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Region X Monthly Update | October 2021

A Message from Our Region X RVP,

Brothers and Sisters –

Collaboration – Subject matter experts (SMEs), bargaining unit representatives (BURs), and collaborative work groups (CWGs).  For the past decade those of us covered by the purple book have had the luxury of being involved with agency initiatives, programs, and the ability to influence our professions to a greater degree than those of us covered by the light blue book.    We have been pursuing substantial increases in collaboration with the agency and as such we have been receiving a significant increase in requests for our collaborative involvement with the agency.  With this great opportunity comes great responsibility. Requests are sent via email to your local NATCA leadership and sometimes directly to your personal email by NATCA.  I need each of you covered by the purple book to evaluate these collaborative requests with a sense of urgency, see where your background and skill sets match the requests, and to get involved.  These are excellent opportunities for improving our work processes while networking with FAA headquarters and your peers from across the country. The successes we have collaboratively with the agency will help NATCA continue to demonstrate the need to incorporate a formal collaborative process for our brothers and sisters covered by the light blue book CBA.   My ability to argue and negotiate for expanded collaboration opportunities across all our lines of business will be directly impacted by our ability to deliver on existing and future efforts within the ATO under the purple book.  So this is a request that each one of you step up and raise your hand or encourage your peers who have direct skill sets to meet the needs of our opportunities to be SMEs, BURs, or be leaders on CWGs to do so.  The way we are influential as a union is to be involved at every level and to deliver on behalf of and for the benefit of our brothers and sisters.  I will be incentivizing your participation with these groups by providing our brothers and sisters who step up to be a part of our collaborative efforts with high visibility NATCA shirts as a token of our appreciation and recognition.
Vaccinations – The White House continues to provide federal agencies with their expectations of how to achieve the Executive Orders mandating vaccinations including timelines, exemptions, and progressive discipline.  The FAA as our federal employer has been implementing their orders from the White House. 
To date all BUEs have been informed of a mandatory date to be fully vaccinated by November 22.  All BUEs have been informed of a timeline to have the series of vaccinations (if using Moderna or Pfizer) or the single shot (Johnson and Johnson) completed by to meet the November 22 deadline.  All BUEs have been informed of a process to request medical or religious exemptions.  All BUEs have been informed of an attestation requirement. 
I expect we will see additional directions from the White House to the FAA communicated to the BUEs soon regarding progressive discipline for those BUEs who choose not to receive a vaccine and who do not have a medical or religious exemption.
NATCA has scheduled briefings from the FAA this week on the vaccine mandate and some of the connected implementation measures.  When I have any additional information to share, I will do so through our representatives structure.

Offices – With the presidential vaccine mandate the return to the offices has taken a back seat.  However, the focus on this topic will pick up its pace in part because of the vaccine mandate.  NATCA will continue to engage with the agency on this topic.  I will share any new developments as more definitive information becomes available.
Telework Agreements – One of the logistical elements for the return to the offices are the completion of updated post COVID-19 telework agreements.  Each LOB will (or has begun) to approach our BUEs with a request to complete their post COVID-19 telework agreements.  These agreements will follow our 2006 (light blue book) and 2010 (purple book) telework policies memorialized in the CBAs.  Fill out those telework agreements with what you feel is the right balance for you to meet your future work obligations for the agency.  We will deal with approvals and denials in accordance with our CBAs.
Use Annual Leave – Many of our members have some significant annual leave balances still on the books and are in a use or lose situation.  We have experienced several unanticipated additional leave days or partial days over the last year from the 2020 additional holiday leave to the Secretary of Transportation early releases that have accompanied extended holiday weekends.  With these variables along with your existing leave balances, I encourage you to take annual leave to recharge your batteries.  There has been no indication that there will be a carryover allowance (lost use/lose leave restoration) from Congress for unused leave from 2021 into 2022, so plan accordingly. OPM deadline for submission and approval of use/lose leave is the first day of the third pay period before the end of the pay year.  FAA has a policy of the deadline of the last day of pay period 23. We suggest getting your use/lose leave request(s) submitted and approved as early as possible.
NATCA Union Synergy Committee – Our very own Region X member from ESW, Brittan Smith, has been appointed unanimously by the National Executive Board to fill a vacancy on the committee.  I look forward to Brittan representing all his brothers and sisters well on this committee with a focus on bringing all of us all together as one family.  Thank you Brittan for stepping up to serve on this committee – I know personally from our past interactions with one another that you will be making a positive difference for all of us in NATCA with this role.

Stay safe –

Region X RVP

NATCA Region X Contact Information
Region X National Leadership

Brad Davidson                 Regional Vice President
Bob Aitken                       Alternate Regional Vice President
Ed Szczuka                     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
Anthony Barksdale  –   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 & Collaboration Facilitator
Ed Szczuka  –  Finance Committee, Onboarding
Pam Rusk – IT and Regional Communications
Thom Twitchell – National OWCP Committee
Brittan Smith – Union Synergy Committee
Vacant  –  National Reloaded Committee

Region X Updates & Meeting Notes Archive

September 2021
August 2021
July 2021 – Updates at Kansas City Meeting
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021 Contract Extensions & Call Notes
March 2021
January & February 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020

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