<!----Enter Date Bellow *************> Weekly Update for January 01, 2001 <!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>
Weekly Update for <!----Enter Date Bellow *************>January 5, 2001 <!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>

Weekly Update for January 5, 2001


Sisters and brothers...

What a week! By far the one of the busier ones. I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful holiday season. Thanks to everyone for being patient while I try to catch up with what's been happening while I was on leave. The burden has been easier with the help of George and Laurelle, thanks...

If you haven't heard, Ron Morgan has decided to end his career with the FAA instead of taking the position in Brussels. After some soul searching, he decided it wasn't the right move considering his family circumstances. And although it wasn't stated, he probably figured his earning potential with outside contractor or within the aviation industry was about three times what it is in the FAA. Let's just hope he doesn't go down the same road as Pollard. Mo Woods will be acting ATT-1 beginning the middle of next week, and the search continues for Ron's replacement.

The next NGL third level review will be January 29 through January 31 in Cleveland. Chris and I will meet on February 12 and 13 to resolve those issues that couldn't be resolved during that meeting. At that time, we will schedule the next third level review for sometime in late March or early April. All those grievances that weren't addressed in the previous review, will be addressed in this one, with some or all of those filed since. Due to the holidays and some previous commitments, we have been unable to finalize about 10 grievances that have been left in limbo from the past review. I will be in Chicago during the week of January 15, and plan to address these at that time.

As for the resolution to the past grievances (i.e., settlement agreements), I have to admit that I've dropped the ball on notifying the interested parties; I will remedy this in the next two weeks. As for the results of the next review, I am committed to get those to the facility and/or grievant as quickly as possible. If you believe that we need to know more specifics of any issue, please call me, George or the advocate assigned to your facility.

Reference pay grievances, the next fourth level review will be conducted on January 16; this is a change. It wouldn't hurt to verify that we have a grievance from your facility this next week by calling George or Laurelle.

Apparently, the bids for OSH have been put out, extended, and the region is still short on controllers for the event. Chris has stated that the budget for OSH was not separate from the region's operations budget as it was in years past. Evidently the request has gone out to the managers to look at their staffing again and try to release BUE's for the event. Be advised, if you can't let someone go, stick to your guns. Until the agency's ready to support this event with sufficient resources, quite frankly, it's not our problem. Ron Oberg has provided me with some very in-depth research on the money generated by this event and the associated cost. I will be writing a letter to the Administrator requesting that the agency provide sufficient support for the convention since it provides great PR for us and the FAA. When AGL 540 mentioned this on the regional telcon, I told them the simple solution was to provide the OT, and they would have more bidders than they could shake a stick at. More on that later...

Evidently, management has been requiring BUE EEO counselors to report for investigations on their RDO's and while on approved leave. Dick Petersen correctly informed the managers that this was not proper and to cease and desist. If this has been a problem at your facility, ensure that these people have been sufficiently compensated, and that this practice discontinues. As of yet, I haven't been informed by any FacRep or member of this problem, so maybe it was in other BU's.

I have also been informed (from the Dakota's Hub) that direction has been given to facility managers that they are to inform BUE's that they must schedule and use any comp time balance they have on the books by the end of the 2001 leave year. This is a violation of the CFR's and the CBA. I have not had a chance to discuss this with Chris, but will the beginning of next week; we have discussed this issue before and based on those conversations, manager's should not be giving these instructions to our people. Per the CFR's (121.231 need to verify this), management can request us to schedule the use of comp time by a certain date, however, if it is not used, then it must be paid out at the rate it was earned (at time and one half). Additionally, the agency raised this issue at the negotiating table, and withdrew it. Therefore, per the MOU in the back of the CBA, this issue is "covered by" the negotiated agreement and cannot be claimed by either party to implement change.
Recently the FAA conducted a Severe Weather Season Review to evaluate this past summerís performance in the National Airspace System (NAS). It was determined that AT personnel did not adequately understand the procedures as it pertained to SWAP2000, the Strategic Planning process or the use of Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) tools. As a result of this review it was determined to improve the performance of the National Airspace System, a joint FAA/Customer two- phase training process must occur.

For the centers and selected Hubs, there will be a one day training session for CPC's at all of the en route facilities and selected terminals concerning Spring 2001. This one day training seminar will teach traffic management procedures and provide an overview of traffic management tools that are used during the severe weather season. Additionally communication and coordination procedures will be stressed using the Systemís Thinking approach, which promotes full participation and accountability for all stakeholders of the system.

It will be conducted by four CADRE training teams and supplemented by regional air traffic divisions. The training will begin the week of February 5, 2001 and will continue through the week of April 1, 2001. This training is also highly recommended for CPC personnel. To accommodate the training the Cadre team will spend three consecutive days at each facility listed below to ensure maximum participation. Each Cadre training team will be comprised of at least four members. Representatives should include an airline dispatcher, a FAA ATCSCC severe weather specialist, a management representative and a bargaining unit employee.

Today I received notification from two FacReps that management agreed to let CPC transfer training failures/resignations to waive their right to reduce the pay raise received on transfer and return to their previously assigned facility. As you know, this issue has been a sore in the sides of these employees. Unfortunately, the pay rules MOU dictates how these folks pay will be set. Furthermore, the agency asked to reopen this issue and the parties have been negotiating a change to the pay rules for this particular problem. I sent a letter to Chris stating that this action was a violation of the statute, the CBA, and the MOU. As much as I want to get these people back to where they came from, to allow the agency to circumvent the negotiated procedures and the statute, sends the wrong signal and may harm the negotiation process and our membership in the long run. If you are approached by your manager about this, please let me know.

Another issue that is apparently starting crop up concerns the reduction of ops sups and changing negotiated BUE schedules to accommodate the movement of ops sups to busier traffic shifts. I have already gone one round with the region to stop this in its tracks, but they believe that ops sups should be staffed in the busier traffic periods as opposed to using CIC's. What this will mean is that management will move the ops sups to normal shifts and move BUE's around to cover as CIC's during the non busy traffic shifts. Well that's just plain old bull shit!

The agency and the Union agreed to the reduction in ops sups whereby BUE's would take on extra duties such as CIC, to save the agency money. As the Administrator stated to the OIG, properly trained CIC's are more than adequate to act in the ops sup's support position. The parties at the national level agreed that the 7210.3 and in the CIC MOU that controllers are to be trained and utilized in the same activities and with the same responsibilities and accountability as ops sups. This action being forced down some of our throats is completely contradictory to FAA orders and our negotiated agreements. Operational requirements do not include ops sups duties, and not having a sup on a particular shift does not preclude the agency to shuffle sups from less busy shifts to more busy shifts thereby impacting BUE schedules to fill in.

If this issue is being raised at your facility, and management requests to negotiate changing BUE schedules based on their movement of sups to accommodate the busy shift, propose the schedule you have in place, or the one you want that satisfies coverage requirements. If management says that's no good because it doesn't replace their ops sups, remember to review Article 7 and declare impasse and send it to me. Request status quo on the schedule in place (so long as it satisfies coverage requirements), since management's right to implement prior to the conclusion of negotiations must meet the test for operational necessity (A7 S4), which ops sup coverage doesn't. If the manager tells you it is an operational necessity, get the reason in writing, I'm the Administrator would be interested to know that AT is contradicting the intent behind the reduction of ops sups and her assurance to the OIG that safety will not be impacted.

Unfortunately, there is no break through on the PCS/IPP MOU negotiations. All that I can tell you is that the agency and NATCA consider this as a top priority. To date, there have not been any major disagreements, so hopefully we can resolve this one now that the holidays are over. The same goes for filling some ingrade and downgrade IPP request internally as well as those wanting to come from outside the NGL. This also includes hardships.

The region is now trying to sell me on a story that AT is authorized 4305 personnel, and their budget may not cover this. Quite frankly I'm primarily concerned with our authorized number of 2937; if management is overstaffed in other areas, that's their problem, they have a negotiated agreement to meet. So the bottom line is we are now playing numbers games around regional numbers, including new hires. We have had a couple of conversations (Chris and I) in the past concerning the new hires and the on board numbers. We had agreed in principal that since the new hires were designated for the attrition rate, they would not be counted towards our authorized on board numbers; these fluctuate too damn much. Plus, the agency ahs not been counting part time employees per the CBA, using them as one FTE (one authorized body) when they are required to prorate them (means about 10-15 more FTE's for NGL). It seems now that they may be changing their tune... I have yet to discuss this with Chris, but will over the next two weeks.

One final note concerning NAR... it seems as though funds designated for NAR are being used for NAR functions, but because the Flight Team Leads FLT's; NATCA and management) are not approving the expenditures, one can't be certain. Facilities that have a budget, the FacRep's need to remind their manager and FLT to pay close attention to those expenditures designated for NAR activities.

And with that, I'll say good evening... be careful at work, at home and at play!

Pat



[Back] [Updates]