Region X Monthly Update | December 2021
|A Message from Our Region X RVP, |
Brothers and Sisters –
I hope this message finds each of you, your families, and friends healthy, safe, and happy. I am not sure if we are experiencing either ground hog day or déjà-vu or some strange combination of both as we approach 2022.
Return to the offices in 2022:
COVID-19 continues to dominate our national conversation as we once again contemplate our return to the offices. NATCA has been briefed by several of the FAA Lines of Businesses (LOBs) that we represent and the three-phase approach to a return to the offices continues to be the focus of the agency at the direction of the Department of Transportation.
Region X finds ourselves in the second and third phases of the transition out of a maximum telework posture with a currently planned February 7 (phase 2) and February 14 (phase 3) return to the offices and a post-COVID-19 work schedule.
Each LOB is vastly different from one another and even within disciplines themselves with a LOB. The agency continues to take the posture that individual telework agreements will be between the employee and their direct manager with a pre-COVID-19 stance. We simply do not agree with this carrot and stick approach and will continue to seek fair and consistent future work schedules for our membership in each LOB and for each discipline. We do recognize the need and benefits for some face-to-face interaction for a variety of reasons, however, those reasons need to be clear and consistent. While we are willing to fall back on the existing 2006 (blue book) and 2010 (purple book) telework policies it is still my position we can be smarter and work with the agency on a consistent, fair, and uniform approach within each LOB on what the future of work can and will look like. There will be a focus on this after the new year and I hope to have clearer guidance for all of us prior to the return to the offices.
How realistic is the return to the offices for Region X in February? Well – there needs to be a plan – and right now those dates are what the agency is planning for. However, with the explosion of cases of the omicron variant I find it very difficult to believe we will be back to a new normal in February unless this variant dies out as quickly as it has accelerated over the past month. So for now please begin to make arrangements, even if tentative and subject to change, to be in a post-COVID-19 work scenario in February.
For those units who have experienced significant hiring and there appears to be insufficient space to accommodate all of our BUEs in existing locations, the agency has signaled that maximum telework will continue past the return to the offices dates until space is identified or we have a potential alternative solution.
Making a difference in 2021 and beyond:
I wanted to take a moment to thank the 80 members in Region X who stepped up or continued supporting workgroups and committees in 2021. It is your efforts that champion our professions, guide our working conditions, protect and enhance our pay and benefits, and give substantial credibility to our collective bargaining. Working with the FAA collaboratively is how we influence and steer them in the direction we need them to go. So I thank each one of you who has stepped up in one capacity or another on behalf of your peers and this union – you truly make a difference for all of us. For those of you who have been considering opportunities that arise please make the difference in 2022 for yourself and your peers and raise your hand.
We pulled off a business only convention in Houston. While this was a condensed 24 hour marathon it has been well received by the membership. Participation by the delegates was impressive and well attended. There was robust debate on proposed amendments and changes to our constitution and in the end the supreme body spoke loud and clear on the trajectory they desire our union to proceed for the next two years. Conditions permitting, we will gather June 20-22 in 2023 for the 19th Biennial Convention at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida. The 20th biennial convention was voted on by the delegates and is scheduled for May 9-11, 2025 in San Francisco, California.
Happy New Year:
Have a refreshing “deja-groundhog” New Year and here is to hoping we can put the pandemic in the rear view mirror.
Take care and I look forward to seeing you all in 2022 as conditions permit.
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|
July 2021 – Updates at Kansas City Meeting
March 2021 Contract Extensions & Call Notes
January & February 2021