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E-Lines: January 11, 2019

Date: January 11, 2019

Unprecedented Airline Industry Letter Call on President to #StopTheShutdown

In an unprecedented unified message, AFA joins the entire airline industry in calling on the President and Congress to #StopTheShutdown.  The letter cites serious concerns over safety, security, and workforce hardships.

The full text of the letter can be reviewed here.  


Correcting an Inaccuracy & Setting the Record Straight

On January 7, 2019, regrettably and as well intended as it may have been, there was a document released by a Local Council that has created a number of questions from around the system. There was incorrect information in the article that is being misinterpreted by our Members and that has the potential to put our Members at risk.  The article addressed the following two topics:

  • PTO, Vacations and Short Blocks
  • Reserve Assignment Window

We have been advised by Labor Relations that the information contained in this publication was the result of the processing/resolution of a local NOD. However, because NOD resolutions are processed on a no cite, non-precedent basis, the information published in this article does not properly have a system-wide application. The information should not have been presented as if the resolution had a system-wide application or that there was necessarily as system-wide dispute on the issues presented. 

This communication is intended to clarify the company and the Union’s mutual understanding as it pertains to the topics presented in the publication.

PTO Awards and Application of CNF – A Review

Section 7.AA.4. of our JCBA provides that CNF will be applied to a Reserve schedule in two ways:

If a PTO day will cause a Reserve to be unable to be assigned on her/his remaining days of availability, the Reserve will be placed on PTO for the day requested, and CNF for the subsequent days on in the reserve block if the next block of days off are Set days.

This provision of the Agreement is applied differently at International & North American & Guam Locations

International Locations (LHR, FRA, NRT & HKG)

A day of PTO day will most often cause a Reserve to be unable to be assigned on her/his remaining days of availability at International locations where the shortest trip in the monthly bid package is typically three (3) days. In a circumstance where the Reserve were to take PTO on the third day of a five day block that is followed by Set days off, the Reserve would be unable to be assigned on the two subsequent availability days in the five day block because the SET days off would not provide the company with the opportunity to assign the Flight Attendant into her/his days off.  

International Location Example:  Set Days off & Shortest pairing assigned at location is three (3) days.

Reserve Block as scheduled

R

R

R

R

R

SET

SET

SET

SET

PTO Request Awarded

R

R

PTO

R

R

SET

SET

SET

SET

CNF applied to subsequent days on in the Reserve block at location with only a three day pairing when followed by SET days off.

R

R

PTO

CNF

CNF

SET

SET

SET

SET

 

At an international location where the shortest pairing is three (3) days, the application of CNF will be programmatically applied to the Reserve schedule and the Reserve minimum will be reduced by the value of each Reserve day to which PTO & CNF is applied.  In this case there are two CNF days & one PTO day.  Reserve minimum will be reduced by 3 X 4:07 or 3 X 4:20, depending on the number of days in the schedule month (30 or 31) – one day for the PTO award and two days for the CNF.

International Location Example:  No Set Days off & Shortest pairing assigned at location is three (3) days.

Reserve Block as scheduled

R

R

R

R

R

OFF

OFF

OFF

OFF

PTO Request Awarded

R

R

PTO

R

R

OFF

OFF

OFF

OFF

CNFnotapplied to subsequent days on in the Reserve block because days off following block are not set days off.

R

R

PTO

R

R

OFF

OFF

OFF

OFF

 

In a situation where the days off following the Reserve block are not set days off, because the Reserve can potentially be assigned into her/his days off, application of CNF is not appropriate nor is it an option for the Flight Attendant. In this case, the Reserve minimum is subject to reduction by the value of a Reserve day for each day of PTO awarded.

North American and Guam Locations

At a North American & Guam locations where the shortest trip assigned is typically a one day pairing, application of CNF in either situation, that is with or without set days off following the Reserve block, is not appropriate nor is this an option for the Flight Attendant because the Reserve is eligible for assignment on the subsequent days of availability in the Reserve block even if the days off following the Reserve block are Set days off.

Example at North American & Guam Locations - Days off where the shortest pairing assigned is a one day pairing:

Reserve Block as scheduled

R

R

R

R

R

SET

SET

SET

SET

PTO Request Awarded

R

R

PTO

R

R

SET

SET

SET

SET

No CNF Applied

R

R

PTO

R

R

SET

SET

SET

SET

 

Example at North American & Guam Location – Days off where shortest pairing assigned is a one day pairing

Reserve Block as scheduled

R

R

R

R

R

OFF

OFF

OFF

OFF

PTO Request Awarded

R

R

PTO

R

R

OFF

OFF

OFF

OFF

No CNF Applied

R

R

PTO

R

R

OFF

OFF

OFF

OFF

 

In both of the above instances, the Reserve minimum is reduced only by the value of the PTO days awarded, either 4:07 or 4:20, depending on whether the schedule month has 30 or 31 days. Use of CNF is not appropriate because the Reserve can be assigned on the remaining days of availability.    

Where the schedule has set days off following the block, the Reserve can be assigned to a combination of two one day or one two day pairing.

Where the schedule does not have set days off following the block, in addition to the assignment to one or two day pairings, the Reserve may also be assigned long pairings into her/his days off consistent with the terms of our JCBA.

Reserve Vacation & Short Blocks

A Reserve who is awarded vacation that creates a short block has a number of options to correct the short block.  

As described in the Reserve guide, a short block is defined as any block of Reserve days that is less than three (3) days of availability resulting from the application of vacation to a Reserve line.  For example, the following is Reserve schedule as originally awarded:

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

R

R

VAC

VAC

VAC

VAC

VAC

VAC

R

OFF

OFF

OFF

 

In this example, the Reserve block on Days 1 & 2 and the Reserve Day 9 are both short blocks.  In order to fix these short blocks the Flight Attendant may exercise a number of options.  The following are some examples:

1.    Days 1 & 2 may be moved to Days 10 & 11, creating a 3-day block following vacation.  Days 1 & 2 become days off.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

OFF

OFF

VAC

VAC

VAC

VAC

VAC

VAC

R

R

R

OFF

 

2.    The Reserve may elect to fix the short blocks by applying CNF to Days 1 & 2 and 9, reducing the Reserve minimum by the value of three (3) Reserve days.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

CNF

CNF

VAC

VAC

VAC

VAC

VAC

VAC

CNF

OFF

OFF

OFF

 

3.    The Reserve may elect to slide her/his vacation within five (5) days of being awarded the Reserve schedule in the previous month

2 Day Vacation slide to the Left – Days 7 & 8 become days off, Day 9 fixed by CNF (Reserve minimum reduced by value of one Reserve day)

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

VAC

VAC

VAC

VAC

VAC

VAC

OFF

OFF

CNF

OFF

OFF

OFF

           

1 Day Vacation slide to the Right.  Day three can be a day off with Days 1 & 2 applied CNF (Reserve minimum reduced by value of 2    Reserve days   

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

CNF

CNF

OFF

VAC

VAC

VAC

VAC

VAC

VAC

OFF

OFF

OFF

                       

4.    Alternatively, the Flight Attendant may elect to leave her/his schedule alone and will be eligible to receive Reserve assignments for each of the Reserve days in the short blocks on either side of the vacation period.

What is important to understand is that CNF is applied differently when PTO is awarded than it is when fixing Reserve short blocks created as a result of being awarded a vacation. In conjunction with PTO, use of CNF is not a voluntary action in the same way that CNF can be applied to the Reserve line to fix short blocks.

Reserve Assignment Window

We’ve received a number of questions which lead us to believe confusion has been caused by the second topic addressed in the communication that was sent out by the Local.  In order to clear up any confusion, the following is a review of the Reserve Assignment process 

It is contemplated that the Reserve Preference & Post Preferencing Processing & Release will result in all Reserves having been assigned to one of the following (Section 8.F.1.a – c):

  • A pairing or Standby assignment, or
  • Ready Reserve status, or
  • Release

Further, Reserves should be able to ascertain their Reserve assignment by automated means.  (Section 8.F.1.d.) There may, however, be circumstances where it is the responsibility of the Reserve Flight Attendant to initiate contact with Crew Scheduling to ascertain her/his assignment for the next day. 

Reserves unable to access the automated system or the system malfunctions.  In these cases, the affected Reserve(s) must call the crew desk for assignment. (Section 8.F.2.)

Reserves who are working a pairing at the time the assignments are being made, will have their time accrued position based on their projected time accrued after completing the pairing. If she/he returns after 2400 and did not receive an assignment as part of Reserve Preferencing or the Post Preferencing Process, the Reserve should contact the crew scheduler upon arrival to ascertain her/his assignment for the following day. (Section 8.F.3.)

A Reserve returning from (calling off) sick leave will have her/his assignment determined based on the time she/he calls off sick leave. (Section 8.F.4.a – d.)

1.    If she/he calls off sick leave prior to 1600, she/he will be given an assignment through the preferencing system via the 1930 automated communication and online system;

2.    If she/he calls off sick leave between 1600 and 1930, she/he will be given an assignment via the 1930 automated communication system and online system

3.    If she/he calls off sick leave after 1930 and up to 2400, an assignment will be given to her/him at the time she/he calls off sick leave;

4.    A Flight Attendant calling off sick leave after 2400 shall be considered on sick leave for the calendar day and no assignment will be given.

 

Reserves Blocking In

Reserves who block in after 1930 and who are subsequently released to crew rest and who are on Reserve the following day should make every effort to ascertain if they have been given a Reserve assignment during that call. In the same vein, we have been pressuring the company to ensure that Crew Schedulers should be checking the lines of Flight Attendants calling to block in for an assignment on the following day. This information should be communicated to the Flight Attendant during the call to block in.

Ready Reserve Status

Flight Attendants who are assigned to Ready Reserve status are subject to call at any time and have an obligation to be telephone available and are required to respond to messages left on voicemail and return calls from the Crew Desk.  (Section 8.G.)

While it is true that Flight Attendants on Ready Reserve status after 1930 must be notified either by telephone or through an acknowledgement of any assignment, not every Flight Attendant who does not have an assignment by 1930 is necessarily required to be notified by Crew Scheduling as the examples above indicate. Our JCBA sets forth those circumstances when a Reserve Flight Attendant is required to initiate contact with the company to ascertain her/his assignment and there is nothing in the Local Council communication that is the subject of this e-mail that modifies those provisions of our JCBA. Know when to call!


Cintas Customer Service Affected by Planned Power Outage on January 12, 2019
MEC Uniform Committee  

We have been advised that the local power company is scheduling maintenance for this Saturday, January 12, 2019 beginning at 0900 CST. It is expected to last for a minimum of six hours during which time the Cintas website will not be available. Restoration of website service is expected to occur around 3:00PM that same day.


Building Better Working Relationships in 2019 – It’s our Future.
Employee Assistance/Professional Standards  

We all know we have faced many challenges since October – from computer glitches to 
operational, scheduling and staffing issues we’ve run the gamut. As we enter this New Year, we’re faced with yet another challenge. That is, are we willing to become the change we wish to see?  Now is the perfect time to join together, build upon our solidarity as a union and make the commitment to build better working relationships with each other. Not only because we are stronger together as a result of this association but because our future success depends on it.

Read more about the recommendations of our EAP/Professional Standards volunteers.


Transfer Awards

On January 10, 2019, base transfers were awarded to GUM and HNL and will be effective the March schedule month, March 2, 2019. Transfers were awarded as follows:

GUM

HNL

8

15

            

Flight Attendants are reminded that under the provisions of harmonized process, once you are awarded a transfer, you must accept or decline such transfer within seven (7) days of the award date. 

Note:  A Non-response will result in your transfer award being considered a declination. 

When a Flight Attendant declines an awarded transfer, she/he will be inhibited from further transfer for a period of three (3) months. Once a Flight Attendant accepts an awarded transfer, she/he will be inhibited from further transfer for a period of six (6) months.


Implementation of Section 15.I.6. – Making up Family Medical Leave (FML)

Effective January 10, 2019, Section 15.I.6. of the JCBA has been implemented. Section 15.I.6 details the ability for a Lineholder to pick up open time when they are able to return to work for a portion of a pairing dropped for FML use.  

Section 15.I.6. of our JCBA provides the following:

"When a Lineholder is able to return to work after a pairing(s) has been removed from her/his schedule due to FML usage, she/he may pick up open time in accordance with Section 7. A Flight Attendant who is able to pick up open time on the day(s) overlapping the removed pairing(s) will have the overlapping days actually worked restored to her/his seventy-eight (78) day FML allocation."

To make up Family Medical Leave (FML), follow these procedures:

Contact Crew Scheduling directly to have your Master Schedule updated to remove the overlapping FML code to accommodate the pick-up.

To make up FML on the remaining day(s) of the pairing that was dropped for FML, you must be prepared to let Crew Scheduling know which pairing(s) you would like to pick up from open time at the time of the call. The FML days will not be removed unless, at the same time, a trip from open time is placed on to your line on the day(s) on which you were on FML.


Ordering of Open Assignments on Electronic Bulletin Board

For consistency in how we see pairings in open time, effective on January 15, 2019, the list of open assignments in the Electronic Bulletin Board will be ordered differently. This will change the order in which open assignments are displayed in the Market, Reserve Time and Sick Leave Trips. The default sort order will be displayed as follows:

*      Date of the assignment. If same then;

*      Earliest Report time. If same then;

*      Standby assignment (found only in the Reserve Time display);

*      Pairing Credit Time value in descending order (highest value first). If same then;

*      Positions (listed with FM01P/FM01L first, followed by FA01, FA02, etc. in numerical order).   If same then

*      Pairing number in ascending order (lowest pairing number first).


Introducing a Revised Version of the Electronic Bulletin Board – January 15, 2019

Since October 1, 2018 when all Flight Attendants moved to a common scheduling platform, Flight Attendants have made suggestions to improve the functionality of the automation of the system.  Features have been improved and those not frequently used have been removed in the upcoming release of the revised version of the Electronic Bulletin Board that will be released on January 15, 2019 at 2200 CT.

This new eBB will eventually replace the former version of the eBB.  We encourage you to use the new version to increase your familiarity with the redesign during the two month period both versions will be available.


Winter Regular MEC Meeting, January 15 – 17, 2019 

The Winter Regular Meeting of the United Master Executive Council (MEC) will take place January 15 – 17, 2019 at the Hyatt Rosemont 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. The agenda for the 2019 Winter Regular Meeting has been posted on the MEC website.


How Members Introduce Ideas for Discussion
MEC Communications Committee

Our AFA-CWA Constitution and Bylaws starts everything with the Member, and a single Member has the power to bring forward ideas to democratically change the course of our Union, to elect the leaders of our Union as well as to hold any position within our Union leadership.

See this previous article for an overview on how Members can introduce ideas for discussion at a Local Council Meeting.

Refer to Article III.D. Local Council Meetings in the AFA-CWA Constitution & Bylaws for additional details. (Page 15)


Welcome Class 1816! 

MEC Communications Committee

On January 9th
, we welcomed the first class of 2019 to the line. The 69 graduating Members of class 1816 will report to BOS and SFO on January 16, 2019 for orientation and will be available to fly on January 18, 2019. Please join us in welcoming the newest Members of our Flight Attendant community.

                         


Scheduling Backstage 2019 Engagement Events
MEC Communications Committee 

Management recently communicated in the January 9, 2019 Inflight Services Weekly that there will be three event dates to choose from in February for those who were awarded the February Preference Month.

Backstage 2019 event pairings/ dates will be included on the February bid packet cover page.

Lineholders pick up the event pairing on days off starting with real-time trading on January 23rd. Lineholders are expected to attend the event on days off as with any training. If all of the event pairings for your “must go” or preference month are only available on days you have flight assignments or during your legal rest following the flight assignment or require you to waive your legal rest following training, call FAST to drop a pairing (based on your originally awarded line of flying) and have the event pairing placed on your schedule.

It is important to understand that pairings dropped will be based strictly on your originally awarded line of flying.  If you elect to pick up pairings over the days the events are offered and you could otherwise have been scheduled to attend the event without dropping a pairing, you will not be scheduled for training in your must go month and will be expected to attend in a subsequent month. 

It is best if you contact FAST before you begin any trading or modifications to your schedule to ensure you are properly scheduled especially if you believe a pairing must be dropped to attend training.

Keep in mind, our JCBA in Section 11 provides the company with the ability to reassign you when trips are dropped.  You have the ability to elect pay protection or not.

Reserves call FAST starting on January 23rd to place an event pairing on reserve days ON.

Flight Attendants who do not pick up an event pairing by the January 27th for the February Preference Month will be assigned an event pairing.

Q: What if the event pairings are not available on my originally awarded days off or require me to waive my legal rest to attend or my legal rest following training?

A: Call FAST to have your trip dropped and an event pairing placed on your schedule.

JCBA Section 11.B.4. addresses the choice Flight Attendants may elect in order to be pay protected for the trip dropped or not.

 

4. Flight Attendants who are required to drop trips to attend

required training or meetings because the training/meeting

was not offered on their originally awarded line days off, shall

be allowed to elect either to be released from duty with no

protection (i.e., her/his pay guarantee shall be reduced

accordingly) for non-training/meeting days where trips were

dropped, or to be protected in accordance with the provisions

of Section 7.Q. A Lineholder who has elected such protection

shall receive full pay and credit for the trip(s) missed, or for the

training/meeting plus any credit from reassigned trips,

whichever is greater.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See the Backstage 2019 site on Flying Together for more details including a Q&A.


Limited Discretionary Time Off – COLAs, Multi-Month Leaves Not Anticipated 
Central Schedule Committee

The Company has indicated that Multiple Month leaves will not be available for February and discretionary time off, if any, will be given on a day to day basis in order to provide flexibility to the operation to support the scheduling of the Backstage 2019 Event. Additionally, Job-shares and one month COLAs are not anticipated for February.


Day at a Time Vacation (DATV)
MEC CSC Committee
JCBA Section 12.J.

As a reminder, Section 12.J. of the Contract provides that each Flight Attendant may take up to ten (10) days a year separate from their awarded vacation period(s). These Day at a Time (DATV) will be deducted from the Flight Attendant’s allotment from the following year’s vacation.  

After the award of relief lines and before the beginning of the month, day at a time vacation (DATV) will be awarded in seniority order. Throughout the month, DATV days will be available to the extent that regular personal drops are available. DATV days have equal priority.


Review of Deadheading Crew Boarding Procedures 
MEC Communications Committee

Although previously communicated, there continues to be confusion as to the standards to be applied to Flight Attendants for boarding when deadheading. 

When scheduled to deadhead:

1

Flight Attendants will be assigned to boarding group number one (1).

2

Deadheading Flight Attendants in full uniform, may pre-board the aircraft once the FAAminimum crew requirements have been met.

3

Deadheading Flight Attendants who are not in full uniform may board at any time during the passenger boarding process.

4

Flight Attendants must present their boarding pass to the agent at the time of boarding and will be allowed 2 carry-on bags and one personal item, such as a computer bag or purse.

5

Deadheading crew are encouraged to stow their luggage in the vicinity of their assigned seat.

 

Details of the Flight Attendant specific policy can be located in Shares under GG ATO BOARD.


New Uniform Update 
MEC Uniform Committee

Flight Attendants have been anticipating the release of the details of our uniform redesign. In recent days, a series of conference calls have been conducted with those who will serve as wear testers.

Our new uniforms are expected closer to the end of 2020. Flight Attendants will begin to see test garments as early as the last week of this month. Wear testing is scheduled to take place in two rounds. The first of the two rounds is scheduled for 10 weeks and the uniform items worn may not
reflect the actual colors or fit of our future uniform. The emphasis of this first round of wear testing is the fit and function of the fabric. The number of wear testers involved is intended to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, the company learns of any issues with the fabric selected and to ensure it will meet the demands of our work.  Later in the year, the second 10 week wear test will be conducted with the actual colors and fit of the selected garments.

During the wear testing time frame, the company will be post photos of the actual uniform in the final colors online and in the domiciles. During the wear test, you will see wear testers wearing black and/or navy shoes. The final decision on shoe color has not yet been determined by management.

Note: Aprons will be included as part of the testing. 


Reminders and Quick Links

January 15 – 17    Winter 2019 Regular Meeting of the United MEC
January 16            4th Quarter Earnings Announcement
January 21            Martin Luther King Day
January 23            Holiday Point Credit Added to Work History
January 31            Union Plus Scholarship Deadline


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