Monday, May 16, 2011
NATCA Files ULP over Failure to Bargain Installation of LCGS Cameras
The FAA notified NATCA that it is installing cameras LCGS (Low Cost Ground Surveillance) cameras in order to collect data at the LCGS pilot sites (MHT, LGB, RNO, SJC) that will be utilized to assess the LCGS system’s technical performance. NATCA had concerns that information from the cameras may be used against bargaining unit employees. NATCA submitted proposals that addressed NATCA’s concerns about the use of the information. The FAA responded that the LCGS program was in its pilot stages; that a decision has not been made regarding its implementation; and, in the event the cameras capture information regarding air traffic matters, the information is a matter of internal security and not subject to bargaining.
In subsequent conversations, FAA representatives expressed concerns that NATCA’s proposals restricted management rights, in particular the right to discipline. Additionally, the FAA claimed that a MOU was unnecessary because of an existing MOU on cameras as well as the ATSAP and QA/QC programs. On these bases, NATCA's proposal was rejected by the agency. NATCA disagreed on all counts. In light of this refusal, NATCA filed a ULP charging that the FAA failed to negotiate in good faith over the installation of Low Cost Ground Surveillance (LCGS) cameras at four facilities throughout the country. The FAA’s action is a violation of the duty to negotiate in good faith and constitutes an unfair labor practice under 5 U.S.C. 7116(a)(1) and (5).