- Published: June 03, 2020
PASS Brothers and Sisters:
The last week has been a difficult one for our nation as civil unrest has broken out in cities and towns across the country. For some of you, this may have added to the stress and anxiety you are feeling around the pandemic. I want to remind you that both the FAA and DoD have resources to assist you, including confidential counseling. Go to Magellan Healthcare and navigate to the blue Find My Company box in the upper right corner and enter either Federal Aviation Administration or Department of Defense to access your benefits. Their hotline numbers, available 24/7, are 800-234-1327 (FAA) or 866-580-9046 (DoD). The PASS CISM team is also available at any time: call or text 631-485-2476 to reach a trained PASS debriefer. Magellan has also provided this flier on coping with traumatic events.
We did have our regularly scheduled conference call with the FAA this afternoon. While there are still no dates attached to the phased reopening of facilities, a few items are coming into focus.
Use of masks in the workplace: Administrator Dickson announced that he expects employees to wear face coverings during Phase 1 of recovery. This may mean that PASS-represented employees would be wearing them; however, the parties are still discussing.
Telework and office supplies: It is assumed that many of you will be continuing to telework during any phased reopening. We asked for some clarification on supplies that can be provided by the agency for your use. While the purchase of some small items (keyboards, mice) and supplies (ink, paper) may be approved for employees on telework, larger items such as computer monitors, chairs and laptops are not. However, you may check out such items from the workplace to be used at home.
Use of Leave: We were told that at a recent all-managers meeting, it was stressed that managers should support those of you who wish to take leave, but you should not be pressured into taking leave. There is still uncertainty on whether leave restoration will be available. We will continue to work for clarity on this issue.
Staffing at facilities: We know that Air Traffic is increasing the number of employees reporting to facilities. While maintenance for our technical operations employees is not expected to change accordingly, the increase in the number of controllers in facilities does impact social distancing. We reminded the agency in the strongest terms that some Air Traffic decisions do impact you and we must be kept in the loop in order to better inform our members of the changes.
Oklahoma City training: PASS was told today that the best guess for resuming in-person training is mid-July. The agency is still working on social distancing and thorough cleaning at the academy.
There seems to be some misunderstanding about the role of PASS in the Engineering Services recovery effort. We remain engaged in the discussion and will have another call tomorrow to discuss this further. I want you to know that PASS is determined to be fully engaged at every level as the process for your return to facilities evolves.
Further, it was confirmed that after discussions with PASS and other FAA unions, the current closure of local facility fitness centers will extend for another 30 days. The decision will be revisited on July 1.
Please remember to take care of yourselves and your families during this stressful time and take full advantage of the employee assistance programs available to you. And as always, please report any concerns you have about returning to facilities or questions about information you are hearing in the field.