One-Time Bid Option to Houston and Newark Domestic at Bottom of Seniority List through “Bridge Agreement”

October 10, 2011 (6pm Eastern)

We are pleased to announce that we worked closely with management to successfully negotiate an opportunity to submit a bid for transfer to either Houston or Newark domestic bases effective October 18, 2011.  Those who decide to bid for the one-time option to transfer to Houston or Newark domestic by October 17, will work with a bidding seniority date of October 18, 2011.  Their seniority within the October 18, 2011 date will be ranked according to their CMI seniority order.

The first class of newly hired Continental Flight Attendants will be added to the Continental seniority list on October 20, 2011.  Those who want to work at Continental with the October 18, 2011 seniority date until a single contract is negotiated for all Flight Attendants at the new United, will have their CMI current bidding seniority date restored for the AFA seniority integration process.  Their accrued seniority from CMI will take effect only upon membership ratification of a single contract that will provide improvements for all 25,000 Flight Attendants at the new United.

This bidding option will not be an attractive option for most, but for some it will provide an immediate option where none existed before.  With Guam as our only base there is no path for relief when company scheduling creates an overstaffing situation.  We will continue to move forward for the best conditions together.

Here is a summary of the agreement for this one-time transfer:

  • Bids must be submitted by October 17, 2011 and will be awarded in seniority order.
  • Active status in Newark/Houston becomes effective on October 18, 2011.
  • Flight Attendants have the ability to opt-out by October 31, 2011 – after which date the transfer becomes permanent and irrevocable.
  • Flight Attendants must be in good standing and eligible to perform Flight Attendant duties including completing any necessary training required of an active Flight Attendant for Continental – the company will work with the Flight Attendant to schedule training dates and this does not need to be completed prior to the effective date of the program.
  • All eligible Flight Attendants on the CMI seniority list, whether currently active or on leave, may bid for the transfer and a bid for the transfer is entirely voluntary.
  • Until a single contract is ratified by AFA members, Flight Attendants accepting this transfer will have a bidding seniority date of October 18, 2011.  After ratification of a single contract they will regain their CMI bidding seniority date on the integrated seniority list according to the AFA Merger Policy.
  • Flight Attendants transferring shall work under all provisions of the Continental Flight Attendant contract, with retained CMI service credit for pay and benefit accrual rates.
  • A 90 day period of fee-waived PS5B travel for the employee, and SA3 travel for spouse and children for travel between Guam and the new base only.
  • Flight Attendants will be entitled to a $2500 pre-tax cash payment to help defray the costs of moving.

This is just a summary.  Please carefully review all of the parameters of this agreement before making the decision to bid.  We are not recommending a bid for this program, we are simply providing it as an option for those who choose to take it.

Question and Answers on One-Time Transfer

1.    How do I submit my application for this one-time bid to Continental?

Bidding information will be stuffed in v-files for active Flight Attendants and sent to the homes of Flight Attendants on leave.  If you need assistance with retrieving the information please contact your AFA officers: Phil Rayphand at mecp@cmiafa.org, Kathleen Domondon at mecvp@cmiafa.org and Victor Williams at mecst@cmiafa.org.

2.    Why did AFA CMI negotiate this irrevocable transfer agreement option for Flight Attendants based in Guam?

AFA members based in Guam overwhelmingly responded through a survey that you wanted this voluntary bid option to be negotiated.

3.    Why would anyone consider the option to work at Houston and Newark domestic at the bottom of the current Continental seniority list?

This is not the first time we have had to deal with over-staffing and the effects on our base.  In 2008 when over-staffing resulted in a cross-over agreement for some CMI Flight Attendants who are still working at the bottom of the Continental seniority list, there was also an offer for an indefinite leave.  This is a company policy leave without an end date and the only path back to active flying is an opening in the Guam base.  For many of the Flight Attendants who originally felt they could help with the surplus by taking the leave, conditions have significantly changed with the nation’s economy, employment for other members of their family and the expiration of benefits due to the length of leave.  Providing an option to return to active status, even as a Newark or Houston domestic Flight Attendant on reserve, is a relief for themselves and their families.

4.    What will happen to the seniority of Flight Attendants who bid for this one-time transfer to Houston or Newark domestic?

During this bridge period to ratification of a single contract, these Flight Attendants will work with a bidding seniority date of October 18, 2011 and within the date retain seniority rank according to their CMI seniority.  Once a single contract is ratified they will regain their current CMI bidding seniority date on the integrated seniority list.

5.    Do CMI Flight Attendants have to complete initial training to be qualified for Continental?

No.  Although the operation is separate with separate Collective Bargaining Agreements, all flying is operating under the same operating certificate from the FAA.  Flight Attendants from Guam will only be required to complete the differences training and typical recurrent training associated with the all of the equipment flown by the Continental operation.

6.    Will CMI Flight Attendants who choose to bid for the transfer to Houston or Newark be able to return to Guam after the single contract is ratified?

Yes, but only in system seniority order under the Contractual provisions for transferring bases once there is a single contract ratified.