Joint Contract Negotiations Update – Nov 16, 2012

The JNC has just completed two very productive weeks in Chicago.

We reconvened in Chicago on November 7th.  Since then we have continued researching numerous provisions of our Contracts and drafting proposed language for our new successor Contract.

As we told you in our last update, we have divided ourselves into three working groups who familiarize themselves with a particular topic.  This familiarization includes understanding how the topic is handled at each airline to identify common practices and areas where we want to develop new practices.  The entire JNC reviews the working group’s findings, and gives direction on whether the working group is ready to write proposed Contract language, or if more research is needed.  Earlier this week the JNC completed research and developed Contract language for 15 different subjects:

Cabin Jumpseat Authority/Reciprocal Cabin Seat
Commuter Policy
Crew Meals
Flight Crew Lounges
Passports, Visas & Immunizations
Missing, Internment & POW Benefits
Profit Sharing
Sick Leave
Airplane Tidying
Traveling Expenses & Hotels
Union Security

The Master Executive Councils (MEC) for Continental, Continental Micronesia and United Airlines held special meetings yesterday and today for the purpose of reviewing the proposed Contract language. The 3 MECs spent the last two days offering comments and suggestions for potential additions or changes to the Contract language we presented to them.  At the conclusion of the meeting all three of the MECs voted unanimously to approve the language we have developed so far.

Our Contract will certainly be comprised of more subjects than those listed above, and rest assured the JNC is continuing to research all the outstanding subjects, and writing more Contract language for the subjects that remain.  When we have completed the next group of subjects the 3 MECs will reconvene to approve them as well, and we will continue this process until every aspect of our Contracts have been dealt with.  Eventually after all of the individual subjects have been addressed and Contract language has been written for them, all the parts and pieces will be assembled into the new successor Contract.

We want to remind you while some of us might have sections in our current Contracts which sound, or look like, any number of the subjects listed above – these may not necessarily be sections in the successor Contract.  In the end, the JNC’s research, feedback from our respective MECs, and feedback from you – the Members will ultimately decide the Contract’s final format.

We are not waiting until the entire Contract has been drafted to begin negotiations with United Airlines management.  In fact, back in August we proposed to United that our first bargaining session would be on November 20th.  United found that date to be inconvenient, so we agreed to their request that bargaining should begin on December 4th.  There are a number of logistical and process issues which we proposed to United in August, and they have not yet responded.  We expect to complete those outstanding issues when we meet in two weeks, and then begin moving into a few of the subjects we have just completed.

All of us are about to embark on the next phase of our journey towards a new industry leading Contract.  The JNC has come a long way since our first communication to you in August, and we’d like to thank you for your input and support.  There is still much work to be done, but all of us are confident we are well equipped to complete the job.