|Weekly Update for May 11, 2001|
Sisters and brothers...
This week started off with another round trip to the DC area Monday... Met our techno-geek and hard working NATCA friend Cris Johnson for a meeting with the agency concerning the FY 2000 metrics report on the air traffic productivity gains associated with the CBA. Needless to say, one of the big items we will be looking at is the A17 data supplied by each of the facilities nation-wide. The meeting is our second in which we are attempting to organize the report and determine tasks each of the team members will be working on. Aside from the plain statistical data that was included in the FY 1999 report, we are looking at bolstering emphasis on the productivity of the controller contribution to the NAS, economy and overall national GNP, and our excellence in providing these services compared to other nations of the world, most importantly, the privatized/corporatized ones. The OIG, GAO, OMB and anyone else you can think of who likes to throw stones at the FAA is constantly calling for information, and it's not because it's their job, it's to use the data to drive as many nails in our coffin as they can... It's our job to dispel the myths concerning privatization, and the metrics report is one of the vehicles to do that.
Later that day, I met with Bill Peacock, Chris Blum and members of the Detroit Tower/TRACON contingency to receive a briefing on the new runway. The basic problem identified was the location of the new runway in proximity to the existing runways... it's too close for simultaneous operations in IFR conditions. The folks at DTW/D21 proposed several options for alleviating these barriers that would increase the arrival/departure rates in IFR conditions. Without finding a solution, the users will not realize any significant rate to their operations.
Obviously, this is a problem, especially if we have been preaching "build more runways" to resolve the capacity problem inherent in the system. We have to collectively put our heads together mitigate the problem, or we will get beat up by any proponent of privatization. Granted, we had nothing to do with the location of the new runway, that was the county's call, but somehow, my gut tells me that will get lost in the translation by those who mean to destroy us. We can also expect pushback from FSDO when we apply for waivers, and probably the pilots who have been fighting us on LAHSO and PRM. It just never ends...
Tuesday found me back in DC for the NEB/ATMT meeting. I met with The activists working on the CIP data and had a very productive meeting concerning the state of negotiations. At this point, the parties are primarily concentrating on the field surveys being conducted by Runzhiemer, which have not been completed. There are other issues and concerns that will inevitably come up during the negotiations, most notably, the effect of facility consolidations, the command center, and the number of facilities that will receive the CIP. More on this subject when more begins to happen...
Wednesday and Thursday kept me busy with the ATMT/NEB meeting. We discussed a myriad of subjects including, co-leadership, MWE, OT distribution among regions, organizational infrastructure problems, most notably, communication problems between the field and HQ, A7 problems at the local level, NAR, A52 self directed work teams, and staffing.
I believe the meeting was very productive. We did not come to resolution on many of the issues, but we began to address them with incremental solutions. We committed to each other that we would operate in a collaborative manner which will prove to be very hard work for both parties, it usually is. We also agreed that we will continue to meet on a regular basis with the next meeting scheduled in August. From my perspective, I believe the more often we meet and discuss issues, the better chance we will come to a mutual understanding on problems and solutions to those problems. As far as I'm concerned, the bottom line is to get it right as quickly as possible so that we can also concentrate on those things we want and need to improve the system and the environment we work in.
Labor Relations Update Courtesy of Bob Taylor... Following is a partial update on standing L/R Issues, I urge you to read these issues, it's very informative, and goes to show what our hard working LR staff is up to... their elbows in alligators!:
Spoke with Ray Thoman this morning that resulted in a commitment to issue guidance to provide NATCA an advance copy of all videos with an opportunity to comment prior to be review by BUM's.
The National Arbitration on assigning CIC during mid-shifts at Centers is pending a decision from the arbitrator
Stoves: The agency wants to remove stoves from those towers with a single means of egress, we disagree, we are at Impasse. With our knowledge, the agency has made no attempts to pursue this matter further.
Patco 5% Differential: Our best argument is disparate treatment. We are moving forward to arbitration Mike Doherty is the Lead.
Dues: Agency is taking the position that employees may withdraw as a member on their anniversary, we disagree, WP Region filed a grievance, we are moving forward to arbitration. Mike Hull and Susan Grundman are the Leads.
Night Differential: We have consolidated a number of local issues into one National Grievance, we are moving forward for arbitration Melinda Kim is the Lead.
Use of Comp Time vs. Annual Leave: Filed a National Grievance on this issue and we are moving forward to arbitration. Mike Doherty is the Lead. Eastern Region recently arbitrated this issue and awaiting a decision from the arbitrator.
FSIP Smoking Order Enforcement: The issue is those facilities where a city ordinance has a no smoking policy, we are going to arbitration. Lorri Hayes is the Lead.
Article 99: National Grievance has been filed that training is not an operational requirement/necessity and if so, then what sort of training
constitutes operational requirement/necessity? Susan Grundman is the Lead.
Flexible Spending Accounts Article 87 Workgroup: The workgroup has finished it's work, the agency is taking the position they have no authority to implement this program, of course, we disagree President Carr sent a letter to the agency that we are ready to move forward.
Gainsharing Article 88 Workgroup: The workgroup has completed its task and have presented their work to John Carr and Bill Peacock for their blessings.
Tax Consequences for Liaisons on extended details: A National MOU is awaiting President John Carrs review that places the tax burden on the agency when a Liaisons remains beyond one year. John Carr presented MOU to Bill Peacock or signature.
Twins Issue, Article 30: Issue settled. Employee received entitlement for each child, with a commitment that future similar instances would be
treated as stand alone entitlement under Article 30.
Bargaining Unit Consolidation Petitions: Held in abeyance until we make a determination the best course of action for NATCA, particularly while we are in negotiations with the various new units. Proposal submitted to the agency, awaiting a reply. Barry Krasner & Bob Taylor are the leads
Clarification of Units/Regional Counsel Office: FAA has filed a petition for clarification of this unit to exclude the administrative officers on the
grounds they perform confidential work Susan Grundman is the Lead.
On going negotiations are in place with Aircraft Certification, AMA,ABA,AGC,ARC and ARP,ABA, ARC, ARC-AL, AOS-200, 300/400, 510, AVN, ARP, AGC, bue's. We are scheduling to address the following units, Hawaii ATCS and Air Guard Techs, AIR, AFS-6-10. NATCA filed a petition with the Authority for Support Staff Specialist located in Terminals, Centers and Regional Offices.
TMC and NOTAM CBA are combined, although the TMC CBA and Pay are complete, we cannot go to the printer until we wrap up pay for NOTAM's. Negotiations on hold pending OMB decision of ASHME ULP.
On going discussions with the Agency that our position is when an employee self refers, the employee cannot be required to abstain from alcohol nor be disciplined in anyway, including last chance agreements.
Discussions on-going to best address the disparate treatment of Regional Flight Surgeons in regards to withdrawing bue's medical for special
consideration, who pays, etc.
All nine regions have in place the National ADR (Alternate Dispute Resolution) Article 9, MOU.
Article 8 ADR is only in affect in the Central, Great Lakes and Western Pacific Regions. A determination will be made in July to maintain Article 8 ADR or expand to other regions. In addition, we will review the success of Article 9 ADR.
Official Time for Lobby Week: Official time for Lobbying activities is controlled by Article 2, the issue of official time to travel and Facility
Representatives delegating is no longer an issue.
Mark Bagley has joined NATCA L/R in a training status for the summer. A new L/R Administrative Assistant will join us May 21.
* Working on outstanding grievances for New England region including the Rick White grievance regarding the underpayment of military deposit. Negotiating settlement with the Agency to waive the employee's obligation to pay the amount and interest due.
* Compiling and researching arbitrators and mediators for the New England and Eastern Regions ADR process
* Attended AOS 300/400 negotiations and AIR CERT internal negotiations
* Attended several Article 7 briefings on issues including ABA Travel Vouchers, the increase to 3000 character flight plans for air traffic, and
the new Controller Pilot Data Link System being instituted in Miami.
* Assisted in filing a National Grievance and Article 7 request regarding changes made to FAA Order 7400.8F(G) - Special Use Areas
* Collected data from facility representatives regarding the FAA's use of the US AIR airbus video in training - a national grievance was also filed on the issue
* Assisted multiple controllers with questions regarding the internal placement program and mutual reassignments
* Assisted LR staff on issues regarding unfair labor practices and representation cases before the FLRA
* Negotiating interim agreements with new Title 5 (DOD) and Title 32 (National Guard) controllers in Hawaii.
* Currently in negotiations to settle a removal action taken against a controller in Hawaii prior to arbitration considerations.
* Working with Western-Pacific Region on outstanding grievances, identifying cases that should be scheduled for arbitration and evaluating
* National Office contact for the following bargaining units: Western Pacific Region, TMCs, AOS 300/400, AOS-200, AVN Engineers, AFS 610, Airports Division and Airports Dist. Offices, Hawaii National Guard and DOD controllers. Daily representational functions for each group.
* Art. 7 scheduled for ASR-11 upcoming, working with liaison.
* Art. 7 for Historical Validated Restrictions for TMCs upcoming.
* Recent Art. 7 briefing on Data Spacing Program, working with EA Reg. DSP liaison John Higgins and ATX liaison Mike Hull on MOU proposal creating a national workgroup and ensuring that the system is prepared to expand on a national scope. Awaiting art. 48 notification from the FAA in order to designate a national liaison.
* Working with Tony Henry and John Carr on developing a TFM User Team (TUTS) workgroup MOU that will expeditiously and efficiently deal with related TMC issues. Completed internal collective bargaining agreement negotiations with Airport Certification last week.
* Preparing for contract negotiations with the FAA for a collecting bargaining agreement for AOS 300/400.
* Working with Jim Breen (AOS 400 rep.) for the pending Terminal Business Unit reorganization.
* Working with Jess Lewis (AFS 610) in negotiating an internal reorganization that combines AFS 610 with Aircraft Certification, will
probably end up before the FLRA clarifying the unit. Agency contends that AFS 610 may be an AFSCME BU after the reorg. , will disagree and fight the issue before the FLRA.
* Assist Ralph Paggington (AOS 300 rep.) in devising and forwarding a recent message to all RVPs and national office reps requesting any possible assistance from the controller workforce in maintaining AOS 300's established role in developing software for controllers such as URET, CCLD, Pfast. This BU is mainly comprised of 2152 controllers and it behooves NATCA as a whole to maintain the dichotomy of ex-controllers in AOS creating and maintaining software for current controllers. The fear is that PASS will assume this role as has happened with DSR.
* Awaiting arbitration decision from Central Region concerning controller removed for 3 operational errors. Decision is due any day now.
* Completed arbitration of "parasite" T-shirt issue. Case was originally heard in Anchorage in 3/2000, but arbitrator was too sick to
render a decision. Presented the case to a new arbitrator last week in Seattle. Decision is due in 4-6 weeks.
* Arbitration scheduled for 6/2000 for a NM region controller who lost his FAM privileges for 2 years because he switched his return flight without getting prior approval.
* Arbitration scheduled for 7/2000 for a NM region contract interpretation case. The issue is whether, under Article 32, Section 5, the
Agency can deny a shift change request based upon the operational requirements of the receiving shift, i.e. the shift the controller wants to
change to is already fully staffed.
* FAA has finally chosen a representative for the C90 alleged slowdown arbitration. Her name is Cheryl Williams and she is from the Chief
Counsel's office at FAA headquarters. Osborne and I do not foresee the cases going to arbitration until this summer. We have to be careful of
prime time leave when scheduling the case.
* Article 7: Parties are in negotiations over deployment of HOST software "3,000 character patch" at ARTCCs. Union will submit a proposal this week.
* Article 7: Agency briefed the Union on its plan to deactivate long range radar sites for ARTCCs. The Agency's briefing was inadequate in that its representatives could not answer a number of questions about the project. Union sent a list of questions to the Agency. Negotiations are in abeyance until questions are answered.
* Article 7: The Union has a proposal in to the Agency concerning URET implementation. Awaiting the Agency's response.
* Article 7: Parties are in negotiation over a test of ICAO flight plans at Houston ARTCC. The Union is awaiting the Agency's next proposal.
* Article 7: The Union is awaiting briefings on the following projects: WARP Stage 1, Phase 2; DSR software drop; and DSR software
* Union and FLRA settled a DFR grievance from Bradley TRACON. BUEs accused Union of violating DFR in investigation of hostile work environment and the imposition of discipline by Agency. Settlement calls for posting of statement of the law at TRACON only. Settlement contains language stating that Union does not admit violation of the Statute.
* Denver Parking: The FAA and the City and County of Denver have reached an agreement on constructing a covered parking area for DEN controllers. Until structure is completed, controllers can park in garage with FAA reimbursing the cost. The FLRA has determined that the agreement constitutes substantial compliance with the FLRA's award in the matter. The appeal of the case to the Court of Appeals has been dismissed without prejudice, meaning that the FLRA can reinstate the case if the FAA does not comply with the agreement, i.e., does not build the structure.
* Contract Towers: BUEs ratified new CBA between RVA and NATCA. Contract guarantees an annual 3.9% wage increase and standardizes leave accrual among NATCA facilities, among other things. NATCA and Midwest met for first round of CBA negotiations in April in Kansas City. Not much progress. Next session is tentatively scheduled for 6/2000.
* National Arbitrations: 1) 5% ATRA for PATCO rehires and 2) change in past practice concerning comp time balance carryover. I have not yet scheduled these cases with the Agency. Targeting late summer for the arbitration hearings.
Membership Department Update courtesy of Lew Zeits:
UNUM Long Term Disability Insurance Program
· To date, over 1,000 members have enrolled in UNUM Program
Note: There are additional persons who joined NATCA after the computerized listing was delivered to UNUM automated services. Hence, they were enrolled manually. Approximately 75 are scheduled to be added to the above referenced enrollee list
· We have extended the deadline for the insurance availability (with guarantee coverage) through May 31, 2001. This will be the final extension and it was done in order to provide more time for those members who had additional questions. New members have 30 days after the join date in which to enroll. All others may still enroll, but must pass through “underwriting” prior to their acceptance.
· Please reference the attached document of current NATCA enrollees in order to identify the number of enrollees in specific facilities
· Although we have reached unprecedented numbers of individuals enrolling in this plan, we still believe there are many members who do not fully understand the importance of the insurance to their over-all personal financial security and the future of their family’s financial well-being.
· Please encourage facility reps to get the word out about the valuable member benefit. Our goal is to reach 1,500 enrollees by June 1.
FAA FirstUnion Credit Union Affiliation
· Preliminary negotiations are under way with the ultimate goal of providing FAA FirstUnion Credit Union benefits for all NATCA members
· Presently, they only serve FAA employees in four regions (AWP, ANM, AAL, AGL) and frequently must turn away controllers from the other NATCA regions
· They offer online services and specialize in “toy loans” enabling members to enjoy distinct low interest advantages
· Eventually, we will be required to submit a letter indicating interest in adding credit union as a member benefit, and a re-affirmation of need for above referenced services to the FAA FirstUnion Board of Directors
NATCA Dental Insurance Offerings
· Meeting with American Association of Orthodontics in St. Louis to review a comprehensive proposed plan offering for NATCA members
· We rejected AETNA group plan primarily because
A) their proposal required a 25% NATCA participation rate within 24 months
B) their over-all premiums were judged too high and non-competitive
· Considering proposals from the following:
- Metlife (dental)
- Dental America
- BC Health Insurance
- Delta Dental
- United Health Plan
- Fortis Benefits
Review of current organizing campaigns
· Staff support specialists – received confirmation from FAA this afternoon and a current listing of individuals employed within FAA who would be considered under petition; step 2 – review proposed names , and schedule meeting with FAA to review conditions of petition as soon as possible – no date for election has been scheduled thus far
· Security (CAS) employees – We have been promised a deadline of June 30 for a final FLRA decision – Campaign began in June, 1999. Briefs were filed April 2000.
Next week I will be attending NATCA in Washington with several representatives from the region. Thanks to all of you holding down the fort in support of our brothers and sisters doing good work for us all. I will also be attending the NEB meeting Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. If for some reason I haven't gotten back to you, please let me know... keep up the great work and keep the ideas, suggestions and any other correspondence coming my way; I appreciate the chance to support you while you support those who elected you... have a safe and happy weekend!