February 2019 Business Agents' Report

Kin Care Update

We received answers on the two grievances that were submitted to the company regarding Kin Care.

Remember, the first grievance asserted that, since IBT members can call in sick on a trade day, they are also eligible for Kin Care if they choose to designate the day as such. That grievance was sustained by the Company, meaning that they agree with our assertion. This was expected because the Company had already amended their final communication concerning Kin Care to state that, “Kin Care is not applicable for any absence which does not qualify for sick pay under the applicable sick pay policy or CBA.” This makes it clear that our CBA governs the situation. It is our expectation that the company will continue to honor the fact that the trade language in our CBA allows for sick-time usage and any sick day used on a trade day will also be eligible for kin care protection.

That still does not address our second grievance, however. We are also asserting that it has to be at the employee’s discretion whether or not they want to designate any sick day as kin care and that it should not be auto-designated as such by the Company over the employee’s objections. Additionally, our grievance states that the 2-hr minimum usage requirement is arbitrary and wrong because it does not mirror any sick-time usage requirements in our CBA, as is required by the kin care law.

The Company answer denied our grievance and it was moved to the 2nd Step. The Business Agents expect to receive that grievance after it is pushed to the 3rd Step. At that point, it will be placed on hold pending the outcome of the state investigation of our corresponding complaint.

We are currently waiting for the assignment of a Compliance Officer to investigate our complaint to the State. We will be sure to pass along any information we get going forward.

Shift Bid Absentee Bid Forms

There have been several instances recently where individuals missed their bid appointments for a shift bid. Honestly, if you miss your appointment for any reason and cannot exercise your seniority, the result is probably going to be ugly, with you ending up on the least desirable shift, crew, and/or day-off pattern. That is why we recommend that you always make it a habit to fil out the pre-bid with a full list of preferences based on your priorities. You can still call at your designated appointment time to see what is available but, if you miss your appointment, you will be protected against striking out on a shift bid.

We realize that most folks do not plan to miss their appointments once they are made, but it happens nonetheless. And there is generally nothing that can be done to reverse the result.

So, make sure to protect yourself. It only takes a few minutes to fill out the form and give yourself some peace of mind.

Meet Jimmy Uharriet - SFOPV Technician

Jimmy Uharriet had a severe firearms accident in March of 2016 that left him completely blind in both eyes. Prior to the accident, Jimmy had been a PV Mechanic at SFO working on Facilities, Jet Bridges, Locksmithing and DC Air carts. After his accident two people, Valerie Campos, an Orientation and Mobility Specialist with the Vista Center, a non-profit that provides services for blind and other visually-impaired folks, and Suzanne Tierney, a counselor from the California Department of Rehabilitation, were instrumental in getting Jimmy on the road to recovery. They taught him how to use a computer and walking stick and basically how to learn to live while blind. Senior Manager Cathy Abbott, who was Jimmy’s manager at the time, mentioned to Jimmy that there might be a path to get him accommodated at United after discussions with Chief Steward Greg Sullivan. This really gave Jimmy hope.

Jimmy also started working with Connie Liu, the Founder and Director of Project Invent, a design thinking program with the goal of inspiring high school students nationwide to invent technologies that make a difference in their communities.

Jimmy hit it off with the kids at Project Invent and soon they were collaborating on an ongoing basis. Eventually, the team came up with two remarkable inventions. One was a cane modification using built-in sensors that help stop blind people from veering off course so that they continue on a straight path. Another invention also involved a cane modification that uses motion-rechargeable LED’s that provide light to make the person visible at night. Both of these modifications dramatically improve safety for blind individuals.

The experience with the students at Project Invent provided a lasting inspiration for Jimmy and this really helped his healing process. While this was all happening, Teamsters Member Assistance Coordinator Steve Loone stayed in contact with Jimmy and also helped Greg Sullivan facilitate discussions with Cathy Abbott and HR Manager Kathy Tetrev on Jimmy’s possible return. Around September of 2017, Jimmy started to really push for an opportunity to show what he could bring to the table. Cathy Abbot asked him to put together a list of jobs he felt he could perform. Jimmy came up with the following: Build and Repair battery Charging Cables, Build A 320 GPU Cable supports, Overhaul and Build drive motors and reducers, Clutch Breaks, Roller bearings for the Rotunda’s on the Jet Bridges, Stream lights, Repair PC Push Carts as well as PC Air Coupling Seal replacements.

The new SFOPV Manager, Robin Bier, who took over for Cathy Abbott when Cathy moved up to manage Base Facilities (SFOMP), was also very supportive of the idea to bring Jimmy back.  On January 18, 2018, they had the first RAP session to discuss Jimmy’s return. Present with Jimmy were Kathy Tetrev, Robin Bier, Greg Sullivan, and Valerie Campos. Later, PV Lead Doug Rojas and the guys in the PV shop helped set up a work area for Jimmy and he came in with Valerie to discuss what he needed as far as Tooling, Drawers, Parts Bins and also to identify and address safety concerns.

On June 11, 2018, Jimmy came back to work on a 90-day trial period. PV Leads Jeff Sanchez and Technician Ed Tanasupol worked closely with Jimmy to get him acclimated to his new workspace. It was apparent from the beginning that Jimmy could do all of the jobs on his list and much more. He has been going strong ever since.

We want to send out special thanks to PV Leads Doug Rojas and Jeff Sanchez, Technician Ed Tanasupol and all of the other folks down at Facilities for their support of Jimmy’s mission. Additionally, we are very grateful to Cathy Abbot, Kathy Tetrev, and Robin Bier for their support in making this endeavor a reality. Thanks as well to Greg Sullivan and Steve Loone for their tireless advocacy on Jimmy’s behalf. Jimmy’s incredible story of overcoming his disability and making his way back to work from this devastating accident is an inspiration to us all!

SFOPV Technician Jimmy Uharriet attends the February Craft Meeting

SFOPV Technician Jimmy Uharriet attends the February Craft Meeting

Grievance Update

We had an Arbitration hearing in Miami, Florida on February 21st concerning the grievance for the HRA/RHA cap in 2017. We believe that the hearing went very well. The Arbitrator is awaiting the submittal of the official stenographers report. Once submitted, that report will go to both attorneys and they will prepare their respective briefs for the case and submit to the Arbitrator for his consideration. From that point, the Arbitrator should have a decision within sixty to ninety days.

We have an upcoming Arbitration date on April 4th in Chicago for the EFS Bypass from SFOLX. We will be flying to Chicago on April 2nd to finalize preparation.

We are also currently in discussions concerning another EFS bypass grievance for SFOMM, which is also at Arbitration step but not yet scheduled. It is our intent to schedule an Arbitration date if this latest dialog does not lead to a settlement satisfactory to our members.

We have two days of System Boards scheduled for March 26th-27th. We originally intended to focus on hearing our Outsourcing grievances, but after discussions with the Airline Division, we intend to push those grievances directly to Arbitration.

As a result, we identified a batch of 9 grievances to schedule for discussions concerning System Board hearings. Subsequently, it was determined that two identical grievances (I-Time Bank & Deferred Holidays) were heard/scheduled at other stations so they were put on hold pending those outcomes.

Of those remaining, one grievance (Improper Point Assessment) was settled by the Company, one grievance (Untimely Attendance Interaction) will have first step answer revised by the Company to the Union’s satisfaction and will thus be Withdrawn, one grievance (Improper Overtime Assignment) is still being discussed and will be heard if no resolution, and four others (Dock 3 Tool Crib, Progressive Discipline, BAQ 116 work by BAQ128’s, VAC conversion to FMLA) will be heard. We will keep you posted of all developments. If you would like to know more about these grievances, please contact your Shop Steward or come by the Union Office for a visit.

Democrat Republican Independent Voter Education (DRIVE)

Big Business spends big money in Washington to influence members of Congress and push their anti-worker plans. They outspend working families on politics by more than 15-1.

Through grassroots political action and aggressive lobbying on Capitol Hill and in State Houses and City Halls across America, Teamsters have stopped some of the worst attacks on working people.

But Big Business is pushing their agenda harder than ever. That means we have to fight back stronger than ever. And we have to move forward with our own programs, like improving job safety, fighting for affordable childcare, and stopping abuses by corporate health providers and insurance companies.

You can take a stand for working families by contributing to DRIVE – the Teamsters’ political action committee. Your contribution will support grassroots action by Teamster families to stand up to Big Business interests.

Contributions to DRIVE support a wide range of Teamster activities:

  • Keeping members and their families informed on the key issues that affect our future, including voter guides that show the records of our Senators and Representatives in Congress.

  • Rallies, news conferences, advertisements, and phone banks to build support on issues of concern to working people.

  • Voter registration, and financial support for political candidates who will stand up for working families. DRIVE is non-partisan and independent from any political party. 

Our Commitment to Communication

The communication process is an extremely important part of what we do to represent our folks here at SFO, and as we have been outlined 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 www.TeamstersSFO.com. 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.

Additionally, the Chief Stewards hold weekly meetings 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 work area on every shift have Shop Steward representation and that the Shop Steward give, at a minimum, weekly briefings to his/her crew so all the information gets to our members and members have the opportunity to ask questions.

Most importantly, we urge you to also consider getting more involved. 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 the TSAP program. Additionally, all members have an opportunity to ask questions and bring up topics for discussion. Check your IBT Bulletin Board for dates and times and make it a point to stop by whenever you can.


As always, stay informed!


In Solidarity


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