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E-Lines: June 23, 2020

Date: June 23, 2020

United Extends VSP2 Submission Deadline to July 8, 2020 & Enhances Option A

United has enhanced the benefits available under Option A of the Voluntary Separation Program 2 (VSP2) and has extended the application deadline. 

The application process for Option A only has been extended through 11:59 p.m. CT on July 8.

  • If you applied by June 18 for either Option A or Option B, your last day worked is June 30.

  • Apply between June 19 and July 8 for option A only, your last day worked is July 17.  It is important to understand that enrollments, that is, accepted applications, may be limited due to operational considerations.

 Detailed information regarding the VSP2 program can be found on Flying Together -> Hub Help. 


Urgent Travel Verification Required for U.S. Passport Agencies 

Due to public health measures the U.S. Department of State’s domestic passport agencies have had limited access since the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective immediately, Flight Attendants in need of passport services will no longer be allowed scheduled appointments with Passport Agencies and Centers unless they are traveling internationally within 72 hours and can submit proof of urgent travel(e.g., flight schedule).

Note: Appointments made prior to the June 22, 2020 announcement will be honored. 
 

Flight Attendants in need of a new passport that and have not already applied follow these steps: 

1.Contact the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778 and identify yourself as a flight crew member who urgently needs to apply for (or renew) a passport. 

2.The Duty Officer will take your information and schedule an appointment at the nearest passport agency. 

3.  In addition to your passport application materials, you will also need to request a letter on company letterhead via Help Hub (beginning Friday, March 27) that includes: 

  • Your name
  • Reason for the urgency of applying for a passport 
  • Printed name and title of the supervisor 
  • Signature of the supervisor 
  • Date the letter was issued 


If you have already applied for your passport but have not received it follow these steps: 

1.Contact the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778 and identify yourself as a flight crew member who has already applied and urgently need your passport. 

2.The Duty Officer will contact the passport agency that is processing your passport application. 

3.  The passport agency will contact you with instructions on how to submit a letter on company letterhead that includes: 

  • Your name
  • Reason for the urgency of applying for a passport 
  • Printed name and title of the supervisor 
  • Signature of the supervisor 
  • Date the letter was issued 


You can request this letter via Help Hub (beginning Friday, March 27).

The passport agency will coordinate with you on the delivery or pickup of the completed passport. Proof of travel is not required. The $60 expedited service fee must be included with the passport fee. 

Remember, crew members who fly need to have valid passport with a minimum of six (6) months left before it expires.  Passport applications and information on how to apply for your passport are located at travel.state.gov
.

For detailed information, go to the Passports & Visa page on Flying Together.


Company Adds Personal Thermometer as Required Duty Item – Effective June 24, 2020
MEC Safety Health and Security Committee

On May 30, 2020, in compliance with an FAA mandate, the company implemented a self-conducted wellness check requirement for Flight Attendants and pilots. As part of the guidance Flight Attendants are to conduct self-administered temperature checks prior to and throughout their pairing assignments, as defined in the May 28, 2020, publication of E-lines.  As part of the wellness check guidance beginning June 24, 2020 the company will now require Flight Attendants  to carry a thermometer as an additional required duty item, along with their personal facial mask. Although, it is recommended Flight Attendants provide their own non-mercury thermometer from home anyone in need of a personal oral thermometer can obtain them from the following bases BOS, CLE, DEN, EWR, GUM, HNL, IAD, IAH, LAS, LAX, ORD, SFO. 

Additional information can be found in the latest Safety Alert, dated June 22, 2020. 


Substance Use During COVID-19 Leave
EAP/Professional Standards Committee

Historically, crisis events tend to trigger increased drug and alcohol abuse. Post 9/11, for example, the National Institutes of Health raised concerns about increased substance use by those impacted by the tragedy. Meanwhile, after Hurricane Katrina, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that hospitalization for alcohol use disorders rose by 35 percent in New Orleans. Experts fear that we will see similar trends this time, but on a national scale. People frequently self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to cope with feelings of stress and anxiety. Uncertainty about the future, loneliness, lack of routine, economic dislocation, job loss and fear of death by disease, can all be triggers for those who are vulnerable to substance abuse, including those in recovery – even after long periods of abstinence. Meanwhile, stay-at-home orders in effect for COVID-19, limit access to support systems such as friends, neighbors, therapists, church, family and recovery groups. Early indications aren’t good. Researchers are seeing spikes in alcohol sales, marijuana use, and anti-anxiety and pain medication prescriptions.

If you are concerned about substance abuse for yourself, a family member or flying partner, now is the perfect time to consider treatment, especially if you are on a voluntary leave. 

Your AFA EAP peer professionals can discuss and coordinate all treatment options while maintaining your right to privacy. If you are getting ready to return from a leave and would like to discuss preventing safety risk associated with drug and alcohol testing violations, contact your AFA EAP for a confidential conversation. Your Local AFA EAP Committee Representative can be reached at unitedafa.org.


Restoration of Reserve Days of Availability - 16 Day Off Reserve Lines

Flight Attendants awarded a Reserve line for July having more than the minimum number of days off can request to restore one or more of the predesignated days, indicated by a “+”in the bid packet.

Reserve restoration requests may be submitted from Wednesday, June 17th through Saturday, June 27th, 2020, 2359 HDT.


Reserves Picking Up Flying on Scheduled Days Off 
JCBA Sections 8.L & 8.M.

Flight Attendants awarded a Reserve line for the July bid month are reminded of the contractual provisions provided in Sections 8.L & 8.M. of our JCBA.  A Reserve may, at her/his option, pick up flying on scheduled days off once they have been released by Crew Scheduling.

Those new to Reserve or who have not been on Reserve in a while are reminded, that a Reserve may
not, pick up a trip that has a scheduled check-in on a Reserve day of availability even if they have been released from duty (RLSD) for the remainder of the day. Because the value of the Reserve day has already been included as part of the Reserve minimum guarantee, you are ineligible to pick -up additional flying scheduled for that day. Additionally, if the trip is picked up from open time and carries over into the next bid month it will count as the one allowable trip in the month it originates. Example: A Reserve Flight Attendant picks up a three (3) day trip that originates on June 30, 2020 and concludes on July 2, 2020. The trip will be credited as the Reserves one-time June open time pick-up. 

"NOTE:Trips picked up on Reserve days off may not be traded for other trips. Instead, these trips may be traded for days off (i.e., "dropped") and the Reserve may then pick up a different trip over the OFF days."


Register to Vote! – It’s your Right.  
MEC Government Affairs Committee

Your right and privilege to vote is not automatic, you must register to vote, and you must ensure your registration record is up to date.

Voter registration deadlines vary by state but can be as early as 30 days prior to an election.

As Flight Attendants, we are not always able to predict our schedules. The COVID-19 crisis has made it even more difficult. We may not be able to go to the polls on election day. It’s important each of us make a successful plan to cast a ballot in the General Election. The global pandemic has made it necessary to postpone several state primaries and you can find the latest state-by-state election changes due to the COVID-19 at www.vote411.org/afacwa. This information is updated regularly throughout the day so please check back frequently for any new information.

2020 Election Checklist - General Election November 3

1.  Confirm you are registered to vote. Is your voter registration up to date? If you have not voted in the past year, have moved, or have changed your name, you may not be automatically eligible to vote in November. You may have missed the deadline to vote in your state’s primary, but there’s still time to register to vote in the General Election on November 3, 2020. First time voter? Go to www.vote411.org/afacwato register.

2.  Early Voting.Most states allow voters to cast a ballot before Election Day. As Flight Attendants, it is difficult to predict where we will be on November 3rd, but your state may allow you vote during a designated early voting period. 

3.    Request an Absentee Ballot to vote from home. Five states; Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington already conduct all elections using home ballots. More states may follow. In addition, most states allow certain voters to request an absentee ballot. This year it is easier to request an absentee ballot to allow voting from the safety of our homes and not have to worry about our work schedules. Click this link to request an Absentee Ballot.

4.    Learn the issues and check what’s on the ballot. All jurisdictions prepare a voting guide with an overview of candidates and ballot initiatives. Be prepared to vote by reviewing what is on your ballot and specific election information for your State. Voter guides are usually updated a month before election day or when ballots are mailed.

5.    If you live overseas, request your Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register and/or to request your absentee ballot. You can do this at www.fvap.gov. Make sure to follow your state instructions when filling out your FPCA. 

6.    Voting on Election Day.Elections are governed and run by state governments, each of which has its own rules for carrying out the mechanics of voting. Voters are assigned to a polling place based on the home address listed on their voter registration record.  Registered voters are required to go to their assigned polling place, and they may be required to show proper identification before casting a ballot.

For all the voting information you need, click here  

If you have any questions, please contact your Local Council or email the MEC Government Affairs Committee at legislative@unitedafa.org.

 

Your vote is your voice! Be sure to use it!


Link—Safeware® Insurance Enrollment Postponed

The Link – Safeware insurance enrollment has been postponed until the Fall of 2020. In the interim, coverage is continuous. Questions should be directed to your inflight supervisor. 

 

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