Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Dear AFA. A democratic, Member driven Union of Flight Attendants for Flight Attendants. Today is Friday, May 11, 2012
and this is Denver, Council 9 Volunteer, Allen Ward, reporting and together we will
Early United Payroll Deposits Update
Yesterday, AFA became aware that United made electronic deposits of your May 16th paychecks to bank accounts on May 10, 2012. AFA brought this issue to the attention of payroll. The company advised AFA that payroll incorrectly dated the direct deposit files of Domestic Flight Attendants for 5/10/2012, instead of 5/16/2012. United believes that International Flight Attendants were not affected by this payroll error and will receive their May 16th paychecks on-time. In addition, we received additional clarification today that anyone who had a “net check” going to the Credit Union also received their deposit yesterday. However, anyone who had a deduction(s) for the credit union will not see those deductions (deposits or loan payments) applied to their accounts until 5/16. The company has advised AFA that these early deposits will remain in the accounts of employees. Pay advices have begun being loaded into the system, consistent with the company’s normal business process, and will be viewable in the Employee Services section of the company website.
Crew Baggage Stowage Discrepancies
Considering the ongoing advocacy of the Master Executive Council Safety, Health and Security Committee, we were surprised by the company’s claim that they are “just now learning through United Voices reports of discrepancies in the FAIM regarding crew baggage stowage locations.” Our Safety, Health and Security Committee has been telling the company for some time that there are inconsistencies in the revised FAOM and ancillary publications. In fact, Flight Attendants have been telling the company of these discrepancies via the FASRs and OSAP reporting systems which continue to provide the document trail and support data necessary in focusing on and resolving these discrepancies in our standard work procedures.
Flight Attendants have a voice in their work place by virtue of having a Collective Bargaining Representative. Having issues that affect Flight Attendants advanced by Flight Attendants who are subject matter experts on any given topic is clearly preferred to a reporting system that produces a cacophony of voices where it is likely issues of real significance to our profession don’t have the requisite priority as determined by Flight Attendants.
We encourage Flight Attendants to continue to use the FASRs and OSAP reporting systems to bring attention to issues affecting us in our workplace. By doing so, AFA will have the necessary data to address the issues you define as important and worthy of advancement in order to protect us and the passengers in our care.
Aligned Menu Concepts & Equipment on Long Haul International Flights
As reported this week by the company in Inflight Services Weekly, on June 1st the Food Services Division will begin to introduce aligned menu concepts and equipment on long haul international flights. While the full concepts have not yet been presented to Flight Attendants, it’s clear that there will be more in the way of service components and a greater expectation on the part of our passengers in the standard of service received. Flight Attendants are proud of their contribution to the overall success of our airline and are the one work group that spends the greatest period of time with our passengers. Our work impacts not only our passengers but every employee of this company because we directly impact the retention and development of the customer base that is the core of our worldwide business. It is not unreasonable for us to expect the company to provide us with the tools to meet these expectations. An essential component of the tools we need to do our job is the proper staffing to deliver, in a timely manner that meets the passenger’s expectation, the services and products the company promises to those who pay our salaries.
While the company has spoken extensively about the additional service components and expectations in the delivery of these new services, conspicuously absent from the discussion is any mention of additional staffing to meet the additional demands these services will create. It is essential that the company recognize the consequences associated with these decisions and it is equally important that we hear from you about service times and working conditions as these new services are introduced. Section 4.L.2. provides AFA with the ability to address any staffing issue that creates a marginal service condition, such as not being able to complete our standard practice work assignments within not only the company service times but that meet the expectations of the passengers we serve. Over the next several weeks as we begin to see these alignments, keep in mind the necessity to work safely and to complete all of your safety responsibilities. Short cuts that make the service “work” place each of us at risk.
Report those circumstances where a marginal service condition exists using the form on our website. If you have additional concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your Local Council office to discuss those concerns and to seek assistance from your Union in resolving those issues with which you require assistance.
Pending Vacation Passes
Since United’s implementation of Shares, pass travel problems continue to affect our Members. We have received a number of questions concerning the restoration of Vacation Passes, in United’s employeeRes, after the cancellation of a reservation. Each time a Vacation Pass is used, it is placed under “Pending Vacation Passes”. Once the pass is used, it is placed under “Used Vacation Passes”. If the pass is not used, or the reservation is cancelled, you must contact the Employee Travel Center at 713-324-PASS (7277) or 866- FLY-EPAS (359-3727). They must run a specific program to bring the Pending Vacation Pass “out of suspension” to credit it back to your Vacation Pass Allocation.
Cross Utilization of Cabin Jumpseats
As we reported on February 24, 2012, AFA approached the company about modifying the terms of our Contract to provide for the cross utilization of cabin jumpseats (CJA) on both UA and CO aircraft. Based on our advocacy, the company implemented procedures for cross utilization of cabin jumpseats after conversion to the combined PSS system on March 3rd, 2012.
Since that time, the company has published guidelines for access to the jumpseat. We have heard your concerns about a number of these procedural changes and have expressed these concerns to management on the following issues:
- The requirement to “list” for the flight one hour prior to departure. We’ve explained how difficult this can be especially in those markets where service is frequent and time does not permit for the subsequent listing on flights if not accommodated on an earlier departure. Further, we have conveyed our expectation that CJA will continue to be available in the same manner as it has been in the past. In our view, the company will need to make the necessary modification to the computer programming in Shares to facilitate this increased availability to CJA.
- Lack of a mechanism that allows Flight Attendants to CJA at the departure gate
- We disagree with the requirement to be at the gate, in person, 30 minutes prior to departure. Flight Attendants on the inbound segment of a through flight (operating with the same aircraft) are considered to have met the cutoff time but may not, in fact, be in the gate room at the 30 minute cutoff if the aircraft arrives late.
- Company procedures have the CJA seat assigned as the “last” seat on the aircraft. We’ve been very clear with the company that a Flight Attendant who expresses the desire to CJA is to be given the jumpseat and not necessarily as the last seat assigned.
- Despite rumors to the contrary, there has been no change to the Contractual requirement for CJA’s to be accommodated on weight restricted flights. Keep in mind, CJA is subject to the contractual requirements for each subsidiary. For example, s-CO Flight Attendants do not have the same Contract requirement to be accommodated on weight restricted flights. Therefore, when traveling on s-CO aircraft, this should not be an expectation.
- Flight Attendants are not required to introduce themselves or obtain permission from the captain when traveling via CJA.
MEC Spring Regular Meeting
The 2012 Spring United Master Executive Council (MEC) meeting concluded on May 10, 2012, at the Hyatt Rosemont in Chicago. Reports were given by the United MEC Officers, along with reports from the MEC EAP/Professional Standards, Benefits, Grievance and Reserve Committees. Elections were held for the following MEC Committee positions: Central Schedule, Hotel & Transportation, Membership Engagement, Joint Negotiating, Seniority Merger Integration and System Board of Adjustment. Meeting Summaries, which include election results, are available on our website.
Happy Mother’s Day
This weekend we celebrate our Mothers by expressing our appreciation for the gift of our lives. For those among us who are Mothers and who will be away from their families this weekend working, we wish to acknowledge your service and dedication and look forward to sharing the day with you on the line.
That’s all for this evening! Thank you for calling. As we move forward together, management must recognize the value that Flight Attendants bring to the world’s largest airline. We will stand strong together to do Whatever It Takes! to achieve an industry leading Single Contract.