Does NATCA help you through training and to what extent?

ECHODELTA85

Senior Member
May 5, 2011
198
1
18
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
I know people on this site say for new controllers to join the union because of its benefits and also maybe help with difficulties during training. My question is to what extent does the union help devs get through training if they were to sign up for the union? Basically, what exactly do you do to help these devs?
 

Doug Church

Director of Communications
Sep 8, 2009
206
0
16
51
Washington, D.C.
www.natca.org
Re: Extent of Help

There are many reasons why joining NATCA is a great idea. Many NATCA members on stuckmic can give you their own personal stories of the immense value of this union for all controllers and other safety professionals' bargaining units we represent, and I'll be adding to this thread myself. But you shouldn't join the union to get help through training.
 

ECHODELTA85

Senior Member
May 5, 2011
198
1
18
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Re: Extent of Help


Thank you for your response. I agree that joining the union only for help is not a good idea. I guess I was inquiring as to how would you assists those devs if needed (e.g. more training, an additional coach). Any info from anyone would be great.
 

MikeATC

Retired FAA, NATCA Member
Apr 3, 2009
1,230
3
38
Nashville TN
Re: Extent of Help

Echo, joining NATCA isn't for helping you get through training, that is up to "YOU".

Being a member of NATCA ensures that if for some reason your training isn't consistent, monthly's weren't done, primary OJT team didn't do majority of training, training not done in accordance with facility guidelines, etc., NATCA is there to go to bat for you if you have problems, or fail training.

Your NATCA rep will get involved if there are problems or issues during your training, but you need to bring this to his/her attention before it gets to the point that you're failing training. This assistance can range from helping to get a new training team, additional class room time, more sim time, etc..

If you get to the point were you are failing training and you go before a Training Review Board, your Facility Rep will be a part of the board.

The Review Board goes over your training records, interviews your training team (sometimes other controllers), interviews you, and then makes a decision whether you have the potential to certify but need additional hours, or whether your training was or was not done correctly. If your training wasn't done correctly your facility rep will fight to get you recycled or to be granted additional hours, and/or have a new training team.

There might have been some slight changes since I retired 3 years ago, but I'm sure the basic process is pretty much the same. Again whether you are successful is up to you, NATCA will be in your corner to ensure that you are provided every opportunity to be successful.
 

Doug Church

Director of Communications
Sep 8, 2009
206
0
16
51
Washington, D.C.
www.natca.org
Re: Extent of Help

MikeATC, that is an OUTSTANDING perspective and I thank you for posting that. I have more info. on this theme from a current controller and leader in NATCA that I would like to share:

"The profession of Air Traffic Controller is an up or out profession. An individual must have the aptitude and dedication to progress successfully through a difficult training program. The Union cannot give that to a person. It is either in them or it is not. What the Union has done is restore language within our Collective Bargaining Agreement guaranteeing a fair and equitable opportunity for all controllers in the training program. The Agency determines the methods and means of training. That is a right granted to them in 5 USC. Absent our language, the Agency is unchecked on whether someone received an adequate opportunity to succeed. Using our Collective Bargaining Agreement a thorough review is conducted of training opportunities in a Training Review Board, which has a NATCA Representative as a participant. When a Bargaining Unit Member was not given a proper opportunity to be successful our response period for training removals or if necessary, the Grievance Process can be used to ensure that an employee is not unfairly processed out of the profession. During the imposed work rules, the Agency attempted to simply state, 'this job is not for you' in many cases. Absent a Union, that is what new employees would still be faced with."

-Doug
 

ECHODELTA85

Senior Member
May 5, 2011
198
1
18
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Re: Extent of Help

Thank you for both of your responses (MikeATC & Mr. Church). I do not plan on joining the union just for help and I will make sure I give it my all. Thanks for the information. More thoughts are welcomed.
 

Radium

Epic Member
Jan 14, 2009
1,988
8
38
Re: Extent of Help

To give the non standard book answer:

It is by FAR in your best interest to join the union right away. The dues are so low, you won't even notice it... Then once probation & training is over... You can again decide if staying in is for you.