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AFA Debrief: March 30, 2023

Date: March 30, 2023

AFA Debrief – March 30, 2023

  • Negotiations & Contract Campaign Training
  • Cabin Jumpseat Authority (CJA) on Weight Restricted Flights
  • First and Last Segment Deviation – Know the Rules
  • CA Governor Signs Cortese Bill Granting New Rights to Flight Attendants
  • AFA Welcomes Class 2305!
  • Scholarship Deadlines


Negotiations & Contract Campaign Training

This week, our Union leaders and MEC Committee Members have taken an important step forward in advocating for your rights and interests in the aviation industry. Over 90 AFA Representatives from all levels of our Union attended a Negotiations & Contract Campaign Training to expand their knowledge and enhance their skills in representing your interests during our current Contract negotiations with United Airlines management.

This training has been designed to equip our Union leaders with the latest negotiation strategies, tactics, and best practices in this Contract campaign. We continue to build and strengthen our collective ability to be effective in engaging with airline management and fight for fair wages, benefits, working conditions, and job security for you and our flying partners. We acknowledge and appreciate the support and contributions of our International Officers and Staff in making this training a success.

According to Sara Nelson, AFA-CWA International President, "Our Union leaders are the backbone of our union. Collectively, they stand up, together, for our rights, our safety, and our security. Through their attendance at this training, they will gain the skills they need, as well as an understanding of the tools available, to succeed in negotiations and contract campaigns which translates into better Contracts for our Members."

As Union leaders will attest, this training was crucial in light of recent challenges faced by United Flight Attendants, including increased workloads, decreased staffing, job security, and safety concerns, all of which have become crucial issues in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The attendance and participation of our Union leaders, all of whom are Flight Attendants, at this training is a positive development that underscores their commitment to our collective well-being and demonstrates the importance of using best strategies to set the bar in standing together in solidarity to achieve our collective objectives. Attaining these objectives is required to reach an Agreement that will be ratified by the Membership.

Stay informed. Get engaged with your Union leaders as they fight for your rights and interests. Only together, we can achieve our goal for an industry leading Contract for United Flight Attendants. Refer to www.contract2021.org for additional information.

Cabin Jumpseat Authority (CJA) on Weight Restricted Flights

Flight Attendants will not be denied jumpseat authority if a physical jumpseat is available, even if the aircraft is weight restricted. However, the number of Flight Attendants using jumpseat authority on weight restricted flights may be limited to the number of available physical jumpseats.

To ensure smooth jumpseat procedures, Flight Attendants must follow these guidelines:

  1. Check-in for the jumpseat no later than 30 minutes prior to scheduled departure.
  2. Flight Attendants who have checked in at least 30 minutes prior to departure will be awarded available jumpseats in Jumpseat Seniority order. If self-service electronic means are not available, Flight Attendants may list and check in with Customer Service Representatives (CSR) no later than scheduled departure.
  3. Walk-up jumpseating will be permitted on a first come first served basis, after Flight Attendants who have met the 30-minute check-in requirement have been awarded jumpseats.
  4. Available Flight Attendant jumpseats may be awarded prior to non-revenue seats or other jumpseat authority riders. If a Flight Attendant declines the jumpseat award, they will be removed from the jumpseat list. The goal is to award available jumpseats 25 minutes prior to scheduled departure, and Flight Attendants must be present when the jumpseat is awarded.
  5. When seats are available in the cabin after all stand-by passengers (revenue and non-revenue) have been boarded, Flight Attendants may travel in the cabin on jumpseat authority, even if the jumpseats are occupied, as long as it does not displace revenue passengers.

For any additional questions regarding jumpseating, please contact your Local Council Office.

First and Last Segment Deviation – Know the Rules

Deadhead deviations are outlined in Section 3.I.12 and 3.I.13 of our Contract. Firstly, it is important to understand the difference between front and back end deviation and that they are handled differently. It is also important to understand that there are specific procedures in place that must be followed dependent on the segment which you are flying (first segment or last segment) and based on your status as either a Lineholder or a Reserve.

When deviating on the back end, there is a difference with a distinction when you are a “deviating” and when you are asking to be scheduled to “deadhead to return home early.”

If the company rebooks you to deadhead home early, your pairing will be updated and your duty rigs will be recalculated based on your early arrival home. When requesting to “return home early”, you are waiving your duty period to be sent home ahead of schedule and your pay will be re-calculated based on the revised duty period. The update to your pairing will result in your boarding priority being a PS0U – with a must ride designation.

If, on the other hand, you are simply “deviating”, you will be paid for the duty rig for the pairing based on your scheduled arrival back to base. You are entitled to NRPS travel within 24 hours over the same routing with a PS5B boarding priority to return to your base.

When utilizing the provision to deviate you should review your duty period and compensation for the trip to verify any changes are correctly recorded.

We must also acknowledge that whether you are deviating on a domestic or international paring, Lineholders with prior notice to Crew Scheduling and Flight Attendants who are on Reserve status with prior approval from Crew Scheduling may deviate. Review Section 3.I.12. and 3.I.13. of our Contract, to learn more about first and last segment deadhead deviations.

CA Governor Signs Cortese Bill Granting New Rights to Flight Attendants

The California meal and rest law is an important protection for workers in California, but until now Flight Attendants have not been able to experience the benefits of it.

The problem is that as written, there is no way for the airlines to comply with the statute because Flight Attendants cannot simply leave the property for a break or go off duty during their work day according to federal regulations.

The law does not describe how to comply. In the federal court case, management took the position that airlines are EXEMPT from complying with this law. The courts decided otherwise, but did not provide instruction about how to comply.

We worked for a legislative fix that makes meal and rest a required subject of bargaining as the means to comply with the law. This is also an incentive for new start up airlines to reach agreement on a first contract - the law provides no more than 12 months to negotiate a contract with meal/rests provisions. California Senator David Cortese took the lead on this bill and worked closely with us to get it to the Governor's desk for signing.

In addition to winning a major fight for our rights under state laws (you will likely hear more about this over the next year as we fight to preserve our rights across the country), this solution is beneficial for many reasons:

  • Each airline operation is unique and this allows the Flight Attendants and management to determine how best to provide these benefits within the unique operations at each airline.
  • California can only enforce the law within the state and the plaintiffs even argued that the law only applies to intrastate flying, which was key in the Supreme Court decision to deny cert on the case. Only a small number of crews would be eligible for these benefits under the strict intrastate flying enforcement. But this legislative fix applies the law no matter where in the country our workday takes us.
  • 85 percent of the California based Flight Attendants have a union and a union contract. Those who don’t can still file claims and those airlines are subject to fines until or unless they negotiate a collective bargaining agreement.
  • Finally, this is also about job security for our work in California. We don’t need airlines making decisions based on their inability to comply with the law that jeopardizes our jobs in California or the kind of assignments we can bid for here in this state.

Now this issue is back in our hands, with the definitive legal standing that this law applies to us.

AFA Welcomes Class 2305!

On behalf of your Union, we would like to extend a warm welcome to the newest Members of our Flight Attendant family. We are thrilled to have the new flying partners on board, and we look forward to working together to ensure that our airline remains one of the best in the industry.

Our newest flying partners will begin their careers at Domiciles in CLE, EWR, IAD, and SFO.

Their professionalism, in-depth understanding of our experiences, and eagerness to be part of our community were all sources of encouragement for us. We firmly believe that these new members will enhance our profession with their unique talents and abilities, thereby strengthening our collective expertise. Please join us in welcoming them to our ranks as they join us on the line next week.

Please remember that our newest Members are on probation. To ensure that they receive the most accurate information to support them, direct them to their AFA Local Council for assistance on Contractual issues.

We encourage you to welcome each of them, help them learn from your experience, and get them started on a path to success and adventure in their new career.

Scholarship Deadlines

Our AFA-CWA Union Membership provides opportunities for different scholarships, and the ability to earn a degree with no out of pocket expense for tuition, fees, and eBooks. Apply now!


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