- Published: March 30, 2020
PASS Sisters and Brothers:
I’m pleased to hear from many of you that more issues during the coronavirus crisis seem to be getting resolved locally and that the directives sent by the upper levels of management at the FAA are reaching frontline managers. While communications with the agency have improved, we are continuing to press the FAA to be more transparent about its actions and to treat all employees as equally important to the mission. Air travel may be down, but you still have an important role to play in getting personnel and supplies to their destinations. Please continue to submit any concerns you may have to PASS.
Here are some highlights of today’s calls with the FAA:
Cleaning Supplies and Facilities: The agency is working hard to get adequate supplies out to all facilities. We have asked to have our district reps help with distribution so that there are fewer delays getting disinfectant and gloves to you. We are also exploring with the agency having supplies purchased locally but of course, as we all know, there are shortages nationwide. As we reported Friday, there are some issues around equipment being damaged by the use of a stylus or cleaning solutions. Be assured, we are not letting up on this matter as we want all of you to have the supplies you need to protect your health and that of your families.
Scheduling and Social Distancing: As I reported on Friday, Air Traffic is implementing new schedules to create separation within the workplace. Changes to work schedules in Air Traffic have no impact on the work schedules of technicians. These changes to schedules cannot be imposed on our Tech Ops bargaining unit employees. Our collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) with the FAA are still in full force and effect and any changes to work schedules must be done in accordance with the CBA.
Article 31, Section 7 of the PASS/ATO CBA, provides that “the basic watch schedule will not be changed absent mutual agreement, except for a change in coverage requirements, or at the Union’s request one (1) time per year due to a change in personnel resources or NAS modernization.” It is important to highlight that one of the ways a watch schedule can be changed is if there is mutual agreement to make a change. This allows local representatives at a facility to agree to changes to the watch schedules with their agency management counterparts which provides some flexibility to meet the current unprecedented demands. Article 31 also states that any new schedule must be available to employees for at least 30 days prior to implementation unless a shorter time frame is agreed upon. If negotiated under these terms, any agreement must be mutual. This means our local representatives cannot be forced to agree to anything.
We do not want any of you who are local PASS reps to be misled on this issue. Therefore, we will have a separate discussion with the agency this week that will focus solely on this important subject.
ATO Reorganization: Those of you who work in ATO are aware that there are reorganization plans that were to take effect in April. I asked today about those plans and PASS has been told the changes are still on track for the spring but are most likely pushed to May so we can get through this immediate crisis.
As you can see, there are topics still open for discussion and resolution, but both PASS and the FAA feel positively that the creative solutions reached during this national emergency will help us all be more flexible and better able to respond to the unexpected in the future.
Thank you for your hard work and please do what is necessary to protect yourselves and your families.