Ladies and Gentlemen:
The twelve month Voluntary Furlough period, which began in March 2012, will end on March 1, 2013. At that time, all Flight Attendants currently on Voluntary Furlough are scheduled to return to work. Our recent Section 6 negotiations resulted in our new 2012 – 2016 Contract and included a Cross Over and an Early Out program to offer flexibility and retirement options for United Flight Attendants, while also affording relief to United management on their staffing overage. However, there is a current overage of approximately 1550 Flight Attendants at United, and to mitigate this number United will offer a new Voluntary Furlough, which will commence immediately following the conclusion of the existing Voluntary Furlough period.
This new Voluntary Furlough will begin on March 2, 2013 for a 13-month period for up to 1550 Flight Attendants. In addition to the Voluntary Furlough protections in Section 21 of our Contract, a 3-month Partnership Program for the schedule months of March 2013 through May 2013 will be made available to those who are interested, in an effort to reduce or eliminate any need for involuntary furlough.
Our Contractual industry-leading protections provide for a Voluntary Furlough and the Partnership Program prior to any Flight Attendant being subject to involuntary furlough.
Our Contractual industry-leading protections provide for a Voluntary Furlough and the Partnership Program prior to any Flight Attendant being subject to involuntary furlough. Some of the benefits for those awarded a Voluntary Furlough include seniority accrual, retention of medical and dental benefits as well as online pass travel benefits.
All active and inactive Flight Attendants, including those currently on Voluntary Furlough are eligible to bid for the Voluntary Furlough, and must submit a bid to be awarded a new furlough. The Voluntary Furlough will be offered and awarded in system seniority order.
Our Voluntary Furlough and Partnership Program language has served our community well for over a decade, and by implementing these Contractual provisions over the past several years, United has avoided the involuntary furlough of any of our Members.
Bidding for Voluntary Furlough and Partnership will both open on November 12, 2012 at 0800 Central time. Voluntary Furlough bids will close on December 17, 2012 at 0800 Central Time with awards to be posted no later than 1700 Central Time on December 17, 2012. Bidding for Partnership flying will close on December 20, 2012 at 0800 Central Time with awards to be posted by 1700 Central Time that same day if domicile need and cost effectiveness of the Partnership Program, in the aggregate, warrants.
If you are able to consider and are interested in this new Voluntary Furlough period, please review the Voluntary Furlough Information Packet, dated November 8, 2012. Be sure to submit your bid for this Voluntary Furlough that will provide time off, protection of seniority, benefits and the jobs of our flying partners.
Greg Davidowitch, President
United Master Executive Council