Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Dear AFA. A democratic, Member driven Union of Flight Attendants for Flight Attendants. Today is Friday, October 19, 2012 and this is Denver Council 9 Volunteer, Allen Ward reporting.
KCM for United Flight Attendants
We are excited to announce that beginning next week, all uniformed United Flight Attendants will be able to take advantage of the Known Crew Member (KCM) program. Currently KCM is located at 31 airports around the country, and in order to use a KCM checkpoint you must be in uniform. Until KCM ID cards are available for Flight Attendants, you must present your United Crew ID, a government issued photo ID and state your file number to the TSA officer at the KCM entry point. We ask you to keep in mind that all Crewmembers are subject to random full screenings and if the KCM TSA Officer is unable to verify employment status, Crewmembers should proceed through the standard screening process and then notify their Onboard supervisor.
Over six years ago AFA introduced and advocated for a process that would recognize and include Flight Attendants as “known crew members,” and provide a simplified and more streamlined process for screening procedures for Flight Attendants. As first responders, we are an instrumental part of aviation security and have a personal role in security onboard the aircraft. We take that role seriously and, as part of the known security network, the KCM program recognizes the importance of the work we do and role we fulfill.
AFA promoted and was the first to introduce the idea, which subsequently resulted in legislation that contemplates a process by which Flight Attendant clearance through passenger screening procedures is expedited using established security clearances related to our employment as certified safety and security professionals. AFA partnered with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in a process that will allow quicker crew transit time through airports and permit the TSA to focus on passengers vs. known and trusted Flight Attendants. This initiative is supported by the Flight Attendant Coalition and will benefit all Flight Attendants with Union representation.
KCM security screening will be available at all US Domicile locations. For more information about airport locations and checkpoint hours of operation for the KCM program please visit our website.
JNC Launches Ourunited.org
The Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) and representatives of the United, Continental and Continental Micronesia Communication Committees have created a website to support the Our United Newsletter. Content on this website is limited strictly to Joint Negotiations information. Currently the website contains all of the information published and distributed through the Newsletter since August 2012, bio's for the JNC Members and links to current Contracts for all three groups.
Members of the FANN were automatically signed up to receive the Our United Newsletter and all Members have the ability to subscribe to the Our United Newsletter via the ourunited.org. We encourage all Members to keep updated on our Joint Negotiation progress.
Open Enrollment Closes Tuesday, October 23
Active employee Open Enrollment for 2013 Benefits closes this Tuesday, October 23, 2012. We encourage you to review the information mailed to you from United regarding the 2013 health benefits, and remember the enrollment period closes earlier than usual this year.
Retired employees have a separate Open Enrollment period, which begins October 24, through November 9, 2012.
United's Your Benefits Resources (YBR) is easily accessed through the "Useful Websites Link" on our AFA website; or you may call the United Airlines Benefits Center with questions regarding enrolling or using YBR for your 2012 benefits at 800-651-1007.
Vacation Bidding 2013 Preparation
The 2013 Vacation bidding process will begin on October 29, 2012. In preparation for this process, United will begin clearing out the 2012 Vacation information and loading the initial data for 2013 vacations on Thursday, October 25.
This annual process will cause any remaining 2012 vacation information to become inaccessible for Flight Attendants to view in their VACBID screen. If you have vacation scheduled for the month of December 2012 and need a copy of your vacation dates for bidding your December schedule, we recommend you go to your VACBID screen in Unimatic and print a copy of your 2012 vacation bid information before it is updated. Alternatively, you will need to contact the Flight Attendant Service Center (FASC), option 4/4, to request the information from the call center representative to retrieve your December 2012 Vacation dates in the event you are unable to print a hard copy.
Be Alert. Stay Safe.
We all know that there have been many changes since the beginning of United’s merger in our day-to-day operations onboard the aircraft. As safety professionals, we meet these challenges head-on successfully every day and provide excellence in our performance for our airline, our flying partners and the passengers in our care. It's always a good reminder to stop, think and ensure that all safety duties are accomplished. This is our priority in those few minutes of pressure.
Being aware of our surroundings, boarding positions, exit row seating requirements, FAR's and door arming and disarming are safety duties we focus on at the same time. Recently, there have been increases in inadvertent slide deployments. While there is no single cause for this, it's a good time to ensure arming and disarming your doors is foremost in your mind. Be alert, stay safe.
Membership Engagement Training
Our AFA Membership Engagement Committee held training this week with participation from AFA Members domiciled in ORD, DCA, NRT, SEA, DEN, SFO, LHR and HKG. Training was extensive and focused on the Membership Engagement structure and detailed process. Participants gained valuable insight from each other as well as from knowledgeable experts from CWA, AFA Legal, our Communications Committee, and our Membership Engagement Committee. Our Membership Engagement Committee is poised and solidified in structure and process for success at empowering our Members through Mobilization. We congratulate our colleagues who stepped forward and thank them for their commitment as advocates for all Members. If you would like to be a part of your local Membership Engagement Committee please contract your Local Council.
Recently our flying partners from ORD, HNL, FRA, HKG, SFO, IAH, LHR, LAS, LAX and DCA successfully completed two days of Grievance Training. AFA Representatives reviewed how to enforce our Contract and protect all Flight Attendants against arbitrary and unjust disciplinary action. They also reviewed how to secure the best possible procedure for all Flight Attendants in the arbitration of a Grievance. We congratulate our colleagues who stepped forward and thank them for their commitment as advocates for all Members.
2012 Election Teleconference Calls, Monday Oct 22nd
Much is at stake for Flight Attendants and our profession in the November Elections. AFA will be hosting a series of Town Hall style teleconference calls emphasizing on the battle ground states on Monday, October 22 to discuss how we can make a difference in this election.
We ask that if you are planning to participate in one of these teleconference calls to register on our website by Sunday, October 21 1200 EST. The list of times for each battle ground call is also available on our website. It is important that we all take part in this election and do all that we can and ensure that we have a Flight Attendant friendly President, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
That’s all for this evening! Thank you for calling. Remember: One Airline. One Contract. Building Our Future Together!