Rich Delaney, 01 December 2013: Download
District 141 representatives and United Airlines management have been meeting regularly over the past weeks to make sure the agreements we reached that led to a ratified contract are fully implemented as quickly as possible. We have tried to address issues in a priority order that benefits our members the most.
We have previously reported that the company has committed to issue the retroactive/signing bonus payment no later than December 16, 2013. There has been a lot of work done by both sides to make sure that the right people are getting the right amount of back pay and seniority credit for the signing bonus. We have completed that work and are on track to maintain the December 16th due date. The issue of revised or increased contributions to individual 401(k) accounts has been finalized also. Unless an individual employee changes their existing contribution rate, that percentage deduction will be made from the retroactive/signing bonus payment. If an individual wishes to increase or decrease their contribution they must do that through the fund managing their 401(k) accounts; that differs between s-UA and s-CO employees. Contact information for the funds is available through the company website.
It is anticipated that some members will question the accuracy of the retroactive pay calculation. A process is being finalized that will give those members the avenue to correct any possible errors. Members will need to have documentation, such as pay stubs, that can be used to verify earnings for any period of time in question. More information regarding the appeal process will be available within the next two weeks.
The application of the newly negotiated vacation rules has also been discussed. All provisions of the contract are considered to be in effect for 2014 vacations with 2 exceptions. One, the allocation of additional accrued weeks for some members is still in discussion. It has been determined to continue talks over this issue and proceed with the bidding process. If, and when, the accrual is agreed to additional paid vacation time will be granted in the form of DAT’s. The second issue is the deferring of holidays to be used for an additional bid week of vacation. It is not possible to be implemented this year for s-UA members as the needed holidays have already been observed during 2013. Single day deferrals will be allowed during 2014 and the full deferral program will be available for all members in 2014. All other provisions of the new vacation provisions are in effect; including the purchasing of an additional week of vacation for s-UA members. The rules for the purchase of this week are available through the local committee.
One of the most significant aspects of the new agreement is the impact on line station s-UA members. United Airlines made a decision to move away from the concept of cross-utilized agents and intend to have all employees in single classifications. The debate over that decision was held during negotiation sessions and the new contract addresses the reality of the situation. It outlines the rights of members effected by the need to choose between working inside or outside on a permanent basis.
The company intends to move forward with this change now. Discussions have been ongoing regarding the selection process for all line stations. Information will be provided over the next week to outline the process and timeline. Decisions that are made by members will not immediately go into effect but they will be unchangeable. Both the Union and the Company are trying to get as much information to the employees as possible before asking them to make this decision, including possible headcount reductions in their station in their station. Any reduction in force will be the result of the business decisions United has made for each station and is not a result of the change in our contract. All stations will maintain their current headcount and work status makeup during this selection process.
Arbitrator Javits has issued a revised seniority list as a result of several corrections that were required after both the Union and Company reviewed the original lists. Individual protests to the list are still being evaluated by Mr. Javits and will be addressed as single issues and determined by Mr. Javits. All members are asked to review the revised list and make sure their personal information regarding seniority is accurate. The revised list will be used for any seniority related decisions that may need to be made and any changes mandated by Mr. Javits for individual members will be adjusted as needed.
Other areas of the contract that need to have agreed to procedures are being discussed and completed. Topics such as overtime rules, selection practices for specialized areas like Global Services/United Clubs, seniority point transfer rules, holiday trading, distribution of authorized union time, ops coordinator and appearance coordinator movement, and formalizing the temporary recall of furloughed employees and the filling of temporary vacancies in seasonal stations. These areas of the contract are close to being finalized and in effect as fully and quickly as possible.
District 141 and United continue to discuss the status of an Early Out program for RSM. The Ramp classification did not reach any of the threshold participation levels in the recent Early Out. However, there is still a need and desire to find a way to allow RSM to voluntarily leave the classification instead of a possible involuntary furlough of junior members. We are looking at ways to use the original program rather than start a new, different plan so that, if possible, members that were interested in taking advantage of the program can do so without delay.