Home > News > E-Lines: January 28, 2020

E-Lines: January 28, 2020

Date: January 28, 2020


First Trimester CBT - Due Tomorrow, January 29, 2020

As a final reminder, the first Trimester CQ CBT is due no later than January 29, 2020 at 2359 CT. This CBT session is anticipated to take approximately three (3) hours to complete. Once completed, we suggest that you take a screen shot of your completed CBT.







Contract 2021 Listening Tour- Face to Face with YOU

Our Negotiating Committee has completed the scheduled Listening Tour visits in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Cleveland, Newark, Boston and Hong Kong.

The next stops scheduled for the Listening Tour are Guam - January 31, 2020 and then Honolulu - February 1, 2020.  More information on the AFA Negotiations Listening Tour is available on contract2021.org.


MEC 9-12 Update = (Profit Sharing) Lawsuit to Vacate Arbitrator’s Award

As previously reported, on April 29, 2019 the United Master Executive Council filed a lawsuit in federal court against United seeking to vacate the arbitrator’s award in MEC 9-12.  Pursuant to the court’s order regarding scheduling, both AFA and United filed motions with the court. Our motion seeks an order vacating the award and remanding it to further proceedings; United seeks an order affirming the award and dismissing the case. Briefing on both motions was completed in November 2019.  While our attorneys think it likely a decision will be issued in the first half of 2020, there is no time limit for the court to issue its decision. As additional information becomes available, we will share that with you.


Vacation Buy Back and 401(k) or UK Stakeholder Deferral Payments

Based on the language in our Contract, we have a vacation buy back option, which allows a Flight Attendant to take pay in lieu of accrued vacation. Flight Attendants must opt to "sell" at least six (6) full days of accrued vacation and partial days are not eligible. 

Vacation days are "sold" back at a rate of three hours and fifteen minutes (3:15) of pay per day plus an incentive payment, which shall be determined and announced prior to the annual vacation bid. 

The rate of pay for Vacation buy back is based on your individual rate of pay as of 12/01 of the year prior to the payment date. In this case, 12/1/2019. International Purser and Purser pay overrides are not included in our hourly rate of pay and are not applicable to Vacation Buy Back payments.

In addition, our Contract provides that Flight Attendants may elect to contribute a minimum of seven (7) days and a maximum of fourteen (14) days of paid vacation accrued for use in 2020 into their 401(k) savings plan account or UK Stakeholder Group Plan.       

As in prior years, Flight Attendants based at international domiciles (LHR, FRA, NRT and HKG) will see the Vacation Buy Back and deferrals into the 401(k) or UK Stakeholder Plans on their 2/1/2020 paycheck.    

Flight Attendants at all U.S. domiciles, including Guam, will be issued a separate check that will reflect the vacation buy back and 401(k) deferral.

This year, because February 1st is on a Saturday, the payments will fund on Friday, January 31, 2020.  Currently, our 1/31 on-cycle pay advices are visible on Flying Together. Flight Attendants based at international bases can view their payment on the 1/31 pay advice.

Because Flight Attendants at domestic bases will receive a separate pay advice for these payments, they will not see these on the on cycle pay advice. The work of preparing these separate pay advices with vacation buy back and 401(k) deferral is in progress and checks should be visible sometime this week.         


Grievance – MEC 1-20 Filed

MEC 1-20 was filed last week when the Company unilaterally implemented a program designed to identify BOT-like trading activity after a Flight Attendant signs on to CCS, which subsequently restricted and improperly locked Flight Attendants who are not engaging in BOT-like activity out of CCS. Our grievance asserts that this restriction prevented Flight Attendants from exercising their contractual rights to legally trade and adjust their schedules.


Grievance – MEC 2-20 Filed

As a separate and distinct dispute, this week MEC 2-20 was filed when, on January 23, 2020 at approximately 1800 CT, the hardware that supports the company’s CCS and UCrew databases experienced a hardware failure causing data corruption. During this time, Flight Attendants were not able to view their correct Master Schedules, input trades and or make any schedule adjustments. Again, Flight Attendants were not able to exercise their contractual rights to legally trade and adjust their schedules.

It is important to recognize, while the impact was the same, there were two separate and distinct events that took place affecting Flight Attendants last week. It is for this reason; Local Council Worksheets are critical to identifying the incident that precluded your ability to trade. 


Why File A Local Council Worksheet?

The answer to this question has its very foundation in The Railway Labor Act.

  • The Act has five major functions:
  • To avoid any interruption to commerce or to the operation of any carrier
  • To allow employees to unionize
  • To provide complete independence of organizations by both managment and labor to carry out and the provisions in the RLA
  • To provide prompt & orderly settlement of disputes arising in regard to rates of pay and working conditions;
  • To provide for prompt & orderly settlement of any disputes or grievances which arise as a result of conflicting interpretations or application of existing agreements.

The Railway Labor Act requires a grievance process. Filing a Local Council Worksheet is part of our Grievance process and it is provided for under our Contract.

The importance of proper and thorough reporting through established contractual procedures cannot be overstated. The Local Council Worksheet is to be utilized for disputes pertaining to non-disciplinary actions, contract matters and company policies.

After first attempting to resolve the issue for ourselves, use of the Local Council worksheet is contractual (JCBA Section 23.E.1.). For example, first contact Scheduling with an issue such as legal rest; or contact your supervisor if you see a possible error on your work history and try to resolve any misunderstanding or misapplication of the terms of the agreement or company policy. If you are unable to do so, within sixty (60) days of reasonably having knowledge of the dispute, file a worksheet with the Union which starts the Local Council Dispute Resolution Process.

Along with the worksheet, our system has the functionality that allows us to upload supporting documentation such as screenshots call logs from Crew Scheduling, photographs of pay registers, etc. Anything that can help to support the dispute is helpful to our Local Grievance Representatives who receive the Local Council Worksheets and evaluate them.

If the Union, following a review and evaluation of every worksheet, determines that a worksheet reports a potentially valid claim, a Notice of Dispute (NOD) will be filed with designated company personnel within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of the worksheet. The filing of the NOD, obligates the company and Union, using interest-based dispute resolution, to engage in discussions with appropriate company personnel in an effort to resolve the issue.

Within thirty (30) calendar days after filing of a NOD, the participants in the dispute resolution discussions shall resolve the NOD or, if those efforts are unsuccessful, will file a NOD Submission to the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC). The DRC consists of four participants, two experienced representatives from the Union and two from the company.

The DRC shall make decisions by a majority vote of the whole committee. The expectation is that NOD Submissions will be processed within 60 days of receipt. (Refer to JCBA Section 23.E.2. (pg 199), for additional details surrounding the DRC).

In summary, the contractual Dispute Resolution Process begins with Flight Attendants attempting to resolve the issue first. If those efforts are proven to be unsuccessful, fill out the Local Council Worksheet found on unitedafa.org under the Reports tab. Include as much supporting documentation as possible.

Flight Attendants are encouraged to review the Dispute Resolution, Attendance and Performance Management Flight Attendant Guide

Representatives from your Local Council are available to assist you in addressing these issues and navigating the process of resolving any misapplications of the Agreement or Company policy.


2019 W2s Are Available – paperlessW2.ual.com


For those of us who signed up to receive our 2019 W2 form electronically via ADP, these forms are now available for us to download and print by accessing paperlessW2.ual.com.

Do not download the ADP mobile app as it will not work with your United credentials.

For employees who elected to receive paper 2019 W2 forms, these will be mailed no later than January 31, 2020, to your home mailing address as indicated in your Flying Together > Employee Services > My Info > Personal Details tile.  

For those of us who are based in Guam, or if you expect to receive a 2019 W2-GU form, or an international Flight Attendant with non-resident alien status, please also go to your View W2 tile to ensure you have all your necessary 2019 tax forms.  

Flying Together > Employee Services > My Info > Personal Details tile


January 2020 Semi-Annual Seniority List 

The Semi-Annual System Seniority List is currently under review by Labor Relations and AFA to ensure only those who are eligible to be on the Seniority List appear on it.

The comprehensive review of the list is just about completed and the list is expected to be released by the end of this week at which time the thirty (30) day review process will begin. Additional information will be released once the list is ready for publication.


Flight Attendants Applaud DOT's Clear Rule on Animals in the Cabin
AFA-CWA Media Release

Washington, DC (January 22, 2019) — The Department of Transportation today released a notice of proposed rulemaking that seeks to amend the definition of a service animal in air transportation and includes safeguard to ensure safety and limit fraud. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA President Sara Nelson issued the following statement:

“Today’s proposed rule by the Department of Transportation for service animals in the passenger cabin is welcome news. It sets clear definitions and guidance to ensure people with disabilities and our veterans have necessary service animal assistance while maintaining the safety, health and security of all passengers and crew onboard our planes.

"Passengers claiming pets as emotional support animals has threatened the safety and health of passengers and crews in recent years while this practice skyrocketed. Untrained pets should never roam free in the aircraft cabin. Flight Attendants have been hurt and safety has been compromised by untrained animals loose in the cabin.

"The days of Noah’s Ark in the air are hopefully coming to an end. Passengers can still travel with animals under their preferred carrier’s pet program.

"The Association of Flight Attendants, representing 50,000 Flight Attendants at 20 airlines, will work to ensure this rule becomes final."

In summary, the proposed rule seeks to:

  • Aligns DOT service animal definitions with DOJ
  • Free carriers from recognizing emotional support animals as service animals.
  • Rather, may be treated as pets, service animal may be limited to trained dogs
  • Carriers can require a health forms as a conditions of transportation
  • Carriers can require a complete behavior and training attestation as a condition of transport
  • Carriers can limit the number of service animals to two service animals
  • Service animals must fit within the handler's foot space
  • Carriers can't discriminate based on breed

Super Bowl - Biggest Human Trafficking Event in the US - Recognize it!

Super Bowl is “dubbed the biggest human trafficking event in the United States” and millions of party-going football fans will flock to the upcoming event on February 2, 2020.

As Flight Attendants, we are uniquely positioned to identify human traffickers and assist their victims. Flight crews are skilled observers, and with the appropriate training, we can be the frontline against the horrific crime of trafficking. It is estimated that at least 12.3 million adults and children are enslaved around the world and that 56 percent are women and girls. Mega events like the Super Bowl are a magnet for human traffickers. Super Bowl LIV is scheduled for February 2, 2020 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

During the days leading up to and surrounding the Super Bowl we ask every Flight Attendant to be vigilant of the situations around you. Begin now by reviewing the indicators of human trafficking available on our website. Become familiar now on how and where to report suspicious behavior. Follow United’s reporting policy and procedure, as outlined in your Link, including using cockpit communications or other methods as part of the Blue Lightning Initiative.

  • Report the details to the Captain
  • Ensure the term “suspected human trafficking is used when reporting your concerns to the Captain.  
  • Review appropriate Threat Level 1 Flight Attendant guidelines and actions to take when taxiing/inflight or at the gate.
  • Call toll-free (866) 347-2423 from anywhere in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
  • Call (802) 872-6199 (not toll-free) from any country in the world.  Report the tip online at www.ice.gov/tips.

For additional information and to obtain additional resources you may need to be proactive in our fight against human trafficking, go to: www.dhs.gov/humantrafficking or Take the DHS  General Awareness Training.    

Recognize it! Report it!



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