NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert spoke to members of the National Hispanic Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees (NHCFAE) at their annual training conference earlier this month. Gilbert was part of the Labor Management Round Table panel discussion with Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS) National President Mike Perrone (pictured above left) and FAA Managers Association National Vice President McKay Gerber (pictured above right). During this discussion, Gilbert spoke to attendees about the importance of diversity, NATCA and FAA collaboration, current attacks on federal employees and unions, the need for stabile Agency funding, and member activism.
“We need to get everyone having conversations about the small stuff. This helps to create relationships where we can come to the table and have conversations about the larger stuff,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert explained how the President’s three executive orders negatively affect federal employees and their unions. “These policies in place are to weaken labor unions,” Gilbert said. “There are challenges in front of us, but nothing we can’t handle. We have a strong army fighting on Capitol Hill. We are on the Hill constantly, continuing to build relationships, and this goes on 24/7 as far as NATCA is concerned. We won’t let them forget what is important to us.”
Gilbert explained how NATCA’s activism on FAA funding bills has helped advance the National Airspace System (NAS). “We’ve been able to get language in FAA extensions to put the Agency in a position to streamline hiring. Our work on the Hill helps us get things put into law that can’t be done at the agency level,” Gilbert said.
“However, unstable and unpredictable funding of the FAA is still an ongoing issue that threatens the National Airspace System. With these extensions comes instability, and that’s problematic for us as an agency. Congress isn’t giving us the tools we need to get stuff done.”
Gilbert talked about how activism and education, including this month’s conference, help NATCA, NHCFAE, and the FAA advance aviation. “Without active members you won’t be successful as an organization,” she said. “Getting people to conferences and classes is key for NATCA. We have made it a goal that NATCA leadership cannot just stay in our offices. Go out, meet people, build relationships, taking ideas and making them a reality. I am proud to represent our results-driven membership.”
NHCFAE President and Long Beach ATCT (LGB) NATCA member Faviola Garcia thanked Gilbert and NATCA with an award (pictured at right) for commitment and support of NHCFAE's mission to advocate for career placement and advancement of federal aviation professionals through support, education, and alliances.
During the conference, Waco ATCT (ACT) NATCA member Jonas Palomino represented NATCA at a booth in the exhibit hall, where he answered attendees’ questions about NATCA, aviation safety, and the NAS.
Learn more about NHCFAE and its mission and events here: https://www.nhcfae.org/