E-Lines: May 21, 2019
May 21, 2019
ALS Month: Support Wings Over Wall Street
AFA Members, Toni Diamond and Warren Schiffer, became founders of the extraordinary benefit, "Wings Over Wall Street" when Toni was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. This year's event is Wednesday, May 22, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. in New York City.
They turned their greatest challenge into inspiring work to fight ALS through research funded by the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). In 2004, we lost Toni, our flying partner, but her care-giver husband, Warren, continues to work in her memory. Read the MDA ALS Fact Sheet and the MDA Impact Sheet.
"Wings" brings together the spirit of our work in the skies, the financial contributions of Wall Street and an event that has celebrity appeal to become a multi-million dollar benefit. While Wings has accomplished a great deal by raising millions, none of this would have been possible without the support of Union Members and the generosity of the business community.
Visit MDA's Wings Over Wall Street for more info about the program or support the MDA through Wings Over Wall Street by donating here.
– Link to auction for tomorrow night’s event:
WINGS 2019 Auction
Enhanced Reserve Availability Screen and Ready Reserve Co-Terminal Preference
MEC Reserve Committee
As we reported in the March MEC Reserve Committee Report, representatives from both AFA and the company have been involved in a several-months-long project aimed at standardizing what is displayed on the Reserve Availability screens for both Flight Attendants and schedulers. The intent of the standardization is to create a common resource that can be seen and referred to by Flight Attendant and schedulers alike.
Over the past few weeks, AFA testers and representatives from Inflight Scheduling and various IT departments conducted a test of the enhanced Availability screen and a Ready Reserve Co-Terminal Preference option in CCS using real-time information. During this testing period we received a lot of valuable feedback that allowed several defects to be identified and addressed.
The results of the testing were reviewed by the combined JIT to ensure the functionality of these enhancements meet the requirements set forth in the JCBA and are consistent with the bargaining history. These updates have been approved and will be deployed tonight, May 21, 2019 at 2300 Central Time.
On Friday, a One United communication was sent out to Flight Attendants advising of these upcoming changes as well as the timeline for roll-out. At the same time, two (2) new JCBA Guides were published on Flying Together, each providing detailed information on the Reserve Availability screen enhancements and the Ready Reserve Co-Terminal Preference option.
Some highlights of these enhancements are:
- Reserves ordered based on assignment process (Reserve Preferencing or Ready Reserve).
- The ability to isolate certain search criteria (day of availability group, specific language, etc.)
- Highlighting when a Reserve is approaching a 35-in-7 and/or monthly maximum limitation.
- Added column for Ready Reserve co-terminal preference.
- Ability to select specific information columns while using mobile devices.
Reserves at locations with active co-terminals may begin to re-enter Ready Reserve Co-Terminal preferences in CCS after the updated screens are deployed at 2300 CT tonight, May 21, 2019. Scheduling will begin utilizing the Ready Reserve Co-Terminal preferences on file for assignments made after 1930 HDT tomorrow, May 22, 2019.
We appreciate the work of our volunteer testers and the persistence of those in Inflight Scheduling whose work made these improvements available.
If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Council.
Trainings or Meetings Scheduled on a Contractual Holiday
JCBA 4.I.3. and 2.Q.1
Section 4.I.3. of our JCBA provides that Flight Attendants scheduled to attend any training or meeting on a holiday shall receive holiday pay for assignments flown on designated holidays as defined in Section 2.Q.1. as designated by the Flight Attendants domicile location. Given the number of dates on which Backstage will be scheduled across the year, more Flight Attendants are requesting clarification on how Birthday Pay negotiated in the JCBA, applies to company training or meetings.
When a Flight Attendant attends Backstage over a designated contractual holiday, including her/his birthday, they are to be compensated at the holiday pay rate outlined in Section 4.I.
For additional information on Calculating and Understanding Holiday Pay, review this E-Lines article highlighting JCBA Sections 2.Q and 4.I.
Questions can be directed to your Local Council Representatives.
When are Crew Meals Contractually Required?
MEC Grievance Committee
Flight Attendants continue to have questions regarding when Crew Meals are contractually required and ask what can be done when Crew Meals are not appropriately boarded.
Section 5.A.3 of the Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA) governs crew meals. Crew Meals boarded at company expense should be:
- Appropriate to the time of day.
- Provided whenever the scheduled duty day is in excess of seven hours and fifty-nine minutes (7:59)and all sit time is scheduled less than two (2) hours.
- Provided on charter flights when meals are provided for passengers.
- Provided for pairings in the bid packages as well as in pairings built in the operation.
- Provided for whenever a Reserve is assigned/scheduled to any sequence that meets the criteria.
- Provided whenever a flight originates or terminates in an international city *, scheduled for three (3) hours or more and passengers are provided a meal. In this circumstance, meals are provided without regard to whether or not the trip is a partial pickup (JCBA Section 7.I.8) when the segment involves travel to an international city.
Meals will usually be boarded on the longest flight departing in the first six (6) hours of duty. If the longest duty period is a deadhead on a UAX flight, the meal will be boarded on the first mainline flight. In circumstances where a duty period has a combination of domestic and international flying, and the international flight is longer than three (3) hours, the meal will only be provided on the international flight(s) regardless of where they fall in the duty period sequence
*Note: For purposes of this provision, Alaska, Hawaii, Saint Thomas, Saint Croix, and San Juan are not considered international cities.
Crew Meals will not be boarded:
- When a Flight Attendant executes a partial pickup that creates a duty day in excess of 8 hours with less than a two (2) hour sit.
- When operational delays shorten a sit or lengthen a duty day.
- When a reassignment/draft occurs that creates a duty day greater than eight (8) hours with less than a two (2) hour sit.
- When the combined duty time of a pairing and Standby Reserve (OSB) creates a duty day greater than eight (8) hours with less than a two (2) hour sit.
As well as the contractual requirements governing when crew meals must be provided, our JCBA establishes that crew meal food components must be business class quality or better and includes deadheading Crew Members on international flights. In those instances where storage space is at a premium, it is acceptable for Crew Members deadheading in economy to receive the food components in an economy setup; the meals are boarded with the passenger special meals, and are indicated as ZDML in the My Flight App.
*Note: Crew Meals need not be identical to those served to passengers on the same flight nor are there different crew meals based on the length of the duty day. All food components of crew meals shall be business class quality or better.
In the limited circumstance where a meal is not boarded when contractually required, a Flight Attendant may purchase a meal and submit a receipt through the company’s CONCUR expense reporting system for actual/reasonable expense reimbursement. In this context, “reasonable” is based on what food options are available, time permitting.
If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Council office.
Reminder - File a Marginal Service Report for Enhanced Staffing Issues on Narrow body Domestic Flights
MEC Communications Committee
In last week’s edition of E-lines we published information regarding the enhanced staffing issues taking place on narrow body domestic flights. At that time, AFA issued a request asking for Flight Attendants to report any staffing inconsistencies by filing a Marginal Service Report.
AFA continues to require the company to comply with proper staffing on all flights (Domestic and International), ensuring Flight Attendants have the working crew support they need to complete a safe and enjoyable service for our customers. In order for us to enforce our JCBA, we need your help and ask that whenever you experience staffing issues, please file reports online in the Reports & Forms section of www.unitedafa.org.
Clarifying Deadheading Attire and Boarding Priority
When deadheading, it is important to be familiar with the language provided in Section 3.I.6 of our JCBA.
“A Flight Attendant deadheading shall be considered on duty. She/he is encouraged to travel out of uniform. Flight Attendants deadheading may be attired in either their uniform or in casual business attire.”
While Flight Attendants are encouraged to travel out of uniform it is important to note that only “Flight Attendants in uniform may board the aircraft once the minimum number of Flight Attendants are on board or at any time thereafter. However, when possible, deadheading Flight Attendants are encouraged to board prior to customer boarding.”
For additional information on deadheading, review the following past E-Lines articles.
Review of Deadheading Crew Boarding Procedures
Deadheading Crew Boarding and Carry-on Luggage Policy
Clarifying Deadhead Reschedule to Work
Questions can be directed to your Local Council Representatives.
CQ CBT Compensation
As part of our yearly requalification training, Flight Attendants are required to complete Computer Based Training (CBT) prior to attending Continued Qualifications (CQ). Flight Attendants are compensated for completing the requirement based on the contractual provisions in Section 11.B.2 of our JCBA.
Home study and Computer Based Training (CBT) assignments shall each be paid one-hour (1:00) flight time pay and credit for every three hours (3:00) of home study or training, prorated, based on reasonable times established by the Company to complete the training. In no case shall Flight Attendants receive less than one hour (1:00) of training pay. CBT Training shall be paid in the month during which training is completed.
Note: Flight Attendants on Reserve shall receive the flight time pay and credit value of the training pairing toward their monthly line value.
Additionally, once a Flight Attendant has completed CQ, credited compensation will be posted as Add Pay by the end of the month in which CQ is completed. Discrepancies or missing compensation can be reported by filing a pay claim via Hub Help.
Reserve Compensation When Assigned into a Day Off
MEC Reserve Committee
Unpredictable weather during Spring and Summer can frequently result in irregular operations during this time of year. Your best defense with regard to ensuring the enforcement of our contract is a best offense. We encourage you to review the Special Reserve Legalities in regards to set days off as well as the provisions for assignment into days off.
When the Reserve pool has been depleted, the Company has the contractual ability to work a Reserve into a scheduled day off to protect the operation. However, the Company must abide by the following parameters agreed upon in the JCBA:
1. All Reserves shall be relieved of all duties for twelve (12) calendar days in a bid month at her/his home domicile.
2. One block of at least four (4) days off on a Reserve line will be designated as “SET” unless the line has no block of four (4) or more days off in which case the largest block of days off will be SET.
3. Under no circumstances may a Reserve be assigned into her/his SET block of days off.
4. In blocks of days off other than the SET block of days off, a Reserve may be assigned into her/his first day off as follows:
a. The Company will not assign a Reserve into her/his day(s) off if there is another Reserve in the Base who is legal and available to be assigned and able to report in accordance with the call-out procedures set forth in Paragraph 8.K.2. (including any Ready Reserve or Standby Reserve.)
b. A Reserve may be assigned into the first day off on a block of days in the following order:
i. Reserves volunteering to be assigned into their first day off;
ii. Reserve in time accrued order who will be assigned into her/his first day off.
iii. When a Reserve is assigned to work into her/his first day off in the block, whether voluntary or involuntary she/he will be paid five hours (5:00) of add pay.
Under what should be unusual circumstances, assignments for more than the first day off in a block of days off will be as follows:
(1) The Company will not assign a Reserve into her/his day(s) off if there is another Reserve in the Base who is legal and available to be assigned and able to report in accordance with the call-out procedures set forth in Paragraph K.2. (including any Ready Reserve or Standby Reserve.)
(2) Assignments into the second or third days off will be pursuant to the order of assignment in Section 7.S. The order of assignment among Reserves covered by Section 7.S.6 shall be as follows.
(a.) Reserves volunteering to be assigned into two (2) or more days off in a block of days off.
(b.) A Reserve in time accrued order who will be assigned into two (2) or more days in a block of days off.
(3) When a reserve is assigned to work into two (2) or more days in a block of days off, whether voluntary or involuntary,
When a Reserve has been assigned into a day off, voluntarily or involuntarily, the day(s) off will be restored at the end of the block of days off. (Section 8.I.1.i)
If the day(s) off are at the end of the month and there are no days available to restore, they will be restored on the next Reserve availability days in the following month if the Flight Attendant is on Reserve or the day(s) off will be restored according to Section 7.R., Restoration of Days Off for Lineholders.
The Company may not make assignments that would require more than two (2) days to be restored in the following month under the terms of this paragraph.
(3) A Reserve may not be assigned into a day(s) off that have been restored.
Once your pairing has been completed, it is a good practice to review your trip pay and ensure any additional pay for assignment into days off has been properly recorded. Also ensure that any days off used by the company have been restored.
For additional information, visit United AFA or contact your Local Council Representative.
Link Safeware Insurance Reminder
Enrollment for the 2019 - 2020 Safeware LINK insurance is now open and the selection process will remain open through June 6, 2019.
Flight Attendants are required to designate as to whether or not they want to enroll in the Safeware insurance by opting IN or decline by opting OUT of coverage.
The cost when opting IN is $30.00 for the year, and coverage includes both the LINK and the sled device. Your annual enrollment fee covers the first replacement claim for lost or theft. Subsequent replacement claims will be paid by the employee at replacement fee costs per claim.
Note: No action will result in Opting OUT of coverage.
A detailed description of the Link SafeWare Insurance options can be found on unitedafa.org or on mysafeware.com
AFA Statement on Reports of TSA Directed to Divert Staff to Border
AFA released the following statement on Wednesday after reports that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are deploying staff, including air marshals, to the border:
"Once again aviation security is being undermined by the Trump administration. The Transportation Security Administration is charged with transportation security, not border patrol. TSA's own mission statement says, 'to protect the nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.' We vehemently oppose any effort by this Administration to diminish our security by diverting Federal Air Marshals and other personnel away from transportation security.
"Aviation security should not be undermined for any reason. We implore the White House and Department of Homeland Security to reverse this harmful plan.”Read the full statement >