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Council 21 - Washington DC

About Council 21

Representing United Airlines Flight Attendants based at DCA. Local CWA #22021

One-Month and Three-Month Special COLAs Available with December Bid Month (Oct 20, 2019)

Council Office

Todd Failla

Todd Failla

LEC President
Patrick Hodges

Patrick Hodges

LEC Vice President
Chelle Tennyson

Chelle Tennyson

LEC Secretary
Lois Breece

Lois Breece

Council Representative
Michelle Masterson

Michelle Masterson

Council Representative
Thom Vargas

Thom Vargas

Council Representative

Meeting Minutes





One-Month and Three-Month Special COLAs Available with December Bid Month (Oct 20, 2019)


Ladies and Gentlemen of Council 21,

We thank thank the many Council 21 Members who were able to attend both the Candidates Form, and the Local Council Meeting.  Meeting minutes from the council meeting will be available shortly. We have received great feedback with regard to our streaming platform, we are happy that you are enjoying this addition. Being able to give C21 Members the tools to be more involved, has been our goal.

Last week, volunteers from Council 21, joined with other volunteers from across the system to successfully complete two classes conducted over four days of intensive training conducted by the MEC Benefits Committee.  We thank our dedicated volunteers from C21 who will put their training to work supporting not only the leadership, but also the Membership. Thanks to Nancy Contente, Cheryl Anderson, Philip Palmer, Mary Dartee, Amber Joy Brazelton and our newest volunteer, Rosemary Koening. 

This week, Chelle and I will be attending the Fall MEC Meeting in Chicago, we will then be joined by Patrick, where we will all attend two (2) days of Negotiations training.   

Here is the information on how to contact Council 21. Please be aware that we do not conduct union business via Facebook or United.com emails. We are available to you 24/7 by either stopping in the IAD Office, calling 703 260 0051 during regular business hours or by using the prompts after hours. Here is the prompt order. Call 703 260 0051, then

1 –  Non-immediate issues; calls will be returned next business day.

2 –  Reserve ONLY Issues (Immediate need)

3 – Urgent and Immediate Matters.


Please aware that there is only One (1) number, that number is 703 260 0051. 

Contact your Reserve Committee by Text or Email:

In addition to being on call 24 hours a day for urgent and immediate Reserve issues, the Local Reserve Committee is now available by text message or email for non-urgent matters.  You can text message/email the Reserve Committee with any non-urgent concerns or questions.  The Reserve Committee will make every attempt to respond to your inquiry within 48 hours.

Council 21 Reserve Committee by Text Message - 571.420.1721

Council 21 Reserve Committee by Email - dcareserve@unitedafa.org

To email Council 21, please use afadca@unitedafa.org.

Note! We do not use or respond to united.com emails for union business.

Thank you for being informed and engaged Members. Please remember to fly safe, challenge rumors and to respect each other.

In Solidarity and with Respect,

Todd Failla

Local Executive Council President

AFA-CWA, IAD Council 21





One-Month and Three-Month Special COLAs Available with December Bid Month:

Inflight Scheduling has determined that there will be an opportunity to award one month and six-month Special COLAs (Company Offered Leave of Absence) effective for the December 2019 schedule month. The number of Special COLAs to be awarded has not yet been determined. Once awarded, Special COLAs cannot be rescinded.

Timeline for Bidding and Awards of December 2019 Special COLAs

Bids Open

Now Open

Bids Close

Thursday, November 7, 2019 - 0800 CT

Awards Posted

Prior to November 12, 2019


If you are interested in both the one and three-month Special COLA, please indicate your first and second preference of the duration you prefer. The one month and three-month Special COLAs will be awarded at the same time. 

For further details regarding this Special COLA, please refer to the "December 2019 One Month Special COLA Program Information" and "December 2019 Three Month Special COLA Program Information" documents found on Flying Together > Inflight Services > Crew Scheduling. 

Additionally, please review Sections 15.C. and 15.N. of our Contract for further details associated with a Special COLA. This Special COLA will include medical benefits at active employee rates. Pay and vacation longevity are not impacted for step increases. 

Flight Attendants interested in this Special COLA should submit their bid via CCS under the "Leaves" drop down menu select - Special COLA. For more information on how to apply for a Special COLA in CCS, please review Special COLA Overview section (starting on page 42) in the "COLA, Jobshare and Multiple Month Partnership Overview" located on Flying Together > Inflight Services > Crew Scheduling. 

Flight Attendants awarded the December one month and three-Month Special COLAs will be required to complete any overlapping assignments into the December bid month. Please refer to Section 15.C.2 (paragraph 15.B.5) of our Contract. If you do not wish to fly an overlapping trip you may adjust your schedule through the normal process. 


United Projects Higher Full Year Profit Sharing Payments 

On the heels of Tuesday’s third quarter financial performance announcement, the company has published  information indicating an expectation of 25 – 30% higher contractual profit sharing payment than last year. Details regarding last year’s 2018 profit sharing payout can be reviewed on unitedafa.org.


Annual Benefits Open Enrollment - through October 25, 2019:

Open Enrollment began October 7 and will close on October 25, 2019. Flight Attendants can enroll online though the benefits link on Flying Together or via phone by calling the Benefits Service Center at 1-800-651-1007 from 7am-7pm CT, Monday- Friday. 

Additional information is available in the 2020 Benefits Guide and includes details about enrollment options, new vision plans and new voluntary benefits, info about what happens if you do not enroll, and much more.

Fall Regular Meeting of the United MEC:

October 22 – 23, 2019 in Chicago

The Fall Regular Meeting of the United Master Executive Council (MEC) will take place October 22 – 23, 2019 at the Hyatt Rosemont Hotel, in Rosemont, IL. Your Local Council President, joined by the 15 other Local Council Presidents from around our system, will address the business of our Union and the issues that are important to you. Visit unitedafa.org to review the Fall Meeting Agenda. 

We encourage Members to witness our democratic process in action by attending your Local Council fall meetings. Meetings scheduled dates and times will be posted on our website as they become available. 

Contract Changes Affect Line Construction:


Since October 2018 when the Flight Attendant operation was merged and the development of Flight Attendant schedules became a single process, there have been a number of questions from various locations about the principles used in submitting recommendations for Flight Attendant schedules. 


While some of the tools used to build schedules at each of the pre-merger airlines were similar, there were also a number of differences that were driven by Contract provisions. Over the course of the past twelve months, the provisions of our Contract have governed line construction based on company established parameters that guide Local Schedule Committees in producing what ultimately becomes the schedules Flight Attendants bid and fly.


Of the most significant contractual changes governing how schedules are put together are the utilization parameters established by management upon which schedule recommendations have their foundation. These provisions are predicated on the language in Section 30.L.2. of our Contract. This language provides the following:

If the manner in which the monthly flying schedules are made up does not require an increase in the number of Flight Attendants at the domicile, lower the utilization of Flight Attendants or unreasonably worsen the working conditions of the junior Flight Attendants, the monthly schedules may be constructed to allow a choice of working conditions for Flight Attendant preferencing.  


Over the decades, the practice on the property through arbitral precedent has been the development of anonymous lines of flying that are bid upon by all Flight Attendants at each domicile location. These schedules are constructed to comply with the utilization targets set by the company.  These targets are expressed specifically. That is, Local Schedule Committees are told to build a specific number of lines, all of which must be legal (days off, line values above 71 hours, observing 1 in 7, etc.) the result being the distribution of the total hours at the location across the Flight Attendant population. 


At domiciles with ultra-long haul flying where trips have very high values and line averages are set by the company to be low, Local Schedule Committees are faced with the reality that they cannot build those lines in the same way they would if line averages were high. Local Schedule Committee Members are required to build the number of lines determined by the company.  Those lines must all be legal having a minimum of ten days off and values above 71 hours – the minimum line value.


When line values are high, it is ultimately easier to build lines of flying that contain all the same pairings. However, when line values decrease, the hours must be spread out over more Flight Attendants. When trip values are high, it is difficult, if not impossible, to spread those hours out over more Flight Attendants unless pairings having different values are used to build the schedules that meet the company’s utilization target. For example, when the company sets the utilization at 73 hours and you are building schedules with a 30-hour pairing, three of the pairings creates a 90-hour line, while two creates a 60-hour line.  In order to hit the lower utilization target, you will most likely be required to add a lower value pairing to the 60-hour line to bring the value above 71 hours.


It must be stressed that while Local Schedule Committees do an admirable job when building monthly schedules, they are constrained by the requirements of the contract.  That is, they may not increase the need for Flight Attendants, lower the utilization or unreasonablly worsen the working conditions for more junior Flight Attendants. If, in making their recommendations any of these items result, the recommendations must be changed to satisfy the company’s targets established under the Contract. This work is difficult and challenging for the Local Schedule Committee volunteers but is work that is required under our Contract.


And while Local Schedule Committees strive to meet the desires of the Membership at the location, often the utilization targets established by the company place constraints on how schedules can be built. Given that our airline has adopted a far more “seasonable” view of aviation, the hours available to build schedules expand and contract.  During the summer when our airline is doing a large amount of flying to seasonal destinations, schedule development is different from that which occurs when the company reduces or discontinues flying to certain destinations. At these times, the company offers time away from work to those who are willing and able to do so.  If people aren’t able to take time away from work, schedules for all Flight Attendants not on leave must be built and made available for bid consistent with the terms of our Contract.




Calling On & Calling Off Sick Leave:

As we enter the cold and flu season, we encourage everyone to consider taking advantage of our negotiated health care benefits which includes preventative medication such as flu shots.  Given the diversity of the passengers we carry on our aircraft and that they come from all corners of the world, the various types of flu strains, despite our best preventative measures, can prove challenging to our well-being. With cold and flu season around the corner, we encourage everyone to take care of themselves.  Hand washing is among the strongest of preventative measures you can take while in the work environment. In the event the preventive measures don’t protect you fully, it’s possible you may become ill. When that happens and you are too sick to come to work, you should act to protect yourself as well as your flying partners and customers.  Flight Attendants must notify the company’s designated Crew Desk to place her/himself on sick leave. She/he will remain on sick leave status until she/he notifies the company that she/he is coming off sick leave.

There are two methods by which you may place yourself on sick leave: 

1)    A Flight Attendant may place her/himself on sick leave through the electronic system using the Sick Notification function in CCS which can be accessed from Scheduling > Sick Notification.  You may send a notification placing yourself on sick leave through the electronic system prior to 0900 home domicile time (HDT) of the day prior to a scheduled assignment or Reserve availability day.  Or,

2)    After 0900 HDT of the calendar day prior to an eligible assignment, Flight Attendants at all bases must call the Flight Attendant Support Team (FAST)directly to place themselves on sick leave.

Always provide as much notice as possible but at least 8:00 hours prior to scheduled departure time, except in an emergency.

Once you have called to place yourself on sick leave, you will remain on sick leave status until you are ready to return to work and you must call to place yourself off sick leave. Call FLTLINE at 1-800-FLT-LINE option 4 option 1 to call off sick leave and return to flight status. When calling off sick leave, you must notify the company (via FLTLINE) not less than eight (8) hours prior to departure.

Please review Sick Leave Procedures and Releasing Sick List Trips on our website at www.unitedafa.org or contact the C21 Office for more information @ 703 260 0051.


Additional Council Information

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