Dear AFA: December 11, 2013
Choose a different Dear AFA:
- Wintry Storms Swirl Across the US
- Phase 3 Vacation Awards Now Posted
- Pass Travel Enrollment Open Now Through December 20
- Uniform Points Expire December 31
- Voluntary Furlough/Partnership Bids Are Open
- Management Rejects Cross Over Proposal
- Reserve Christmas Wish List
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Dear AFA. A democratic, Member driven Union of Flight Attendants for Flight Attendants. Today is Tuesday, December 10th and this is Laura Harsh, Council 25 Membership Engagement and Occupational Chairperson, reporting and together we will do better.
Wintry Storms Swirl Across the US
As you are undoubtedly aware, there are major storm systems impacting airline operations throughout the United States this week and tomorrow is expected to be no exception. As in all situations where irregular operations are a potential, carry your Contract with you at all times and be familiar with the language in our Contract the addresses cancellation and reassignment procedures; as well as our Contractual Prudent Commuter Policy (Pages 254-257). In all instances, Crew Scheduling personnel should be able to advise you as to which Section of the Contract you are being reassigned. This is a critical first step in understanding any reassignment.
In recent days, we've received a number of questions seeking clarification of the Automatic Waiver of Report Time language as provided in Section 7.I.2. Section 7.I.2. provides that when a Flight Attendant(s) arrives late into a layover station on an inbound flight, in order to insure proper rest and curtail flight delays in the departure of the Flight Attendants' next outbound flight, the company may reduce our Contractual report times by fifteen (15) minutes. If, as a result of this rescheduling, hotel transportation cannot be rescheduled, Flight Attendants are authorized by the language in the Contract to use cab or limousine transportation at company expense.
At the home domicile, a Flight Attendant may elect to waive thirty minutes of report time for a working flight and fifteen (15) minutes for a deadheading flight.
In either instance, Flight Attendants are expected to arrive at the airport at the rescheduled report time but shall receive pay and flight time credit as if they arrived at their scheduled report time. In the event you receive direction from crew scheduling that contradicts this understanding, please advise your Local Council Office immediately.
Phase 3 Vacation Awards Now Posted
Awards for the third and final round of vacation bidding have been posted in your VACBID screen in Unimatic. Section 18.G. of our Contract provides information about interim vacation bidding while Section 18.S. provides for the trading of vacation periods. .
Two vacation trades are allowed for each Flight Attendant. Vacation trades must be between two Flight Attendants at the same domicile. Vacation trades are submitted using DIS*27874. Once processed, a confirmation meter will be sent to your domicile and will be reflected in the "2014 actual vacation" section of the VACBID screen. As set forth in our Contract, if you are trading a vacation involving a primary (phase I) vacation award, the trade must be for the same number of Phase I vacation days. Trades involving secondary or tertiary vacation awards may be of unequal length and will result in the award of an equal number of days to each Flight Attendant and this will be the smaller of the two periods traded. When trading vacations wholly contained within the same schedule month, bids must be received prior to the opening of the scheduled bidding for the month involved. Trades touching a month end overlap will be denied.
Please make note of the following exceptions:
- January vacation trade requests must be submitted by December 15, 2013
- February vacation trade requests must be submitted by December 30, 2013
Refer to our annual Vacation publication on the MEC website for additional information on Interim Vacation Bidding and Vacation trades.
Pass Travel Enrollment Open Now Through December 20
Open enrollment for 2014 pass travel is now open. If you would like to change your travel eligible(s) you have until December 20 at 1900 CT to do so.
Remember that the company introduced a new category of travel eligible, "Primary Friend." This allows Members who do not have domestic partners or spouses to designate someone who will travel with the same boarding priority as a spouse/domestic partner. If you don't want to make any changes no action is required.
Uniform Points Expire December 31
Our Contract requires that Members receive uniform points (165 points for men; 150 for women) at the beginning of each calendar year and the points expire at the end of the calendar year in which they are issued. This means you have only three weeks left to use any remaining uniform points. Don't be left with points that have expired, remember they don't roll over into next year. Place any uniform orders to at your first opportunity to avoid losing these points.
Voluntary Furlough/Partnership Bids Are Open
Bidding for the new April 1, 2014, Voluntary Furlough is now open. As of this morning, 606 Flight Attendants have bid for the Voluntary Furlough. Bidding will remain open until January 8, 2014 at 0800 Central Time. All active and inactive Flight Attendants, including those currently on Voluntary Furlough, are eligible to bid for the new Voluntary Furlough; and must submit a bid to be eligible to be awarded a Voluntary Furlough.
Bidding for the Partnership Program 11 is also open and will close on January 13, 2014 at 0800 Central Time. The Partnership Program exists solely to avoid any involuntary furlough.
The Voluntary Furlough offers schedule flexibility and maintenance of some benefits, with a return to work after the Voluntary Furlough period and may be a good option for Members to take advantage of scholastic opportunities, pursue travel or to spend more time with family. Additionally, the Partnership Program if implemented also allows for a more flexible schedule and provides you with the ability to continue flying with additional time off to pursue other areas of interest in your life.
For additional information, please contact your Local Council Office and check our website for updated Voluntary Furlough information. If you are interested in bidding for a Voluntary Furlough please refer to the Voluntary Furlough Information Packet, dated November 18, 2013, and read it carefully.
Management Rejects Cross Over Proposal
As we reported late Friday, Sam Risoli has chosen not to accept our reasonable counter-proposal that would have allowed those Members wishing to go work at sCO to do so, while providing full protection from involuntary furlough to all sUnited Flight Attendants. We remain resolute that our counter-proposal addressed management's desire for another crossover, while providing meaningful protection for Flight Attendant jobs.
Management has many options available to them to address the overage of Flight Attendants, many of which are a result of the productivity changes in our Contract. Increasing onboard staffing to reasonable levels, offering additional daily and monthly ANP are some means by which the overage can be addressed. Of course, concluding our Joint Contract Negotiations would ultimately resolve the issue once and for all. While we have been open to proposals to address management's staffing concerns, these must benefit and protect all United Flight Attendants.
Reserve Christmas Wish List
Flight Attendants on Reserve for the month of December, have an opportunity to preference where they would like to layover for the three (3) days preceding and two (2) day following Christmas. Section 10.C.13.c. of our Contract provides for the Reserve Christmas Wish List. When submitting your requests, you will be asked for your Reserve LOF number as well as your Reserve status (CLLR/RSV). Requests may be submitted for up to four locations.
You may submit your holiday layover requests through the link provided on our AFA website. We encourage you to put an initial request on file early and modify your request if your circumstances change later in the month to take full advantage of the flexibility of our programming. The last request on file will be the request that will be considered at the time of assignment. The submission page will detail the dates of your request and must be finalized to be considered.
For a full list of deadline dates for the holiday period, as well as more detailed information please visit www.unitedafa.org/wishlist. United Crew Scheduling will make every attempt to accommodate the Reserve Christmas Wish List layover requests to the best of their ability.
That's all for this evening! Thank you for calling. As we build our future together and achieve an industry leading Single Contract for all Flight Attendants at the new United.