Rich Delaney, 10 November 2013: Download
Discussions were held this past week with United over several issues relating to our newly ratified agreement. Enacting of changed provisions of our contracts, seniority integration, and next steps necessary to bring all IAM members under ratified agreements were the subjects. Continuous conversations have been held to insure that everything is being done to correctly pay and distribute the required retroactive/signing bonus payment in the timely manner the contract calls for. The IAM is working with United representatives to review the original list of eligibles, and the amount each person is owed, to make sure that it is accurate. We have found that some names are appearing on the list that should be removed while eligible members’ names have been left off the list and need to be included.
United has notified us that due to their unilateral decision to completely revamp their personnel and payroll computer systems at this time the approved pay rates for employees has not been input into members’ records and is not and will not show up in the most recent paychecks. In fact, the company believes these payroll problems will continue into December. The essential thing to remember is that the negotiated pay rates are now in effect and members are entitled to their rate of pay for all paid hours since November 1st. All earnings from that date must, and will, be paid retroactively when the payroll system is finally corrected. Our members employed with Mileage Plus will begin to see the increased rates in their normal pay periods since the payroll system used at MPI is not being combined with the United computers. Any possible discrepancies in their pay will also be corrected retroactively, if needed.
The integration of seniority is proceeding in accordance with the outline given us by Arbitrator Joshua Javits. We have posted Mr. Javits’ decision, which includes a detailed explanation of his reasoning in reaching the determination he did. We encourage all members to read the arbitrator’s decision in order to get an understanding of how their seniority will be treated under this procedure. A fully integrated seniority list will be posted on the District 141 website as soon as possible; we expect to have it available for members no later than November 12th. In accordance with the guidelines agreed to any member seeking to challenge their position on the newly integrated list will have the right to appeal to Mr. Javits within 30 days of the posting of the list. Any appeal will receive an answer from the arbitrator within the next 30 days. Final lists for each work group will then be published in mid-January.
Members in TUS, CVG, GRR, ALB, MDT, and ROC have completed their decisions regarding their furlough options. 43 members have opted to exercise their seniority and transfer to new stations. Other people have elected to participate in the Early Out program and will be receiving their entitled bonus payment and leaving United. The remaining employees have accepted furlough and will retain their recall rights. In accordance with the newly ratified contract, we have begun discussions regarding these stations and the possibility of amending work rules, benefit levels, and/or wage rates in order to keep the stations operating with the current United/IAM employees. During our negotiations this week the company informed us they were not willing to change the effective date of closing these stations and turning the work over to American Eagle as planned on November 15th. They are committed to having the furlough date remain as well. We have told the company we still want to explore every possibility of having this work performed by those employees that are being forced out of their home stations, even if that means we have to find a way to return them to these cities at a later date. The fundamental problem we face with these 6 stations is that the company made the decision to outsource them before any contract language was in place that would require them to give the Union advance notice of their intent to contract out the work. In these particular stations we are not on a level field with the vendors now; we are trying to undue what has already been done. Our commitment to these members remains the same – we will consider every option possible to return these jobs to them.
Discussions continued throughout the week regarding the vacation bidding processes being used for 2014 vacations. There has been much confusion over what rules are to be used and when these rules should be in effect. In simple terms, the vacation process outlined in the newly ratified agreement is to be followed. Since some stations began their bidding for next year’s vacation before this contract was voted on by the membership there may be a need to rebid their 2014 block and DAT vacations.
We also talked with United about the need to complete the contract negotiations for all IAM represented work groups. Negotiations have been ongoing for the Maintenance and Technical Instructor classifications and they will resume next week. Plans to begin negotiations on behalf of our Food Service Employees and Security Officers was also discussed. Scheduled talks for these groups will be established within the coming weeks. We are hopeful that these talks can progress rapidly now that we have the larger classifications completed and all IAM members will see the benefits of ratified contracts.
Rich Delaney, 10 November 2013: Download