NATCA and FAA Sign Military Terminal Leave MOU
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
NATCA and FAA recently negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding where the FAA agreed on the terms for implementing a Military Veterans Terminal Leave Program. This benefit provides increased annual leave accruals for FAA employees who used “terminal” leave from the military when they were first hired and had overlapping FAA and military service.
Here’s how the new program works: If a member of the armed services accepts a position within the FAA (or other government agency), but then uses his/her leave (in the military) until his/her formal retirement from the military, and is actively working for FAA in the meantime, the employee’s years of service in the military is counted as seniority for the purposes of calculating annual leave accruals within FAA. This increased accrual rate applies until the military retirement becomes final. In other words, if a veteran with 10 years of service accepts a position within FAA but goes out on terminal military leave for six months and works for FAA during that time, the military service counts toward the FAA annual leave accrual rate (during that six-month overlapping period). Once the employee formally retires from the military, the prior military service is no longer used to calculate the FAA annual leave accrual rate. At that point, the FAA leave accrual would be based on regular FAA seniority time.
This agreement provides annual leave accrual credit retroactively to January 2003 – for those hired into FAA since then who used military terminal leave during some portion of their initial time with the FAA. Depending on the amount of prior military service and the amount of military leave used while simultaneously working with FAA (or other government agencies), this accrual rate increase could be substantial. The FAA has pledged to attempt to contact affected employees to let them know about the benefit and assist them in filling out necessary paperwork. NATCA is reaching out to its members to make sure they’re aware of the benefit and the way to obtain it. In some cases, some employees have already been given this benefit; others have not.
Lastly, there may be some instances where employees already received the increased accrual rate – and for whatever reason, the rate did not return to normal after military retirement. In these instances, the employee may have received excess leave or overpayments. FAA could attempt to collect these overpayments. However, there is a process for seeking a “waiver” from the debt collection. If this happens or if a member believes this overpayment could affect him/her, please contact your NATCA representative immediately.