ALPA Scores Victory in NAA Vacation Pay Arbitration

Last Friday, the North American Airlines MEC was notified that the arbitrator ruled in favor of the NAA pilots in the matter of the vacation pay grievance. This win for NAA pilots comes three months after the System Board of Adjustment hearing on this grievance, which was held on October 31, 2011, nearly three years after it was filed.

“This is an example of ALPA and the NAA MEC’s serious commitment to our collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and willingness to vigorously defend it,” Capt. Al Gallo, NAA MEC chairman, said. “ALPA recognized the importance of defending our contract and came fully prepared to do so. On behalf of all the NAA pilots, I would like to thank ALPA attorney and contract administrator Dan Froehlich, whose legal guidance and strong defense throughout this process was instrumental in this victory.”

At issue was whether NAA management is violating the contract and/or the “Vacation that Overlaps a Day Free from Duty” Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (dated October 31, 2008) by the methodology they use to pay pilots for vacation days that overlap with scheduled days free from duty.

ALPA and the MEC attempted several times to seek a negotiated settlement, but NAA’s senior management refused to respect the vacation agreement that they signed in the CBA and subsequent Vacation MOU. In meetings with management on this issue, ALPA established that the MEC had little room for compromise where they felt the clear language and intent of the contract was violated.

The MEC had the full backing of the NAA pilots, who demonstrated their tenacity and willingness to adhere to the contract throughout the process. “This decision proves that a committed line pilot workforce, led by a strong MEC, with the full resources of ALPA, can prevail,” Capt. Gallo added.

Going forward, the MEC will take the necessary steps to quantify damages for the pilot group and develop a schedule of owed vacation compensation. They will also ensure that pilots are properly compensated from this point on in accordance with the arbitrator’s award.