NATCA Wins Hardship Transfer Case
Friday, February 11, 2011
Member Edward Putz filed for a hardship transfer in spring 2006, which was quickly approved by his facility (ZDC) and the Eastern En Route and Oceanic Service Director. However, he was not picked up in Charlotte, N.C., (CLT) until after the Imposed Work Rules went into effect. FAA’s Eastern Terminal Service Director did not properly respond within the time period required under the Hardship MOU in effect at the time. But, even more egregiously, CLT picked up four controllers on a bid in August 2006 and did not select Mr. Putz, despite his approved hardship and a bid to that facility. Once he was finally picked up on his hardship transfer in January 2007, Mr. Putz’s pay was capped at the top of the White Book pay band maximum, reducing it by over $30,000 per year.
A grievance was filed both at ZDC and CLT over this issue. Both facilities and the Eastern and Southern Regions maintained and processed the cases, despite not being processed for nearly four years. In December 2010, NATCA brought this case under the Special Grievance Procedure. Arbitrator Dana Eischen sustained the grievance and awarded Mr. Putz a lump sum of $113,000, and reset his basic pay without locality, effective the first full pay period after January 16, 2011, to $137,411, the amount it would have been had FAA never reduced it upon his hardship transfer. Ken Burton, ZDC VP and Eastern Region LR team member, and Tim Leonard, Southern Region ARVP, helped shepherd the case and Southern Region LR Team Member Jay Barrett assisted with the preparation of the case, which was argued by Deputy General Counsel Eugene Freedman before the SGP.
Said Putz of the decision: "I am exceptionally pleased with the outcome of the arbitration. I would like to thank NATCA National, and especially Ben Murray, CLT NATCA president, for all of the support during this process. I am very grateful for all of their hard work, and couldn't be happier."
Attached is the final award in grievance 07-CLT-29.