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E-Lines: September 17, 2019

Date: September 17, 2019

Changes to Parking at Washington Geographic Location

Section 3.T. of our Contract details the circumstances under which the company is required to provide Flight Attendants parking and further provides for reimbursement in those situations where parking may be unavailable.

For many years at the Washington geographic location, the company provided parking to Flight Attendants at more than one of the co-terminal locations often times by issuing ‘hang tags’ that provided Flight Attendants access to parking at the various D.C. area airports – DCA, IAD & BWI.   More recently, management has announced a plan to change these historic parking arrangements in an effort to better manage overall parking expenses for the corporation.

We’ve received a number of questions from Flight Attendants who seek to understand if the company is only required to provide Flight Attendants with a single parking tag for one airport location on an annual basis. 

Section 3.T.1. provides not only guidance in answering this question, it also provides Flight Attendants with protections from having to pay for their own parking at airports serving her/his domicile when parking is not provided by the company. The language in this Section of our Contract contemplates circumstances where parking may become unavailable for any number of reasons.  When it does become unavailable, the company is required to reimburse Flight Attendants for parking expenses incurred at public facilities.  These charges must be submitted via the Concur™ system within ten (10) days and must be supported by a receipt.  In establishing the reimbursement guidelines, management has established maximum daily reimbursement amounts, per day,by location and has made recommendations of locations where parking is possible at the rates established.  While you are not required to park at these locations, it is important to understand that management may, by policy, establish the reimbursement process and limits that will be used. 

The 2019 – 2020 Annual hang tag distribution process at Washington will start shortly.  Hang tags, by location, will be allocated on the following schedule.  DCA & IAD distribution information is as follows:

IAD Dulles

 

16-27 September 2019 – Monday through Friday – 09:00-1900

 

 

DCA Reagan

Wed 9/18

0500-1400

Thurs 9/19

0500-1400

Fri 9/20

0500-1400

Sat 9/21

0800-1700

Sun 9/22

1000-1900

Tues 9/24

0800-1700

Wed 9/25

0800-1700

Thurs 9/26

0500-1400

Fri 9/27

0800-1700

Sun 9/29

0500-1400

Mon 9/30

0500-1400




Vacation Elections Open September 25, 2019 with Accrual Letters

The 2020 Vacation Election window opens next week on September 25th. Under the terms of our Contract, the election period must be available for a 20-day period beginning September 25 through October 15, 2019. A key component which signals the opening of Vacation Elections is publication of individual Vacation Accrual Letters for each Flight Attendant. No later than September 25th our personal accrual letters must be available to view in CCS and will detail your individual vacation accrual based on your completed years of service, taking into consideration leaves of absence (except occupational), furloughs and disciplinary suspension. The following chart provides the Base Vacation Accrual broken down by completed years of service. 

Completed Years of Service

Base Vacation Accrual

1-4

12 days

5-9

19 days

10-16

26 days

17-24

33 days

25+

40 days


An additional component which is also considered is paid activity in each quarter of the vacation accrual year. A Flight Attendant will receive full vacation accrual (100%) if she/he has one hundred-twenty (120) hours or more of paid activity for each of the designated quarters during the 2018 - 2019 Vacation Accrual year listed in the chart below. 

A Flight Attendant will receive fifty percent (50%) of the applicable vacation accrual if she/he has fewer than one hundred twenty (120) hours but at least sixty (60) hours of paid activity for each of the designated quarters during the 2018-2019 Vacation Accrual year as listed in the chart below. 

A Flight Attendant will accrue no vacation if she/he has fewer than sixty (60) hours of paid activity for each of the designated quarters during the 2018-2019 Vacation Accrual year as listed in the chart below. 

The following chart illustrates accrual based on Paid Activity: 

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

08/31/18 - 11/29/18

11/30/18 - 03/01/19

03/02/19 - 06/01/19

06/02/19 – 08/29/19

 

Years of Completed Service

Annual Base Vacation Accrual

Accrual per Quarter (<60 hours of paid activity)

Accrual per Quarter (60 – 119:59 hrs. of paid activity) – 50%

Accrual per Quarter (120 hrs. or more of paid activity) - 100%

1-4

12 DAYS

0

1D 12H

3 DAYS

5-9

19 DAYS

0

2D 9H

4D 18H

10-16

26 DAYS

0

3D 6H

6D 12H

17-24

33 DAYS

0

4D 3H

8D 6H

25+

40 DAYS

0

5 DAYS

10 DAYS


*Note: Newly employed Flight Attendants shall accrue one day of vacation for each full month of continuous employment during the remainder of the Vacation Accrual year after the date of their initial employment. If employed prior to the 15th of the calendar month, vacation credit shall be given for the full month. 

Additional information can be found in this years Annual Vacation Guide, available on our website, unitedafa.org.


Vacation Reductions   

There are several instances where a Flight Attendant may experience a reduction in her/his vacation accrual. Flight Attendants on or who have taken a leave of absence during the past year (except occupational), furlough or disciplinary suspension, will have her/his vacation accrual reduced by (1/12th) for each 30 days or major portion on a prorated basis. 

In addition, any Flight Attendant who utilized the DATV provision of their contract during the 2018 – 2019 Vacation accrual year, which provided an option to (borrow) up to ten (10) vacation days from their next, or 2020, vacation allotment will have their 2020 vacation accrual reduced on a day for day basis for each DATV awarded. 

**Note: DAT taken during the accrual period of August 30, 2019 - August 30, 2020 which will reduce the 2021 Vacation accrual on a day-for-day basis. 

Flight Attendants seeking additional clarification on the vacation reduction procedures are encouraged to review the examples provided on page 4 of the 2020 vacation guide.

At the end of this week, we will review the vacation election options:

  • Flex Vacation – paid and unpaid options
  • Vacation Buy Back
  • Vacation Deferral to individual 401(k) account 

 


Early Boarding
JCBA Section 6.R.2   

As of January 1, 2019, the requirement for positive check-in was eliminated on a trial basis. As a result of this change, Flight Attendants no longer are required to check-in at the base prior to our flights. Whether at a base or non-base (downline) location, the dedicated check-in location is now the departure gate.  

We are learning, because we are at the gate earlier than the required check-in time outlined in Section 6.R.2. of our Contract, there is an interest on the part of Customer Service personnel to board flights earlier to ensure on-time (or early) departures.

Given the recent reports that have been received in some Local Councils and in the MEC Office, the following is a review of Flight Attendant check-in times, by aircraft type as provided in Section 6.R.2. of our Contract:

Flight Attendant Boarding:

Location

Narrow Body except

B757-200 & 300

International and Domestic

Wide body including

B757-200 & 300

International and Domestic

Base location

One hour before departure

1:15 before departure

Downline location

:45 minutes before departure

1:00 before departure

 

The following are the established passenger boarding times, by aircraft type:

Passenger Boarding:

B737-700 & A319/320

International and Domestic

B737 800-900 Max

International and Domestic

Wide-Body

Including B757-200-300

:35 Before Departure

:40 Before Departure

:50 Before Departure


Some Flight Attendants have reported they feel pressured to board the aircraft earlier than the specified boarding times, at times, when FAA minimum is not on the aircraft.  In some cases, not all Members of the crew have the same check-in time. For example, some positions originate in other bases or may be involved the 2nd, 3rd or 4th duty period where either the XSC or base pairing Flight Attendant(s) have a reduced (downline) check-in. Our role as Flight Attendants is passenger safety and service.  We are obligated to comply with all Federal Air Regulations to ensure the safety of passengers in our care. This is includes ensuring that the FAA Minimum Flight Attendant crew complement in on the aircraft for customer boarding. Ours is a commitment to safety – in all things, at all times.

There should be no circumstances where Flight Attendants are ever pressuredinto boarding a flight early or in the absence of the FAA minimum crew complement.  

While there may be unusual and limited circumstances where additional time may be required for boarding (i.e. large number of customers with disabilities requiring wheelchair assistance, etc.), you are not required to board (nor should you) without the full FAA complement. In an unusual instance where additional time is needed to board in order to accommodate the special needs of customers, you should not be pressured to board nor should we unreasonably withhold our concurrence to do so provided we have met all of our safety responsibilities.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are being pressured to board early, consider first trying to resolve the issue with the employee(s) from whom you are feeling the pressure. If you are unable to do so, as we always do, reach out to Employee Assistance/Professional Standards in order to avoid involving management in the situation. If you find yourself in situations where you are repeatedly asked to board early, we ask that you provide information to your Local Council to ensure AFA is aware and that steps can be taken to address the issue.

Click here to file a LEC Worksheet or contact your Local Council for more information. 


Positive Space Booking Window Expanded from 60 to 120 Days 

Previously and as a matter of company policy, the advance booking of positive space (NRPS) travel has been limited to the 60-day window immediately preceding the desired date of travel.  

As a result of continued employee feedback, effective September 16, 2019, the window during which positive space travel may be booked has been expanded from the original 60-day window to a 120-day window.


CBT Due Date of October 6th Approaching - Keep a Record of Completion  

On August 7, 2019 Inflight Management notified Flight Attendants of the required 6 module CBT series and its required completion date of October 6, 2019. The training is expected to take 3:30 minutes to complete. The required CBT sessions can be completed all at once or broken up into smaller portions to accommodate each Flight Attendant’s unique learning style or scheduling constraints and can be accessed from a variety of devices including your Link, laptop, or desktop computer. 

Regardless of how you chose to complete the assigned modules, we recommend it is a good practice to keep a record of the work you have completed by taking a photo or a screen shot of your completed training or modules. In the event you experience a technical difficulty that consequently causes a loss of completed work, a screen shot of your completion level will readily assist the Help Desk in resolving any issues.


Fall Regular Meeting of the United MEC - October 22 – 23, 2019 in Chicago

We encourage Members to witness our democratic process in action by attending your Local Council fall meetings. Scheduled dates and times for your Local Council meeting will be posted on our website as they become available. 

The Fall Regular Meeting of the United Master Executive Council (MEC) will take place October 22 – 23, 2019 at the Hyatt Rosemont Hotel, 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. 

Additional information will be posted on the MEC website as it becomes available.


TAKE ACTION: Stop Toxic Fumes!
MEC Government Affairs Committee  

The Cabin Air Safety Act of 2019 aims to protect airline passengers and crew from the harmful effects of toxic cabin air.

“Our workspace is the public’s travel space and in that space today, crews and passengers are breathing toxins and it has to stop,” said AFA International President Sara Nelson.

Call your Representative and Senators today and tell them to cosponsor the Cabin Air Safety Act. The House bill is H.R. 2208 and the Senate bill is S. 1112. 

Call Your Representative: 866-937-4359

Call Your Senators: 877-750-7411 

“Hi, my name is_________. As a constituent and a Flight Attendant, I am calling to ask you to cosponsor the Cabin Air Safety Act of 2019. Flight Attendants and passengers can be exposed to toxic fumes in the cabin. We need the FAA to intervene and implement protections. Support clean air onboard for passengers and Flight Attendants!”

AFA’s efforts to improve the cabin environment span the last three decades, from advocating for smoke-free skies to stopping poisonous pesticide spraying to addressing the dangers of contaminated bleed air. We advocate that the airline industry either end the use of engine bleed air for cabin air supply like on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner or mitigate the circulation of contaminated air. In 2015, AFA was an active member of the ICAO task group that published Circular 344, which advises airlines to enhance their operational procedures to minimize onboard exposure to smoke and fumes. This led to an FAA Safety Alert published in 2018. This is progress, but it doesn't go far enough. 

“Most Americans go to work with the expectation of breathing clean air. Flight Attendants don’t have this guarantee, and it is past time for that to change,” AFA President Sara Nelson said.

What to Do During a Toxic Fume Event 

Every day, just in the U.S. alone, there is an official report of toxic oil fumes contaminating the air we breathe on regular commercial flights. Crews who breathe these fumes can develop chronic neurological problems, such as impaired speech and memory. Flight safety can be compromised when crews are impaired inflight. 

Keep the Air Quality Information Card with you.


Go Pink for October– Support Breast Cancer Awareness  

As a reminder, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. As we do each year to highlight the importance of prevention, we will have pink ribbons available to be worn behind our white AFA pin available through your Local Council.

In addition, company approved pink Uniform accessories will also be available for purchase. These accessories can be worn while on duty from October 1 through October 31 and are now available for purchase from the United Shop. October is quickly approaching. Place your order for pink accessories now while supplies last.

Additional information is available on our website, unitedafa.org.


90-Day Freeze on all iOS Updates              

Effective September 10, 2019 the company has implemented a temporary freeze on all iOS updates. During the 90-day freeze period, you will not be able to update your Link to any other iOS version. The use of all iOS 12 versions during this freeze period are approved for use.  

Questions or concerns should be directed to the Help Desk at 847-700-5800 or 1-800-255-5801.

 

 

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