Settlement of Unfair Labor Practice Charges
Now that the Federal Labor Relations Authority has resumed the processing of unfair labor practice charges, it is important to understand your rights as the filing party in regards to resolution of a meritorious case. This occurs throughout the processing of the charge.
If either soon after the charge is filed or during the processing of the charge the FLRA investigator believes that the finding of a violation is probable, the investigator may initiate discussions with the union and the FAA regarding settlement. At this stage the settlement will likely be informal in the sense that the FAA will agree to take some action, e.g. provide information in exchange for withdrawing the charge. This will not include any admission by the FAA of wrongdoing nor will it include a formal Notice to Employees which is posted for 60 days. You have every right to seek more than what is being suggested.
The completion of the investigation is another time when the FLRA Region might try to work out a settlement. Usually this is in the context that the region has issued a complaint and is proffering a settlement to both parties as to what the FLRA views as an appropriate settlement. Such a settlement can be informal as described above or formal with a signed Agreement and Notice. It’s important to understand that this proposal from the FLRA is just a proposal and is subject to negotiation by both parties. In other words, it is a starting point and if you want more then just argue for it.
At this stage if the FLRA believes that it has an appropriate settlement that the FAA has agreed to they will advise you and give you a chance to agree. This will occur in the formal settlement process (Settlement Agreement and Notice to Employees). If you do not agree the FLRA will then take the Settlement unilaterally and give you the right to appeal to the FLRA’s General Counsel much like a dismissal of a ULP charge. If the appeal is denied then the Settlement goes into effect.
Prior to trial, the FLRA will try one more stab at settlement by means of a settlement program. This process is led by an FLRA attorney that will work with both parties and the region to try and resolve the issue. As with the other processes, you should try to get what you want. Do not assume that it is a done deal.
In sum, as the charging party you have every right to get as much as you can to remedy the charge. As always, consult your RVP or NATCA’s Labor Relations Department for assistance.