September 3, 2010

NTEU Wins Travel Decision for FDIC Examiners
NTEU has won a key victory enforcing the right of FDIC employees to be paid for their timeŚrather than traveling on their own time or having to take annual leaveŚwhen traveling long distances for bank examinations.

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The Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) has upheld NTEU's arbitration win ordering the FDIC to reinstate the Shumway rule for bank examiners. Under this policy, employees were only required to travel to bank examinations on Mondays for one hour before their normal workday and on Fridays for one hour after the close of the normal workday. All other travel was considered part of the normal workday and could occur during duty time. 

NTEU had negotiated a new policy providing employees with compensatory time for travel (CTT) to reduce travel on personal time outside of duty hours in late 2005. But immediately thereafter, the FDIC unilaterally terminated the Shumway rule claiming it was illegal and superseded by the CTT policy. In its grievance, NTEU argued not only that the Shumway policy is legal, but that the FDIC failed to give the union notice of its decision to rescind the policy and a chance to bargain over the change. The arbitrator agreed and ordered the FDIC to reapply the policy, a decision the FDIC appealed to the FLRA and was denied.

The FDIC can still appeal this decision to federal court, but NTEU is hoping instead to work out the details for reinstating the Shumway rule with the agency.