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Whew, I am glad to see NATCA net back up, I was suffering from withdrawal. Sunday night I had dinner with Martin Cole and a representative from JCAB, which is Japan’s FAA. He was in town for an ICAO meeting of the RGCSP (Review of the General Concept of Separation Panel). We talked about a number of technical issues being discussed by the ICAO groups that are meeting to discuss this issue. They are working on both lateral and vertical separation and there are groups that want to bring “geometry” into the formula. Basically that is the “they are never going to hit” rule. If aircraft are getting further apart, can we safely discontinue vertical separation earlier than if they are parallel. NATCA has been restricted from a great deal of ICAO participation by the FAA. We continue to work this issue with our legal department.
Monday actually started off a little slow. I got into the office early enough to get a jump on my inbox and by the time the office opened up, I was free to start looking at the issues before us. Doug Church had the Chicago weekend clippings ready and while the articles were not good, they also didn’t take off. I addressed a few personnel issues, sent out a notice reinforcing NATCA’s travel policy and talked to a few RVP’s about budget issues. At 1:00 it was off to the airport to get to Florida to GOTV. My husband had hooked me up with tickets to the Gore rally at midnight on South Beach and had me scheduled to work out of the coordinated campaign office on Election Day.
Tuesday, it was up at the crack of dawn to vote, which I did, for my chosen candidate and only once. Then it was off to the campaign office to pick up my assigned precinct list and door hangers. Went over with a NATCA member from FLL and promptly got thrown out of the building we were canvassing. Back to the office for our next assignment and spent the rest of the day knocking on doors and reminding people to vote. The first good news came early when my Senatorial candidate Bill Nelson won the open seat left by Connie Mack. My house seat (FL-22) was neck in neck all night and my candidate lost by 500 votes, but they may do a recount. For some reason, that is not getting a lot of attention. The Gore roller coaster kept me glued to the radio and I left at midnight to drive up to Palm Coast for a Breakfast meeting with new NATCA reps from several bargaining units. What a joy to talk to these members who are excited about their new union!
Wednesday also had me represent NATCA on the National Partnership Council, where I met representatives from all of the other unions represented in FAA. Jane Garvey had to call her management team back on Thursday so our meeting was cut a day short. We talked about a number of issues and I had to remind the agency that they might want our buy in on their pet projects, but its members set NATCA’s priorities. We cannot take resources away from projects that are important to NATCA members for the FAA “fire drill du jour”. I changed my flight to first thing Thursday morning, got a little sleep and headed back to DC.
Luckily, this schedule changed allowed me to make the NEA fac rep meeting in Annapolis. Thank you to the Eastern Region for adjusting your meeting to allow me to attend. I spoke briefly and took questions. I appreciate the members for putting your concerns on the table and letting me answer rather than relying on rumors or speculation. I spoke with Tim Casten at length on net crash and the Communication Committee strategy to provide NATCA members with reliable Internet service and e-mail. Spent some more time talking to Barrett Byrnes about the NY towers and received some warm invitations to visit facilities. I asked each rep who invited me up to visit to let me know a specific date that they would like me to come up, and we can work out a schedule. There is nothing I like better than visiting NATCA members.
Friday morning I met Dale Wright to finalize a budget proposal for the joint NEB/NFC meeting. The office was closed so we were able to work without distraction. Adell came in to take care of some work and Greg Llafet came to explain the training proposals in depth. Greg has prepared a training schedule for NATCA that will take us giant steps forward in preparing new activists and giving new ideas and strategies to our veteran activists. We prepared a budget that aligns the budget with our priorities and focuses on communication with our members, advancing our issues in the public and political arena and educating our activists.
If I haven’t told you yet, thank you for the opportunity to serve you in this job. There is nothing I can think of that is as rewarding as working for the members of this union. I love going in every day.