Region X Telecon Notes & Monthly Update | June 2021
|A Message from Our Region X RVP|
Brothers and Sisters –
A July 4th Weekend to Relax and Refresh –
Everyone have a safe and extended 4th of July weekend and take some time for yourself to sit back and relax and enjoy family and friends if you are now visiting with others.
COVID-19 and the re-opening of our offices this Summer/Fall –
States across the nation have lifted most if not all COVID-19 restrictions and preventative measures to slow the spread. Concerts, sporting events, social gatherings, restaurants, and other celebrations are taking place. We are seeing the rapid return to field work and our construction projects and are beginning to prepare ourselves for the opening of the offices. All federal agencies are required to provide the white house with their office re-opening plans by July 19th. Those plans will be evaluated for consistency with the white house’s guidance (recently published OMB guidance) on the future of work for federal employees. Based on current trends we anticipate offices will be available for varying levels of occupancy in August and September.
FERS-RAE Withholding Corrections-
In 2013, Congress increased Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) employee contributions 0.8% to 3.6% and subsequently for feds hired after 2014 to 4.4%.
In 2019, NATCA members began receiving debt collection letters because their FERs withholding had been set to 0.8% or 3.6% for many years and the agency wanted back thousands of dollars. After as many as six years after employees were hired, the FAA informed NATCA that employees hired between December 2012 and February 2013 were incorrectly coded into the agency payroll system. While there were other mistakes, the primary error was incorrect FERS withholding where employees should have been coded FERS-Revised Annuity Employees (FERS-RAE) in accordance with the new law. This amounted to a total of 47 NATCA BUEs being impacted. 19 of the BUEs are covered by Region X and their debt amounted to much more than a $184,000. One BUE was billed for nearly $15,000.
NATCA immediately responded and issued guidance to impacted members and began negotiations with the agency. In May 2021, we received notice that the BUEs had all been made whole by the agency payroll office and that no further claim or hearing request actions were required by the BUEs. We received confirmation from BUEs that they had seen the corrections on their pay stubs. It is important to note that this type of payroll error can happen at anytime and that absent having a strong union with professional labor relations staff, the outcome could have severely hurt people.
I want to thank the hard work of our NATCA attorneys from the national office that guided us through this challenge, negotiated with the agency, and were successful in having the debt collections dropped for our membership.
NATCA National Office New Hire –
One of the most important aspects of our union is having the right professionals with the right experience in place at the national office and NATCA routinely hires the best and the brightest. While we have experienced and trained representatives across the country, we rely on the substantial level of expertise our NATCA labor professionals have and whose full time job is solely to protect our interests. It is imperative that we are consistent with our approach to the agency across all of NATCA and it is an expectation of our President and the NEB that this occurs. We welcome a new attorney to our LR team who will be starting at the national office in July – Akura Brempong-Smith. Akura is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and has more than ten years of union-side labor and employment experience and is an accomplished legal advocate for unions and their members. I’m sure Akura will be impressed with the cohesive culture of the one collective voice at NATCA. A collective voice that values above board dealings with the FAA and other employers, coordinated internal union operations, and common legislative and public messaging. We look forward to Akura assisting both our air traffic brothers and sisters as well as our Region X membership. When you have a chance to meet Akura please provide a warm welcome to our NATCA family.
June 2021 Pay Raise-
1.6% raise effective first Sunday of pay period thirteen on June 6, 2021. Please review your pay stub to ensure the negotiated CBA raise was included in your June 29 paycheck.
I look forward to seeing everyone in the near future.
Region X RVP
June 2021 Virtual Meeting Notes
CLICK HERE FOR JUNE NOTES
NATCA Region X Contact Information
Region X National Leadership
Brad Davidson Regional Vice President
Bob Aitken Alternate Regional Vice President
Curt Howe Alternate Regional Vice President
Gwendolyn Kimbrough AFN National Representative
Felicia Reeves Airports National Representative
Patrick Massie Aircraft Certification National Representative
Pam Rusk AIT National Representative
Stacie Wooten Drug Abatement National Representative
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 & Web Designee
Thom Twitchell – National OWCP Committee
Vacant – National Reloaded Committee
March 2021 Contract Extensions & Call Notes
January & February 2021