NRX MAY MONTHLY REGIONAL UPDATE Regional Vice President’s Message
Brothers and Sisters –
We welcome spring along with all of the new hope it brings to each of us. Personally, I hope for a rapid decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and passing of friends and family members across the nation as the world works towards vaccinating as much of the population as possible. In fact by the time you read this message comments included within as it applies to the COVID-19 numbers, CDC guidance, and the return to normal have likely changed. We are in a rapidly changing environment where guidance, information, and the science is updated almost daily.
In Person NATCA Events 2021
NATCA events are scheduled and are fully planned to move forward starting this summer. We will begin with our Region X pre-convention meeting which will take place with our Central and New England Air Traffic Brothers and Sisters. Pre-convention will be held on July 20 and 21st and we will also have a virtual option for our delegates and alternates to attend. Our Convention will be held the week of August 9th in Houston Texas and for those of you who are can/plan/desire to attend please reach out to your local president to see what travel options may exist. NATCA in person training is scheduled for September. NATCA in Washington is tentatively scheduled for October but that will be evaluated for available access in Washington D.C. NATCA will also be participating in aviation conferences within the U.S. and we will evaluate our international outreach travel conditions and where COVID is on a global stage.
Region X Members Recognized for Commitment to Employee Safety
The U.S. Department of Labor requires (CFR 29 1960.6) each federal agency to appoint a Designated Agency Safety and Health Official (DASHO) with sufficient authority and responsibility to represent effectively the interest and support of the agency head in the management and administration of the agency occupational safety and health program.
On May 5, the FAA DASHO, Jeff Planty, AJW-0, lauded our safety work in Region X and specifically recognized several members for their commitment to safety and health at the annual DASHO awards.
Annual DASHO Safety Award
Each year a DASHO support group panel convenes to select the annual DASHO Safety Award. For 2021, the panel unanimously selected ATO Tech Ops engineer Dominic Petrelli (EEA) for a posthumous award that was graciously accepted by his spouse Charlene. Dominic had retired in 2019 and passed away on December 29, 2020. NATCA OSHA Committee chair Karena Marinas gave a poignant introduction of her relationship with Dominic and the positive impact he had on her. Charlene thanked the agency for the award and was truly honored when she learned the FAA has permanently renamed the annual DASHO Safety Award as the “Dominic Petrelli Safety Award.”
CSA Field Incident Response Team
Among several FAA employees, David Randal (ESW) engineer stationed at Houston ARTCC was recognized for his work in the hurricane and other incident responses in Central Service Area.
Boston ARTCC Critical & Essential Power System (ACEPS)
New England engineers Bill LuQuette (ENE) and Christopher Genoter (ENE) were named for their efforts improving worker safety at the Boston ARTCC power upgrades.
Organizational Effectiveness – Collaboration Facilitator
Playing a crucial role in increasing collaboration and interest-based communications in our Region X ATO bargaining units, Ed Szczuka (ECE), Region X collaboration facilitator along with his management partner, Walter Wilson, AJW-2C, received special recognition for their years of work to ingrain collaboration into the workplace culture.
PIORM and COVID-19 PPE
ATO engineers Troy Swanberg (EGL) Christopher Genoter (ENE), Joe Peterson (ENM), Karen Yeung (ENE), and Jon Stanton (ENE) were all recognized as key leaders and contributors to establishing safety norms for field construction and installation projects even prior to COVID-19. They also recognized and identified changes needed to employee safety and risk management for projects in a COVID-19 environment and support the creation of portable employee COVID-19 safety kits.
Moving Towards a Post COVID-19 Workplace
Air Traffic Controllers to return in full to their Basic Watch Schedules. This is an important transition for everyone in Region X to recognize. On June 6th any remaining Air Traffic facilities that have not already returned to their basic watch schedule will do so. This means our ATC brothers and sisters will be managing the traffic in the same manner as they were prior to the pandemic. Full facility staffing is necessary as air traffic levels have rebounded to between 85-90 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels for total flights.
For Region X LOBs travel restrictions will ease and field work will resume as access to the air traffic facilities become more available. For those in jobs suited for telework that will continue into the future until the offices are opened in a phased approach. NATCA continues to engage with the agency on what telework will look like post COVID-19.
Restoration of use or lose leave that was lost at the end of 2020
As authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act in Section 1111, eligible BUEs will have up to 60 hours of forfeited annual leave restored. The restored leave must be used in 2021 and has no cash value in the event of separation from the federal service. The restoration will be automatic and for those of you who are eligible. Please refer to your earning and leave statement to confirm the restoration. If you believe there to be an error or have questions, please reach out to your local representative and we will work your issue.
Upcoming virtual training for all reps and members interested in being more involved with NATCA are listed below:
Contract Article 6 Training Available
NATCA Article 6 virtual training is a great developmental opportunity for our formal Region X representatives to attend or members interested in potentially stepping up into a representative role for NATCA. Years of hard work have produced our Collective Bargaining Agreements. All articles in our CBAs are important but some do stand out. Article 6 – Representation Rights – is one section of our contract that strikes to the heart of an union officer’s responsibilities. Union officers will have to represent members during investigatory meetings with the agency. These meetings can be uncomfortable for the member and they will look to you for help. Competent command of the situation, calm reassurance and professionalism will all stem from understanding your role as an elected union officer. Your Region X leadership team highly encourages each representative to gain a better understanding of Article 6. The NATCA Academy is providing virtual classes on Article 6 in May. This is a great place to start or refresh your understanding of Representation Rights.
Article 6: Representation Rights
May 26 @ 2 PM Eastern
GO TO “EVENTS>List of Events>NATCA Academy Virtual Learning”.
Region X RVP
NATCA Region X Contact Information
Region X National Leadership
Brad Davidson Regional VP [email protected]
Bob Aitken ARVP [email protected]
Curt Howe ARVP [email protected]
Felicia Reeves National Airports [email protected]
Scott Odle National Air Cert [email protected]
Pam Rusk National AIT [email protected]
Region X National Committee Representatives
Don Schmeichel – National Safety Committee
Ingrid Knox – National Safety Committee
Mike Martin – National Constitution Committee
Don Smith – National Organizing Committee
Jefferson MacDonald – National Organizing Committee
Homer Benavides – National OSHA Committee
Quang Nguyen – National Benefits Committee
Della Swartz – National Historical Committee
Jason Holland – National Legislative Committee
Dawn Forde – National Legislative Committee
Ricky Hidalgo – National Drug & Alcohol Committee
Corey Glaze – National Pay Team
Ed Szczuka – Finance, Onboarding & Collaboration Facilitator
Pam Rusk – Regional Communications
Thom Twitchell – National OWCP Committee
Vacant – National Reloaded Committee
Region X Monthly Update Archives
March 2021 Contract Extensions & Call Notes
January & February 2021