AFA E-Lines: Nov 10, 2022
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- Annual Benefits
Open Enrollment Oct 31-Nov 18 – Clearing Up Misconceptions
Advertisements of Illegal Partial Pairings
- CCS Vacation Slide
New Request Forms Are Now in Help Hub
- Illinois Voters
Appear to Support ‘Workers’ Rights’ Amendment in Early Returns
- FlightPAC – Our
Power to Influence on the Hill
- MEC Annual Communications
- Update Link Device
Operating System to iOS 16.1
AFA Debrief – November 10, 2022
· Annual Benefits Open Enrollment Oct 31-Nov 18 – Clearing Up Misconceptions
· Preventing Advertisements of Illegal Partial Pairings
· CCS Vacation Slide New Request Forms Are Now in Help Hub
· Illinois Voters Appear to Support ‘Workers’ Rights’ Amendment in Early Returns
· FlightPAC – Our Power to Influence on the Hill
· MEC Annual Communications Training
· Update Link Device Operating System to iOS 16.1
Annual Benefits Open Enrollment Oct 31-Nov 18 – Clearing Up Misconceptions
We’ve received a number of questions arising from the 2023 Benefits Open Enrollment which have confirmed for us there are a number of misconceptions about the various benefits plans available.
The Benefits Committee asks that you direct your attention to Section 29 of our Contract which delineates the Union negotiated plans: Core PPO, Core EPO, Core HDHP, Traditional PPO and HMOs.
Each plan has defined deductibles, out of pocket maximums, copays, wellness coverage, in-network/out of network costs and all of the features of the plans are outlined in Appendix A on pages 256-259. The cost of the premiums is determined by a formula outlined in the Medical Rate Setting Letter of Agreement in the Contract.
Conversely, all other plans are company offered health & wellness plans. Of notable distinction with these plans is that United management negotiates with the insurance companies to determine the terms of the plans with regard to deductibles, co-pays, out of pocket, in-network/out of-network costs and they set the premium rates.
The Benefits Committee is aware there is some confusion surrounding the UNITED PPO, a company plan versus Traditional PPO, a plan negotiated by the Union. We want to eliminate any confusion; the UNITED PPO is not a Union negotiated plan. It is a management offered plan and the terms of the UNITED PPO plan are defined by the insurance company and United management.
We want to be clear; your MEC Benefits Committee is not taking a position as to whether any one plan is better than another. We trust, based on having the right information, you are able to make those health & wellness selections that are best for you and your family. We do, however, want to draw your attention to the various differences between the plans for your awareness during the annual selection process. For instance, some of the company offered plans do not cover Preventive Services (Contract pages 262-264) such as mammograms, physical exams, etc.
For these reasons, we strongly recommend that you do your research. Explore the many choices, use the tools on Flying Together-YBR such as “find your doctor” and compare plans. In addition, you can reach out to the United Benefits Service Center 800-651-1007 or call Accolade 844-252-6830 for additional support and assistance in understanding the various benefit packages available to you and your family during open enrollment.
Not wanting any Member to have “buyer’s remorse,” we remind you of the old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true—it probably is.” Don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Preventing Advertisements of Illegal Partial Pairings
Currently, Flight Attendants have the ability to advertise partial pairings in CSS, even if the advertised segments, on a standalone basis, do not meet the duty time parameters established in Section 6.S.1. of our Contract.
The clearest example of this involves segments which are part of a duty period that checks in before 1900 HDT where the maximum duty period is thirteen (13) hours scheduled. However, when some of those segments are removed from the original pairing to “stand alone” as a partial pairing having a check-in time after 1900 HDT, the maximum duty time based on the later check-in is limited to 11:30. Often the standalone pairings are not legal because the duty period exceeds the maximum 11:30 duty period.
Effective November 9, 2022, at 2300 CT, when an attempt is made to pick up a partial pairing that is not legal, the transaction will be rejected and any effort to pick up the partial pairing will not be successful. The advertisement of the partial pairing will be removed from the EBB market in CCS and the “poster” of the advertisement will be notified the advertisement has been deleted from the EGG market because the partial pairing is illegal. Any effort to resubmit the advertisement for posting will also be rejected.
CCS Vacation Slide Request Forms Are Now in Help Hub
The process for requesting a Vacation Slide will be accomplished using Help Hub. Effective November 16, 2022, you will select the form used to request the slide based on your status as a Lineholder or Reserve in the bid month for which the vacation slide is to be processed. From the Vacation tab in CCS, select either Vacation Slide Request – Lineholder or Vacation Slide Request – Reserve while will direct you to the applicable form in Help Hub. A complete user guide with details on how to submit a Vacation Slide request will be available after November 16 and can be accessed from the Help tab on CCS as follows: CCS > Help > Education Resources.
Once you have submitted the Vacation Slide Request, you are able to review it by selecting My Requests, from the Help Hub home page.
Illinois Voters Support ‘Workers’ Rights’ Amendment in Early Returns
The American Labor Movement is the strongest it’s been in decades and the impact of that solidarity is on full display during these Midterm Elections. Across the country, union workers are wielding their collective power for better working conditions, and workers are organizing new companies and industries to demand fair pay and a fair contract.
In the state of Illinois, the collective efforts of Unions are an example. Our AFA, CWA, TWU and IAM brothers, sisters and family have been busy this past year building off the positive labor momentum by campaigning and educating the public on the “Workers’ Rights” Amendment that was on the Midterm ballot asking voters if Illinois should enshrine into the state constitution the right of workers to unionize and collectively bargain. This is a proposal backed by organized labor in an effort to preempt future “right-to-work” laws.
Referred to as the “Workers’ Rights Amendment” by supporters and “Amendment 1? by opponents, the proposal up for voter ratification would give workers a “fundamental right” to organize. It is an outgrowth of the former single-term Republican Governor Bruce Rauner’s unsuccessful attempts years ago to curb union power that led to an unprecedented two-year state budget stalemate.
As the final votes continue to be tallied, it appears that Illinois voters are siding with a measured amendment to the Illinois Constitution that will chart a new direction for organized labor not only in the state but across the country. While the vote results were still coming in as of this morning, with 93% of the votes counted, 58.5% voted in favor of the amendment and 41.5% voted "no."
“Based on the current vote count and our campaign’s internal data, it is clear that the Workers’ Rights Amendment will pass. We believe that after every vote is counted, the Amendment will be approved by an overwhelming majority of Illinois voters.” Said Tim Drea, Illinois AFl-CIO President.
Mr. Drea, Illinois AFL-CIO President also stated, “when we vote yes for the Illinois Workers’ Rights Amendment, we are standing up to special interests, big businesses and politicians that want you to think that progress is not possible.” The proposed Illinois amendment would guarantee not only the right to organize for the most common elements of collective bargaining, like wages, hours and working conditions, but also for “economic welfare and safety at work.”
We are not alone in the negotiations arena and are, in fact, in it with other work groups that are in situations similar to our own. The Unions at American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest and pilots at Delta Airlines are all in stalled negotiations because their management, like ours, continues to use delay tactics instead of getting serious in the negotiation’s arena.
The Solidarity of Union workers and their supporters in getting this Amendment passed, shows us that when we work together, we can achieve our collective goals.
FlightPAC – Our Power to Influence on the Hill
The power of our Union comes directly from the support of its Members. Our Government Affairs committee works to ensure Flight Attendants and our industry, are represented in Washington D.C. and across our nation.
FlightPAC is the Association of Flight Attendants Political Action Committee (PAC). Through voluntary contributions from eligible AFA members, FlightPAC gives support to candidates in federal office who are committed to helping improve Flight Attendant safety, security, and health.
FlightPAC contributions have supported us on issues such as being including in the Family Medical Leave Act, protecting our jobs supporting the Open Skies Act, keeping knives off planes, and most recently, passing the FAA Reauthorization bill including 10 hours of minimum rest.
The potential for positive impact in Washington can be greatly hindered without the financial support from our Members. Your monthly Union dues cannot be used to lobby or support political candidates, so we rely completely on the voluntary contributions of Flight Attendants, Members like you!
We need your help. Flight Attendants interested in making a contribution can Click Here to support FLIGHTPAC.
For more information of FlightPAC visit our Government Affairs page on UnitedAFA.org.
MEC Annual Communications Training
This week, representatives from across our system attended our Annual MEC Communications Committee Training in Chicago.
These dedicated volunteers reviewed our Union’s Communication Structure and the Local Council Communications Committee responsibilities, improved their proficiency in writing and electronic skills while also developing a better understanding of our Union’s involvement within the social media realm.
Your Local Council Communications Committee volunteers obtained additional skills and resources. We thank these hard-working and dedicated volunteers for their service to their fellow flying partners.
Update Link Device Operating System to iOS 16.1
The Link's operating system can now be updated to iOS 16.1. Please ensure you download this version prior to November 24, 2022.
NOV 14 – December 2022 Special COLA Requests Due at 0800 CT
NOV 11 – Veterans Day
NOV 16 – Second Round Vacation Bids Close
NOV 18 – Annual Benefits Open Enrollment Closes
NOV 24 – U.S. Holiday – Thanksgiving
NOV 25 – Native American Heritage Day
DEC 29 – Any Remaining Uniform Points Must Be Used
<<READ THE FULL DEBRIEF>>
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