The Role of the Negotiating Committee
April 12, 2019
MEC Communications Committee
JCBA Section 32 provides for the ability to commence direct negotiations with management as early as August 28, 2020. One year prior to the JCBA amendable date of August 28, 2021.
The elected Negotiating Committee works hand-in-hand with our professional negotiators, attorneys and consultants throughout the entire process of negotiations preparations, training, surveying the membership and throughout the collective bargaining process with management.
The Negotiating Committee works collaboratively to negotiate with management in order to meet priorities of the Flight Attendants and compile those into what is called a Tentative Agreement. The Tentative Agreement is then presented to all the Local Council Presidents (The United Master Executive Council) to review and, if acceptable, to approve sending out the tentative agreement to the Membership for ratification. If the MEC approves the Tentative Agreement, it will be presented to the Membership. The Negotiating Committee, working with the Negotiations Support Chairperson, will prepare an educational campaign and conduct roadshows to answer Members’ questions on the provisions that have been negotiated.
The Tentative Agreement becomes a contract (Collective Bargaining Agreement) when the majority of voters approve and ratify the agreement.
The Negotiating Committee works at the direction of the United Master Executive Council in accordance with the priorities set by the AFA Members at United Airlines.
Some have suggested a concept that one person on a Negotiating Committee can inject in to a tentative agreement concepts or items that the majority of Members did not want. It is important to remember that it is the collective voiceof the Flight Attendants who determine if a Tentative Agreement passes or not. Keeping the focus on what Flight Attendants want and keeping Flight Attendants engaged in the process is the key to successful negotiations.
Often the Tentative Agreement is mistakenly considered a “first offer”. This could not be further from reality. Both management and the Negotiating Committee typically pass multiple proposals back and forth on each individual issue or topic in a contract before coming to an agreement on that topic. There is no “additional” or “alternate” agreement held back to be presented at a later time.