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E-Lines: February 26, 2021

Date: February 26, 2021

 

Furlough Mitigation Partnership Awards


Furlough Mitigation Partnerships (FMP) were awarded Wednesday afternoon for all bases.  It should be noted, there were no furlough mitigation partnership requests on file for any International Purser bases.  The following are the number of Furlough Mitigation Partnerships that were able to be formed at each base:

Base

# of Partnerships Formed

AUS

1

BOS

3

CLE

6

DEN

17

EWR

37

FLL

0

GUM

0

HNL

0

IAD

27

IAH

29

LAS

0

LAX

12

LHR

1

MCO

1

ORD

30

PHX

0

SAN

1

SEA

0

SFO

22

TPA

1

Total

188

 

As a result of Wednesday's FMP award, the line of demarcation (involuntary furlough line) for those subject to involuntary furlough moved down the seniority list to System Seniority date of 3.06.2006.  Flight Attendants having a system seniority number of 14,231 (3.06.2006) and junior as listed on the January 27, 2021 System Seniority List are subject to involuntary furlough.   The total number of our Members subject to involuntary furlough is 9,101.

Furlough Mitigation Partnership screens have been updated and Flight Attendants who were awarded the FMP will be able to see the award in these screens.

FMP award lists are being prepared by the company and will be posted as soon as practical.   

Voluntary Furlough Award lists are available from Flying Together on the Changes Impacting Flight Attendants page of the website.  1,039 Voluntary Furloughs were awarded in the following durations:

Duration

Awards

11 months

518

13 months

521

Total

1,039

Voluntary Separation Leaves totaled 1,592.

Please contact your Local Council with any questions.


VSL: A New Beginning and Wishing our Friends Farewell

The history of AFA and United was built by Flight Attendants. Each one of us has played a pivotal role as safety professionals turning what may have once been considered a short-term job into a meaningful lifelong career.

This month, approximately 1,600 of our flying partners have elected to participate in the Voluntary Leave Separation (VSL) program and, as a result, will step into the next chapter of their lives. As we wish a larger group of our Sisters and Brothers farewell in the coming weeks, we should realize this is significant and each of us will experience different emotions as we do so.

To all our Members who have generously elected, in fact decided, to participate in the Voluntary Separation Leave, know that we are grateful for your years of professionalism, dedication and service as well as the sacrifice we know was part of making this decision.  There are no words to adequately express our appreciation for your contributions to the success of our career and our profession.  However, know that your efforts, both personally and professionally, have created an admirable legacy each of you leave behind.   Our career is unique and can only be fully appreciated by those who have ‘walked in our shoes.’  As a result of that journey, no matter where life takes us, we will always be Flight Attendants.

Over the course of their distinguished careers, many of those who will be leaving us to begin their leaves into retirement have served their flying partners, career, and our Union in any number of ways.  Serving as a mentor to those joining our profession as new hires, serving on a Local Council Committees, or taking on the challenges inherent in a Union leadership position at the MEC level of our organization, each has exemplified the dedications and commitment to the career we have all come to know and cherish.

These Members, best known as volunteers, have not only dedicated themselves to exemplifying the Flight Attendant profession, but they have also been stewards of our Union and our profession.  Each in their own way has acted to safeguard our Members, Contract, and our Profession. Through their sacrifice and commitment, these individuals have made a difference. We are all grateful for all you have done and given of yourselves and each of us is better for having known you.

At times such as these, words do not do us justice.  There are no words to accurately capture the depth of our gratitude and appreciation.  And while an expression of appreciation seems inadequate, when expressed from the heart, it takes on an entirely different meaning.  On behalf of the United Master Executive Council and the many members represented, we thank you for your service and wish you only the absolute best as you begin your next great adventure.  All call complete.


20-Year Anniversary of E-Lines – AFA Electronic Communications


This month, February 2021, is the 20th year anniversary of E-Lines. Let us reflect on the history of our Union’s most recognizable communication.

In the 1990’s before the Internet was a “thing” and everyone had personal cell phones, times were perhaps simpler. We had land-line telephones at home and those of us on Reserve may have carried a pager. As part of United’s history, crew scheduling sat at desks in the domicile and communication from the Union came through a twice a week recording affectionately known as “Dear AFA,” as well as from a quarterly magazine publication sent to Members’ homes.

During “contentious” 1995 Contract negotiations, the strong voice for our Union and our profession, was that of Jerry Butz who was the Flight Attendant who recorded our twice-weekly message.  Jerry was renowned (sometimes too much!) for his acerbic style of calling out management for their decisions that negatively impacted our Flight Attendant community and our Contract negotiations. Jerry eventually retired but continued to serve during United’s bankruptcy, recording a weekly message and holding management accountable for their “theft” of United employee’s pensions and other life-changing decisions that would come to impact our career for years to come. 

On Jerry’s retirement, AFA looked to fill a “big set of shoes.” Denver Flight Attendant, Allen Ward, stepped up and became our new “voice.”  Allen had worked with Jerry in the 90’s often filling in when Jerry was unavailable or was too “fired up.” 

To step off topic briefly, we recognize Jerry Butz and Allen Ward among the “great Union supporters.”   Allen, always friendly and always ready to pick up a guitar, he is reported to be quite the charming conversationalist on the jumpseat – discussing everything from politics, news, Union topics of interest and anything that sparked a good debate. Through his career, Allen has supported the Union personally and professionally and while he may not be as well known outside of Denver or to our flying partners who have more recently joined our ranks, his name inspires a smile. He is arguably one of the most likeable guys many of us know.

In 2001, E-Lines was established and became the way AFA communicated with the Membership twice weekly. E-Lines incorporated the Tuesday and Friday Dear-AFA recordings, one each week recorded by Allen and one by another AFA Member as a guest.

As more highly technological electronic communication methods came into vogue, E-Lines eventually became the dominant communication tool and eventually Dear AFA was telephonically phased out. People no longer used phones at home as often, a need for “information on my time” became the norm and our focus diffused onto social media for more “instant gratification.”

Having said that, our MEC website and E-Lines remain the official and most critical ways we get accurate, information to you, our Members. We know you need facts and information you can rely on from a source you trust – and we are committed to continuing that tradition.

One thing that our history tells us is that everything changes, and after 20 years we are exploring ways to refine our presentation and the focus of E-Lines to make it more adaptable to today’s climate for news and information. As our rich history demonstrates and our Members expect, the content of E-lines and the quality of the information presented will remain unchanged and will not be compromised as we move forward in our exploration to find new and effective ways to get accurate and complete information to the Membership in a timely manner.


ISAP: Protecting Members First – Emphasizing Safety

One of the key components of the ISAP (Inflight Safety Action Report) is its focus on improving safety while simultaneously protecting reporters from punitive discipline by maintaining the confidentiality of all involved.  Any Member who utilizes a voluntary ISAP report to self-disclose is protected by confidentiality. Likewise, in the event you are disclosing information about a situation involving another Member, they too are protected.

It is important to understand that submitting a voluntary ISAP report is NOT placing yourself or your fellow flying partners in harm’s way. Should your report contain information about a fellow crew member, that person will be invited to participate in ISAP, provided an opportunity to submit a voluntary report and will be protected by the confidentiality tenants of the program.

Please continue to engage, ask questions, and learn about these programs that have been specifically designed to improve the safety culture at our airline. Together we will continue to improve the safety of our industry while protecting all our flying partners.


COVID-19 Vaccine CBT - Part of Second Trimester CBT

We are receiving several questions about the COVID-19 CBT addressed in Inflight Services Weekly which states it must be completed by April 29th.   Help Hub indicates that this training will be part of the Second Trimester CBT.  We are being asked if the COVID-19 CBT is a standalone CBT that must be completed separately from the Second Trimester CBT. 

The COVID-19 CBT contents will be part of the Second Trimester CBT and should be completed as part of that CBT and not as a standalone CBT. If, however, you have completed the standalone CBT, you will be given credit for it when you complete the Trimester 2 CBT and will not be required to complete it a second time. 


Practice Solidarity – Not Division

This week, some Members are engaging, both on social media and in person on flights, in criticism or questioning, as to why more senior Flight Attendants did not retire or take the Voluntary Furlough. To be crystal clear, this is inappropriate and needs to stop. The decision to participate in either of these programs is a personal choice, made when considering individual life circumstances.

As the award numbers for the VSL and Voluntary Furlough become known, we realize that this may feel overwhelming to those who are negatively affected. The reality of the airline industry is that it is cyclical, and there are none among our ranks that have not had to face down a furlough before. That may not make what we face today any easier, but it is the nature of the career we have chosen to pursue.

The decision by some to take the VSL helps reduce the overall population and those who participated in the Voluntary Furlough have also helped to bring down the seniority line affected. The remaining collective are grateful to those individuals whose actions have helped contribute to save jobs. However, views of any Member who extends judgement on any other Flight Attendant for not making the choice to participate in those programs is simply unacceptable.

This is a career, not a job and we all have an obligation to the collective Flight Attendant family, but we also have a responsibility to ourselves to make decisions in our best interest.

When any of us inappropriately express our opinions, whether in person or on social media, we open ourselves up to scrutiny and possible discipline by the company for our actions. This week, some people are finding themselves in a situation where the company has become aware of this behavior and is taking consequential action. While we always advocate to look to AFA EAP/PS to resolve disputes, unfortunately not everyone makes that choice and instead involves the company. Once management is involved, we all lose control of the situation and it rarely ends well for the person subject to scrutiny.

This pandemic has wreaked havoc on our careers, and the division between the various segments of our population, particularly as they relate to seniority need to get better. We cannot, and must not, fight among each other in the way we are currently engaging in. It is not who we are or what will allow us to heal and work together again when these challenging times are over. For the sake of our profession, and for your own personal career, the fighting and strife must end, and we need to do better.


Disaster Relief for Texas Residents

Flight Attendants in Texas have been combating the devastation of the recent winter storm. Our sisters and brothers are dealing with food shortages, hypothermia, flooding, damage to their homes and more.

President Biden signed a major disaster declaration for over 70 Texas counties. This triggered support for our Disaster Relief Fund, which operates from the generosity of other Flight Attendants and supporters. We need your help now to ensure our Sisters and Brothers in Texas get the aid they need.

If you are a Flight Attendant living in any of the affected counties and have suffered significant damages and/or relocation as a result of the disaster, get help from the AFA-CWA Disaster Relief Fund.  If you are able and would like to help your flying partners during the recovery, Donate to the AFA-CWA Disaster Fund. No donation is too big or too small.

AFA Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is also available to help Members dealing with the ongoing storm in Texas. Call anytime 800-424-2406.


#ExtendPSP!

It’s not over, it’s in the middle, and we need to call, call, call!!

While the consensus is that most lawmakers are generally supportive on providing a PSP extension through September 2021, it’s far from a done deal. Remember that many view Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief effort as “pie,” and there are only so many slices to go around. We have been fortunate to receive the support from lawmakers on the initial and subsequent extension, but that doesn’t mean it’s not scrutinized or opposed by others.

The surest way to get the job done is to not be complacent, not let others carry the ball, and to take up the challenge ourselves and move this forward across the finish line. We cannot count on others to protect our jobs, it is our job and our responsibility to act – if not for ourselves, then for our flying partners and our careers.

Make the calls today, tomorrow and every day.

TAKE ACTION: Call, Write Congress

            SENATE: 888-848-4824
            HOUSE: 888-907-9365

"Hello, I am a constituent calling to ask [Representative] /[Senator] to help save my job as an essential worker. Pass COVID Relief and extend the Payroll Support Program for essential aviation workers through September 2021. Keep us connected to our jobs, our paychecks, and our healthcare. Thank you for your urgent attention to this."          Write Congress to #ExtendPSP >

Send us your photo’s please!  

Tyler - An extension to the Payroll Support Program (PSP) means the continuation of health insurance in a global pandemic as well as the continuation of a source of income for our flying family.  Setting aside even ten short minutes everyday while you’re drinking your coffee in the morning to call, text, email and even tweet your representatives can make all the difference in this unprecedented situation.  The crucial moments to act are now as we inch closer and closer to another deal being made.

Be a part of our mission.


Black History Month – Kamala Harris (Photo Credit: NPR)

Black History Month is a time to reflect and honor those in our struggle for racial equality and who have moved all of us forward through bold and principled actions. History is happening now as we look towards the future with the current Black activist leaders setting the standard for change.

On January 20, 2021, we witnessed history being made as Kamala Harris was sworn into office and became the first woman, the first Black American, and the first person of South Asian descent to serve as Vice President of the United States of America.  

To her newly elected role as Vice President, she brings not only decades of public service, legal and legislative experience, but an upbringing and personal narrative that resonates with so many others in our country and labor community.

Her heritage and deep-rooted values in equality and opportunity were not the only important attributes she brought to the U.S. Vice President’s office. Seeing her on the steps of the Capitol building taking the oath of office showed all of us, but especially women and people of color across the nation, that the future is bright, and the promise of America is alive.  

In her victory speech in November 2020, Harris said that she was thinking "about the generations of women, Black women, Asian, white, Latina, Native American women—who throughout our nation’s history have paved the way for this moment tonight—women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality and liberty and justice for all…I stand on their shoulders.”

For workers, Kamala Harris’ victory was a win for America’s labor movement.  Harris, who has been a U.S. Senator from California for the last three years, has a 100% pro-worker voting record, according to the nation’s largest labor federation, the AFL-CIO. “Kamala Harris has spent her career tackling some of the most critical issues facing working families,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said. Trumka also states, based on her record for labor, “we know that working people are fortunate to have her continue to champion our values at a national level.”

As Attorney General, Kamala Harris tackled some of the most pressing issues California faced including going after the big banks in the wake of a housing crisis, protecting workers from rampant wage theft and criminal justice reform.

And now Kamala Harris has the biggest stage yet when it comes to political ascent for Black women and women of color in the United States—and, if history is any indication, her success will encourage others to follow.

AFA is excited about this new chapter in Black History. Our Union has always fought for progress, and we are proud to see another glass ceiling finally shattered.  

As we enter the last days of Black History Month 2021, it does not come to an end. We will continue to honor and stand in solidarity with those heroes of the past, present and the future.

Reminder and Quick Links
February 26 – Notification of Involuntary Furloughs
March 2 – March Schedule Month Begins
March 14- Daylight Savings Time Begins
April 30 – Joe Beirne Scholarship Closes

 

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