shutdown

  • Aviation Shutdown Impacts Ltr FINAL 01.10.19 Page 1Click for full letter

  • Fewer fully trained controllers on the job now than any point in last 30 years

    WASHINGTON – Because of the federal government shutdown, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has closed its training academy in Oklahoma City where new air traffic controller hires go to begin their careers. In addition, classroom and simulator training at air traffic control facilities also is suspended during this shutdown. Along with 3,000 other aviation safety professionals represented by NATCA, many new hires who have recently graduated from the academy and begun working at their first air traffic control facility are furloughed, their critical training halted along with their pay.

    Although classes at the academy are currently being delayed, soon they could be canceled, which would lead to fewer new hires by the FAA in fiscal year 2019. Stopping the hiring and training pipeline will exacerbate the current controller staffing crisis. The number of fully certified controllers has fallen more than 10 percent in just the past six years and is now at a 30-year low. Furthermore, nearly one in five of these controllers are eligible to retire (18 percent).

    “This staffing crisis is negatively affecting the National Airspace System, and the shutdown almost certainly will make a bad situation worse,” NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said. “Even before the shutdown, controllers have needed to work longer and harder to make up for the staffing shortfall. Overtime in the form of six-day weeks and 10-hour days is common at many of the nation’s busiest and most short-staffed facilities including radar facilities in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Dallas. And none of the controllers forced to work during this shutdown will see pay for their hard work to keep travelers safe until the shutdown ends. This shutdown must end now.”

    Rinaldi continued, “If the staffing shortage gets worse, we will see reduced capacity in the National Airspace System, meaning more flight delays. A lack of adequate staffing also hurts the FAA’s ability to develop new technology and modernize the system, and controllers also don’t get the amount of time they need for training.”

    The latest staffing data from the FAA shows the Agency has not made up for the sequester hiring freeze and subsequent shutdown in 2013 but plans to hire over 1,400 new air traffic controller trainees in fiscal year 2019. The closure of the training academy due to the shutdown complicates that plan. Even when the shutdown ends, it will take 1-2 weeks to recall all employees and instructors. This shutdown will cause a ripple effect, delaying all training courses throughout 2019.

    Hiring one new trainee for every controller who retires doesn’t keep up with attrition. Only 64 percent of Oklahoma City academy new hires have successfully completed the initial classroom training program. That said, those who clear the academy have helped the FAA increase the number of ATC trainees at air traffic facilities each of the last four years. Although there has been more hiring and a larger number of trainees, we haven’t seen enough of those developmental stage trainees successfully complete training to be air traffic controllers, and the number of fully certified controllers has continued to drop during that span. Because of these continuing FAA challenges with training, the FAA has not been able to resolve the staffing crisis. This shutdown will make that situation worse.

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • MEDIA ADVISORY

    WHAT:            National Air Traffic Controllers Association, AFL-CIO v. The United States, hearing on NATCA’s motion for a temporary restraining order

    WHEN:           Tuesday, Jan. 15, noon

    WHERE:         United States District Court for the District of Columbia

                            Courtroom 18, before Senior Judge Richard Leon

                            333 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington D.C. 20001

    WHO:              Molly Elkin, Partner, Woodley & McGillivary on behalf of NATCA

    SUMMARY:    On Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, AFL-CIO (NATCA) filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of its members who have not been paid for their work since the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) appropriations lapsed in late December.

    NATCA requested an expedited hearing on its motion for a Temporary Restraining Order against the United States government for its violation of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. NATCA alleges that the government unlawfully deprived NATCA members of their earned wages without due process.

    The suit also alleges violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for failure to pay at least the minimum wage to air traffic controllers and other NATCA members who are excepted from the furloughs during the government shutdown. Finally, it alleges that the FAA failed to promptly pay overtime to NATCA members in violation of the FLSA. On behalf of its members, NATCA seeks an order requiring the government to pay its members for the work they have performed as well as liquidated damages.

    The air traffic controllers, traffic management coordinators, and other excepted aviation safety professionals that NATCA represents remain on the job, dedicated to the safety of every flight, but they don’t know when they will receive their next paycheck. If not for the shutdown, NATCA members would have begun to receive direct deposit of their pay into their accounts last Friday.

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • Controllers Explain How Shutdown Is Detrimental to Safety and Efficiency of the National Airspace System and Will Worsen Staffing Crisis

    WASHINGTON – The partial government shutdown is now in its 24th day, and no resolution is in sight. In an effort to expand the discussion about the effects of the shutdown, members of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) this morning have begun informational leafleting at targeted airports around the country. Participating air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals plan to engage with travelers to explain how the partial government shutdown is detrimental to the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System. Today, NATCA is beginning leafleting at airports in Atlanta; Dallas/Fort Worth; Minneapolis/St. Paul.; and Raleigh/Durham, N.C. NATCA members plan to expand these activities to about 50 additional airports around the country in coming days.

    NATCA members will distribute brochures explaining how the shutdown results in air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals either being furloughed or being compelled to work without a timely paycheck. Participating members will explain how the shutdown will worsen a controller staffing crisis that has existed since a previous government shutdown in 2013. They will describe how the shutdown stopped all modernization projects at the FAA.

    After the government shut down last month, NATCA began reaching out to lawmakers, the media, and other aviation stakeholders to advocate for an end to it. With this leafleting, NATCA will make an appeal directly to members of the public. NATCA President Paul Rinaldi explained, “This shutdown is now the longest in U.S. history. It is having unacceptable effects on our airspace system and the thousands of hard-working men and women who work tirelessly to maintain what is the safest and most efficient airspace system in the world. The shutdown must end immediately. Our union will not stop until the government reopens.”

    LOCATIONS & TIMES FOR INITIAL LEAFLETING:

    Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
    Monday, Jan. 14, 8:00 a.m. EST until 6:00 p.m. EST 

    Local NATCA contact for interviews: Dan McCabe, 678-334-1719, is at leafleting today, now until 6 p.m. EST

    Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
    Monday, Jan. 14, 8:00 a.m. CST until 8:00 p.m. CST

    Local NATCA contact for interviews: Nick Daniels, 817-320-5080, is at leafleting today through Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.; on Thursday from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m., and on Friday from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. CST

    Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. International Airport (MSP)
    Monday, Jan. 14, 7:00 a.m. CST until 7:00 p.m. CST
    Local NATCA contact for interviews: Tony Walsh, 763-742-6708, is at leafleting today from 3-7 p.m. CST

    Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)
    Monday, Jan. 14, 12:00 p.m. EST until 5:00 p.m. EST

    Local NATCA contact for interviews: Nicholas Stott, 251-545-7333, will be at leafleting today from 1-3 p.m. EST

    LINK TO PDF COPY OF LEAFLET: Please click here

    MORE INFORMATION OR TO REQUEST LOCAL CONTACT Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; PREFER TEXTING PLEASE TO ENSURE QUICKER RESPONSE 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • This Senseless Government Shutdown Makes Even Less Sense, End the Shutdown Now

    WASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) issued the following statement about the “Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019,” after the President signed it into law today. The law guarantees back pay to federal employees affected by the lapse in appropriations following the conclusion of the partial government shutdown.

    NATCA’s President Paul Rinaldi stated:

    NATCA applauds the Senate, the House, and the President for enacting this law that guarantees back pay to federal employees affected by the shutdown. With clear bipartisan support for doing the right thing - paying all employees after the shutdown ends - this senseless government shutdown makes even less sense. There is no reason to keep employees home and furloughed now that they are guaranteed their pay. Our elected leaders need to be responsible stewards of American taxpayer dollars and end this shutdown immediately. 

    This protracted government shutdown is eroding the layers of redundancy and support necessary to maintain the safety of the National Airspace System (NAS). Approximately, 3,000 NATCA-represented aviation safety professionals are furloughed as a result of the shutdown, and their critical safety work isn’t getting done. Many safety activities that proactively reduce risk and increase the safety of the NAS have been suspended. The National Airspace System is less safe today than before the shutdown began.

    The National Airspace System has already been dramatically affected by what has become the longest government shutdown in history. If this shutdown continues, it will further erode the system’s capacity, resulting in more flight delays.

    The effects of the shutdown are being felt by both big and small businesses and their employees across the nation, including America’s airlines, manufacturers of aviation equipment and technology, government contractors, and the millions of small businesses that provide goods and services to the federal employees affected by the shutdown, both those furloughed and those working without pay.

    The Senate must act. End the shutdown today. Allow furloughed employees to return to work and pay all federal workers.

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • January 3, 2019 

    The Honorable Mitch McConnell Majority Leader
    United States Senate Washington, D.C. 20510 

    The Honorable Nancy Pelosi Speaker-Designate
    United States House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515 

    The Honorable Charles Schumer Minority Leader
    United States Senate Washington, D.C. 20510 

    The Honorable Kevin McCarthy Minority Leader
    United States House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515 

    Dear Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker-Designate Pelosi, and Leader McCarthy: 

    We are writing to express the National Air Traffic Controllers Association’s (NATCA) strong support for H.R. 21, Making appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019; and H.J.Res. 1, Making further continuing appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for fiscal year 2019, which will end the partial government shutdown and reopen nine federal departments and associated agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). No one should be under the illusion that it’s business as usual for aviation safety during a shutdown. Every day the shutdown continues, the negative consequences to the National Airspace System (NAS) and its employees are compounding. 

    Even though air traffic controllers and traffic management coordinators remain on the job, dedicated to the safety of every flight, they don’t know when they’ll receive their next paycheck and that adds more stress to an already stressful profession. Additionally, over 3,000 NATCA- represented aviation safety professionals have been furloughed and sent home as a result of the shutdown. This shutdown and the resulting furloughs are rapidly eliminating the layers of redundancy and safety on which the NAS is built. 

    Controllers are among the human components of the NAS and are part of a complex team. That team includes staff support specialists who work at air traffic control facilities to provide tactical, strategic, and administrative support of training, quality assurance, traffic management, airspace and procedures, operational automation, military operations, and safety management system. It also includes engineers who design and construct critical infrastructure necessary for safe flight operations including air traffic control towers and radar control facilities, radar maintenance and installation, navigational aids, and communications systems. 

    These and other aviation safety professionals - who along with air traffic controllers operate the NAS - work in a system that has no room for error. These men and women work together with our certified professional controllers for the NAS to function at peak safety and efficiency. However, during a shutdown, they are furloughed. 

    Right now, we are asking our controllers to maintain the safety and efficiency of the system without the necessary contribution of 3,000 safety professionals. The furloughs make an already complicated job even more difficult by removing a key human component from the NAS. We wouldn’t ask a surgeon to perform an operation without the assistance of a support team, and we shouldn’t be asking air traffic controllers to continue working without support staff.

    The government shutdown also means hiring and training delays, which worsen the current air traffic controller staffing crisis. Due to the shutdown, the FAA was forced to suspend hiring and close its training academy in Oklahoma City where new air traffic controller hires begin their careers. In addition, classroom and simulator training at air traffic control facilities is also suspended. Stopping the hiring and training pipeline will exacerbate the current controller staffing crisis. The number of fully certified controllers is now at a 30-year low. If the staffing shortage gets worse, we will see reduced capacity in the NAS, meaning more flight delays. 

    Further, the FAA’s ability to develop and implement new technology and modernize the NAS is also being negatively affected by the government shutdown. Critical work on FAA NextGen modernization projects, including redesigning flight paths, has come to a halt, and the FAA has stopped issuing Airworthiness Directives to mandate safety fixes to existing aircraft. Infrastructure construction and equipment modernization has ceased at airports and radar facilities across the country including Charlotte’s new air traffic control tower and terminal radar approach control facility that will now be delayed past the scheduled January 2019 completion date and modernization of Seattle Air Route Traffic Control Center. 

    On behalf of the nearly 20,000 NATCA-represented federal employees, we encourage you to bring to the floor and pass H.R. 21 and H.J.Res. 1, in order to reopen the nine federal departments and their associated agencies, including the FAA. The FAA requires all of its critical employees so that the NAS can maintain its place as the gold standard for the world. Every day the shutdown continues, the negative consequences to the NAS and its employees are increasing. We encourage you to end the shutdown now by passing H.R. 21 and H.J. Res. 1. 

    Respectfully, 

    Paul M. Rinaldi
    President
    National Air Traffic Controllers Association 

     

    PDF Link Here

  • WASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) today issued this statement from NATCA President Paul Rinaldi regarding the shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that began at 12:01 a.m. EST today. (Note: The FAA shutdown did not begin Saturday with the rest of the ongoing government shutdown, because the Agency had operations budget funds available to continue both excepted and non-excepted activities. Activities paid out of other FAA budget accounts continue to have funds available.)

    “This marks the third government shutdown in 2018. The shutdown and continued lack of a stable, predictable funding stream is no way to operate and grow the world’s safest, most complex, most efficient airspace system.

    “The air traffic controllers and traffic management coordinators that NATCA represents remain on the job, dedicated to the safety of every flight, but they don’t know when they will receive their next paycheck. Additionally, approximately 3,000 NATCA-represented aviation safety professionals, who work across our bargaining units at air traffic control and other FAA facilities, will be furloughed at midnight tonight. Among these professionals are staff support specialists who work at air traffic control facilities to provide tactical, strategic, and administrative support of training, quality assurance, traffic management, airspace and procedures, operational automation, military operations, and safety management system. Other furloughed aviation safety professionals include aircraft certification engineers, who assist in design, production approvals, and airworthiness certification of aircraft and their components, engineers who design and construct critical infrastructure necessary for safe flight operations including air traffic control towers, radar maintenance and installation, navigational aids, and communications systems, and flight test pilots.

    “This shutdown, whether it lasts one hour, one day, one week, or more, reinforces our strong belief that the status quo is broken. When these aviation safety professionals are prohibited from working as a result of political dysfunction, the flying public and the National Airspace System suffer. Air traffic control is very much a team effort, and the worst part of a shutdown, beyond furloughs and an uncertain date of their next paycheck, is the fact that many key members of the team are sent home. That hurts the operation.

    “The FAA requires a stable, predictable funding stream in order to adequately support air traffic control services, staffing, hiring and training, long-term and NextGen modernization projects, preventative maintenance, and ongoing modernization to the physical infrastructure.”

    Effects of the shutdown include, but are not limited to:

    • The enroute Data Communications (Data Comm) program, which is in the initial stage of deployment. This stage sets the foundation for all 20 Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC) to be able to utilize the functionality of Data Comm. With the shutdown, training and deployment schedules for both air traffic controllers and pilots are being negatively affected because of the integrated schedule.
    • Closure of the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City that provides initial classroom training for the approximately 1,430 new hires training to become air traffic controllers. A significant amount of on the job training at air traffic control facilities also stops during a shutdown. Stopping the hiring and training pipeline for even one day is detrimental to the urgent need to ease a controller staffing crisis that has resulted in the lowest level of fully certified controllers in 30 years.
    • Stoppage of many other NextGen air traffic control modernization programs such as Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM), which hold great potential for increasing the efficiency of flights in the airport surface and terminal airspace. Other flight efficiency-enhancing programs like redesigning flight paths in large Metroplex programs near busy airspace like Las Vegas, South Florida, and Denver would also come to a halt.
    • Stoppage of important work in the FAA’s Aircraft Certification division, including work on all Airworthiness Directives that mandate safety fixes/changes to existing aircraft.
    • Work stoppage on major airport and air traffic control construction projects, like the new air traffic control tower and terminal radar approach control in Charlotte that was scheduled to open in January. Critical work is ongoing to ensure the tower is operational, but the project will now be delayed.
    • Work stoppage on building modernization projects, like at Seattle Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZSE), which is responsible for the airspace above a large swath of the Pacific Northwest. Controllers and other aviation safety professionals at ZSE were instrumental in ensuring the safety of the airspace and all aircraft when an airline employee stole a plane from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport last August and flew it erratically until eventually crashing in a wooded island in Puget Sound. The required modernization work includes a complex and critical replacement of the cooling system for the equipment that controllers use to safely work traffic.

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  •  

    NATCA Statement


    WASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) issued the following
    statement.

    NATCA’s President Paul Rinaldi stated:

    NATCA does not condone or endorse any federal employees participating in or
    endorsing a coordinated activity that negatively affects the capacity of the National
    Airspace System or other activities that undermine the professional image and
    reputation of the men and women we represent.


    Air traffic controllers take their responsibility to protect the safety of the flying public at all
    costs very seriously. Nothing else matters except safety.


    With that said, in the past few weeks, we have warned about what could happen as a
    result of the prolonged shutdown. Many controllers have reached the breaking point of
    exhaustion, stress, and worry caused by this shutdown. Each hour that goes by that the
    shutdown continues makes the situation worse.


    Air traffic controllers are required to report fit for duty every shift. It is a very high
    threshold of fitness demanded by the seriousness of the job. This shutdown has caused
    a tremendous amount of added stress for them on top of what is already a difficult and
    stressful job.


    We are at a 30-year low of fully certified air traffic controllers and as we have warned for
    several years, the efficiency of the system will be constrained when there is inadequate
    staffing to ensure the safety of all flights.


    The entire National Airspace System is extremely complex and interconnected, so when
    delays begin at one major facility, there is a ripple effect that reaches across the system.
    It affects all flights that are scheduled to use the airspace of facilities where staffing is
    inadequate to safely handle traffic volume.

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; FOR FASTER
    RESPONSE PLEASE TEXT 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.
    # # #
    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety
    organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic
    controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in
    1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for
    air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of
    the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety
    professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102
    federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make
    vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe,
    orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons
    of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in
    Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

    Click for PDF Download

  • NATCA Grateful for End of Shutdown and Hopeful for a
    Long-Term Appropriations Bill


    WASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) issued the following
    statement about the agreement to temporarily end the shutdown and reopen the government.

    NATCA’s President Paul Rinaldi stated:

    After 35 days of this senseless government shutdown, we are grateful and relieved that
    the President and Congress reached an agreement to temporarily end the shutdown and
    reopen the government through February 15, 2019. We are hopeful for a long-term
    appropriations bill. The air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals
    represented by NATCA can continue to ensure the safety of the National Airspace
    System (NAS) and the flying public, without worrying about their next paycheck.


    Today’s agreement is due, in large part, to the tireless activism of NATCA’s members
    since the shutdown began. We express our deepest gratitude to NATCA members who
    continued to work for the past 35 days despite the stress caused by the shutdown.
    NATCA also recognizes the sacrifices made by those other aviation safety professionals
    who were furloughed.


    We want to thank all aviation industry stakeholders for their efforts to end the shutdown
    and specifically acknowledge the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and Air Line
    Pilots Association (ALPA) for their solidarity during the longest government shutdown in
    U.S. history.


    Although the news today is positive, we must not lose focus on the short-term nature of
    this agreement, and the need to continue to make our voice heard to avoid another
    shutdown on February 15, 2019.


    This 35-day shutdown reinforces our strong belief that the status quo is broken. The
    NAS requires a stable, predictable funding stream in order to adequately support air
    traffic control services, staffing, hiring and training, long-term modernization projects,
    preventative maintenance, ongoing modernization to the physical infrastructure,
    integration of new entrants, and the timely implementation of NextGen modernization
    projects. The constant funding crises that arise from stop-and-go funding continue to
    wreak havoc on our system and perpetuate the current staffing crisis, which has resulted
    in a 30-year low of certified professional controllers.


    We remain hopeful that today’s agreement will lead to a long-term appropriations bill that
    prevents another senseless shutdown.

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; FOR FASTER
    RESPONSE PLEASE TEXT 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.
    # # #
    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety
    organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic
    controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in
    1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for
    air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of
    the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety
    professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102
    federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make
    vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe,
    orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons
    of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in
    Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

    Click here for PDF of Full Press Release

  • IMG 1305

    NATCA Will Continue to Oppose the Injustice of Our Members Working While Being Deprived of Their Earned Wages

    WASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) issued the following statement regarding the ruling by U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Senior Judge Richard J. Leon to deny the Union’s request for a temporary restraining order in NATCA v. U.S.

    NATCA’s Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert attended the hearing and afterwards stated:

    Although we are disappointed with the judge’s ruling denying NATCA’s motion for a temporary restraining order, we are encouraged that he acknowledged the ongoing hardships our members are facing because of the shutdown. In recognition that time is of the essence, the judge ordered expedited briefing on NATCA’s motion for a preliminary injunction. We will continue to oppose the injustice of our members working while being deprived of their earned wages and look forward to making our argument on Jan. 31.

     

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • NATCA2012copy

    NATCA SUES GOVERNMENT OVER FAILURE TO PAY MEMBERS FOR WORK PERFORMED DURING SHUTDOWN

    NATCA Seeks Temporary Restraining Order for 5th Amendment Violation

    WASHINGTON – This morning, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, AFL-CIO (NATCA) filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of its members who have not been paid for their work since the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) appropriations lapsed in late December. Molly Elkin, Partner, at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm Woodley & McGillivary LLP, is counsel on the case.

    NATCA requested an expedited hearing on its motion for a Temporary Restraining Order against the United States government for its violation of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. NATCA alleges that the government unlawfully deprived NATCA members of their earned wages without due process.

    The suit also alleges violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for failure to pay at least the minimum wage to air traffic controllers and other NATCA members who are excepted from the furloughs during the government shutdown. Finally, it alleges that the FAA failed to promptly pay overtime to NATCA members in violation of the FLSA. On behalf of its members, NATCA seeks an order requiring the government to pay its members for the work they have performed as well as liquidated damages.

    The air traffic controllers, traffic management coordinators, and other excepted aviation safety professionals that NATCA represents remain on the job, dedicated to the safety of every flight, but they don’t know when they will receive their next paycheck. If not for the shutdown, NATCA members would have begun to receive direct deposit of their pay into their accounts as of this morning.

    Additionally, approximately 3,000 NATCA-represented aviation safety professionals, who work across our bargaining units at air traffic control and other FAA facilities, have been furloughed for three weeks.

    LINKS TO LEGAL DOCUMENTS:

    TRO Motion:               NATCA.org/tromotion

    Filed Complaint:          NATCA.org/filedcomplaint

    Click here for Update: NATCA Statement Regarding Denial of TRO Motion

    Click here for Lawsuit Opt-in and Member Resources

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; FOR TEXTING ONLY PLEASE 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • Click here to download PDF on mobile.

  • In the next 24 hours, there are going to be two votes in the United States Senate. If passed, either bill being voted on would open the government. The 18 senators below are critical to passing this important legislation. 
     
    WE NEED TO LET THESE 18 SENATORS KNOW THAT THEY MUST VOTE YES TO OPEN THE GOVERNMENT!!!
    ANYONE can make these calls and post to social media. You do NOT need to be a constituent!
    We need every NATCA member to CALL the senators listed below and POST on their social media using the scripts and information below.
     
    These calls and social media posts are critical and only take a few minutes. Tell the Senator to vote YES on opening the government!
     
    This is NOT the time to sit on the sidelines. We need EVERY NATCA member, family member, friend, and neighbor making these calls. Together, with ONE LOUD, COLLECTIVE VOICE, we will end this shutdown!
     
    In Solidarity,
    Paul Rinaldi
    Trish Gilbert
     
    CALLING SCRIPT
     
    "I am an (air traffic controller/aviation safety professional/concerned citizen). Each day the shutdown continues, aviation safety is further compromised. The Senator MUST vote YES on opening up the government!"
     
     
    SOCIAL MEDIA POST
     
    Each day the shutdown continues, aviation safety is further compromised. The Senator MUST vote YES on opening up the government!  #Endtheshutdown #NATCA

    SENATORS PHONE AND SOCIAL MEDIA
     
     
    Senator Murkowski - Alaska
    Phone Number - (202) 224-6665
    Facebook @SenLisaMurkowski
    Twitter @lisamurkowski
    Instagram - @senlisamurkowski

    Senator McSally - Arizona
    Phone Number - (202) 224-2235
    Facebook - @MarthaMcSally
    Twitter - @SenMcSallyAZ
    Instagram - @teammcsally

    Senator Gardner - Colorado
    Phone Number - (202) 224-5941
    Facebook - @SenCoryGardner
    Twitter - @SenCoryGardner
    Instagram - @sencorygardner

    Senator Scott - Florida
    Phone Number - (202) 224-5274
    Facebook - @scottforflorida
    Twitter - @ScottforFlorida
    Instagram - @scottforflorida

    Senator Isakson - Georgia
    Phone Number - (202) 224-3643
    Facebook - @isakson
    Twitter - @SenatorIsakson
    Instagram - @senatorisakson

    Senator Young - Indiana
    Phone Number - (202) 224-5623
    Facebook - @SenatorToddYoung
    Twitter - @SenToddYoung
    Instagram - @sentoddyoung

    Senator Ernst - Iowa
    Phone Number - (202) 224-3254
    Facebook - @joniforiowa
    Twitter - @SenJoniErnst
    Instagram - @senjoniernst

    Senator Roberts - Kansas
    Phone Number - (202) 224-4774
    Facebook - @SenPatRoberts
    Twitter - @SenPatRoberts
    Instagram - @senpatroberts

    Senator Cassidy - Louisiana
    Phone Number - (202) 224-5824
    Facebook - @billcassidy
    Twitter - @BillCassidy
    Instagram - @billcassidy

    Senator Kennedy - Louisiana
    Phone Number - (202) 224-4623
    Facebook - @SenatorJohnKennedy
    Twitter - @SenJohnKennedy
    Instagram - @senjohnkennedy

    Senator Collins - Maine
    Phone Number - (202) 224-2523
    Facebook - @susancollins
    Twitter - @SenatorCollins
    Instagram - @sensusancollins

    Senator Blunt - Missouri
    Phone Number - (202) 224-5721
    Facebook - @SenatorBlunt
    Twitter- @RoyBlunt
    Instagram - @royblunt

    Senator Fischer - Nebraska
    Phone Number - (202) 224-6551
    Facebook - @senatordebfischer
    Twitter - @SenatorFischer
    Instagram - @senatorfischer

    Senator Burr - North Carolina
    Phone Number - (202) 224-3154
    Facebook - @SenatorRichardBurr
    Twitter - @SenatorBurr
    Instagram - @senatorburr

    Senator Portman - Ohio
    Phone Number - (202) 224-3353
    Facebook - @senrobportman
    Twitter - @robportman
    Instagram - @senrobportman
     
     
     
    Senator Graham - South Carolina
    Phone Number - (202) 224-5972
    Facebook - @LindseyGrahamSC
    Twitter - @LindseyGrahamSC
    Instagram - @lindseygrahamsc

    Senator Alexander - Tennessee
    Phone Number - (202) 224-4944
    Facebook - @senatorlamaralexander
    Twitter - @SenAlexander
    Instagram - @senlamaralexander

    Senator Romney - Utah
    Phone Number - (202) 224-5251
    Facebook - @Romney4Utah
    Twitter - @MittRomney
    Instagram - @mittromney

    Senator Enzi - Wyoming
    Phone Number - (202) 224-3424
    Facebook - @mikeenzi
    Twitter - @SenatorEnzi
    Instagram - @senatorenzi
  • Social campaign 1

    This week, NATCA once again is bringing activists to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress. The message those activists bring to congressional offices will be made stronger when it is backed by our collective voice in social media. Our Union needs your help to get this done! We need you to post and tweet NATCA messaging to the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts of our government leaders, including:

    • Your congressional delegation (your House member and both Senators)
    • The Speaker of the House (Speaker Nancy Pelosi)
    • The House Minority Leader (Congressman Kevin McCarthy)
    • The Senate Majority Leader (Senator Mitch McConnell)
    • The Senate Minority Leader (Senator Chuck Schumer)
    • The White House

    LIST OF SOCIAL ACCOUNTS FOR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND THE WHITE HOUSE

    Click here for Congress Social Media Contact info.

    EXAMPLES OF SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS FOR NATCA MEMBERS

    • Each day the shutdown continues, the air traffic control system becomes less safe. As the flying public zooms through the sky, planes are being directed by unpaid federal employees worried about paying their bills. #NATCA #EndTheShutdownNow
    • I’m working without pay in one of the most stressful jobs there is. And if you fly in this country this directly affects you. Aviation safety isn’t a political game. #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • Controllers have to be 100% focused, 100% of the time. That’s hard to do when they can’t pay their bills. #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • We’re at 30-year low of certified controllers and the ones who remain on the job aren’t being paid. #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • ATC modernization delayed. Aviation safety upgrades delayed. The #shutdown jeopardizing safety & costing taxpayers billions. #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • FACT: Stress on short-staffed, professional air traffic controllers is increasing every day. That’s bad news for the flying public, and it’s what happens when you require people to work without pay for over a month. #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • Our national airspace system is broken down. Our morale is beat down. We need to #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • No paychecks + deteriorating morale + indefinitely running the safest, most complex airspace system in the world while being used as political pawns = Increased Stress and Reduced Safety.  #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • Senator: Do you have any flights planned this week? While you and your family are in the air, your air traffic controllers are working without pay. Safety is our priority, ending the #shutdown should be yours. #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • I am an air traffic controller (and a veteran who served in the SERVICE BRANCH in THEATER if applicable). The safety of our national airspace system is at risk. We're making tough decisions about our family's situation and our careers. It isn’t about politics. It’s about our livelihood. #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA 

    EXAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS FOR THE PUBLIC

    • Requiring over 15,000 air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals to work without pay is not American and it’s not right. #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • Pay the men and women who are working tirelessly to keep the flying public safe. #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • I fly all the time and I trust our nation’s air traffic controllers and other safety professionals to keep me safe. I’m shocked they are being required to work without pay.  That’s wrong. They deserve to be paid.  #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA

    POSTING GUIDELINES

    1. Members can be held responsible for inappropriate social media posts that have a demonstrated nexus to their employment, and there are excepted employees at the FAA who are monitoring social media for inappropriate content. Below are some guidelines for posting on social media:
      • DO tell your personal stories.
      • DO encourage friends and family to participate in our campaigns.
      • DO NOT engage in, encourage, post, or comment about strikes, slowdowns, or sick-outs.
      • DO NOT joke about "no pay vectors" or "shutdown flu."
      • DO NOT vent about safety concerns or equipment problems.
      • DO NOT make reference to supporting or opposing a political office holder.
      • DO NOT engage in degrading comments or name-calling about elected officials.
    1. Social Media/Hatch Act Guidelines (per the U.S. Office of Special Counsel):
      • Employees may not engage in “political activity” while on duty or in the federal workplace.
      • “Political activity” refers to any activity directed at the success or failure of a political party or partisan political group, or candidate for partisan office.
      • In the social media context, political activity includes sharing, liking, or retweeting a post from a partisan group or candidate for partisan office, or posting and/or tweeting a comment about a partisan group or candidate for partisan office.
      • Federal employees may not:
        • Use a social media account in your official capacity to engage in political activity at any time (but including your official title/position on a social media profile is allowed);
        • Tweet, retweet, share, or like a post or content that solicits political contributions at any time;
        • Like or follow the social media page of a candidate for partisan office or partisan group while on duty or in the workplace; or
        • Engage in political activity via social media while on duty or in the workplace.

     

    GRAPHICS FOR SOCIAL POSTS

    Social Campaign 1 1

    Social Campaign 2 1

    Social Campaign 3

     Social Campaign 4

    Social Campaign 5

    Social Campaign 6

    Social Campaign 7 1

    Social Campaign 0

     

  • NATCA, aviation groups, and members of Congress will detail how the shutdown is affecting the National Airspace System and must end now

    WASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) and leaders from a large cross section of the aviation community will gather for a rally today, Jan. 10, on Capitol Hill to demand an end to the government shutdown. Now in its 19th day, every day the shutdown continues it further disrupts our aviation system. Speakers will detail how the shutdown is negatively affecting their important segments of the system.

    WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, 1 p.m. EST.

    WHERE: First St. NE & Constitution Ave. NE, Washington, D.C.; Senate East Front Plaza, Grassy Area #9.

    LINEUP OF SPEAKERS:

    (Emcee – NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert)

    Paul Rinaldi, President, National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA)

    Pete Bunce, President, General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA)

    Congressman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., Chairman, House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

    Capt. Joe DePete, President, Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA)

    Spencer Dickerson Senior Executive Vice President for Global Operations, American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE)

    Sean Kennedy, Senior Vice President, Global Government Affairs, Airlines for America (A4A)

    Congressman Peter King, R-N.Y.

    Sara Nelson, International President, Association of Flight Attendants, CWA (AFA)

    Mike Perrone, President, Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS)

    Senator Mark Warner, D-Va.

    Larry Willis, President, Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD)

    Brian Wynne, CEO, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)

    (Additional members of Congress may attend and speak.)

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.