Frequently Asked Questions About the CWA-Envoy Tentative Agreement

Last updated: July 1, 2019

Below, we answer the most frequently asked questions about the tentative agreement. If you'd like to ask a question not answered below, you can send an email message to [email protected]. 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://www.envoyagents.org/june-2019-tentative-agreement-resources/

Is there a summary of the tentative agreement?

Yes. There is also a summary of all the key issues in English and Spanish at:
https://www.envoyagents.org/june-2019-tentative-agreement-resources/

Where do I find specifics about my wages, such as what starting and max pay would be for my station?

Take a look at the CWA-Envoy Tentative Agreement (June 2019) on the Resources page here and at the Wage Tables on the same page.

How do I read the wage tables?

The wage tables show hourly wage rates that would apply to employees in our bargaining unit. They are organized with columns for each group of airports and rows for each completed year of service you've worked with Envoy. Each table shows the wage rates that would apply over the course of a single contract year. In each table “DOS” means “Date of Signing” for the date the contract would be signed.

The first table shows hourly wage rates that would apply to all employees in our bargaining unit beginning on the date that the contract is signed and for the following 12 months. 

Your starting wage rate on this table is located in the column that includes your airport and the row that indicates the number of years you've worked at Envoy. (See the Note below if your wage rate is currently above the rate indicated by the table as described here.)

Over the course of the first year of the contract, each employee would pass the annual anniversary of their date of hire with the company (Called "Anniversary Date") and complete an additional year of service. On your Anniversary Date your wage rate would automatically increase to the rate shown on the table in the row that indicates the new completed years of service at Envoy. This would not apply to employees that have completed 14 or more years of service.

On the first anniversary of the contract signing all bargaining unit employees would be automatically moved to the next wage table labeled DOS + 1. These wage rates would apply for twelve months.

Over the course of the second year of the contact, when you reach your Anniversary Date you would move to a new wage rate indicated on the row that corresponds to your new completed years of service. This would not apply if you have completed more than 14 years of service.

This pattern would continue each year of the contract, so that over the course of each year, wage increases would automatically occur 1) on the anniversary of your start with the company, when you would move to a new row of the current wage table, and 2) on the anniversary of the contract signing, when you would move to the next wage table.

Note: For those whose current wage rate is above the rate indicated by your years of completed service and airport on the first table, you would be automatically moved to next highest wage above your current rate that applies to your airport.

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.
  • An employee with under a year of service would not receive the ratification bonus but would receive the retention 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.

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 table, you would move up to the next higher step on the wage table. If you have at least one year of completed service as of the Date of Signing (DOS) and that increase in wages doesn’t result in at least a 3% increase, you would receive the difference in a lump sum payment.

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 change in vacation?

The company policy on vacations for full-time agents would remain the same and be guaranteed under the new contract.

All part-time agents will receive an increase in vacation over the life of the TA. Part-time agents would receive the same vacation allotment as full-time agents. Agents with 5 to 14 years of completed service would receive 3 weeks of vacation. Agents with 15 or more years of completed service would receive 4 weeks of vacation.

Are there any changes in GSC requirements?

Under the new tentative agreement, agents would be permitted to request to drop their GSC certification. Requests would be honored under normal circumstances, except at extremely small stations of 10 agents or less.

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: Many in-person meetings will be held starting in July. As soon as we confirm the dates and locations, we will post them at our website HERE.

2. Send us an email: Send us your question via email to [email protected]. We’ll add answers to this FAQ.

How were the members and the chair of the bargaining team chosen?

The bargaining committee chair was assigned by the President of CWA, and the members of the committee were elected by an advisory board of Envoy workers.

Why do some stations top out at a higher rate than others?

The wage tables 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. Your bargaining team fought hard to structure this in a much fairer way, but the company would not listen to reason.

We currently reach our maximum pay 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. This is similar to the wage scale for Envoy ramp employees at the hubs.

Why does the pay scale 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 many pay rates in place, so differences among 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, the vast majority of the stations (81) would be on the same pay scale. Many of the 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 on the first day of the first full pay period which occurs two weeks following the date of signing. 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. 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 6.5-year contract, and not 5 years, like the ones for Piedmont and American Airlines?

The bargaining team wanted a shorter contract length, and was able to reduce the length from 7 years to 6.5. They 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 part time vacation, increased 401k contributions from the company, and a cap on the health insurance company/worker split in exchange for the 6.5-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 and creation of management positions 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 summary 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. We were able to negotiate an opportunity in most instances for GSC’s to step down from the position.

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. The agreement contains articles for health and safety with participation in safety committees 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.

This was a long negotiation. Is there anything in the contract about when the company must come back to the table to negotiate the next contract?

Under the Railway Labor Act contracts don't expire, they have an amendable date. The contract would allow us to open negotiations two months prior to the amendable date, which would be approximately December 15, 2025.

What are the next steps, now that we have a Tentative Agreement?

After a series of station meetings 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:

  1. Online (BallotPoint will provide the website link and a code for voting.)

  2. 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 will the voting start and end?

BallotPoint will send out the information packets with PINs on August 1. So eligible voters will start to receive them in their mailboxes within the first week of August. Voting will close on August 14 at 12pm eastern time.

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.

When would the wage increase take effect if the TA were 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 on the first day of the first full pay period that occurs two weeks following the date of signing, in this case on August 31st.

Who is a member in good standing?

Any Envoy agent who has signed a membership card by close of business on July 17, 2019, will receive an information packet and PIN in the mail from BallotPoint and will be able to vote in the ratification election.