United Airlines AFA MEC Website

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA United Master Executive Council

Dear AFA: August 29, 2014

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Reported by Allen Ward

  • Labor Day Message
  • Summer Regular United MEC Meeting Concluded
  • Aflac Supplement Insurance Open Enrollment Beginning September 1
  • Layover Safety
  • Crew Rest Clarification
  • September 11th Remembrance Events

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Dear AFA. We are a democratic, Member driven Union of Flight Attendants for Flight Attendants. Today is Friday, August 29, 2014 and this is Allen Ward, reporting. I am a Member of Denver Council 09, and I stand with, and will help protect, all of my 685 Sisters and Brothers.

Labor Day Message
Today, in a letter from United Master Executive Council Officers explain that our job will never be completely done, but we spend every day, every hour fighting to make the lives and the work of Americans, including Flight Attendants better. By standing together we will accomplish amazing things.

Whether you spend the weekend working with flying partners or barbequing with friends and family, this weekend remember to take a moment to acknowledge the meaningful celebration of our holiday: Labor Day.

To read the entire letter please visit our website.

Summer Regular United MEC Meeting Concluded
The 2014 United Master Executive Council (MEC) Summer Regular Meeting concluded on August 28, 2014, at the Hyatt Rosemont in Chicago.  The United MEC Officers, along with the several other MEC Committees presented their annual reports.  Summaries of the meeting is available on our website.

Aflactm Supplemental Insurance Open Enrollment Beginning September 1
Your United AFA MEC Benefits Committee is happy to bring you an open enrollment for Aflactm/CAIC voluntary insurance plans. Enrollment will run from Monday, September 1, 2014 through Friday, October 3, 2014. Enrollment can be done online or over the phone.

Our MEC Benefits Committee has worked with Aflac to offer the following:

  • Short Term Disability – helps protect your income in the event that you are unable to work.
  • Critical Illness – helps pay the expected and unexpected expenses that arise from diagnosis of a covered critical illness.
  • Accident - helps pay for out of pocket costs that arise from a covered accident such as fractures, dislocations and lacerations.
  • Hospital Indemnity – helps pay the out of pocket costs associated with a hospital stay including benefits for inpatient and outpatient services. 

On the enrollment website you will find plan summaries, a Question and Answer (Q&A) document, and more detailed information on plans including pricing. You also have the ability to add and view beneficiaries, and are able to access claim forms. The enrollment site has an online chat feature, for asking questions from an online enrollment representative. The toll free number to talk to an enrollment representative is (855) 236-9743; hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time.

Flight Attendants who have previously enrolled in our Aflac group insurance plans are able to access the website to make changes to their current coverage, if desired. For issues not covered in our Q&A, please contact the enrollment representative at the number listed on our website

Layover Safety
Our United AFA MEC Safety, Health and Security Committee and United's Corporate Safety monitors worldwide activity on a daily basis to ensure the safety of our Members.  As always we recommend avoiding large crowds and any areas of protest during your layover because seemingly benign protests events can be unpredictable and can become violent on a moments notice. For all of these reasons, and given the unpredictable nature of these demonstrations, we should always be mindful of our surroundings while on layover. Both planned and spontaneous events intended to be peaceful can turn violent. We should avoid the areas where demonstrations are occurring and exercise caution if within the vicinity of any large gatherings.

United AFA Safety, Health & Security Committee and United’s Corporate Security, work proactively to ensure not only the safety of our crews but to facilitate the ease of extraction from any area should the need arise as a result of changing circumstances. This might include moving crews from the area of unrest to an area closer to the airport in order to facilitate extraction if it were to become necessary.

We encourage you to review the Layover Safety tips article on our website and check our Safety Alert area located on our homepage quick hits list for any current potential risks. 

Crew Rest Clarification
Recently, we have received questions seeking clarification on Crew Rest breaks and the acceptability of scheduling two versus three rest periods when unusual circumstances arise during the course of a flight.

As you will recall, the question of scheduling two versus three breaks was placed before our System Board of Adjustment.  In the course of that challenge, the System Board of Adjustment ruled that the company does have the right to impose a policy requiring three breaks that is to be implemented by the purser.  In making the determination, the arbitrator agreed with the company’s position that this supports good customer service as well as safety and security.  Further, the arbitrator ruled,

“However, this management right must be exercised reasonably, and not in an arbitrary and capricious manner. The record reflects that the Company recognized that there are highly unusual exceptions where the Purser would have the discretion to schedule two breaks rather than three, such as in the event of a medical emergency and/or diversion. The Company, in the future, should recognize these highly unusual but reasonable exceptions to the three break policy.”

Section 12.M.5. of our Contract provides for “a minimum of one (1) full hour of rest in the assigned crew rest area on board the aircraft when the scheduled non-stop flight segment is eight (8) hours or more and a minimum of two (2) full hours of rest when the scheduled non-stop flight segment is twelve (12) hours or more.”  In implementing this policy, consideration must be given to satisfying all components of the scheduled service as well as any scheduled pre-arrival service.  However, the purser on the flight may not make any decision that would violate your Contractual right to a crew rest period.  As we always do, we work together to provide our professional best each and every flight and by working together, we can all ensure the service is completed and our Contractual rights are protected.  When exceptional circumstances warrant doing so, the purser on the flight is authorized by policy to make the necessary adjustment to crew rest schedules.

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

September 11th Remembrance Events
This year is the Thirteenth Remembrance of September 11th, 2014; many of us have begun to plan how we’ll recognize this day.  How each of us honors the memory of the heroes on that day may differ, but our care and commitment to one another is solid.  Each year on the anniversary of September 11th we publish a list of events taking place across the world on our MEC website.  We encourage you to review the events on our dedicated September 11th memorial.  We also ask that you send us a quick email to remembering911@unitedafa.org with the details of any event not currently on the list.

That’s all for tonight and thank you for calling.  Through strength and solidarity, we will continue building our collective future.  After all, it’s our future.

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