E-Lines: July 31, 2020
July 31, 2020
United Announces Plans to Resume Service on Thirty (30) International Routes in September
Consistent with United management’s conservative approach to restore service in light of the ever present COVID-19 pandemic, United today announced a plan to resume service to nearly 30 international routes in Asia, India, Australia, Israel and Latin America as well as serve to many popular vacation destinations in the Caribbean, Hawaii and Mexico.
Plans call for a resumption in service restoring the domestic network schedule to 40% of the pre-COVID schedule and the international network schedule to 30% as compared to September 2019.
Domestic service includes increases in frequency to: Austin, TX, Colorado Springs, CO, Santa Barbara, CA, as well as Honolulu, Kona and Maui in the Hawaiian Islands.
International service includes the inauguration of service between Chicago and Tel Aviv and eight additional Atlantic and Pacific routes to include restoration of service to Europe from Houston as well as increased service in Latin America/Caribbean. Pacific service restoration includes the return of Chicago to Hong Kong (subject to government approval) and three times weekly service between LAX and SYD. Read more on Flying Together.
United Provides WARN Information to AFA
As we reported early in July, United provided AFA with required WARN notices covering all of our Members in states other than those where individual notice is required under state law. The actual WARN notice is published on the COVID-19 Recovery page of www.unitedafa.org. for your reference.
Increase in Zero Value Bid Lines due to Lack of CQ Presents Additional Challenges to Crew Pay
As a follow-up to our communication on the increased number of Flight Attendant schedules that did not include any flying due to a lapse in qualification, we’ve remained in touch with Crew Pay to better understand not only the work they are doing on our behalf, but also to get a better understanding of the challenges they are facing and how we can help in order for us to get the information we need.
Crew Pay is aware of an increase of 00000 bid lines for August due to ‘loss of qualifications’ and is making a dedicated effort to ensure our Pay Registers accurately reflect the pay to which we are entitled. However, before the staff at Crew Pay can add hours to our Pay Registers, they are heavily reliant on Crew Planning and Training Scheduling to provide them with a full list of impacted Flight Attendants. This work is ongoing and there are large numbers of us who have lost our qualifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keep in mind also that the COVID pandemic has hit both the Houston and Manila areas disproportionately and many of these representatives are still being required to work remotely. To better assist in processing all of our requests for additional information, please use the link at the bottom of your Pay Register that is dedicated to answering questions on pay. Your connection is via Help Hub and you can expect to receive a written response to your inquiries by using this dedicated automation link.
EAP Resources to Assist in Managing the Uncertainty of 2020
As we all know, life is filled with uncertainty. As the saying goes, “Life is what happens when you are busy making plans.” So many things remain outside of our control and the recent events brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have only further complicated the list of “things” outside of our control.
Each of us handles uncertainty differently with individual tolerances for unique levels of unpredictability. Notwithstanding those unique differences, what we all share in common as part of our human condition is the fact is a “breaking or tipping point.” Learning to cope with uncertainty is essential in managing it and the stress that accompanies it.
Our MEC Employee Assistance/Professional Standards Committee has published a list of tips to assist all of us, regardless of our level of tolerance, in managing and adapting to uncertainty. Please review the most recent publication, Managing the Uncertainty of 2020, which provides a list of tips intended to contribute to each of us successfully managing uncertainty.
United WARN(s) Pilots of Potential Increase to Furlough Numbers
One day after United agreed to extend the Flight Attendants Voluntary Furlough submission deadline, management announced an increase in the number of Pilots potentially in jeopardy of furlough due to the effects of COVID-19 on the airline industry. Click here to read the CNBC article in its entirety.
It’s Not Over -> Tell the Senate: Extend the CARES Act Payroll Support Program
MEC Government Affairs Committee
Keep up the pressure! Phone calls are extremely important and have proven to be highly effective. Call both your state Senators daily to make sure they support a clean extension of the Payroll Support Program through March 31, 2021. Make your calls today and every day! Voicemails are not enough! Keep calling until you reach a person in your Senator’s office and urge your family and friends to call. Our jobs and thousands of aviation jobs are at risk!
Senate - 1-888-848-4824 (You will need to call this number twice to be patched through to each of your Senators.) Sample Script:
"Hello, I am a constituent calling to ask my Senator to help save my job as an essential worker. Take legislative action in July to extend CARES Act Payroll Support Program for aviation workers to avoid massive job loss on October 1, 2020. Keep us connected to our jobs, paychecks, & healthcare".
Guam, Council 65 Members contact your Representative, Michael San Nicolas.
Tell Congress NOW to keep our industry intact to ensure aviation can help fight the virus and contribute to economic recovery as opposed to adding to an economic depression. Read Aviation Unions Letter to Congress.
Voluntary Furlough Bid Deadline Extended to August 10, 2020
On Wednesday, United management agreed to delay the closing of the window to submit a bid for voluntary furlough until August 10 at 8:00 AM Central Time.
View the updated timeline below for the reduction in force activities and on the COVID-19 Recovery page on our MEC website www.unitedafa.org.
Final Notice - One Month Special COLAs for September 2020 Bids Close August 3rd
The Company will be offering a one-month Special COLA for the September 2020 schedule month.
Monday, July 13, 2020
Monday, August 3, 2020 at 8:00AM CST
Before September Bids Open
Review the Company’s Special COLA information packet for additional information.
United Updates Inflight Social Distancing Policies in Collaborative Effort with AFA
MEC Safety, Health and Security Committee
United, in coordination with the AFA MEC Safety, Health and Security Committee, has updated the temporary social distancing policies regarding the blocking of jumpseats with the mandatory mask requirement and the locations and assignment of temporary crew rest locations, effective August 1, 2020.
Information including visual charts detailing the affected aircraft, crew rest locations and jumpseats in available for your review in the Safety Alert dated July 30, 2020.
Drug and Alcohol Random Testing Procedures and Compensation
EAP/ Professional Standards Committee
On April 12, 2019 your AFA Employee Assistance Program / Professional Standards Committee published detailed information concerning the Department of Transportation (DOT) federally mandated Random Drug and Alcohol Testing Procedures that allows for unannounced and random testing for all Flight Attendants. In addition to DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing Flight Attendants can also be subject to companydrug testing. Understand that this means Flight Attendants can be subject to both drug and alcohol testing depending on the type of test being administered.
We strongly encourage all Flight Attendants to become familiar with the publication and to visit the EAP/ Professional Standards page on unitedafa.org or the FADAP.org website for additional information including several documents containing information on DOT Drug and Alcohol testing.
Also, Section 4.F. of our Contract outlines the contractual provision for Drug and Alcohol Testing compensation. Compensation for testing will be paid based on a Julian calendar month verses the bid month.
Note: Although there is no limitation as to the number of times Flight Attendants can be tested there is also no limitation on the number of times our contractual provision in Section 4.F., Drug and Alcohol Testing Pay will be paid.
Advance Vacation Fly Through for September – August 5, 2020
Flight Attendants interested in electing to fly through their September vacations are encouraged to review the two types of Vacation Fly Through options, Advance Notice Fly Through & Operational Fly Through prior to selecting an request.
The deadline to notify the company of your request for Advanced Vacation Fly Though is August 5, 2020, at 10:00AM CT.
Ensuring Proper Credit for Reserve Move-Up – Importance of the RM Code
MEC Reserve Committee
Reserve Move-Up Lines for the August bid month are being built and awarded now through August 4th. We hear from Flight Attendants they are not always properly credited for days of Reserve availability served prior to the award of a Move-Up line. To ensure this occurs, once properly released to the Move-Up line, it is important to then verify the “Released to Move-Up” code (RM) has been applied to your Master Schedule.
1. Getting Properly Released to Move-Up
The JCBA Reserve Guide published on Flying Together (updated May 16, 2019), outlines that Flight Attendants who are not on Standby or a pairing assignment at the time they are awarded a Move-Up line will be released to their Move-Up line with the approval of Crew Scheduling. Notification of a Move-Up line award and the ability to process trades does not constitute such approval.A release to Move-Up is a specific action required by crew desk personnel and must occur in order for Flight Attendants to receive pay and credit for Reserve days served prior to the Move-up award.
2. Verify Credit for Reserve Days Served
Once properly released, look for the “RM”code to have been applied to your Master Schedule after any Reserve availability days served prior to the Move-Up award. If correctly applied, you should also see credit equal to the Reserve daily value (4:07 in a 31-day month or 4:20 in a 30-day month) next to each of the previous Reserve days. The credit for each day should also be included in your total monthly credit value.
In recent months, we have worked with management to establish more robust “checks-and-balances” between FAST, Crew Pay and Crew Scheduling to ensure Flight Attendants are properly credited. However, it is always a good idea to double check in your Master Schedule that the process has been completed. If you note the RM code has not been correctly applied, please submit a report to your Local Reserve Committee for follow-up.
Contact your Local Council Reserve Committee if you have additional questions.
Reminders and Quick Links
August 1 Updated Inflight Social Media Policies go into Effect
August 3 One Month Special COLA for September 08:00AM CT
August 5 Vacation Fly Through Request Deadline 10:00AM HDT