Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Dis Continued

Many times we’ve covered the fact that the FAA has not met its employment obligations regarding Flight Service controllers displaced by the Lockheed Martin contract. First, the FAA did not live up to mandates defined in order 3350.2c, requiring them to "make every reasonable effort," up to and including a hiring freeze, to employ RIFed workers. Second, bids for controller positions have been cancelled or withheld at an unusually high rate over the past 2 years (resulting in a number of short-staffed towers). Third, new requirements for tower and center positions were suddenly popping up all over the place. For example, where having passed the FAA ‘controller screen’ was recently sufficient to be considered for a position, now only those who have been certified as controllers within the past two or three years counts as ‘qualified’. Fourth, many controller bids were recently cancelled under the veneer of the “new NATCA (National Association of Air Traffic Controllers) contract.”

Now a new wrinkle popped into FAA bids this spring; the ‘Selective Factor.’ These are new kinds of conditions heretofore not seen that further remove Flight Service controllers from consideration, even for non-controller jobs. For example, a job in the FAA Safety Evaluations group requires that the applicant have been a controller in the terminal or en route options of air traffic control. Never mind that there are a number of former AFSS controllers with Evaluations experience. And there seems to be no difficulty with considering a small tower controller evaluating an en-route center, even though they are vastly different environments.

In sum, the sudden invention of such application filters serve only one purpose…to yet again deny AFSS controllers proper access to positions for which they have been historically qualified. It’s clear that this pattern will continue. The only question now is does this pattern of behavior indicate ‘prima facie’ evidence of an illegal action?

Ventris Gibson continues to crow and preen over how she’s working hard to make sure the AFSS controllers get an even break, even first crack at available jobs. The reality is not at all true, of course. The only remaining question is if she is clueless or ‘characterless.’

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