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Weekly Update for <!----Enter Date Bellow *************> Setember 15, 2000 <!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>

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Sister and Brothers...

Welcome to my first attempt at keeping you informed... bear with me, some of
the information you may already have. Although this may not be as
entertaining as my esteemed colleague in the Southern Region, hopefully it
will be as informative. Normally, I will post this update on the Great
Lakes web page, but Laurelle is on vacation this week, and I am relegated to
the bulletin board forum. Additionally, I will send this to all of the
FacReps and NATCActivists who's e-mail address I have. If You or your local
does not receive this, e-mail me back with an address.

The past week was extremely informative concerning the state of affairs at
each of the locals. Although a small percentage did not make the telecons,
I want to thank everyone for their patience while waiting your turn to speak
and getting ahold of me in between. I've noticed a few trends in issues,
mainly LWOP and comp time policies. The common thread flows back to the
division. I have notified Chris Blum that these issues need discussion at
the regional level, hopefully at our September 27th meeting.

Staffing also appears to be an issue. As you may or may not know, the
national negotiations have not been completed, since NATCA has not presented
the agency with a counter proposal on the number of BUE's for each region.
As you can imagine, this is a volatile issue since every RVP wants more
staffing and none want to give any up. The NEB will be discussing the issue
at the next meeting (9-21/22). John Carr has assured the administrator that
we will resolve our internal differences and resolve this issue with the
agency post-haste.

Grievances at the third level are being identified and compiled by George
Petrovich. Chris and I have agreed to identify all of the outstanding
grievances, and then meet to discuss resolution. I expect that meeting will
take place middle to late October. Thereafter, I have informed the division
that I want these reviews to take place at a minimum of every two months,
even sooner if possible. I intend to revamp the third level advocate
process in the next month so that FacReps and BUE's know where their
grievances are; it may be a little rocky until we are able to get in the

I intend to review all of the liaison positions that are currently being
utilized, and those that should be utilized within the region, so that we
are involved in as much of the goings on as we can be, and are required to
be by law and the CBA. This is to the agency and the BU's advantage to be
involved up front. I have already received some great feedback and
suggestions from members, and welcome any more.

On the national front, several new developments from the LR Department:

1) Article 99 - Operational Requirements Arbitration.

The parties have reached and understanding on the interpretation of
Arbitrator Fasser's award in the Article 99 (Operational Requirements)
arbitration case.

When an employee is actively undergoing OJT that involves the sequencing and
separation of aircraft, requests for spot leave or official time may be
denied. However, in situations involving other types of training which do
not involve the sequencing and separation of air traffic or the day-to-day
active duties of a controller, the leave should be approved. The proper
consideration in granting or denying spot leave or official time depends on
the totality of the circumstances on that day affecting that employee and
must be considered in deciding whether to deny or approve such requests.
Further, "if an employee is denied the spot leave because some other
employee is in training, the Operational Requirements language cannot be
extended to a situation that does not involve conditions surrounding that
employee on that day." NATCA v. FAA, NLR-00-003-NAT (2000).

In other words, management cannot claim training as an operational
requirement based on future training requirements or needs, it must be
determined on the day in question only. I will follow up with more
clarification from our LR department. If your facility is not complying
with this interpretation, or there are issues or scenarios occurring at your
facility not expressly covered by this decision or interpretation, a
grievance should be filed.

2) Lack of prior notification regarding FAA Order 3750.7 - Ethical Conduct
and Financial Disclosure

The Union received information that the Agency is briefing employees on
their revised Conduct & Discipline Order FAPM Letter 2635 dated August 11,
2000 and 3750.7 Ethical Conduct and Financial Disclosure dated October 10,
1998. Please be advised NATCA has not received prior notice nor an
opportunity to review and/or negotiate the impact and implementation
regarding 3750.7 Ethical Conduct and Financial Disclosure.

In the event management requires employees to be briefed on 3750.7 Ethical
Conduct and Financial Disclosure advise management there is a duty to
bargain, which has not taken place at NATCA National, and advise NATCA
National ASAP. NATCA believes 3750.7 is not applicable to BUE's. At p.9 of
this order states who must report a Financial Disclosure: FAA ES employees;
Other employees whose rate of basic pay is fixed at a rate equal to or
greater than 120 percent of the minimum rate of basic pay for GS-15 of the
General Schedule; Employees in positions of confidential or policymaking
character, unless excluded by OGE under 5 CFR 2634.203. As a result of
Reclass, some employees may meet the greater than 120 percent of the minimum
rate of basic pay for a GS-15, this still does not waive the agency's
requirement to notify the union in advance and bargain, if appropriate.

The Agency never offered in any of their proposals during contract
negotiations of the CBA, regarding Ethical Conduct and Financial Disclosure.
Not to mention Article 4 of the parties CBA has unambiguous language that
employees will not be disciplined for occasional debt. In regards to the
Agency's Conduct & Discipline Order FAPM Letter 2635, NATCA National did
receive notice in November 99, that the agency was changing their conduct
and discipline order. While the Union reserved their bargaining rights
under the Statue, the Union takes a firm position that discipline may only
be taken for such cause as to promote the efficiency of the service, must be
remedial, corrective in nature, progressive, and with Due Process.

The Agency's Conduct and Discipline Order is a unilateral document that was
never put forth by the Agency in any of their proposals during negotiations
of the new CBA. Even if they had, we would never agree on how the employer
applies discipline or to any degree of discipline. The parties agreed in
Article 10 of the CBA on what the agency must review and apply before
administering discipline, for example the 12 Factors of the Douglas
Standards. The Agency made some changes in the Conduct & Discipline order
FAPM Letter 2635 from their old Conduct & Discipline Order 3750.4A. The
Agency incorporated in place of Hostile Work Environment the Model Work
Environment (MWE) which the parties have an MOU on MWE dated July 12, 2000.
The Agency Conduct & Discipline Order speaks to discipline for Off-the-Job
Conduct, however, Article 4 of the parties CBA states that employees
Off-the-Job Conduct will not result in disciplinary action. The Agency
Conduct & Discipline Order speaks of Unauthorized Absence and Tardiness,
being charged AWOL, etc., however, the Parties CBA has specific procedures
for employees protected right to take leave. The parties agreed to Prong 1
of the Covered by Doctrine, (covered by), precisely, our CBA supercedes
agency orders, policy's and practices as in Article 102. The agency shall
administer their policy's and orders in a fair and equitable manner, as in
Article 102.

3) Disciplinary actions on appeal now off limits

The US Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, in Maria A. Gregory v. United
States Postal Service (212 F.3d 1296), recently ruled that disciplinary
actions currently under appeal may not be used to support further
disciplinary actions against an employee. The decision reads in part:

".we hold that, as a matter of law, consideration may not be given to prior
disciplinary actions that are the subject of ongoing proceedings challenging
their merits. To conclude otherwise would risk harming the legitimacy of
the reasonable penalty analysis, by allowing the use of unreliable evidence
(ongoing prior disciplinary actions) to support the agency action."

This decision has great impact on the way the Agency can process further
disciplinary actions against an employee who has any outstanding
disciplinary action(s) still in the appeal process. The courts ruling
forces the Agency to determine disciplinary action against an employee
without the ability to rely on any other disciplinary action currently under

4) TMC's Now Covered by Articles 7, 9 and 11 of the Sept. 1998 Agreement

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed on August 1, 2000 that allows
Traffic Management Coordinators (TMCs) to be covered by Articles 7, 9 and 11
of the September 1998 Air Traffic Agreement. The MOU reads in part:

".We agree to implement articles 7, 9, and 11 of the September 1998
agreement between the FAA and NATCA in the following manner. Article 7
(mid-term bargaining), excluding section 5, and article 11 (dues
withholding) are implemented as written. Article 9 (grievance procedure) is
implemented as written for the traffic management coordinators not assigned
to the David J. Hurley Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC).
Article 9 is implemented for the traffic management specialists assigned to
the ATCSCC with the following change to sections 8 and 11. The point of
contact in lieu of the Air Traffic Division Manager is Jack Kies or his
designee. The previous agreement on representational duties/time remains in
effect. This agreement is effective August 3, 2000, for a period of 1 year.

This entire MOU can be found on the NATCA website under Labor Relations in
the MOU section.

5) Issues Regarding Executive Order 12968 Resurface

It has come to the attention of the National Office that issues of security
clearance and background checks on employees requiring a "secret" security
clearance are resurfacing. Guidance was issued on August 31, 1998 regarding
this issue. Since it has come to surface again, here is the guidance that
the National Office is posting.


On August 28, 1998, NATCA received a briefing from FAA Headquarters on the
contents of Executive Order 12968. This Executive Order was prepared by the
President's National Security Counsel (NSC) staff and signed by the
President. It is applicable to all government employees in all operating
Federal agencies, no only the Department of Transportation and the FAA.

The requirement for this Order came about after a review of several recent
espionage cases involving government employees selling classified
information to foreign governments to alleviate personal financial problems.
The NSC determined that in most agencies, employees had not been screened
for security purposes since initial hire into government employment. In many
cases, 20 years or more had passed since a review of their security file had
been conducted. A Security Policy Board was created to draft new security
investigation standards. The new standards introduced new requirements to
update information, including financial/credit status every ten (10) years.
The new system requires National Agency Check and Inquiry (NACI) and
National Agency Check Law Enforcement and Credit (NACLC) checks for those
employees requiring or holding a "secret" security clearance or higher.
(This includes many air traffic controllers nationwide.)

Wile reviewing the security protocol, the government procedure also was
affected by congressional amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This
basic consumer protection law now requires that individuals be notified when
their credit is being reviewed and allows them the right and opportunity to
correct any misinformation that may be obtained. The form provided is
designated to simply notify the employee that a credit check has been
requested. (Previously no employee notification was required prior to
requesting a credit check from credit reporting bureaus such as Dun &
Bradstreet, etc.)


Under this new program established by the Executive Order, the FAA security
division in each region is tasked with providing the forms to each operating
division for those employees needing review, i.e. air traffic division for
ATC personnel. The completed forms are then sent to the US Office of
Personnel Management (OPM) who will do the actual security investigation
work. No one at FAA will hear any further unless OPM finds a problem or
discrepancy, at which time the employee will be given the opportunity to
correct any misinformation or explain any difficulty.
This information is being held in the strictest confidence and is protected
by the Privacy Act. Only personnel with a "need to know" will be allowed
access to this information.


This policy is a nationwide regulation and is applicable to all government
employees. Therefore, under 5 USC 7117(a)(1) it is non-negotiable. However,
we have prevailed on the agency to prepare and provide a "cover-letter" to
employees receiving the new forms explaining the new requirement and the
rationale behind the White House action. At present the government is
starting the process with employees who have been holding security
clearances for 15 to 20 years or more.

If any NATCA member has a question on this policy, please refer them to the
National Office for a resolution.

6) Operational Error/Operational Deviation Study/Survey Reviewed

The operational error/deviation study/survey, which has been prepared by the
National Aviation Research Institute (NARI) and NATCA's Article 55 Workgroup
has been reviewed by the National Office for voluntary participation in
accordance with Article 49 of the Parties collective bargaining agreement.
The locations and implementation dates are forthcoming.

7) Employee Attitude Survey

NATCA has reviewed the "Employee Attitude Survey" for voluntary
participation in accordance with Article 50 of the CBA.

8) Recently Signed MOUs

Model Work Environment
July 12, 2000
ABA Bargaining Unit - Interim Agreement July
10, 2000
Logistics Bargaining Unit - Interim Agreement July
12, 2000
VFR Climbs and Descents
July 24, 2000
ASDE-X Ground Rules
July 25, 2000
EEO Mediation Program - FAA Order 1400.10 July 24,
TMCs Inclusion to Articles 7, 9 and 11 of the '98 CBA August 1,
AOS-300 and AOS-400 Interim Agreement August
10, 2000
August 11, 2000
ARS Color Displays (ACD) Transition Issues
August 11, 2000
ESSG and ERAM Product Teams
August 18, 2000
Terminal Area Route Generation, RNAV Procedures August 23,
Operational Error/Deviation Causal Factor Study August
23, 2000
New Headsets for ARTCC's
August 23, 2000
Weather and Radar Processing (WARP) Phase 1 August 30,
Medium Intensity Airport Weather System (MIAWS) August
30, 2000

The remainder of the week has been talking with several reps, and hopefully,
helping resolve the issues presented. I will be in DC all next week for
NATCA in Washington and the NEB meeting. If you need to get assistance,
George should be available in the Chicago office or at the FAA regional
office for immediate help; I can be reached by pager or cell phone.


9-18/22 DC
9-25 Cleveland
9-26 MSP/M98
9-27/28 Chicago

Hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend...

Pat Forrey

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