adies and Gentlemen:
Today is full of hope and excitement for our future. After all the challenges we’ve faced together today marks a decidedly different course full of promise and potential. Our time to fight for the Contract that reflects the work we do at United Airlines is here. Your Negotiating Committee met with United management today to exchange Opening Proposals and begin our Railway Labor Act Section 6 negotiations. We took your mandate to the negotiating table.
It has been 13 years since our last Railway Labor Act Section 6 negotiations. Since that time we’ve gone from 26,000 among our ranks to 16,000, largely as a result of higher line averages, outsourced flying to United’s Star Alliance and Express carriers and productivity changes to our Contract during bankruptcy. One third of our flying partners were not here the last time we negotiated for improvements. Our success depends upon your desire to achieve our collective Contract goals.
Our Negotiating Committee used the survey results, direct feedback from you, our AFA Committees and direction from your Local Presidents to write our Opening Proposal. Our Opener directly reflects the items you identified as a priority. On our website is our Opening Proposal unanimously approved by your Local Presidents who make up the United Master Executive Council.
Throughout the process of collecting your feedback, pay was clearly identified as our number one priority in these negotiations. Compensation is normally the last item on the table during negotiations and we will stand together to substantially increase our pay. You’ll notice that an exact percentage is not delineated in our Opening Proposal – and we make it clear that we expect United Flight Attendants to lead the industry in hourly rates of pay. In addition to a significant improvement to our pay schedule, a single pay scale with an extension in longevity raises marks a transformational step forward for our community. It will dramatically change the way we bid and will mitigate the need for commuting.
Our proposal contains improved quality of work life provisions such as shorter duty days and longer legal rests to address the numerous concerns identified in fatigue studies. We are seeking enhanced flexibility for all Flight Attendants and the elimination of onerous restrictions on Flight Attendants with a purser qualification. We are proposing innovative provisions designed to improve efficiencies in the operation, including incentives for United to construct realistic IDs and protections for Flight Attendants when reassigned and drafted. We are seeking fundamental changes to our Reserve system that will dramatically change the quality of work life for Flight Attendants with increased schedule and financial control. Our proposal delineates numerous other long sought Contractual enhancements.
We look forward to seeing you once again at an upcoming roadshow where we can discuss our collective Contract goals. Look for the roadshow schedule in our website’s Negotiations section.
Opening Proposal Roadshow
Only twice before in twenty-five years have we had the opportunity to negotiate for improvements. We will do whatever it takes to achieve an on-time agreement that meets the needs of United flight attendants. You are our inspiration and together we will rebuild and advance our career.
Greg Davidowitch, President
United Master Executive Council