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E-Lines: October 03, 2020

Date: October 2, 2020

CARES Act Extension – Payroll Support Program Video Update

As yet another week draws to a close in Washington without Congress enacting the CARES Act Payroll Support Program, we have gained tremendous bi-partisan support despite not having acted timely to stop the furloughs that started yesterday. Our issue has spurred an urgency around these talks. AFA’s biggest supporter, Peter Fazio, introduced a stand-alone bill. This afternoon, AFA International President, Sara Nelson, put together a video to share with all of us the events of the day. Watch Sara’s video for an update on all the events of the day.

Pass Travel Seniority for those on Involuntary Furlough Status

Today being the first day many of our members are on involuntary furlough status, we are starting to get some questions about Pass Travel Seniority that suggests there may be some confusion. There are some important differences between Flight Attendants on IVF, Voluntary Furlough, or in the IVFMP.

Flight Attendants placed on IVF status are technically separated from the employment of the company. As a result, these employees are no longer active and for travel purposes, these employees travel much like retirees. Conversely, Flight Attendants on voluntary furlough status and those participating in the IVFMP both remain active employees.

For pass travel purposes, employees on IVF travel on the accrued seniority they had at the time of their IVF separation and will travel after all active employees. This means, if at the time of IVF separation, the employee had three (3) years of seniority, for the six-month period following the initial date of involuntary furlough, she/he will be boarded for pass travel with three years of service in the same way a retiree who left the company with 35 years of service maintains her/his 35 years of service. This means that with each advancing month, for the purpose of pass travel, she/he will see what appears to be an adjustment to her/his seniority when pass traveling.

Because those on voluntary furlough and in the IVFMP remain active employees, for pass travel purposes she/he travels with other active employees using her/his board (company) seniority date.

However, when recalled from involuntary furlough and based on our IVFMP agreement with the company, upon return to active status she/he will have accrued all of the time intervening from involuntary furlough to the date of recall and once again as an active employee, she/he will be boarded based on her/his board (company) seniority date in seniority order among all active employees.

Link Apps Outage Expected on October 3, 2020, 01:45 AM – 3:30 AM CT

For scheduled server maintenance, the login function for the Manuals and CCS Apps will be temporarily unavailable on October 3, 2020, from 1:45 AM – 3:30 AM CT. To ensure you are able to access the Manuals app, the company is recommending that you ensure you are signed into the Manuals app before 1:45 AM on the morning of October 3.  Alternatively, the pdf version of the eFAOM will be available in the Content Locker under Content > eFAOM PDF.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Get Your PINK ON!

The month of October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To date, breast cancer remains the most common form of cancer among women living in the United States. VIDEO

There have been numerous studies done that have shown Flight Attendants may have a higher increased risk of breast and other cancers due to work-place exposures. Given our disproportionate risk, we also have a unique opportunity because of interaction with passengers and our prominent position in public view, to use that face time with the public to call attention to the benefits of awareness and early detection of Breast Cancer.

All of us within our Flight Attendant community and the world are affected by this disease. Let’s all stand together this month to make a unified statement to encourage your mothers, spouses, sisters, and flying partners to get an exam in the interest of early detection.

Every October, in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of prevention, all United Airlines employees are able to show support for Breast Cancer Awareness by wearing company approved pink uniform accessories such as a pink ribbon behind your official AFA pin or wearing an approved pink accessory.

These accessories can be worn while on duty from October 1 through October 31. United’s Inflight Services has designated a pink scarf for females and a pink tie for males as the approved uniform items for Flight Attendants purchased in previous years to show your continuing support of United’s Pink Program!

Together we have this unique opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of prevention in battling this disease. We encourage everyone to participate in this effort. Together, we can accomplish great things!

See the National Cancer Institute online booklet What You Need to Know about Breast Cancer to learn more about breast cancer types, staging, treatment, and questions to ask your treating physician.

Vacation Elections 

The Vacation Election period opened at 0800 Home Domicile Time (HDT) on September 25 and will remain open until October 15t in order to provide the full twenty (20) day period to make elections .

Once you know the number of days that you have accrued, if you choose to participate in the optional Vacation Election process, select the “Proceed to Vacation Election” button located in the bottom right corner of the accrual letter page. You may also choose not to make any selections in the Vacation Election process and skip this step.

The vacation election screen will appear, and you will be able to make the following selections:

  1. Buy Back Vacation Days. Partially accrued vacation days are not eligible.
  2. Defer vacation days to your 401(k) or UK Stakeholder Plan
  3. Take Flex Vacation Days (paid or unpaid)

Vacation Buy Back*

The Company offers a vacation buy back option, which allows a Flight Attendant to take pay in lieu of accrued vacation. Flight Attendants who elect to participate must opt to “sell” at least six (6) full days of accrued vacation and partial days are not eligible. Those participating in the Buy Back program may not participate in the Flex program.

Annual Vacation Buy Back: 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 12/31/19. International Purser and Purser pay overrides are not included in your hourly rate of pay and are not applicable to Vacation Buy Back payments.

Monthly Vacation Buy Back: The Company may offer vacation buy back on a month-to-month or base-by-base basis. Vacation days are sold back at a rate of three hours and fifteen minutes (3:15) per day additionally the Company will determine whether to offer an incentive payment for month-to-month or base-by-base vacation buy back. Vacation buy back will be awarded in base seniority order.

*Note: As we have previously reported, Section 12.D.7. of our Contract provides that Vacation Buy Back is not to be utilized during a Flight Attendant Furlough. Given the ongoing effort to ensure the CARES Act is enacted, a decision was made to ensure we are collecting Flight Attendant Vacation Buy Back preferences during the Election window. In the unforeseen circumstance where the CARES Act is not enacted, the Vacation Buy Back election will not be processed and all vacation days will be bid by the respective Flight Attendant.

Deferred 401(k) Contribution 

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 2021 into their 401(k)-savings plan account or UK Stakeholder Group Plan.

Flex Vacation Program

Flight Attendants may elect to take an additional seven days of Flex vacation. Flight Attendants taking Flex vacation will either take the additional seven days as unpaid vacation or elect to have one hour and fifty-four minutes (1:54) pay deducted from their earnings each month to pay for the Flex vacation week. Flight Attendants who opt for paid Flex vacation will have their last seven days of their last awarded vacation period designated as Flex. Flight Attendants who opt for unpaid Flex vacation will have the first seven days of the first vacation period designated as Flex.

Once you have finished making your choices, select ‘Submit’. A confirmation page will be displayed detailing your 2021 elections. It is recommended that you keep a copy of this confirmation page for your records.

At any time while the vacation election period is open you can return to the vacation election page and change/update your selections. Once the election period is closed, changes can no longer be submitted, and the last page submitted will determine your elections.

Reminder – Oct. 1 - Important Benefits Changes While on Special COLA 
MEC Benefits Committee

Effective October 1, 2020, all Flight Attendants on Special COLA will automatically be moved to direct bill and pay. Your first billing statement will be generated as of October 10th and you will have 30 days from the billing statement date to make your payment.

If you are already set up on the direct bill and payment process, there will be no change and you will continue with the process with which you’ve already become familiar. Further, if you have already set up a recurring direct debit, a process we strongly recommend, those payments will continue to be deducted without change.

For additional information on any outstanding premium balance, visit Your Benefits Resources (YBR) from the Flying Together Website and view the Health Benefits Payment tile from the Home page.

For additional information reference E-lines article Benefits While on Special COLA – Important Upcoming Changes, Effective Oct. 1, on unitedafa.org.

Bulletin #26 is Now in Effect

Inflight Safety Bulletin is now in effect. We remind you to open and review all changed content.
For technical help with Link or Manuals app call Link Support (1-800-255-5801).

Third (3rd) Trimester CBT Due by October 30th

The Third Trimester CBT is available and is required to be completed by, October 30, 2020 - 2359 Central Standard Time. Log into TakeOff Learning and select Continuing Qualifications (CQ) 2020 Trimester 3.

This CBT session is anticipated to take approximately three (3) hours to complete. As provided for under our Contract in Section 11.B.2, Flight Attendants will be compensated at one (1:00) hour flight time credit for every three (3:00) hours, prorated. In no case shall a Flight Attendant receive less than one-hour (1:00) flight time pay and credit. Reference these Frequently Asked Questions for more information regarding CQ 2020 and third Trimester CBT.

Group Universal Life (GUL) Reminder for Those Returning from Special COLAs

As provided for in Section 29.G.1.c. of our Contract, the voluntary Group Universal Life (GUL) will be offered to Flight Attendants where the monthly salary for the purpose of this program is calculated using the Flight Attendant’s pay rate for the prior twelve (12) months and the base rate will be defined as eighty-five (85) hours multiplied by the Flight Attendant’s hourly rate of pay.

What is particularly important to note is how this voluntary benefit is offered to employees outside of open enrollment. When a Flight Attendant takes a leave of absence, including a Special COLA, declines to continue GUL coverage while on leave, upon return to work, will trigger the “auto-enroll” process. This same rule will apply for those on involuntary furlough, voluntary furlough, and will include those in the IVFMP. 

Each Flight Attendant will be auto-enrolled in coverage equal to four times her/his annual salary, spousal coverage (if married), and coverage for dependent children in the same way as a new hire Flight Attendant upon return from leave.

When returning from a leave, Securian will send a letter to the address of record to the Flight Attendant alerting her/him to the fact that they have been enrolled in coverage. Flight Attendants who do not want to be enrolled in this coverage, that is who wish to decline coverage, must take affirmative action by contacting Securian at(866) 887-1043 during the hours of 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM CT to decline coverage within forty-five (45) days of their return to service. 

If you have additional questions, contact your Local Council Benefits Committee.

Reminders and Quick Links

October 1 – October 31 Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October 1 - Bulletin #26
October 30 - Third Trimester CBT Due

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