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The Value of Our Contractual Scope Language

Date: July 9, 2021


Just as we should not perform work that is assigned to other airport employees such as customer service, aircraft cleaners, ramp, mechanics or pilots in violation of their job scope and hampering United's ability to accurately determine staffing, it is equally important that we ensure each of us takes the time to enforce the Scope provisions in our Contract.

Closing bins, stowage of luggage and making passenger announcements during boarding are all duties that are traditionally performed by Flight Attendants. 

Calmly advise anyone other than the Flight Attendants assigned to work the flight who may attempt to perform these duties that they are in violation of our Contract and ask them to stop. 

Reassuring these individuals that we are aware of the responsibilities that need to be accomplished and that this work will be completed before the door of the aircraft is closed, consistent with the FARs. 

This is particularly important in those stations where we traditionally see a large number of wheelchair requests for boarding. We want those personnel who are assisting passengers in boarding to understand, as the working crew, we need to understand what is happening with the passengers in our care and that during boarding, our observations are very important for the overall safe operation of the flight.

We ask that you immediately report any violation of our scope to your Local Council, not because this is about getting anyone in trouble, but rather this is about ensuring any misunderstanding is promptly corrected.

In the end, scope is highly valued because it protects our jobs and prevents the company from assigning this work to other work groups simply because it is more expedient for them to do so.

Once again, be sure to report any violation of our scope to your Local Council.

Please follow the correction published on July 16, 2021:

We’ve received some questions about an article we included in last week’s edition of Debrief that we want to clarify.

In the July 9th publication, we included the statement:

“When supervisors, COBUS or other employees perform this undisputed Flight Attendant work, it is a violation of our Contract.”

For clarity, Flight Attendants assigned to Company Business Assignments (COBUS) are, in fact, Flight Attendants.  In those instances where, for example, a COBUS Flight Attendant may be sent to the aircraft to support the operation and assist in pre-boarding, she/he is able to perform Flight Attendant duties during boarding without infringing on the Scope provisions of our Contract.

We have confirmed with management there is no intent to change the traditional use of COBUS Flight Attendants during boarding outside of those provided for in the Contract.

(updated July 16, 2021)


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