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Dear AFA: November 21, 2014

Date: November 21, 2014

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Dear AFA. We are a democratic, Member driven Union of Flight Attendants for Flight Attendants. Today is Friday, November 21, 2014 and this is Denver Council 9 Volunteer, Allen Ward reporting.

Enhanced Early Out Program (EEOP) December Exit Dates
Today the company has published the second round of the Enhanced Early Out Program (EEOP) exit dates.  The company has determined that 462 pre-merger United Flight Attendants will be released December 30, 2014.  The award list is as follows: 

Denver (DEN) 129      All EEOP Participants                           09/29/65-07/30/99
Los Angeles (LAX) 101      All EEOP Participants                           01/16/87-03/05/98
Narita (NRT) 15        All EEOP Participants                           07/18/63-04/17/99
Frankfurt (FRA) 9          All EEOP Participants                           02/04/69-08/16/97
Chicago (ORD) 208      Partial List of EEOP Participants          TBD

The company has determined releasing all EEOP participants at ORD at the end of the December schedule month is not feasible.  For this reason, the company plans to release 208 EEOP participants on December 30, 2014 with the remainder released in January 2015.  Given that there will be more than one release date, based on discussions with AFA, Flight Attendants at ORD will be provided the opportunity to preference a December or January exit date.  This process will be laid out in a communication to ORD Flight Attendants via corporate e-mail.

Reserve Letters Reassigned at DEN, LAX, NRT, & FRA
Today’s announcement of the 12/30/14 release date for all remaining Flight Attendants who were awarded the Early Out at LAX, DEN, FRA, and NRT, will require some adjustments to ensure that vacations and Reserve Letters are assigned to Flight Attendants remaining at these locations.

Consistent with the intent of the agreement reached earlier this year with the company to modify the vacation bidding timeline, the company will re-run the 2015 Reserve designation process for just these four domiciles and will exclude the Flight Attendants being released on 12/30/14.  Re-running the Reserve designation process including only the remaining Flight Attendants ensures that Reserve status, excluding the top 25% (L), is determined based on those who are at the location.  In addition, Reserve Letters (A & B) will be assigned to Flight Attendants remaining at the location.  The new 2015 Reserve letter assignments have already been loaded into Unimatic and will now appear on your VACBID screens.  The Revised Reserve Letter lists for these locations are available on our website. 

As a result of the company’s decision to assign multiple exit dates at ORD and the subsequent exit date preference opportunity, Reserve Letters will not immediately be adjusted.

As a result of the updated letter designations, all trades requests previously received from Flight Attendants at these locations have been invalidated.   Please review your Reserve letter designation in you VACBID screen before submitting any new Reserve Letter trade request.

Additionally, the Flight Attendants who will be exiting on 12/30/14 will not be awarded any 2015 vacation periods, and will instead have their vacation days paid out to them.  As a result, you may hold vacation periods you have not been able to hold in previous years.  In every instance, the best advice is to bid the vacation periods you want to hold making certain you cover yourself to avoid the assignment of vacation as the result of an insufficient bid.

Programming Error with IVF Flight Attendant Vacation Accrual
It has been brought to our attention by the company that a programming error has been identified resulting in the assignment of vacation accrual to those Flight Attendants returning to JFK from Involuntary Furlough status (IVF).

As a matter of background, those Flight Attendants who were placed on IVF as of 4/1/14 were paid out all of their accrued but unused vacation in the days immediately following their involuntary furlough.  The fact that they have been assigned vacation accruals is an unanticipated result of the programming that determines vacation allocations based on having completed 97:30 in each of the quarters in the previous vacation accrual year.

We have been advised that the VACBID screens for these individuals will not be updated to remove the accrual.  However, there is an intermediate fix that will be applied to ensure these individuals are not awarded vacation either by bid or as a result of the insufficient or no bid logic associated with the vacation award program.

Enhanced Early Out Program (EEOP) Travel Purchase Deadlines
Flight Attendants who are participating in the Enhanced Early Out Program and who would like to purchase travel to facilitate aging into Retiree Travel must take immediate action to ensure their participation.  It is critical to understand that there are different deadlines based on your assigned exit date.

Flight Attendants assigned a November 30, 2014 exit date must act by November 24, 2014 at 12:00 Noon (CST).

Flight Attendants assigned a December 30, 2014 exit date must act by December 1, 2014 at 12:00 Noon (CST).

Regardless of your exit date, travel may be purchased for 5, 10 or 15 year increments at a cost of $5000 per five year increments. United has created a tool to help aid you in determining how many years of travel will be need to be purchased if you are not eligible for retiree travel on your exit date. The tool, which has been developed as part of an excel spreadsheet, can be accessed on our website and used on any computer where Microsoft Excel has been enabled. 

Flight Attendants who are interested in this option, should print and complete the Travel Election Form available on our website.  Once the form is completed, it should be scanned and e-mailed to United at buytravel@united.com.  All purchased travel will be deducted from your Early Out payment and United has stated they will not extend this deadline.

United MEC Safety, Health and Security Page Reorganized
Consolidation of information from different areas of the website was a critical component of the reorganization.  Information from seven different pages containing Safety, Health & Security information located in different areas of the website have been condensed and are now available from one location.  The result is a single page - “one stop shop” – for all United Safety, Health & Security information.  We encourage you to check out this new resource, which can be accessed from the Safety tab on the home page of unitedafa.org.

De-Stress Your Holidays with AFA EAP
The holidays can be fun, but they also can be a source of great stress. The United MEC EAP Committee has compiled an article to help deal with the stress of the holidays.  Please view the article on our website.  If you need help in sorting out or dealing with painful thoughts or feelings call your AFA EAP for confidential assistance at 1 (800) 424-2406.

JNC Update
Our Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) completed another week of negotiations with United management in Chicago this week. 

The JNC has provided an update through the OurUnited newsletter. All JNC updates can be found on the JNC website at www.ourunited.org.  If you are not signed-up to receive the OurUnited Newsletter please do so also on www.ourunited.org.

That’s all for tonight and thank you for calling.

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