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Special COLA Benefits and Scheduled Vacation Details

Date: May 9, 2020


Flight Attendants on Special COLA are eligible to maintain their health and welfare coverages at the active employee contribution rate for the duration of their Special COLA. During the Special COLA, employees are not eligible to receive pay from their sick leave bank.  However, Sick Leave credit will continue to accrue consistent with the provisions of Section 13.A.1.a. of our Contract.

While on the Special COLA and because the employee does not have regular earnings, payroll deductions will not be withheld for these coverages.  Instead they will accumulate for up to 2 months and a balance of $500.00. Once the accumulated balance for benefits reaches $500.00 andno deductions can be taken from your paycheck over a two (2) month time frame, the premium balance will be sent for direct billing by the United Airlines Benefits Center. If, however, the Flight Attendant returns to work prior to reaching $500.00 and at least 2 months of missed deductions, the deductions accumulated to the date of return to work will be deducted from the first paycheck the employee receives after returning to work which could result in a zero-dollar paycheck. 

Flight Attendants who signed up for the new voluntary insurance benefits offered by United Airlines (Long Term Care, Auto/Home, Identity Theft, and Pet Insurance), will be directly billed after missing deductions from three paychecks and will receive communication on how to make payments for these benefits directly to the vendor.

Scheduled vacation while on special COLA

If you have a vacation period(s) that are scheduled during the Special COLA, you will be paid out for your vacation at a rate 3:15 hours per vacation day. Your vacation will be posted to your current month’s pay register. You will be paid based on the current pay methodology in the contract. Keep in mind that Flight Attendants are paid in arrears.  For example: the 1st of May and the 16 of May are the checks that cover all paid activity, including vacation, that occurred during the April schedule month. 

In terms of how the value of your flight advance is determined, the same rules that apply to all active Flight Attendants are in effect:

  1. If the value of your vacation is greater than 50:00 hours, you will be entitled to a full advance (70% of your pay) on the 1st of the month (or 49:42) and the remainder of your vacation hours exceeding 49:42 will be paid on your mid-month paycheck. 
  2. If the value of your vacation is between 30:00 and 49:59 hours, you will be entitled to a half advance (35% of your pay) on the 1st of the month equal (or 24:51). The remainder of your vacation hours exceeding the 24:51 will be paid on your mid-month paycheck.
  3. If the value of your vacation is less than 30:00 hours, you will receive the full vacation payment on your mid-month paycheck.

The Crew Pay time is responsible for manual updating your Pay Register in any month for which you are on a Special COLA. While on Special COLA, you are outside the normal pay processes.  All of this manual work is typically completed by Crew Pay personnel no later than the 15th of any given schedule month to ensure the value of your vacation can be determined by the 20th of the month and to ensure you receive the appropriate flight advance on your first of the following month paycheck.  

Additional information regarding the details of the June Special COLA’s are available on Flying Together and in the following May 2, 2020 edition of E-lines.

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