<!----Enter Date Bellow *****************> Weekly Update for September 15, 2000 <!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>
Weekly Update for <!----Enter Date Bellow ****************> September 15, 2000 <!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>

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My, but how time flies when you’re having fun!!! It seems like only yesterday I was typing one of these, and here we are again. I hope you all had a pleasant week.

I spent all day Monday in media training with a team from our new public relations firm, Hill and Knowlton. The session was valuable to me, although I must admit that they told me I was one of the best baseline interviews they had ever tested. I bet they say that to all the new guys.

After the training I went over to the Old Executive Office Building for a meeting with Bob Nash, President Clinton’s Arkansas pal and Director of Presidential Personnel. I gave Mr. Nash my pitch for the labor seat on the Management Advisory Counsel. We had a very frank discussion of the political landscape surrounding this appointment and the very difficult timelines involved in trying to do anything this session. I felt the meeting was very productive for our organization.

From there it was back to the National Office to hook up with Ken Montoya for a cab ride over to Capitol Hill to meet with Congressman Steney Hoyer of Maryland. We discussed privatization and delays, and he was very receptive to my message.

That evening I had dinner with Jane Garvey, Tony Herman (the lawyer who served as their Contract Team Chief Negotiator and continues to assist the agency in negotiations), Mike McNally and myself. We discussed a wide range of issues including the MAC and the upcoming hearings. It has taken me almost as long to type as it did to do, so that must have been one loooooong day!

Tuesday I worked a whole host of admin issues at the National Office. From ten am until noon we held our Director’s Meeting. Several of the topics discussed included signage for the new building, Lobby Week preparations, a new NATCA Employee Performance Review process we are looking at, budget plans, and some upcoming training for National Office staff. We have some additional work to do in the area of insuring all our Departments have room to do their work, and we may have to move the mailroom to expand the Membership area. More on that later.

Also, and this is a reminder for everyone…The farewell party for Mike McNally is scheduled for Wednesday, September 20th at Fran O’Brien’s Restaurant in the basement of the Capitol Hilton. Please contact Adell Humphreys, and make plans to attend.

The Director’s Meeting went right up to noon, when the NEB Telcon started. Maybe it’s because it was our first, but this call went on so long I was going to start counting some of these RVPs as dependents on my taxes! Two hours. I have matching cauliflower ears.

We discussed a full range of issues and tabled several until our first full NEB Meeting next Thursday in Washington. We took care of the usual suspects, including untimely vouchers and charitable contributions. The rest is too voluminous to list here…two hours worth!!! But if you’re interested, give your RVP a call and I’m sure they’ll share the information with you.

After the telcon I got some other correspondence answered, made some phone calls, and I might even have faxed some faxes. I’m sure it was all very important!!! I had dinner with Jill and took in a movie, and she was glad to see me.

On Wednesday I worked on my five minute statement to the Senate Aviation Committee with Ken and Christine. I didn’t have a great deal of time to change or modify the testimony which was written and submitted on NATCA’s behalf, but I want to start putting my handprints on the work we do as a Union, and I asked Ken and Christine to help me do that. Read, revise, read, revise…I think we did it three times over the course of several hours. It’s painful to watch me think out loud, and I’m rarely happy until after it’s over, but both Ken and Christine were patient while I worked it out in my mind.

I took a member to lunch, which was my second real lunch since coming to DC. Not my second power lunch, mind you...this marked the second time I had remembered to eat! I don’t plan to make a habit of it, mind you, because after eating I always want a nap. From lunch it was back to the office to hook up with Ken (again!) for a cab ride over to Senator Rockefeller’s office. The Senator was very kind and gracious. He believes we need to carefully consider our options when it comes to testimony on the Hill, and he believes we need to challenge the Congress more to do the right thing. I committed to trying to do just that over the next three years. Interestingly enough he also asked me if my new job paid enough. I told him I’d let him know after the hearing!! We ran over our time, and his next guest was kept waiting in the outer office while we finished our visit. Sorry, Secretary Slater.

From there it was over to Congressman Oberstar’s office, where we ran into the Congressman briefly and then sat down for a very long discussion with his staff. As those of you who follow these things know, his staff is probably as knowledgeable as anyone is on the subjects we hold dear. Another good, strong friend for NATCA. I’m very encouraged.

I took all my deskwork home to play with, and of course I couldn’t resist the temptation to fiddle with my speech one more time before bed. I did some late emailing, and then called it a night.

Thursday now, and I must admit to wondering about my testimony, and Senator McCain’s Committee. Everybody yesterday kept asking me, “Are you ready for this?” Do they know something I don’t? As it turns out I wasn’t burdened with a concience and ten years at O’Hare steeled my nerves, so to me it’s just another cool day in the District.

I went over my late night revisions with Christine, who immediately turned them into hard copy for me, and we hung out until 830am when it was time to go. The hardcopy of my remarks should be available here if they aren’t already, and the early reviews seem to indicate that we did all right.

It was a riot. I love to open the show, and I love to close. Make me the MC or the Headliner, I always say!! I had the good fortune of going last, and of following Mr. Poole from the Reason Foundation. He pulled the pin on several major hand grenades, and I had the honor and privilege of tossing them back in his shorts. The transparency of his arguments will become apparent over time, but I hope the message gets out that we will no longer stand by, politically correct, while others try to dismantle our profession. When they show, we’re going to show.

Immediately after the hearing, which concluded just after one, I hauled out to the airport to catch a flight down to Atlanta to see my Southern Region brothers and sisters at their Facrep Meeting. I caught up with them in the late afternoon, and spent an hour or so giving them the lowdown on my activities to date. We had a great meeting. After the meeting I got to have dinner with Andy Chalot from Erie, Don Brown from Atlanta and Andy Cantwell from Miami, which is pretty good duty any day of the week. The evening ended as they often do, with me in the hotel bar, drinking fake beer, getting fake rowdy, hanging out with the coolest people I know…air traffic controllers. It was really good to see so many friends in one place at one time.

And here it is, Friday again!!! I got up bright and early and got checked out of the hotel, then went over to the registration for Communicating For Safety to see how that forum was coming along. Donna Gunter was getting folks set up, and the crowd was looking like there might be a pretty good turnout. (Humorous aside…I rode the hotel shuttle from Hartsfield with Donna Gunter from the National Office staff yesterday afternoon. I didn’t realize she was helping out and I said, “What are YOU doing here?” It was very deja-vu…seeing someone in DC, then you turn around and they’re on the Shuttle with you.)

I said a few opening remarks to kick off Communicating For Safety, and then bolted for the airport to catch my flight back to DC. I got back to the District about one, and decided to stop in at Dulles for a facility tour. I hope to leave time in my travels to visit your facilites and talk to the men and women we all collectively represent. Please don’t be surprised or upset if I show up at an air traffic control facility near you!! I will stop in at as many as timing and schedule will allow.

I’ve tracked down a rumor that I was on The Howard Stern Show this morning (I was, during the news segment), I’ve done some emails and now it’s off to Cleveland to join Dick Pinkston, Tim McHugh, Jim Scarpelli and the rest of the gang in the parking lot on Sunday for another Browns game. If Jacksonville hadn’t lucked out and snuck out of town with a stolen victory my Browns would be undefeated!!! Jill and I are taking her mother and a neighbor-lady friend, which should be a gas. After the game we’ll burn back to DC for Lobby Week and more.

If you all have anything for me, you know where to find me....please have a safe weekend, and we'll see you next week.

JTB <!----End Text Field **************>

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