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E-Lines: July 23, 2019

Date: July 23, 2019

Previously Sent CCS Reserve Acknowledgements Re-Sent in Error
MEC Reserve Committee

Earlier today, Reserves began reporting that they were receiving for a second time previously acknowledged CCS Priority Messages of “Released from Duty” assignments. It’s not a surprise that the end result of this error is confusion for the affected Flight Attendants.  We are aware of at least one case which resulted in a Flight Attendant being unable to be contacted and a missed trip.

After becoming aware of the issue, company representatives from the IT Automation and CCS teams undertook an investigation to learn what may have caused this malfunction. Management representatives reported later this afternoon that initial indications are that it was caused by a CCS “refresh” that was loaded overnight.  However, it is not clear what specifically triggered the resending of the old messages.

Reserves are reminded, when acknowledging an assignment, to verify the indicated start datewhich may at times differ from the date and time that the message was sent by the system and is posted at the top of the message window.

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


Hot Aircraft – Responding to Protect Passengers and Crew

Summer is in full-swing and temperatures across our route system continue to rise to record setting temperatures. With the rise in outdoor temperatures comes additional risk of heat-related illness.  In addition to the heat, delays and quick turns put additional stress on our bodies. As Flight Attendants, the most important “safety feature” onboard the aircraft, it is critical that we always consider out own needs first.

While there is not a defined cabin temperature standard, AFA has long recommended that management adopt guidelines from the Temperature Section of the ASHRAE Standard 161-2013, Air Quality within Commercial Aircraft.  This voluntary standard recommends that cabin temperature be between 65-75 degrees (F) and not to exceed 80 degrees (F).  A cabin that is too hot or uncomfortable enough to create health concerns should be immediately reported to the Purser and Captain. It is helpful to provide a clear, detailed, and factual description of the cabin conditions. Are passengers complaining? Is anyone feeling or appearing ill?  Be specific and advocate.

If you have a concern that cabin conditions are becoming too unsafe or unhealthy to remain onboard, and you have not received any relief, contact your Local Council Office or the Inflight Duty Manager (IFDM) for assistance. If necessary, do not hesitate to call for medical assistance.  Do not wait until you, a Flying Partner, or passenger begins displaying signs of a heat related disorder. Always follow-up by filing the appropriate report. If you carry a thermometer, you should also report extreme temperature events to AFA. You can learn more about AFA’s efforts to establish aircraft temperature standards and download the 2HOT2COLD app here.


Denied FMLA Eligibility between May 31, 2017 and February 13, 2019 – Take Action!
MEC Grievance Committee

On July 12, 2019, we reported to you  that the Union conducted an audit of the hours worked for a number of Flight Attendants who should have been eligible for FML. During the period beginning May 31, 2017 through February 13, 2019, an information

technology error related to the calculation of hours worked in determining eligibility for Family Medical Leave (FML) was identified. This error was brought to the attention of the company by AFA.

Please take a moment and read our recent article and take action by July 31, 2019.


Semi-Annual System Seniority List Published July 25, 2019

The Semi-Annual System Seniority List was released as of July 25, 2019. As provided under Section 14.C. of our Contract, the list shall be made available at all stations where Flight Attendants are domiciled for review.

If you believe that there is an error or omission that affects your seniority you should contact your Local Council representative immediately. Flight Attendants have thirty (30) calendar days from July 25, 2019 to dispute any alleged omission or error that affects your seniority.

The exceptions to the 30-day rule are as follows:

  • Flight Attendants on vacation at the time of the posting
  • Flight Attendants on Leave of Absence at the time of the posting
  • Flight Attendants on furlough at the time of the posting
  • Flight Attendants on sick leave at the time of the posting

In these situations, Flight Attendants have thirty (30) days after returning to flight duty to report the discrepancy.


Master List of CCS Codes Including Standby Reserve Codes
MEC Communications Committee

A comprehensive list of CCS codes seen on our Master Schedule is available from the company’s website, unitedafa.org and in the Pay Guide. In October of 2018, a Master List of Codes was published containing a view of all CCS codes seen in our Master Schedule, Master Schedule History, Alert codes and Standby Reserve codes. This list includes the short and full description of the codes as well as the locations within CCS where the code is visible.

The Master List of Codes is available on our website, unitedafa.org, in Content Locker on your Link and on Flying Together > One United > Reference Guides. Additional Pay Register Codes can be found in the back section of the Pay Guide.

Flight Attendants seeking clarification of a code not found in the
provided resources should contact their Local Council Representatives.


Holding Time Limitations While Onboard the Aircraft 
JCBA Section 6.N.3

We are receiving a number of questions in the MEC Office which suggest there may be some confusion on the how and when holding time is paid.

 

There are a number of circumstances under which Flight Attendants may be required to remain onboard the aircraft with passengers beyond scheduled departure time or after block arrival time. Many of these reasons may be beyond our control due to operational irregularities or having to wait for special services personnel to arrive planeside to assist customers with disabilities in disembarking the aircraft. 

When holding, Flight Attendants shall receive one-half (1/2) credit for pay purposes, including premium and language pay, when applicable, on an actual minute basis for all holding time in excess of thirty (30) minutes beyond scheduled ground time or block arrival time. The holding pay is in addition to all other compensation.

If a Flight Attendant is required by the Company to remain on board the aircraft after block arrival and this occurs at a point where they are scheduled to go off duty, the duty period will either end at the time released from holding or according to the time set forth in our JCBA, Section 6.R. – Commencement of Duty, whichever is later.

While we can be required to remain on the aircraft, specific Holding Time limitations have been negotiated to ensure these periods of time are not indefinite.  The maximum holding time for a Flight Attendant shall belimitedto:

  • Four (4) hours at any one point or
  • A total of five (5) hours during any on-duty period.
  • Flight Attendants shall subsequently be given fifteen (15) minutes rest period after each two (2) hours they are required to remain with passengers on board an aircraft.

Holding occurs only while on board the aircraft.

At the end of four (4) hours the Flight Attendant shall be:

1.     Relieved from holding with passengers

2.     Reassigned

3.     Released from Duty.

Holding pay is to be submitted in the following manner:

1.         Login to CCS -> HelpHub.
2.         Select the Request Holding Pay link.

This link will take you to the form to submit a Holding Pay Request (which will be sent to Crew Pay).

Note: It is preferred that the Purser on the pairing complete the holding pay form to request holding pay for the entire crew. This is preferred in an effort to avoid the submission of multiple requests for the same flight segment.

For additional information concerning holding pay or the details of differentiating Flight Time Accrual versus Holding Pay contact your Local Council Representatives.


Hotel Gainsharing – A Review
JCBA Section 5.C.

Section 5.C. of our JCBA provides Flight Attendants with the ability to be reimbursed a portion of the savings resulting from cancelling hotel rooms in accordance with the parameters of our JCBA.  

Reimbursement for each cancelled hotel room shall not be less than $20 (USD) and will apply for all international and domestic hotel rooms. This contractual benefit is only available to the Flight Attendant scheduled to occupy the hotel room and Flight Attendants are not permitted to cancel hotel rooms for other Flight Attendants.

A Flight Attendant interested in taking advantage of the Hotel Gainsharing provision are authorized to do so online via CCS. The following provisions listed below, must be adhered to when utilizing our contractual gainshare provisions.

Room cancellations are final and may not later be rescinded by the Flight Attendant authorizing such cancellation.  

If the Flight Attendant cancelling the room becomes ill, is reassigned or re-crewed after cancellation of the room, they are required to notify Crew Scheduling as soon as possible that the room accommodation’s had been cancelled.

Note: This will allow scheduling to make prompt arrangements for a replacement hotel to accommodate the Flight Attendant who is now flying your original pairing. 

For additional information the Hotel Gainsharing User Guide, is a reliable resource and available on unitedafa.org. The guide provides information on the specific procedures that must be used to ensure payment of the gainsharing incentive. Reimbursements are processed by Crew Pay and will be credited on your paycheck in the month following the month in which you made the request to cancel the hotel room. 


77th Annual Communications Workers of America (CWA) Convention July 29 -31, 2019

The 77th Annual Convention of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) is scheduled to take place next week, July 29 - 31, 2019 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Delegates who are elected officials from each AFA Local Council, will attend the convention to support our Sisters and Brothers in matters that affect organized labor and to further the business and priorities of our Union. CWA represents 700,000 workers in private and public sector employment across the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and our International Domiciles, HKG, LHR, NRT and FRA. Working together, our collective solidarity increases our collective bargaining power and our influence in national matters that directly affect Flight Attendants. Priorities include secure and sustainable jobs, Health Care and Retirement Security, Human Rights, International Solidarity and Health & Safety.   

If you are in Las Vegas area on July 29 – July 31, 2019 while the Convention is in session, we encourage you to stop by to see our greater Union power at work.

Additional information is available at cwa-union.org.


United Announces 20% Profit Sharing Increase Expectation 

On July 18, 2019 United announced the expectations of a profit-sharing payout per participating employee to be approximately 20% higher than last year. The announcement came on the heels of United’s second quarter financial results, the highest second-quarter pre-tax income in the airlines history (post 2010 merger).

In addition, the United Board of Directors approved a new $3B share re-purchase program.  All of the details of our second- quarter financial results are available on the United Hub website and the Investor Relations website.

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