<!----Enter Date Bellow *************> Weekly Update for November 3, 2000 <!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>
<!----Enter Date Bellow *************> Weekly Update for November 3, 2000 <!----Enter Date Bellow *************>

Sisters and brothers...

We have received some excellent news concerning the DOT appropriations bill... it has passed with the contracting language removed. I want to personally thank Ken Montoya and the Legislative department for their incredibly hard work and persistence. I also want to thank our legislative committee, particularly Rich Ulmes and all of the activists who have been engaged with their congressional representatives. Great effort; a Union effort. As you heard, the FAA operations budget has increased by over $600 million for FY 2001. The language put forth by the conference committee, albeit, not exactly what we want, still provides a strong statement that the conference does not agree with the Senate language or desire to continue the contract tower program. Our next move should be to get language into law that determines ATC as inherently governmental.

I have an agreement with Chris Blum that all of the reps participating in the FacRep meeting this October will receive 16 hours of duty time/official time. Please allow the region time to coordinate with the facilities before you begin beating down your manager's door. If you run into any problems, please contact me and we'll straighten it out. It would also be helpful if those who are attending to contact Laurelle ASAP so that I can provide the region with the names and facilities.

There have been several questions concerning seniority. To clarify what was determined by the president of NATCA, remember that the date an employee reports to their first assigned terminal or en route facility (after OKC) is the date BU time starts. If that employee left the terminal or en route option and went to some other organization in the agency (excluding a staff position), all of that time is good as well, even if they returned after September 30, 1996. However, an employee who left the BU for a staff or supervisor position, only that time before September 30, 1996 is good, unless they have documentation that they attempted to be reassigned to a bargaining unit position. If you need any more clarification on this issue, I have an electronic copy of the clarification and will be happy to e-mail to you. Feel free to give me a call as well.

CIC training is another issue that has posed a problem particularly for the smaller facilities. The CIC work group has completed another round of Q & A's and I will e-mail that to you as well. Training classes seem to be the biggest sticking point. Apparently, management has been getting advice that may contradict with our beliefs... the classroom training is supposed to be interactive and instructed, however, the region or headquarters is advising that facilities can provide the same training process as was previously used for the old CIC training course.

According to the work group, the CIC duties now require a level of authority and responsibility that did not quite exist under the previous CIC duties. Because controllers will be held to a higher standard of responsibility, NATCA was concerned that BUE's receive all of the information and training. This could best be accomplished through interactive classroom training. Obviously, this will have a big impact on smaller facilities due to the limited resources available. I believe that each of the FacRep's will work out a process that ensures our folks get the required training with the least adverse impact to the BU. If you need my support in accomplishing this, don't hesitate to contact me.

I have been informed that the VSCS tech support contract is expiring this January, and there will no longer be tech support available at the centers. The agency has established (or will have in place) three OCC centers spread out across the country that will monitor and fix all problems associated with VSCS if it occurs. According to the region, these facilities will have the ability to electronically correct problems that occur with the VSCS from these remote locations. Seems quite "high tech" to me, so I will dig deeper into this concept and report back to the center reps when I get more info.

Reference the message from Bob Taylor concerning a clearinghouse for MOU's, please disregard... That message was for the RVP's and national liaisons/article 48 reps. To facilitate sound communication and LR review, the national office requires that liaisons and A 48 reps provide MOU proposals to be reviewed by our labor relations staff and the NEB. There is so much stuff going on, that it is easy for the RVP's to be left out of the loop on agreements concerning national issues; we look rather foolish some times... I don't believe this is micro managing, rather a central way to keep everyone informed and provide some feedback. I believe that our liaisons and A 48 reps are doing a great job, but problems have arisen, and we're just trying to get a handle on things. As FacReps, you can disregard the message.

Chris and I will attempt to get the Free Flight shop to provide some travel funds for the center reps and the major terminal reps to meet for a couple days to get briefed on CTAS, TMA, and PFAST some time this winter in Minneapolis. This will be a good opportunity to get some of the reps together on the agency's dime. More on this in the future. I would also like to get the smaller terminal FacRep's together, either later this year or right after the holiday season to concentrate on issues specific to the smaller terminals. I think we need more involvement from these members not only regionally, but nationally.

And just after you thought the water was safe, it appears that the regional office is overwhelmed by the number of grievances at the third level, they are having a tough time locating information on the issues, and have a couple of new 540 specialists just coming on board. What does it all mean? That the third level meeting we had scheduled for this month is going to be delayed. I told Chris that if his folks need time to review these issues, so do mine. We have tentatively agreed to allow our 3rd level advocates to review these grievances under Article 8 sometime this month. We have also agreed to allow our NATCA reps and the 540 specialists to meet towards the end of the month for a few days and resolve as many of the outstanding grievances as possible. whatever is left over will be mine and Chris's to resolve.

Unfortunately, the past process did not yield many resolutions. Chris and I will be addressing these folks and letting them know that they have the authority to resolve these grievances and we would really like them to do just that. I intend to clean up this back log and stay on top of the grievances each month. It is my goal to turn this region around by getting these issues fixed at the lowest level.

I have selected three of the four 3rd level advocates to date, they are Belinda Bullard (AZO), Mark Bohn (CLE), and Ron Oberg (GRB). I will be selecting another individual within the next couple of weeks, hopefully before we set the meeting date for the 3rd level reviews. I haven't determined which facilities these folks will be keyed in on, but we will decide that as a group in the very near future.

I have selected Ken Kluge and Clay Hanninen as AGL-505 liaisons. they will be dealing with Quality Assurance and Jim Fossey's shop at the region. They will be involved in operational error/deviation issues, and be working with the FAA in de-criminalizing these incidents. I am very hopeful that together, we can develop and order that doesn't treat operational errors as always a performance issue. This effort will be tied in with the national initiative, and expect some creative stuff from our reps. I'll keep you all updated on these proposals.

I have also proposed NATCA liaisons for all of the AT regional branch offices. Some may not be necessary, but most should have our involvement from the regional perspective. I believe Chris is open to this idea, and we will begin to have some discussion around it the next time we meet. If you have any interest in these duties, let me know. They will not be full time, and some may even be done via telecons and minimal travel. We'll just have to see what makes the most sense.

I have also proposed that the region form a cadre of employees who will be taught by Human Resource on both of the retirement systems. These individuals, management and NATCA, will be tasked with giving retirement briefings throughout the region. This would provide for many more briefings and allow us to get many more people informed on their retirement benefits, especially newer employees. I believe that this is important enough to spend Union dollars to pay for the travel of our NATCA representatives if it comes to that. Again, if your interested in learning and briefing on this important subject, let me know. If you have any ideas in accomplishing this type of program, let me that as well.

Chris has asked me what issues the FacRep's would like him to discuss with you all later this month at our get together. I have a few issues that seem of interest based on our conversations this past month, but please e-mail me with any issue you feel like having more information on or some explanation to. And as far as I'm concerned, don't hold back...

There have been two election protests filed: one for the National Executive Vice President (by James Gordon), and one for the Western Pacific Regional Vice President (Gus Guerra). Evidently, the National Elections Committee was unable to meet earlier this week to deliberate and render a recommendation to the NEB, but I believe they are meeting this weekend to do just that. I will have more information to you as soon as I get it.

The engineers have reached an agreement with the agency concerning their pay. They will receive the presidential increase each January, as well as 2.5% in FY 01, 1% in FY 02, 1% in FY 03, 1% in FY 04, and 0% in FY 05. Those receiving ATRA pay will have 4.1% added to their base pay, and those that receive ATRA pay on a part-time basis will receive 1% added to their base pay. During the life of the agreement, there will be no fewer that 1100 employees in the bargaining unit. Other issues related to the pay system rules etc., have yet to be ironed out.

I will be off (yeah right) on Monday for the holiday; in Minneapolis on Tuesday; in Chicago on Tuesday night and in ADR training Wednesday and Thursday with George. Friday I will be back in Cleveland. I'll be meeting Chris sometime on Wednesday for a couple of hours, so if you need me to find something out, let me know.

If you want to be on my e-mail list, send me your address and I will include you in all of the messages I send out.

Oh well, I think that's about all I can remember... I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!


Pat Forrey
NATCA NGL RVP

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