Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Dear AFA. A democratic, Member driven Union of Flight Attendants for Flight Attendants. Today is Tuesday, November 20, 2012 and this is MEC Communications Vice Chairperson, Rakiya Jones reporting.
CO Eliminates Position on 737 and 757 Aircraft
In an announcement to s-CO employees yesterday, the company advised through the Inflight Services bulletin, their intention to eliminate the “load” or “variable” position on the domestic B737-900 and B757-200 Continental Fleet.
The company has cited reduction of meal service on these flights as the cause for the staffing elimination, and not-so-coincidentally this brings s-CO staffing more inline with s-UA 757 aircraft. The Continental AFA leadership stated, “We call on the Company to immediately reverse their ill-conceived staffing reduction and stop the erosion of our jobs and services.”
Buddy Pass Holiday Travel
Last week, the company announced that Flight Attendants who are working crewmembers once again this year have the ability to travel with up to two people using Buddy Passes at the crewmember’s personal pass classification.
The program applies to both the domestic and international operation and is available for two periods:
- Beginning November 18, 2012 and ending on/before midnight November 29, 2012
- Beginning December 18, 2012 and ending on/before midnight January 5, 2013
When creating your reservation through United’s employeeRes, remember to check the “traveling with working crewmember” box to be sure your “buddies” are booked at the correct pass classification. You are required to notify the gate agent in person when your “buddy” accompanies you at the city where they are boarded and at a connecting city with an aircraft change. If seats are not available, the “buddies” will travel at the unaccompanied classification on another flight on which they can be boarded.
Union Plus Special Offers
There are a number of opportunities offered by Union Plus that you may find valuable.
- Union Plus credit card holders can get $200 off by upgrading their smartphone and switching to AT&T. AT&T also offers a monthly discount on service for all United Airlines employees.
- Avis and Budget car rentals are offering an Autumn special through November 30, 2012 with savings of 30 – 35%.
- The National Labor College Bonnie Ladin Union Skills Program is offering a week-long residential continuing education opportunity for Union Members. Union Skills classes are taught for college credit, which may be applied toward the NLC’s Bachelor’s Degree programs of 12-credit certificates.
Additional details on these programs is available on our website.
Pass Rider Enrollment Soon
Each year we are provided the opportunity to register new, or change enrolled friends for United’s Pass Travel Program. Enrolled friends can be registered during the Pass Rider Enrollment period of this year and be eligible for pass travel on January 1, 2013.
If you make no changes, your current enrolled friends will rollover from 2012 to 2013. You may remove an enrolled friend at any time during the year, but any individuals added outside of the enrollment period will not be eligible for travel until January of the following year. There are a few exceptions, which are detailed on United’s website.
As of today, the enrollment period dates have not been set by United, but they expect enrollment to take place in late November.
Secondary Vacation Bidding Now Open
Last Friday, we incorrectly reported to you that Phase II Vacation bidding closed on the 28th of November. We issued a special E-Lines bringing attention to the correct close date of November 23 for the Phase II Vacation bidding. This phase will close as scheduled on the 23rd at 0830 Local Domicile Time. Be sure to check your VACBID screen in Unimatic to view any remaining vacation accruals and/or awards from Phase I Vacation bidding.
Remember, failure to bid, or an insufficient bid, will result in vacation being assigned according to the “No Bid and Insufficient Vacation Bid” procedures outlined in the United 2013 Flight Attendant Vacation packet. In order to avoid an insufficient bid, we encourage you to cover yourself by include bids from every season. Also, be sure to observe the "crossing months" rule for vacations when bidding 14, 15 or 16 days. You must bid a minimum of four days of vacation in each month, or else these bids will not be considered valid.
Bids for Secondary Vacation bidding will be posted no later than November 28th at 0830 Local Domicile time. Tertiary (Phase III) Vacation bidding will open on December 1, 2012. Review more information in the Vacation Bidding article on our website.
Voluntary Furlough and Partnership Bidding Open
Bidding for Voluntary Furlough and Partnership is now open. Voluntary Furlough bids will close on December 17, 2012 at 0800 Central Time with awards 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.
The new Voluntary Furlough period will be effective on March 2, 2013, ending on March 31, 2014. Additionally, there will be an option for a Partnership Program bid for a 3-month period for the March through May 2013 schedule months. If you are considering either one of these opportunities, you can find more detailed information on our website or contact your Local Council Office.
Spirit Flight Attendants Picketing
Spirit Flight Attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), continue to rally outside of four airports across the nation this week. These AFA Members are staging informational picketing events through Wednesday to protest the slow pace of their Section 6 Negotiations with management since 2007. AFA has requested to be released from mediated talks in order to enter into a 30-day cooling-off period. They are currently awaiting a decision from the National Mediation Board (NMB).
Thanksgiving Day marks the beginning of the busy holiday travel season and shopping for many. Let’s also remember that this is America’s most unique and widely celebrated holiday, bringing together people from all walks of life. As we celebrate the diversity of our Flight Attendant Community, we can also be thankful for the many values we have in common.
Whether you are spending Thanksgiving with family and friends or working a trip, we wish each and every one of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.
That’s all for this evening! Thank you for calling. Remember: One Airline. One Contract. Building Our Future Together!