NATCA Email Mentions the Flawed BQ Process

Jax

Senior Analyst
Nov 17, 2010
869
32
28
N90-EWR
Copied and pasted from inbox.



Biographical Questionnaire on Feb 10 Open Bid for ATCS



Our confidence in the Federal Aviation Administration’s first step in addressing a significant air traffic controller hiring need has unfortunately turned to deep concern. The FAA’s recent nationwide controller job announcement drew more than 28,000 candidates. However, only eight percent – approximately 2,200 – passed the initial “Biographical Questionnaire” evaluation and advanced in the hiring process. The FAA expected 30 percent to advance.

The FAA sets its own hiring policies and NATCA is not involved in those decisions. We continue to maintain that the FAA should hire the most qualified candidates and place them in facilities where they have the highest likelihood of success during their training. The FAA must address this flawed biographical evaluation and correct the unintended consequence of rejecting what we believe are hundreds if not thousands of qualified candidates. Many of them have very high AT-SAT test scores, high grades in CTI collegiate ATC programs, or significant experience as controllers in the military or Federal Contract Tower facilities.

There is time to get this right, but it’s dwindling. Last year’s sequestration-caused hiring freeze set back the FAA’s ability to plan for current and future openings. As a result, there are now over 3,000 controllers who are eligible to retire but only 1,500 currently training to replace them, a process that takes two to three years. Without a significant investment in the United States’ air traffic control workforce, there simply won’t be enough people to maintain the current level of ATC services, much less help NextGen modernization efforts and the National Airspace System reach its full potential.

The NATCA Difference: My Voice Matters

Last week we had the great pleasure of joining a dedicated group of national, local, and Region X bargaining unit representatives for briefings on the “Purple Book,” a new contract that covers the Engineers & Architects, Staff Support Specialists, Aviation Technical Systems Specialists (Series 2186), and Flight Procedures Team units.

The occasion was as inspiring as it was educational. This contract is excellent. It gives our represented members not only the protections afforded by a fairly negotiated agreement, but also a voice in their workplaces. Consider this: Until this contract, our represented employees in the Flight Procedures bargaining unit had no grievance process.

It was the perfect time to have this training, as this week we are excited to launch a new focus in our 10-part series, The NATCA Difference. It’s called, “My Voice Matters.”

Rarely if ever have our members’ voices mattered more than in the current collaborative environment. NextGen and other safety and technology projects and procedures are some of the best examples of NATCA’s partnership with the FAA. NATCA’s safety and technology representatives, a team led by our National Office Safety and Technology Department, participate in all technological decisions that affect our membership and the National Airspace System (NAS). The Agency values our members’ frontline, subject matter expertise, as do our industry partners. Because our voice matters so greatly, new technology has the best chance of being safe and working properly in the implementation phase.

Our members’ voices also matter on Capitol Hill. Our annual event, NATCA in Washington, coordinated by our National Legislative Committee and our National Office Government Affairs Department, offers members a unique opportunity to represent the Union by meeting face to face with members of Congress and their staffs. Our voices raise the volume on key issues that directly affect our interests and educate members of Congress about the great work NATCA members perform day in and day out to help keep our air space system the world’s safest and most efficient.

At the local level, our members’ voices matter too. Any member can be a Union officer and help represent the labor rights of NATCA brothers and sisters. Members can volunteer for workgroups that participate in everything from Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) to local procedures to planning solidarity events. Reloaded reps can help mentor new controllers. Members can organize local charity events and help their communities as well as their facilities. And that’s just the beginning.

Whatever your interests and wherever your passion takes you, your voice as a NATCA member truly matters. This is the key message this week as we continue our work to organize new members and increase the level of activism of our current members.

The NATCA Difference campaign will culminate with the start of an open season on May 19, in which we will invite all current non-member BUEs to join NATCA.

This week’s new poster is attached to this message. For more information, please go to The NATCA Difference website HERE.


Basic Legislative Activism Class

There are still slots available for anyone interested in taking the Basic Legislative Class in April. The class will be held in Philadelphia on April 9-10. Sign up via the NATCA Portal on the NATCA website. If you have any questions, contact NLC Chair Steve Weidner (steve.weidner@natca.net).

National Election Committee Vacancies

NATCA is requesting volunteers to serve on the National Election Committee. Please click on the link below to access the detailed description and Volunteer Information Form. The volunteer period will close on March 10, 2014 at 11:59 pm EDT.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Ou5oarVwYnnOT2vu0m2o-CcMU86SEczZDQUnR6MUv1A/viewform

NATCA Safety and Technology Staff Position Open

We are requesting applicants for the position of NATCA's Enroute Technology Coordinator. This position requires the person to be at the NATCA National Office in Washington, DC. The job description is attached. Please contact Dale Wright with any questions at dwright@natcadc.org or call Office 202–220-9818 or Mobile 704–562-4796.

Resumes should be sent to Sallie Sullivan at the National Office via email (ssullivan@natcadc.org) or via mail to 1325 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20005.

The job posting will be open until March 20, 2014.

This Week
Trish started the week, joined by Organizing Chairman John Bratcher, visiting two of our Federal Contract Towers (DTO and DTN) to give them their NATCA Charters. Trish then joined the ZFW membership meeting to provide a national update to members from the surrounding facilities.

Paul spent the first of the week in D.C. touring the Command Center with Secretary Foxx and Administrator Huerta. On Tuesday he joined the Administrator again on the dais at the Aero Club luncheon in D.C. for the Secretary’s speech to more than 400 from the aviation community.

We joined up in Las Vegas for the Purple Book collective bargaining agreement training. Trish departed early to attend meetings in D.C. at the FAA.


Until next week,


Paul Rinaldi-NATCA President
Trish Gilbert - NATCA EVP
Team Update March 2



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GS3k

Trusted Member
Oct 24, 2013
410
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A 22% difference in their expected pass rate, or just about 6,000 less candidates for this bid then otherwise would have been available.

I wonder what happened there.
 

dreweepoo

Senior Member
Jan 20, 2012
189
1
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I was in a meeting the week after this opening closed with the NATCA rep for training and they truly had no idea. Don't think any one was expecting such a bad turnout.
 

SierraBravo

Junior Member
Nov 22, 2011
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It is so good to see NATCA on our side, even though we aren't due-paying members yet.
 

GS3k

Trusted Member
Oct 24, 2013
410
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18
It is so good to see NATCA on our side, even though we aren't due-paying members yet.
Well it addresses their concerns but it doesn't outline any specific courses of action they're taking. I suppose just mentioning it in their newsletter is good. They mention that there are 3,000 controllers and 1,500 C.P.C.I.T.s but they don't mention all of the people who are having their T.O.L.s issued as we speak, are going through the Academy and of course are about to start taking the AT-SAT as well. They were supposed to hire around 400 people from this bid this year and approximately another 1,600 next year right? It's not as if they won't have more bids to get more qualified candidates in the pipeline.

Honestly I could see a lot of pressure from various groups on N.A.T.C.A. to take a stance and this is a good way to calm them.
 

FM_Weasel

Senior Analyst
Dec 9, 2008
991
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Taking a stance is about all they can do. NATCA doesn't have any bargaining authority over the hiring process.
 

lowapproach

Epic Member
Oct 29, 2010
1,316
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WV
A 22% difference in their expected pass rate, or just about 6,000 less candidates for this bid then otherwise would have been available.

I wonder what happened there.
And none of them have been hired yet, since they still (presumably) have to take an AT-SAT and score above some percentile to pass.
 

lowapproach

Epic Member
Oct 29, 2010
1,316
33
48
WV
It's nice that NATCA is saying all of these things but they won't get involved.
Here's how this conversation would go.

NATCA: I think we're putting a lot of eggs in this BQ basket, and if it doesn't work, we won't know it for two more years of retirements. Maybe we should take another look at it, or administer the AT-SAT to more than just these 1,900 people to see if our method is really that good at picking people who can even take the AT-SAT well, let alone handle OJT.

FAA: Hiring is not a subject of mandatory bargaining, and we see no reason to run our hiring decisions by you first. So :p:p:p:p off.

NATCA: Okie-dokie.
 

GS3k

Trusted Member
Oct 24, 2013
410
16
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And none of them have been hired yet, since they still (presumably) have to take an AT-SAT and score above some percentile to pass.
That's true. I just meant less than what would have otherwise been available at this juncture.
 

SouthBeachLivin

Senior Member
Sep 14, 2013
171
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South Florida
It will play out like all of the FAA's failed attempts... The FAA will drop the ball with this hiring practice and later realize that they have no clue what they are doing. They will then ask NATCA for "collaborative" help on fixing it and it will eventually right itself. Unfortunately, a bit too late.

Some say hindsight is 20/20, but not in the FAA. You would think that the agency would involve NATCA from the beginning to avoid all this embarrassment.
 

SouthBeachLivin

Senior Member
Sep 14, 2013
171
8
18
South Florida
And again, to make clear what others are saying... NATCA has no authority in negotiating hiring procedures. Its one of the key things that we legally are not allowed to negotiate unless specifically asked by the FAA.

Its not that NATCA doesn't care, or is being "nice" by taking a stance. Its that their hands are tied. NATCA will offer advice and all we can do is hope that the agency takes it. You will all learn soon enough how important the union is to us.
 

freshav8tor

Trusted Contributor
Jul 19, 2009
516
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And again, to make clear what others are saying... NATCA has no authority in negotiating hiring procedures. Its one of the key things that we legally are not allowed to negotiate unless specifically asked by the FAA.

Its not that NATCA doesn't care, or is being "nice" by taking a stance. Its that their hands are tied. NATCA will offer advice and all we can do is hope that the agency takes it. You will all learn soon enough how important the union is to us.
I guess now we have to wait and see.
 

StuSEL

Moderator
Aug 23, 2009
1,014
10
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You know where.
Spoke to a FacRep and several controllers today, and they're all pretty flabbergasted at this news. They're pretty disappointed, albeit not shocked, that this is what's happened.
 

klodabest

Newcomer
Feb 22, 2014
14
0
1
So lets say 30 percent would have passed....


there would still be cti's, ots's and vra's left out in the dark bitching.
3

Yes, but much less. And if we found out that more CTI's and VRA's passed, many have already said that they would complain less.
 

DrIvory

Newcomer
Dec 31, 2013
0
0
0
Don't really understand why they wouldn't just adjust their cutoff threshold to reach the desired 30%. I know they are looking for specific personality traits but it's obvious they were being far too selective.