<!----Enter Date Bellow *****************>
<!----Enter Text Bellow **********>
Brothers and Sisters,
It has been such a busy week, I can barely remember what happened on Monday. Throughout the week I met one on one with a number of employees to discuss issues of importance to them and NATCA. On Monday John and I met with Sherrod Shim to discuss the communications plan for the next year. Immediately following, we met with Tom Farrier and Jim Morin to discuss some concerns of our staff and a recent staff meeting held to discuss the matter of NATCA employees organizing a union. Two major issues have surfaced regarding parking policy and children in the workplace, which gave rise to the broader issue of how employees can raise their concerns to the leadership of the union.
Employee organizing efforts were known, but we had not received any official notification that it was underway and as you know, we need to ensure that the employee’s right to organize is protected. John and I had several meetings with our General Counsel to prepare briefing to our director’s to ensure that they are aware of their obligations and that NATCA will not tolerate the commission of Unfair Labor Practices by any director. This was a topic of the Director’s meeting in addition to the normal issues to be reviewed. The meeting was pleasantly followed by the office pot luck.
John went off to testify on the LGA slot lottery, and I joined the TTD telcon on the draft executive order to be issued on Thursday. Christine Corcoran pulled bios on each member of the ATO advisory committee to be seated and included the political contributions each had made. Christine sat in on the telcon in my office and I have to tell you, throughout this issue, she was awesome! Every aviation labor union opposed the Executive Order, but we did not know if there would be an opportunity to change, delay or pull it. We each committed to set the wheels in motion to express our discontent in an attempt to turn the white house around and within 2 hours we had a morning meeting at the White House scheduled.
Ken Montoya, Christine Corcoran, John and I spent the next several hours working the issue, had the legislative committee on red alert to go with an opposition campaign, while talking points were worked up. After a 30 minute phone call with Jane Garvey we agreed to hold our opposition campaign until the White House meeting. At 9:00 we had done what we could and went home to work independently. Conveniently, we already had a breakfast meeting scheduled with Ed Wytkind of TTD and we used it to strategize the White House Meeting. At the meeting two things were made very clear, 1. There would be an Executive Order for the FAA signed on Thursday at 11:00 and 2. It would create a PBO. Oh, and one more – they were not asking for our support.
I don’t want to retype the updates that went out on this issue, so I will stick with it took most of our time on Wednesday and Thursday. However, we were still able to meet our commitment to NATCA’s employees and attend the staff meeting on Wednesday. We announce the creation of a new position, Policy Director, that the NEB approved and we are in the process of identifying. The Policy Director will be a peer to the other Directors in NATCA and will work to find allies in NATCA’s public policy issues, specifically, privatization and contracting. We are looking for someone with a background in DC at the policy level, communications experience and the contacts we need. His/her role will be to generate support for our positions before it gets to the legislative stage.
We briefed the staff that this is a retaliation free work place ant they are free to form a union or not as they see fit. We are more than willing to address their concerns whether they use a union or form employee workgroups, but that it is their decision to make.
Thursday was filled with work around the EO, since Clinton announced it at 11:00, but didn’t sign it until after 3:00. The executive order had changed so much from the first draft that it was virtually unrecognizable, they had deleted the sections that gave us the most concern and included the “inherently governmental” language that we had requested. We spooled up our media effort to get our position that this EO illustrates that privatization is a dangerous and unnecessary option for ATC, so that our opposition did not use it as an opportunity to say that it shows that privatization is the solution.
Friday brought a number of press interviews and a meeting with Jeff Sparrow and his counterparts in the Free Flight Office to discuss Pfast, free flight phase 1 and free flight phase 2. We hoped to generate some media attention this weekend for our ongoing opposition to privatization, but it looks like Florida is hogging the spotlight again. Oh and if I forgot to mention it, I also paid stacks of NATCA’s bills and reimbursed our activists for the money they put out doing our union’s work.