Home > News > E-Lines: March 15, 2019

E-Lines: March 15, 2019

Date: March 15, 2019

Flight Attendant Union Statement on U.S. Grounding of 737 MAX
Washington, D.C. (March 13, 2019)


The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) President Sara Nelson released the following statement after the U.S. grounding of the 737 MAX fleet: 

“It is good news that the 737 MAX will now get the focus it needs to address the concerns of undetermined safety issues. We must focus on the needed fix, rather than the uncertainty of flight. 

“Lives must come first always. But a brand is at stake as well. And that brand is not just Boeing. It's America. What America means in international aviation and by extension in the larger world more generally—that we set the standard for safety, competence, and honesty in governance of aviation.  

“We must be leaders in safety always. We thank all who spoke up. Aviation workers will always stand up for safety. We have that ability and right through our union. It's important to recognize the critical role unions play in raising issues, demanding the best of ourselves, of management , and government.”


Welcome New Hire Class 1905!
MEC Communications Committee

On Friday, March 15, 2019 we welcomed the 50 graduating Members of class 1905 to the line. Our newest flying partners will be reporting to their respective bases at DEN, EWR, IAD and SFO on March 22, 2019, for orientation and will be available to fly on March 24, 2019. Please join us in welcoming the newest Members of our Flight Attendant community.

                     


Staffing Reductions Create Additional Challenges in Meeting Competing Priorities

With recent staffing cuts, it goes without saying that we’re finding it difficult to juggle all of our competing priorities.  In particular, as we work to balance the needs of the passengers in our care and the needs of our fellow crew members on the flight deck, we are faced with making difficult decisions when weighing priorities.

Let’s face the facts. We’re not pilots and don’t fully understand their needs and responsibilities.  Our colleagues on the flight deck, no matter how considerate they may be in requesting our assistance for meals, bio-breaks, etc. there is never a good time for those requests to present themselves.  After all, our workload periods are completely opposite of each other.

The reality is that our pilots have physiological needs which can’t be ignored. As such, we may need to find new ways to balance our obligations to the flight deck with delivering service to our passengers.  Good communication with the flight deck crew, from the beginning of the flight, is key.

By starting the conversation early about meal times and breaks, this provides us with the ability to address priorities mutually.  If the pilots have been flying all day, eating early may be a priority for our colleagues on the flight deck.  Talking about this and making it a priority from the start will eliminate the frustration of an unexpected interruption during our service.  And, when nature calls and our colleagues, who depend on us to facilitate these bio-breaks do call, while perhaps an interruption, we’ll have a much better sense that this is not intended. We are a team, and need to take care of each other.  We rely on each other in emergency situations and during the flight. There is a legitimate safety need to ensure the pilot’s physiological needs are provided for during the flight.  Communication, flexibility and teamwork go a long way in resolving any areas of misunderstanding and facilitating CLR. 

At the end of the day, pilots are our fellow crew members.  Treating our colleagues on the flight desk as we would like to be treated, beyond being considerate, is a critical part of our role in the safety of flight. 


Commuter Program Offers Protections for Air and Surface Commuters
JCBA Section 28

With the recent spring snow storm event that inundated the Denver area this week, many DEN based Local Flight Attendants, who commute to the airport via automobile, bus, train, or public surface transportation were met with impassable roads, closed highways and cancelled public transportation. This left many Flight Attendants who commute to their base locally, inquiring about the Commuter Program and if any of the protections provided in section 28 of our JCBA pertained to Flight Attendants that drive or use other means to commute to the airport for their assignments. To be clear, all Flight Attendants that commute by air or surface are provided commuting protections in the language of our JCBA, Section 28. In fact, the Commuter Program provides distinct guidelines for Flight Attendants that commute by surface/rail while at the same time providing separate provisions for Flight Attendants that commute by air. In either case we encourage Flight Attendants to read the Commuter Program, Section 28 in its entirety and become familiar with all of the provisions and requirements specific to their circumstances. 

Flight Attendants who commute by air can find detailed information in our Commuter Program educational article, available on unitedafa.org or by referencing their JCBA page 219. 

 

Flight Attendants that commute by automobile, bus, train, or public surface transportation can reference Section 28.B.4, which contains the following information.

Flight Attendants who commute by automobile, bus, train, or public surface transportation must exercise good judgment and exert every reasonable effort to report for work. By doing so, they will be afforded the same privileges contained in the Section for unforeseen events related to severe unforecasted weather conditions or natural disasters which render roads hazardous or impassable, or enroute mechanical problems, provided that they call their Inflight Duty Office as soon as the unforeseen event becomes known and it appears she/he will not make it to the airport to arrive at her/his domicile in time for their scheduled report (e.g., road accident, mechanical breakdown, severe weather).

If you have additional questions please contact your Local Council Representatives.


Revised India Sequences Adding Germany Stops – Section 7.Q. Applies
MEC Officers

As we are aware, the company has been required to change the flight plan for the flights from India (DEL & BOM) as a result of restrictions to the airspace through which our flights are normally routed.   As a result, the daily four (4) day flying sequences have been modified to a five (5) day sequences to include stops in Germany to facilitate crew changes.  Appropriately, management advised the MEC Office that these reassignments would be taking place consistent with the terms of the Contract.

Reassignments to Revised (5) day India Sequence requires Flight Attendant Concurrence

Based on the reassignment language in our JCBA, Section 7.Q.4, Flight Attendants assigned the four (4) day pairing may not be reassigned to the revised five (5) day pairing without their concurrence.  In an effort to satisfy this requirement and obtain the concurrence of the Flight Attendants assigned the original four (4) day sequences, Crew Scheduling personnel contacted each of the affected Flight Attendants and offered one of the following options:

·       Replace the four (4) day sequence with reassignment into the five (5) day sequence with the Flight Attendant’s concurrence.  Some of those reassigned were incorrectly advised they were not eligible for ROD and the 150% of the block hours on the fifth day.

·       Decline to be assigned into days off and be assigned RX days on each of the four days of the original four-day pairing.  In this case, the Flight Attendant is eligible for reassignment to alternate flying that complies with the JCBA.

Five Day (5) Pairing Conflicts with Next Scheduled Pairing on Flight Attendant’s Line

If the five-day pairing conflicted with subsequent flying on the Flight Attendant’s line, the five (5) day pairing was not an option that was offered by management nor is there a requirement for management to reassign Flight Attendants to flying that makes a Flight Attendant illegal (ineligible) for a subsequent pairing when the revised flying sequence is known prior to departure.

When accepting the five day reassignment, as set forth in Section 7.Q.4. of the Contract, Flight Attendants are eligible for restoration of days off, ROD, and 150% pay for the block hours on the fifth day (day off) of the revised five (5) day pairing.

Contractual Entitlement when Picking up Revised (5-day India Pairing) Flying Sequence from Open Time/ Advertisements

While the majority of those assigned the original pairing accepted the five day reassignment, some elected not to do so.  Those revised five (5) day pairings ended up in open time and were either picked up or traded into by other Flight Attendants.  Some of the Flight Attendants who picked up or traded into the revised five day pairing(s) have incorrectly asserted they are entitled to the ROD and the 150% pay for the block hours on the fifth day (day off) as provided for in Section 7.Q.4.  To the extent that a revised pairing has been picked up or traded into from open time, she/he picking up the five-day pairing are not eligible for the ROD and 150% payment for the block hours.


Additional Vacation Fly Through Clarifications

MEC Reserve Committee

Although there have already been several E-Lines articles published since October 1st  addressing the Vacation Fly Through provisions of our JCBA (11/06/18, 11/27/18, 01/30/19), we have continued to press for clarification on how Operational Fly-Through requests made after the vacation period has started are to be processed.

As a reminder, Operational Fly Through occurs when a Flight Attendant elects to fly through her/his vacation any time after schedules for a given month have been awarded. This includes during the current schedule month and even after the vacation period has started.

Flight Attendants who make the election to fly through vacation any time after schedules have been awarded for the month in which the vacation occurs, including after the vacation period has started, will have the entire vacation period treated as a vacation fly through.  The result will be the removal of all of the vacation days from their lines.  Pay in lieu of vacation will apply. The value of each of the vacation days (3:15), including those that may have occurred prior to the election, that is, the entire vacation period, will appear in Add Pay. The vacation days will then become regular days off, on which the Flight Attendant may pick up flying only from other Flight Attendants.

Reserve Operational Vacation Fly Through

Additionally, in the case of Reserves who elect Operational Fly Through, it is important to remember that the Reserve minimum will be reduced by the value of the number of Reserve days of availability that were part of the awarded line and were encompassed by the vacation. If there are no days of availability encompassed by the vacation, that is the vacation period occurs during a block of days off, there will be no reduction to the guarantee.

For example, John and Jane both have seven (7) days of vacation, and both are awarded Reserve line 6220. It is a 30-day month, and the line was built with 12 days off. Both John and Jane elect to fly through their vacation after the lines have been awarded.  Their vacation days fall on different days and will be treated slightly differently. Here is an illustration of a portion of each of their lines showing the vacation days.

John’s vacation period is from the 8th through 14th:

08

09

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

VAC

R

VAC

R

VAC

R

VAC

R

VAC

OFF

VAC

OFF

VAC

OFF

 

OFF

 

OFF

 

OFF

 

OFF


When John elects to fly through operationally, the value of the vacation days is moved to his Add Pay (7 X 3:15 = 22:45), and each of the vacation days will become “OFF” days in his schedule.

He is relieved of his Reserve obligation on the original Reserve days encompassed by the vacation (8th-11th), and thus his Reserve minimum guarantee will be reduced by the value of each of the reserve availability day (4:20 x 4 = 17:20).

Subtracting 17:20 for 78:00, his new Reserve minimum will be 60:40. His total pay after adding 22:45 to Add Pay + 60:40 = a total of 83:25 of pay for the month. (Any additional flying that is picked up on days off will then increase the amount in Add Pay and will be paid above the Reserve minimum.)

Jane’s vacation period is from the 12th through 18th:

08

09

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

 

R

 

R

 

R

 

R

VAC

OFF

VAC

OFF

VAC

OFF

VAC

OFF

VAC

OFF

VAC

OFF

VAC

OFF


When Jane elects to fly through operationally, the value of the vacation days is moved to her Add Pay (7 X 3:15 = 22:45) and each of the vacation days will appear as “OFF” days in her schedule. Since there were no original Reserve days encompassed by the vacation (over the 12th -18th), there is no reduction to her Reserve minimum guarantee.

Therefore, her Reserve minimum remains at 78:00, and she will have 22:45 of Add Pay for a total of 100:45 of pay for the month. (Any additional flying that is picked up on days off will then increase the amount in Add Pay and will be paid above the Reserve minimum.)

If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Council.


Upcoming 47th Annual Board of Directors Meeting – March 20, 2019 in Denver, CO

                   

Our 47th Annual Board of Directors (BOD) meeting will be held March 20th, 2019 in Denver Colorado. This is a one-day budget only meeting where our leadership is tasked with approving the annual AFA budget. Local Councils that are planning a Local meeting prior to the BOD are currently scheduling the date, location and times.  Meeting announcements can be found on the Local Council pages @unitedafa.org.  We will make these available as we receive information. 

Note: Our Spring Regular United MEC Meeting will be held April 16 -18, 2019 at the Hyatt Rosemont Hotel in Rosemont, IL. Details will be published as we get closer to the meeting date.


Transfer Awards - Travel Time/ Settling Days to New Base
JCBA Section 17

With the large number of Flight Attendants accepting base transfers throughout the system, many Flight Attendants have inquired about Travel Time and Settling Days associated with accepting a Transfer award.

Our JCBA Section 17.H. provides details pertaining to Settling Time & Monthly Guarantee. Whereas, Section 17.A. provides information on Transfer Procedures (and travel time).

Flight Attendants interested in the transfer submission and acceptance process can find information in the Harmonized Transfer Awards Guide available on our website, Unitedafa.org.

Questions can be directed to your Local Council Representatives.


Central Schedule Committee (CSC) Report – April 2019
MEC CSC Committee

Central Schedule Committee’s most recent reports detailing their activities in the development of the April schedule has been published on unitedafa.org. We encourage you to take some time to review these reports to get a better understanding of how system schedules are developed.


MEC Reserve Committee Report – March, 2019
MEC Reserve Committee

MEC Reserve Committee’s most recent report, March, 2019 detailing the activities of the Reserve Committee has been published on unitedafa.org.


CAUSE® Foundation Holds Paid Trip Drop Raffle – It’s not too Late to Enter! 

As previously communicated, The CAUSE Foundation is holding a "paid trip drop" raffle during the months of February and March. Flight Attendants only have two weeks left to enter. Don’t miss your chance to stay home and be paid for your trip!

There will be eight (8) winners system-wide announced as of April 15th. 

The details on how to enter for your chance to “WIN” can be found on www.unitedafa.org.


Scholarship Opportunity Reminders 
MEC Communications Committee

Flight Attendants and their families are reminded of the following scholarship opportunities. Details concerning the individual scholarships, the application process and approaching deadlines are listed below. Early submission is encouraged in order to ensure your applications are received in time for consideration.

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA Scholarship Funds

The deadline for applications is April 10, 2019. Details >

CWA Joe Beirne Foundation Scholarship
The deadline for applications is April 30, 2019.Details >

Captain Jason Dahl Scholarship Fund. Details >

NEW! Gina Rose Montalto Memorial Foundation scholarships. Details >


Reminders and Quick Links

March 17            St Patrick’s Day 
March 20            AFA – CWA Board of Directors Meeting – Budget Only Denver

April 10               Deadline - The AFA-CWA Scholarship Fund
April 16 – 17       Regular Spring Meeting of the United MEC
April 30               Deadline -
CWA Joe Beirne Foundation Scholarship

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