1801 Hartinger v. UAW Region 1
Case No: 1801
When Hartinger became a Master Technician, he was awarded a 5% wage increase pursuant to a local agreement. When he subsequently became a Leader, the Company gave him an additional 5% wage increase. Hartinger claims that he should have received a 10% increase as a Leader. As all parties agree, Hartinger is unique in holding designations both as a Master Technician and a Leader. There is no contract language specifically addressing pay increases for an employee holding both designations. The UAW-FCA bargaining agreement also does not explicitly set forth requirements for pay increases for Leaders, much less dictate that those increases are in addition to other pay increases previously awarded to an employee.
According to Hartinger himself, half of the 10% pay increase previously awarded to some Leaders was in the form of a 5% merit increase. Although the bargaining agreement permits the Union to grieve the denial of a merit increase, the Company nevertheless appears to have considerable latitude under the contract in awarding such increases. In order to prevail on a grievance involving merit pay in arbitration, the Union would likely have to show that other similarly situated employees were granted merit increases. It would be difficult to make such a showing in the case of Hartinger who acknowledges that he is uniquely situated.