Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Dear AFA. A democratic, Member driven Union of Flight Attendants for Flight Attendants. Today is Tuesday, July 3, 2012 and this is United Master Executive Council Communication Vice Chairperson, Jeffrey Tonjes reporting and together we will do better.
Happy Independence Day
Tomorrow is Independence Day in the United States. The founding principals of our great Nation committed give us the tools to build the vision of equality set forth in the Declaration of Independence. It has been a persistent battle to continue to refine those principals and defend them throughout our country’s history and it will continue to require brave, devoted individuals to maintain our centuries old success. Remember, as John F. Kennedy said “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.”
For nearly 65 years in the U.S. airline industry, we have successfully fought to ensure all genders, ages and ethnicities could build a Flight Attendant career that ends with a dignified retirement at the age we choose to leave the profession we love. We have challenged inequity in the arenas of marriage status, race, sexual orientation, weight restrictions and gender equality; and consistently prevailed. We have fought through the courts, through the government and at the negotiating table – we have won great victories against discrimination; and will continue to aggressively pursue these rightful agendas.
Our airline, our airline management, our passengers and our industry has benefited from our experience, wisdom, dedication and passion to the commitment for the betterment of the Flight Attendant career. This week, as we celebrate Independence Day in the United States, take a moment to reflect upon the freedom that we celebrate which has been won at the cost of hard work, perseverance and a dedication to what is right. Like our great country, we have and always will work to do what is right for the betterment of those entrusted to our care.
Wherever you may be tomorrow – working and earning Holiday Pay, spending time with family and friends in celebration or simply enjoying your days off; we wish you a very happy Independence Day.
Holiday Pay Calculations
Our Contract provides for additional pay for Flight Attendants on flight assignments during holidays. Holidays are defined by domicile location, and also each Flight Attendant’s birthday. Section 2.Q. of our Agreement specifies that each Flight Attendant is eligible to be paid for up to 5 holidays per year and Section 5.L outlines the formula for holiday pay. Tomorrow being Independence Day, this is a designated holiday for 10 out of our 14 domiciles.
Holiday pay is calculated using a formula that takes into account the number of credited hours flown during the holiday ID and how long you are away from your home during the ID. Review our new Contract Education piece on our website for all the Contractual parameters and examples on this negotiated pay provision.
Summer Heat Wave = Turbulence
Turbulence is an occupational hazard that we all take very seriously, especially in the Summer months. Recently, our flying partners have confronted the dangers of turbulence on several flights around the system. Especially in light of these events, it is a good time to remember that every day we fly, when it comes to cabin safety, place yourself and your flying partners first. It is only through these efforts that we may fulfill our duties as safety professionals for the passengers in our care. To minimize injuries caused in turbulence or chop, stow all but the most necessary service components when the service is over, especially carts, full coffee pots, and glass bottles. Use of tie downs for carts is not only a federal regulation, diligent use of tie downs and latches will prevent disaster.
It may not always be possible to receive warning of turbulence or to return to your jumpseat when turbulence hits. FAOM pages 2.173 cover the precautions we can take against turbulence injuries starting with predeparture crew briefings through the actions we should take during turbulence. FAOM page 2.176 states that when we confront moderate chop to severe turbulence, in order to protect ourselves we must discontinue the service, set cart brakes, leave the cart at its present location and sit in the nearest available seat or on the floor, if necessary. If turbulence persists through decent and the prepare for landing announcement is made, the cockpit should direct Flight Attendants to remain seated and we should immediately advise the cockpit if the cabin and galley are not secured for landing. Look out for yourself and your crew -- be careful this summer season, and always be safe.
FMLA and You
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is a United States federal law requiring covered employers to provide employees job-protected unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons. These reasons include personal or family illness, military service, family military leave, pregnancy, adoption or the foster care placement of a child.
Nearly two decades after the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was signed into law, Flight Attendants and other flight crews were finally granted the same access to coverage that has long benefited working families on January 30, 2012. The Flight Crew FMLA Corrections Act recognizes the unusual aspects of our variable work hours, and has ensured many more Flight Attendants now qualify for these important job protections.
Whether it is a one-time occurrence or an ongoing chronic condition, you may be eligible for Family Leave and thus avoid points associated with any non-qualifying absences. If you have an on-the-job Occupational Injury, it may benefit you to apply for Family Leave for the same condition.
As the world’s largest Flight Attendant union, AFA has worked tirelessly to ensure that flight crews are treated fairly and qualify for essential FMLA benefits. AFA has negotiated Flight Attendant Contracts that have provided these vital protections and it is a monumental achievement that, from today forward, all airline workers have the ability to care for their families.
AFA’s goal is to make available the information, which will assist you in understanding your responsibilities and rights when you, or an eligible family member, are faced with a serious health condition and/or circumstances qualifying for a job-protected absence.
Please visit our website and read the Family Leave section, where you will find basic eligibility information, as well as the appropriate applications for your Health Care Provider to fill out when you are considering Family Leave.
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. While we stand strong together to achieve an industry leading Single Contract for all Flight Attendants at the new United.