LR Corner
Wednesday, February 02, 2011

FAA Settles ULP over Threats Made to Pursue Investigation for Filing a Grievance

As recently reported, the FLRA Boston Regional Office recently issued a complaint when a FAA manager threatened to pursue discipline because the union filed a grievance. The underlying facts established that an employee was questioned about tardiness by the manager. The employee was not afforded union representation for this examination. Upon finding this out, NATCA filed a grievance and alleged a violation of Article 6 of the contract. Once the manager found out about the grievance the manager approached the employee and queried whether or not the employee knew the union had filed the grievance. When the employee said she knew NATCA had filed the grievance, the manager indicated that, while originally he had not intended to pursue the matter, he was now going to make a big deal of the alleged tardiness. As expected, the FLRA found this to be an impermissible threat and issued a complaint. 

Just prior to hearing, the FAA agreed to settle. The settlement provides for a memorandum to be posted in the facility for a period of 60 days which addresses the improper conduct and the front line manager is required to attend FLRA training.

FSIP Brokers Settlement of AWS Dispute in AirCraft Cert Bargaining Unit

The agency had refused to allow alternative work schedules such as flexitour, which allows an employee to change their fixed start and stop times prior to the start of a pay period, and gliding, which allows an employee to flex their start and stop time each day and work fixed core hours. For example, an employee working a gliding schedule would have core hours of 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and could arrive at work between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. each day and then depart eight hours later each day depending on the time of arrival. The agency initially objected to gliding because of the need for unscheduled discussions among the staff and not knowing when a co-worker would arrive each day would inhibit such discussions. The union offered to provide cell phone numbers and to make employees who were on a gliding schedule available by phone before core hours, but the agency rejected this offer because of pay issues. The parties reached impasse and NATCA petitioned the FSIP for assistance in resolving the dispute. Utilizing the mediation/arbitration process of the FSIP, an agreement was reached whereby the parties agreed to an earlier core hour start time for employees working a gliding schedule, who will now start at 9 rather than the regular core hours of 9:30 to 2:30.