January 9, 2004

Mr A T Olin
Gen Director - Labor Relations
Union Pacific Railroad Co
1416 Dodge Street, Room 330

Omaha, NE 68179

Re: Union Pacific Family Medical Leave Policy

Dear Sir:

This will serve as a reply to Mr Marchant’s letter of November 26, 2003, pertaining to changes in Union Pacific’s Family Medical Act Policy effective January 1, 2004.

This office believes that the Carrier’s requirement that an employee utilize scheduled vacation time in connection with a request for time off under FMLA is not mandated by the Act, and furthermore, such requirement is in violation of the controlling agreements on this property.

Neither the 1949 National Vacation Agreement, as amended, nor the Oregon Vacation Agreement, permits an employee, the Organization, or the Carrier to unilaterally move an employee’s vacation time once it is scheduled.

For your information, in 1965, the parties entered into a modification of the National Vacation Agreement for the Eastern District which provided that an employee could utilize scheduled vacation time to offset uncompensated absences due to sickness or personal reasons. However on June 22, 1990, former Director of Labor Relations M L Janovec issued notice to terminate the December 23, 1965 Agreement (Carrier files 2210.40 and 2210.60), specifically citing an alleged abuse of paragraph B 2 (c)(2)(c) of the Agreement as his reason for doing so.

Paragraph B 2 (c)(2)(c) of the December 23, 1965 Agreement read as follows:

An employe who has been absent from service account sickness or for personal reasons not less than seven (7), fourteen (14), twenty-one (21), and/or twenty-eight (28) days and who desires to allocate such absences against any vacation periods due must, at the time he returns to service, notify the crew dispatcher or other designated representative of the Carrier that such absences from service are to be charged against vacation periods as may be due.

The Organization believes that such past actions by the parties establish an acknowledgement that the utilization of an employee’s scheduled vacation time is the subject of negotiated agreements and not company fiats.

Furthermore, the Organization also disagrees that the Carrier has a right to issue a policy which requires all employees to utilize accrued personal leave time against absences under FMLA. This office acknowledges that it has entered into individual agreements with the Carrier, which identify and pertain to a specific group of employees at specific locations, which require those employees to utilize personal leave time to offset uncompensated absences. However, those agreements do not apply to all employees represented by this office.

The fact that the parties entered into agreements limited to a specific group of (and not all) employees to utilize personal leave time for an otherwise uncompensated absence is evidence that the Carrier recognizes that the utilization of personal leave time is subject to negotiated agreements and not Company policy.

In closing, I am agreeable to meet with Carrier representatives to discuss the Organization’s position on these issues, but until a satisfactory settlement is reached, I request that the Carrier’s January 1, 2004 FMLA policy with respect to mandatory utilization of accrued scheduled vacation and personal leave time be rescinded.


Dean L Hazlett

General Chairman