United Airlines AFA MEC Website

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA United Master Executive Council

Voluntary Furlough and Partnership Information

Date: November 18, 2013
Type: AFA Article

See also: Furlough Q&As
See also: March 2014 United Voluntary Furlough Packet PDF icon

The current thirteen-month Voluntary Furlough period will end on March 31, 2014.  At that time, all Flight Attendants on Voluntary Furlough are scheduled to return to work. Citing an ongoing overstaffing situation since 2008, which has further been exacerbated by aircraft redeployment and fleet modernization plans, management has announced there will be another Voluntary Furlough.

This new Voluntary Furlough period of 12 months for a total of 1950 Flight Attendant, will be effective April 1, 2014 through March 31, 2015.  Additionally, depending on the level of interest in the Voluntary Furlough, there may be an option for a Partnership Program bid for a 3-month period involving the April – June 2014 schedule months.  This Partnership Program will be implemented in an effort to eliminate any need for involuntary furlough.

All active and inactive Flight Attendants are eligible to bid for the Voluntary Furlough.  Those Flight Attendants currently on Voluntary Furlough who wish to be awarded a new Voluntary Furlough, must submit a bid to participate.  In order to be awarded a Voluntary Furlough, Flight Attendants on Medical Leave of Absence must receive medical clearance with a return to work date prior to the April 1, 2014 – the effective date of the Voluntary Furlough.  This medical clearance must be received and approved by company medical no later than January 3, 2014 at 1700 Central Time. 

Voluntary Furloughs will be awarded in system seniority order.  Flight Attendants awarded Voluntary Furlough will continue to receive the Contractual benefits outlined in Section 21.A. of our Contract, including seniority accrual, retention of medical and dental benefits as well as online pass travel benefits.

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.

Bidding for Voluntary Furlough and Partnership will both open on November 18, 2013 at 0800 Central Time.  Voluntary Furlough bids will close on January 8, 2014 at 0800 Central Time.  Bidding for Partnership flying will close on January 13, 2014 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 volunteer for this Voluntary Furlough, we encourage you to do so.

Voluntary Furlough Options

Section 21.A. of our Contract requires Voluntary Furloughs to be offered and awarded in system seniority order. Voluntary Furlough once awarded cannot be declined. 

Duration Start Date End Date Allotment
12 months April 1, 2014 March 31, 2015 1950

Eligibility

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.

Flight Attendants on Medical Leave are eligible for Voluntary Furlough provided they have medical clearance that documents a return to work date effective no later than April 1, 2014. This documentation must be received and approved by United Medical no later than 1700 Central Time on January 3, 2014.

Voluntary Furlough & Partnership Bidding & Award

Flight Attendants who are active, as well as those on Voluntary Furlough, can bid for the Voluntary Furlough via the Unimatic VOLUN screen or follow the prompts in CATS.  Refer to the Voluntary Furlough Information Packet, dated November 8, 2013, for more detailed bidding information.

November 18, 2013 Voluntary Furlough bid period opens at 0800, Central Time
November 18, 2013 Partnership flying bid period opens at 0800, Central Time
January 3, 2014 Medical Documentation must be received and approved by Company Medical no later than 1700 Central Time.
January 8, 2014 Voluntary Furlough bid period closes at 0800, Central Time
January 8, 2014 Voluntary Furloughs awards posted by 1700, Central Time
January 13, 2014 Partnership bid period closes at 0800, Central Time
January 13, 2014 Partnership flying awarded by 1700, Central Time if domicile need and cost effectiveness of the partnership program in the aggregate warrants
April 1, 2014 Voluntary Furlough period commences
April 1, 2014 3-month Partnership Program period commences (April – June 2014 schedule months)
March 31, 2015 Voluntary Furlough period ends

Items to Consider

  1. Flight Attendants on Voluntary Furlough will maintain medical and dental benefits according to their individual or family insurance elections.  In order to maintain these benefits Flight Attendants will need to make arrangements for premium payments since payroll deduction will not be an option during the Voluntary Furlough.
  2. Flight Attendants are eligible to retire from Voluntary Furlough. Time spent on Voluntary Furlough is included in your years of "service" to determine your retirement benefits such as medical, pass travel and retirement age eligibility.
  3. Flight Attendants may be required to complete varied emergency and services training programs during the month prior to their scheduled return from Voluntary Furlough.  Details about retun to work requirements are included in the Voluntary Furlough Information Packet, dated November 18, 2013.

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