TWU promotes this autonomy at each local where your representatives, assisted by experts, negotiate with management and develop and maintain the relationship between management and the Union.
2. Negotiations (CBA and ongoing)
Whether its preparing for contract negotiations or ongoing negotiations through Memorandum of Agreements, negotiations is one of the core representation activities performed by the union. These negotiations include, but not limited to, compensations articles and working conditions that better the lives for all Flight Attendants. Here at TWU Local 577, we conduct membership surveys, schedule meetings with management, develop training material with committees, develop contractual language, support membership engagement and work closely with legal representation and TWU International during negotiations throughout the process including all direct negotiations, contract intent, and mediation with management. Through this process, our goal is to improve contractual language that promotes better compensation, working conditions and benefits.
3. System Board of Adjustments (SBA)
The first step in the grievance process begins with making sure you report it in a timely matter by filling out the Grievance Report. The grievance agents will evaluate your report to identify a contract violation. If a possible violation is found, they will file the report with the company to seek a resolution. If no resolution is found, the Executive Board will make a final determination based on merit whether to proceed to SBA. For a full reference of this process, please refer to your CBA in Section 26.
4. International Office Support
While your TWU Local 577 Union negotiates and handles challenges with corporate management, the International Office is the public persona and brand of the Union. This international body is known as, Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO. The International Office has over 75 years experience in representing workers in the transportation/transit sector. The international plays a strong role in legislation advocacy to improve federal regulations, remove obstacles from the bargaining table, better our position in negotiations and improve our experience on the job across the profession. The TWU International office maintains a professional staff of attorneys and other personnel that provide administration, accounting, training and membership services to members and elected leaders. We all work together to support the programs that encompasses our profession.