E-Lines: January 27, 2017

E-Lines: January 27, 2017

Date: January 27, 2017
Type: Dear AFA

Congratulations and Welcome to Our Union Family Class 1623

We congratulate the Flight Attendants from Class 1623 on completion of their 180-day probationary period with United Airlines.  You have now officially joined the world’s largest Union of Flight Attendants!

Profit Sharing Election Window Now Open

As a result of this financial performance, employees earned $628 million in Profit Sharing for the full year.  Profit Sharing payments will be paid out on a separate check on Feb. 27, 2017, through your normal payroll process (i.e., direct deposit or physical check). 

Employees in participating workgroups share a portion of United's profits when the Company earns more than $10 million in adjusted pre-tax earnings for the year. The percentage of profits set aside for Profit Sharing varies by workgroup, and depends on your contract or company policy.  For 2016, for Flight Attendants the Profit Sharing percentage of 1/1/16 – 12/31/16 eligible earnings is 7.8766%

Beginning January 27, 2017, Flight Attendants will be able to access their individual statements in Flying Together > My Info > Mangers Tool Box > Profit Sharing Payout Details.  Supervisors & managers do not have access to your individual Profit Sharing statement.

The special election window for Profit Sharing will be open from January 27, 2017 through February 12, 2017, giving all eligible employees the option to defer a portion of their Profit Sharing payout to their eligible retirement plan account.

Note: Internationally domiciled Flight Attendants in FRA, HKG, LHR or NRT will not receive a separate paycheck but will instead receive the Profit Sharing payment on their regular paycheck closest to the distribution date due to taxation and other regulation issues net of any deferrals to any eligible retirement plan account. Members outside the U.S. who are enrolled in the floor rate program receive appropriate floor exchange rates when Profit Sharing payments are received through the normal payroll process.

Joint CQ Training Begins in March for all Flight Attendants

Flight Attendants, without regard to pre-merger affiliation, will attend Continuing Qualification (CQ) training beginning in March of 2017 in classes conducted jointly.  We expect this will be an excellent opportunity for Flight Attendants to interact with and learn from one another before we officially fly together when we are on a common scheduling platform. 

With the implementation of joint training classes, while balancing the number of attendees at certain training locations will be part of the process, the effort will be designed to create additional training dates at those locations where training dates have historically been more limited. Beginning in March, as part of this initiative, some bases will be assigned to attend training at new training locations as follows:

All BOS Flight Attendants

All Washington Flight Attendants

All Los Angeles Flight Attendants

Will Attend training in EWR

Will Attend Training in ORD

Will Attend training in SFO

The increase in the availability of CQ classes at some locations will provide improved schedule flexibility.  Watch for more information to be released soon.

TSA Pre-check Eligibility Reduction

Beginning in February, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) plans to significantly reduce access to TSA Pre-check expedited screening lanes for travelers not enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveler program.

For crewmembers, in addition to your Known Crewmember access, TSA has approved an enhanced TSA Pre-check eligibility for crewmember and SIDA-badged employees, which will be rolled out once the change is implemented following the necessary IT improvements.  Stay tuned here for more information on the guidelines for this new expedited screening option that will be available for crewmembers.

For anyone interested in applying for TSA Pre-check, click here. Enrollment costs $85 and is valid for five years.

Layover Safety, Be Aware of Your Surroundings

The recent election of the 45th President of the United States has sparked controversy in many cities across the world. Large cities have been inundated with political demonstrations, equal rights marches and protests. Although the majority of these events have remained peaceful there have been instances where violence has erupted and innocent bystanders, security and police have been injured.

We encourage you to avoid such events while on a layover.  However, if you should encounter such an event it is important to maintain situational awareness. Be aware of your surroundings when leaving the hotel for food, exercise, shopping or entertainment.  It is always safest to travel in numbers. We encourage you to utilize hotel concierge or front desk staff to identify areas of neighborhoods that are well lit and provide sufficient safety measures.  Always remain aware of your surroundings. It is important to remember some rights that we enjoy in the United States are not afforded to us in other countries.  Take precautions by keeping a low profile and by refraining from wearing highly visible clothing or jewelry.  If you do go out by yourself, tell someone where you are going and what time you plan to return or leave a note of your intended plans in your room by the phone. You should also carry a personal ID in your pocket or purse. If you have a cell phone, take it with you. Other than obviously being able to call for help, some cell phones are equipped with Global Positioning Systems (GPS).

Keep in mind. Ultimately United management is responsible to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees traveling for business purposes. Should a dangerous situation arise, immediate efforts will begin, according to a prescribed procedure, to locate crewmembers on layover.  This contact is essential especially if management makes a determination that crewmember relocation is necessary.   If you are away from the layover location and become aware of the events, you are encouraged to contact OPBSK – Crew Scheduling, immediately, to advise of your whereabouts and to let management know you are safe or if you require assistance.

While we understand your friends and family are also concerned about your safety, we recommend against (as in never) using the “checking in” function on social media as a way to let people know you are safe.  Unknowingly, in a situation where violence is ongoing, you could inadvertently provide a tip on your location that could put you in danger. 

For those of us outside the situation who are concerned for those who may be in the conflict, we understand the need to obtain information on the status of friends and flying partners.  However, every effort should be made to keep telephone lines open so that management can reach those on layover to determine what, if any, immediate assistance is required.  Under no circumstances should we communicate the location of any crewmember using social media for reasons similar to those stated in the previous paragraph.

For additional information please visit the safety section of our website.

AFA MEC Grievance Committee Conducts Leadership Training in Chicago

Members from our AFA Master Executive Council (MEC) Grievance Committees specialized in their respective pre-merger Grievance processes spent two days with your elected Local Council Presidents this week in Chicago.  The training, designed to help the leaders understand the areas of similarity in the two grievance processes, successfully familiarized those responsible for the Grievance processes at each location.

This dedicated training was conducted as a means for the Local Council Presidents to better serve our diverse Membership under the terms of the grievance process of each pre-merger Contract.  GUM based Flight Attendants will continue to enforce the terms of their Contract under the grievance process outline in their pre-merger Contract.

Advanced 72 Hour Registration for Regular Buddy Pass Riders Eliminated

United announced, effective February 1, 2017, elimination of the 72-hour advance registration requirement for regular Buddy Pass riders.  While employees will still be required to register regular buddies, the lead time has been significantly reduced and buddies will be able to fly within 24 hours allowing employees to better utilize these  Buddy Pass Travel benefits.

Additional information can be found in United’s Flight Benefit Reference Guide which can be found on Flying Together.

Reminder - Scholarship Deadlines Quickly Approaching

UNION PLUS:  Since 1992, the Union Plus Scholarship Program has awarded more than $4 million to students of working families who want to begin or continue their post-secondary education. Last year alone, 2,700 Union members and Union family members were awarded $150,000 in scholarships, ranging from $500 to $4,000.

The deadline for the 2017 Union Plus Scholarship application is January 31, 2017, and this scholarship is open to any student who is attending or planning to attend a college or university.  Applications are evaluated according to academic ability, social awareness, financial need, and appreciation of labor.

If you are interested in participating in the application process for this program, we encourage you to visit the Union Plus website for more information. 

AFA-CWAThe Association of Flight Attendants-CWA Scholarship Fund is intended to provide financial assistance to dependents of United Flight Attendants who will be attending a college or university.

The deadline for applications is April 10, 2017. For more information please visit www.afacwa.org/scholarships

CWA:  The CWA Joe Beirne Scholarship awards CWA Members and their spouses, children and grandchildren, including those of retired or deceased Members fifteen partial college scholarships of $3,000 each are being offered for the 2017-2018 school year. The deadline for applications is April 29, 2017. Details on this scholarship can be found on the CWA website at www.cwa-union.org/pages/beirne.

AFA Welcomes U.S. Based Cathay Pacific Cabin Crew to Our Union Family

Washington, DC (January 26, 2017) — U.S. based Cathay Pacific Airlines Flight Attendants joined the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA). In a Union representation election that concluded today, the National Mediation Board (NMB) announced that 97 percent of the voters elected AFA as their collective bargaining representative.

We are so proud to welcome our sisters and brothers at Cathay Pacific who chose to join with AFA Flight Attendants around the world.