Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Dear AFA. A democratic, Member driven Union of Flight Attendants for Flight Attendants. Today is Tuesday, November 6, 2012 and this is Chicago Council 8 Volunteer, Ian Kompel reporting.
Primary Vacation Bidding Closes Tomorrow
Don’t forget to bid during the first (Primary) vacation phase for 2013 vacations! Phase I (Primary) 2013 vacation bidding closes tomorrow, November 7, 2012 at 0830 Local Domicile time. Phase I vacations bids will be posted no later than November 12, 2012.
Flight Attendants who do not bid to cover themselves and whose bid is determined to be ‘insufficient’ will be assigned vacation during the Primary (Phase I) vacation bidding in seniority order from December backwards through January. Flight Attendants who fail to place a bid on file will not be assigned a vacation period during Phase I vacation bidding.
Phase II (Secondary) vacation bidding opens on November 16, 2012. You can read more about Vacation Bidding on our website.
Hurricane Sandy Relief
As we know, some of our Members remain affected by Hurricane Sandy and are still in need of assistance. Without prompting, many of you have reached out to your flying partners who have been affected by the storm. And, as we always do, we are caring for each other. In those instances, where you are not in the physical proximity to offer assistance, we remind you that you may also donate money to charitable organizations, such as the AFA-CWA Disaster Relief Fund, where 100% of the funds donated go to Members in need, or the American Red Cross.
For those in need of emergency assistance as a result of the storm, there are several resources available: The AFA-CWA Disaster Relief Fund, American Red Cross, Union Plus Disaster Relief Grants, FEMA, Alliant Credit Union, Vision Service Plan, United We Care Employee Relief Fund, U-Haul and SpareFoot Self-Storage. We have compiled a list of resources on our Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief page for your reference.
Pass & CJA Travel – Seniority (Board) Date Error
Over the past several weeks, we have received a number of reports from Flight Attendants around the system regarding errors involving seniority for Pass & CJA Travel. While the source of each of these discrepancies is different and unique, the result has been frustrating as Members have worked to reconcile the differences. With the assistance of Labor Relations, issues regarding the discrepancy with the Pass Travel seniority dates are being resolved on an individual basis when identified to the company. Working with United’s IT Department, an effort is underway to resolve the broader issue for the system to ensure that all Flight Attendants and their Pass Travel eligible family members, buddies and Enrolled Friends are traveling based on the seniority to which they are properly entitled.
As for CJA travel, AFA brought to the company’s attention a problem with the “board” date displayed on the Pass Rider lists for those traveling CJA. Initially, the identified problem had Flight Attendants displayed on the Pass Rider list for CJA using their company seniority date, rather than the Inflight (SW Classification) seniority date. Management took action to display the SW Classification “board year” and continues to work on having those traveling CJA displayed based on the SW Seniority date. United’s IT Department is reported to have created a fix for this error. Testing is ongoing and the expected implementation date to correct the CJA seniority (SW Classification Seniority) displayed on Pass Riders lists is to be November 15, 2012. The ongoing efforts to resolve these issues are appreciated.
With the upcoming holidays and potential for winter storms around the corner, it is important to know the drafting provisions of our Contract
. The drafting of Lineholders is provided for, only after exhausting the Order of Assignment, as set forth in Sections 9.I. and 12.Q. of our Contract. Section 8.G. provides for the recently negotiated improvements to our Drafting Pay.
In addition to the new Drafting Pay provision, there are pay ramifications involving holiday pay when drafted. When drafted away from a holiday ID, to fly a non-holiday ID, the scheduled holiday pay must be considered when making the flight pay calculation. A comparison must be made between the dollar value of the ID flown (including any applicable holiday pay) to the value of the ID from which drafted (including holiday pay.) If the value of the ID from which drafted (including holiday pay) is greater than the value of the ID to which flown, the Flight Attendant is entitled to the pay differential, or the greater of the two. This differential, once calculated as a result of the comparison will be posted in the DFAP in the form of an hour and minute posting.
When you are given a drafting assignment, we encourage you to have the scheduler clarify that you have, in fact, been drafted and under which section of the Contract this is being done. To ensure that the drafting is correctly applied, request the scheduler remark the ID appropriately indicating "DRFT". This will assist Flight Time Records when making their manual review of pay associated with each drafting situation.
We encourage all Flight Attendants who have been drafted to check their DFAP records. In May 2012, the company implemented new DFAP “Cert Codes” for the 2 ½ hour Drafting Pay. The last three digits of the cert code for the Drafting Pay are ‘169.’ For those individuals working language or premium pay positions, the last three digits of the cert code that will be used to recording the Drafting Pay with the appropriate premiums are ‘269.’
Family Medical Leave Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) provides unpaid, job-protected leave to employees who are unable to work because of a serious health condition, the serious health condition of an eligible family member or the birth/placement of a child. This U.S. federal law also provides certain military family leave entitlements related to deployments and the care of a covered service member with a serious injury or illness. Leave may be taken intermittently or all at once, as a “block”, as the medical condition requires.
Flight Attendants’ non-traditional work schedules had excluded many of us from the benefits of FMLA, since the 1,250 hour threshold for qualification was based on the traditional 40-hour work week. Due to the unique method in by which Flight Attendant hours of work are calculated, it was virtually impossible to meet these minimum standards. AFA-CWA Members engaged in persistent lobbying efforts, phone calling and wrote tens of thousands of letters to members of Congress to secure access to FMLA for all Flight Attendants. In December of 2009, President Obama signed into law the Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act, amending the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) to include a consideration of our unique work schedules, allowing us the right to qualify.
If you have worked or been paid for at least 504 hours during the 12 months prior to your need for FMLA, excluding time ONSL, OCSL, or VAC, you meet the hours of work requirements. Flight Attendants can determine their eligibility for FMLA by contacting the Flight Attendant Support Team, option 4, and then option 5. Up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave can be taken in any 12-month period. If you have an on-the-job Occupational Injury, it may benefit you to apply for Family Leave for the same condition.
Although the company has its own FMLA forms, we encourage Members to use the Department of Labor FMLA application forms available on our website to ensure all necessary information, and only the necessary information, is provided by the employee to the employer. Using these forms will assist you in any appeal process, should there be a need for it. Remember, once there is an actual absence, these forms are to be faxed to the Family Medical Leave Administrator at the Employee Service Center within 15 calendar days. This form should not be given to any Flight Attendant supervisor.
Please visit the FMLA page of our website for more information on the eligibility and application process. You will also find other useful resources to assist with filing for FMLA. If you have further questions, contact your Local Council.
That’s all for this evening! Thank you for calling. Remember: One Airline. One Contract. Building Our Future Together!