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Council 8 - Chicago

About Council 8

Representing United Airlines Flight Attendants based at ORD. Local CWA #24008

5 month COLA - 71 hour minimum interactions - Letter from the MEC (Mar 30, 2020)

Council Office

  •  (773) 601-5041
  •  (773) 601-5047 (Grievances)
  •  Council Roster
  •  (773) 601-5045 (fax)
  •  CWA Local #24008
  • AFA-CWA Council 8
    6250 N. River Road, Suite 4020
    Rosemont, IL 60018
    (map and directions)

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Scott Prejas

Scott Pejas

LEC President
Heidi Spinner

Heidi Spinner

LEC Vice President
Jake Fisher

Jake Fisher

LEC Secretary
Natt Brandt

Natt Brandt

Council Representative
Thor Erickson

Thor Erickson

Council Representative
Yoshi Fujihara

Yoshi Fujihara

Council Representative
Peter Komotos

Peter Komotos

Council Representative

5 month COLA - 71 hour minimum interactions - Letter from the MEC (Mar 30, 2020)

5 Month Special COLA

With the continuing changes to the domestic and international flight schedules, inflight scheduling has determined that there is an opportunity to award five-month Special COLAs (Company Offered Leave of Absence) effective with the May 2020 bid month. The number of Special COLAs to be awarded has not yet been determined. 


All Flight Attendants who are projected to be active for the May 2020 Bid Month will be eligible to participate in the five month Special COLA program.   


Flight Attendants Awarded the March Three Month Special COLA and the April Two Month Special COLA who are interested in the May Five Month Special COLA will be eligible to participate and should submit a bid in CCS by the request deadline.   



Bids Open: Friday, March 27th, 2020      

Bids Close:  Monday, April 6th at 8:00AM CT  

Awards Posted:  Before the May Bids Open 


Flight attendants interested in the one-month and five-month Special COLAs starting with the May schedule month should indicate their duration preference when submitting their request. May Special COLAs will be awarded first in priority before any Job Shares are awarded. Once awarded, Special COLAs cannot be rescinded.  


For COLA awarded during COVID-19, United will not contest your claim for unemployment.  In addition, United will provide any available helpful information to the state for purposes of your eligibility for unemployment, however, the ultimate decision rests with each state. 


OVERLAP PAIRINGS FROM APRIL INTO MAY   Flight Attendants are responsible to fly the last trip of the April schedule, including overlapping pairings into May 2020.      


CBT TRIMESTER LESSONS  Effective December 1, 2019 and for the entire 2020 training year, CQ Computer Based Training (CBT) will be completed on a Trimester schedule throughout the training year.  CQ CBTs will no longer be required to be completed before attending CQ; instead they will need to be completed during three designated time periods.  All Flight Attendants on a COLA are expected to complete the trimester CBTs by the established deadlines

Interaction of Guarantee and 71-Hour Minimum (Section 4.C.)

Now that the April lines have been published for us to see, there are numerous questions about pay and how the pay protections of Section 4.C. interact with guarantee and how trip trading activities will impact both.   

Section 4.C. (Compensation) requires a Flight Attendant awarded any line having less than seventy-one hours (71:00) original flight time line projection will be pay protected up to seventy-one hours (71:00). The 71 hours establishes the ‘minimum’ pay to which a Flight Attendant is entitled for any schedule with a value below 71 hours. This provision of our Contract ensures a minimum level of pay protection and for the month of April, regardless of where you are based, we will all benefit from this provision of our Contract.

We’ve received a number of questions about the interaction between guarantee and minimum pay protection and how one affects the value of the other. To begin, it is important to understand that a Flight Attendant will always be paid the greaterof her/his guarantee (the sum total of the value of pairings and other assignments) or the 71-hour (or adjusted) minimum.

Picking up Trips – Impact on Guarantee and Minimum

For example, in a situation where the guarantee of your bid line is 30:00 and your minimum is 71:00, you are paid the greater of the two values. In this case, 71 hours. Now, let’s assume you pick up a turn having a value of five (5) hours. The impact of picking up the 5 hours will be an increase in your guarantee to 35:00 whereas your 71-hour minimum value, will never increase.  In such as instance, you will be paid based on the greater of your guarantee or your minimum which is 71 hours.

Trading Trips – Impact on Guarantee and Minimum

Using the same bid line with a value of 30:00 having a minimum of 71:00, if you trade (down) a 10-hour turn for a 5-hour turn, (Trading into a trip of lesser value), both your guarantee and minimum will be reduced by the value of difference between the two pairings. In this case, the guarantee and minimum values will be reduced by 5 hours (10-5 = 5) to 25:00 and 66 hours, respectively.

If you were to trade the 10-hour trip (up) for a 12- hour trip, your guarantee will increase by 2 hours and your minimum will remain unchanged at 71 hours.

Advertising Trips to Give Away 

Using the same bid line with a guarantee of 30:00 hours and a minimum of 71:00, if you advertise a 10:00 hour pairing and give it away, the impact of that action is a reduction to both your guarantee and your minimum to 20:00 and 61:00 hours, respectively. In the same way, if you were to trade away all of your original 30 hours, your guarantee will be reduced to zero and your minimum to 41:00.

So, you may ask, what does this all mean to me for the month of April?  Because our pay protection this month comes largely from our 71-hour minimum pay protection, it is important to recognize once you have taken an action on your schedule that reduces your minimum, there is no action you can take that will ever increase your minimum. On the other hand, the value of your guarantee adjusts up and down based on trips picked up or traded into.

Here’s the general rule to follow this month because of the scarcity of flying – If you are going to adjust your schedule, trade equal or trade up in value. Make every effort to avoid giving pairings in your schedule away because not trading down or giving pairings away protects the 71-hour minimum value of your schedule. This is particularly important because there is not much of a guarantee that there will be significant open time available with which to rebuild your schedule.



Letter from the MEC Officers


Ladies and Gentlemen:

We are all facing extraordinary industry challenges. These extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. 

In the face of these challenges, we recognize that we are all continually being asked to understand the challenges we are facing. Thank you for the understanding and patience you have shown on the issues affecting not only our Flight Attendant community but also every employee of United Airlines. This is important for our understanding as to why it seems it is taking longer for us to receive responses to issues and questions. You are not imagining that it is taking longer to get these answers, it actually is.  


Because there are fewer people at work in some departments and because some areas of the company have been hit harder than others, management is needing to make decisions to prioritize the work that must be done. For example, payroll and scheduling are focusing on completing the work necessary to ensure that our March Pay Registers are updated prior to pay close on April 6th in order to ensure we receive our pay checks on Thursday, April 16th

Having said this, we want you to understand that we are aware there are a number of questions about our April schedules that require a response. These questions are related to the topics of minimums, line trades, end of month conflicts, etc. We want to be very clear – you are entitled to answers to these questions. At the same time, given our current corporate circumstances, we must realistically remind ourselves that there is sufficient time to address these issues to ensure our April pay advances are issued correctly and on time. Your MEC Officers are fully engaged with the respective departments to address these issues and place the appropriate focus where it is needed as we work to get answers to all of your questions.

We are asking that you work with us to get accomplished all of these items, in the order of priority necessary to ensure business processes are completed timely for our direct benefit. To this end, and understanding your concerns on these issues, we are requesting that you direct your inquiries or concerns through your Local Council. Writing directly to the MEC President is only serving to increase your frustration as it is not possible for the MEC President to respond to the literally thousands of questions that are being presented by e-mail. With the assistance of your Local Council President, we are able to effectively gather these issues, prioritize them and get them addressed more so, than we can by addressing individual issues.  


On the issue of Advance Vacation Fly Through, we understand that there are many questions and, based on the fact that all of us, regardless of where we are based, are being protected by the 71-hour minimum provisions delineated in Section 4.C. of our Contract, there is an appearance that something “has changed.”  Advance and Operational Fly Through are both being applied as they have been since October 2018, consistent with the mutual understanding of the company and the Union. What is different, unlike other months, our pay is normally derived from our guarantee and not our 71-hour minimum. 


When electing Advance Vacation Fly Through, your vacation hours are moved prior to your line award, to the Add Pay (Base Rates) bucket on the Pay Register. On the other hand, Operational Fly Through, which is completed after lines have been awarded, becomes part of your line projections. When Operational Fly Through is elected, the value of the vacation period(s) is removed from the awarded line, reducing both the guarantee and minimum, and is placed into your Add Pay (Base Rates) bucket. While the process appears to be the same for both advance and operational fly through because vacation ends up in the add pay bucket, the type of Fly Through you elect makes a difference. Please keep this in mind as we approach the typical deadline for planning any May Fly Through election.


We understand that much is being asked of us during this period.  We want to respond to each of your concerns individually but realistically, we must tell you that we cannot. Please use the structure of our Union starting with your Local Council to initiate your questions. Also, don’t hesitate to submit discrepancies you may see in your pay register through Help Hub with the understanding it may take some time for you to receive a response to your questions or to see changes to your pay register.

In Solidarity,

The Officers of the United Master Executive Council

Additional Council Information

The information below is maintained and updated by your Local Council.


 AFA Local Council 8 Office is located at 11555 W. Touhy Ave., Chicago, IL  60666 (CQ Building)

For more information on how to contact us, please see below...



Dispute Resolution Worksheet - Enforce our Contract

If you experience a Contract violation that you are not able to resolve, document the issue by filing a Dispute Resolution Worksheet accessible through the homepage of www.unitedafa.org. Documenting the issue provides our Local Council Grievance Committee with the information necessary to address the issue with management and reach a resolution. Your report may result in a correction to your pay or help us educate a scheduler so our Contract is enforced and all of us experience the Contractual protections we fought so hard to achieve over the years. Each of us plays a role on our AFA Grievance Committee every time we fly. Doing your part to enforce our Contract is one of the most important ways we can support our negotiations.


For more information, please contact us at Local Council 8 - Chicago:

Association of Flight Attendant-CWA
Local Council 8 - Chicago
6250 N. River Road, Suite 4020
Chicago, IL 60018

(773) 601-5041
(773) 601-5047 Grievance
(773) 601-5045 fax


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