<!----Enter Date Bellow *****************> Weekly Update for October 13, 2000 <!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>
Weekly Update for <!----Enter Date Bellow ****************> October 13, 2000 <!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>

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Monday was a holiday, which was just as well since I had ten tons of stuff to catch up on. In addition to grocery shopping for Granny and laundry, I had to catch up on emails, phone calls, pages, and work on my speech for the Dispatchers. About midafternoon Mrs. Bull and I hopped into the Presidential Limo and drove over to DC. It snowed on us coming through western Pennsylvania, and the trees were gorgeous in their fall colors. We got back to our hotel around nine pm.

Tuesday started bright and early with a phone call to our Consolidation Representative, Steve Dye. He claims I’m faster than Rodney at returning pages. We discussed the Crystal Palace briefing in DC the previous week, and the various roles Consolidation and Airspace Reps will be taking. The subject of consolidations has more bends than a bucket of snakes, and it’s going to take all of us working together to sort out the best course of action for our membership.

The next item on the agenda was a meeting with Ruth, Randy and myself. We discussed transition issues for the EVPs, the budget process for NATCA, the liason positions…a whole host of issues. We also discussed ETAP, and I asked Randy to communicate to the agency how adamant I was about getting the team together to finish the work. Randy assured me that was in the process of happening, and committed to talking to Sprague to insure it. We discussed some other personnel issues as well. I thought the meeting went very, very well and I’m happy to report that both Ruth and Randy are committed to a smooth and seamless transition.

Next was a meeting with Meredith Kimbell of Corporate Adventure. She’s putting together the team building for the NEB at the end of the month. I’ve worked with Meredith before, during contract negotiations, and she’s top shelf. Since we assume everyone’s done the Myers-Briggs stuff we’re cooking up something new and exciting for the team-building. I think the dividends will be well worth the time and effort invested.

From that meeting it was off to Crystal City for the American Dispatchers Federation Conference and Seminar. I gave about a thirty minute speech, and it was very warmly received. I opened with a joke, which went over huge. “How many dispatchers does it take to screw in a light bulb? One. He holds the bulb over his head, and the world rotates around him.” I brought the house down. I might get used to this public speaking gig!

The dispatchers are a great bunch, and one of the three legs of the pilot-controller-dispatcher triad of safety. They would like to build a more collaborative relationship, and so would I. I think we have a great deal to offer one another. Captain Woerth from ALPA preceded me to the podium, and I had a chance for a brief conversation with him, and Congressman Oberstar was there as well, and I said hi.

From there, back to the office for a conversation with Joe Perrone from Jacksonville regarding their pending arbitration. When I ran for office I committed to the fine men and women of Jacksonville that I would guarantee them a fair and honest shot. Nothing more, nothing less. And they have asked for nothing more, and nothing less. I will be convening a meeting with representatives from Jacksonville, the LR team, and the Reclass team in November to carefully scrutinize where we’ve been on this issue, and where it’s forecast to go. Joe has been a good friend and a great facrep for those folks, and I hope they appreciate his calm demeanor and professional approach to problem solving. I know I do.

Next was a meeting with Tony Henry, our Liason to the Command Center. This meeting was very productive, and I think I was able to help Tony clarify roles in the facility. I know he’s going to do a good job, and I know he’s going to work closely with the new Facility Representative, Bob Stone, to make sure no issues fall through the cracks.

Had a quickie with Blackie Blackmer from Safety and Tech on Choke Points, NASA and San Fransisco’s bid for PRM. The city of San Fransisco wants to give the FAA half a mil to buy some new controllers so PRM can go forward. Go fish. Safety’s not for sale, and neither are we.

Monday’s update seemed too short. But Tuesday….now that’s more like it!!!

I know I promised not to mention the crush of email and phone calls, but Wednesday’s load was particularly heavy, so wah, wah, poor me. Aside from that I met with Tim Haines on the Jacksonville issue and advised him of the upcoming meeting. We also discussed a very sensitive issue with respect to reclass, which I will be briefing the NEB on this Monday (I hope.)

We discussed the Super TRACON category of facilities, and also the need to complete the validation of San Juans’ data. We then held a telcon between SCT, N90 and myself to discuss the breakpoint for ATC13, and to discuss other factors associated with these two facilities, including the close proximity factor and airspace density. That dialogue will continue.

I spent a little time on administrative cleanup in the office, writing letters to various correspondents and filing things I feel it’s important that we keep. If I ever get to the bottom of my inbox I’m going home, but Adell sees to it that THAT won’t happen. Sometimes I think she’s right outside the door with another load, waiting to see me grab that last piece of paper.

I formed a workgroup for the purpose of negotiating an MOU on Airspace Redesign Initiatives and Pay Protection. This workgroup will be comprised of the following members:

Joe Fruscella---NEA RVP
Mike Blake---NNE RVP
Pat Forrey---NGL RVP
Mike McNally---Crystal Palace Representative

These individuals will be tasked with negotiating a national MOU which covers the scope of authority of the various projects we have cooking on airspace, and Pay (CI) Protection for the groups involved. They will also be responsible for keeping our national reps on these issues---Don Ossinger on Airspace and Steve Dye on Consolidation---appraised of their work. They will be tasked with keeping the NEB informed of all their affairs, so we can move forward together as an organization. These folks will be negotiating with the Agency at the Ron Morgan/Monte Belger level.

After coordinating all the above I welcomed Ralph Pagington and others from AOS to the National Office. I gave the gang a tour of their new digs, and directed them to the offices that could most address their concerns. They are ecstatic to be with our organization, and they are looking forward to working with us.

I discussed their lawsuit against the Agency with them, and tried to explain to them the very delicate dynamic which exists…that being, they just joined the very organization which negotiated the pay raise they didn’t get. The issue is incredibly complex, and will probably best be dealt with at the contract table.

I talked to Adell about her work on the 2004 convention. Can you believe that?!?!?! My inbox must have looked empty!!!

From there it was a meeting with Susan Grundmann, Bill Osborne, Denny Rose and Mike Doherty to discuss the C90 situation. We continue to work this issue very intensely, and no stone is being left unturned. We held a telcon with the facrep, and I believe we are beginning to craft a very compelling legal strategy.

Discussed some copyright issues with Susan, in reference to our PR campaign. We’ve copyrighted most everything associated with it now, so we should be clean. I also discussed a member’s potential opportunity to serve as a columnist for Flying Magazine, and how this might work in terms of liability and exposure. We believe all these issues can be worked out to everyone’s protection and satisfaction.

I did a lengthy phone interview with the Chicago Tribune this afternoon. They did a “Day in the Life of the System” analysis about four weeks ago, and had reporters fanned out across the country, from the Command Center to C90, to capture a snapshot of a typical day. I’ve done about four follow-up interviews since then, but this one today went over an hour and covered a wide range of topics. I hope they use some of our message in their series of stories, which should begin running any time.

Thursday was typical of this week…lots of in-office time, getting caught up and still doing many first-time relationship-building type things. I spoke with Adell about some personnel issues, and discussed the Southern Region staffing dilemma with Rodney.

I had a meeting with Eddie Echard, our real estate agent, to discuss a brainstorm I had…..oh, OK, Pat Forrey had it first, but I stole it, so it’s mine! I asked Eddie to look into the price of the two vacant lots behind our building, as well as the two boarded up buildings. I’d like us to consider purchasing them, and either building on them or erecting a multi-level parking garage. Or both. The new DC Convention Center is less than three blocks away, and I believe the area we are located in is ripe for this type of development.

Our new building is right on the edge of development, between the old and the new, between the renovated and the condemned. I’d like to see us grab some of the vacant property directly behind our building, and put it to work making money for the membership. If you name it after me, Carr Parking is already taken in the district (no kidding!) Actually…to be fair…I suppose we ought’a call it Pat’s Place. Anyway…while Eddie’s looking up the facts and figures it makes a nice conversation piece.

I went over to the FAA for an introductory meeting with Steve Brown and Peter Challin. We had a very cordial discussion about our relationship, liaisons, and the need for NATCA’s involvement on the front end of Agency projects. I also advised them that our Engineers Contract was in danger due to some last minute maneuvering by the agency that I didn’t appreciate. We’ll see where this goes but my patience for the gamesmanship has officially expired.

Many of the staff are off and running to visit Dulles and Washington Center today. Thanks to Greg Llafet, Paul Rinaldi and Tim Hardison for making this trip a big success. I think it’s important that our employees see what we do for a living, and we may make this field trip an annual event, and expand to other facilities.

Had a briefing from FAA at our place on a new Organizational Assessment linked to the Model Work Environment initiative. I’ve sent the details to the RVPs, and we will be discussing this shortly. I can share with you, however, that the agency has a very short time line on this item. I took pains to point out to them how convenient it is to be in a hurry when it’s on their issues, and how important it was for me to get the same consideration on ours. Time will tell if they got the message or not.

Met with Dennis McGee to discuss my new policy on MOUs. So there’s no confusion, let me state it here: It only applies to MOUs originating at NATCA National, and it goes like this: Much like beer, every MOU should have a “born-on” date. And on that date, it should be sent to the RVPs for review, comment, fyi, information…whatever. We won’t negotiate in bad faith, or back door bargain the agency. What we WILL do is let the elected leadership of this association see what’s going on BEFORE it gets signed.

Had a quick one on one with Jeff Sparrow to discuss the liaison program, and then met with Greg Llafet to outbrief after the field trip. Whew. Time to go home.

Friday I met with Brendan Connelly of the Election Committee to address some Article 58 concerns he had. Good points, which I will take forward from here. (The Agency owes us some numbers.) I talked to Phil Barbarello about it, and he thinks the data is forthcoming. He’s also almost done with draft two of my op error decriminalization piece.

I ran over to the FAA for a Capacity Benchmark meeting, and then back to NATCA to get Sherrod and get over to our lunch with Don Phillips from the Washington Post. The lunch lasted two hours, and I think we made some headway with this very influential newspaper.

And now? Gotta run. I’m at the hotel, picking up Mrs. Bull for a flight to Las Vegas for the weekend. She will lounge and decompress while I scout sights for Facrep Training Saturday morning, and hold a preliminary meeting with my cadre of instructors Saturday afternoon. Sunday night I will host a welcome reception for the October class, and Monday morning I will open the class with a presentation for the first hour. From there it’s off to the airport and back to DC.

And you? Too many airplanes, not enough gaps, and the traffic keeps coming. I told Don Phillips today that I represent the greatest professionals in all of aviation, and I meant it. I hope he runs that on page one in twenty-four point type, for all the world to see.

Have a great weekend, and as always…my best wishes to you and your families. We’ll see you next Friday.

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

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