Frequently Asked Questions About the CWA-Envoy Tentative Agreement
as of 2/3/2019
Below, we answer the most frequently asked questions about the tentative agreement and about the ratification (voting) process. If you’d like to ask a question not answered below, you can send an email message to email@example.com. We will update this document with answers to the most common questions.
Where can I read the full tentative agreement?
Every article of the Tentative Agreement is available on our website. https://envoyagents.org/cwa-envoy-full-tentative-agreement/
Is there a summary of the tentative agreement?
Yes. There is a summary of each article at https://envoyagents.org/bargaining-updates/summary-cwa-envoy-tentative-agreement/ .
When would the contract take effect, if it is ratified?
The end of the voting period will coincide with the start of a pay period so that, if the TA were ratified, the wage increases would take effect immediately.
Where do I find specifics about my wages, such as what starting and max pay would be for my station?
Take a look at this downloadable document that also explains how to read the wage scales. http://envoyagents.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Envoy-Wage-Scales-with-HOW-TO_20190130v3.pdf
How do I read the wage scale?
To find out what your wage would be during any year under the new contract, first find the scale that applies to your station in this document. If your station is not listed in the headings on pages 3-9, then you would be covered by the scale on page 2. (Most Envoy agents are covered by the scale on page 2.)
Then choose the time period within the life of the contract (based on the date of signing) from the top row. Find your years of completed service in the column on the far left.
Wait! How do I know how many years of completed service I have?
If you have not yet worked for the company for 12 months then you do not have 1 year of completed service, and you should look at the row labeled “Start” on the scale to find your new wage. See the example below for someone who started on November 1, 2018.
If you have worked for the company for more than 12 months but less than 24 months, then you have 1 year of service and you should look at row 1 in the scale. For example, if you started with the company on June 1, 2017, then you’ve worked 20 months and you have 1 year of service.
If you’ve worked for more than 24 months, but less than 36 months, then you have 2 years of service and you should look at row 2 in the scale. For example, if you started with the company on September 15, 2016, then you’ve worked 28 months as of January 14, 2019, and therefore have 2 years of completed service.
The cell where the years of service row meets the appropriate date of signing column contains your correct wage.
For example, take a look at the scale on page 2. Let’s say you work in one of the stations covered by this scale; that you were hired on November 1, 2018; and you are earning $9.48 per hour. Because you have not yet worked for 1 year, your “Years of Completed Service” is 0. To find your new wage if the TA is ratified (and signed in March 2019), go to the row titled “Start.” Then find the column titled Date of Signing. You move one cell to the right from Start and one cell down from Date of Signing and see that your new wage will be $10.60.
When you get to the 1st anniversary of your hire date, i.e., November 1, 2019, move down to the row titled “1,” because you’ve now completed 1 year of service. Keep in mind, your hire date anniversary is before the first anniversary of the date of signing (or Date of Signing + 1), so stay in the first column. You can see that, if you work in a station covered by the scale on page 2, you will earn $11.00 on November 1, 2019. On the 1st anniversary of the date of signing, you’ll move over one column to the right and earn $11.22.
To see how much you’ll earn after the 4th anniversary of your hire date and after the fourth anniversary of the date of signing if you work at a station covered by the scale on page 2, find the cell where the Date of Signing + 4 column and the Years of Completed Service row titled “4” meet, and you’ll see that you would make $12.72 in March 2023.
Would there be back pay from the time the bargaining started?
No. However, the contract would include Ratification and Retention bonuses.
The bonus structure is confusing. How would it work?
If the TA were ratified, everyone on the payroll as of the date of signing (DOS) would receive bonuses. If you have worked at Envoy at least 12 months at the DOS, you would receive two bonuses: a ratification bonus and a retention bonus. If you have worked at Envoy less than 12 months as of the DOS, you would only receive the retention bonus.
- Ratification bonuses would be paid in the first full pay period 30 days after the date of signing (DOS). Employees with 1 to 2 years of service would receive $250. Those with 3 years of service or more would receive $100 for each year of service up to $3,000.
- For example, a worker with 12 months of service would receive a $250 bonus.
- A worker with 26 months of service would receive a $250 bonus.
- A worker with 5 years of service would receive a $500 bonus.
- A worker with 12 years of service would receive a $1,200 bonus.
- A worker with 30 years or more of service would receive a $3,000 bonus.
- Retention bonuses would be paid in the first full pay period 18 months after the DOS, following the same rules. Therefore, every employee on the payroll as of the date of signing would receive at least one bonus, and everyone with 12 months or more would receive 2 bonuses.
What if you are a former American Airlines employee, then worked for American Eagle, and now Envoy. Would all those years count as years of service for pay and bonuses?
Envoy would use the current seniority list to determine years of service. Time worked at American Airlines would be counted in some instances. It depends on when and how you joined Envoy.
How would the bonuses and lump sums be taxed?
They would be taxed at the same rate as your performance bonuses.
Would we still get quarterly performance bonuses?
If the TA were ratified, workers would still be eligible for the Envoy Performance Plan. (See Compensation, Section F, in the TA for more details.)
What if I am already making more than the new pay rate for my spot on the wage chart?
If you currently make more than the correct rate on the wage scale, you would keep that rate if the TA is ratified, and if you have more than one year of service you would also receive a lump sum payment to make sure your wage increase each year equals 3%.
Would we receive time and a half or double pay for each hour we work over 40 hours in a week?
If you work over 40 company-assigned hours, you would receive time and a half pay for those hours.
Is there any information on a 5th week of vacation in the TA?
The company policy on vacations would remain the same under the new contract.
I want to ask a union representative some questions. How can I do that?
There are several ways to get your questions answered:
1. Informational Meetings: Several in-person meetings will be held starting in early February. As soon as we confirm the dates and locations, we will post them here and on Facebook. [LINK: https://www.facebook.com/envoyagents/ ]
2. Town Hall Calls: Watch your email and our Facebook page for announcements. [LINK: https://www.facebook.com/envoyagents/ ]
How were the members and the chair of the bargaining team chosen?
The bargaining committee chair is assigned by the President of CWA, and the members of the committee are appointed by the District Vice Presidents.
Why do some stations top out at a higher rate than others?
The wage scales are based on a combination of several factors, including current minimum wages, cost of living, and what it costs to hire and retain employees at each station.
Why does CVG have a higher wage scale than MIA? The airport is in Kentucky, not Ohio, so the cost of living definitely should be lower than in Miami.
In most cases, the stations placed on the higher wage scales are those located in high cost of living areas, which is why MIA has higher wages on the scales than about 80% of the stations. In some cases, other factors beyond cost of living were considered. Several stations, including CVG, have had trouble attracting workers for the usual starting rate of $9.48 per hour. Before the tentative agreement, starting wages at CVG were raised to $12.00 per hour, which is slightly below the $12.10 per hour start rate in the TA.
Although the workers at MIA are on a slightly lower wage scale, they could receive significant raises. Workers with 9 years or less of service could receive hourly increases between $1.50 and $2.00, which is 20.6%. Senior workers will see top pay go up by $1.54 per hour. Full-time workers close to the top pay rate could receive a lump sum check of about $1,000.
We currently reach our maximum pay of $15.71 after 11 years. Why is the new max reached at 14 years in the TA?
The bargaining team tried to get a shorter timeline for reaching maximum pay, but unfortunately didn’t succeed.
Why does the payscale stop at 14 years? What if an agent has worked 18 or 20 years or more?
Pay scales normally progress up to a point where all employees reach a “top out.” In this TA the top out is 14 years of service, but even after reaching the top out rate, agents are guaranteed a 3% wage increase each year.
Shouldn’t the scale be the same for all stations, with the station paying the highest rate setting the standard? Did the bargaining committee look at minimum hourly pay rates in each state?
Currently, there are no pay scales in place so differences between stations range widely for workers with the same years of service. With the TA, we are implementing pay scales that should stop pay disparities in the future. The committee did investigate the minimum wage in place in each city and state. If the TA were ratified, 77% of the stations would be on the same pay scale. Many of the 23 stations on different pay scales have Living Wage Ordinances that require higher wages for workers.
Would the new wage rates be retroactive?
No, the wages would not be retroactive. The new rates would begin in the first pay period after the DOS. The bargaining committee is trying to make sure that the DOS coincides with the first day of a pay period so workers see their wage increases as quickly as possible.
After 40 hours of work, would we qualify for overtime regardless of shift swaps? I have worked over 80 hours a week and missed out on overtime because the shifts I picked up were swaps.
Envoy and other airlines are not regulated by the National Labor Relations Act as are most other industries. Airlines are regulated under the Railway Labor Act and are exempt from the requirement to pay overtime after 40 hours .The state that you live in determines the requirement to pay time and a half after 40 hours. So, unfortunately, if you pick up shifts you would not be paid overtime if overtime . However, under the TA, if you swap even hours, those hours would be counted toward the overtime accrual of 40 hours. If you worked additional hours assigned by the company that were not swapped, you would be paid time and a half for those hours.
I transferred to a new station, but stayed in the same job classification. Would my bidding date be tied to my company seniority or occupational seniority? Is seniority tied to signing up as a member of CWA?
If you were to transfer from one station to another in the same job classification, your occupational seniority would remain the same. Seniority would not be tied to becoming a member of CWA.
Why is this a 7-year contract, and not 5 years, like the ones for Piedmont and American Airlines?
The bargaining team wanted a shorter contract length, but ultimately decided that some monetary gains were worth a longer term for the contract. We gained a larger annual increase to the wage scales, increased 401k contributions from the company, and a cap on health insurance company/worker split in exchange for the 7-year contract.
Is there anything in the TA about “flow through” to American Airlines jobs? If we transfer to American, do we keep our seniority?
There is nothing specific in the TA, but as a result of CWA’s efforts American Airlines has changed its hiring process to give regional employees a path to mainline. Regional workers will be given priority review and priority interviews for hiring at American. Regional employees will be hired before employees of other airlines and before applicants “off the street.”
The information about Leads and the transition to management is confusing. Can you explain in more detail? Has the role of Lead been redefined? Do they have the power to discipline agents? How are Lead positions awarded?
Selection of Leads is a management decision. If the TA is ratified and the company decides to replace a Lead position with management, the Lead who is going to be replaced would be able to remain in that position for 12 months from the DOS. During that time, the agent could 1) apply for the management position and would be given some preference, 2) remain in their current station as a regular agent, or 3) could consider transferring to another station if a Lead position were open. Leads do not have disciplinary power.
It’s clear in the highlights document that Leads will get a $1.75 per hour pay differential and Compliance Coordinators will get $1.00 as they do now. Why didn’t CCs get a pay increase like the Leads? Will GSCs also get a differential?
The bargaining committee attempted to secure an increase for both CC’s and GSC’s, but were unsuccessful.
Can we be held over for a longer shift if another employee calls in sick? Would this be done according to reverse seniority or in another way?
If the TA is ratified, overtime would not depend on the whims of managers, but would have to follow a specific set of rules. Managers would ask for volunteers to work before or after a regular shift first, then would ask for volunteers to work on a day off. If there were no volunteers, the company could force employees to stay longer or come in and work overtime, but only in order of reverse seniority, starting with the least senior agents. If there is mandatory overtime the company would make its best efforts to give employees 2 hours of notice.
How much will we pay in union dues, and are they mandatory?
Payment of union dues is mandatory, and they amount to 1.3% of base wages (not including overtime).
We need a healthy work environment. Are there any new rules in the TA about how to treat each other?
The Tentative Agreement focuses primarily on wages, benefits, and employees’ rights at work. What would be guaranteed if the TA were ratified is protection from arbitrary changes in company policies and the whims of managers. Disputes between employees and the company would be handled with union representation to protect your rights.
Will the company offer early retirement with benefits, including free international travel?
The TA does not include an early retirement offer.
Voting and Ratification Process
What are the next steps, now that we have a Tentative Agreement?
After a series of meetings and conference calls to explain exactly what is in the Tentative Agreement, an independent company, BallotPoint, will oversee the ratification election. Members in good standing will receive information and a personal identification number (PIN) in the mail from BallotPoint explaining two ways to vote:
- Online (BallotPoint will provide the website link and a code for voting.)
- By telephone (BallotPoint will provide a number to call and a code for voting.)
Eligible voters will also get a verification code so they can confirm that their ballot has been submitted. If a majority of those voting were to vote yes, then the Tentative Agreement would become our new contract.
When would the contract take effect if it is ratified?
If a majority of those voting were to vote yes, then the Tentative Agreement would be ratified. It would become effective upon signing by a representative of the union. The wage increases would take effect at the start of the first full pay period after signing.
Q: I don’t understand why the raises in the contract are not higher—especially since we also have to pay union dues now.
A: Our bargaining team fought hard for higher pay and came back with the best agreement they could get. All workers with one year of service or more are guaranteed an annual pay increase of at least 3%. Union dues are 1.3%, which leaves at least a 1.7% increase—an improvement over recent years. In addition, there are 9 guaranteed High Revenue Days that pay time and a half. The agreement includes two bonuses—one immediately upon ratification (for those with at least a year of service) and another after 18 months. We were not able to get the wages we deserve, but the raises are an improvement, as are many other aspects of the agreement, including Overtime, Shift Swaps, Schedule Bidding, and Transfers.
Q: How does the agreement affect probationary employees?
A: Probationary employees are covered by most of the agreement. During the first six months of employment, a worker is not covered by the official grievance procedure, but this does not mean the union will not help with problems that arise. Our union has direct access to upper management and local management, so if a probationary employee’s rights are violated, we will fight for them.