United Airlines AFA MEC Website

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA United Master Executive Council

Dear AFA: September 26, 2014

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Reported by Allen Ward

  • Accommodation to Modify 2015 Vacation Bidding Timeline
  • Think Pink for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October
  • Aflac Open Enrollment Closes October 3rd
  • October 1st – AFA-CWA Founders' Day
  • Review: Inflight Safety Action Program (ISAP)

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Dear AFA. We are a democratic, Member driven Union of Flight Attendants for Flight Attendants. Today is Friday, September 26, 2014 and this is Allen Ward, reporting. I am a Member of Denver Council 9, and I stand with, and will help protect, all of my 685 Sisters and Brothers..

Accommodation to Modify 2015 Vacation Bidding Timeline
Following the announcement of the company’s 2014 Enhanced Early Out Program (EEOP), AFA has been in discussions with representatives from United’s Crew Schedule Planning to revise our Contractual vacation bidding timeline for 2015 Vacations and is intended to address areas of mutual concerns. This accommodation is proposed on a one-time basis and is based on the unique circumstances brought about by the company’s Enhanced Early Out Program.

In discussions with management, AFA sought to ensure:

  • Enforcement of our Contract to ensure status, Lineholder or Reserve, was determined based on the active population following the award of the EEOP to the greatest extent possible.
  • Assignment of Reserve Letters (A or B) to all Flight Attendants who will be active following the EEOP consistent with the terms of the Contract
  • Enforcement of the seniority provisions of our Contract in the bidding and award of vacations to ensure vacation was awarded to all active Flight Attendants who were not separated or retired as a result of accepting the EEOP.
  • The avoidance of the award of vacations in the secondary and tertiary vacations bids that, if vacated by EEOP participants, would not be made available through the interim vacation bidding process.

AFA and management have reached an agreement on a revision to the Contractual Vacation Bidding Timeline (& Reserve Letter List posting) for bidding 2015 Vacations by maximizing advancements in technology that eliminate several manual processing steps and reduce the need for lengthy breaks between the Vacation Bidding phases.  It must be stressed that, as a result of this Agreement, the Vacation Bidding Timeline will be compressed beginning on November 14.  The process will be concluded by the Contractual deadline for this process or by December 11, 2014.  The complete timeline is available on unitedafa.org. 

The first step in the Contractual Vacation bidding process is the assignment of Reserve Letters and our Contract requires this report be generated in the month prior to the start of the Contractual Vacation Bidding timeline.    However, if the 2015 Reserve Letter List were posted by the Contractual deadline, those Flight Attendants who have been recalled from Involuntary Furlough status would not be included on this list.  In addition, the list would include those individuals who will ultimately be awarded the Early Out and could result in a number of additional inaccuracies.

As a result of these concerns, this year, the Reserve Letter List will be published on November 14, 2014 after the posting of the Early Out Awards. Primary Vacation Bidding will open shortly thereafter on November 18, 2014.

If you have any questions, please contact your Local Council Office. 

Think Pink for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) is an annual national campaign in October to increase awareness of the disease.  NBCAM was founded in 1985 to help promote mammography as the most effective weapon against breast cancer.  Within the last 29 years awareness of breast cancer has increased significantly; however, people still overlook the steps to help prevent the disease in its early stages.  The goal of NBCAM is to bring attention to the disease, emphasize the importance of prevention and to raise funds for research to find a cure. 

To raise awareness, as we have in the past, all United Airlines employees are able to show our support for Breast Cancer Awareness by wearing company approved pink uniform accessories.  These accessories can be worn while on duty from October 1 through October 31. United’s Inflight Services has designated a pink scarf for females and a pink tie for males as the approved uniform items for Flight Attendants.  You may also wear approved items purchased in previous years to show your continuing support of United’s Pink Program. 

These items may be purchased at www.unitedpink.net. Five dollars from each tie or scarf purchased will go directly to fund organizations that provide support for those battling breast cancer and their families.  In addition to ties and scarves you may purchase baseball caps as part of the Pink Program.  However, these are not approved for wear by Flight Attendants while in uniform. 

Aflac Open Enrollment Closes October 3rd
As a reminder the open enrollment period for Aflac Supplemental Insurance will close on October 3, 2014.  If you have any questions please visit the Aflac Supplemental Insurance Resource page on our website. 

October 1st – AFA-CWA Founders' Day
The 2013 AFA-CWA Board of Directors moved to formally recognize our Flight Attendant history by establishing AFA-CWA Founders' Day to honor our union's Founding Members and to recognize the important role of our active retirees. 

Each year October 1st will be the official AFA-CWA Founders’ Day in which we will pause around the world to remember our Founding Mothers and reflect upon their contributions to our profession.  This date was chosen because it is the birthdate of our last surviving founding member, Edith Lauterbach, who passed away last year on February 4, 2013.  She flew for United Airlines for over 40 years and witnessed the evolution of our profession from "sky girl" to Safety Professional and First Responder.

Review: Inflight Safety Action Program (ISAP)
The Inflight Safety Action Program (ISAP), formerly known as OSAP, has proven to be effective in addressing safety concerns and non-compliance issues.  The program fosters a voluntary, cooperative, non-punitive environment for the open reporting of safety concerns that can include but is not limited to:

  • Unsafe or detrimental policies or procedures
  • Inadvertent FAR violations
  • Incorrect FAOM information
  • Safety concerns that are related to our job, duties of our job or tools used in our job as a Flight Attendant

The primary purpose of the program is to identify safety events, and to implement corrective measures that reduce the opportunity for safety to be compromised. ISAP is not a tool for anyone who has intentionally shown a disregard to safety practices. Any intentional falsification or criminal activity will also deem your report unaccepted.  Reports involving drugs, controlled substances or alcohol are not accepted into the ISAP program and should be referred instead to an AFA EAP/Professional Standards representative.  

Flight Attendants have several reporting avenues when we determine a report is necessary. Please visit our website for a listing of the types of reports and the intended purpose for each report. For further review the ISAP program or if you have any questions, please review the Safety page of our website or ask your local Safety, Health, & Security Committee.

That’s all for tonight and thank you for calling.  Through strength and solidarity, we will continue building our collective future.  After all, it’s our future. 

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