The ratification of a joint Contract for United Flight Attendants means change. No matter which pre-merger airline you were affiliated with, there are new options and changes to benefits. Benefits, in Section 29 of our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), are effective January 1, 2017. The United AFA MEC Benefits Committee has written a detailed description of the 2017 Benefit options to familiarize you with some of the benefit provisions of our new Contract.
2017 Open Enrollment Dates
United’s annual benefits Open Enrollment for 2017 benefit plans will begin for:
Active Employees - October 10, 2016, and close on October 28, 2016
Retirees - October 31, 2016, and close on November 11, 2016
We stress the importance of going online to the Your Benefits Resources (YBR) site from Flying Together during Open Enrollment to compare plan summaries, their benefit levels, and monthly premium costs. A review of this information is essential in as you make decisions and choose the right plans for you and your family. Please visit our website to review the entire report.
The recent update on Cabin Jumpseat Authority (CJA) that was released as part of our October 4, 2016 AFA E-Lines has raised a number of questions and has caused some unintended confusion. The following is intended to clarify the various actions that have been taken as it relates to our contractual CJA.
Currently, our joint Contract has an implementation timeline within which both the company and Union have agreed to work. In cooperation with Airport Operations and the company IT Department there are a number of steps that still must be taken to fully implement all of the CJA procedures. At this point, however, the Joint Implementation Team (JIT) have been able to successfully implement the lifting of any weight restriction for Flight Attendants from all three pre-merger airlines, effective October 4th. Airport Operations has updated their jumpseat boarding procedure to be consistent with Section 3.A.1. to ensure that no Flight Attendant is denied access to a Cabin Jumpseat as a result of a weight restriction.
Another area of confusion appears to be related to the “metal protections” tying each aircraft to a specific group of pre-merger airline Flight Attendants. Our respective scope provisions remain in full force and effect until all Flight Attendants are on a common scheduling platform. At present, jumpseats will continue to be awarded based on the Jumpseat Cross Utilization Agreement which gives each pre-merger Flight Attendant group priority access to the jumpseats on their respective pre-merger aircraft.
If you have additional questions on the procedures for the awarding of the cabin jumpseat, please contact your Local Council Office.
Visitor Regulations at Hotels in China
For the past several months we have received a number of inquiries expressing concern about the procedures being used by certain hotels in cities in China to implement restrictions on access to guest rooms by local vendors. Flight Attendants have expressed concern about what are being perceived as changes at certain hotels in select cities in China. It appears that some hotels have, in the past, been perhaps a bit more liberal in their approach when dealing with visiting vendors. Recent changes in layover facilities have added to the confusion. At present, some hotels are taking a more assertive approach and are requiring vendors and guests, alike, to comply with the internal policies of the hotel - all of which are in place to ensure, not only compliance with local regulations, but to safeguard the security and well-being of all guests staying at the hotel.
Over the past several weeks AFA has continued discussions, facilitated by the company procurement agent, with hotel management to ensure we have a full understanding of the actions being taken by these hotels. These facilitated discussions have proved to be very helpful in understanding the concerns management at these hotels has articulated as well as the concerns of our Members.
As we know, some of the hotels at which we stay are exclusive locations that have been inspected by your AFA Hotel and Transportation Committee all with a focus on safety and security. Notwithstanding these considerations, some hotels in China have implemented additional security precautions because the hotel may house dignitaries of other nations. The policies in place at these hotels have been implemented to safeguard the guests, including our Members, and are specific to each hotel. To the extent these policies safeguard our Members, the Union supports their enforcement. While we may not necessarily “agree” with all of the policies, as guests in an international city, we understand the importance of complying with these and all local regulations.
In addition to restrictions affecting access to guest rooms, there may also be local regulations affecting the sale of goods and/or services as well as the manner and location where these goods or services may be sold or provided. Most importantly, beyond the impact on the vendor, there could be consequences for the consumer if these goods or services are not sold or provided consistent with local regulations. These consequences can be severe - up to and including deportation from the country which could have an adverse result of preventing re-entry to the country in the future.
We encourage you to contact your Local Council Office if you have additional questions or concerns.