E-Lines: December 15, 2020
December 15, 2020
Urgent Attention Needed: Tell Congress to pass #ReliefNow
A bipartisan group of Senators released the details of the Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 yesterday which includes our Payroll Support Program with language that would require airlines to recall all furloughed employees. AFA International President Sara Nelson urged Congress to pass this legislation:
"We call on Congress to act with urgency to make law the bipartisan Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020. This would immediately put aviation workers who have served on the frontlines of COVID for a year, back on payroll and connected to healthcare, in addition to providing emergency relief to tens of millions of Americans who are going hungry and in jeopardy of homelessness.
“Flight attendants were promised imminent relief when furloughs began October 1. The stress and strain put on people who can’t imagine why 'overwhelming support' doesn’t turn into real relief has made the hardship and loss during this pandemic all the more painful. All we need is a vote to save lives and livelihoods.
We need to burn up the phone lines every day this week and tell Congress to pass #ReliefNow before leaving for the holiday break!
"Hello, I am a constituent calling to tell my (Senator/Representative) that we need the Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 passed with an extension of the Payroll Support Program TODAY. We are out of work and without healthcare. Do not leave Washington, D.C. without passing emergency relief for our families. Get it done. Thank you.”
COVID-19 Vaccination Roll-Out Creates Robust Period of Hope
As of today, one in twenty Americans has tested positive for COVID-19, according to John Hopkins University data, and the U.S. is reporting more than 1.5 million cases each week, or about 150 every minute.
The good news is the vaccine(s) is/are coming. The first person in the U.S. to receive a vaccine did so in New Hampshire, an intensive care nurse. Pfizer’s vaccine was approved in the U.S. this past Friday and distribution began over the weekend transporting the shipments via UPS and FedEX overland across the country, from the base of operations in Michigan. Moderna’s vaccine is poised to follow almost directly on the heels this week as the FDA indicated the vaccine appeared to be safe and highly effective; and most likely will begin to be shipped starting as early as Monday.
Collectively, we are proud that United Airlines has been at the forefront of the distribution process, as early as a few weeks ago, as they began shipping the vaccines from the manufacturer’s source to distribution centers around the world. We hope United will be at the forefront throughout the process continuing to help turn the tide of this pandemic.
We understand that introduction of a viable vaccine will raise a number of questions for which immediate answers are not available. While there are various opinions on how people feel about the vaccine’s safety, or vaccines in general, there is widespread consensus that our nation’s, indeed our global, COVID-19 pandemic recovery is founded on wide-spread vaccination. What our airline needs to survive and grow again is a return of our traditional passengers with a strong focus on International and business travel. As the U.S. and the world begins this new turning point, it helps establish a much-anticipated timeline during which we can move from survival to stability and ultimately a return to growth and profitability. Despite whatever differences we may have on the virus or vaccines, we can all agree the goal for our airline to move in a strong forward direction is imperative in stabilizing our company and for our collective future success.
As with everything we’ve been through this past year, one question and its answer, such as vaccine availability, can raise half a dozen more questions. When will it be available for Flight Attendants? Can I get a vaccine sooner? Do I have to get a vaccine? Will United provide it or cover the cost? It’s early in this new phase, and those questions all need to be answered. Currently each state has the responsibility to decide on a distribution process, but that may change under new Presidential leadership in January, or the states may agree on what “essential workers” or “travel industry” means more definitively.
The best news is that we are finally entering a more robust period of hope. There is an end on the horizon and while it may yet be some unknown number of months distant, it is in sight. Experts believe that many Americans may have the option to be vaccinated by Spring 2021 and most by Summer 2021 or Fall 2021. Of course, things are always subject to change, and while we are all eager to see the end of 2020, we look towards a future that looks more recognizable and certainly more welcome than the challenges we’ve been faced with in 2020.
Availability of Funds from First Paycheck in the New Year – January 4, 2021
As a reminder and for your planning purposes, as provided in Section 3.BB. of our Contract, the direct deposit of funds for our January 1, 2021 paycheck will be available on the first business day after the holiday. Because January 1, 2021, the New Year’s Day holiday, falls on a Friday where financial institutions are closed, funds will be available on Monday, January 4, 2021.
Restoration of Reserve Days of Availability - 16 Day Off Reserve Lines
January line awards will be released on December 17, 2020. We anticipate Flight Attendants at GUM, IAD, LAX, LHR, ORD, SFO and CLE will be awarded Reserve schedules having more than twelve (12) minimum days off. Flight Attendants are reminded that in accordance with Section 8.I.1.I.of of the Contract they can request restoration of the predesignated days of availability indicated by a “+” icon in the bid packet with a proportionate increase in their Reserve minimum guarantee. However, the request must be made no later than three (3) days prior to the schedule change.
Most requests to restore days may be submitted via CCS and will be processed automatically: Under the Reserve tab, select “Reserve Day Restoration.” If you have vacation, have line traded, or have other legality conflicts, please continue to use Help Hub. To locate the Reserve Restoration form, go to Help Hub on Flying Together or helphub.ual.com and search “Restoration”. These requests will be processed manually. Restored days of availability will also come with a corresponding increase to the minimum guarantee, up to a maximum of 78:00.
Reserve day of availability restoration requests will be accepted from 0800 HDT on Thursday, December 17th through 2359 HDT on Saturday, December 26th. Please see our FAQ document on this topic for more information. If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Reserve Committee.
Reserve Timeline for the January Bid Month
If awarded or assigned a Reserve line for the January bid month, there are various scheduling request deadlines and processes that occur during the period between bid awards and through the first week of the new month. While some of these events occur on the same calendar days each month, there are a few that are based on when the new Flight Attendant bid month begins, which may vary from month to month. For your convenience, we have compiled a Reserve bid month timeline detailing these items in both calendar and list formats.
Link/Sled Coverage Enrollment Closes on December 17
As a reminder, the Link/Sled Coverage enrollment has been extended by United and will be available until December 17, 2020. The $30.00 enrollment fee will be prorated depending upon when your opt-in enrollment date begins.
To enroll simply go to the Company’s Help Hub or by going to Link/Sled Recovery Protection Plan-Standard Enrollment Period in Help Hub. If you have any questions, contact: LinkInsurance@united.com
Pass Travel Enrollment Deadline – December 18
Annual Pass Travel election changes for the 2020 calendar year will close on December 18th at 11:59pm, Central Time. We encourage you to review and make any necessary changes before enrollment closes.
To visit United’s Pass Travel Enrollment, go to Flying Together > Travel Tab > Pass Travel > Manage Pass Riders.
Updated Crew Meals – December 15
As reported in the December 9, IFSW, catering will be changing downline lunch/dinner/snack crew meals for Flight Attendants and pilots. Breakfast remains the same, however later meals may include Quinoa bowl, Penne pasta, Jerky and other assorted items. Remember that crew meals may be boarded for a downline connection for a different crew, and we should both ensure it is boarded and ready for them on their eligible segment. Refer to United’s IFSW update for additional instructions and details.
Paperless W2 Link Correction
This past Friday, we advised you of options regarding your paperless/electronic delivery of your annual W-2 forms. The link included in last week’s E-Lines was incorrect. Please use the following link to register: paperlessW2.ual.com.
Reminder and Quick Links
December 18 - #ReliefNow
December 17 – Link Enrollment Coverage Closes
December 18 – Pass Travel Enrollment Deadline
December 20 – Begin Day for Absence Certificate Requirement
December 25 – Contractual Holiday Pay
January 30 – First Trimester CQ CBT Due