RPO Strike 2018

KeelowJay90

Junior Member
Dec 4, 2014
118
0
16
'Merica
So, for you guys attending the academy, we RPOs really would appreciate you to spread the word that the RPOs across all academy facilities are anticipating a union-sponsored strike next week in order to mitigate massive pay cuts on our end. What will this mean for you?

From what we've been told by other union members, the FAA will not allow a strike to continue, and so the employer for the RPOs will be effectively terminated from the CTC contract. Enjoy your day off! Lol
 

Stinger

Epic Member
May 24, 2009
1,559
21
38
So, for you guys attending the academy, we RPOs really would appreciate you to spread the word that the RPOs across all academy facilities are anticipating a union-sponsored strike next week in order to mitigate massive pay cuts on our end. What will this mean for you?

From what we've been told by other union members, the FAA will not allow a strike to continue, and so the employer for the RPOs will be effectively terminated from the CTC contract. Enjoy your day off! Lol
I'm intrigued...go into more detail about this?
 

j_time41

Senior Analyst
Nov 17, 2008
1,015
8
38
34
Lakeville, MN
Come on.... You will all get fired.....there are so many people lined up for the rpo opportunity, it’s crazy
 
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KeelowJay90

Junior Member
Dec 4, 2014
118
0
16
'Merica
Alright guys, please bear with me - I haven't been with the company very long, and therefore not too knowledgeable on how the FAA CTC changes hands, but I'll still give you the most transparency I can give you, sprinkled with reasonable some reasonable speculation lol

So CTC for Academy training across the board belongs to SAIC. SAIC, to save a bit of cash, subcontracts to our company, CNI (Chickasaw Nation Industries) to further save a bit more cash and handle the RPO side of all the Academy training. The problem is CNI does not want to re-up the contract and looks to cut our pay significantly from $16.99 + $4.48 health and welfare + 10% night differential, to $14.97, $0 H&W, and 8% night differential. I speculate that the reason they're looking to cut our pay significantly, is to make the contract more marketable to other companies that ponder picking up this RPO subcontracting gig from SAIC.

Now from what I've known, SAIC instructors R-sides, and CNI RPOs at the Academy are represented by the International Assoc. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers if they so choose to join. At the start of negotiations last week, we went in asking for a pay raise - Going from $4.48 H&W, to at least $6ish, and to have our wages fairly determined by the definitions provided Service Contract Act Area Wage Determiniation for Computer Operator II, III, IV, instead of our current wage, determined as an arbitrary increase from the standard base pay for a Computer Operator I. Immediately the company hit back with massive pay cuts, stricter disciplinary measures for something as simple as being a few seconds late to the plug in time that is already set five minutes before each and every run across all training functions, and even more narrow windows for sick call-in reporting times.

We went into negotiations with less than 50% union membership, but as soon as they hit us with their shit offer, union membership jumped to about 81% and therefore rattled CNI. I don't know if this is true, but some people have said that the FAA would not allow a strike to go on for more than a day, as that it'll set back the students, and have them run crunched schedules for the next few weeks, reflecting that of what happened during the government shutdown earlier this year, so should the strike run more than a day, CNI would be effectively terminated from being able to subcontract from SAIC. Some of the things you kids don't know is how much stupid, illogical shit that goes on behind the radar rooms, like supes telling us to train two new hires simultaneously while wearing two headsets (Not a joke - goofiest shit ever), or making the RPOs run the R-side when the majority of us have never set foot in an approach control or CTI school, and therefore are unwilling to run the R-side without having the same pay as the same SAIC R-sides that could have only applied to the job with multiple years of experience.

As of the last round of negotiations, CNI has been trying to threaten us to further cut our pay even more from Computer Operator I to Data Entry I for having the audacity negotiate with them even further, so moving ahead, the union is planning a vote with an intent to strike next week in order to show our negotiators that we're confident in the choices they're making, and show the company that we're not messing around. We've got the confidence to strike as a last resort and negotiate with the company from other union members who are instructors and R-sides, who are down to strike with us.

I totally get that students, some instructors and R-sides just shit all over the RPOs, blaming us for every single mistake that goes on your scenarios, and I get that some RPOs coming off the street with zero aviation experience are a bit hard to understand and you might feel like we're putting your career in jeopardy. We want nothing but the best for the students, and see nothing but 100% graduating classes across the board, but we're going to need to go ahead and take care of ourselves go on with this strike because it's going to directly effect our way of life.

TELL YOUR FRIENDS!
 

Purplelobj

Epic Member
Jan 29, 2014
1,646
19
38
What I don't get is it is an entry level position. You could all be fired ala the controllers in 81 and be replaced the following day as training takes maybe two hours to learn the key strokes. Other than wanting better working conditions and more pay, what leg do you have to stand on?
 
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thirtythree

Senior Member
May 24, 2011
180
1
18
Just get a different job man. There's nothing noble or worthwhile about being an RPO. I was always confused why the hell people did it when I was at the academy.
 

KeelowJay90

Junior Member
Dec 4, 2014
118
0
16
'Merica
"There's nothing noble or worthwhile about being an RPO."

I get that, but how many people do you think really give a shit about being a controller, or grinding out years of college for an IT or finance job to wind up with debt in a new jobs that pays the same rate? Lots of people end up picking up these RPO gigs and do them for years because it's a great way to make money relative to pulling twelve hours day-on, day-off at the 7/11, or WalMart or a better alternative to working oilfields, or sure even a great way to use as a stepping stone to pay for college to transfer out of OK entirely or use this job as a means to take care of an ill parent/grandparent by being able to have the flexibility and time off to take care of that person. Come live in Oklahoma City on our wages and tell us it's not worthwhile, while the alternative is absolute garbage.

One guy and his wife, brother, and father all work here, and have been working here for YEARS. There are people that have tried to make it into the academy in the 90's that aged out that still work here, or one guy worked for the FAA in a remote FSS in Alaska, and picked Oklahoma City as his home. A plethora of us have been military controllers and prior military with family here. Sure, I get it - :p:p:p:p them, :p:p:p:p us, it's our fault for staying here, and we deserve it for giving you that right turn when you said, "Turn right", when you meant, "Turn left heading 310, maintain 3000...". Come on, man, we're asking for so little, here, just a little reprieve for the rest of us that never got our TOLs or didn't want them in the first place.

As far as the PATCO controllers ala 1981, Reagan had them all terminated because their walkouts, slowdowns, spinning planes at the boundaries for refusing to take handoffs were directly impacting public safety. As it turns out, when you were at the academy, you weren't talking to actual planes - it was just us on computers in a separate lab all along ;) - Magic. As far as striking goes and aftershocks affecting public safety, it means you get your trainees a day behind, FAA loses out cash on a whole day of training which then gets mushed into the next several weeks, en route students end up feeling rushed and wash out.

The FAA is expanding it's efforts to provide a higher volume of students to attending the academy specifically for the TETRA track - you know this. Spreading the already low amount of RPOs thinly over more students WHILE taking a pay cut is significantly low for morale.
 

KeelowJay90

Junior Member
Dec 4, 2014
118
0
16
'Merica
Also, our strike is going to be a union-sponsored legal strike, done at a legal time, ensuring that we will legally be able to maintain our jobs after all's said and done. Think for a second - what happens if the FAA eliminates 234 remote pilot operators ala PATCO. Who's going to fill in? Two instructors I had a conversation with thought maybe SAIC will consider using RTF/En Route/TSS instructors to cover down on RPO duties as well as their current duties - you think that is going to mull over well? Do the same job + our job for the same rate? Come now...

You think if CNI lost its contract, SAIC's replaced us with busloads of low-wage workers coming out of the woodwork, gnashing their teeth for a taste of this wonderful job? And THEN you think they're going to pay for their training and accept whatever washout rate they get? We had one RPO cost nearly $17k to train that STILL couldn't check out in RTF.

Come onnnnn.
 

atcone

Newcomer
Jan 10, 2014
9
0
1
Just get a different job man. There's nothing noble or worthwhile about being an RPO. I was always confused why the hell people did it when I was at the academy.
Because it's a job and a good one for people waiting/trying to get an ATC job. What makes you the expert on what is noble or worthwhile? I've trained RPO's at a level 10 facility, not the academy, and if you think it can be done it 2 hours, you're nuts! Love to see you do it in that time.
 

j_time41

Senior Analyst
Nov 17, 2008
1,015
8
38
34
Lakeville, MN
"There's nothing noble or worthwhile about being an RPO."

I get that, but how many people do you think really give a shit about being a controller, or grinding out years of college for an IT or finance job to wind up with debt in a new jobs that pays the same rate? Lots of people end up picking up these RPO gigs and do them for years because it's a great way to make money relative to pulling twelve hours day-on, day-off at the 7/11, or WalMart or a better alternative to working oilfields, or sure even a great way to use as a stepping stone to pay for college to transfer out of OK entirely or use this job as a means to take care of an ill parent/grandparent by being able to have the flexibility and time off to take care of that person. Come live in Oklahoma City on our wages and tell us it's not worthwhile, while the alternative is absolute garbage.

One guy and his wife, brother, and father all work here, and have been working here for YEARS. There are people that have tried to make it into the academy in the 90's that aged out that still work here, or one guy worked for the FAA in a remote FSS in Alaska, and picked Oklahoma City as his home. A plethora of us have been military controllers and prior military with family here. Sure, I get it - :p:p:p:p them, :p:p:p:p us, it's our fault for staying here, and we deserve it for giving you that right turn when you said, "Turn right", when you meant, "Turn left heading 310, maintain 3000...". Come on, man, we're asking for so little, here, just a little reprieve for the rest of us that never got our TOLs or didn't want them in the first place.

As far as the PATCO controllers ala 1981, Reagan had them all terminated because their walkouts, slowdowns, spinning planes at the boundaries for refusing to take handoffs were directly impacting public safety. As it turns out, when you were at the academy, you weren't talking to actual planes - it was just us on computers in a separate lab all along ;) - Magic. As far as striking goes and aftershocks affecting public safety, it means you get your trainees a day behind, FAA loses out cash on a whole day of training which then gets mushed into the next several weeks, en route students end up feeling rushed and wash out.

The FAA is expanding it's efforts to provide a higher volume of students to attending the academy specifically for the TETRA track - you know this. Spreading the already low amount of RPOs thinly over more students WHILE taking a pay cut is significantly low for morale.
Shut up.
 

lowapproach

Epic Member
Oct 29, 2010
1,316
32
48
WV
Whether we find you sympathetic or we don't, the question is how strong the hand you have to play is. I think it's pretty weak.

The President is a Republican, and his Secretary of Transportation and his FAA Administrator are Republicans. They will want to sever the contract they have with your employer based on non-performance, and begin a new one with some other contractor, just to show the next group that they aren't afraid to harm ATC training if it means that contractors will have to think twice about job actions. And they will keep a list of names titled "Do not hire."

NATCA has told these guys for 15 years that hiring and training freezes are a problem for flight safety, and hiring and training freezes still happen. I don't know what the better move for you is, but I feel fairly certain that an open-ended work stoppage is just going to lead to your dismissal.
 

HenryTheAce

Senior Member
Jul 21, 2014
251
0
16
ZMP -> D21
I've trained RPO's at a level 10 facility, not the academy, and if you think it can be done it 2 hours, you're nuts! Love to see you do it in that time.
Level 11 Center controller, we all had to train and be RPO’s for D-Sides and R-Sides here... if you think it takes longer then 2hrs I’m confused, because RPO’ing was the easiest part of the job since I’ve been hired. Took 1-2hrs to learn it.
 

Jax

Senior Analyst
Nov 17, 2010
869
32
28
N90-EWR
Level 11 Center controller, we all had to train and be RPO’s for D-Sides and R-Sides here... if you think it takes longer then 2hrs I’m confused, because RPO’ing was the easiest part of the job since I’ve been hired. Took 1-2hrs to learn it.
2 hours? Not sure about enroute RPO's, but the RPO's here at N90 need to learn ALL 5 areas. Good luck with that! I'll venture to say that our RPO's here require at minimum 6 months to properly train, and be familiar with all potential flows into all 5 areas. Hell, I got 28 years on the job, and only know well 2 out of the 5 areas.
 

jimmydee

Junior Member
Jan 8, 2014
98
2
8
What I don't get is it is an entry level position. You could all be fired ala the controllers in 81 and be replaced the following day as training takes maybe two hours to learn the key strokes. Other than wanting better working conditions and more pay, what leg do you have to stand on?
Being realistic, it will take maybe a week to learn the keystrokes and how the program functions well enough to actually run a problem. Also being realistic, it would take anywhere between a month to 3 months to replace an RPO. (back ground checks, medical tests etc etc.) so ya.... firing them all and rehiring would mean shutting down the academy for quite some time, maybe up to half a year.
 

jimmydee

Junior Member
Jan 8, 2014
98
2
8
By the way, this thread literally became the most interesting thing on stuckmic just within the past 5 minutes. Bravo.