Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Dear AFA. A democratic, Member driven Union of Flight Attendants for Flight Attendants. Today is Tuesday, June 26, 2012 and this is Master Executive Council Membership Engagement Committee Chairperson Karen Hall, reporting and together we will do better.
Implementation of DFAP Cert Codes for Drafting & Reliability Incentive
With the implementation in May of our new 2 ½ hour Drafting Incentive pay and the domestic Operational Reliability Incentive provisions the company has added 3 new “Cert Codes” in the DFAP screen on Unimatic. The last three digits of the cert code for the Operational Reliability Incentive are ‘245’ and the last three digits of the Drafting Incentive are ‘169.’ For those Flight Attendants working language or premium pay positions, the last three digits of the cert code that will be used to pay the Drafting Incentive with the appropriate premiums are ‘269.’
Profit Sharing Update
We have been advocating to the company that individual Flight Attendants should be given an option on how they wish to receive their Profit Sharing payments. The company agreed to provide an option for Flight Attendants to receive their Profit Sharing payment in a tax-deferred payment to the Direct Contribution Plan or in the form of cash.
We are happy to report that the company has now completed the necessary programming to allow Flight Attendants the choice on how they wish to receive their annual Profit Sharing payment. If our Profit Sharing Program is triggered for 2012, you will have the option to determine if you wish for your Profit Sharing payment to continue to be directed on a pre-tax basis to your Direct Contribution account, in cash subject to taxation or a combination.
The Profit Sharing Program came about during bankruptcy negotiations in 2005, where AFA engaged management in the new enhancement of the Profit Sharing Plan. Section 5.J. of our Contract pays out when adjusted pretax earnings at United Airlines reach the benchmark of exceeding $10 million for the year. Fifteen percent of United’s adjusted pretax earnings form a pool that is distributed pro-rated to all employees. All Flight Attendants who have completed one year of service as of December 31st of the year for which pre-tax earnings are being measured will receive a distribution from the cash pool based on her/his considered earnings in the year the profit is achieved.
If United’s 2012 earnings trigger our Profit Sharing Program, Flight Attendants will have the opportunity to elect a method of distribution to determine how you wish to receive the Profit Sharing payment for that year. You may elect to receive the payment entirely in cash, in part pre-tax to your Direct Contribution Plan (401(k)) or a combination of both. Elections on how you wish to receive your Profit Sharing will be made on an annual basis, and if you do not make a special election for your Profit Sharing, you will receive it in cash. To have your Profit Sharing deposited in your 401(k)/Direct Contribution account, you will need to specify this each year during the special election period. Profit sharing received in the form of cash compensation is subject to applicable taxation and withholding. For U.S. taxpayers, this would be at the federal supplemental rate.
Internationally based Fight Attendants in FRA, HKG or NRT; and who do not have company contributions in the U.S. Flight Attendant 401(k) plan will have their Profit Sharing payment through the normal payroll process, subject to taxation. Members outside of the U.S. who are enrolled in the floor rate program receive appropriate exchange rates. For LHR based Flight Attendants participating in the U.K. Group Stakeholder Plan, which has features very similar to the U.S. 401(k) plan, will have their profit sharing directed into this account.
Additional information about this process will be provided if United reaches the benchmark of $10 million in early 2013.
Letters to Early Out Participants
In recent days the company has sent two letters to Flight Attendants participating in the Early Out program. The most recent letter contains information on schedule expectations and pay protections for IDs overlapping beyond the last day of employment and into the September schedule month. In addition, the letter explains the company’s expectation of Early Out participants to maintain their flying qualifications through the last day of employment.
Mid-June, the company sent Early Out participants a letter containing information intended for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) when individual Flight Attendants elect to submit their application to the PBGC to begin pension distribution. While you are not required to initiate your pension distribution at the time of retirement and may do so at any time the PBGC will ask for this letter when you begin the process of applying for any accrued pension benefits.
We have received calls from some Members who have expressed concerns about the sensitive Personal Identifiable Information (PII) contained within these letters. The company has informed AFA the sensitive information contained within these letters is a requirement of the PBGC and, as such, there should be no concern over including this information in that letter. Should you have additional questions or concerns, please contact your Local Council office.
CQ Training Obligations for Early Out Participants
Flight Attendants participating in the Early Out program must remain qualified to fly through August 30. In an effort to insure clarity, in its simplest form, Flight Attendants with a June or July “grace month” must attend CQ training. For those Flight Attendants with a July “grace month” the only exception to attending CQ training would apply for any individual who has 30 actual vacation days during the month of August. Flight Attendants with an August “may go,” “must go” or “grace month” will not be required (nor will they be scheduled) to attend CQ training because they remain qualified to fly for the duration of the August schedule month. Should you have additional questions you may contact Training Scheduling through FLTLINE, option 4, 2 or your domicile supervisor.
CAL AFA Tentative Agreement Voting Starts Today
The Continental Master Executive Council (MEC), who represent the Continental Flight Attendants announced on June 7, 2012 that they had reached a Tentative Agreement on a Contract extension for the Flight Attendants at Continental Airlines. Their Contract extension provides economic improvements, changes to schedule flexibility and job security for their Flight Attendants. Voting for their Tentative Agreement started today and will conclude on July 13 at Noon EST.
We again congratulate the Continental MEC and look forward to working together to negotiate improvements to pay, benefits and working conditions in Joint Contract Negotiations for all Flight Attendants at the new United Airlines.
That’s all for this evening! Thank you for calling. As we move forward together, management must recognize the value that Flight Attendants bring to the world’s largest airline. We will stand strong together to do Whatever It Takes! to achieve an industry leading Single Contract.