- Published: May 13, 2020
PASS Sisters and Brothers:
On today’s call with the FAA, we discussed multiple topics including the concerns many have expressed regarding preliminary plans for employees to return to facilities. Please note, there is no set timeline or even approximate dates for when a phased return would begin.
Before any plans are released or implemented, we will need to know what controls the agency is going to put in place to protect employees as it decreases telework and resumes more maintenance, Engineering Services projects, office work and other duties. All the leading public health officials have stressed that social distancing (along with rigorous handwashing) is the most effective control against exposure to COVID-19 and telework and remote reporting are the best ways to accomplish this. PASS had previously requested a workplace hazard assessment. We should see that shortly in order to evaluate the agency’s findings. The discussions around reopening are ongoing and PASS will be involved on your behalf
The rough plan for a phased re-opening is as follows (again, with no dates attached):
Phase 1: Minimal field work introduced and telework for most employees will continue.
Phase 2: A slow ramp up of all work across the agency.
Phase 3: Will be rolled out in accordance with state and local guidelines.
The agency has said it will be some time before they get to requiring full, on-site work; certainly not in June. They are evaluating new guidance received from the Department of Transportation and the specifics of the plan will be shared with PASS.
We have heard from a number of you who may not want to return to your facilities. We spoke about this today and while productivity is not easily monitored over the last two months, the agency has clearly seen that many of you are teleworking successfully when your position may not have qualified for telework in the past. The technical operations workforce has been able to monitor equipment remotely while reducing the need to report in person. The agency is reviewing this carefully and will ensure that new safety protocols will be in place to protect employees.
You may be hearing that most of the major airlines are requiring that all passengers wear a face covering of some sort when onboard. Even some airports are requiring that all employees wear them. The use of masks in the workplace will be worked with PASS national ATO OSH representative Bob Seagrave, who has been joining us on these calls.
We know that many of you have questions and concerns abou the phased return to the workplace and we will continue to work with the agency on this issue. I ask you to continue reporting those concerns to us so that we can address them with the agency as we did today.
Our top priority continues to be the safety and wellbeing of the employees we represent and your families.