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Joint Statement from AFA and United Management

The Association of Flight Attendants - CWA and United Airlines met in Denver this week.  We were joined by Michael Kelliher and Andrew Nordgren, from the National Mediation Board (NMB), who helped facilitate the week’s discussions.  As previously announced we are changing the negotiations process.  We are using the NMB’s expertise and assistance to help both AFA and management learn and use “facilitated problem solving” as a means of reaching agreement on a new Contract for all Flight Attendants. 

Our time in Denver was spent developing a protocol agreement to guide the parties through this process.  Protocol agreements typically address issues like where negotiations will take place, what the schedule will be like, and who will be involved.  The parties spent the first three days of the week identifying their interests with respect to the protocol, and translating those interests into an agreement which we could all work with.  With the NMB’s assistance, we crafted and signed a protocol agreement.  

Highlights of the protocol agreement are:

·       AFA and United Airlines will utilize a facilitated problem solving negotiations process.

·       Everyone who participates will be trained by the NMB in the facilitated problem solving negotiations process.

·       This new process will involve a structure of subcommittees who will help develop solutions for the numerous subjects and sections we are negotiating over.

·       AFA and United may designate subject matter experts, consultants, attorneys and financial analysts to participate in the subcommittees.

·       The parties agree that, beginning in August; negotiations will include regular bargaining sessions of two consecutive weeks.  The parties have already reserved the dates for these sessions through the end of the year.

·       Negotiations will take place in Denver through September, and will be in Chicago for the balance of the year. 

This new facilitated problem solving negotiations process will involve a lot of work on everyone’s part.  It will also require both parties to approach negotiations with an open mind and no preconceived notions of what a Contract should, or shouldn’t, look like.  We are not saying this will be easy – in fact we’re telling you now; this is going to be hard.  However, as demonstrated this week, it can be done.

Recognizing the difficulties inherent in this new process, AFA and United Airlines will use their best efforts to reach a tentative agreement for a new Contract by the target date of July 23, 2015.

We would like to thank the NMB for its assistance and prodding this week. We are hopeful the process they are helping us utilize will lead us to a successful conclusion.


Management Announces Definitive Surplus Plans

Date: June 27, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Following up on United's initial announcement on May 12, 2014, United management today announced more definitive information on their intent to subject approximately 600 active Flight Attendants to Surplus.  This will have far reaching affect as those who fall within that seniority range who are inactive will also be subject to surplus.  Additionally, those who are not actually subject to surplus in the affected domiciles will also feel the impact of people transferring out of their domicile.  Effective for the October 2014 schedule month, the 200 most junior active Flight Attendants each in DEN, LAX and ORD domiciles are subject to Surplus.

Upon the initial announcement by management, we met to discuss options and alternatives, encouraging management to reconsider their decision as there are life-changing consequences associated with a surplus action.  However management remained committed to the outcome as a good business decision.   We have and will continue to advocate for measures including the elimination or curtailment of the total number of people affected, and other alternatives for our Flight Attendant community.  Our recommendations have included the retention of bid and awarded vacations, additional domicile choices, an unlimited preferential right-of-return, and Transfer and Expense moving provisions identical to that of when the Houston domicile was recently established.  Management has adopted some of our recommendations while others are still under consideration.

We have worked exhaustively to ensure that management meets all of their obligations under the terms of our Contract and for them to recognize the impact this decision will have on our Flight Attendant community and United Airlines. 

Management has indicated the following domicile vacancies, but please keep in mind numbers may fluctuate based on transfer activity and awards prior to the Surplus bid, 150 in IAH, 420 in JFK and 240 in SFO.

We have provided additional information on our website and in the AFA Surplus Q&A as well as United's S-UA Flight Attendant Surplus/Base Reduction/Surplus Question and Answers Packet .  Please take the time to review this information carefully and consider your options.

In Solidarity,

Greg Davidowitch, President
United Master Executive Council

Ken Diaz, President-Elect
United Master Executive Council


Annual Dues Discount

In accordance with Article XII of the Constitution and Bylaws of the Association of Flight Attendants–CWA, any member may pre-pay her/his annual dues and receive a 10% discount. The “year” is the AFA-CWA fiscal year of June to May (June 1 to May 31). The annual dues of $576.00 ($48.00 x 12) less the 10% discount of $57.60 is $518.40.  To be eligible for the discount, this payment must be made in full ($518.40) no later than JUNE 30, 2014. Please read these steps carefully.


1.                   If you pre-paid your AFA dues obligation this way last year, there is no need to contact AFA Membership Services. Proceed to #4.

2.                   If your dues are currently deducted automatically from your paycheck, please contact AFA Membership Services, in writing, to stop your union dues deduction as of June 2014.  NOTE: Please review your contract for any specific contractually stipulated procedures required by your airline regarding this notification (i.e., some airlines require notification by certified mail). 

3.                   Please mail a copy of your notification letter revoking your authorization for your company to payroll deduct your dues, with your check of $518.40, in the enclosed payment envelope for your fiscal year June 2014-May 2015 dues  (12 months).  Payment may also be made online at www.afacwa.org/payment.

4.                   You may pay the $518.40 in full by check using the enclosed envelope (include your airline and employee number) or pay on-line at www.afacwa.org/payment.


NOTE: Payment must be received by June 30, 2014.  Payment received after June 30 will be returned to you and you will be billed $48.00 monthly.


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No Dues Obligation for 111

Your United Master Executive Council (MEC) consisting of our 15 Local Council Presidents, submitted Agenda Item #11 (Article XI.A.6), at the 42nd Annual AFA Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting.  This Agenda Item brought forward the question:  Should involuntary furloughed Members be required to pay dues if they receive furlough pay?  After failing the first vote in its original form, a substitute amendment was brought forward by the United Master Executive Council and then the Agenda Item was "Adopted as Amended". 

The amendment was passed with the full support of the United Master Executive Council.  Our 111 involuntary furloughed Members will have no dues obligations to AFA, retroactive to April 1, 2014.

Annual Purser Recurrent Closed – Awards by May 7

The 2014 Purser Recurrent program re-bidding closed April 30, 2014 at 0700 Central Time.  Preference months will be awarded in seniority order and awards will appear in your FAINFO screen in field number 7 adjacent to the words "Purser LDR" by May 7, 2014.

The 2014 Purser Recurrent Training will be held in: EWR, GUM, HKG, IAD, IAH, LAX, LHR, ORD & SFO.  Dates for specific locations are in June, August, September, October and November.  Check our website for the specific details.  Additional details will be published in the monthly Bid Package Cover Letter.

United Local ALPA Calls Out Smisek

New York Local United ALPA Leadership has launched an initiative to remove United CEO Jeff Smisek due to his failure to successfully merge and lead at United Airlines.  "It's time to find a new CEO who understands how to run an airline, not just make excuses for his failures," said the top three Officers of ALPA LEC 5, representing New York and Newark-based United pilots, in a strongly worded letter.

The letter was sent April 25, the day after United reported that it lost $489 million excluding items in the first quarter, which produced record profits for both American and Delta.

The three listed United's faults, including these: It has "a disengaged and incompetent CEO is leading a terrible management team." Also, "a merger that should have been completed in three years or less remains incomplete after nearly four years (and) interdepartmental communication and cooperation are nearly nonexistent."

Also, "terrible employee morale and excessive outsourcing have combined with chronic operational and IT issues to drive away our elite frequent fliers in droves, driving our revenue and (passenger revenue per available seat mile) downward," the letter said.

"United should be the industry leader, with the largest population and origin/destination traffic demand in our hubs and as the largest airline across both the Atlantic and the Pacific," they wrote. "Instead, we are always the laggard. As in past quarterly updates, we once again hear excuses as to why United is unable to perform while we watch all of our competitors earn high and record profits."

The letter to United comes just weeks before the United Airlines Board of Directors meeting.

United’s Unanticipated Increase in Block Hours

As a result of recent unanticipated changes by United’s Aircraft Scheduling, Flight Operations and Technical Operations (Maintenance), Inflight Scheduling has advised us of the need to add about 1,300 block hours into the pre-merger United domestic-fleet schedules.  This additional flying will involve the 757 and A319/320 Airbus fleets.  During discussions with the company, we advocated for the prospect of recalling Flight Attendants from involuntary furlough status however, and because the nature of this additional flying is temporary according to United and, to a certain extent, fluid, United management will instead, invoke the provisions of the Partnership Letter of Agreement. 

Consistent with the terms of the Partnership Letter of Agreement, Section L:

  •  Flight Attendants participating in Partnership 11 who would like to pick up open flying during the June schedule month should contactPartnership@united.com to have their monthly maximum increased in their line of flying, or,
  • Flight Attendants at domestic locations, including HNL, who are participating in Partnership 11 mayelect to dissolve their Partnership for the June schedule month.   If you elect to dissolve your Partnership for the June schedule, you should send an e-mail to Partnership@united.com no later than noon Central Time onMonday, May 12 from your corporate email account.  The email should include the name and file number of both partners. The partnership will be dissolved for June and each Flight Attendant will be awarded flying based on her/his seniority.  Flight Attendants dissolving their partnership for June will receive full accrual for vacation and sick leave.

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.


Your AFA

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