Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQs address some of the questions being asked by IBT Technicians and Related employees. We know there are many more questions out there, and we encourage you to ask your leaders or submit your questions using the form at the bottom of this page. While we can’t respond individually to every submission, we’ll update this site regularly with additional frequently asked questions, along with our answers.

For sCO employees wishing to retire, are we able to retire with bridge medical if we have 20 years of service on our date of retirement? Or, is it only good if you have 20 years at time contract is signed?

Eligibility requirements for sCO Retiree Bridge Medical are ten (10) years of Company service at the time of retirement and you must be between the ages of 60 and 65. There is no tie to the date of signing.

If I take the early out package with over 25 years of service do I still get the flying benefits?

You are eligible for retiree pass travel as long as you meet the following eligibility criteria upon your Early Out exit date:

45-50 years of age and 20 years of active service

51 years of age and 18 years of active service

52 years of age and 16 years of active service

53 years of age and 14 years of active service

54 years of age and 12 years of active service

55 years of age and 10 years of active service

I read that HMO IL would still be a viable health insurance option and would like to maintain coverage with them if possible. Can you give us some idea of what the monthly cost for this will be?

HMO IL will be offered by TeamCare for IBT-represented employees. The monthly cost of HMO IL coverage will be exactly the same as the TeamCare PPO plan offering.

Where can we go to find specific details about our out of pocket expenses related to TeamCare?

Here is the path to follow: myteamcare.org/united > View Plan Comparison
You will find a table that compares some of the plan design features of the TeamCare PPO and HMO plans.

TeamCare Resources:

myteamcare.org/united
TeamCare Hotline 1-800-832-6227 8a-6p Central

What is the difference between basic and base rate?

The term "Basic" rate of pay refers to an IBT employee's pay rate listed on the wage scale in Appendix A. The term "Base" pay refers to an IBT employee's payroll rate of pay (also known as the "all-in" rate) which includes the basic wage scale hourly rate of pay plus license pay, line pay and longevity pay.

What does 100 percent sick pay mean?

The current sUA CBA provides 75% sick pay for the first 7 days. With this proposal sick pay will be paid at 100% from day 1.

If I take the Early Out, will my $100,000 payout be used to calculate my CARP amount?

No. Early Out payments are not eligible earnings for purposes of CARP.

Why do we have different seniorities (e.g.: Company Seniority, Bid Seniority, and Pay Seniority)?

Each seniority date represents something different as specified below:

The Company Seniority Date represents an employee's start date with the Company. It is used for activities such as vacation bidding and vacation accrual.

The Craft (Bid) Date represents when an employee enters a Craft and is used for activities such as shift bidding and system bidding.

The Pay Seniority Date represents where an employee falls on the wage scale. Employees receive a new Pay Seniority Date when they change Crafts.

The Longevity Seniority Date represents when an employee enters the IBT Agreement and is used to determine longevity pay. As long as the employee remains in an IBT represented position, this date will not change.

The Furlough Recall Date is a version of the Company Seniority Date, less adjustments for time spent in promoted status beyond six months or certain leaves of absence. This date is used for furlough and recall purposed only.

Please note that all of these dates may be adjusted per provisions of the CBA or Company Policy.

Will we still be eligible for Wellness Credits if we go to TeamCare?

The TeamCare contributions assume an 80% Company subsidy for medical, dental and vision coverage. Wellness credits will not be offered.

Concerning duty limit examples in FAQ Vol.1, if an employee is on the clock from 0600 - 0300 your example shows 20 hours of work. In that example an employee should get 1 unpaid lunch and 2 paid lunches which would put him at 19.5 hours worked. Did something change?

Meal periods during overtime in conjunction with a shift did not change. The examples were shifts that could be overtime or trades (“Full OT/Trade”), which would have different meal periods depending on what type of shift was being worked. They demonstrate that even during trades, where there is only one meal period, the shift would be eligible to be worked under the new Duty Limit language.

If I choose my spouses medical insurance, can I use my VEBA funds to pay my spouses premiums?

Due to IRS rules governing such accounts, if you are eligible to opt out of TeamCare, and do in fact opt out, there would be no balance in your Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), which is the only account you can use while employed by United to reimburse eligible expenses. Your VEBA contributions will instead be deposited in your Retiree Health Account (RHA) which can only be used by you after leaving United due to retirement or any other reason.

Can an employee on EIS apply for the Early Out?

An employee must be active to be eligible for the Early-Out Program.

Can I roll my $100,000 early out into my 401(k) account?

You cannot “roll” or contribute early out payments into your 401(k) account. Early out payments are not eligible compensation for any purpose under the 401(k) plans.

For sUA employees, if CARP is the elected plan, when would participation in CARP begin?

If the closeout proposal is ratified, first there will be a vote to determine sUA IBT Technicians & Related participation in CARP. The vote should occur prior to July 1, 2016 to be effective January 1, 2017.

If I retire with the Early Out what will my medical benefits be?

The Retiree Bridge Medical Plan is available to those who meet the eligibility requirements. Please note, if you are an sUA employee and are an Early Out Program participant, you will be able to select participation in either the current Subsidiary United retiree medical program which provides retiree medical benefits to employees who are at least age 55 with at least 10 years of service or the Retiree Bridge Medical Program which provides retiree medical benefits to employees who are between the ages of sixty (60) and Medicare eligibility age with at least ten (10) years of service.

Where can I go to get more information on Team Care?

1-800-TeamCare (832-6227) or myteamcare.org

Can you share examples of what we can expect to pay in 2016 with the 80/20 cost share of benefits?

Examples are listed below:

Monthly Medical Contributions

Employee Employee+Spouse Employee+Child(ren) Family
$121.60 $252.94 $222.04 $355.24

Monthly Dental and Vision Contributions

Employee Employee+Spouse Employee+Child(ren) Family
$5.11 $10.82 $6.82 $15.63
How is profit sharing for 2015 affected by this proposal?

2015 Profit Sharing, paid out in 2016, would not be affected.

Why has our share of the proposed profit sharing pool reduced from 15% to 5% / 10%?

Similar to what our competitors have done, and what we have done with some UA work groups, changes in profit sharing are used to increase fixed wages.

Will current retirees have only Team Care option for medical coverage?

The Team Care options are available only to active employees and new retirees who exit after ratification of the agreement.

Is the duration of 6.5 years retro to the amendable date?

The duration would commence from date of ratification forward.

Are employees on furlough status eligible for the Early Out?

You must be in active status to be eligible for the Early Out.

How does the point in protection for SFO and IAH work?

Active technicians at the maintenance base locations, San Francisco and IAH Base, including all shops at Vickery Road, as of the effective date of this Agreement, shall not be forced to relocate from their respective points. This is in addition to the furlough protection offered to all active employees as of date of ratification.

What are the "benefits" components of the industry and AA resets?

The components outside wages and premiums include: profit sharing, medical, vacation, sick, holidays and retirement income.

Can I opt out of the VEBA if I use my spouse’s healthcare benefits?

All Technicians participate in the HRA/RHA VEBA, even those who opt out of TeamCare. If you participate in TeamCare, then contributions to the VEBA will be deposited in your Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), which is the account usable while an active employee. If you opt out of TeamCare, then contributions to the VEBA will be deposited in your Retiree Health Account (RHA), which is the account usable after you leave United due to retirement or any other reason. Due to IRS requirements related to this type of plan, the HRA/RHA VEBA cannot allow individual employees to elect whether or not to participate in the plan.

How much is the VEBA amount?

IBT will advise the Company of the VEBA amount within 30 days after ratification.

Is overtime calculated using the $46.15 rate or using the rate minus VEBA?

Overtime is calculated using the rate before VEBA is removed. A “topped-out” Technician’s overtime rate would be based on $46.15.

Does this proposal change anything for those of us with CARP?

No. This proposal preserves Letter of Agreement #26 under the current sub-Continental agreement, which describes CARP participation. There are no changes to CARP under this proposal. This proposal provides for an additional 1% direct 401k contribution for those with 30+ years of CARP service.

Why did the Company ask the union to put out our proposal for a vote versus continuing to negotiate?

The Company and the union made significant progress in negotiating sessions that began in the summer. During the week of October 20th, through a series of small group discussions with the IBT Negotiating Committee, we solved several remaining open items and narrowed the open items down to a small list of the more significant economic items. We heard the IBT Negotiating Committee when they said they needed Delta’s $46.15 top all-in rate at the date of signing and to provide current employees with industry leading sick, vacation, holidays and retirement. In addition, there needed to be job security and protection in the event American negotiated a blockbuster deal.

We passed a comprehensive proposal that accomplished the above that also included several things the company needed to get in the bargain. All of these items (significant ones are - profit sharing changes, 80/20 cost share on medical, retiree medical changes and recall limitations) have been included in Company proposals since 2013. We received the union response to our proposal on Thursday, October 22 at 1:20 am. This response was well short of what the company has said repeatedly it needed and we concluded it was unlikely that we would reach a consensual tentative agreement during this round of negotiations. Instead of dragging out negotiations, we met with the entire Negotiating Committee later that day and asked them if they would put out an improved proposal that we hoped would “close-out” negotiations by allowing the membership to vote through a ratification process. We received word less than an hour later that the Committee was in agreement with the Company’s offer to let the membership vote on the Company’s proposal.

“Industry Re-set”; who is the “Industry” and how does the reset work?

If, at specified time periods, United’s wages and benefits are not at least 2% higher than the average of American’s and Delta’s wages and benefits, United’s basic wage will be increased to make its wages and benefits 2 percent higher than the average of American’s and Delta’s. This comparison will take place 48 months after date of signing, on the amendable date and every 12 months after the amendable date if a successor agreement is not reached.

What is the “American Airlines” (AA) re-set?

Because American Airlines has not yet reached a joint agreement with their technician and related employees, our AA re-set provides for a one-time adjustment to base wages if AA’s wages and benefits under a new JCBA are higher than UA wages and benefits.

Why is there no Retro Pay?

Consistent with other joint agreements we have reached, the signing bonus is designed to address retro and if applied as an increase in basic rate is roughly equivalent to 3% annual increases in basic rate for each of the three years since the amendable date.

How much of the Signing Bonus will I receive?

The total signing bonus / retro pool is $80 million, and it will be up to the IBT to determine how to allocate this bonus pool.

What does the 25% increase include?

The 25% increase incorporates the change in all-in top of scale rate, including basic wage and license, longevity and line premiums.

What is the top of scale at the end of the 6 years?

The top of scale technician all-in rate at the end of the 6 years is $48.97, an increase of 33% versus today’s rate.

How will the Early Out work?

While the specifics of the plan are in progress here are some bullets around the plan:

  • The payout will be $5,000.00 per year of service with a maximum payout of $100,000.00.
  • There is no minimum number of “takers” to trigger the program or payouts
  • Exits dates will be determined by the Company but preferences will be considered
  • Window for application will be within 90-days from date of signing

Note: We will update answers on specifics of the Early Out once the plan is completed.

How do the provisions for the newly hired employees work?

All employees hired on/after the date of ratification will have the newly established wage scales, holidays, vacation, and sick leave. However, 8.5 years after ratification the Company will eliminate the provisions related to holidays, vacation, sick leave, and retirement. After that date, any affected employees (including future new hires) will be eligible for the same retirement benefits as sUA Technicians vote to receive.

See question: "What is the choice that sUA technicians have to make concerning retirement benefits?"

What is Team Care and are they my only option for Medical?

TeamCare is a medical, dental, and vision plan of the Teamsters Central States, Southeast Areas Health and Welfare Fund, which is a multiemployer health and welfare fund. This program was proposed in negotiations by the IBT. United would be a participating employer in TeamCare, and United Technicians and Related co-workers would be enrolled in TeamCare’s medical, dental, and vision plans effective in 2016. In addition to a medical PPO, Kaiser would be available in California, Colorado, Oregon and parts of southwest Washington, HMO Illinois, and HMSA Hawaii HMO will also be available. TeamCare medical, dental, and vision coverage is a package, which means you must enroll in all three coverages. General information about TeamCare is available at https://myteamcare.org

Note: sCMI: Medical, Dental & Visions benefits will be provided by Company at an 80/20 Cost Share, and employees will participate in HRA/RHA VEBA.

What is changing with the duty limits?

The new Duty Limits language states, “an employee shall not work more than twenty (20) work hours, exclusive of lunch, in any twenty-four (24) hour period, nor more than thirty-six (36) work hours, exclusive of lunch, in any two (2) consecutive twenty-four (24) hour periods.” This is a change from the “employee’s 24-hour clock” to “any 24-hour clock.

Example eligible shifts during normal work week:

How do the new Duty Limits effect my ability to trade?

The Duty Limits change does not affect your ability to trade; it does however, address employees working more than 20 hours in a 24 hour period. You are still able to pick up additional shifts during your regularly scheduled work week.

Will GSE and Facilities remain in Tech Ops?

Yes, GSE and Facilities will remain in the TechOps Division.

If approved when do all the changes take effect?

There will be a transition letter that will specify effective dates based on priority. Some items are contingent on technology enhancements, however, the Company will work to expedite changes as soon as the agreement is ratified.

What is CARP?

CARP is the Continental Retirement Plan, which is the defined benefit plan (pension) in which certain sub-CO co-workers participate.

How does the Turbo DC (401k) contribution work?

s-UA technicians will receive a direct contribution to their 401(k) based on years of service with the following schedule: 0-14 YOS - $100/month; 15-24 YOS - $200/month; 25+ YOS - $300/month. They will receive this contribution in addition to the existing sUA 401(k) program.

What is the choice that sUA technicians have to make concerning retirement benefits?

This agreement contains an offer from the Company to harmonize retirement programs for active technicians at the date of signing, if technicians vote to do so. The vote would allow all sUA technicians the opportunity for a one-time vote to enter into one of the following two retirement programs:

  1. The sCO retirement program, which includes the CARP pension plan, defined contribution 401(k) match up to 3%, as well as a new provision for a 1% direct 401(k) contribution for anyone with over 30 years of CARP service
  2. The existing sUA defined contribution 401(k) program, plus a “turbo” DC 401(k) contribution in which s-UA technicians would receive an additional direct 401(k) contribution based on years of service with the following schedule: 0-14 YOS - $100/month; 15-24 YOS - $200/month; 25+ YOS - $300/month
What is the HRA/RHA VEBA?

The Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) Plan and the Retiree Health Account (RHA) Plan are two separate plans funded by accounts in a single VEBA Trust.

The term “VEBA” refers to a voluntary employees’ beneficiary association. It is a special trust under Section 501(c)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code permitted to pay certain types of health & welfare benefits. Assets held in a VEBA are protected from the creditors of the sponsoring employer and can never revert to the sponsoring employer (much like assets in a 401(k) plan). This means that the program is protected and extremely tax-advantaged. Contributions are not taxed, earnings in the VEBA are not taxed, and distributions to pay for health insurance premiums and qualified medical expenses are not taxed.

In negotiations, the IBT advocated for this type of arrangement to ensure that Technicians and Related employees would have protected assets that could be used to pay for premiums and health expenses (like doctor, hospital, and Rx bills that are not otherwise covered by insurance). For each hour of pay you receive (including sick and vacation), United will contribute an hourly amount to the VEBA. 30-days after ratification, the union will advise the company of the hourly amount to be contributed to the Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) or Retiree Health Account (RHA) in the VEBA Trust. To fund this company contribution all hourly, basic rates (covered by this collective agreement) will be decreased by this hourly amount. The HRA/RHA is to be used to pay health insurance premiums or reimburse qualified medical expenses

If you are enrolled in TeamCare, the contributions will go to your HRA account, which is usable by you while you are an active employee enrolled in TeamCare. If you are not enrolled in TeamCare because you opted out, United will contribute the per hour amount to your RHA account, which is usable by you once you leave the Company due to retirement or any other reason. In addition, once you leave the Company, the balance of your HRA account will transfer over to your RHA account for your use in paying for health insurance premiums and qualified medical expenses. If you die, your spouse and surviving children can use the account. Many types of medical, dental, and vision expenses and premiums qualify for reimbursement from the HRA and RHA - including premiums for Company-sponsored retiree medical insurance, Medicare, and long-term care insurance. Certain types of expenses, such as elective cosmetic surgery, do not qualify. In order to be reimbursable, the expense must qualify as “medical care” under Section 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code. IRS Publication 502 provides considerable detail regarding what types of expenses qualify and what types are excluded. Please note that the expenses do not have to be deductible by the employee as described in Publication 502. They need only qualify as “medical care” as described in Publication 502. The program will be administered by the Company through an outside record keeper using an online system much like the Company’s Health Flexible Spending Account Program. This will make it very easy for you to check your balance and obtain reimbursement for qualified expenses.

Can you have both an HRA/VEBA and a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

Yes. However, you must use your FSA before your HRA/VEBA.

Does LOA #31 still apply?

Yes, but is now specific to the EWR and IAH locations only.

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