Weekly Update for April 27, 2001

Sisters and brothers...

I hope everyone agrees that the FacRep meeting this week was fantastic. What a wonderful opportunity to network with other reps, national office staff, and of course our President and Executive Vice President, John Carr and Ruth Marlin. I would love to hear any feedback from all as to ways that we could improve on the curriculum or any of the other functions. Make sure you make plans for our next get together in New Orleans, September 10-13.

Even though we were all meeting in Florida, the members in the Great Lakes facilities were slaving hard at work doing what no one else does better... moving planes! Thanks to all of them for allowing us to get some training and information that will ultimately help to serve them better. I appreciate the support from the membership in allowing me and the other FacReps the opportunity. And as our members worked, so did the usual business of the agency. This has been a very busy week, so strap in for a lengthy update...

PCS/IPP - After some discussion with Chris and the RO, we have agreed to a process for determining the placement of new hires while honoring the letter and intent of the MOU. We will conduct another draft of all of the vacancies available at NGL facilities after Chris and I agree to the authorized staffing numbers for FY 02, based on an estimate of what we will get once the national staffing MOU for FY 02 has been completed. Once we agree regionally (middle of next week), all of the managers will be instructed to select off the rated and ranked IPP lists, regardless of whether or not the candidate is from within NGL or not. I have very clearly stated that if the managers do not select off the IPP list, they shall be prepared to justify the non-selection prior to a new hire going in, per the MOU.

Once this process has been completed (looking for a very quick 2-3 week process), we will go ahead and backfill the vacancies at facilities that have been created. The bid has closed for the 12 PCS funded moves that were advertised, so these selections will be made prior to selections from the IPP lists. I believe that this process will ensure that all of the candidates who want to transfer will have that opportunity prior to any new hire occupying a slot at a facility that has internal interest.

I would like all FacReps to inform me of any additional staffing requirements that your facility is going to need over the next year, based on a new position, runways, etc., etc. Many already have (God love ya!), but go ahead and do it again... understand, I will evaluate these requests and incorporate as many new bodies as I can based on the number of additional authorized bodies the Great Lakes is afforded. And keep in mind that I am already committed to staffing associated with choke point sectors based on the national MOU. I will do my damnest to accommodate (or at least mitigate) your needs.

Ops Error MOU - The parties signed a new operational error/deviation MOU based on the severity of the error. After a period of time evaluating the criteria for this scientific approach to classifying operational errors, both the Union and the agency are convinced that this approach provides for a meaningful method to establish if the operational error is an indicator of a performance problem, or a one time event. Last year, 7.63% of the entire work force was involved in an operational error, and of that percentage, 20% of those were committed by employees who had multiple errors. This indicates that the vast majority of BUE's involved in an ops error happens very infrequently.

This MOU is a sea change for the agency, in that it recognizes that the vast majority of controllers who have an error don't need decertification or remedial training. The MOU and the associated severity indices provide a scientific model to measure and evaluate as to whether or not the error was a controlled event or an indication that a particular performance item needs to be addressed. We believe that this MOU will ensure that only those employees with documented performance deficiencies will be decertified, and that every operational error will be evaluated in a consistent manner. I have forwarded the MOU to you all, so take a good look.

Safety and Tech Work Groups - Looking for volunteers...

Illinois Institute of Aviation Human Factors Division has requested 30 controllers (15 terminal and 15 enroute) to participate in a communications study at the university campus in Illinois. The study will take place between June and August and will use five (5) controllers during each of the test period dates that are to be determined. We would like to provide alternates also due to last minute cancellations.
Names due to me by – 5/8/01

Corridor Integrated Weather System (CIWS) prototype project has requested a part-time NATCA Technical Representative. This position will provide part-time support for the purpose of resolving the labor union’s issues at the earliest possible stage during the development of the CIWS. The CIWS prototype will be located in the following enroute and terminal facilities: ZOB, ZAU, ZID, ZNY, ZDC, ATCSCC, ORD, DTW, CLE, IND, PIT, CVG, N90.

Desired background – The agency requests our representative be ATCS qualified as a TMC Specialist in one of the listed en route facilities.

Duration of assignment – Unknown, begins as soon as possible.

Description of Participation – Periodic travel will be required, including but not limited to, conference attendance, technical evaluations, participation in other activities led by the product team, and interaction with the prototype developers, MIT/Lincoln Labs.

Backfill O/T – Not available

Names requested by 5/1/01

NAS Sustainment Board (NSB) representative position is available. Randy Schwitz was NATCA’s representative to this initiative but has asked to be replaced.

Qualifications: Representative should have thorough knowledge of the NAS Infrastructure, terminal, en route, and traffic flow management environments. In addition, the rep should have general knowledge of the Acquisition Management System.

Dates: This team has met previously and indicated one or two meetings per year. The meetings last at least one week.

Name requested by: 5/8/01

Dynamic Resectorization still needs a representative. The role of the NATCA designee will be to provide technical expertise and to identify potential impact on bargaining unit employees. The agency requests the representative have en route experience.

Travel: Expected to be approximately one week per quarter plus occasional telcons.

Name requested: ASAP

The Air Traffic RNAV Implementation Office ATP-104 has requested a full-time NATCA en route tech rep.

Background: ATCS should be qualified in the en route environment

Dates: One year

Description of participation: DC based, full-time in the AT RNAV Implementation Office. There will be periodic travel.

Backfill O/T: Not available

Names requested by: 5/8/01

ATCSCC Voice Switch Replacement Product Team (PT) has requested a NATCA representative.

Qualifications: Represent NATCA in accordance with Article 48 of the contract

Requested dates: ASAP and be available to participate throughout the multi-year life of the PT

Participation: Part-time support to the PT. This support will consist of participation in investment analysis, processes and the review of acquisition, and technical documents at his or her home facility and/or FAA headquarters.

Communications: Representative is expected to participate in periodic telephone conference calls and meetings at the FAA Headquarters and FAA Technical Center. Other communications will include the use of cc:mail. The PT meets once weekly and the representative may accomplish their participation through telcons.

Names requested by: 5/8/01

Legislative Update - FY2002 Budget Resolution The FY2002 Budget Resolution moves to Conference Committee to work out the minor differences between the House-passed and the Senate-passed versions. A final version is expected to be on the floor of each chamber next week. It is expected that the final measure will call for one tax reconciliation measure. Republican leaders want to complete a tax bill by the Memorial Day recess.

On April 25, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on airline labor issues focusing on labor problems and the balance between labor and management in negotiations and the effects of strikes on the industry and consumers. On April 25, the House Appropriations Transportation Subcommittee will hold a hearing on FY2002 transportation spending. Secretary Mineta will be testifying. On April 25, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Aviation Subcommittee will hold a hearing on FAA capacity benchmarks.

On April 26, the Senate Appropriations Transportation Subcommittee will hold a hearing on FY2002 transportation spending. On April 26, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Aviation Subcommittee will hold a hearing on efforts to reduce airline delays focusing on H.R. 1407 to grant airlines antitrust immunity. Blackie will be testifying at this hearing on behalf of NATCA.

Mo Woods - Maureen Woods will be stepping down from her position as AAT-2 to fill the vacancy of AGL-400 (AF Division Manager) effective immediately. Mo has taken this initiative on her own accord, I assume to be closer to her family in Oberlin, OH. She has been a great asset for the Great lakes region, and I look forward to an improved working relationship with AF in our region.

S2K+1 - Most facilities are well on their way to completing the S2K+1 training requirement for all BUE's. After our discussion this week with Chris, and based on a telecon the managers had two weeks ago, we need to make sure that information feedback to the command center from the boards is getting there and making an impact. Please follow up with your managers. if you haven't developed a workable process for feedback to the command center, or if it is not having an impact on the strategic plan, get your heads together and develop one that works. We will address any short comings attributable to the command center once we identify them, it just helps to know there are established procedures in place to start. Expect a telecon on or about May 16 with the Hub/center managers and FacReps to discuss these issues.

Surface Intervention Plans - Just a reminder, airport surface intervention plans are due in the region by April 30, 2001. I assume that all FacRep's have been involved in these developments (since I haven't heard of any problems), but if you haven't, contact your ATM and ask him/her just how they came up with a plan without including the experts... On a side note, runway incursions are going down in NGL; keep up the great work.

Next week, Chris and I will be traveling to ZMP on Monday for an NAR briefing. I will be in the Cleveland Office on Tuesday and Wednesday, either in Chicago or DC on Thursday, and in the Cleveland office on Friday. Don't forget to check our regional web site at http://ngl.natca.net Hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend....


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