PASS Brothers and Sisters:
Below are the highlights of our call with the FAA this afternoon. As I reported last week, we’ve reduced the frequency of these calls to Monday, Wednesday and Friday, unless a critical issue arises.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): We know that there are still shortages of PPEs in the workplace. The FAA is now involving the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assess our needs. On the call today, PASS national safety representative, Bob Seagrave, was involved in a discussion requiring the use of masks. It was noted that requiring employees to use masks can be problematic as some employees cannot use masks due to respiratory issues and guidance would need to be issued. Brother Seagrave will be working closely with Tech Ops management on this issue. It is hoped that more equipment will be made available as soon as possible. We also asked the agency to look at the use of safety goggles that have already been issued to some employees as another PPE to reduce exposure.
Facility Cleaning: There are new technologies being explored as cleaning options for sensitive equipment, but the agency isn’t ready to deploy these yet. I would like to thank PASS members for submitting suggestions in this area.
Reasonable Accommodations: The parties discussed that employees in high-risk medical categories under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines are not always being granted a reasonable accommodation to protect their health during the pandemic. It is our view that employees who fall into this category must be granted administrative leave to prevent them from entering a facility where they could put themselves at risk. Apparently, this is being granted to Air Traffic employees and should be extended to Tech Ops employees. This will be a continuous discussion. Please submit a report to PASS if you continue to have issues in this area.
Telework:We circled back with the agency on the issue that many of you teleworking have reported about managers asking for detailed task lists. PASS has been assured that this was addressed by the vice president for technical operations with managers and they have been asked to not 'over monitor.’ Please let us know if this is still an issue for you.
Employee Notification: We asked about the process of employee notification after a confirmed positive. The Joint Crisis Action Team (J-CAT) requires managers to send these out but it appears this is not getting to everyone in a given facility. The agency has promised to work with managers to get the notifications out as soon as possible to ALL employees. The agency shared with us the process for use by managers. Use our form if these procedures are not being followed.
Tracing Exposure: The agency is going to stress to facility management that logging arrivals and departures at the facility is critical for helping to trace employee contact after a presumed or confirmed positive has been reported. This may not always be possible, but every attempt should be made to do so in order to notify all employees who may have been in contact with that person. This is not about tracking your movement for performance or accountability.
There is no crystal ball that will tell us when this national emergency will end. But know that your union will continue to put your safety and that of your family first. We will get through this together.