Under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), which is a United States federal law that governs labor relations in the railway and airline industries, Collective Bargaining Agreements (aka Contracts) do not expire, they become amendable. That is, they become subject to negotiations on a certain date. Our Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA) with United becomes amendable at midnight, August 28, 2021.
We negotiated into our JCBA, a provision for a 1-year early opener, allowing us to commence negotiations in August of this year. In advance of Direct Negotiations, which is the stage of the negotiations process where opening proposals are exchanged between the Union and the company, our Negotiating Committee has been conducting industry research and a review of other airline Contracts. Additionally, our Negotiating Committee has met with each of our MEC Committees, MEC Officers, and Local Council Officers. Our opening proposal is based on, and will reflect the collective priorities identified in the results of the Flight Attendant Negotiations Survey, direct feedback from you, our AFA Committees, and your Local Council President. The opening proposal is our starting position. The company, in turn, will also prepare an opening proposal. However, unlike ours, their opening proposal will be based solely on their priorities.
Prior to the exchange of opening proposals with the company, our Negotiating Committee will present the opening proposal to the United Master Executive Council, which includes your Local Council President, for review and approval, prior to the exchange of opening proposals with the company.
After Direct Negotiations commence, with the exchange of opening proposals with management, our Negotiating Committee will travel to all Flight Attendant bases, where they will present you with our opening proposal, as well as the company’s.
Look for additional information over the coming months as we bring you along and make you a part of the negotiations process via our Negotiations Newsletter and InfoRep program. Details encompassing the negotiation process, including a timeline of what you can expect, can be found on our dedicated Negotiations website, contract2021.org