Archive for February, 2013

PASS CELEBRATES 36 YEARS

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kori Blalock Keller  (202) 293-7277
February 14, 2013

PASS CELEBRATES 36 YEARS

WASHINGTON, DC – On the 36th anniversary of the formation of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), the oldest Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) union and exclusive representative for aviation safety inspectors and systems specialists, PASS President Mike Perrone released the following statement:

“Ever since gathering in Chicago 36 years ago, PASS has dedicated itself to protecting and promoting aviation safety. PASS has had its share of victories and challenges, great times and difficult moments, but through it all, the solidarity and spirit of camaraderie that led the PASS founders to gather in Chicago has remained strong.

“As we celebrate our members today, we remain motivated and committed to ensuring the best for our workforce. Now more than ever, PASS will continue to fight to protect FAA employees, who have been withstanding a seemingly never-ending barrage of attacks aimed at the pay and benefits of federal employees.

“PASS members are dedicated safety professionals focused on protecting this country’s aviation system. On this day, and always, we commend their commitment to ensuring the safety of the flying public.”

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For 36 years, PASS has represented more than 11,000 employees of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense who install, maintain, support and certify air traffic control and national defense equipment, inspect and oversee the commercial and general aviation industries, develop flight procedures and perform quality analyses of the aviation systems.  For more information, visit the PASS website at www.passnational.org.

Sequestration Update From FAA Administrator

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

On February 11, the following message was sent out from FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to all FAA employees:

On March 1, the Budget Control Act of 2011 requires across the board, indiscriminate spending reductions, commonly referred to as “sequestration,” for Federal agencies. Without an agreement to avoid these budget cuts, the FAA will be forced to confront a budget reduction of approximately $627 million for this fiscal year.

Given the magnitude of this reduction, we cannot address this funding reduction by only reducing or eliminating non-operations critical functions. All cost reduction options are on the table, and we will take all reasonable measures to avoid proposing furloughs.  However, given the magnitude of the shortfall we face, it is likely that significant federal employee furloughs and drastic reductions in services performed by contract personnel would be necessary.

If sequestration occurs on March 1, a majority of FAA’s nearly 47,000 employees would need to be furloughed for approximately one day per pay period until the end of the fiscal year in September, with a maximum of two days per pay period.  This number could be lower for any individual employee depending on specific staffing needs, operational requirements, and negotiated collective bargaining agreements.  Any furloughs would occur only after appropriate employee notification and in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements.

Under current law, programs and projects funded under the Airport Improvement Program are exempt from sequestration and would continue to operate at current funding levels.

The furlough of a large number of air traffic controllers, technicians, and aviation safety employees would require a reduction in FAA services to levels that can be safely managed by remaining staff.  Accordingly, we might see travel delays and disruptions during the critical summer travel season.

The furloughs would also impact airlines, aviation manufacturers and individual pilots who need FAA safety approvals and certifications.  While the agency will continue to address identified safety risks, a slowed certification and approval process due to furloughs could negatively affect all segments of the aviation industry as well as those who travel by air.  Long-term investments in advanced technologies and new tools may be postponed and the delivery of some critical NextGen systems could be delayed for years to come.

If the sequester happens, I know you share my commitment to ensure the safety of our national aviation system while minimizing the negative impact to those who rely on our services.  Thank you again for all you do, every day on behalf of the American public. You are our most valuable asset. I can confidently offer that everyone who is a beneficiary of the services we provide hopes for a compromise that keeps us on the job – and keeps our aviation system moving forward.

Sincerely,

Michael

PASS Update on Sequestration

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Over the past few weeks, conversations in D.C. and across the country have been focused on the looming threat of sequestration, and PASS has been actively involved in the debate. Sequestration is an automatic, across-the-board cut to each federal agency’s budget that would clearly have far-reaching consequences throughout the government. If sequestration goes into effect, the FAA would have to take drastic steps to cut $483 million from its budget. These steps may include the furloughing of every FAA employee, a hiring freeze, reductions in operations hours and leave cancellations. Any budget cuts would also have a clear negative impact on the National Airspace System and this country’s economy.

The sequestration process was passed as part of the 2011 Budget Control Act, which cut spending by about $2.5 trillion in order to extend the nation’s borrowing capacity. Sequestration was supposed to go into effect in January, but was delayed as part of a compromise passed by Congress and signed by the president on January 3. The compromise managed to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” a combination of expiring tax cuts and the sequestration budget cuts. While the legislation addressed the tax situation by increasing tax rates for individuals earning over $400,000, increasing the estate tax and ending the payroll tax holiday, it only delayed sequestration until March 1. Without a long-term budget in place, sequestration will go into effect in a matter of weeks.

Unfortunately, the opinion on Capitol Hill is that the budget cuts will take place for at least 30 to 90 days to put pressure on both parties to develop a long-term budget agreement. If Congress is unable to agree on a long-term budget, following FY 2013, there would be an 8.2 percent budget cut for each of the next nine years. PASS has been working to urge Congress to act in a way that will not negatively impact federal employees. As the clock ticks down to March 1, we will continue to collaborate with other labor organizations to fight sequestration. If it does go into effect on March 1, we will work with PASS members to try to ease the negative impacts.

PASS will keep you updated on a regular basis on any developments related to sequestration. At this time, no agency plans have been finalized and the situation is constantly changing. There will no doubt be questions and speculation in the coming weeks, and PASS will provide you with as much concrete information as possible. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact your regional vice president or the PASS national office. Furlough guidance can also be found at www.opm.gov/furlough.

As always, PASS will do whatever possible to protect our members.

OKC Union Meeting

Monday, February 4th, 2013

All PASS members and non-members are invited to a union meeting on February 5. The meeting will include a Q&A session on union topics. Presenters include PASS Region II Vice President Dave Spero, Region V Vice President Robert Abbott, PASS Region II Assistant Alan Page and PASS National Organizer Carol Bolay.

Details for the meeting are as follows:
Date: February 5, 2013 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
Location: Shorty Small’s Meeting Room
2037 S. Meridian
Oklahoma City, OK 73108

PASS News Now

Friday, February 1st, 2013

PASS News Now