<!----Enter Date Bellow *************> Weekly Update for December 1, 2000 <!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>
Weekly Update for <!----Enter Date Bellow *************> December 1, 2000 <!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>

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Sisters and brothers...

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend; they go too quick. For those who were required to work, great job at keeping the skies safe.

This week we had a couple of flight assists, one at ZID and one at TOL. Great job by the controllers and sups for successful and safe conclusions... at ZID, the pilot of a mooney passed out leaving his wife and two children on board to fend for themselves. ATC intervention for over one hour kept the aircraft flying and vectored to an alternate airport. Based on the questions asked and answered, the controllers surmised carbon monoxide poising. They instructed the wife to turn off the heat and open the windows; she was beginning to succumb as well. Another aircraft was vectored to the mooney to assist the new pilot in reaching the final destination. Fortunately, the husband awoke, albeit completely disoriented, and was able to land the plane successfully. As of today, he doesn't remember the landing.

This brings up an interesting point, it is crucial that we try and divulge the nature of the emergency as quickly as possible. In this case, it probably saved four lives. In the recent past, we have had three fatal accidents where controllers didn't have an emergency check list handy to remind them of what to ask. I know some of the items on the list are not as critical as others, but it is prudent that we continually prepare ourselves for the instance that an emergency may occur. RO QA and our NATCA reps will be looking into different ways to prepare our work force for emergency situations through meaningful training and practice, similar to what pilots get. Apart from the other considerations like resources, the challenge will be what is meaningful and how will we accomplish it. I'm open to any suggestions...

The other flight assist was at TOL, where a VFR pilot wandered into a cloud. The controllers successfully aided the pilot in maintaining level flight until the aircraft was out of trouble. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of details on this one yet, but nonetheless, it was a great job.

The agency has finally agreed with us that hardships and swaps are not restricted by the funded/unfunded provision of the PCS/IPP MOU. George and I are diligently working to accommodate all of the employees coming and going on these programs. We have tentatively agreed on new hire placements for the second quarter of FY2001, however, some adjustments may be made depending on IPP selections. We have insisted that the RO look at potential IPP ingrades and downgrades to facilities that may require new hires, of which they are now currently doing. I want to accommodate as many of our members as possible before the agency moves a new hire into a facility that a BUE wanted to transfer to. Hopefully we will have more info by next week.

If slots could be filled by IPP's, we will be able to redistribute many of the new hires in an effort to staff up the lower level facilities to accommodate more promotions. Unfortunately, we are unable to do anything for the level 9's and above until the PCS/IPP MOU is addressed. NATCA is just about done putting together a proposal concerning the funded vs. unfunded transfers. I don't know how long negotiations will take to complete, but being the optimist that I am, I would guess sometime during the next quarter.

Ron Morgan is stepping down as AT-1 around January 15, 2001. Mr. Morgan has taken a new job with the FAA in international aviation. He will be relocated to Brussels. Maureen Woods will be acting AT-1 until a selection is made for a permanent one. Evidently, the agency is putting together a search team to find Ron's replacement (boy, could I have comments here...), and they believe that the individual should probably be a 2152, but necessarily. My guess is Bill Peacock...

Interestingly enough, the agency is putting out a memo to the ATM's instructing them to not allow an OSHA (OSHA Administration employee)inspector in their facility without being there. I believe under the law that it is managements right (including the private sector) to either allow or not allow these people on the job site, but I'm checking into that. What's interesting is that this is coming on the heels of some environmental problems up at MBS; I think our Congressional representatives are hammering the agency over this issue. I am working with Taylor Koonce to schedule some facility visits this spring to inspect and brief the facility reps on common environmental problems plaguing our terminal facilities. If you are having some mold, fly and asbestos problems (many I already know about), let me or Taylor know about.

A heads up... the agency is sending out frequency spectrum surveys to all of the ATM's in the field. They are asking the managers to report what the anticipated needs for additional frequencies will be at their particular facility. Evidently, the agency is going to try and recover some frequencies that are blocked off or were sold to private entities a couple of years ago. It is important for all of you to provide your input to the managers. The agency hasn't asked for our input, but who cares... I don't think they would object. If they do, let me have a copy of your believed needs and I will make sure they get to the right place.

In the same vain, the region is asking all of the ATM's to report equipment that is chronically out of service and/or continued delays to equipment repairs. Again, I would round up all of your UCR's and other documentation, and provide this input to the manager. And if they won't accept it, send it to me...

Next week I will be at FNT and MBS for a few hours on Tuesday with Chris; FNT to be on hand for the national flight assist of the year award for one of our BUE's; MBS to review the facility clean-up and brief the members. On Thursday I will be with a few other RVP's in DC meeting with the FAA over the NAR MOU. Our intention is to agree on a labor relations position when it comes to determining what sectors are going to look like, airspace boundaries, staffing, training, etc. The idea is to allow the facility teams the blank page to develop traffic flows and procedures, then let the FacRep's negotiate the potential impacts due to potential airspace changes and the like, and make the necessary adjustments that protect the BU interests such as pay. Friday I will be at the command center discussing the testing of reduced or limited NRP as it relates to the choke points initiative. This is something we have been after for many years; more info next week...

For the center reps, I have received information that the agency intends to implement six new sectors without first completing A7 negotiations. these sectors were brought about by the choke points issue, and are intended to relieve some of the high altitude congestion and reduce some departure delays. Unfortunately, they agency disagrees that additional bodies and overtime will be required to affect a positive impact on the system. NATCA does not see how these sectors will aid the efficiency of the system without anyone to utilize them...

The agency will be proposing a change to the pay rules MOU concerning transfers that involve CPC's who have either failed in training or taken themselves out of training after a transfer to a higher level facility. I appreciate all of the input on this issue from last week, and I will make the involved parties aware of your feelings.

Well, that's about it for this week, don't hesitate to get in touch...

Pat <!----End Text Field **********>

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