Staffing

AFSS5602

Junior Member
Feb 19, 2009
128
1
18
Just thought I would post an update on the site closers and staffing issues.
As of right now it appears that the site closers are going forward unless congress stops it from happening. Staffing as many know is already at dangerously low level. Lockheed PR is saying that service will not be affected. I can't really blame the PR people since their job is to hide the full truth, so they are just doing their job. The truth however is that staffing is so bad that at times whole sections of the country have no weather briefer's. Break and lunch time periods are being blacked out since there are not enough people. Some areas have only 1 person on the midnight shift to watch both flight data and inflight. During busy times only one person is watching 3-5 states radio frequencies, therefore they are unable to give service to all that call in. A very frequent pilot complaint is that they are unable to reach flight watch. This is because 1 person watches all flight watch frequencies in 2-3 Center airspace areas.

As of right now there are 79 people who want to transfer into facilities remaining open after the downsizing in the next few months. Unfortunately it appears that only several people will be getting in to hubs or C-cites that remain open. That will likely leave around 70 people left in the queue to come back. A lot of people have emailed me asking about employment and I wish I had better news. With that many people first in line to come back it could be a while before new hires are brought in. The economy also hasn't helped as we have many employees who have had to put off retirement for several years. Another entry barrier is that Flight Service doesn't have an age 56 retirement requirement so we have people that are over 60 still working. Its very good money so you can't blame them for wanting to stay as long as they can.
 

porchrat1

Newcomer
Dec 11, 2009
6
0
1
5602 u send this up the line to your senator or someone on aviation subcommittee?? We're doing everything we can to stop this out here in the "C's" but those at the hubs are either frightened into silence or just don't care cuz they got theirs!
 

AFSS5602

Junior Member
Feb 19, 2009
128
1
18
I have sent emails to my representatives, but never received any reply's of course. Getting congress to listen and understand whats going on is going to be very hard especially with the economy and health care taking center stage right now. I am hoping that the IAM has contacts in Washington and is lobbying to stop this, but honestly I have no clue what they are actually doing or whats going on at the C sites. If Lockheed thinks they can cut 130 people and have the rest of us pick up the slack they are in for a surprise. You can only talk to one person at a time regardless of what position you work therefore there is no picking up the slack. This isn't some cubical office job where you can do more tps reports cause the company is downsizing.

I feel very bad for the people at the C sites that want to continue on. They are being let go into an economy that is only getting worse overtime, not better. The news likes to paint an optimistic picture, but the truth as most economists have said is that all the stimulus and money printing has just temporarily propped things up and made things worse for the near future. You cant fix the economy by just printing more money and issuing even more debt.
 

porchrat1

Newcomer
Dec 11, 2009
6
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1
Thankfully all that wanted job got job here at PIE. IAM was supposed to meet w/aviation subcommittee last week but we've heard nothing back. IAM seems to move at the speed of sloth, doesn't seem to be adapted to rapid changing ATC environment. Congressional and Senate reps seem to be more concerned with aquiring goodies for their district than paying attention to our situation. One of my coworkers who turned down a position because of her husbands health called Nelsons office this morning and gave them heck. Told the aid that families were being torn apart, losing homes etc. and that it was to bad that Nelson didn't have the power that Oberstar had....

Back to looking for housing in FTW!
 

AFSS5602

Junior Member
Feb 19, 2009
128
1
18
To be honest, AOPA has sold flight service out. They have done nothing but take Lockheeds side on everything after 2007. All they do is post articles about what Lockheed is doing, how service won't be affected, and how great a job they are doing. I was really hoping they would stick up for flight service and the general aviation community. I havent heard AOPA make a single sound about the closer of more facilities. As far as the NBAA, I havent really heard much from them.
 

porchrat1

Newcomer
Dec 11, 2009
6
0
1
I've written to local reps for AOPA in Florida and the entire southern half of the country no response. Wrote a letter to Russ Niles of AVWEB and got published as letter of week. NATCA is in full support of our situation and is lobbying w/AOPA as an increase in controller workload is probably imminent with fewer flight service specialists working inflight and flight data to cover preflight positions, don't know the outcome of that one. Latest response from Bill Nelson's office in FL "we'll help you w/resumes etc." in other words "not enough of you to waste time on"...