Well we're still around to publish another issue. We have a little more material this time and a greatly improved image however we still have an identity crisis. It now appears we will have enough material to produce something every two weeks. In order to give us enough time to assemble everything, our next deadline is Thursday, January 26. We will publish our next issue Tuesday, January 31. So don't hesitate, get your thoughts together now and submit them to either myself or your crew representative.
I'd like to thank Chris Barth for the use of his time and equipment putting this issue together. I'd also like to thank Pat Gorka for her effort in getting our first letter out.
We could use the help of someone with any artistic ability, if and when we get a title, to help us with a cover page. Keep in mind though, we will take any help we can get.
Once again I'd like to remind everyone what we are trying to present is an open forum. We do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of NATCA. Some material may not be suitable for immature readers.
Well, what do you think? Is communication possible even at O'Hare? You bet your sweet… oh, well… it is and you who have become actively involved are outstanding! I believe that we are moving in the right direction. ALL I ask is that we keep the ball rolling. Your participation in the committees and attendance at the meetings show your hunger for change, participation and information. These committees will be pro many changes in the future, but rather than announcing these proposals now, I am putting forth a plea to all non-union members. This plea is for your membership so that you can inject your input toward these proposals that will greatly affect your current working conditions. This is the reason that I joined. IF a group was going to speak for me, I wanted to be sure that my input would be heard. It just makes common sense, doesn't it? So why don't you hop off the fence and at least look at what we have to offer. Well, that's enough rational thinking. I guess I'll move on to some new business.
As of Thursday, 1/12/89, the FAA has signed a tentative labor contract agreement with NATCA. I do not have the specifics of the contract of a copy as of yet. I hope to obtain a copy or copies in the future so that we can review it prior to giving our vote. We should have 2 weeks to vote on the ratification of the contract, but I am not sure when this time period will begin. MB or I will have more information as soon as it becomes available. Also, on Thursday I met with GAO. GAO is investigating the problems sighted from the Blue Ribbon Committee's report on ORD's action plan for safety and efficiency from 1988. Their major concerns were staffing, recruitment, incentives, releases, communication, traffic, management and training. I did not color the GAO a pretty picture. I addressed each issue after reviewing the 2 volume action plan and then added our concerns pertaining to each issue. By the way, this 2 volume action plan is available for all eyes. If you would like to read it, I will obtain this per your request.
I dwelled on the issues of staffing, communication and training. The report addressed incentive programs to obtain more people, but it did not address a release program. Why are some controllers allowed to leave while others a left behind? Is it because some controllers fit the mold? Meanwhile, others have been here so long they have it growing on them! OR is it because ORD is a dead-end for the career minded individual. This problem has caused the Catch-22 situation. Many won't bid ORD because they know they can't leave after 2-3 years. Instead, they bid other places knowing they can leave and further their career progression. Meanwhile, back at O'Hare, you might get released in the middle of 1990, if someone will wait that long for you. But those facilities who will wait probably won't have a promotion position that can wait. I believe that a release program would help alleviate this stagnation of career progression. Maybe the next name you read in the moving up and around column in the Great Lakes Intercom might be yours. Please get involved.
Another issue the GAO questioned was contract training. I expressed the obvious concerns which include: lack of expertise, reduction of entry level positions for management, possible waste of money and lack of studies performed to show effectiveness. I don't believe any Fortune 500 company would contract business without statistics to show effectiveness. This again would probably fall under common sense.
The final question from GAO concerned communication between management and its personnel. I made an effort not to dwell on past practices. Instead, I told them that I believe we are making great accomplishments in this area. Furthermore, if management will continue this fine effort, we should eliminate many problems in the future. Communication is the key to negotiation -AND negotiation is the key to agreement.
In conclusion, I would like to thank all team Reps for showing active participation in our weekly meetings, we must continue so we can accomplish our goals. For those NATCA members who aren't attending, please be sure to communicate to your reps, your thoughts and/or ideas concerning all the current issues. There are many proposals on the chopping block that will affect your working conditions. We need your input.
Why does it take a systems error to change procedure at O'Hare?
Can you really tell a pilot to maintain visual separation with buildings, and vector him over them below the MVA?
What are the North and South Satellite coordination lights for anyway?
Does Pre-Arranged Coordination mean that Sector 1 can turn and descend in Sector 2's airspace without coordination?
Keeping the above question in mind, does Sector 2 have to advise everyone that he is untracked in his own airspace?
After we have worked so hard to get ZAU to do their job, why do individual controllers and supervisors change the mandated restrictions?
Are the bonus checks in the mail?
Who was Paul Jackson?
How many FPL's do we have?
Where is all that media attention we have come to know and love? (nothing has changed)
Why does the FAA spend so much time and money publishing information like "Managing Employee Participation" and then spend so little time and money using it?
Why does the Regional Office dislike O'Hare, are we not the most productive terminal facility in the region? (operations per hour per person)
Where are those step-down fixes?
Each day our controllers push the airplanes as efficiently as they can, why don't the O'Hare staff, Regional Office, and National Headquarters have the same sense of urgency?
Where is Stan Estes' can of Lysol?
With all the data collected and available, and all the automation available, why can't somebody get a hand on capacity at O'Hare? (real-time numbers for real-time-kinda guys)
Why did der Furher get promoted?
Why is there such a concern for professionalism (ties on supervisors, that stuff) and such a lack of professionalism?
What does solid-state dependability for VORs mean?
Why can't we get a beacon system that tracks targets 99% of the time?
I'd just like to say a few things that come from right off the top of my head. I'd like to say more but I have writers block and CJ told me that this had to be in today.
First of all, I would like to announce that the second annual "Tie Day" is right around the corner. The date will be announced in the next issue of this fine publication. For those of you not familiar with "Tie Day", all details will be in the next issue. The first "Tie Day" was a pretty damn good success. Here's hoping this one will be even better.
Second, let's scratch this employee of the month or quarter or whatever the hell it is. It's my opinion that it is just going to cause more trouble and morale problems than we already need. Instead, why not make an award for who can drink the most beer or gin in one sitting? This will be great for morale. Just about everyone will be fighting for top honors and everybody will have fun sitting around bull-shitting, drinking beer and getting fucked-up. Besides, all of the worlds problems are solved in taverns. And if we can solve the world's problems, God knows what we can do for O'Hare's.
Are we going to get a name for this journal? How about "Blocked"? Speaking of blocked, I recently heard a rumor about some pilot/controller forum. Not a bad idea, the problem is that the fucking moron pilots don't give a fuck about any forum. As long as they get their overpaid pay checks, they're not going to be too interested in what a bunch of O'Hare controllers think. Oh sure, they may show up to a meeting, but I'd be willing to bet they'd come just to bitch about some particular thing where they feel they got fucked! Let's challenge these pussies to a gun fight instead.
Now granted I've only been here for a little less than two years, but for myself I've seen, heard and ate enough crap from the center to flush all the toilets in Joliet until Easter. They vector in our airspace, they disregard our speed limits and intrail restrictions all too often. Our fearless leaders, although they have been trying somewhat, lack the balls to rectify the situation. I'm not sure what we as the union have done, but it doesn't seem to be enough. If I may, let me suggest that we get a couple of union controllers along with people like Roddy Coker, Mike Baldridge and Gene Gardner and all go out to Aurora to discuss our situation to these incompetent assholes. If they refuse to see it our way or don't even want to negotiate, we in turn jam it up their ass. Now let me make something perfectly clear, I'm not talking about being Mr. Nice Guy. I'm talking about getting some guys who have the balls to go in and kick ass and take names later. People who aren't afraid to say no. I'm telling you now, we have to do this soon. For all of you who disagree, don't go bitching and moaning when you're bent over getting fucked in the ass. It's usually the people who did the least that whine the most.
TRACON split: The idea sucks. It always has sucked and it will continue to suck in the future. It looks like it's going to be implemented regardless of how the majority feels. That's fine, I understand the office pukes have to come up with numbers for Washington. They are in a tough position. In order to get out of that position they'll fuck us … It's been done that way for years. Anyways, we can slow down this splitting process by negotiating the implementation procedures. Delay is as long as we can or until management realizes they fucked up, whatever comes first.
Don't get the wrong idea, I really don't have a bad attitude. You may not agree with everything I said, but at least I took the time to suggest some solutions. I do care about this place and the people I work with. Call me a whiner or anything you want, but at least I have the balls to speak my peace… How about you?
A Perverted Look at Our World
By John Carr
It's story time again. This was going to be an article patterned after Andy Rooney with lots of pointless whining, but then that dirty rat fink Ray Gibbons looked over my shoulder. I hate it when that happens. Anyway, I threw that column in the trash, so if you don't like this column blame Ray!
I was thinking about checklists the other day. We all use them, you know and occasionally that habit spills over into our work. I know when I leave the house, I pause at the front door and go down my personal checklist - spectacles, testicles, wallet and keys - and then go on about my business. Same thing when you have to go fishing or golfing on a duty day… "Let's see, I used Bubonic Plague… Spotted Fever… Mumps… toothache… yea… toothache, that's it!"
Anyways, so then they come up with this checklist here at work. Who wrote this thing anyway? A mortician? I mean, I suppose it's OK, but somewhat incomplete. This facility it too big and complex and has so many eclectic personalities, I think one more item on the checklist is in order. I would call it: "Who is relieving me, and what are they thinking?" Nothing complicated, mind you, just a guide to helping all of the new blood understand some of the old. Trust me, when these cats relieve you, you need a guide:
Curt: "I got it, you jagbag."
Bob M: "Yeah, Baby-Baby-Baby."
Roger: "Uh-huh, OK, I got a copy on that."
Chris B: "This is comfortable to me."
Al Q: "KEEP EM."
Matt: "Get out of my &%$@?/* chair you hairball."
Spuds: "I'm up for it."
MoFo: "I got some FAB shit to do."
Chris R. "I got some Union shit to do."
Bob N: "I got to go take a shit."
Ray: "I'm here to help."
Ted: "Was that briefing for me?"
JD: "Thanks. EVERYBODY CALLING APPROACH STAND BY."
Dan O: "Watch this, I'm going to take gaysh."
This list is by no means complete, but you get the idea. With a new administration being sworn in next week I think we should strive for a kinder, gentler TRACON, don't you? Gee whiz Beav, checklist complete!
This Journalistic triumph of ours needs a name. Something catchy, irreverent, unintelligible… you get the idea. I am personally offering on O'Hare non-revenue badge and a pitcher of stairwell squeezings to the mental patient clever enough to come up with the winning entry. Maybe we can get Earl(The Pearl) to do some artwork for the cover. Please have all the entries in to CR by January 31st. Oh yeah… and I'll toss in twenty bucks, too. Start writing.
by Larry L. Ridley
We've been living with ongoing construction work in and around ORD for more than three years now and it will be at least three more before what's currently on the drawing board is complete.
Contending with this situation has at times been more than just a slight inconvenience. Inbound traffic delays due to construction, jackhammer melodies for background sounds, sandust floating near your sandwich, outbound delays due to construction…
We tolerate this in the hope that after it's done, all personnel within the facility will benefit from the improvements. Primarily, an increase in area and usable floor space. Allocation of new office space will of course have priority. Another idea I hope will receive serious attention is a fitness area. Rumor Control has kicked this subject around often.
Practically everyone has been made aware of the benefits of establishing and maintaining a regular exercise program. Some of us have memberships in various health clubs. Given our schedules and the hectic pace many of us keep, it's difficult to maintain a regular fitness program.
Were there to exist equipment and an area set up for this purpose many of us would utilize it regularly. Many corporations have set up fitness areas and implemented health programs promoting participation for all employees. A physically fit employee is alert and less prone to accident, error or illness, which benefits the workforce and the organization. Most individuals will readily admit they're not in the shape they would like to be. Or that they would like to change body or increase strength. The truth is many are in sad shape! Any healthy moderately active adult 45 years or under should be able to run one and one half miles in less than fifteen minutes. Many individuals completing this cold (no practice) will probably receive an out of body experience.
Challenge: The ability to do five pull ups, fifteen push ups or twenty sit ups in less than thirty seconds. Or ninety seconds of brisk rope skipping are exercises which any healthy adult should be able to accomplish. Confident you can do any of those…fine, do it all with a fifteen second breather between each routine capped with a standing forty five second breather, check heart rate, if possible check blood pressure. Close to your norm? Still highly accelerated, you're in need of becoming actively involved in a fitness program.
If you think you're in good shape because you finished the exercises, you 're half right. Double the routine and complete! That's good shape, not great, just good. The acid test is the check of your heart rate/blood pressure. How long does it take to recoup?
As stated, the organization benefits from this addition. A light workout could be completed in twenty minutes. The space provided need not be overly large, although proper ventilation should be kept in mind. The equipment need not be expensive but should be of a durable nature and require low maintenance.
A couple of stationary bikes or lifecycles, multi-station universal, barbells, chin-up bar, assorted charts, floor mats and mirrors would be a solid start. A sauna and jacuzzi would be great additions, however the shower facilities will do.
Hello again and Happy New Year. 1989 will be the year in which bonuses are received, staffing increased, morale improved and the World Series clinched by the Chicago White Sox. Well, at least the last item is realistic. Seriously though, we need to remain optimistic and work together to improve our facility.
Last issue I made mention of the proposed split of the facility. An alternative proposal is in the works which could involve an east west split of O'Hare Approach Control. Each sector would include approach, departure and satellite positions. If the split must occur this could be a viable and more desirable option. I'll keep you informed of any NATCA proposals on the table and as always your input is important.
As you may or may not know, a Welcome Wagon is now available to new developmentals. Behind the enthusiastic leadership of Doug "Spuds" Meath, I'm sure it will be an asset to our facility and local. If you're a recent arrival or just need information about housing, utilities, etc. See Doug.
NATCA meetings continue on a weekly basis. These meetings have been informative and successful thus far and are open to all NATCA members. I encourage any and all developmentals to attend when possible. We need help with various committees and can never have too many volunteers.
That's all for now. See ya.