Home > News > AFA Debrief: June 6, 2023

AFA Debrief: June 6, 2023

Date: June 6, 2023

AFA Debrief – June 6, 2023

  •  Focusing on the Needs of our People in Guam
  • United AFA MEC Human Rights and Equity Committee
  • Trip Trade Questions Transition to FAST
  • Reserve Survival Guide Updates
  • Absence Certificate Requirement for Fourth of July Holiday
  • July 4th Holiday Incentive Program Agreement


Focusing on the Needs of our People in Guam

In the aftermath of Typhoon Mawar, the resilience and strength of the people of Guam is beyond question, our members are facing immense challenges as they work to recover from the damage caused by the storm and return to daily life. Without power and water, even the most basic tasks of daily life present a struggle. While those of us who are not in Guam can hardly imagine the challenges of daily living, we can support those who are most in need of our assistance at this time. Above all, we want our Members to know they are not alone and that our Union is marshalling our resources to find the best way to be of assistance.

As our AFA International President has communicated in a recent video message to our GUM Members, we stand with our Union siblings in GUM with a commitment to help and assist in any way that we are collectively able to do so. We stand together and by doing so want our Members in GUM to feel our collective strength. Together, as we have at other times in our history, we will come through this stronger. 

Although the road to recovery may be uncertain, there is hope on the horizon. AFA is here to support our members every step of the way. United’s operations at GUM (Guam) have resumed, and we will continue working with United management to bring essential supplies to the island.

The American Red Cross has set up a dedicated site to help those impacted by the typhoon find shelters and apply for financial aid. We encourage those in need to reach out and utilize these resources. Remember, you are not alone, and there are people ready to lend a helping hand.

For United Airlines employees affected by the storm, United has established the United We Care Employee Relief Fund. This fund offers confidential and timely financial relief to members of the United family in need. Visit www.unitedwecarefund.org or, if you are unable to access the internet, call toll-free 888-286-9404.

For those of us who are away from the affected storm area, we have strength in our numbers. We strongly encourage everyone to consider donating to the AFA Disaster Relief Fund, the resources from which will be used to assist those in need. Please consider a donation to the AFA Disaster Relief Fund where every contribution will provide for the assistance that is so desperately needed.

With heartfelt solidarity, in times like these, it is essential to come together as a community and stand with our flying partners in Guam during this challenging period. In the face of adversity, we have the power to uplift each other and we will. Together, we can overcome any obstacle and rebuild stronger.


United AFA MEC Human Rights and Equity Committee

A welcome and introduction to our AFA siblings from the newly-elected Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the United MEC Human Rights and Equity (HRE) Committee:

We would like to take the opportunity to introduce ourselves and this new MEC Committee. The United MEC Human Rights and Equity (HRE) Committee was established by the United MEC at the Winter MEC Meeting this past January. Elections to fill the two Committee positions happened on April 19th during the Spring MEC Meeting. Emily Caulfield (Council 63) and Tara Cattell (Council 21) were elected as the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson, respectively, for a three-year term beginning in July 2023.

The work of this Committee includes:

  • The ongoing study of matters related to the strengthening of our Union through the promotion of and support for economic, racial, and social justice equity for all workers;
  • Recommendations for participation by our MEC and LECs with minority, women’s, and LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual) community organizations and coalitions which aim to eliminate discrimination and racism;
  • Recommendations for creating safe spaces within our Union for people to share their personal experiences in relation to age, color, disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, gender expression and political orientation so that we better understand each other and build our Union through our common struggles and goals, rather than allowing union busters to divide us by differences;
  • Recommendations for educational materials and resources relevant to civil and human rights issues that affect our Members and communities;
  • Recommendations on how to facilitate training around the issues of Human Rights and Equity; and
  • Developing a productive working relationship with the company to ensure they are committed to providing a safe and inclusive workplace for all Flight Attendants.

We are committed to supporting the local HRE Committees that have been created as well as assisting in the creation of a local HRE Committee at each Council. Our aim is to get everyone who wants to be a part of an HRE Committee involved, and by utilizing their individual skills, backgrounds, and passions, we can create a movement within our Union that is intersectional, reflecting the diversity of our workforce. We encourage Member participation through volunteering to start or support a local HRE Committee, providing us with your feedback and personal stories, attending future events and trainings, and spreading the word of this new Committee to fellow Union Members. We look forward to working on the issues of human rights and equity which are affecting our fellow Flight Attendants.

An important part of identifying and setting goals for this Committee relies on gathering data from as many of our Members as possible. One way we accomplish this is by conducting surveys We will continue to put surveys out to ensure that we are listening to you. Some of you may recall the Uniform Gender Expression Survey that was announced and became available in August of 2022. If you have not had an opportunity to participate, it’s not too late. Click here to take the survey.

Chairperson: Emily Caulfield (she/her) - Emily has been flying for United for 11 years. She has been an elected Council Representative at her Local Council since June of 2022. In the fall, she formed a local Human Rights and Equity Committee. In January of this year, she helped write the agenda item for the formation of this Committee at the MEC level. Emily’s lived experience as a Member of the LGBTQ+ community fuels her advocacy efforts to make the workplace feel safer and more inclusive for queer people. She is passionate and driven in ensuring that all Flight Attendants have access to fair and equal treatment. Emily can be reached anytime at ECaulfield@unitedafa.org.

Vice Chairperson: Tara Cattell (they/them) - Tara is relatively new to flying, having started on the line in July 2022. Before becoming a Flight Attendant, they worked in human rights, social work, and legal advocacy. Tara has a B.A. in International Studies, with a focus on international human rights and conflict studies. They have previously worked as a legal researcher on human rights cases before a UN working group, as a sexual assault survivor advocate at their local crisis center, as a paralegal on civil cases on behalf of survivors of sexual assault, as a support coordinator for adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities, as well as a campaigner and activist for civil rights causes and nonprofit organizations. Tara is a white, pansexual, nonbinary flight attendant who is passionate about obtaining equal rights in regards to being able to identify as nonbinary on their employee profile and having equal access to obtaining their uniform of choice, as well as working toward a safe and equitable workplace for all trans, nonbinary, and gender-diverse employees. Tara approaches their work with an intersectional, trauma-informed, and person-centered focus.


Trip Trade Questions Transition to FAST

As Crew Scheduling continues their efforts to reduce call volume and redirect calls to assist in providing needed assistance overall, be aware that all questions related to Flight Attendant Trip Trades were transitioned from Crew Scheduling to the FAST team.

When calling 800-FLT-LINE about trades, the following is the new menu of options of which we should all be aware:

  • For same day trades inside of 24 hours, press 1.
  • For future day trades outside of 24 hours, press 2.
  • For whole line trades, press 3.


Reserve Survival Guide Updates

Following our most recent annual MEC Reserve training, the MEC Reserve Committee has updated based on questions received from participants in the training and a revised edition of the Reserve Survival Guide has been published on the MEC website for your reference. This guide is based on the contractual scheduling and Reserve provisions in our 2016 – 2021 Flight Attendant Agreement. If you have questions, please send those via email to our MEC Reserve Committee at reserve@unitedafa.org


Absence Certificate Requirement for Fourth of July Holiday

As provided for in Section 13.C.4. of our Contract, Flight Attendants are required to submit an Absence Certificate for all sick calls, paid or unpaid, originating on or after July 1, 2023 through July 7, 2023. This requirement also applies to those Flight Attendants utilizing sick time for the care of a spouse or minor child in accordance with Section 13.D.7.

The following are the procedures to be followed if you find yourself with a sick call originating on or after July 1, 2023 through July 7, 2023:

You must be seen by an accredited physician in a timely manner and no later than 72 hours after notifying Scheduling of an illness/injury.

An Absence Certificate must be prepared and signed by the physician after an in-person visit to the physician’s office. Phone calls are not sufficient.

Access the Absence Certificate on Flying Together via: Employee Services > View Full Employee Services Page > In this section > Employee Service Center (click to see drop downs) > ESC Documents and Forms > Medical > Inflight Holiday Absences Certificate.

Do not use any other link to submit the Absence Certificate.

Completed Absence Certificates must be submitted to United Medical via Help Hub on or before the check-in time of a Lineholder’s first trip or a Reserve’s first assignment, including Standby Reserve, following an illness or injury. Once submitted, please allow two business weekdays for processing. (This link will be activated as of June 22, 2023.)

Consistent with our Contract, if the Absence Certificate is not received as above, you will have 72 hours after your first trip flown or Standby Reserve assignment to provide the Absence Certificate. If the Absence Certificate is not received within 72 hours, disciplinary action may result.

For those of us who have not had an absence(s) in the prior twelve (12) calendar months, you will not be subject to the Absence Certificate requirement imposed during the holiday period.

If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Council Office.


July 4th Holiday Incentive Program Agreement

AFA and the Company have mutually agreed to amend Section 23.F. of the 2016 – 2021 Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement to enable Flight Attendants to earn a one-point attendance credit during the summer holiday season provided the following conditions are satisfied:

  • The Flight Attendant is on active status during the entire designated holiday period, and
  • The Flight Attendant does not have a sick call, paid or unpaid, during the entire designated holiday period, and
  • The Flight Attendant works a flight segment and/or stands Reserve during the period covering July 1, 2023 – July 7, 2023, local domicile/base time, and
  • The Flight Attendant generates zero attendance points as defined in Section 23.F.1. of the 2016 – 2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement during this same July 1, 2023 – July 7, 2023 time period.

The one-point credit will offset the first point generating occurrence after July 7, 2023. The parties understand this amendment to Section 23.F. expires after July 7, 2023 unless renewed in writing.



JUNE – Caribbean-American Heritage Month
JUNE 14 – Flag Day
JUNE 18 – Father’s Day
JUNE 19 – Juneteenth
JUNE 20 – Summer CBT Due


Share this page:

More News