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Association of Flight Attendants-CWA United Master Executive Council

AFA E-Lines: Mar 27, 2015

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  • European Union Time Change
  • KCM Policy Change Effective Immediately
  • Update on Germanwings Flight 4U9525
  • Special MEC Meeting Update
  • End Of Month (EOM) Legalities

European Union Time Change
European Union Summer Time begins this Sunday, March 29, 2015.  For those who will be flying trips in and out of the EU, please take this into consideration. EU adjusts their clocks ahead one hour at 0200 on Sunday, March 29, 2015. 

KCM Policy Change, Effective Immediately
Please be advised of the following change to KCM policy regarding crewmember access through the KCM access points. 

It is difficult for the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) monitoring the exit lane or working at the KCM access point to discern a crewmember approaching the KCM podium from a passenger who may be trying to breach the exit lane or checkpoint screening location. In order to assist the TSO personnel in differentiating a non-uniformed crewmember from a passenger, the following policy change is effective immediately.

Notice:  When approaching a KCM access point, non-uniformed crewmembers should wear their airline ID above the waist and visible on their outermost garment.   This will assist the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) in identifying you as a crewmember approaching the KCM podium and not a passenger who may be attempting to breach the sterile area of the airport

Additional KCM reminders include:

  • No pets and pet carriers through the KCM access points.  All pets and pet carriers must be screened at the passenger screening checkpoint. 
  • Only participating crewmembers are allowed to transit through the KCM access point.  Crewmembers traveling with family members or friends wishing to remain together must undergo screening at the passenger screening checkpoint. 

Additional information regarding the KCM policies can be found on our KCM page located on the United MEC Website. 

Update on Germanwings Flight 4U9525
As the investigation into the crash of Germanwings 4U9525 continues, a review and evaluation of United’s current policies and procedures is underway to determine areas for improvement or adjustments.  Currently, our United AFA MEC Safety, Health & Security Committee is in discussions with United management, other Unions and our AFA International Office to ensure that internal corporate policies and procedures throughout our company, and the industry, set the highest standards for the safety and security of our Members and the traveling public. 

News of an airline irregularity or tragedy, regardless of the airline or country involved, can trigger powerful emotions for those working in the aviation industry. Remember, your AFA EAP is available to help any Member with their thoughts and reaction to this incident. You can find your local AFA EAP Committee Members by visiting our website or by calling the AFA EAP international helpline at 800-424-2406.

Special MEC Meeting Update
A closed Special Meeting of the United Master Executive Council (MEC) was held on March 25 & 26, 2015 in Chicago.  The United MEC Members of the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) used this opportunity to update the United MEC on the status & progress of Negotiations for a Joint Contract that will govern the working conditions for the combined Flight Attendant group at United Airlines.  

Efforts of the Union to develop joint positions on any number of subjects have been ongoing.  In May of last year, a decision was made to modify the process by which subjects would be addressed.  After discussion and deliberation by the Members of the United Master Executive Council, our Union leadership made a decision to engage management using an Interest Based Bargaining methodology (IBB) facilitated by the National Mediation Board (NMB). Representatives from the company and AFA were trained by the NMB in the facilitated problem solving negotiations process in July and August of last year.

Before the process began, time was spent by the company and Union in the development of a protocol agreement to guide the parties through this process.  The protocol agreement typically addresses issues such as where negotiations will take place, what the schedule will look like and who will be involved in the bargaining process. 

It was agreed that this new process would involve a structure of subcommittees where the participants, subject matter experts in various areas of our respective Contracts, would work to develop solutions for the numerous subjects and sections on which we were negotiating.  Regular bargaining sessions were scheduled for two (2) consecutive weeks each month and dates were reserved and have been established through July 2015.  July 23 was established as the target deadline for completing these negotiations.   

Negotiations using the interest based bargaining methodology have been ongoing in Denver, Chicago and Houston over the past several months and are expected to continue in Washington, D.C. in the months ahead.  The intent of these discussions is the development of acceptable solutions that meet the interests of all of the parties involved.  It is important to remember that there are multiple interests that need to be addressed – those of the respective Memberships at United AFA, CAL AFA and CMI AFA as well as those interests of the company.

After several months of meetings, all of the parties involved met with representatives from the NMB in January for a progress report and to review those processes that were working as well as those areas where improvement was necessary to advance the common objective of reaching a Joint Contract.  Topics discussed up until that point included Reserve, “Hours of Service” (discussing duty time, legal rest and trading), Training & Meetings, Vacation, Benefits and Language Qualified.

The JNC continues to work to find entire Contract sections to adopt for use in the new Joint Contract through an “adopt and amend” approach. This process contemplates using existing Contract language from any of the three Contracts that can be “adopted and amended” to meet the needs of the parties involved.   Examples where this process has been employed include our current Contract Sections on Grievance, System Board of Adjustment, Filling of Vacancies, Reduction in Personnel and Expenses, Transportation and Lodging.  We have not yet, however, reached any agreement on these sections.

Regrettably, the JNC reported that progress has slowed in recent weeks.  AFA subcommittee members continue to develop solutions that address Flight Attendant interests as well as those of the company.  However, the JNC reports that we don’t see the same efforts being made from our company counterparts.  While we continue to work to put the different Contracts together the company is clearly trying to develop concepts that don’t exist in either book today.

At the end of the last bargaining session, the JNC and the company had a status conference with the National Mediation Board (NMB) to discuss the progress that has been made since they last met in January.   We are currently waiting to receive the NMB's feedback on the topics discussed.

Following the update that was provided, there was a robust discussion by the Members of the United Master Executive Council and the following Resolution of Support for Our Joint Negotiation Committee was unanimously adopted:

Whereas, the managements of Continental (CAL) and United Airlines (UAL) entered into a merger agreement on October 1, 2010 having an immediate impact on our Members and,

Whereas, the United, CMI and CAL Master Executive Councils entered into Joint Contract Negotiations with United management on December 4, 2012 and,

Whereas, the United Master Executive Council recognizes that the Joint Contract negotiations, facilitated by the National Mediation Board (NMB), may conclude in a possible Joint Tentative Agreement (TA) and,

Whereas, the United Master Executive Council recognizes the significant impact  the transition into and implementation of this Joint Contract and merging of the operations will have on the Membership and, 

Whereas there is a clear need for a transparent process by which the Membership can collectively understand the terms of this Joint Contract for the purpose of making a ratification decision and,

Whereas, the United Master Executive Council recognizes that central to any understanding of the terms of the Tentative Agreement is the need for details of any transition agreement(s) to be clearly outlined and to specify the process by which domicile and/or base populations and flying will be allocated and any automation necessary for implementation will be addressed. 

Therefore Be It Resolved, the United Master Executive Council  directs the United Master Executive Council Members of the Joint Negotiating Committee to advocate that resolution of the implementation and transition issues be incorporated into a Letter of Agreement and, 

Be It Further Resolved, the United Master Executive Council take all steps necessary to immediately advance the Membership Engagement process to inform Members and support our Joint Negotiating Committee in reaching a Tentative Agreement that recognizes the contributions of United Flight Attendants and,

Be It Finally Resolved, the United Master Executive Council President communicates this resolution of the AFA United Master Executive Council to the International President, the CAL & CMI Master Executive Councils, the Joint Negotiating Committee and all United AFA Members. 

United Master Executive Council
Unanimously Adopted
March 26, 2015

End Of Month (EOM) Legalities
As we transition from one schedule month into the next and put together the schedule from one month with that of another, schedule conflicts may occur.  These End of Month Conflicts (EOM) result from the various legalities set forth in our Contract and may include: days off below 1-in-7, violations of the non-waive able 24-in-7 FAR, exceeding 35 hours in a 7 day period, and/or insufficient legal rest between the last ID of the preceding month and the first ID in the new month.  There can be one or more of these end of month conflicts occurring at the same time when the two schedules are put together. 

If you have an EOM, Sections 9.D. and 12.O. outline the steps that are to be taken in making yourself legal for the new month schedule.  The "Make Yourself Legal" date (7 days before the new month) is published in the monthly Bid Package Cover Letter. Trading is the best way to go about resolving the conflict because you are directly involved in resolving the conflict with an ID of your choice.  DIS*39666 is the Unimatic page that has been created for EOM trades which are processed outside of the regular trip trade with open flying process and allocations.  You may also trade with another Flight Attendant through the trip trade or RDO processes.

Lineholders who do not make themselves legal by the Make Yourself Legal Date in the Bid Package Cover Letter, will have EOM applied to their line of flying and are subject to reassignment to an ID of the company's choice based on the language in the Contract.

If you are a Relief Lineholder, EOMs are processed immediately following the relief award, EOM is applied to your line and you are subject to reassignment to an ID of the company's choice based on the language in the Contract.

Domestic EOMs are resolved on the original days of the ID in the new month.  International EOMs can be resolved on any of the days preceding your next or "first" ID in your new month LOF provided you must remain legal for that ID. 

For more information, refer to Sections 9.D, and 12.O, in our Contract, the Reserve Survival Guide, On The Line reference handbook, or contact your Local Council.

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