In a settlement that illustrates the value of union membership, NFFE-IAM Local FL 1998 members have reason to celebrate. Following the local’s aggressively negotiated grievance settlement with the U.S. Passport Agency, members will receive back pay totaling approximately $110,000.
The local filed a grievance on the agency’s 2015 performance award distribution and was on the doorstep of another for 2016. The union has pushed for more equity in awards issued. The settlement remedies the past inequities and provides a fair system going forward.
“There were a lot of union officers around the country burning the midnight oil to make this settlement possible,” said Local FL 1998 President Rob Arnold. “We’ve always maintained that the employees who make up most of the workforce should receive a corresponding share of the awards.”
The agency agreed to a change in the contract going forward that requires it to give bargaining unit employees total awards that equal their percentage of the agency salary budget. Because the agency did not meet the criteria in 2015 and 2016, it agreed to pay approximately $110,000 in back pay to NFFE-IAM bargaining unit employees.
In a novel arrangement, the union will decide on the formula for distributing the back pay. The local plans to give some money to those who received awards, and a significant amount to those who were eligible for awards but did not receive one.
The agreement was negotiated by Arnold and NFFE-IAM General Counsel Jeff Friday, with significant help from FL 1998 leaders Amanda Booher, Gil Yap, Michael Rush, Josue Trinidad-Perez, Patricia Spencer and Erinn Voas.
“We appreciate all of our members who made it possible to elevate these complaints to a hearing when necessary,” said Arnold. “And we appreciate the agency’s collaboration and contributions to these agreements.”