United Airlines AFA MEC Website

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA United Master Executive Council

Summary of Opening Proposal – April 6, 2009

See also: MEC President Letter (Apr 6, 2009)

See also: Full Text of Opening Proposal PDF icon

This is a summary of our Opening Proposal.  The Sections and Page Numbers listed relate to the improvements contained within the full 148 page Opening Proposal, our starting position, for Railway Labor Act Section 6 negotiations.  The full text of our Opening Proposal is available at www.unitedafa.org.

Compensation & Expenses

Our AFA Opener contains significant improvements in the area of compensation throughout the proposal.  While these improvements have been clearly delineated in various applicable Sections of the Opener, the only specific provisions that we have expressed in conceptual terms only relate to our hourly rates of pay.

For Sections 5.A.1 and 5.A.2, our Opener reads:

5.A.1. and A.2. Substantially increase wages at rates to be discussed.

The modifications to Sections 5.A.1. and 5.A.2. of the Agreement will bring United Flight Attendants’ wages in line with industry leaders and will recognize their valuable contribution to the Company.  The modifications will put in place extensions to the longevity schedule and achieve a merged pay scale.

Negotiations do not occur in a vacuum.  Some of our fellow Flight Attendants at other airlines, whose wages above ours, may reach agreements to increase their rates of pay further before the conclusion of our negotiations.  We will ensure that at the conclusion of our negotiations we stand as a leader in industry wages.  Our proposal includes merging domestic and international into one pay scale and longevity pay step increases beyond the current 14 years.

Your demands for increased compensation have translated into proposals for increases in various pay factors that affect our daily work life:  per diem, increased duty time pay, cab reimbursements, premium, understaffing, and training are a few examples of such improvements.

Contractual Improvement Opener Section Page Number
  • Substantial wage increases
5.A.1.-2. 20
  • Single Pay Scale: merge domestic & international over time
5.A.1. 20
  • Pay scale extended
5.A.1.-2. 20
  • Increase per diem to $3/hour
6.A.1. 26
  • Increase premium pay (purser, language, LIP) & aft purser position paid same as purser
5.B.1., 5.O., 12.D.4. 20, 24, 62–64
  • Increase understaffing to $10/hour
5.H. 21
  • Increase night pay to $.50/hour
5.I. 22
  • Increase pay for duty time
8.A.1.-2. 35
  • Flight time pay for training
15.A. 79
  • Increase parking reimbursement to $100/month
6.D.1. 28
  • Actual expense reimbursement for cab, etc.
6.C.2. 27
  • Increase holidays
2.Q.1.a.-g. 5-7
  • Decrease cost of healthcare
33 109-120
  • Crew meals & water on every flight / ability to take off airplane
6.A.2, 12.F.2. 26, 67
  • Variable pay – Double pay for drafting & reassignment
8, 9, 12 35-50 & 61-75
  • Eliminate taxes & fees for CJA
4.R.4. 15

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The Proposal increases the number of Vacation Days, and also establishes Vacation Pay as the greater of the trips dropped or 5 hours per day for all Flight Attendants.

Contractual Improvement Opener Section Page Number
  • Increase vacation days
18.B. 82
  • Vacation pay for the greater of trips missed or 5 hours/day
18.K. 83
  • Reserves paid for every vacation day at 5 hours/day
18.K. 83

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Scheduling Improvements

This area of the Opener provides opportunities for changes that bring real quality of life improvements.  The Proposal contains reductions to maximum times on duty and an increase in legal rest both on layover and at home.  We have addressed the disruption in our daily lives by giving us the absolute ability to decline 8.J/12.I. reassignments.  If you do not decline the reassignments, we propose double pay which encourages the company to run an efficient operation.

The proposal includes changes that would improve the process for trades with Open Flying by allowing Flight Attendants to indicate preferences and not just ID numbers.  Trades with Open Flying would otherwise continue to be awarded twice during the day as they are today, except for a window of time when trades would be instantaneous.

We propose removing restrictions associated with the purser program to improve flexibility and pay options for all Flight Attendants flying purser.  All Flight Attendants working the Purser position will receive Purser pay. 

Contractual Improvement Opener Section Page Number
  • Increase staffing
9.C.1. 39
  • Line guarantee reassignments return within 6 hours of original arrival (Section 8.J.)
8.J., 12.I.2. 36, 68-69
  • Increased legal rest, shorten duty days
7.I.4.a., 7.I.5., 7.J.1.a., 12.M.1.-2. 31-32, 69, 70, 71
  • Free from contact provision for all Flight Attendants
7.L. 34
  • Efficiency incentive - Double pay for all reassignments & drafting
8, 9, 12 35-50 & 61-75
  • Improve trade w/ Open Flying process, limited instant trade concept
9.G.4. 44-45, 146
  • Improve crew rest and new inflight rest
7.J.7., 7.M., 12.M.5.a.(2) 33, 34, 71
  • Removing restrictions to purser program to improve flexibility and pay options for all Flight Attendants flying purser
9.P. 50
  • Two-class airplanes confirmed deadhead seat in Economy Plus
11.B.1. 60
  • Three-class airplanes book in First if Business is full, then Economy Plus
11.B.2-3 60
  • Night-into-Day schedule provisions included in the Contract
7.N. 34
  • Lower line averages
9.A.3. 38
  • Company provides active assistance in acquiring VISAs/residency/ work permits
12.C.3., 22.L.3., 22.M. 61, 92

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Under our proposal, management would be required to pay a penalty for violation of the Contract.  The Flight Attendant involved would receive penalty pay.

Contractual Improvement Opener Section Page Number
  • Penalty pay for Contract violations
5.Q. 25
  • All conversations recorded between crew desk and Flight Attendants
4.AA. 18

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Reserve Improvements

Reserve changes seek to provide greater control over schedule and pay.  Our Opener proposes increasing Reserve Guarantee to 90 hours/month, raising the reserve override to $5/hour and setting minimum days off at 12 for the 30 day month and 13 for a 31 day month.  Under the proposed changes, Reserve lines would be built with a range of days off per month and associated guarantee – but no Flight Attendant would be forced into a line with a lower guarantee than 90 hours.  New provisions would allow Reserves to preference assignments and the ability to trade those assignments with other Reserves, Lineholders and even with Open Flying.  The proposal would limit the number of conversions to Ready or Standby assignments to 3 times a month.

Contractual Improvement Opener Section Page Number
  • Increase guarantee to 90 hours/month
5.D. 21
  • Reserve daily rate increased
8.O. 37
  • Increase override to $5/hour
5.E. 21
  • Increase Reserve days off
    • minimum of 12 for 30-day month
    • minimum of 13 for 31-day month
    • option for up to 18 days off
10.D.1.a (2)
29, 56
  • 14 hour rest at home & 18 hours before working all-nighters
7.J.1.a., 10.D.3.a. 32, 57
  • Expanded trading & trading with lineholders
10.D.4.-5. 57-59
  • Preferencing for assignments
10.C.4-5., 10.C.8. 52-53, 54-55
  • Limits on number of conversions per month
10.C.6. 53
  • Limits on number of standby assignments per month
10.C.9. 55
  • Double pay for working into days off in lineholder month
5.E.2., 10.L. 21, 59
  • No blocking in, no second assignment
10.C.14. 56

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Hotel Improvements

We are proposing the requirement of “key in hand” at the hotel for layovers.  Downtown hotels would be for layovers over 15 hours.

Contractual Improvement Opener Section Page Number
  • Layover tied to “key in hand”
7.J.1.b., 7.J.1.c., 12.M.1.a. 33, 69-70
  • 15 hours for downtown layovers
6.B.5. 26
  • The company shall not use any union disapproved hotels
6.B.9. 27
  • Complimentary internet access in the hotel room
Letter of Agreement 142

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Healthcare Improvements

Our Opener proposes to improve the quality of our healthcare benefits, lower our premium payments and deductibles.  We have incorporated a revised chart that updates and improves our Health and Wellness options to reflect our more current needs.  For example, we propose preventive healthcare such as the HPV vaccine, the Shingles vaccine, and increases in the frequency for mammograms, physical and vision examinations. 

Our proposal includes increasing sick leave accrual to six hours per month with no maximum on the numbers of hours a Flight Attendant can accumulate in her/his sick bank.

Contractual Improvement Opener Section Page Number
  • Lower premiums
33 109-120
  • Caps on premiums
33 109-120
  • Lower costs and expanded international prescription drug coverage
33.A.3.l. 111
  • Added frequency & options for Health & Wellness
Charts 118-120
  • Coordination of Benefits
33.A.3.v., 33.B.5. 112, 115
  • Sick leave accrual increase to 6 hours/month
19.A.1. 84
  • Ability to use sick leave for the care of a member of immediate family.
19.B.1 86
  • Extended maternity/adoption/paternity time
23.D.2., 23.G.1.&2. 93-94
  • Medical Leave of Absence extended to 7 years
23.C. 93
  • Coverage for all vaccinations recommended by CDC & WHO
33.A.3.j.(4) 111
  • Mental health covered at 80/20
33.A.3.p.(1) 112
  • Improved life insurance
33.F.2. 116
  • Short Term Disability
33.H. 116

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Occupational Benefits

In the area of Occupational Benefits, Flight Attendants injured while working will be placed on a six month salary continuance.  We’ve included provisions to improve the administrative and reimbursement process.
Contractual Improvement Opener Section Page Number
  • Salary continuance for 6 months
19.A.7.a. 85
  • Pay from the first day
19.A.7.b. 85
  • Improve administrative process
19.A.8. 85

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Retirement Improvements

To address the retirement concerns we heard frequently during the roadshows, we are proposing to lower the retirement age to age 50, increase both 401(k) Company Direct Contribution and Match to 6%.  The Opener includes improvements to Retirees’ Medical Benefits and will institute Retiree Dental and Vision Benefits.  Upon retirement Flight Attendants would be paid for unused sick leave hours.

Contractual Improvement Opener Section Page Number
  • Retirement age lowered to age 50
33.A.3.v.(1)a. 112
  • Company direct contribution doubled to 6%
34.B.5.a.(1) 121
  • Company match contribution doubled to 6%
34.B.7. 121
  • New 401(k) investment options
34.B.11.d.-f. 122
  • Lower healthcare premiums and improved prescription drug program
33.A.3.v.3. 113
  • Ability to cash out sick leave
19.A.1. 84
  • Retiree Dental & Vision
33.B.3., 33.K. 114, 117

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Job Security

Contractual Improvement Opener Section Page Number
  • Consolidation Protection
Letter of Agreement 140

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Our proposal would modify the current Attendance Program to allow for “point” reduction for perfect attendance for a calendar quarter and/or year, and would eliminate the imposition of “points” for an Occupational Injury.

Contractual Improvement Opener Section Page Number
  • Increase information sharing for safety
31.A., G. 104, 105
  • Increase company paid Flight Pay Loss to better protect Flight Attendants
3.R. 10
  • Improvements to Attendance Program
Letter of Agreement 125

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Contractual Improvement Opener Section Page Number
  • Cabin air quality
31.G. 106
  • Fatigue protections
31.I. 106
  • Communicable Disease protections
31.J. 107
  • Pesticide protections
31.K. 107

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