United pilots always step up when it comes to defending our profession. Right now we have more volunteers than any other ALPA carrier attending the ALPA Day of Action Fly In to join the fight against Norwegian Air with labor and industry groups in Washington D.C., on Nov 19.


Last summer, we led the way with over 2,700 United pilots contacting Congress through the Deny NAI Link. So far, only 1,600 have participated in what may be the final Deny NAI campaign. The best way to help our advocates in Washington next week is for everyone to click on ALPA’s new Deny NAI#4 link. These messages have been updated with specific language regarding House and Senate actions to help compel DOT Secretary Foxx to say “No” when it comes to the Flag of Convenience scheme.


 

 
 

If you plan to attend ALPA’s Day of Action Fly In, you need to RSVP to  Andrew.Rademaker@alpa.org as soon as possible. Meetings with Congress are already being scheduled. The day begins with a joint event at the Capitol Visitors Center at 10:30. That afternoon we will visit members of Congress along with other labor and industry advocates.

 

For questions or more information, contact Doug Mattson, MEC Legislative Committee member at Doug.Mattson@alpa.org.

 

Click Here for more information

 

   In This Update

 

  

   CCS My Calendar and My Schedule Functionality

 

Starting Dec 3, in accordance with UPA Section 21-T,  CCS will provide you with access to other pilots’ “My Calendar” and “My Schedule” information, similar to the L-UAL Unimatic CALREC system.  This phase does not yet include the ability to see other pilots’ F2 History (audit trail). This functionality will follow in subsequent phases of IT programming.

 

Participation based on “Opt In” or “Opt Out”:  

Pilots may elect to “Opt In” or “Opt Out” of this program. 

 

Opt In:  If a pilot Opts In, he will be able to view the schedule information for other pilots who have Opted In, and his calendar and schedule information will be open for viewing by other pilots. 

 

Opt Out:  If a pilot Opts Out, he will not be able to view the schedule information for pilots who have Opted In, and his calendar and schedule information will be blocked from viewing by other pilots. 

 

Initially, all pilots have been loaded as “Opt In”.  Prior to activating the viewing functionality for December, pilots wishing to “Opt Out” may do so via CCS (see instructions below).  The election to Opt Out must be made prior to the start of a Bid Period and will roll over each month until changed by the pilot. 

 

My Calendar and My Schedule access is useful to determine Trip Trade legality and track crew desk actions, especially for Reserve assignments.  This functionality was used in the old Unimatic system to help pilots monitor the crew desk for legalities and contract violations.

 

“Opting In” or “Opting Out”:

Opting In:  All pilots will be initially enrolled as “Opt In”.

 

Opting Out:  Beginning Nov 13 and running until midnight Nov 29 (the last day of the bid period) pilots who wish to Opt Out for December and beyond can access CCS>Other>My Preferences to make that election (see screen shot below).  The election to Opt Out must be made prior to each bid period and if this election is not made, the pilot will default to Opt In for December.  Subsequent changes are only effective for the next bid month and beyond, and will not affect the current bid month.

 

 

On and after Dec 3, pilots who have Opted In can view the calendars or schedules of other pilots who have Opted In by entering the file number at the top of the My Calendar or My Schedule page.

In summary,

·   Nov 12:  All pilots will be defaulted to “Opt In” for Dec, but no one will have access to view other pilots’ calendars for Nov. The ability to “Opt Out” can be found via CCS>Other>My Preferences

·   Nov 29:  Last day to “Opt Out” for the Dec bid period.

·   Dec 3:  Functionality to view other pilot’s calendars and schedules is enabled (for pilots who have Opted In)

·   Opting In or Out:  Once a bid period begins, the election is locked for that bid period.

·   Subsequent Bid Periods:  Once a bid period begins, pilots can “Opt Out” for the next bid period at any time, and can change their election for the next bid period any time during the current bid period.  Pilots may be “Opted In” to the current bid period but “Opt Out” for the next bid period, however the “Opt Out” will not be effective until the first day of the next bid period.

 

 

   Clarification to 'Common Payroll Problems' Did You Know

 

The attached updated version of the “Did You Know: Common Payroll Problems”  includes a clarification to the section on AV Days regarding pay once the AV days are removed.  The clarification spells out that only certain trips have LPV protected (e.g.: trips dropped due to Senior Manning with conflict, trips dropped due to a scheduler error) but all trips removed for a legality have PTC protected.

 

AV Days: When AV days are added to a pilot's schedule after the loss of flying, the pilot has to be available for replacement flying up until 1500 the day prior to the first available AV day on the pilot’s schedule, in accordance with Section 20-F-1-a-(1). After 1500, the day prior to the first AV day, you are free from any responsibility to the Company and the AV days are considered days off. If you wish to pick up another trip on top of the AV days listed on your schedule, you must call Crew Scheduling and request that they remove the remaining AV days from your schedule. Your LPV (if the original dropped trip had LPV protection, such as SRM with conflict or scheduler error) and PTC (for all cases) will include both the original dropped AV trip and the newly picked-up trip.

 

Please see this link for the current  DYK Archive on the MEC website.

 

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   Union Coalition Meets in United MEC Conference Center

 

United MEC Chairman Capt. Jay Heppner (third from left) leads a discussion among members of the United Union Coalition Thursday in the MEC Conference Center in Rosemont, Ill. The Coalition discussed key issues that impact all United labor groups, and ways that the group can work together to find solutions to common challenges that all employees face. Payroll continues to be the number one issue involving all employees, and the Coalition discussed solutions ahead of the PeopleSoft conversion for all employees in January. The United Union Coalition is composed of the Air Line Pilots Association, the Association of Flight Attendants (United, Continental, and Air Micronesia), the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, and the Professional Airline Flight Control Association.

 

   Election For MEC Officer, Committee Positions Scheduled for Special Meeting

 

The United MEC has scheduled a Special Meeting December 9 and 10 at the United MEC Conference Center, 9550 W. Higgins Road, Suite 1000, Rosemont, Ill. During that meeting, there will be elections for two UAL MEC Officer positions: 

 

--UAL MEC Secretary term effective immediately after the election.

 

--UAL MEC Treasurer effective January 2, 2015.

 

There will also be an election for the following committee position:

 

--Training Committee Vice Chairman, IAH Training Center effective immediately after the election.

 

 

 If you are interested in being nominated for one of these positions, please contact your Local Council representatives. Descriptions and duties of the above positions are available in the UAL MEC Policy Manual.

 

Pilots in good standing are welcome to attend all open sessions of this meeting. An advance agenda will be available in the days ahead. Please be advised that some portions may be held in closed session.

 

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   United Pilots Join FedEx Informational Picketing in DEN, IND and NYC

 

United Pilots joined MEC Chairman Capt. Jay Heppner (third from left) in Denver on Wednesday during the FedEx Informational Picketing event. Pictured (l-r) F/O Todd McClusky, F/O R.J. Wolf, Capt. Heppner, F/O Jolanda Witvliet, F/O Scott Freeman, F/O Steve Knopf and Capt. Kevin Girard.

 

 MEC Strategic Planning and Strike Committee Chairman Capt. Pieter Velzeboer (left photo) and ALPA National SPSC Chairman Capt. Brian Florence (UAL) joined the picket in New York City. United pilots also joined fellow ALPA pilots at the informational picketing event in Indianapolis.

 

As FedEx pilots continue their campaign to obtain a contract, more than 200 pilots -- including many from United -- gathered for informational picketing on Wednesday in Denver, Indianapolis and New York City. Along with the FedEx pilots, fellow ALPA pilots from ASA, Delta, Envoy, ExpressJet, Endeavor, Air Wisconsin, PSA and United participated. The FedEx pilots and FedEx reached a contract agreement in 2011, which was accompanied by a unique commitment to engage in interim discussions prior to the resumption of formal bargaining in January 2013. This commitment was intended to foster a more efficient process and create a timely conclusion to formal negotiations once they commenced. FedEx management has failed to meet that commitment.

 

On October 31st, FedEx management requested the assistance of the National Mediation Board in the pilots’ ongoing contract negotiations. “This is hardly a surprise. The parties did a good job working through a lot of the agreement, but regarding some core issues FedEx pursued radical shifts in major sections of the agreement. We proposed changes within the existing framework of the agreement—changes that we know are fair and fully earned by the pilots.  FDX management has led us to this point,” said MEC Chairman Captain Scott Stratton. “The FedEx pilots are confident that with the assistance of the National Mediation Board, they will achieve a fair and reasonable contract that recognizes their contributions to the success of FedEx. And we agree with FDX management that there would be a more productive use of our time other than picketing our disgust with the lethargic pace of bargaining. That is why we have spent close to 4 years giving FDX every opportunity to conclude bargaining. I would refer that thought back to them. Wouldn’t there be a more productive use of your time than dragging out negotiations with 4100 pilots as opposed to with our 250,000 fellow FDX employees worldwide?”

 

The turnout at these events continues to demonstrate the FedEx pilots’ steadfast resolve to see this through to an end. “It’s time for management to recognize our contribution to the success of FedEx and conclude negotiations,” added Stratton.

 

   Committee Updates/Reports

 

Central Air Safety: Captain Bob Sisk

 

Today I’m discussing the declaration of emergency for pilots who find themselves in a non-normal situation while in the cockpit.

 

We have a problem here at United.  When we find ourselves in a situation that has become non-normal, we generally do the right thing to address the situation at hand, right up to the part where we should (but do not) declare an emergency.  That can be a big mistake.

 

Except under extremely rare, dire circumstances, saying, “Emergency” on the radio does not mean you are about to die, crash or experience some other similar catastrophic event.  Most of the time it simply means that you are dealing with a situation on your aircraft that requires you to accomplish the operation in a non-normal way or that requires you to exercise your Emergency Captain’s Authority. You are REQUIRED to declare an emergency when you exercise your Emergency Authority, and that’s a relatively easy decision; we are pretty good at that (not perfect even there, though), but we have a real gap in our performance at the other times we need to declare an emergency.

 

Our downfall generally lies in the other areas that aren’t so obvious.  There are many fairly obvious “must declare” situations, but far more perhaps less obvious “should declare” situations.  We need to focus on what happened, what happened that we couldn’t see, smell, or hear, and what may happen as a result.  Think conservatively here; if you consider declaring an emergency, declare it! 

 

Each fleet has its own idiosyncrasies and we need to be aware of those; we all know what they are for our fleet.  And remember, one size doesn’t fit all.  For instance, losing a generator on a 747-400 with one generator already inop and losing one on a 737 under the same circumstance will likely end with a different result.  In the former, depending on what else has happened, you may or may not declare an emergency.  On the latter, you really need to.

 

Management may not always agree on what warrants declaring an emergency, and that’s okay.  To some managers, this business is a bit more black and white than what we really know it is.  Also, you may declare an emergency over something today that you didn’t yesterday based on millions of different variables on a particular flight.  But we all must understand the essential nature of a general “declare an emergency for these things” list of our own, with the flexibility to modify that list at any time.

 

So far we’ve discussed this from the sheer professional perspective. Let’s now discuss the ramifications of this from the Regulator’s perspective.  (The following is an extremely basic illustration, only used to demonstrate the issue.)

 

You are 200 miles from your destination, cleared direct to the FAF.  It’s very late at night, and there is little traffic in the air or at the aerodrome, and the Flight Attendants call and say you have a 65-year old male in the back suffering a Myocardial Infarction (heart attack).  The onboard Doc says "Land now," and Medlink says they agree.  

 

Your plan is solid; you’re going to deliver the sick passenger quickly and safely.  You have no terrain issues, no aircraft issues, nothing that would keep you from hauling the mail.  ATC already gave you “speed at your discretion,” so you push it up, fly 320 knots until 5,000’, slow, configure, and fly a flawless, stable approach, followed by a fast taxi directly to the gate where the passenger is taken off the aircraft by the team of waiting paramedics (thanks to your coordination with Dispatch).  Your fellow pilots slap you on the back and tell you that you did a great job.

 

And then the certified letter shows up in the mail.

 

You have intentionally disregarded the FARs by flying faster than 250 knots below 10,000 feet.  A hard-over FAA Inspector could theoretically argue that it was “reckless.”  That word is a show-stopper, a license-loser, and a quality of life-destroyer.  But hey, it was late, there was no traffic, you did nothing wrong, right?  No, you violated the FARs without declaring an emergency.  (No nit-picking!  As I warned you, this is just a basic illustration to emphasize the point.)

 

The FAA considers you a perfect pilot at all times and holds you to that standard.  That is, unless you declare an emergency.  If you declare an emergency, the FAA only expects you to be reasonable, and even that definition is fluid, giving you a plethora of options to choose from and act upon.  Providing you avoid the ground and don’t cause undue damage to the jet or any person or property, you can pretty much do whatever you feel is necessary to expeditiously take care of your situation.  You’ll have to spend a minute or two on an IOR and maybe half an hour on an FSAP report, but that’s small potatoes compared to a lot of time with the legal staff.

 

Regarding communication when confronting an emergency, the FAA’s Aeronautical Information Manual refers to distress conditions and urgency conditions.  The AIM urges pilots to take action and seek aid when confronted with an urgency condition, to avoid progression to a distress condition.  The AIM says this about urgency conditions:  “An aircraft is in at least an urgency condition the moment the pilot becomes doubtful about position, fuel endurance, weather, or any other condition that could adversely affect flight safety.” Furthermore, FAR 121.557(c) requires: Whenever a pilot in command or dispatcher exercises emergency authority, he shall keep the appropriate ATC facility and dispatch centers fully informed of the progress of the flight.


So let’s go back to the beginning of this message.  We United pilots do not declare an emergency as often as we should.  It may help (and certainly won’t hurt) if we all take a moment and reassess what it is that we would consider declaring an emergency for.  Keep in mind that there are some things that REQUIRE you to declare an emergency that aren’t “in your face” issues (such as landing overweight); those are sneaky.  What’s even tougher is when it would behoove the prudent pilot to have the emergency vehicles out and about just in case the next system fails at the most inopportune time, not just because it already has.  We need to consider “the next failure” of the system, not just what has already happened.

 

Again, the bottom line is to declare an emergency when it is appropriate.  It’s free, it’s expected, and in many cases, it’s required.  There are no “cool points” lost for declaring an emergency, and in that rare case that worse comes to worst at the most inopportune time, you are the professional who walks away knowing that you had the trucks ready, and you kept your charges (and your license) as safe as you possibly could.  There is no downside for a pilot to declare an emergency if there is something forcing you into a non-normal situation.

 

Fly safe!

 


 

System Schedule: Age 60+ Pilots

 

The following is from the System Schedule Committee's PBS and Operational Subcommittees

 

The SSC has been closely monitoring the addition to the Federal Register regarding Age 60 pilots from the initial ICAO language through Thursday’s implementation to ensure the company’s compliance. With respect to the December 2014 PBS awards, they will be processed without any restrictions to age 60. As of 12:00CT Thursday, the trip trade system will also allow trades without the prior related restrictions.

 

The SSC will continue to monitor the company’s scheduling practices with respect to this change. 

 


 

Jumpseat: First Officer Greg Maatz

 

New Online Listing Tool for JetBlue Jumpseat

JetBlue has introduced an online listing tool for their jumpseat.  JetBlue's Jumpseat Committee has informed United that pilots will still be able to list via phone (888-538-2997); however, sometime in the future they will go to an exclusively online listing procedure similar to how American Airlines currently operates. 

 

Pilots intending to jumpseat on JetBlue should use the following link and procedures. Copy the link into your browser, bookmark the site and make a note of the listing procedures. Pilots should make note that the user name UAstaff is case sensitive.

 

Go to =      https://www.myidtravel.com/myidlisting/

 

Enter User Name =             UAstaff

 

Enter Password =               016

 

Once on the site, select the commuter travel option from the menu at the top of the page. The most common mistakes pilots make when using the site is not selecting “United” as their employing airline on the first page of the site, neglecting to place the u in their employee number and not using the correct format when entering dates. L-CAL pilots should continue to use their L-CAL employee number until further advised. When on the APIS page, you can skip the top section and just enter your date of birth. This procedure is detailed on www.jumpseatinfo.com by selecting "JetBlue" from the Airline Resources tab. Important note: Crewmembers must LOGOUT and close the browser after creating a listing.

 

Frontier Online Listing Tool Has New Look

The online listing system used by Frontier now has a new look. When attempting to list online for the Frontier jumpseat, use the link, ifc.id90.com. Pilots need to create a username and password.  Once this is accomplished and you are logged in to the site and on the Flight Tools page, select “listing tool.”  Select your flight and under reason for travel, select pilot commuting.  Continue to fill out the requested information to obtain your confirmation number.  Pilots can also list by calling 800-432-1359, and requesting the agent to list them as a S4OA CASS participant for the jumpseat.

 

Contractual Rights Regarding Weight Restrictions on United Flights

The Jumpseat Committee has recently received reports of United pilots being denied the jumpseat on weight restricted United flights.  In all these reports, either the agent or load planner told the jumpseater and the Captain that the jumpseater would not be allowed on the flight due to a weight restriction.  The Captains, not knowing their contract, agreed with the agents or load planner and denied the jumpseat.

 

Section 21 of our UPA provides that United pilots not be denied the jumpseat on weight restricted flights.  This is a great example of why it is important to preflight your jumpseat and “Make the Walk” to the podium to ensure our pilots contractual right to a weight restricted jumpseat.

 

If, when jumpseating, an agent informs you that the flight is weight restricted, ask to speak with the Captain.  If the agent denies you this right, immediately contact the FODM and have the issue addressed so that you do not get left behind.  This is another example of why it is important for the agent to print the flight deck jumpseat authorization form at the time of the request.  With this form in hand, United pilots are to be granted access to the aircraft to speak with the Captain of the flight.

 

Please continue to file JSAP reports when you encounter any jumpseat issues on United or offline carriers.  The JSAP link can be found on the Jumpseat Committee page of the MEC website.

 


 

Uniform: Captain Denise Silkworth

 

The UAL-MEC Uniform Committee webpage on the MEC website (www.ualmec.org) has been updated to reflect optional vendors for navy wool coats, navy sweaters and additional pilot shirt vendors. Click Here to access the webpage. 

 

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   Local Council Meetings/Events

 

Council

Event

Date/Time

Location

Council 178 (IAHTC)

Meeting

Thursday, Nov. 20

2 p.m.

IAH Training Facility

 

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United Master Executive Council of the Air Line Pilots Association

9550 W. Higgins Road, Suite 1000

Rosemont, Illinois 60018 | 847/292-1700

 

Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Central

www.ualmec.org

 

 


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