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<!----Enter Date Bellow *************>Weekly Update for November 17, 2000 <!----Enter Date Bellow *************>

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Weekly Update November 17, 2000

Sisters and brothers...

Quite an interesting and long week. This was my first NEB meeting, and I think we were pretty successful in accomplishing many issues that needed to be addressed. Unfortunately, we needed to address many others, but ran out of time. Hopefully, we will conclude these issues on the upcoming weekly telecons.

And let me apologize to those who I haven't gotten back to, I don't think it is many, but it was quite difficult responding in a timely manner to your issues, especially getting a hold of the RO during the few breaks we allowed ourselves. By Monday, I will have the time to conclude the outstanding phone calls I owe a couple of folks, and catch up on the paper work sitting on my fax machine. Thanks for being patient...

Many of the issues resolved at the NEB meeting were outlined in JTB's update, so I'll not reiterate them. If you have specific questions, give me a call. However, there are a couple I would like to discuss in more detail...

The NEB determined that consolidations would be examined on a case by case basis to determine the Union's blessing or opposition. Obviously, if a proposed consolidation would result in creating opportunities for further contracting out (bylaw A49), the Union would oppose it. And even if this weren't the case, the Union may still oppose a proposed consolidation based on factors surrounding the issue. As a Union, we must have integrity in our decisions.

The agency likes to entice our membership with brand new buildings and amenities associated with them. This isn't hard considering the existing facilities are 30 or more years old and falling apart. However, what the agency doesn't tell you is that the funding for a new terminal is already bookmarked and approved. The agency is combining the individual funding for each terminal facility to build the consolidated facility. This information is all contained in the FAA's modernization plan.

The NEB determined a negotiating position concerning a pay rule for consolidations to be used nationally. Although I can't tell you the details, I believe it is fair and equitable for all BUE's who will work in a consolidated facility. We will present the agency with our proposal (which they have asked for), and begin to negotiate.

The NEB also moved that a new committee will be formed of members to recommend the types of benefits we will offer for NATCA members only. The Board has many ideas on what types we would like to provide, but we believe a cross section of the membership could probably give us many more practical and worthwhile ideas for benefits. If you are interested, please email or call me.

Concerning the PCS/IPP MOU, the NEB has recommended a negotiating position that will enable the movement of unfunded career advancement without sacrificing the funding of members who couldn't otherwise move without it. Again, I cannot divulge the specifics because this issue requires negotiations with the FAA. We believe that tied with new hires, BUE's should not be restricted from movement just because they reside in one region or another. There is a way to accomplish most all of our goals, we just need the agency to agree to a common sense approach...

On Tuesday, the 3rd level advocates and I will be meeting in Cleveland to review the disposition of their meeting two weeks ago. Out of the almost 200 grievances we had, there remain about 30 that the group did not have time to discuss and about 10 that Chris and I will review on the 27th of this month. The remainder were either settled or withdrawn. Although I promised to have some preliminary results by this update, I have not been able to fulfill my part of the deal. However, by Wednesday next, I will have the preliminary conclusions out to you all. The biggest hold up is being able to provide the rationale for each withdrawal and settlement; I believe that the grievant and the FacRep are entitled to understand why the particular issue was decided the way it was.

The advocates are diligently providing this information and I will provide it to all concerned. There was nothing more frustrating to me as a FacRep than being told the grievance was withdrawn or settled without getting an explanation as to why. Even though this takes a little more time, I believe it is worth it. It will make your job easier as a FacRep when the BUE comes storming through the door wondering why their grievance isn't being arbitrated.

It has become obvious to me that the agency has a different take on Article 99, operational requirements, than the Union. This past week, I have learned that the agency and the Union have not agreed to the interpretation that was put out by me and the NATCA LR department. I have also been informed by several reps that management has stated that an employee in CIC training is not subject to recall if an operational BUE wants to take annual leave.

Apart from this being contrary to what I was told by the NATCA reps conducting the CIC MOU negotiations, this issue will require further clarification from the arbitrator that decided the original arbitration on Article 99. That being said, I need a grievance each time the request for annual leave is denied when the facility could have taken a BUE out of CIC training. the only way to get clarification is to put this issue back in front of the arbitrator.

We currently have 7 training failures who have transferred to a higher level facility and now want to return to their old facility. The pay rule states that once a CPC transfers to the higher level facility, he/she receives 50% on the go, and the remaining 50% upon certification or a 6.7% increase (half on the go half on certification). This has caused a problem...

Since the new pay system went into effect, the 50% on the go can amount to a substantial pay increase, unlike the two step increase under the GS pay system. Because of this, the FAA is very reluctant to move these folks back to where they came from. Whether an employee is "gaming" the system or has legitimately failed at certifying is anybodies guess. But it has resulted in a stalemate for the employees. If a BUE takes himself/herself out of training it is still considered a training failure and the agency can place the employee wherever they are needed. I don't need to tell you the down side to this.

However, the expedient move would be to send the employee back to where they came from due to the non-existent training required to re-certify, and immediate productivity to the operation. The agency's heartburn is rooted in the fact that most of these employees haven't done anything to earn the increased pay, and will return back to their facility with a huge increase. I didn't get the chance to bring this up to the NEB, however, I know there are mixed points of view. Should the parties amend the original pay MOU to accommodate placing these employees back to where they came from, or should we let the rule stand knowing that most, if not all, will be placed in another facility most likely where he/she doesn't want to go? Let me know what you think...

Next week I'll be in the Cleveland office on Monday and Wednesday. Tuesday I'll be with the 3rd level advocates all day, so be patient if you're trying to get a hold of me. I'll be off on Thursday and Friday, and off to Chicago on Monday the 27th.

Hope everyone has a filling and safe turkey day...

Pat <!----End Text Field **********>

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