Dear AFA: December 06, 2013
Choose a different Dear AFA:
- Cross Over Counterproposal – Rejected by Management
- No Voice Calls on Airplanes
- Gels and Aerosols (LGAs) Restrictions
- Phase 3 Vacation Bids Closes Saturday
- December 7
- Irregular Operations Report (IOR)
- Don’t Forget to Tag Broken Carts
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Dear AFA. A democratic, Member driven Union of Flight Attendants for Flight Attendants. Today is Friday, December 6th and this is Allen Ward, Denver Council 9 Volunteer, reporting and together we will do better.
Cross Over Counterproposal – Rejected by Management
Today management rejected our counter-proposal to their 2013 Cross Over proposal. The full text of our very reasonable counter-proposal can be found on our website. We are disappointed the company outright rejected our reasonable request to adjust the timeline so Flight Attendants would be free of coercion in making any crossover decision while at the same time providing management with an opportunity to affirm their commitment that no Flight Attendant would be forced out of work as a result of the productivity improvements sought during the prior round of bargaining. Greg's response to Sam is available on our website.
No Voice Calls on Airplanes
Recently the Federal Communication Committee (FCC) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to "revise outdated rules," which would permit passengers to use mobile wireless service above 10,000 feet. The FCC has scheduled a hearing for December 12 on this issue. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) has authored a Congressional sign-on letter to the FCC Chairman opposing this onerous change.
AFA opposes any change that would allow inflight cell phone use. As Flight Attendants, we are uniquely qualified to understand the disruption and tension this will cause during flight, as well as compromise our ability to maintain order in the cabin during an emergency situation.
On December 12, the FCC will decide whether to consider the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which is the first step to changing the rules. The sign-on letter by De Fazio is a response by Congress to stop this issue dead in its tracks.
It's important that we make our opinion heard. Take time today to call your Representatives and encourage them to sign on to this letter and tell the FCC "NO cellphone use on our aircraft."
We suggest you may use this sample script when contacting your Representative:
"Hello, I am a member of the Association of Flight Attendants and a constituent. I am calling to urge Representative __________________ to support the ban on mobile broadband voice communications while in-flight. Please urge Representative ______________ to sign the DeFazio/Grimm letter to FCC Chair Tom Wheeler rejecting any proposal to permit airline passengers from using cellular voice service on planes."
Your phone call will be answered by a member of your Representative's staff who will record your opinion. They may ask for the name of your hometown, your zip code or your mailing address to verify you are a constituent.
It is important to "keep the peace" and prevent cellular telephone use on commercial aircraft.
Liquids, Gels and Aerosols (LGAs) Restrictions
With the implementation of Known Crewmember (KCM) at some locations, we've heard there is some confusion regarding the current TSA and United Liquid, Gel and Aerosol (LGA) guidance as it pertains to crewmembers.
The FAOM page 17.14 outlines those specific circumstances under which crewmembers are exempt from the TSA LGAs restrictions. Generally speaking, working crewmembers both domestically and internationally, are exempt from these TSA LGA restrictions. However, crewmembers flying to or from international locations may be subject to additional restrictions by the host government.
Crewmembers who are commuting, traveling to/from training, or pleasure traveling in or out of uniform, are not considered working crewmembers – and are not exempt from the TSA LGA restrictions and are subject to the same TSA LGA restrictions as the traveling public. Any Flight Attendant found in violation of these restrictions may be personally fined.
Additionally, the Known Crewmember Program (KCM) is available at some airports as an expedited security screening checkpoint for authorized crewmembers. KCM is a risk-based, identity and employment verification program designed to expedite screening for crewmembers in uniform. It is not a program designed to allow non-working crewmembers the ability to bypass the TSA LGA restrictions. United Airlines and the TSA are clear in their expectations – working crewmembers are exempt from the TSA LGA restrictions within the United States and may be subject to additional restrictions when traveling to countries outside of the United States. Non-working Flight Attendants, who choose to use KCM, are still subject to TSA LGA requirements.
The TSA has recently issued warnings to crewmembers after having discovered non-working crewmembers bringing excess TSA LGAs, and other prohibited items including the baggage of others through the KCM checkpoint. The TSA has warned that these actions are not only in violation of TSA guidelines, they also put the crewmember and the viability of the KCM program in jeopardy.
Please ensure that you understand all TSA LGA and host country exemptions, so that you don't inadvertently violate these security restrictions. We do not want the actions of a few to jeopardize KCM, or the current TSA LGA exemptions enjoyed by working crewmembers.
Phase 3 Vacation Bids Closes Saturday, December 7
The third (tertiary) and final round of vacation bidding will close this Saturday, December 7 at 0830 local domicile time. As in the preceding phases, it's a good idea to check remaining vacation allotments, bid to cover yourself, and know when the schedule months begin and end. You can learn more about vacation bidding on our website.
Irregular Operations Report (IOR)
Management has decided to replace four existing forms we use to report onboard incidents with a new, multi-use form.
The new form is called an "Irregular Operations Report" or IOR. The IOR replaces the following forms:
- Flight Attendant Safety Report (FASRS)
- Medical Emergency and Accident Report (MEARS)
- Misconduct Report
- A written Flight Attendant Report
All events that would previously have been documented utilizing one or more of these reports should now to be submitted using United's new IOR system.
IORs can only be completed electronically. We have provided a link to this new report on our Useful Web Site page on www.unitedafa.org. If you have any questions about the new IOR, or what your responsibilities are concerning filing IORs, please see your domicile supervisor or contact your Local Council. As a reminder, when filing an IOR, be sure to indicate on the form that you want a copy sent to AFA.
Don't Forget to Tag Broken Carts
We have received several reports that some beverage carts have been boarded where the braking system does not hold the cart securely in place. Our United Master Executive Council (MEC) Safety, Health and Security Committee has been working with United catering to mitigate and fix this issue as quickly as possible. A memo has recently been sent out to the various catering locations to reminds their people to check the breaks before boarding the cart on the aircraft.
We should continue to do our part by reporting any equipment that we find defective on the aircraft with a "Needs Repair" tag, and follow up with an IOR and/or an ISAP report. Links to these two reports can be found on our Useful Website page on www.unitedafa.org. We would like to thank United catering for working with our MEC Safety, Health and Security Committee in assuring to fix this problem quickly and help prevent any Flight Attendants from being hurt by the defective carts.
That's all for this evening! Thank you for calling. As we build our future together and achieve an industry leading Single Contract for all Flight Attendants at the new United.