PASS Applauds Efforts to Protect Federal Employees

Earlier this month, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued its final rule aimed at protecting federal employees from the threat of Schedule F, which would essentially strip them of their due process rights.

“The federal workforce, including the 11,000 employees PASS represents at the FAA and DoD, is critical to our country’s success and strength,” said National President Dave Spero. “Allowing politics to interfere with the work of career federal employees is a misguided step. We are pleased the current administration recognizes the value of their work and is moving to protect them from the ‘spoils system’ of the 19th century.”

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PASS Supports the Union Veterans Council, AFL-CIO

In 2009, the AFL-CIO passed a resolution at its convention to form the Union Veterans Council (UVC) and the organization continues to thrive today, focused on its mission of bringing a voice to working-class veterans and their families. PASS is a proud affiliate of the Veterans Council and has supported the UVC since its inception.

The goal of the Council is to bring “working-class veterans together to speak out on the issues that impact us most, especially the need for good jobs and a strong, fully funded and staffed VA.” It also holds elected officials accountable for their words and actions, ensuring that those who claim to be ‘pro-veteran’ truly honor that title.

According to the Office of Personnel Management, one in four federal workers are military veterans and that figure is even higher for the employees PASS represents at the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense. The union is proud to have these dedicated public servants among its members and will continue to make every effort to recruit veterans into the workforce and secure their rights.

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PASS Participates in Mental Health & Aviation Summit

Last week, PASS National President David Spero participated in a summit held by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) entitled “Navigating Mental Health in Aviation.” The summit, hosted by NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy, featured two panels in the morning: one on first person accounts of navigating the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s approach to mental health; the second featured FAA officials and mental health care providers. President Spero was part of the afternoon roundtable with other aviation labor leaders on “The Future of Mental Health: Where Do We Go From Here?”

He noted that the FAA recently established the Mental Health and Aviation Medical Clearances Rulemaking Committee (ARC)” and in advocating for PASS participation on that committee, President Spero said, “We represent aviation safety inspectors who create policy on these issues, they investigate accidents and incidents, and they educate the public.” Their expertise and experience will prove valuable to the ARC. But, Spero continued, “there’s got to be some things that happen now to get through the bureaucracy that we’re dealing with at the FAA.”

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Government Shutdown Will Introduce Risk into the National Airspace System

David Spero, National President of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS), AFL-CIO, released the following statement regarding the government shutdown’s impact on aviation safety:

“Once again Congress is missing funding deadlines for the federal government and as of midnight, September 30, the 11,000 employees we represent at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will either be furloughed or working without pay. Reductions in staffing, training, modernization and oversight from these dedicated public servants will introduce risk into the National Airspace System (NAS). In addition, Congress has failed to act on FAA Reauthorization, which also expires tomorrow night.

“Roughly 2,200 aviation safety inspectors will be off the job. These PASS-represented employees in the FAA’s Office of Aviation Safety are responsible for the oversight, certification and surveillance of the entire American aviation system, including all general aviation and commercial aircraft, pilots and flight instructors, and repair stations both in this country and abroad. Furloughing the majority of this critical workforce just as the aviation industry has rebounded from the pandemic is neither in the best interest of the nation’s economy nor the oversight of the U.S. aviation system.

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Nomination of Mike Whitaker as FAA Administrator

PASS welcomes the news that the Biden Administration has put forth a nominee, Mike Whitaker, to lead the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as the next administrator. It is long past due that the FAA have a permanent leader, especially as Congress has taken up legislation to re-authorize the agency for another five years. In addition, PASS is currently in negotiations for two collective bargaining agreements with the FAA and hopes for a swift confirmation process.

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