<!----Enter Date Bellow *****************> Weekly Update for December 1, 2000 <!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>
Weekly Update for <!----Enter Date Bellow ****************> December 1, 2000 <!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>

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It seems only yesterday that we were preparing for the big Y2K event, and here we are going into the last month of the year. My, my, myÖ.where has the time gone?

Monday started out slowly, which is good considering the holiday just past. Itís important not to rush into anything with a bellyful of turkey, you know! I spent the morning catching up with Adell on calendar and office issues and with Ruth on the Legislative Committee meeting and some other personnel issues.

I traded pages with Steve Dye from Suncoast, who advised me that the decision on this project had been deferred for one year. I believe our decision to withdraw our support for this project had something to do with that decision, and I applaud the FAA for making it. I also traded pages with Craig Burzych from ORD and Rodney on Suncoast.

My next order of business was an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The newspaper has a new reporter on the aviation and labor beat and wanted extensive information, both background and issue-specific, on the subject of privatization. I spent about an hour and a half with her.

After a quick check of messages and email it was over to the FAA for a briefing from Peter Challin on NAS Operational Evolution issues. If youíd like the same briefing I got, itís a work in progress and itís available at http://www.caasd.org. The project is strictly based on increasing capacity, not managing demand. In that context, the work done to date is fascinating. If you folks would like to check it out and start a thread with comments, Iíll make sure they get to the appropriate people. Feedback, good and bad, is encouraged.

From there it was down the hall for a meeting with Monte Belger. Monte and I discussed a whole range of issues from the new DSR software release to pFAST and TAAP. The transition period is ending, and the detail work on a myriad of projects is daunting. We are both committed to fielding the very best product for improving the NAS and making your jobs easier.

I made it back to the National Office just in time for my NEB Telcon, where the board approved a whole boatload of tech rep and liaison nominations. These selections have already been announced to the field, and there are more to come. Iím always looking for talent, and the FAA is constantly asking for our input and expertise.

The NEB also discussed the PCS MOU and our workgroups progress. I know thereís a lot of pain in the field over this issue. I can assure you that we are working diligently to fix the problems faced by our members. I hope to have something for the Agency early next week.

I spent part of Tuesday morning on the phone with Ron Morgan trying to clear up some issues which have stood between us for quite some time. While I feel we are making progress on many of them, none of them is so ripe as to bear reporting. I also exchanged calls with Mark Pallone on a D10 testing issue.

The Engineerís Pay negotiations resumed this morning at nine after a hiatus of several weeks. While the underlying raises had been agreed upon, many issues remained to be negotiated, including OSI and SCI, pay bands, ATRA roll-in, pay band caps, and a few others. I think they totalled a dozen in all.

We worked nonstop all morning and into the early afternoon, and agreed to meet again Friday morning.

Amazingly enough the world did not come to a screeching halt while we were at the table, and I think Iím starting to detect a grin on Adellís face when she slips another surprise in my inbox!

I met in the afternoon with our General Counsel to discuss some personnel issues, some Constitutional questions and some other minor tidbits. If I havenít said it recently let me tell you all how very lucky we are to have good counsel. Susan keeps us out of trouble in endless ways, and the ability to run contracts and agreements by her before signature is just invaluable.

The evening rush hour took longer than planned, which is just as well. I caught up on phone calls to members (using a headset on my cell phone!)

Wednesday morning I left home and went up to Landsdowne for the DOT Executive Leadership Conference. I expected this gathering to number a couple of dozen. When I discovered four hundred people at the resort, in Ballrooms A and B, bussed up from Headquarters for two days of meetings, I put in a courtesy appearance, hopped into the presidential limo and headed in to work. While I appreciate a good leadership lecture as much as the next person, I simply donít have time for one right now. Iíve got work to do. I got to workÖreal workÖat about noon. Arrrrrghhhhhhhhh. I feel like I wasted a half a day.

I spoke with Bob Taylor about the FAM program Genot, and talked to Ruth about setting up a meeting to discuss our organizational goals for the coming year. I caught up on my vouchers and external correspondence (Real letters! Not email! What a concept!)

I talked to Susan about a pending legal issue with a vendor, and then spoke briefly with Blackie from Safety and Tech. Heís going to be out of town on a family emergency for a few days, so take it easy on him, OK?

Taylor Koonce from NATCA Racing stopped in to say ďhi,Ē and I couldnít be happier to lend my voice and my support to the NATCA Racing effort. These folks work hard, get our logo in the public eye, and represent us all with style. NATCA Racing funds itself, which is a minor miracle these days. I hope to be able to join the folks in Indy for some facility visits and maybe a portion of Race Week in Indianapolis next year.

I spoke with Bob Howard on the ďstovesĒ issue, and also discussed official time for our OSHA reps. From there I met with Barry Krasner to discuss some pending NMI issues and to brainstorm funding and benefits and mortgage ideas.

I asked Barry and Bob Taylor to join me for dinner to discuss the integration of our 14 bargaining units into some semblance of order, not only for alignment but for contract negotiations as well. We agreed on a plan I think will work well for them and for us. We didnít get done until almost ten oíclock, and my head was pounding with facts and figures.

Thursday brought the outbreak of some seriously flawed journalism in South Florida, and with it our response. Doug Church pretty much wheels into action on his own now, and his work is so complete that it requires very minor changes.

Doug called the offending outlets in Florida, we released a national press release, and Doug coordinated with Jerry McArthur while I traded pages with Rodney and Tampa Joe Formoso. By the time the smoke cleared the NTSB had asked for a retraction, and the AP had printed one on the wire service.

Ruth and I talked to Hill and Knowlton about an advocacy plan we had them work on for us, and we also brainstormed around our need for a Policy Director. We will begin looking for someone with writing, speechmaking, briefing and policy making skill with Washington experience and a built-in Rolodex. As luck would have it, the street is starting to fill with resumesí which look just like what we need for the coming fight against privatization and for future growth as an organization. Weíll keep you posted.

Ruth and I spent some time together integrating our vision of the short and intermediate term, and planning for incorporating both the Legislative Department and the Communications Department into any actions we take on the privatization and contracting issue. Ruth and I will be responsible for insuring that our various resources---Legislative, Communications, Hill and Knowlton, Membership---all work in concert to achieve our common goals.

I either spoke or traded messages with Jerry McArthur, Tampa Joe, Mark Dipalmo, Rodney, Tom Ferrier, Bryan Thompson, Leslie Warfield, Kevin Propheter, Kevin McGrath, Bob Marks, Ruth, Rodney, my wife, and an ex-manager on every topic under the sun ranging from ARINC to the Today Show. No wonder Iím beat!

We held an inpromptu meeting in Ruthís office to discuss the new bargaining units and their contract timetable. Bob and Barry have crafted a very aggressive strategy for getting these members under collective bargaining agreements by summer. Bobís Labor Relations Department is once again pulling major weight for our members, and doing a fantastic job doing it.

Friday morning started early with Ruth and I filling out Christmas cards for the National Office employees. We discussed liaisons and a couple of new openings in that program, and then I met briefly with Barry Krasner to discuss new NMI Board appointments.

From there it was back to the table for the Engineers, and I am happy to report that we have an agreement. A contract and a pay package, ready for printing and ratification by the membership. These negotiations have been long and very complex, and Bob Taylor, David Sandbach, Shannon Grant and Jim DíAgati deserve the lionís share of the credit for bringing this deal home. I believe the package is fair, and Iíd like to urge our brothers and sisters to ratify it with a strong vote of support. Details will be forthcoming.

You would think after negotiating a deal like that you could take a break, or get a cup of hot joe, or maybe grab a hot dog. Wrong!!!

First, Ruth and I went from office to office with Christmas cards and bonuses for our National Office employees. We thanked them for their hard work on your behalf, and tried very hard to convey to each and every one of them our best wishes for the coming holiday season. It was probably the single most rewarding thing I did all week, and was also quite possibly the single most important. The cards were Ruthís idea, and she even provided the green and red pens with which to sign them. Next yearÖANTLERS!!!

From there it was Ruth, Ken and Sherrod for a quick briefing on where we are and where weíre going together. I had to cut the meeting short in order to hightail it over to the FAA to visit with Ron Morgan, Director of Air Traffic.

Ronís leaving. He has been selected for a Directorship in Brussels, Belgium, and will be leaving after the first of the year. Maureen Woods will apparently be serving in a temporary capacity until a replacement for Ron can be found. We discussed the transition, and then got down to the business of the issues between us. I believe we are close to closure on several, and Iíve exchanged some ideas and proposals with him on some new and innovative steps Iíd like to see us take together. Iíll keep you up to date on these as they progress.

A short walk down from Ronís office is the conference room where I met up with Jane Garvey, Monte Belger and Peter Challin. I wonít go into the details of this meeting here, but I will tell you that there was a very frank and open discussion.

We have some issues between us which seem to be serving as stumbling blocks to future collaboration, and I want to be confident that we are working to remove these impediments to our organizationís mutual success. I value our relationship, and I look forward to working collaboratively with the Agency on every facet of the air traffic operation.

In late breaking news Iíve managed to trade a few pages with Bob Taylor and David Sandbach to get the very latest on some issues they were working as I left. Bob advised me that the Agency will cease and desist on briefing the new FAM Genot until such time as we have had an opportunity to go over our concerns with them. David advised me that the Engineerís pay rules are on their way to me and FAA for final approval before they are printed to join the agreement.

Itís hard to believe but today marks ninety days in office. Ninety days!!! It seems like only yesterday I was figuring out how to work the phones and the databaseÖnow Iíve got to finish up this update so I can email the Argentinian IFATCA spokesman and brush up my testimony before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Tuesday. I got in this morning at seven am, and itís already after nine at night. I need pizza and I need it now. The last three months have been exciting, don't get me wrong, but I've got to tell you, folks: thatís about as steep as a learning curve gets. Ruth has been a great help, and the National Office staff have been fantastic. Together we are moving the union forward, and planning strategy to secure the future for all of us.

I hope this finds you all healthy and happy and preparing for the coming holiday season. I miss my headset right about now, but Iím buoyed by the thought that so many of my friends are still doing what I love to do: talking to airplanes. Jill came home three nights ago with a tale of the emergency sheíd worked, and how they had all evacuated down the slides right there on the runway. Her hands were up in the air, bobbing and weaving, and I could almost smell the jet fuel. That sort of thing kind of puts my big busy days into perspective, you know what I mean?

See you next week,

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

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