Merger between United and Continental
Passengers check in at the Continental Airlines counter right next to a United Airlines counter in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport May 3, 2010. By the end of the day Monday, United Airlines flight attendants are expected to know how their management will respond to the tentative agreement approved on Saturday. REUTERS

Flight attendants with United Airlines could have their new contract in by next month, depending on how the airline's management votes on a contract proposal sent to them Saturday.

Christopher Clarke, a spokesman for the Association of Flight Attendants, told the International Business Times the tentative agreement the union's membership approved was considered by the United Master Executive Council on Monday, and sent back to union members with a recommendation for the union membership to vote for the proposed contract.

Union members will ratify the contract in the beginning of February, Clarke said.

Among the provisions in this new contract, flight attendants with United will be given a 10 percent pay increase as well as a $5,000 signing bonus. Flight attendants will also be able to voluntarily cross over from United onto Continental Airlines planes and bases of operations without hurting their standing with the company.

The new contract will also give flight attendants greater flexibility in scheduling flights as well as increased company contributions to attendants' 401K.

Together, we will better our lives and our profession through our solidarity as we work towards improving our future. Next, we will achieve a Single Contract that is good for Flight Attendants, good for the company and unite us all, said Greg Davidowitch, president of AFA at United Airlines.

United Airlines was bankrupt from December 2002 to February 2006. In the spring of 2010, the two companies announced they will merge to become the largest airline in the United States. The merger is said to cost $3 billion.

United employs 15,000 flight attendants. By the end of the merger, that number will jump to 24,000. If the tentative agreement is approved, yet another round of negotiations must take place to combine both United and Continental's workforce under a single contract, Clarke said.

In Tuesday trading the company's stock was down by 50 cents, as of 3:35 p.m., trading at $17.43.