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E-Lines: November 10, 2020

Date: November 10, 2020

We are Professionals: Dependability During a Global Pandemic

Over the course of the weekend, we’ve heard from a number of you who have shared your concerns with us about John Slater’s most recent Inflight Leadership Update on the “Importance of Dependability”.  And, while many have expressed an understanding of the content of what is being conveyed in the message, many are expressing outrage at the manner in which the message was delivered.  Others have gone on to express a sense that the message creates a perception of being out of touch with Flight Attendants, Flight Attendant working conditions and the circumstances with which we are all presently faced working in crowded aircraft cabins with the traveling public during a global pandemic.

We encourage you to read our full response to Inflight Management.


United Management to Surplus 75 GUM Flight Attendants

Yesterday United management made an announcement that will dramatically impact our Flight Attendant community and, in particular, our Members in Local Council 65 in Guam.

Citing the continued impact of the COVID-19 and its impact on customer demand for travel on United’s entire route structure, including flights from Guam to Micronesia and Asia, management announced a surplus of seventy-five (75) active and inactive Flight Attendants from the Guam domicile effective December 30, 2020.  This surplus will occur consistent with the requirements of Section 17.J. of our Contract.  Additional details are available on our website.


 Vacation Bidding When Transferring

We have received questions regarding Flight Attendants who are currently bidding for vacation in one base and will be transferring to a new base over the next several weeks. 

The Vacation award system looks to see where you will be as of January 1st to determine the allotment from which you will be awarded.  For example, a Flight Attendant who is currently based in EWR but is transferring to FLL on November 30, would be bidding her/his Secondary Vacation based on the FLL vacation allotment, because this is where they will be located in January.  

Additionally, any vacation awarded while at the prior base from the First Vacation Award will follow the Flight Attendant to the new base location.

The same process will follow when we get to the Vacation modification process.  Flight Attendants who have transferred to a new base, or will be transferring, will be eligible for seniority vacation trades, trades with other Flight Attendants and trading with vacation open time based on allocations at the new base.  An in-depth explanation of all these processes is available on our Vacation Page.  Please contact your Local Council with any questions.


 Annual Enrollment Correction Period & Spousal Coverage Costs

Many Flight Attendants choose to default their insurance to the same coverage from one year to the next, without making any changes.  In doing so, you may have missed some options that could save you money, by comparing plans.  For those who may not have compared plans, or wish to make a change, there is still time.  Although the Annual Open Enrollment period is over, you can make changes before the end of the year.  

You may review and compare plan information and make a change by calling the Benefits Center (UABC).  Likewise, if you have a spouse or domestic partner, you can take this review period to see if their coverage may be more beneficial, or splitting your coverage instead of including them in yours may be the right decision.  

Each of our circumstances are different, but we encourage everyone, regardless of what coverage options you selected to take the opportunity to review your choices and make sure they make the most sense.  The Benefits Center is open M-F 7a-7p Central Time, and may be reached at 800-651-1007.


 Second Round Vacation Bid Period Open

Second Round Vacation Bids opened on November 8 and will close on November 16, at 0800 HDT.

Vacation Timeline

Date

Time

Open Vacation Election Period

By September 25

 

Close Election Period

On October 15

By 0800 HDT

Begin First Vacation Bid Period

By October 23

 

Close First Vacation Bid Period

On October 31

By 0800 HDT

Post First Vacation Awards

By November 4

 

Begin Second Vacation Bid Period

By November 8

 

Close Second Vacation Bid Period

On November 16

By 0800 HDT

Post Second Vacation Awards

By November 20

 

Vacation Allocations Published

By November 24

 

Trades Awarded by Seniority

On November 30

 

Final Vacation Allocations Published

By December 4

 

Instant Trading Open

On December 5

 

 

For additional information regarding 2021 Vacation bidding reference the 2021 vacation page on Unitedafa.org.


 COVID-19 Precautions: Taking Care of Yourself. 

As cases of COVID-19 continue to surge across the country, we want to take the opportunity to remind ourselves of the guidance from the CDC and FAA that is contained in the FAA SAFO 20009: COVID-19: Updated Interim Occupational Health and Safety Guidance for Air Carriers and Crews.

The SAFO states that crewmembers should not report to work if they “develop fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild.” 

The headache or aches and pains that we once came to work with, today may be indicators of a COVID-19 infection. To help slow the spread of COVID-19, when you realize you are sick or symptomatic, you should place yourself on sick leave and remain away from work.

According to the CDC, “People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.  

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.  If you are advised of any exposure, you should contact your personal doctor for guidance.  To quarantine or self-monitor is the general guidance, however; each of us have unique personal health decisions that should be made between ourselves and our physician.  Our Letter of Agreement [link] covers that an individual doctor determines to be right when it comes to COVID-19 safety precautions.

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms.  The CDC will continue to update the last as we learn more about the virus. Any of the above symptoms or advisement of exposure; regardless if defined as close contact, passenger or family member, warrants a call or visit to one’s personal physician who is familiar with you and your family’s medical history. Your personal physician is the one who can best provide further guidance on the action you should be taking.

Keep in mind, earlier this year we entered into a Sick Leave Protection Letter of Agreement  with the company.  This LOA provides for pay protection during certain scenarios, as well as dependability protection when a Flight Attendant has to place themselves on sick leave when they are experiencing any symptom(s) of COVID-19.

We encourage each of you to take precautions to protect yourself.  If you are well, you should come to work, wear a mask, wash hands frequently and use all the safety tools at our disposal to remain healthy.  If you do experience symptoms you should follow the FAA and CDC guidelines and United’s policy on staying home.


 Georgia Senatorial Seats Headed to a Runoff Election. 
MEC Government Affairs Committee

Georgia is the only state in the country that had two senate seats on the ballot. Now, these senatorial seats are up for an historic runoff election on January 5, 2021. In Georgia, races go to a runoff when neither of the candidates wins the required majority of votes.

The Runoffs

Republican Senator and incumbent David Perdue and Democrat Challenger John Ossoff.

 Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler and Democrat challenger Raphael Warnock will also face a runoff. That race is a special election to fill the seat vacated by Republican Senator Johnny Isakson who departed at the end of 2019 due to medical issues.

Important Dates for Georgia Residents

Voters can request an absentee ballot now. Those ballots will not be sent out in the mail until after November 18.

The deadline to register to vote for the runoff is December 7. Anyone who is registered to vote in Georgia is eligible to vote in the runoff election. Check your voter registration status.

Early voting for the runoff will begin on December 14.

Candidates in the runoff will face another election on January 5, 2021.

Please visit https://www.vote411.org/georgia or https://Georgia.gov/vote-2020-runoff-elections for all the information and due dates regarding the runoff election in Georgia. 


 United Adds Additional Flying in Response to Increased Travel Demand

United Airlines announced yesterday that the week of November 23 will be the busiest we’ve had since March of this year, as passengers book travel for the Thanksgiving holiday.  

The increase is coming in the form of late bookings which, when compared with last year, have increased by about 10%, giving United a welcome increase in demand.  As last-minute bookings increase United will add flights or substitute larger aircraft to match demand with capacity.

The outlook for December has improved as well.  United announced it will fly 52% of it’s domestic schedule, and 43% of it’s International schedule, in December.  This is again an increase over last year with demand for holiday travel driving the late bookings.


 No Activity Line (NAL) Bidding Closes November 13

As we reported last Friday, Flight Attendants at all bases and satellites where there are IVFMP participants at the base may elect to bid a No Activity Line (NAL) schedule.   GUM & LHR are a bit different in that the desired number of Special COLAs at each location must be met in order for NAL schedules to be available to the general population.

To bid for a NAL schedule, in CCS under the bidding tab, select No Activity Line (NAL) Bid no later than 12:00 Noon CT on Friday, November 13, 2020.


 Special Virtual Meeting of the AFA BOD. 

There will be a Special Virtual Meeting of the AFA Board of Directors on November 18, 2020, to discuss the status of the AFA Annual Budget.

Please contact your Local Council if you have any questions.


Honoring our Veterans- Wednesday, November 11 

Veterans Day is important to many of us and is a time to pay our respects to those who have served.  On this day, we stand united in our respect for these service members, veterans or family and friends of veterans who have served to protect our country. We celebrate and honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

This holiday started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country's service and was originally called Armistice Day.  It falls on November 11, because that is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. However, in 1954, the holiday was changed to "Veterans Day" in order to account for all veterans in all wars.  

When first celebrated as Armistice Day, the day marked the end of World War I, formally recognized on the “11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month” in 1918.

Today we continue to celebrate the day as Veterans Day, still recognizing the original tie with November 11. That means Veterans Day is on the same day every year -- November 11 -- regardless the of the week on which it falls. 

Our Union and our Flight Attendant community respectfully express our appreciation for all that you do.


 Reminder and Quick Links

November 10 - 25 – Submit System Transfers Resulting from GUM Surplus Announcement

November 13 – NAL Bidding Closes

November 16 – Close Second Vacation Bid Period

November 24 - System Transfer Bids for GUM Surplus Close

November 25 – System Transfers Awarded at 0800 CT

November 26 - Thanksgiving Day

December 3 – System Transfer Awards – Acceptance/Rejection Due by 2359 HDT

December 4 – GUM Surplus Award List Posted by 1700 CT

 

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