PASS Member on Impact of Pandemic on Federal Workers

Earlier this month, PASS member and union rep Martha Parish was one of several federal employees interviewed by Gov Exec on the impact of the pandemic on the federal workforce. Parish spoke on behalf of the union and not in her capacity as an aviation safety inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration.

How has your work-life balance changed, and what do you think your “new normal” will look like?

I have to say, I probably worked a little bit more. We were afforded more flexibility in the hours that we could work so that we could accommodate people with kids that were home doing homeschool and my division in particular was very generous in terms of saying, ‘Look, if you have to work from 12 to 8 in order to meet your home requirements or your family requirements that have changed,’ they were very flexible in that. I also found myself reaching out to other folks that weren't used to working from home to sort of help them develop their toolbox and their skills.

Read the full interview

PASS on the Resignation of FAA Administrator Dickson

From PASS National President Dave Spero:

PASS was surprised as many were when FAA Administrator Steve Dickson announced his resignation last night. We thank him for his steady leadership during a difficult two-and-a-half years for the agency. He valued his labor partners and understood those collaborative relationships are vital to the safety of the National Airspace System and all those who travel through it.

I spoke to the Administrator last night and offered my appreciation for his service. He brought dignity to the position and is a credit to the role of federal service. Not long after he took the helm of the FAA, the Administrator met with the PASS Executive Board at our headquarters in Washington. He took many difficult questions, but it was a mutually beneficial conversation and set the tone for our relationship going forward. He told me he appreciates everything that PASS has been doing in service to the agency’s mission and thanked me for the recent paper we issued around 5G concerns and aviation safety.

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5G Deployment Can Pose Risks to Aviation Safety, FAA Union Cautions

Today, the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), released a white paper analyzing the impact that 5G deployment could have on the National Airspace System (NAS) and aviation safety, and offers recommendations for mitigating risks.

“There has been a great deal of media attention and of course a congressional hearing on the subject,” said PASS National President Dave Spero. “It’s important to hear from frontline aviation employees and not just executives and senior leadership.”

PASS represents 11,000 employees at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Defense who install, maintain, support and certify air traffic control and national defense equipment, inspect and oversee the commercial and general aviation industries, develop flight procedures, and perform quality analyses of complex aviation systems used in air traffic control and national defense. The crucial work these employees perform has the potential to be impacted by the deployment of 5G and is why the union felt compelled to turn to these experts for their first-hand experience with 5G and interference. “They have the knowledge and expertise to thoroughly examine the issues around 5G implementation in the service of aviation safety,” said the PASS leader.

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PASS on the Retirement of Rep. Peter DeFazio

Dave Spero, national president of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), issued the following statement on the impending retirement of Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.):

“As chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure, Rep. DeFazio has long recognized the importance of frontline employees working to secure the world’s largest, safest and most complex air traffic control system. His support of the dedicated public servants PASS represents at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Defense (DoD) has been unwavering.

“In fact, he was one of our key allies in the fight against privatizing that system, a misguided scheme that would turn it over to a corporate entity.

“Rep. DeFazio leaves office with an incredible accomplishment: the infrastructure bill that was signed last month, a once in a generation investment in the nation’s aiports, seaports, roads and bridges. The influx of funds throughout the transportation sector will have a substantial and lasting impact on all Americans and the $25 billion provided for airports and air traffic control facilities will be critical for our workforce.

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PASS Statement on Infrastructure Law

Today, the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), released the following statement from National President David Spero on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:

On behalf of the 11,000 employees PASS represents at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Defense (DoD), I applaud the bipartisan infrastructure bill signed into law by President Biden today. Our members and bargaining unit employees are aviation safety professionals who install, maintain, support and certify air traffic control and national defense equipment, and inspect and oversee the commercial and general aviation industries.

The $25 billion provided for upgrading airports and air traffic control facilities is welcome news and a long overdue investment in the physical infrastructure that supports aviation safety. Many FAA facilities are in serious need of upgrades, from HVAC systems to roofs and plumbing. Our members are continually introducing new technologies and systems to support the national airspace and should be doing so in safe, modern facilities. 

The influx of funds throughout the transportation sector will have a substantial and lasting impact on all Americans and we applaud the efforts of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who helped to take this bill over the finish line. PASS looks forward to being an integral part of implementing the aviation-related portions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

November marks Native American Heritage Month! Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) kicked off the commemoration with a video hosted by PASS’s own Ranelle Yazzie. Yazzie is a member of the Diné (Navajo) People; her maternal clan is Red House and her paternal clan is Bitter Waters. She is the National President of the Native American Alaska Native Coalition for Federal Aviation Employees (NAAN). She is a logistics program coordinator for the FAA in Utah and has been a public servant for nearly 30 years.

Said PASS National President Dave Spero, “The FAA associations celebrating the various ethnicities and affinities among employees are a great way to learn more about one another, our backgrounds and our heritage. I want to encourage all the employees we represent to get more involved with the diversity and inclusiveness these groups exemplify.”

NAAN has a number of events planned for this month, which can be found on the association’s website. “We have members of NAAN who represent many tribes and I’m sure they would be happy to talk to you about their heritage,” said Yazzie. “We welcome all FAA employees as members, you do not need to be descended from an indigenous people.” There are many more events for this month across government agencies and you can learn about them here.

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