United Offers Further Details On Voluntary Separation Program

Tidbits of additional information have been released this weekend regarding United Airlines’ most recent Voluntary Separation Program (VSP). Made public by the union known as the Association of Flight Attendants, the program aims to reduce the airline’s workforce through voluntary resignation, offering benefits to those who leave their jobs of their own will.

United planes SFO
United Airlines is cutting its workforce and reduce its cash burn. Photo: Getty Images

Open to more employees

According to the post made by the union, this VSP is now open for employees in the following groups in the US, Guam and Puerto Rico:

  • Flight Attendants (including Internationally based Flight Attendants)
  • Dispatchers
  • Catering Operations employees
  • IAM-represented employees (members of the union known as the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers)
  • IBT-represented employees (members of the union known as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters)
  • Management and Administrative (M&A) employees

The highlight in this latest offering is that “eligible frontline employees will receive a custom-tailored email providing an overview of the program with the associated links to the program details” and other resources.

United Airlines flight crew selling roster
United Airlines’ latest voluntary separation program appears to include more workers than before. Source: United Airlines

The company’s ‘most valuable offer’

This most recent voluntary separation program provides an array of benefits for employees who may want to consider a voluntary exit from the company before the announcement of any potential furloughs or reductions in force are announced,” the flight attendants union says, adding:

“United management has made it clear that this will be the company’s most valuable offer for those who might be considering leaving United in the near future.”

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United’s leadership is encouraging employees to consider voluntary separation. Photo: United Airlines

How valuable is this offer?

It sounds like offer-details will be different for every employee. However, earlier this month, we wrote about a memo shared by Business Insider, listing several new incentives to encourage voluntary separation for M&A employees. They include the following ‘perks’:

  • Those who accept the voluntary separation offer will end work in June but be considered employed and on leave through December 1, 2020.
  • Full pay will be issued through June 30, 2020. This decreases to 33% pay between July 1 and November 30.
  • Employer-subsidized healthcare benefits will remain through November 30

Further sweetening the deal, those who accept the offer will also receive the following from the airline:

  • 250,000 MileagePlus miles
  • Top-tier (1K) frequent flyer status (validity period unknown)
  • Five years of active employee travel benefits
  • After the five years, this changes to retiree travel benefits
  • Priority access to job postings if and when the situation improves at the carrier

At the time, the above offer-details were reported as applicable only to M&A employees. It is unknown if all or some of these perks will extend to other employees of the airline’s workforce. Looking at information from this latest post by the flight attendants’ union, it sounds like offers will be different for every employee:

“[The company’s offer is] highly personalized based on individual employee factors such as work group, retirement eligibility, years of service and more”

Frontline employees eligible to take the airline’s Voluntary Separation Program must apply before the end of Thursday, June 18th – more specifically 23:59:59 US Central time. Hopefully, what the airline offers each worker honors their hard work and dedication and is considered suitable.

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