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E-Lines: June 02, 2020

Date: June 2, 2020

Vacation Fly Though Elections for July must be made by June 5, 2020 at 10:00A HDT

Advance Vacation Fly Through for the month of July must be made prior to 10:00AM HDT, Friday, June 5th, 2020.   Additional details are available on unitedafa.org.



MEC 9-19 Decision – Misapplication of Contract Language in Section 7.R.4.


In September of 2019, the Union filed an MEC Grievance disputing the Company’s misapplication of Section 7.R.4 of the Contract. The case was presented before the System Board of Adjustment and we have received the final ruling from the System Board of Adjustment denying the grievance.  

The dispute arose when a Flight Attendant on a pairing that encountered an operational delay which infringed on the Flight Attendant’s day off, the Company was not restoring the Flight Attendant’s day off.  The Company’s position was that restoration of day off in the case of an operational delay would only apply if it infringed on one of the Flight Attendant’s minimum days off.

The System Board of Adjustment, by the decision of a neutral Arbitrator, ruled that the new language of Section 7.R.4 of the Joint Agreement was clear and unambiguous, that a Flight Attendant would only be entitled to a restoration of a day off if the infringement of the day off caused them to fall below their minimum days off as defined in Section 6.Q.  In addition, the System Board found that the intent of the parties was determined through language that they mutually chose, not through bargaining history or a prior practice.

This decision does not alter any other application of Section 7.R. as it relates to restoration of day off due to a reassignment pursuant to Section 7.Q.

Please contact your Local Council Office if you have questions.


June is Pride Month! We Stand Together!  

June heralds the start to summer and the beginning of Pride Month! AFA-CWA supports diversity in all forms as we fight for protections on the job and in our communities. As a global workforce we know that diversity is what makes us unique. Together we strive for equal treatment of all regardless of race, color, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. 

In our world today, we see now more than ever that unity is needed. We cannot remain silent as any of our sisters and brothers are subject to oppression in any form. We stand together as a unified voice for equality in this world. We have come a long way since 1976 when those who came before us had the foresight to vote to change our AFA Constitution and Bylaws to include, as an integral part of our primary objective, uniting all flight cabin Crew Members in the airline industry, “regardless of sexual orientation”.  Despite this objective, discrimination is still a battle being waged within our country. Together, we will stamp out hate, ignorance and discrimination. 

As we enter the month of June where we celebrate Pride in our diversity, we ask that you wear your AFA Pride pin in solidarity with our LGBTQIA Members to proudly demonstrate our solidarity. Contact your Local Council Office if you have not received a Pride pin in one of the previous years where we have celebrated Pride!


United’s Most Recent Voluntary Separation Package (VSP2) 


Details on the company’s Voluntary Separation Program (VSP2) for frontline employees were released on May 30, 2020. Eligible Flight Attendants should have received a custom-tailored email providing an overview of the program with the associated links to the program details, FAQs, inquiry form and application form in Help Hub, along with other resources. 

The company’s VSP2 offer is highly personalized based on each individual Flight Attendant, her/his retirement eligibility, years of service and more. It is important to understand that you may receive an explanation of a program with options that differ from that of a flying partner who is of a different age with different record of company service.

It is extremely important for Flight Attendants to understand that this is a company sponsored program. Your Union was not consulted with, spoken to or involved in the development of this VSP2 offer. For this reason, Union representatives cannot direct you regarding the details or provide direction on your decision to participate.  We recommend that you take advantage of all available company resources to ensure you are fully informed prior to making a final decision. 

If you are considering taking advantage of any offer, be sure to read all the details provided to you in Help Hub as well as the detailed, dedicated communication that will be mailed to the homes of those eligible to participate in VSP2. These offers are a final decision to separate from the company. Flight Attendants who were offered a CARP service enhancement can expect to receive the details for their individual offer based on their age and years of service around June 5, 2020. 

The application window for United’s most recent Voluntary Separation Program for frontline employees closes at 23:59:59 US Central on Thursday, June 18, 2020.

Help Hub should be your go-to resource for any questions about the VSP.

Additional FAQs with answers to some of the most frequently asked questions will be available soon.


Maintaining your Group Universal Life Securian Policy Upon Retirement
MEC Benefits Committee

Flight Attendants planning to retire or who have recently retired may maintain their Group Universal Life Insurance Policy (GUL) issued by Securian and have the option to move their policy to a direct pay status once United notifies Securian of your retirement. As a retired employee you are not required to maintain coverage and may elect to cancel at anytime.

Approximately three months following your retirement: 

  • Securian will send a bill for your premium directly to your mailing address on record. 
  • If you wish to maintain your coverage you can direct pay your premium to Securian.
    Instructions for an online bank draft or direct mailing will be included in the letter. 
  • Your rate will move from the group rate to the direct bill rate and will increase with age 
  • You may lower your premiums by decreasing your coverage amount. 

 

Flight Attendants needing additional information are encouraged to contact Securian directly:

 

Customer service

(866) 887-1043
7:00 am to 6:00 pm Central Time

Claims

(888) 658-0193
7:00 am to 6:00 pm Central Time

 




Social Media – Exercise Care and Avoid Conducting Official Union Business


Social Media – it’s a part of our everyday life.   Having said this, we must exercise care in how we use social media to both obtain and distribute information to each other.  In addition, we must align our expectations as to what business can be conducted in these open forums with the duty of Union representatives to confidentially conduct Union business.  Union business should always be conducted outside the watchful eyes of management. 

As we’ve said repeatedly, no one should ever have an expectation of privacy on any social media platform even when in “secure” or “private” areas.  We must always use discretion and exercise due diligence when posting or sharing information on these sites.

 As Members in our Flight Attendant Union community, open discussion about provisions of our Contract should never take place in a forum that is subject to management scrutiny. The same applies to our view of SOPs, FARs & security matters.  None of this should ever be debated or presented on social media sites because it can potentially compromise our safety and that of our flying partners because, whether in a private room or not, we can never guarantee who will see this information and how it may be misused.

When we discuss workplace issues in a public forum, we always run the risk that our conversations or concerns will be misunderstood by management.  These “private public” discussions in the hands of management are rarely understood in the way Flight Attendants may have meant the discussion to take place.  Most especially, reviewing details of incidents that occur during the course of a work day has the potential to put you and possibly others in jeopardy of disciplinary action when, not if, your post ends up in the hands of those not intended to be part of the discussion.

AFA has resources and volunteers available to assist you in improving your understanding of policies, procedures, FARs, and SOPs. You are strongly encouraged to use these confidential resources to resolve issues and address concerns in the workplace or with flying partners.  

Your official source of Union information should be your Union’s website – www.unitedafa.org. It is one of the best and most thorough resources for Flight Attendants to utilize when seeking information.  This website is tied directly to the Official AFA United MEC Facebook page, which contains our weekly news and updates on matters that affect our careers and our profession.  

Additionally, your Locally Elected Council Leadership is always available to confidentially answer questions or concerns via email or their official Union phone numbers. The Locally Elected Officers and Local Council volunteers are all highly trained to assist the Membership while always protecting your contractual rights and your privacy. 

As a reminder, for your protection we encourage Flight Attendants to review the United AFA  Social Media Policy and remember to contact your Local CouncilOffice for all your AFA needs. 


Effective Immediately - Temporary Basic Life Saving Procedures
MEC Safety, Health and Security Committee

Effective immediately, in an effort to prevent the spreading of infection during the COVID-19 crisis, the company has implemented temporary basic-life saving (BLS) procedures.

A Temporary Basic Life Saving (BLS) Procedure Reference Guide (ERG) is now available in the Content Locker section of your Link, modifying the current Adult CPR procedures currently outlined in our eFAOM. Flight Attendants are encouraged to become familiar with the new temporary procedure prior to their next flight. The BLS temporary procedures include the following:

  • Modifies the current Adult CPR procedures outlined in the eFAOM, including the introduction of compression only CPR that eliminates the requirement of using two rescue breaths as a part in between compressions. A licensed medical professional may still be permitted to provide rescue breaths, if necessary. AED procedures remain unchanged and should be followed as outlined in the eFAOM.

  • Adds the requirement of wearing a face mask/shield, located in the Infection Control Kit, when conducting CPR on an Adult, Child, or Infant. A face mask/shield is also required when responding to a choking customer, or when providing oxygen from a portable oxygen bottle (POB).

  • Requires that a customer wear a mask over the device being used to administer oxygen.

Resources

Link > Content Locker > Safety > Temporary Basic Life Saving (BLS) Procedure Reference Guide


Scheduling RQ around Sacred Days - Days off Preceding/Following a Scheduled Vacation Period 

Section 12.C.4

On May 23, 2020 the company announced their plan to reinstate CQ training beginning mid-June, 2020. Flight Attendants with a February CQ Due Month will become non-qualified (NQ) as of June 1 and will be required to attend RQ1 in June. FAST team members will contact Flight Attendants to schedule Regulatory Training (RQ) training. No RQ training pairings will be placed in open time for Flight Attendants to pick up. 

While CQ classes are scheduled to resume in mid-June, the availability of open days to schedule required CQ training is expected to be somewhat limited. In addition to scheduled vacation days, 
Section 12.C.4 of our Contract provides that days off immediately preceding and following a scheduled vacation period, as shown in a Flight Attendant’s schedule, shall be considered part of that vacation period, if she/he so desires. Sacred days are to be treated in the following manner:

The company cannot assign training on those days, unless a Flight Attendant has specifically bid for the training, or in the case of being scheduled for RQ, she/he indicates affirmatively a desire to be scheduled during vacation or on sacred days. It is the Flight Attendant’s responsibility to ensure that she/he maintains her/his qualifications.  Additionally, the company cannot schedule a meeting on those days, without the Flight Attendant’s consent.

Also, the company cannot reassign a Flight Attendant to infringe on those days, if there is an ability to return the Flight Attendant to base before the start of a sacred day.  Flight Attendants may not be drafted on a sacred day.

However, a lineholder who picks up open flying on one of the days off immediately following a vacation period has signaled the end of her/his vacation. Any remaining days off are treated simply as regularly scheduled day off - not as additional vacation days.

The following plan has been developed to return Flight Attendants to qualification status over the next several months. We encourage you to read the details and become familiar with the CQ/RQ scheduling provisions. 

Note: As part of this plan, Flight Attendants on a COLA will not be required to attend regulatory training during their leave period. 

Additional information can be found in the restart plan questions and answers. Questions can be directed to inflightservicetraining@united.com


Calendar Day ‘RLSD’ – Free from all Company Obligation (OFF) for Trades and 1:7 Rule


At the beginning of last month, your reports to your Local Reserve Committees brought to the attention of the Union that some Flight Attendants who were attempting to process certain Reserve day off trades were receiving “1 in 7” error messages that were not consistent with the application of the language in our Contract. 

 

As we researched the issue, we learned the company’s scheduling system was not properly recognizing a calendar day RLSD” (0001-2359) as a day free from company obligation to satisfy the “one calendar day off in seven” requirement of Sections 6.P. and 8.I.2 of our Contract.

 

Based on the advocacy of the Union, in cooperation with Crew Scheduling and IT, we have been advised that action has been taken to resolve programming inconsistencies in the company’s scheduling system to ensure that a calendar day ‘RLSD’ will be treated as if a day free from company obligation (OFF) when trading and to satisfy the 1:7 rule.

 

If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Reserve Committee. 

 


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