AFA Council 21 News

INSIDE THIS ISSUE - October 30, 2016

• Updated Vacation Accruals Now in Unimatic
• 2017 Vacation Bidding Process Open
• Days off Preceding/Following Vacation Implementation
• Makeup Sick for Contractual Kin Care Implementation
• Leave of Absence Provisions now in Effect
• New Hire Corner - First Time Vacation Bidding

Ladies and Gentlemen of Council 21,

It's that time of year again when we "fall back". Today, October 30th, the European Union (EU) "Summer Time" ends.  Each year on the last Sunday of October the EU adjusts their clocks back one hour to conclude the “Summer Time”.  If you live in the EU or on a layover, you should have rolled your clocks back one hour at 1:00am Universal Time (Greenwich Mean Time). As a reminder US and Canada changes to Standard time on Sunday, November 6th at 02:00.

Last week, Council 21 assisted Members with several issues. Those issues included questions regarding reassignments, training, FML and benefit questions. We also had several inquiries regarding the Occupational Vacation Grievance Settlement, MEC 1-14. Remember, any questions related to this settlement should be emailed to

Another question was why the November Relief Line estimate for Domestic and International was so overstated. It is important to understand that the number of relief lines is always an estimate, never a guarantee. We have inquired as to the Company's methodology in determining estimates for November.

The building of "reserve move up", is a contractual provision that the Company must follow. The Company must build "move up" until either they have no more trips to build them, or when there is adequate coverage.

As always, we have a Volunteer from the Reserve Committee and either an Officer or Volunteer available 24/7. Please call us @ 703 260 0051, and follow the prompts: After Hours - Press 1 for Reserve, 2 for immediate issues, 3 to leave a message (calls returned next business day).

We extend our Congratulations to our New Hire Flight Attendants in Council 21 who are finishing their probationary period through November. You all have done a great job!

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

 In Solidarity and with Respect,

Todd Failla

Local Executive Council President

AFA-CWA DCA, Council 21


Company Offered Leaves Of Absences (COLA) Information:

The company has announced they will be offering four (4) month Company Offered Leaves of Absence (COLA) staring with the December 2016 Schedule Month, as provided under Section 15 of our new Joint Contract.

Bidding for this COLA will close Tuesday, November 8, 2016 at 8:00am Central Standard Time.  Flight Attendants can submit their request using the Unimatic command LOAREQ. When completing the DIS page enter the schedule month dates of:

  • November 30, 2016 (11-30-2016) through April 1, 2017 (04-01-2017) 

Should you choose to bid for this COLA it is important to carefully review the company's Leave of Absence information, particularly as it pertains to insurance, pass travel, vacation and sick leave accrual. Leave of Absence status could affect these benefits and could also affect seniority accrual if on Special Leave status for more than 180 days in any 12-month period, as outlined in Section 15 of our new Joint Contract.

Flight Attendants wishing to take advantage of this opportunity should make an informed choice and consider the benefits and consequences of this and all Leaves of Absences.  Flight Attendants can download a copy of United’s Leave of Absence package by going to Flying Together > Inflight Services > Administration > Inflight Services - Flight Attendant Support Team > Leave of Absence Information. Please note once awarded a COLA you cannot rescinded.

Updated Vacation Accruals Now in Unimatic:

Since Thursday, we have received a number of our inquiries from Members at the pre-merger United Councils questioning the vacation accruals that were loaded into the VACBID screens.  

We have followed up with representatives from the company’s Vacation Team and a review of the accruals has been completed.  As a result of this review, VACBID screens with corrected accruals have been reloaded in Unimatic.  In addition, Unimatic DIS pages with 2017 allotments have also been loaded in Unimatic.  Vacation bidding will open at 0830 Local domicile time on October 29. 2016.

We encourage Flight Attendants to review these updated VACBID screens if you had questions about your 2017 Vacation accrual.

Primary (Phase I) Vacation Bidding Opened October 29th at 0830 LDT:
Primary (Phase I) Vacation Bidding opened Saturday, October 29, 2017 and will close at 8:30 Local Domicile Time (LDT) on November 7, 2016. Section 18.E. of our Contract provides the timeline for annual Vacation bidding: 

Our annual Vacation Bidding article is now available on our website.


Days off Preceding/Following Vacation Implementation:

Section 12.C.4. of the Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA) becomes effective for the bid month of November 2016 for all United Flight Attendants.  This language states: 

“Days off preceding and following a scheduled vacation period as shown in a Flight Attendant’s schedule shall be considered part of that vacation period, if she/he so desires.”

This language is defined as any days off preceding and following a scheduled vacation, based on the Flight Attendant’s original line of flying, are considered part of a Flight Attendant’s vacation and are “sacred” days which are treated in the following mannor:

  • The company cannot assign training on those days, unless a Flight Attendant has specifically bid for the training.  It is still the Flight Attendant’s responsibility to ensure that she/he maintains her/his qualifications.
  • The company cannot schedule meeting on those days, without the Flight Attendant’s consent.
  • The company cannot reassign a flight attendant to infringe on those days, if there is an ability to return the Flight Attendant to base before the start of a sacred day.
  • Flight Attendants may not be drafted on a sacred day.
  • Sacred days are considered part of vacation for purposes of Section 18.E. of the pre-merger CAL Agreement and Section 20.E. of the pre-merger CMI Agreement. If the combination of scheduled vacation days and sacred days are more than 14 days, the 30 day period referenced in these Sections (discipline) is extended by that number of days (ex. 7 days of vacation + 6 days off preceding vacation + 6 days following vacation = 19 days; 30 day period is extended by 19 days)
  • A lineholder who picks up open flying on one of the days off immediately following a vacation period has signaled the end of her/his vacation. Any remaining days off are treated simply as regularly scheduled day off - not as additional vacation days.

This language is already in place for pre-merger UAL Flight Attendants and now expands to pre-merger CAL and CMI Flight Attendants.


Makeup Sick for Contractual Kin Care Implementation:

Section 13.D.7. of the Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA) is currently in effect and Flight Attendants may use the provisions that are currently in their respective pre-merger Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) for making up sick leave to restore their sick leave bank. 

As a reminder when a Flight Attendant wishes to use this provision they must follow their current procedures for calling in sick, making sure they advised that the occurrence was for contractual Kin Care.  This action will cause this occurrence to be paid and treated as a sick call in terms of accountability.  Following that, a Flight Attendant can designate a trip or trips as make up sick leave using their existing pre-merger process, so that her/his non-occupational sick bank would have the hours restored that were used for the contractual Kin Care occurrence. 

Leave of Absence Provisions now in Effect:

As of the Date of Signing, a number of provisions within Section 15 of the Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA) became effective.  The Joint Implementation Team (JIT) conducted a review of the entire section and as of now the following provisions of Section 15 are currently in effect:

  • Accruals - Section 15.A.2.
  • Other Employment - Section 15.A.3.
  • Transfers During Leave - Section 15.A.5.a.
  • Return to Work - Sections 15.A.6.a, 15.A.6.b., 15.A.6.d.
  • Company Offered Leave of Absence - Sections 15.B.1., 15.B.2., 15.B.3., 15.B.6., 15.B.8.
  • Personal Leave - Sections 15.D.
  • Medical Leave - Section 15.E.
  • Maternity Leave - Section 15.F.
  • Parental Leave - Section 15.G.
  • Adoption Leave - Section 15.H.
  • Family Medical Leave - Sections 15.I.1., 15.I.2., 15.I.3.c., 15.I.3.d., 15.I.5.a., 15.I.5.b.
  • Military Leave - Section 15.J.
  • Bereavement - Section 15.K.
  • Union Leave - Section 15.L.
  • Jury Duty / Court Witness - Section 15.M.
  • Leaves of Absence Chart - Section 15.N

Transfers while on Leave of Absence Implementation:

 Section 15.A.5.a. of the Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA), Flight Attendants on a leave of absence may request and will be awarded a transfer.  This language is already in place for pre-merger CAL and CMI Flight Attendants and now expands to pre-merger UAL Flight Attendants.  For more information please review the terms in the JCBA under Section 15.A.5..


New Hire Corner - First Time Vacation Bidding:

We have received several questions from our newest Flying Partners with regards to vacation bidding. 

We recommend that New Hires submit bids in the Primary (Phase 1) Vacation Bidding Phase, because that is when the greatest number of days are available. We are available to answer any questions that you may have regarding this process.


AFA Council 21 office: 703-260-0051
Email Address:
AFA Master Executive Council Website:
The Council 21 Website:

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