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System Board Decision on Commuter Parking

Date: June 3, 2022

Two Local Council Notice of Dispute (NODs), DCA-01060-2020 and EWR-0172-2020, were filed when a dispute arose due to a change to the policy regarding parking at the Cleveland (CLE) airport. The Company was not willing to facilitate direct billing with the parking facility (Riveredge) in CLE for Flight Attendants that commuted from CLE. The matter was escalated to the System Board of Adjustment where the question at issue was “Did the Company violate Section 3.T.2, if so, what shall the remedy be?”

The Contract language in Section 3.T.2 states, “In the event parking facilities are not available for employees at an airport location other than one serving her/his Domicile, the Company shall assume the monthly parking charges up to a maximum of $35 per month…” 

The Union argued that through JCBA negotiations we bargained the same parking provisions that ALPA had. This meaning that as long as Riveredge does not lack physical available parking spaces, parking should be made available for commuting Flight Attendants just as it is for commuting pilots and that the $35 cap on monthly reimbursement comes into effect only if parking facilities are not available for employees at an airport location other than the one serving their domicile. The term “available” in Section 3.T.2. is not restricted to Company owned or leased parking facilities. 

Conversely, the Company argued that the language was clear and unambiguous. That based on the language in Section 3.T.2., the company’s only obligation was to reimburse commuting Flight Attendants monthly parking charges up to a maximum of $35. Additionally, citing the joint communications (One United) published in October and November of 2018, the company asserted this was the parties intent and made no mention of any company obligation to use the pilots’ contract language in interpreting or applying the language in Section 3.T.2.

Despite our advocacy, the Union did not prevail. The Arbitrator ruled that the language in Section 3.T.2 on parking for commuting Flight Attendants, although through negotiations increased the reimbursable amount from $25 to $35, it otherwise remained (in all material respects) the same as the corresponding language and established practice from the 2012-2016 pmUA Flight Attendant Agreement.

Along with the thorough review of the language in the 2018 One United communication, the Arbitrator concluded, “Thus, the weight of the evidence does not support the Union’s attempt to force a departure from the parties’ language and/or practice: commuting Flight Attendants in Cleveland may select parking of their choice and submit a request for reimbursement up to $35 a month.”

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