<!----Enter Date Bellow *****************> Weekly Update for January 05, 2001 <!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>
Weekly Update for <!----Enter Date Bellow ****************>January 05, 2001<!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>

Brothers and Sisters,

The first week of the new millennium has come to an end. I am typing this up while I watch the snow fall on DCA and I am reminded that John is probably typing his on the sandy beaches of Maui. On the bright side, I don’t have to worry about getting sand in my laptop.

The office was closed on Monday for the holiday but we were back in business on Tuesday. John and I met, as we do most mornings, to go over the issues facing us. The Holiday's precluded our regular Director's meetings, but we started the new year back on course with our regular meeting on the first workday of the year. Each director briefed on the progress of his or her department and the immediate plans. Lew Zeitz has had a particularly productive year, 2000 brought NATCA 1867 new members, he has uncovered several available benefits packages that he is in the process of evaluating, and proposed a plan to put out a membership directory that is fully self funded. Katie Wittig was assigned to market advertising in the directory and has already gotten commitments to cover the entire cost. She is also working on convention sponsorships with companies in the aviation industry.

The morning brought me dozens of e-mails, two of which expressed concerns from the AOS bargaining units about the new Terminal Business Unit that the FAA is setting up. Jim D’Agati (Engineers VP) attended the first FAA dog and pony show on this effort and has been working to ensure that all of the units affected are involved. I also had a briefing from Bill Voss on the TBU Thursday. This is a very new idea for the FAA – to break down the organizational barriers between acquisitions, development and implementation and structure it by option rather than product. It will be hard for them, which makes it hard for us from an organizational standpoint.

The NEB telcon went as scheduled and John and I spent most of the afternoon making sure all of the bases would be covered while he was away at the AAAE conference reminding everyone that privatization would not solve their delay problems. I realized that I had been unable to shake a splitting headache all day. John and I covered issues until it was time to go home and we probably did one follow up phone call before we called it a day.

I woke up on Wednesday feeling like death warmed over. I checked my planner to see the first day that I can remember without a meeting scheduled. At 7:15 I called Adell to make sure no one had been put on my calendar and I went back to bed with a big box of Puffs, set my alarm for 9:30 so I could call in to charge myself a day of sick leave. I later found out that I should have just gone in , because one thing after another happened while I was out. First, a meeting to hear reclass grievances was cancelled at the last minute and Jerry McArthur was in a jetway in Atlanta when he got the call. Then Monte Belger called about a T75 press conference scheduled for Thursday. Half a dozen other things came up, most of which I was able to take care of by phone and laptop.

Thursday morning had adrenaline pumping through both NATCA and the FAA, mostly centered on the T75 issue. My first call was with John Tune, the NCE RVP followed up with several to the controllers at T75, Monte Belger, and John Shea and Keith Harrison, NATCA’s STARS reps. Doug Church provided support to the local on their press release and with the exception of an FAA source giving bad information to a reporter, all of the parties demonstrated their willingness to work to a positive solution. After a lot of work by the controllers in T75 and the national STARS reps, we made significant progress on their issues. There is still some negotiations to be completed so I don’t want to go into the details.

I met with the outgoing ZMA fac rep about the reclass grievance meeting cancellation. I answered several e-mails, talked to several RVP’s about financial issues, and met with Lew Zeitz about ideas for an internal organizing drive. Meanwhile, I had a very pleasant visit with Jerry Whitaker (former NAL RVP) and his family who were in town to visit with Don Young (R-AK) among others.

Friday I went into the office to take care of some paperwork before heading off to the airport to go to Toronto. I had just enough time for Adell to catch me to see if I could attend the AFL building dedication on Monday (I can) where the President will speak. I arrived at the airport in plenty of time, but the snow and low visibility caused numerous delays and my flight ended up cancelled. I eventually got to YYZ, but in the meantime I was entertained by a serious of pages about ATC delays. In fact, the AAL agent announced that the 11:00 flight to ORD was cancelled due to ATC delays. I must have missed the part of the 7110.65 that lets us cancel flights. I called the AAL customer number and asked what the nature of the ATC delay was. The operator told me that was when there are too many planes on the runway. I told her who I was and asked for a specific answer. When she looked it up, she said it was low ceilings and precip. I called Doug Church and asked him to start thinking about a series of press releases to expose the use of ATC as a scapegoat.

I talked to Monte Belger again, this time about the OE/OD MOU John had been passing back with Ron Morgan. The FAA had taken it to the NTSB to see how they would perceive the decriminalization of OD’s and 80% OE’s. I also spoke with Susan Grundmann to ensure our legal bases are covered in a delicate matter. Susan is exceptionally conscientious about evaluating NATCA’s risk and potential legal exposure on all issues. She makes sure that John and I have both the legal advise and full knowledge of potential risks when we make decisions.

I few more pages, a phone call or two and I was off to YYZ, I will be back first thing Monday morning.

In Solidarity,

Ruth



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