February Business Agents' Report

Article 5 – Filling of Vacancies

As we discussed in last months report, there is a 180-day period from the Date of Ratification for folks to submit requests for the various Bid Area Qualifications (BAQ’s) for which they are entitled. This month we will first outline the eBid process during those 180 days and then describe how the process will proceed after the 180-day period ends. But first a few words on the 180-day process itself. We are well aware that the verification process is not functioning as it should be. There are many cases where BAQ requests are being rejected in error and the in those cases we want people to resubmit their requests. Additionally, we are speaking to the Company about several problems that are being encountered related to these BAQ requests such as the inability to submit supporting comments in the comment boxes and the lack of coherent processes in place at the local level to ‘confer and resolve’ matters that arise, as is specifically outlined in Article 3, Paragraph E.3.b. We want folks to continue to submit these BAQ requests until the Company gets it right. If you are repeatedly denied a BAQ that you are entitled without good reason, then please get with your Shop Steward so we can engage the Company as to why. If that is unsuccessful, then we are going to start filing grievances.

Now, during these 180 days, when a vacancy bid closes on eBid, you will see that the names are sorted according to Sort Groups. We will describe the Sort Groups in greater detail later but what is important for you to know is that for the duration of the 180-day period the Company will use a separate spreadsheet and sort all the bidders by their Craft Seniority, regardless of what Sort Group number is next to their names or what position they are on the list as a result of the Sort Group. Afterwards, the Company will start at the top of the list and work there way down. If the person is already sorted in Group 1 (G1), then that person is already BAQ’d for that particular Bid Area and they are a successful bidder. If the person is sorted as a G3, the Company will reach out to find out if the person should be BAQ’d so that none of our folks are inadvertently missed because the BAQ verification process is incomplete. We are following the process very closely to make sure the Company conducts the process accurately and we have been able so far to correct any issues that have come up.

After the 180-day period ends on June 19th, the eBid process will normalize so that all bidders for a vacancy are sorted by Sort Group priority according to Article 5.D.1 of the CBA. As mentioned before, Sort Group 1 (G1) indicates that a technician is fully qualified in that BAQ. Sort Group 2 (G2) indicates a fully qualified technician that is restricted from bidding, which is otherwise known as being in the ‘penalty box’. There are two circumstances in which a restriction from bidding will be imposed on a technician. The first occurs when a technician has turned down a previous bid offer. They will be restricted from bidding for a period of two years. And the second case is that once a technician has accepted a bid award and reported to a new location, they will only be able to bid for a vacancy once in a two-year period following notification of the first bid (please note that all restrictions are automatically lifted if the 

vacancy being bid is for a premium position such as Lead or Inspector). Sort Group 3 (G3) indicates IBT represented employees regardless of current craft who meet all the requirements of Article 3 except for the Experience requirement. If the vacancy is not filled through groups G1 and G2, than there is essentially a waiver on the experience requirement. This is where folks will be sorted who are not BAQ’d in the area being bid. What is essential to note is that this sort group also includes folks that are not currently technicians who have A&P licenses and are looking to transfer into the Technician Craft. For example, if a Utility Specialist who has his A&P wants to become a technician, he or she will not have to apply as an internal candidate AFTER a bid closes anymore. They can bid directly for an open vacancy and be considered for the position if it is not filled through Sort Groups 1 and 2. They would still have to take the written and practical tests to be offered the position but they would no longer have to ‘interview’ afterwards. If they pass the tests, they are offered the position. Period. This is important because it allows us to prioritize for vacancies folks who are currently in our book ahead of either management who hold Craft Seniority (Sort Group 4) or any other internal candidates from outside our CBA, who obviously have no Craft Seniority.

Something else that is worth mentioning relates to the issue of Trade Tests. After the 180-day period concludes, you will have hade to put in a request for a Trade Test prior to the bid opening in order to be allowed to take a Trade Test and be considered as a G1 for a particular vacancy. If you put in a Trade Test Request after the bid opens, you will be sorted only as a G3 so it is very important that all of you that are trying to get qualified in a BAQ that requires a Trade Test and that you have never worked (and are not ‘grandfathered’) to get the process going as soon as possible so that when a bid for that vacancy opens you can be considered with the first tier of bidders. We hope that this information helps.

2017 Scholarship Applications Being Accepted

Its that time of year again. We encourage those of you with kids that are in their last year of High School or in an accredited college or vocational program to apply for the various scholarships being offered both locally and nationally.

The James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund offers an Academic Scholarship for High School Seniors as well as a Training and Vocational Programs Scholarship for those enrolled in vocational programs. The deadline for both scholarships is March 31st, 2017. For more information and to download an application, please go to the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund website at http://www.jrhmsf.org.

The Teamsters Local 856/986 UAL-SFO Scholarship Fund is also accepting applications until March 31st for High School Seniors who will be attending a University, College or Trade School. Please go to the TeamstersSFO Website at http://teamsterssfo.com and scroll down to the Available Scholarships box.

Also accessible through the TeamstersSFO website is the application for the California Teamsters Hispanic Caucus Scholarship application. The application deadline for this Scholarship is Mat 31st.

Additionally members of Teamster Locals 856 and Teamster Local 986 should visit their respective Locals website to check the availability of additional scholarship opportunities particular to each Local. The Teamsters Local 856 website is located at http://teamsters856.org and the Teamsters Local 986 can be found at http://www.local986.org.

***Please note that, regardless of what Local you belong to, you must bring all of your applications to Local 856 so that they can verify that you are a member in good standing before forwarding your application to the appropriate address. So don’t wait until the last minute folks!

SFO Tech Ops Safety Toe Shoe Program

On February 9th, VP Base Maintenance informed SFO Ground Safety Chairman Ralph Ortiz that the Safety Toe Shoe Reimbursement Program would be continuing at the San Francisco Maintenance Base. The program provides a reimbursement allowance of up to $52.80 per employee per year on a rolling 12-month basis for shoes that comply with the standards outlined in the Ground Safety Manual, GSM Chapter 3, Section 23-2, Paragraphs 5.1 and 5.2. The protective footwear must meet American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) Standard F2412-05 Standard Test Methods for Foot Protection” and F2413-05 “Standard Requirements for Protective Footwear”. The procedure for reimbursement is as follows:

  • Purchase shoes meeting standard identified above
  • Present receipt within 30 days to local management
  • Complete uSource on-line training or station administrative staff applies as an employee surrogate for uSource Expense Report submissions
  • Complete “All About Me” expense report Direct Deposit banking information (one-time only)
  • Submit report with receipt via uSource
  • Receive reimbursement via Direct Deposit


Please contact your local administrative staff for guidance through the process. It important to note that United has a general shoe policy in GSM Chapter 3, Sections 23-2, Paragraph 5.1 “Substantial Footwear Requirement”. You should familiarize yourself with the policy so that you can avoid any injury related to wearing improper footwear in the workplace.

Thanks to Ralph Ortiz for his work in assuring that this important program continues at the Maintenance Base!

Pre-Retirement Seminar Yields a Packed House

This years Pre-Retirement Seminar, held on February 4th in the Employee Communications Center had the participation of over 300 employees and family members. The packed house heard very informative presentations from our IBT Member Assistance Program Coordinators Steve Loone and Steve Crummey as well as presentations from Kaiser Permanante and Fidelity Investment representatives. We want to extend our thanks to all of you who participated in this year’s event. Special Thanks to Steve Loone and Steve Crummey for putting it all together. For those of you who were not able to make it, stop by the Union Office any time to receive a copy of our Retirement Information Guide along with other relevant materials that we have on-hand.

Labor History for the Month of February

February 7th, 2008 - A huge explosion and fire at the Imperial Sugar refinery northwest of Savannah, Georgia, kills 14 and injures 38 people. The explosion was fueled by massive accumulations of combustible sugar dust throughout the packaging building. An investigation by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board stated that the explosion had been “entirely preventable,” noting that the sugar industry had been aware of the risk of dust explosions since 1926.

February 3rd, 1941 - The U.S. Supreme Court rules unanimously in United States v. Darby to uphold the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which banned certain types of child labor, established a minimum wage, and set a maximum workweek at 44 hours.

We must never forget!

Labor Quotes

“As Americans, we should be opposed to bigotry and racial discrimination at every turn, and to do everything possible to make the Bill of Rights a reality for every citizen. As members of the American labor movement, we support every tenet of Americanism. Equal opportunity is one of those tenets.”

-James R. Hoffa

Stay Informed

The communication process is an extremely important part of what we do to represent our folks here at SFO and, as we have been outlining for quite some time, we have been blasting out the BA Report along with any other communication we get from the Airline Division or the International to anyone who registers at the TeamstersSFO website. Additionally, there are weekly meetings held with the Shop Stewards to pass on any important informational items that may come up during the month. It is crucial to our process that every area on every shift have Shop Steward representation and that the Shop Steward give, at a minimum, weekly briefings to his/her crew so that the information gets to our members. We feel that it is essential for all of our members to be engaged and informed at all times. Therefore, we encourage all of you to spread the word to your fellow technicians to go to the TeamstersSFO website and click on the ‘email signup’ tab to get on the list. And, most importantly, we urge you to also consider getting more involved. Which brings us to our last point. Every month, on the last Thursday, we hold Craft Meetings at Local 856. At these meetings, the membership hears reports from the Business Agents and other members of the SFO Committee on Grievances, Safety, Member Assistance, and TSAP. Additionally, all members have an opportunity to ask questions and to bring up topics for discussion. Check your IBT Bulletin Board for dates and times.

As always, stay informed!

In Solidarity


Mark DesAngles                  Javier Lectora
Business Agent                    Business Agent
Local 986                               Local 856