Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Grievance Over Improper Pay and Overpayment Resolved Just Prior to Arbitration
NATCA settled a grievance regarding pay for an employee just before it was ready to be arbitrated. The employee transferred from the Air Traffic Control unit to the Staff Specialist unit for a temporary position. Upon the employee’s return back to the ATC unit, the FAA reduced the employee’s salary, claiming the salary needed to be corrected. NATCA argued that the employee’s pay should have remained unchanged upon return from the staff position to the controller position. The settlement required the agency to fix the employee’s pay by cancelling the so called corrections to the employee’s salary and restore the employee’s base pay to the amount it was prior to the corrections. Additionally, the FAA would credit the employee with any salary adjustments made from the date of the correction to the present. Finally, the settlement called for the cessation of collection activities since there was no longer any dispute that there was no overpayment.
NATCA Settles Two Grievances Involving an Alleged Failure to Follow Orders
NATCA reached a settlement agreement that resolved two grievances of a controller with several years of service. 1) One grievance was over a five-day suspension for “failure to immediately carry out orders, directions, or assignments given by a superior official” and “inappropriate behavior.” The discipline resulted from a proposed 14-day suspension citing allegations that the employee failed to initial information in the Read & Initial Binder and that the employee failed to immediately take over a position. It was argued that there was no refusal to take over the position and that the employee did take over the position. Additionally, some of the instances of failing to initial were contested and others were inadvertent. The agency mitigated the proposed discipline and imposed a five-day suspension. 2) A second grievance was over a 14-day suspension for “failure or delay in carrying out orders, directions, or assignments given by a superior official.” That discipline resulted from proposed 14-day suspension with an allegation that the employee failed to conduct a position relief briefing, unplugged and walked away. It was argued that the prior offense was distinguishable, that the employee remained in the area after unplugging, and that safety was not compromised. Additionally, the employee’s apology, acceptance of responsibility, and acknowledgement of not handling the situation better were noted. The agency imposed a 14-day suspension. After extensive discussion with the agency, a settlement on both grievances was reached. The consolidated settlement agreement reduced the five-day suspension to a letter of reprimand (time served and not placed in file) and provided five days of back pay, as well as reduced the 14-day suspension to a 10-day suspension with three days served on RDOs and back pay for seven days (four days of pay representing the reduced number of days and three days of pay representing the RDOs).
NATCA Favorably Resolves Training Failure
On April 22, 2011, NATCA received a favorable settlement in a training failure case. The agency terminated the grievant from the training program before he had completed the initial set of target hours for the position and did not grant additional hours. In addition, the operations manager who directed the training supervisor to terminate the grievant’s training early also participated in the Training Review Board. The grievant received a reassignment to a lower rated facility. The union filed a grievance challenging the termination of training and presented the case at the Pre-Arbitration Review where the neutral ruled in favor of the union. On the eve of arbitration, NATCA persuaded the agency that the union would prevail at arbitration, and the agency agreed to reinstate the grievant to the training program at his original facility and to provide him with a fair opportunity to succeed in training in accordance with the contract and the training order.