Weekly Update for May 25, 2001

If you haven't listened to your pages today, the latest news concerning the IPP draft is that it will take place on June 18th and 19th instead of May 30/31. Evidently many of the field managers were caught off guard with the previous dates, and didn't have the time to collect and evaluate all of the IPP's floating around for their respective facilities. Chances are, they may not have even had an updated list.

I have been receiving some questions concerning rumors about the limited number of facilities in the draft. After discussing this with the RO let me clear the issue up. On June the 18th, all of the facilities that have existing vacancies (mostly ATC-9's and above), including those created by the tentative increases to authorized staffing numbers, will conduct the first round of selections, and that means for all of their vacancies. June 19th will concentrate on all of the other facilities that will have openings due to the selections from the previous day. Our intention is to satisfy as many hardship and swaps as possible through this process.

As of today, there are about 600 IPP's for various facilities in the NGL. George and one of the 540 specialists have been reviewing these IPP's to determine if BUE's have already transferred to another facility. They are attempting to contact everyone who has transferred to verify that they are not interested in the IPP on file. If they aren't, the IPP will be withdrawn; if they are, the IPP stays in place. The reason for this is to provide the cleanest process for selecting individuals for a given facility. If someone is selected, but has no intention of going because they are satisfied with where they are at, it could potentially knock another BUE out for the job, who may then get selected to a second choice facility.
Once we have finished this process, we will go back and identify where the new hires will be placed.

Article 2 Rep time - I learned today that the RO has put out guidance concerning the use of FacRep time per A2 on Sundays and Holidays. I have not received a copy of the guidance, but have been promised one... I did discuss the issue with John Mullen. According to the region, they have instructed managers that FacRep's are not entitled to conduct A2 S17 time on Sundays and Holidays off premises, however A2 S17 time is permitted off premises on Sundays and Holidays unless prohibited by operational requirements. Evidently, the key word is ENTITLEMENT. Apparently, some managers are being told by their FacRep that they are entitled to take A2 S17 time whenever they want, including Sundays and Holidays, which is true, unless prohibited by operational requirements (A2 S1).

Why this needs to be reiterated is beyond me, but I'm sure it will cause additional confusion in the field... My advice to you all is to schedule your A2 S17 time in advance when you know operational requirements will allow it. It shall be granted whether or not it's on a Sunday or a Holiday so long as operational requirements permit. Management should not be calling you back on the day of your selection because they took a couple of sick leave hits. In fact, the only time you should be recalled is if there is a particular reason to anticipate a need for you to resume work e.g., an imminent severe weather disturbance. The language in the contract even suggests that the call back should be in advance of the actual shift. I know that many of you work with your manager to mitigate this issue, but if it becomes a problem, and you're not getting your entitlement to A2 S17 time, or you're being called back for various reasons other than a severe weather disturbance, file the grievance.

7210.3R, 2-6-7 - Guidance was put out by the RO concerning the basic watch schedule. Per FAA Order 7210.3, employees cannot work more than 6 consecutive shifts without an RDO. The language in the CFR's state that employees cannot work an operational position for more than 6 days without an RDO. The language in the 7210.3 was negotiated with NATCA last year. the rationale for the more restrictive language in the Order was established so that employees weren't required/scheduled to work more than 6 shifts in a row without an RDO.

In most if not all cases that this is an issue centers on mandatory OT assignments. Some facilities that are required to work mandatory six day weeks, it was not unusual for BUE's to be working 7 or 8 shifts in a 6 day period. Granted, this was voluntary on the part of the BUE's, and it allowed those who didn't want to work OT the time off. The Union's position on this is that OT is undesirable. If you study the Congressional intent of the FLSA laws and the history of the 40 hour week, the reason for the time and one half was to discourage employers from making employees work more than 40 hours a week. Organized labor insisted on this position. The same can hold true for us... we do not want one of our own stressed out from the shift work and 60 hours during one week to be responsible for a serious accident. I know that this decision will make some of our members a little mad, both those who want the extra money, and those who don't want to work OT and who will now probably be required to.

CIC - It appears that the issue of annual leave for ops sups and CIC coverage is something that needs to be addressed at the regional level. I'm finding more and more facilities are being required to staff the CIC position in lieu of ops sup annual leave requests. If BUE's are denied annual leave, and then a sup takes spot leave requiring the use of a CIC and depleting operational coverage, file the grievance. The agency is required to comply with the CBA... if the operational coverage can be depleted for CIC just so the ops sup can have spot leave, then the operational coverage can be depleted to provide leave for the BUE's, and our contract overrides theirs... I understand we want to be flexible when it comes to annual leave, but if there doesn't need to be an ops sup around, then let's continue to a zero to whatever ratio ops sups to BUE's. More on this as it develops...

Retirement Seminars - I have contacted George Mynatt, NATCA retirement guru extraordinaire. I am trying to set up some briefings in the major metropolitan areas (4 or 5) around the region. Right now, his schedule is pending based on NATCA national working out his official time issue. Until that gets resolved, he probably won't get released from his facility, and I won't ask him to burn his annual leave (even if he could get out). So, I have asked him to look into dates in the fall when he may have an easier time getting released. I will probably ask the centers to help pitch in for the travel (quite whining... you guys are rich!). As soon as he gets back to me, I'll get the info out.

The NATCA office will be closed Monday for the holiday, and I'll be in Chicago Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (maybe Tuesday and not Friday). I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend, be safe! And for those who have to work, thank you for your efforts and dedication, hope you can still enjoy the weekend with your family and friends....

Pat [Back] [Updates]