<!----Enter Date Bellow *************> Weekly Update for March 23, 2001 <!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>
Weekly Update for <!----Enter Date Bellow *************>March 23, 2001 <!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>

Weekly Update for March 23, 2001
Sisters and brothers...
Another interesting week has gone by, but before I get to that, I have some updates on ongoing issues.
S2K+1 - Next week, a video, CD, and some training materials will be hitting the field encompassing several of the training modules involved in Spring/Summer 2001 briefings for bargaining unit members.  In total, this information amounts to about 70 minutes of briefing material, with a total for the entire program somewhere around 4 hours (to be delivered some time soon).  Now the important part... each facility is not mandated to give each BUE 4 hours of training on S2K+1.  The information being sent to the field is provided for the facilities use in delivering this mandatory briefing item.  Each facility manager and FacRep should discuss and determine how many of these tools you want to use, and how long the briefings will be.  Obviously, in some facilities, the briefing may be more extensive than some others.  Decide what information you need to deliver and how it will be delivered.
Article 17 - If you haven't heard, the OIG is now asking the agency for data surrounding A17 time.  I sent out an excel spread sheet earlier today that all managers are required to fill out by April 4.  Please help your manager record these times (another A17 duty...).  The IG is checking to see if we are being more productive, and will be very critical of our pay raise if we don't show the additional duties we are performing.  Make sure that all of the duties we are currently performing with respect to A17 are being captured, including the number of hours required to do them.
Runway Safety Seminar - For those facilities in the Chicago area, try to attend the regional Runway Safety Seminar at the Fountain Blue Hotel on Manheim, March 28 and 29.  the seminar will include representatives from the FAA, the Union, and the industry.  If your staffing will allow, tell your manager you want to attend.
HAZMAT - Hazardous material issues (asbestos, etc.) are becoming a weekly event in our older facilities.  Unfortunately, the agency has not handled these emergencies very well concerning the contingency plans in those facilities.  Chris and I have agreed to include Taylor Koonce in collaboration in developing an information/training video for all of our terminal facilities.  The video will inform managers, FacRep's and all other employees what to expect and what steps to take in providing a safe environment for all when a hazardous situation develops.
Operational Errors - Ops errors are down 23% so far this year compared to last year.  I have sent out a breakdown for NGL to all FacReps, and as I get new ones, I'll send those out as well.  Bryan "ZMan" Zilonis has been diligently working with ATH-20 in developing the next step in separation standards.  In a nut shell, they are developing a point value system for airborne errors associated with aircraft proximity to one another, angle of divergence/convergence, distance and altitude, etc.  As soon as the final product is determined, Bryan will give us a thorough briefing and explanation.  keep up the good work!
FFP1 - For the center reps, C90, M98, D21 and CLE, Chris and I are tentatively planning a manager/FacRep meeting in Minneapolis the week of June 11.  We will be getting briefed and trained on CTAS, PFAST, and other technology items.  Travel will be in Monday, briefings complete by Wednesday.  The managers will be staying on for another two days for a meeting, and I would like to have one with the NATCA reps.  Let me know your thoughts and availability on this.  Travel to during and from the meeting will be funded by the agency.
3rd Level Grievance Meeting - This week, we conducted another 3rd level grievance meeting, and conducted our first 3rd party neutral (A9 ADR) procedure.  We did not discuss any new grievances since the last 3rd level in February.  Instead, we discussed and resolved 4th level grievances that have been hanging around for quite some time (some for years), and prepared for the 3rd party neutral.
As a recap, the 3rd party neutral is an arbitrator.  This individual listens to each side present 15 minutes worth of argument, and then gives a non-binding decision on the grievance; either sustain or deny.  The parties then decide to settle, withdraw, or arbitrate the issue.  If the issue is arbitrated, the side that lost the decision in the ADR process and loses in the full arbitration, must pay for the entire arbitration.  The idea with this process is to give each party a notion of how a third party would view the case in a full blown arbitration.  It is a deterrent to continually escalating grievances to arbitration that may not have sufficient merit to sustain or deny, forcing the parties to resolve.  I really like it!
I will be putting out the results of the discussions concerning those grievances that were at the 4th level which didn't make it to this ADR process later next week.  The results of the 26 grievances (many lumped together) are as follows:
98-568-ZOB - FG pay system promotion.
Advisory Opinion: GRIEVANCE DENIED.  "Employee should not benefit by leaving unit position to become supervisor, fail to complete one-year probationary period, and return to unit with greater compensatory benefit than if she remained in the unit." 
The Union withdrew this grievance.
99-259-TVC - EEO interviews without notice of right to Union representation.
Advisory Opinion: GRIEVANCE SUSTAINED.  "Anticipate that Union will provide sufficient evidence that at least one unit employee who was subject of an interview by EEO investigator reasonably believed he or she could be the subject of disciplinary action.  Pursuant to Article 6, those bargaining unit employees subject to the interview were entitled to be notified of their right to be accompanied by a Union representative. 
This is not a blanket opinion that the Union is entitled to be present at every EEO investigator interview."
The parties settled this; EEO investigators will be instructed to provide a copy of A6 and A56 prior to an interview with a BUE.
99-372-ORD - Temp medical disqualified duties on a holiday.
Advisory Opinion: GRIEVANCE SUSTAINED.  "Unit employee has a right to be assigned other facility duties if there is other work that could be done on a holiday in accordance with Article 45, Section 1.  Management is not required to create work and is not required to assign work that is inconsistent with medical status and employee qualifications.  Management must demonstrate that there were no other duties available to be performed on a holiday."
The agency did not accept this opinion and we are scheduling this grievance for arbitration.
00-019-ZOB, and 13 other overtime grievances at ZOB
The agency agreed that a violation occurred, the issue was on the remedy.
Advisory Opinion: GRIEVANCE SUSTAINED.  "No established past practice of moving injured party to head of list.  Remedy: Recommend 12 hours of credit hours and individual would be credited with working overtime and moved to the appropriate position on the overtime list."
In abeyance while the agency decides on whether or not to take to arbitration.
00-127-FCM - Excused absence on holiday.
Advisory Opinion: GRIEVANCE SUSTAINED.  "In accordance with Article 29, Section 1 and Article 101, a unit employee in excused absence status shall not suffer a reduction in pay or benefits.  The statutory provision relied upon by management is not included in Article 101 as Title 5 provisions pertaining to unit employees.
settled, agency will reimburse employees identified in grievance with holiday pay.
00-151-M98 - Excused absence on holiday.
Union withdrew this grievance.
00-197-PIA/00-198-PIA - Changing of RDO's more than 7 days in advance.
Advisory Opinion: DENIED FOR LACK OF TIMELINESS.  "If grievance had been timely, it likely would have been sustained.  Believe the CBA requires management to discuss changes to the watch schedule with the Union."
Settled; management will develop agreement to discontinue this practice, and all four employees will be awarded 4 credit hours.
00-255-IND - Bad faith bargaining; removal of BUE for temp sup position.
Advisory Opinion: GRIEVANCE DENIED.  "Absent is evidence of arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory intent of behavior by management toward grievant or Union, no bad faith bargaining.  No contractual language or evidence presented that requires MPP's and IPP's to be processed identically."
Union withdrew this grievance.
00-290-ZMP - Threshold issue of grievability for employee no longer in our BU.
Advisory Opinion: "The neutral stated that this matter could have been filed and processed as a grievance under either the NATCA or NAGE negotiated grievance procedure.  The neutral recommends that the agency send a notice to NAGE that the employee had filed this grievance under the NATCA grievance procedure."
00-300-IND - AWOL charged for FAM violation.
Advisory Opinion: GRIEVANCE DENIED.  "Not convinced that there is a past practice of automatically converting duty time to previously approved annual leave absent some affirmative action by the employee to obtain approval, without further evidence of such a Pfast practice by the Union."
Union withdrew this grievance; due to the nature of the offenses this case was not a good candidate for arbitration, but the issue may come up again under more benign circumstances that will require an arbitration.
00-328-PIA - Advance assignment of overtime 10-15 prior to or directly after regular shift.
Advisory Opinion: GRIEVANCE DENIED.  "Threshold issue of timeliness is denied because this is an ongoing practice.  Concept of preparatory and conclusory time immediately before and after shift is well established in federal law.  It is appropriate to compensate employees for overtime actually worked as scheduled."
Union withdrew grievance due to language in Article 38, Section 5, citing 5 CFR 551, which allows for assignment of overtime immediately before and after regular shift for purposes of position relief overlap.
00-340-AGL - Regional grievance concerning Flight Surgeon procedural error.
Advisory Opinion: GRIEVANCE SUSTAINED.  "Employer violated procedural due process rights of the unit employee by subjecting him to successive chemical dependency evaluations without a present finding of alcohol abuse.  Employer relied on a suspicion that was less than a reasonable suspicion.  Would grant the Union's requested remedies to expunge last chance agreement from his records and reimburse him for all out of pocket expenses incurred for his rehabilitation.  Would not reimburse for lost differential and premium pay."
In abeyance while Agency discusses with medical.
Our next 3rd level discussions will take place April 17, 18, and 19, and again on June 5, 6, 7, and 8.  The June discussions will include another two days with the 3rd party neutral. 
Teleconferences - Please don't forget about our upcoming telecons over the next three weeks (hopefully I'll remember them!).  The phone number is 202-266-9860.  The pass code has been emailed to all of you, and I will put it out the day of each conference call to remind you.  The dates are as follows:
Monday, March 26 - Ohio Hub
Thursday, March 29 - Michigan Hub
Monday, April 2 - Centers
Thursday, April 5 - Illinois Hub
Monday, April 9 - Indiana Hub
Tuesday, April 10 - Wisconsin, Minnesota & Dakota Hubs
If I've left someone off, let me know.  These are for the FacRep's for all facilities in each of the Hubs.  Nothing specific on the agenda, other than how we are doing so far...
NGL Web Page - Don't forget to check out the NGL web page.  It's getting better every day.  If you check the calendar, you should be able to figure out where I'm at just about any day... Next week I'll be in Las Vegas for the NEB meeting; please remember the time lag, especially when you want to talk to me at 7 am EST <GG>.  Hope everyone has a safe and productive weekend!

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