President's weekly message

 COUNCIL 11 SAN FRANCISCO

November 14, 2016

Inside this issue:  Bid Package Information
Incentive Pay, Phase II Vacation, and Legalities
Child ID Cards, 
Occupational Reporting Procedure Changes
Support United Flight Attendants, Cause Foundation sales
Election Information
 

Dear Council 11 Members,

What a week! While many of us are still in what can only be described as a “state of shock” over the outcome of the Presidential Election, we are seeing a shift in determination. Determined to stand up to fight against racism, sexism, xenophobia, hatred, and intolerance.   Determined to heal. Our International President’s message was clear; Flight Attendants are healers. We will rise and speak up.  We are going to face incredible challenges with this new political landscape and we are going to face these together.  We must unite to protect our rights.

Today, November 14, Our AFA International President is hosting a conference call for all elected AFA officers, committee members, organizers and mobilizers to address what the election means for us and what we must do as a union moving forward. The call will take place (at 6 pm Eastern, 3 pm Pacific time.) The plan is for the call to be 30 minutes with the ability to extend an additional 30 minutes, if necessary.

Bid Package Information

The December bid packages are now available. For our newest Flight Attendants, December is a bidding game changer. The holidays are busy for everyone and how people bid also changes. While in November we saw a lower Reserve percentage than we have seen in a very long time, we do not expect to see this trend continue into December. We strongly encourage every Flight Attendant with less than 5 years’ seniority to cover her/himself with Reserve line preferences.  December is a B Reserve month. While we do not anticipate Reserve will reach the estimated 12/27/1999 seniority date as estimated on the cover letter, Flight Attendants with a ‘B’ Reserve Letter junior to that date should cover themselves.

The December Bid Package Cover Letter indicates a total of 1586 primary lines (1086 I, 480 D). This is an increase of 34 lines from the November schedule month. Relief Lines estimates indicate 197 Relief lines (163 I, 34 D), a reduction of 11 lines from the November estimate.   It is important to remember that Relief numbers are estimated. While in SFO for November we had an increase in the number of Relief lines awarded above the 208 estimate when 275 Relief lines were awarded, other locations have seen the opposite happen.

Our MEC Central Schedule Committee (CSC) discussed with management the methodology by which Relief line estimates are arrived at during the schedule development process. CSC sought to understand the disparity between the estimate and the actual number of RLF lines awarded. Crew Schedule Planning has told us that RLF is difficult to project early in the process and prior to the awarding of schedules because the company only has a rough estimate of what Flight Attendants will bid, may be able to hold or may elect to fly during their vacation month(s). Estimates are based on previous years and, as we all know, there have been many items “in flux” at all locations. This “in flux” has been increased in the locations where flying is shifting back and forth between subsidiaries.

The reduction in vacation allocations results in the most senior Flight Attendants being awarded December vacation around the Christmas holiday.  These Flight Attendants are also likely to be international lineholders.  Further complicating this determination is the uncertainty of how individual Flight Attendants will exercise the rights they are guaranteed under the Contract. Will these individuals bid domestic, international or Reserve? Do they want to fly during the month to maximize their earning potential or will they elect to use their vacation to reduce their flying schedule to be home with family for the holidays? Are others electing not to fly to avoid the difficulties associated with commuting? Will there be others looking to maximize their earnings, slide their vacations to fly IDs that would otherwise have been dropped in the vacation? There also may be IDs that provide some with the opportunity to layover in cities where they can be with their friends or family and to maximize holiday pay.  All of these considerations may potentially change expected bidding patterns.

Our new contract provides a single pay scale. This alone may change the way that some Flight Attendants bid. While these changes are creating a number of challenges for management in the process of publishing the estimates required under the Contract, they further complicate the process by which we, as Flight Attendants, can get a sense of what we can hold during the holiday month. What is certain is that within the framework of our Contract, there are several protections and options. Our Union has negotiated these provisions to create options for the combined Membership. Understanding these options is the key and bidding to cover yourself is how each of us ensures that we can take advantage of the provisions of the Contract that have been agreed upon.

Incentive Pay

We have received some questions on how Incentive Pay is tracked. The hours for incentive pay in the current month do not tally until after you have completed the trip to include the block hours flown.  We encourage all Flight Attendants to keep records of individual IDs after completion and double check your DFAPs at the end of the month to ensure accuracy.

Phase II Vacation Bid Period

Phase II Vacation bidding opens on November 16 and closes on November 23. As a reminder, all Flight Attendants with more than 12 days but less than 26 days of vacation can only bid in the primary and secondary rounds. The tertiary round is only available to Flight Attendants eligible to split their vacations 3 ways. Some reminders for vacation bidding

  • Must have at least 14 days to split vacation between 2 months.

                   -If 14-16 days, you must have at least 4 days in each schedule month.
                   -If 17 days or more you must have at least 7 days in each schedule month.

  • Shortest Vacation duration is 6 days. Said another way, if you planning to bid during Phase III (tertiary), you must have at least 12 days remaining to bid at the start of Phase II (secondary) in order to meet the six (6) day minimum bid in each of the remaining Phases.
  • If your secondary or tertiary bid is insufficient, you will automatically be assigned a vacation in inverse seniority order working forward through the year, from January through December.  In this instance, it would mean that if you have 1998 Company seniority, you will be assigned a vacation before another insufficient bidder who has a 1991 Company seniority date.

Legalities

We have been receiving several legality questions lately and we wanted to take some time to highlight them. This week we will focus on Duty Time since this legality applies to all Flight Attendants. The language for Duty Time Limitations is very strong. The only way the Company can extend your duty time is with your concurrence. Our Duty Time limitations are dictated by the type of flying we are doing.  To calculate when you go illegal it is important to always use the scheduled DSL flying time to determine your legalities.  Unless you have been converted to work (versus deadhead) on the final segment of the duty period, it is not necessary to add in additional debriefing time as this time is already calculated into the DSL

Duty time begins when you are required to report to fly, deadhead, or for Standby Reserve. Duty time continues through debriefing at home/layover point, or when a Standby Reserve is released to begin a legal rest. Your duty time is extended by :30 when you are required to go through customs per Sections 7.I.3.a. and 12.N.2. 

When you are required to undergo drug or alcohol testing, you will receive $25 additional pay.  This pay will typically appear as part of your pay in the month following drug testing and will not appear in the DFAP.  Drug and Alcohol Testing pay will appear as a separate line item on the Pay Advice.

Flight Attendants will need to keep track of such testing and, if not paid, will need to initiate a pay claim through payroll if the payment is not received. For additional information please contact your Local Council.

There is a maximum time you may be scheduled to be on duty. This depends on the time of day at which you check-in, the type of operation, your scheduled flight time, non-stop/multi-stop status, and scheduled activity within the ID. The actual time you may be on duty depends on the same factors.

Domestic duty period maximums are determined when you begin your duty period. The maximums are based on your home domicile time zone.

Domestic ID Duty Time Maximums (Section 7.I.4.)

Duty Period Begins

Scheduled

Actual

0500-1859

13

14 1/2

1900-0459

11 ½

13

West Coast to Hawaii Turns (Sections 12.A.2. and 12.A.3.)

You may be scheduled to fly round trip between the West Coast to Hawaii in one duty period with a maximum scheduled and actual duty time of 14 1/2 hours.

International ID Duty Time Maximums (Sections 12.L.2.a & b.)

Most international ID duty time maximums are determined by situations.

Situation

Max Scheduled

Max Actual

Multi-Stop/Non-Stop
Flt/Dhd 8:00 or less

13

15

Flt/Dhd more than 8:00
Flt departs from a non-domicile point; or a charter

14

16

Non-Stop
Flt/Dhd 11:30-12:00

14:30

16:30

Non-stop Flight Stops (Sections 12.L.3. & 4.)

Maximum actual duty time for non-stop flights of more than 12:00 may exceed the combination of flight time, check-in, debriefing time and customs by a maximum of 3:00. If a non-stop flight makes a stop for operational or emergency reasons, it maintains its non-stop status and duty maximums.  If a non-stop flight makes a stop for revenue purposes (loading or unloading passengers or freight) it is no longer considered a non-stop flight and multi-stop duty time maximums apply.   If a non-stop makes a stop for operational or emergency reasons and people get off incidental to the reason for the stop, it is still considered a non-stop.

Extended Duty Time Maximums (Sections 12.A.3. and 12.L.5.)

The company may ask you to extend your Sections 12.A.3 and 12.L. duty time maximums. You may extend the duty time maximum to the F.A.R. duty time maximum of 20:00 for flights covered by Sections 12.A.2. and 12.L.2.  Flights falling under Section 12.L.3. and 4. are restricted to an additional 2:00 extension to the duty time maximum. If you concur to extend your duty period you will be paid at 5 times your hourly rate for hours in excess of the contractual maximum.  There must be a request and individual concurrence. You are to be guaranteed a minimum of one hour of pay at 5 times your hourly rate.

Child Identification Cards

During the AFA Board of Director’s Meeting, the Board was introduced to the National Child Identification Program through the American Football Coaches Association. AFA leadership was encouraged to join forces in supporting the initiative to protect our children. In support of efforts to reverse the disturbing trend, where 800,000 children go missing every year, a supply of the National Child Identification kits were purchased by AFA. 

This past week, the National Child Identification kits arrived at every Local Council, for distribution to our Membership. In Council 11, we are asking interested members to email Kaitlin (kwhite@unitedafa.org) indicating how many kits you need for your family. 

We are proud to be part of this significant effort to protect our children and encourage our Members with children or grandchildren to participate in the Child ID Programs. 

For additional information, on this safety program refer to www.childidprogram.com.  

Occupational Reporting Procedure Changes

Last week, Management announced that beginning, Nov. 2, all Flight Attendants (except those who are GUM-based) can report an injury incurred during flight or while on layover by calling the injury hotline at 877-924-7563. (The hotline is not currently toll-free from Europe or Asia; though Inflight Safety is working with Corporate Safety to provide a toll-free number for those areas as well). If you are seen by the on-site clinic in ORD, IAH or EWR, clinic personnel will file the initial report for you.

Regardless of how you report the injury, you must also complete an Irregular Operations Report. Time parameters for reporting injuries have not changed from the current information in the eFAOM, and the standardized hotline process will be updated in the eFAOM after the first of the year.

Support United Flight Attendants, Purchase Your Holiday Scarf or Tie from the CAUSE Foundation:

The CAUSE Foundation Representatives will be available throughout November and December in your base crew rooms, selling holiday scarves and ties in support of our Flight Attendants that are unable to work due to injury, illness or disability. We can wear one-holiday adornment with our uniforms after Thanksgiving and these holiday scarves and ties are the perfect accessory. The cost is $5.00 for the female scarf and $10.00 for the male necktie. The Cause Foundation will also host a Uniform Sale on December 5 in the SFO domicile.

For those of you unfamiliar with The CAUSE Foundation, they are a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization founded in 1994. They are funded solely by your generous contributions through donations received via their websiteUnited Airlines automatic payroll deductions and a variety of fundraising activities. Funds donated are distributed through an application process to all United Airlines Flight Attendants. These grants are intended as a short-term bridge until other financial arrangements are in place and covers only basic living expenses.

Help our Flight Attendants in need this holiday season and consider purchasing your holiday accessory from a CAUSE Foundation representative. For more information on how you can help visit their website: theCAUSEfoundation.org.

Combined Council Elections:

Ballots for our upcoming Joint Council Election are being mailed today and should arrive this week.

ELECTION SCHEDULE:

Mail Date: 11-14-16 Voting Notice & Voting Guides are mailed. This contains your personal 16-digit activation code.

POLLS OPEN: 11-17-16. 12:00 PM EST. The polls are open and voting begins.

POLL CLOSE: 12-14-16.  2:00 PM EST. The polls close and the count takes place.

In Solidarity,

Kaitlin White, President
AFA-CWA, San Francisco, C-11