Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Dear AFA. A democratic, Member driven Union of Flight Attendants for Flight Attendants. Today is Friday, March 9, 2012 and this is Denver, Council 9 Volunteer, Allen Ward reporting and together we will do better.
Step Two – Single Contract Negotiations
We will soon begin our preparations for Single Contract Negotiations with our Sisters and Brothers from Continental and Continental Micronesia. We have posted for an election, for the United positions on a Joint Negotiations Committee (JNC), and we will be electing our representatives for the JNC at our upcoming Master Executive Council (MEC) Meeting in Chicago.
Per our Constitution and Bylaws, the JNC shall be comprised of 2 members from each carrier for the purpose of merging the employment Agreements for United, Continental and Continental Micronesia Airlines. The MEC President from each of the respective airlines shall also be a member of the JNC.
Active Members in good standing may run for and be elected as our representatives on the JNC for Single Contract Negotiations. These representatives shall serve until a Single Contract is ratified by a majority of the combined Membership.
Some initial preparations for our Single Contract Negotiations include:
- Posting for an election for the United Members of a Joint Negotiating Committee
- Electing representatives to serve on a Joint Negotiating Committee
- Exchanging a notice of intent between the Parties to enter into Single Contract Negotiations no later than 60 days following ratification and actual negotiations commencing no later than 120 days from that notice.
During this time period, the Continental MEC is seeking improvements and protections to their current Contract. They are seeking necessary modifications to for them to move quickly into Joint Negotiations. The Continental MEC has stated that they, share the desire for achieving a joint contract as quickly as possible and welcome all efforts to lay the requisite cornerstones with reasonableness and prudence.
Their current Agreement becomes amendable this September and of primary concern for them center on profit sharing, job security and an increase in the cost of living.
Continental Micronesia’s Contract became amendable in December of 2010. They are currently in Section 6 Negotiations and are eagerly awaiting to hear from the company, since they've informed United that they are ready to return to the Negotiating table. They are also seeking protections and improvements for their Members.
Cash Signing Bonus Distributed Monday
Our new Contract contains a Letter of Agreement regarding our $5,000 cash Signing Bonus. AFA’s advocacy has been for the company to make this payment as soon as possible. We are pleased to report that the recently negotiated cash Signing Bonus will be paid on Monday, March 12th. Payments will be made in the form of a check or electronic deposit subject to taxes and the individually determined 401(k) election that comes from your regular paycheck.
United Extends Deadline for Dependent Healthcare Certification
United Airlines has extended the deadline for employees and retirees to confirm that their dependents meet eligibility requirements for healthcare coverage to April 27, 2012. You may certify your dependents, by going to “All About Me” portion on the company’s website “Flying Together”. From there, click on the "Dependents - Healthcare" link to start the confirmation process.
If you do not confirm dependents by the April 27th deadline, they will lose medical, dental and vision coverage through the company for 2012. Please email ESC@united.com with any questions you may have about annual dependent healthcare certification. United is also working on letters to be sent to retirees’ homes which will include instructions on how to certify on-line as well as by phone.
International Women’s Day 2012
Yesterday, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) commemorated International Women’s Day 2012. If you go to our website, you may read an article which outlines the strides women have made, especially in the labor movement, over the years.
The history of our Flight Attendant Union is closely entwined with that of women's rights; AFA has been on the front lines of many of the most critical fights for our profession, from passage of the Equal Rights Act in 1964 and banning weight restrictions and pregnancy rules in the 1970s, to winning seniority protections and FMLA coverage for Flight Attendants in 2009.
At AFA we remember those who have given their lives for workplace safety. We remember how far we have come through the power of women standing in Solidarity together and how much farther we can go in ensuring the safest possible work environment for our Members. And we pledge to remain at the forefront of the women’s movement.
March 7th E-Lines Correction
The March 6, 2012 Dear AFA, distributed in E-Lines today (March 7, 2012) contained a mistake when we inaccurately informed you that Reserve Guarantee would be increased to 78 hours in April. The Reserve Guarantee was increased effective with the March 2012 schedule month. Following is the corrected version of the story in Dear AFA and E-Lines:
We have exciting changes coming with our new Contract. Effective with our March schedule month, March 2, 2012 our higher pay rates went into effect, you will see this increase in your April paychecks. Additionally United is completing preparations for distribution of our $5,000 Signing Bonus, which United anticipates will be paid early next week. While all Flight Attendants now benefit from Reserve Guarantee to 78 hours and the new vacation pay improvements in March, the April schedule month brings us an increase in Reserve days off. Our website contains an anticipated timeline of these and other Contractual improvements.
Be sure to listen to the latest edition of the AFA Industry Editorial recorded yesterday in Chicago by retired Flight Attendant volunteer Jerry Butz. Dial 1-800-Dear-AFA, after entering your file number, choose option #5.
The United States change to Daylight Savings time is effective this Sunday, March 11, 2011 at 0200. “Spring forward” by setting clocks ahead one hour. That’s all for this evening! Thank you for calling and remain informed as we stand strong together to do Whatever It Takes! to achieve an industry leading Contract!