Dear AFA: October 31, 2014
Choose a different Dear AFA:
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, October 31, 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.
Daylight Savings Time Ends Sunday for US & Canada
Daylight savings time ends this Sunday, November 2 at 02:00 in the United States and Canada. Please remember to adjust your clocks to “fall back” 1 hour.
Benefits Open Enrollment Closes Tonight
United Airlines’ Benefits Open Enrollment for 2015 will close tonight October 31, 2014 at 23:59 Central time. Please review the information available from the company’s website, and make any changes necessary before enrollment closes. To review your selections please access the benefits website using the Benefits “Quick Hit” on the home page of Flying Together or contact the United Airlines Benefits Center Monday through Friday 7am to 7pm at (800) 651-1007.
As it has in previous years a correction period for benefits will occur after Open Enrollment has closed. In addition Open Enrollment for Retirees starts November 3, 2014 and concludes 23:59 on November 14, 2014.
Enhanced Early Out Program Bid Closed
Bidding for the Enhanced Early Out Program (EEOP) closed yesterday at 08:00 Central time. The bids will be verified for accuracy and eligibility, and the final award will be published on or around November 14, 2014.
A number of our Members submitted bids for the EEOP even though they were not “qualified” or “eligible” to participate because they lacked the requisite number of years of Inflight classification (SW) seniority. It is important to understand that the management group who was charged with the responsibility of ‘record keeping’ the Waiver of Claims and Bids did exactly that – keep a record to ensure the Waiver was on file for each bid submitted. No evaluation of eligibility was completed at the time bids were submitted. This was an intentional decision designed to expedite responses to the volume of e-mails being received.
As a result, we should expect that the first step in the process by the company will be notification to this group of individuals (those who do not have the requisite fifteen (15) years of seniority) advising them of their ineligibility to participate in the program. This is not a reason for concern. It is an expected part of the process by which bids will be evaluated.
We are receiving a number of questions that suggest there may be some misunderstanding as to the procedure to revoke the Waiver of Claims/Release of Liability. Keep in mind that the Waiver of Claims/Release of Liability can only be revoked within seven (7) days of signing and submitting the form to the company. Once that seven (7) day period has elapsed, there is no ability to revoke the Waiver of Claims. Additionally, and to dispel any rumors to the contrary, once awards are completed on November 14, 2014 there will be no opportunity for those who have submitted a bid to revoke their election to participate.
For more information on the EEOP please visit the 2014 Enhanced Early Out Program page on our website.
Holiday Bonus Point Program
In anticipation of the upcoming holiday season, the Holiday Bonus Point Program will be implemented again this year.
Flight Attendants who stand Reserve or work a flight segment during the period from December 15, 2014 – January 5, 2015 and who do not accrue attendance points as defined under the Dispute Resolution & Performance Management Letter of Agreement during the same period will earn a one (1) point credit. This credit (in addition to any credits remaining from the previous three years) will be used to offset the first point generating absence after January 5, 2015.
Putting the Brakes on Broken Carts
Recently we have received several reports in reference to malfunctioning cart brakes. Our United Master Executive Council (MEC) Safety, Health and Security (SHS) Committee reminds all of us that whenever we encounter broken or malfunctioning equipment within our workplace, we should be reporting the concern. We should continue to do our part by reporting any equipment that we find defective on the aircraft to the purser and flight deck and to tag any removable catering equipment with a "Needs Repair" tag.
When necessary, follow up with an IOR or an ISAP report. Reports of a general nature should be filed as an IOR. Reports that contain safety concerns, injury, or deviation from Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) should be reported under the ISAP program. As a reminder AFA-CWA does not monitor reports documented through the United Voices system.
Within the context of broken carts and for more effective reporting to influence their prompt repair, include the carts’ serial number or a photo of the cart that includes the serial number when submitting your report; IOR or ISAP, depending on the circumstances.
For more information on the ISAP and IOR programs please visit the Safety page on our website.
20 Year Passes Letter of Agreement Improvements
During our most recent Fall 2014 Regular Meeting of the United Master Executive Council, the elected leadership of the Union considered and evaluated a proposal from United management that would improve the benefits provided under the Resignation Special Pass Benefit Letter of Agreement (LOA) on page 317 of the 2012 – 2016 Contract. This Letter of Agreement provides a special pass travel benefit to those individuals who resign having completed twenty (20) years of company seniority.
It is important to distinguish the difference between retiree pass travel provided under company policy from the benefits provided under this Letter of Agreement. Specifically, Retiree Pass Travel under company policy is available at twenty (20) years of company service and qualifying individuals must have attained a minimum age of 45. Under the Letter of Agreement, however, the Resignation Special Pass Benefit is available on completion on twenty (20) years of company service, without regard to the age of the individual who provides a six (6) month notice in requesting this benefit. In addition, Retiree Pass travel provides for survivor benefits on the death of the employee while the Resignation Special Pass Benefit under the Letter of Agreement ceases on the death of the employee and has no provision for survivor benefits.
The United Master Executive Council acted unanimously in reaching their decision to amend the Letter of Agreement to provide for the following improved benefits to those currently receiving these benefits as well as to those who may receive these benefits in the future:
Flight Attendants who resign from the Company and who have twenty (20) years of company seniority would receive the following pass benefits. These passes are in lieu of any pass benefits they may have been entitled to under Company policy had they early retired when eligible.
- 8 round trip/16 one-way passes per eligible family member will be deposited annually;
- Participant has the ability to add/remove eligible family members, according to Company policy;
- Passes are valid for 13 months;
- Passes are valid for transportation only on United and United Express;
- All passes are valid for travel anywhere in the United system;
- Pass travel will be at the SA4P boarding priority, or its future equivalent;
- Pass travel seniority will be frozen at the years, months and days of service measured at the date of separation from United;
- Consistent with current programs rules, pass travel expires upon the death of the participant;
Eligible family members are limited to the employee, spouse/domestic partner and eligible children, as defined by the Company’s Pass Travel Policy, as may be changed from time to time.
Flight Attendants who resign with twenty (20) years of service may be required to give the Company at least six months advance notice. All such resignations will be effective the first day following six (6) month in the event such notice is required. Flight Attendants must request such travel at the time of their resignation in order to be eligible.
The United MEC extends wishes for a happy and safe Halloween! Please remember to drive safely and use caution during trick or treat hours.
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.