E-Lines: April 16, 2019
April 16, 2019
Day One of 2018 Spring AFA United MEC Meeting
The Spring Meeting of the United Master Executive Council (MEC) began in Chicago today. Your Local Council President, joined by the 15 other presidents from around our system, addressed the business of our Union and the issues that are important to you. The Day One Summary can be reviewed at www.unitedafa.org.
Elections for various MEC positions will be conducted as the first order of business during tomorrow’s session which will begin promptly at 0900 CT.
If you are in Chicago, we encourage you to stop by to witness our democratic process by attending the MEC meeting in progress. Summaries for each day of this meeting will be posted on our website.
Electing a Negotiations Committee
MEC Communications Committee
In advance of the upcoming Spring Master Executive Council meeting the Membership has raised questions about the election process, specifically in regard to the Negotiations Committee.
The United Master Executive Council will elect the three members of the Negotiating Committee during the Spring 2019 Regular MEC meeting which is now in session. The meeting will take place at the Hyatt Rosemont, 6350 N River Rd, Rosemont, IL 60018.
The MEC is comprised of your 16 locally elected Presidents and three MEC Officers. The Local Executive Council Presidents (LECP’s) make up the voting body of the MEC. MEC Committee volunteers are elected by a simple majority with each LECP casting one vote for each position on the Negotiating Committee.
Candidates are required to be Flight Attendants and active Members of AFA in good standing. Candidates are expected to be familiar with AFA and MEC policy, aware of new developments in the industry, familiar & knowledgeable of our current JCBA. Negotiations experience is preferred. Interested candidates should submit a signed “Willingness to Serve” statement, preferably fifteen days prior to the election date to be considered for a position on the Negotiating Committee along with a resume of their qualifications for consideration and review by the electing body.
As is the practice of the United MEC, the Willingness to Serve statements of the candidates have been posted to the Elections site of www.unitedafa.org for viewing by the Membership. Interested Candidates are encouraged, but not required, to give an in-person interview at tomorrow’s April MEC Meeting. Note: Any candidate who wishes to appear for an interview must do so at their personal expense.
For more information about the election process of Committee Members who will conduct the business of the Union on behalf of the United Master Executive Council can be found in the AFA-CWA Constitution and Bylaws.
Additional questions can be directed to your Local Representatives.
Travel While on Sick Leave
Considerable confusion continues as it pertains to a Flight Attendant’s ability to travel while on sick leave. A Flight Attendant does not need to secure permission from their supervisor to travel while on sick leave or out on a medical leave of absence. Flight Attendants are permitted to travel and there is no requirement to obtain prior approval to do so.
As with everything we do, we are ultimately accountable for the decisions we make. While traveling on sick leave is permissible, in the event the company becomes aware you are doing so, you should be aware that you will be held accountable and will be required to provide management with an explanation as to why, while sick, you were traveling. The accountability is not for pass travel. Rather, it will likely be looked at as a potential abuse of sick leave. Traveling while on sick leave may be misconstrued as not consistent with being sick.
The company reserves the right to investigate any situation where they believe sick leave abuse may be occurring. Therefore, a Flight Attendant may be questioned by management about the use of off pass travel while on sick leave.
While management may require a Flight Attendant to provide satisfactory verification of an illness from an accredited physician should circumstance suggest that sick leave has not been appropriately used, Flight Attendants are not required to discuss the nature of any illness with her/his supervisor. Any such questions should be referred to United Medical.
You should also be aware, once you have asked permission from your supervisor and have been advised you may not travel, you are required to abide by management’s direction. Contact your Local Council office.
Central Schedule Committee Report
Central Schedule Committee’s most recent reports detailing their activities in the development of the May schedule have been published on www.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
By the end of this month of April, we will have welcomed over 800 new Flight Attendants to the line in 2019, with several more classes scheduled this year. In 2018, we had over 1000 new Flight Attendants join us!
For our newest Flight Attendants, during the first one hundred eighty (180) days after you are assigned to the line, you are considered to be apprentice Members of our Union and probationary employees. During this probationary period, you have all of the protections of our Contract with the limited exception of access to the grievance process for disciplinary reasons. This does not prohibit AFA-CWA from advocating for you as our Newest Members nor does it prohibit you from seeking guidance from or the support of your Union representatives. In fact, we strongly encourage you to call us! We are here for you every step of the way.
The Reserve page on the unitedafa.org website is dedicated to Reserve issues.
Contact your Local Council to connect with your Local Reserve Committee and to get information about the AFA Buddy Program where a veteran Flight Attendant volunteers to be your “buddy” during the first one hundred eighty (180) days of your career. This group of dedicated volunteers is ready to help you find your way in your new role as a new United Flight Attendant.
The Reserve Guide in addition to the other Reference Guides are very informative in explaining the provisions in the JCBA. These Guides are found in your Link (One United app) and in Flying Together. It can be helpful to upload these documents to your personal smart phone utilizing apps like iBooks or PDF Expert to be able to use the keyword search function to find answers quickly.
It is encouraged that all Flight Attendants subscribe to E-lines, our United AFA twice-weekly publication for United Flight Attendants. Your Local Council also produces a newsletter specific to their location and is published on varying schedules in each location.
Social Media Reminder – Be Aware!
MEC Communications Committee
As has been previously communicated, it is important for Flight Attendants to understand the impact of posting on social media. In particular, the company has recently begun encouraging Flight Attendants to use social media as a way of promoting United Air Lines which has, for some, created confusion. We caution our Membership to be aware of not only the content you post on your personal social media pages but to also be aware of how posting company related information juxtaposed to your personal information might prove to be problematic for you.
The use of Facebook™ and other social media “networks” have become widespread in the last decade, helping us stay entertained, socially engaged and connected to the world. On the flip side, social media networks not only have the tendency to propagate inaccurate information, but also bring up issues of personal safety and privacy. It is important to understand that social media networks can pose threats to our privacy and safety as well as that of others, if not used responsibly.
Contractual questions concerning our JCBA or other Union information should always be directed to your AFA Local Council representatives. We understand that posting a contract question on social media can offer a quick response, but it also has the potential to provide inaccurate or misleading information. Because of the nature of questions and representational responsibilities of Union leaders, there should be no expectation that Union business will be conducted via social media or in any public forum.
If you require assistance, we strongly recommend you contact your Local Council Office directly. Local Council contact information can be found on unitedafa.org. We suggest you consider adding your Local Council contact information to your mobile device for easy quick access.
Additionally, when using social media there should be no expectation of privacy. We caution you about posting in secret, private or closed groups. In theory, there really is no protection in a private or secret group. When posting, always do so with the understanding that everyone can see what you have posted, in some cases, even United management. Consider if you have friends who are members of management. If they see items in social media that might be considered objectionable, friend or not, they are duty bound to address any infractions in their role as a management employee.
Additional information on AFA’s social media policy can be found here.
Update on Our Fight for 10
AFA-CWA International Office
In the midst of persistent attacks on working people and our unions from the White House, Congress, Statehouses, and in the courts, AFA-CWA members were widely recognized for our success as the only aviation stakeholder to achieve our priorities in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. It took tremendous effort to achieve common sense rest improvements, fatigue mitigation, no knives or voice calls on planes, cabin air quality study, evacuation standards with new cabin environment and staffing issues, and so much more.
Before the vote on the bill, the Administration opposed our 10 hours rest and the Administration has resisted officially updating the rule. We are learning that Delta Air Lines is the primary voice in opposition to implementation of our new rest minimum, arguing every means to delay implementation. There is absolutely no reason our airlines need to wait to follow the law, but they are united in their message of waiting for instruction from the FAA.
The Government Shutdown halted all work on implementation of the FAA bill, and any ability to hold the DOT or FAA accountable. It is not only our issues that haven't been implemented. None of the hundreds of safety issues detailed in the bill have been fully implemented. With the shutdown over, the FAA is assessing resources, attempting to catch up on lost time of safety oversight, and dealing with fallout from the 737 MAX. Our allies in Congress are attempting to cut a path of accountability.
Have You Taken the AFA Census?
The recent release of the AFA Census from AFA-CWA International has caused confusion in regard to the purpose and use of the data collected. The AFA Census data collected does not have any bearing on the upcoming negotiations with United Air Lines nor the upcoming elections at any Local Executive Councils or the Master Executive Council Committees.
The questions on the census should take you no more than 15 minutes to complete. Please look for an email from "Sara Nelson via UNH" with the subject line "AFA Census – Response Requested." If you haven't received an email or a phone call, you can take the AFA Census here >