|Inside this issue:||Trade Restrictions |
Limited Critical Coverage
Irregularites, Call Wait Times & Self Help
New Members for the Local Scheduling Committee
Today, In-flight Scheduling informed us they have restricted trades with open flying on July 5th due to projected coverage issues.
Interpreted contractual language allows for this temporary restriction. We will actively monitor the situation and advocate for adjustments in the event coverage projections change.
Pre-merger United - Limited Critical Coverage Declarations - July 3 (LHR/FRA) and July 5 (all mainland USA bases).
Management has advised that as we approach the July 4th Independence Day holiday weekend in the United States, there is an increase in the number of open IDs. Despite the fact that at U.S. domiciles, those IDs that begin on or prior to July 4thand fly into July 4 will include Contractual holiday pay as required by Section 5.L. of our Contract and the restriction of trip trades with open flying for July 5th at JFK, SFO and ORD, open flying is at greater level than desired by management.
To supplement coverage during the busy holiday flying weekend, including international staffing levels, management is declaring two distinct periods of Limited Critical Coverage on July 3 at FRA and LHR, and July 5 at all mainland USA domiciles. Our Contract allows for Limited Critical Coverage (Section 9.J.3). The process is different from Critical Coverage in that lineholders are not required to be available for the two hour standby period normally associated with a declaration of Critical Coverage. Limited Critical Coverage provides for compensation, at a higher rate of pay, to those pre-merger United Flight Attendants who pick up IDs that check-in during the identified period(s) after the announcement is made.
Lineholders are not required to be available for any two hour standby period. IDs picked up from open flying will be paid at 1.5 times her/his applicable rate of pay during Limited Critical Coverage (after the announcement of Limited Critical Coverage) and commencing during the periods specified in the announcement. You must fly the ID to be paid the incentive.
As of 1600 Central Time on July 1, 2015 Limited Critical Coverage was declared as follows:
FRA and LHR
IDs originating on July 3, 2015
BOS, ORD, DEN, IAH, LAS, LAX, SFO, JFK (including the LGA & EWR co-terminals) and DCA (including the IAD and BWI co-terminals)
IDs originating on July 5, 2015
The regular open flying processes will run each day at 1200 awarding IDs for the remainder of the schedule month. The open flying run at 1500 will only award IDs starting the next day. Once Limited Critical Coverage is announced, Flight Attendants who are awarded open flying that checks in on July 3rdat FRA & LHR or on July 5th at BOS, ORD, DEN, IAH, LAS, LAX, SFO, JFK (including the LGA & EWR co-terminals) and DCA (including the IAD and BWI co-terminals) in the 1200 and 1500 Open Flying runs will be paid at 1.5 times rate of pay during the period specified in this announcement.
After 1200 and before Reserve preferencing begins at 1800, Lineholders at any of the specified locations wishing to pick up an ID departing the next day in the identified critical coverage time period, should submit an Open Flying request. Crew Scheduling will process open flying and Flight Attendants will be notified by Crew Scheduling following the normal notification process. Reserve Preferencing will still run at 1800 local time. Lineholders wishing to pick up trips after the 1800 Reserve Preferencing run may still do so, and will also be compensated at the 1.5 times rate of pay if the trip departs during the designated Limited Critical Coverage time period at the specified locations. Contact Crew Scheduling to submit an open flying request after 1800 for IDs departing the next day.
Reserves may only pick up an ID on their days off provided the ID is scheduled to return to the home domicile in time for a legal rest prior to 0700 of the next scheduled Reserve day as set forth in Section 10.F.2. At the company’s option, this requirement may be waived. When a Reserve picks up an open ID on scheduled days off, there will be no restoration of minimum days off under any circumstances.
Irregularities, Call Wait Times & Self Help
The weather irregularities of the past few weeks are growing tiresome for all of us. While we understand that irregularities are inherent in our line of work, we’re frustrated by what appears to be the company’s inability to respond in a timely manner when this happens. Many of you have expressed your frustration at the lengthy call wait times when calling Crew Scheduling and Crew Accommodations seeking assistance during irregularities. We have elevated your concerns to Inflight management seeking answers to your questions and advocating for an outcome that meets the requirements of our Contract.
In response to our advocacy, management has acknowledged that the response times at both Crew Scheduling and Crew Accommodations have been high and are, in their view, less than acceptable. In response to these delays, management has assured us additional staffing has been added to both the Crew Scheduling and Crew Accommodations desks in an effort to improve response times in support of the operation.
As part of our advocacy, we discussed the fact that having Flight Attendants wait extended periods of time to secure hotel rooms does not support the operation. Flight Attendants should not be required to reduce their already shortened rest periods and we cautioned the company about the likelihood of an increase in fatigue claims as a result of these delays in rescheduling.
We have also heard from many of you asking the question, “How long do I have to wait “on hold” to reach Crew Accommodations before I can secure a room on my own?” Following a discussion with the Managing Director of Crew Scheduling, the company and the Union share the following understanding of the steps that should be taken:
1. Flight Attendants must first make an effort to contact Crew Accommodations to seek assistance in securing a hotel room for their assigned layover. Flight Attendants should document whom they spoke with and the time the call began and ended.
2. In those instances where there is no answer or there are extend call wait times, the following guidelines should be used:
a. For field (short) layovers, Flight Attendants able to secure their own rooms should proceed to the hotel after no more than thirty (30) minutes, and
b. For downtown (long) layovers, Flight Attendants able to secure their own rooms should proceed to the hotel after no more than forty-five (45) minutes.
Don’t be afraid to act in your best interests. United is responsible for our safety on layovers. If they do not respond, take care of yourself. If one of your flying partners is in trouble and doesn’t have the expendable cash or a credit card to take care of it, help them out if you can.
Once at the hotel, you should notify the Crew Desk of your layover contact information. Keep in mind, Crew Accommodations is not the Crew Desk. In some instances, Crew Accommodations can arrange to cover the cost of the hotel rooms by sending a voucher directly to the hotel. Don’t hesitate to ask for this assistance. In the alternative, employ self-help to ensure your proper rest.
When you return to your domicile, submit a claim for reimbursement using an Employee Expense Report form. In addition to filling out an expense report with receipts attached, you are strongly encouraged to document your experience by writing a TVLLOG. Always include the names of the persons with whom you’ve spoken at both the hotel and Crew Accommodations. Make copies for yourself of the TVLLOG, expense report and receipts. If you are not reimbursed promptly, file a Local Council Worksheet and call your Local Council Office for assistance.
Self-help is not only allowable per our Collective Bargaining Agreement, it is strongly recommended you seek self-help to ensure adequate rest and, most importantly, to protect your safety and ensure your personal well-being. The AFA MEC Hotel and Transportation Committee meets with United Crew Accommodations monthly, to address problems and seek positive resolution. Our advocacy is strengthened when problems are documented and trended through your TVLLOG reports. Help us help you: use only TVLLOG every time you experience a problem or conversely, a positive experience.
For help writing an effective TVLLOG or more information about when you should using Self-Help for Hotel and Transportation please visit our website.
If you have any questions please contact your Local Council.
New Members for the Local Scheduling Committee
We would like to Thank Donelle Capstraw and Jennifer Fairchild for Attending the Central Scheduling Committee Basic Line training in Chicago. On behalf of all us here in LAS we want to thank these ladies for volunteering to join the Local Scheduling Committee.