In This Issue:
NATCA Joins Aviation Union Brothers and Sisters in Calling for Passage of H.R. 8504
NATCA stands in solidarity with our aviation union sisters and brothers. Thousands of furloughs and layoffs went into effect Thursday, in the absence of a coronavirus relief deal. However, airline executives said that if a deal were reached within a few days they would reverse course. Without additional economic stimulus, the effects on the nation's air transportation system and workers charged with keeping the system safe will be dramatic.

Earlier Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked airlines to hold off on any furloughs or layoffs for the tens of thousands of employees facing job cuts and vowed that Congress will enact payroll support. Just before the U.S. House of Representatives adjourned this week, House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) tried to bring a standalone aid bill for airline workers to the House floor, but it was blocked by procedural issues. As a result, the House adjourned on Friday without taking any action on relief for thousands of aviation workers subject to layoffs. 

The Senate returns on Monday and the House on Tuesday, though votes are not expected until Wednesday at the earliest in the House.

Today, NATCA joined other transportation unions in signing a letter to Members of Congress calling for them to act. Here is that letter:
October 2, 2020

Dear Representative:

As the representatives of millions of essential workers who have put their lives on the line to work through the pandemic, we urge you to immediately pass H.R. 8504, introduced by Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio, which extends the airline worker Payroll Support Program (PSP). 

There has never been any doubt or ambiguity about the jobs that would be lost if Congress failed to meet yesterday’s deadline to extend the PSP. Now that the legal authority of the PSP to prevent furloughs has expired and a broader relief package has not been approved, hundreds of thousands of aviation workers are losing their jobs and their benefits in the middle of a pandemic. This legislation addresses this urgent problem, prevents a further spike in unemployment, and ensures that we don’t lose an experienced, safety certified, and credentialed workforce that will be difficult and expensive to replace.

Since early summer, we have remained steadfast in our call to lawmakers to pass a comprehensive COVID relief package that addresses the dire economic needs facing our nation’s aviation and broader transportation workforce. Sadly, due to stalled economic relief negotiations, those needs remain unmet. But airline workers simply cannot wait another minute. The deadline has passed. Congress must pass, and the President must sign H.R. 8504 into law.

We again call on Congress and the White House to do the right thing and stand up for frontline workers and their families who have sacrificed so much in our time of need. 

Sincerely,

Joe DePete, President, Air Line Pilots Association
Sara Nelson, International President, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA
Sito Pantoja, General Vice President for Transportation, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
Mike Perrone, National President, Professional Aviation Safety Specialists
John Samuelsen, International President, Transport Workers Union of America
Paul Rinaldi, President, National Air Traffic Controllers Association
Christopher M. Shelton, President, Communications Workers of America
D. Taylor, International President, UNITE HERE
Larry I. Willis, President, Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO
Revised Date for Proposed Amendments for 18th Biennial Convention
As a result of the rescheduling of NATCA’s 18th Biennial Convention in Houston to May 25-27, 2021, the time period to submit proposed amendments to the NATCA Constitution and/or resolutions for consideration at the Convention has been extended to 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. In accordance with Article XIV, Section 1 of the NATCA Constitution, this new date for the submission of proposed amendments is 120 days prior to the beginning of the Convention (Tuesday, May 25, 2021).

As a reminder, all proposed amendments are required to be sent to Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert (tgilbert@natcadc.org) for submission to the National Constitution Committee.

All proposed amendments already submitted will remain in consideration at Convention provided the author is still a member in good standing. There is no need to re-submit any previously submitted timely amendments. The Constitution Committee will create a new booklet that will be mailed out to all members following the Jan. 25, 2021 deadline.

Members with questions about this process should contact their Constitution Committee representative or NATCA General Counsel Marguerite L. Graf (mgraf@natcadc.org).
NATCA Key Legislative Votes Guide 
Hatch Act Warning: Please do not view this information in a federal facility, using a federal government-owned computer, or on duty time. Also, do not distribute, display, or post this information in a federal facility or on duty time.
NATCA’s Key Legislative Votes Guide reports key legislative votes and actions to allow members to make informed assessments of members of Congress based on where they stand on issues that are important to our Union. This information is intended for NATCA members only. 

NATCA is dedicated to building and supporting the “NATCA Majority,” which includes members of Congress who support and care about those issues regardless of party affiliation. We do not base our support of elected officials on political ideology, but rather on their support of our key issues, many of which are listed in this guide. The guide is preceded by a summary of each vote or action explaining the issue and why it is important to NATCA and our members.

Make Unum the 'Number One Thing on Your To-Do List'
Having insurance grants peace of mind when the unexpected happens. The NATCA group long-term disability (LTD) program from Unum is the insurance that provides protection and peace of mind in the event you lose your medical or are disabled. Retired Indianapolis Center (ZID) member Kevin Brown explains how Unum helped carry him to retirement after he lost his medical clearance: 

“I have served in a NATCA leadership position in one form or another for the majority of my 20-year career. In June 2001, I enrolled in NATCA’s Unum LTD insurance shortly after it was first offered to the NATCA membership. Frankly, I never imagined finding myself in a position where I would need it. However, nearly 30 years later I did! Unum’s LTD insurance greatly assisted me in reaching my retirement date after losing my medical clearance. The process for receiving my benefits after losing my medical could not have been simpler. It literally took just minutes to fill out the required paperwork. It truly was hassle-free. 

“As a NATCA leader I was often asked for advice on any number of topics from my members. If there is one piece of unsolicited advice I would offer to every NATCA member, it would be to purchase Unum LTD insurance. It should be the number one thing on your to-do list! You truly can’t afford to not do it.”

Visit natcadisability.com for more information and to enroll. 
Unum Prize Drawing Winners at BJC and ZLA
Each week, NATCA will hold a prize drawing from the members who have signed up for the Unum long-term disability insurance. This week, we would like to congratulate Broomfield Jefferson County ATCT (BJC) member Gina Gardner and Los Angeles Center (ZLA) member Christopher Hay.

Congratulations Gina and Chris. Thank you for supporting and participating in this important NATCA benefit. Members not enrolled should sign up today to participate and to be entered into upcoming drawings.
Child Care Subsidy Increase MOU Signed
On Sept. 24, 2020, NATCA and the Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning the Agency’s Child Care Subsidy Program.  The MOU increases the total family income amounts under which the Agency will subsidize child care costs for eligible employees.  Effective Oct. 1, 2020, the Agency will subsidize eligible employees’ child care costs according to the following scale. Download the MOU here.
Family Income
Percentage of Total Child Care Costs Paid by the Agency
Over $100,000
0%
$85,001 to $100,000
30%
$70,001 to $85,000
45%
$70,000 or less
70%
New England Controllers Prevent Landing Errors Using New Runway Safety Technology
When two aircraft lined up with the wrong surfaces at airports in the New England Region two nights in a row earlier this year, Bangor ATCT (BGR) members Chris French and Josh Costello (pictured at left), and Boston ATCT (BOS) member Steven Spiller showed keen awareness and responded quickly. Wrong-surface landings are a “top 5 safety issue” for the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization (ATO). Click here to read more.
Richardson, Hansen Represent NATCA at ATCA Tech Symposium
Laying the Groundwork to Enable Future Technology
Oakland Center (ZOA) member Amanda Richardson represented NATCA on the Sept. 14 Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) Tech Symposium panel entitled, “Laying the Groundwork to Enable Future Technology.” Richardson and the panelists discussed ways to leverage successful NextGen implementations.

Richardson, an Article 114 rep working with the Enterprise Information Display System (E-IDS), has been on the front lines of NextGen technology. “It seems to be a common theme with lessons learned, but the best benefit is early user involvement,” she said. “Controllers and engineers speak two different languages, but want the same thing. The sooner you have the end user in the room, the better off the program tends to be.”

With game-changing technologies and advanced information systems supporting unmanned and autonomous aircraft on the horizon, the panelists discussed how to maintain aviation’s excellent safety record while opening the skies to the vehicles and operations that once existed only in sci-fi novels. However, due to the pandemic, there are current challenges from the aviation safety specialist standpoint. 

“There has been no training,” Richardson said. “We are losing controllers in the workforce due to retirements and not replacing them because of the current pandemic, so staffing continues to be an issue. Training has restarted, but it will take some time to get back to where we were pre-COVID. Due to limited resources and social distancing requirements, our work on many programs is on hold or greatly reduced. Getting these programs back up to speed to stay on schedule and within budget, without sacrificing functionality, will be a challenge.”

Development and evaluation of artificial intelligence capabilities and machine learning for command and control and collision avoidance systems are paramount to enabling future capabilities. To achieve this, Richardson reinforced that communication is key. “The main takeaway is that every program has its lessons learned, but what are we doing with that information? It helps to share this info, so that everyone’s on the same page.”
Safety in an Ever-Evolving Aerospace System
National Safety Committee Chairman Steve Hansen represented NATCA on the Sept. 17 ATCA Tech Symposium panel entitled, “Safety in an Ever-Evolving Aerospace System.” The panel explored challenges to ensuring the safe operations of emerging vehicles as well as ideas on how to integrate them with the other traffic in the National Airspace System (NAS).

Hansen said early engagement is key to making sure everyone is involved, especially when adopting new technology. “Having an effective change management strategy will be critical to being successful in the NAS,” he said. “There’s nothing that beats collaboration. Working on these programs together helps those involved to learn and not repeat past mistakes.”

Hansen also discussed recommendations for introducing new technology into the NAS. He added that looking at past programs that have been successful can and should be repeated to apply to new entrants in the aviation system. “Using the right data and having the right people talk about the data is an important piece,” he said. “You can’t underestimate the power of data, whether it’s used for good or bad, or used incorrectly. We have to know what it means and what it says so we can use it properly as we start integrating new entrants into the NAS.”

Finally, Hansen was asked if collaboration was taking place within the NAS. “We can use the example of NATCA and the ATO (Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Organization). We would not be where we are today in this COVID situation without collaboration,” he said. “We wouldn’t be where we are if we didn’t have the relationship with the ATO that we had last year during the shutdown. We have made strides through the most difficult times, and have shown how effective collaboration is.

“We are working with the FAA and industry trying to advance the safety of the system. Yes, collaboration works, and I think it works really well.”
Operation Traffic Counts Across the U.S.
NCF 25 for 25 Pushup Challenge: Donate Today to Support NCF & AFSP
The NATCA Charitable Foundation (NCF) 25 for 25 Pushup Challenge in support of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and NCF has begun! Between Oct. 1-25, those who registered should do 25 pushups a day for 25 days and raise money by getting sponsors to donate. Click here for more information.
How Do I Qualify?
Simply fundraise for the NATCA Charitable Foundation. Yes, it's that simple.

How do I do this?
Share your personal fundraising link with friends, family members, businesses, strangers, or whomever you think would love to support you.
 
Raise the minimum fundraising goal to qualify for any of the six great packages.
The top six fundraisers that reach the fundraising levels will be given the opportunity to select one of these awesome packages.
 
Email natcacharitable@natca.net if you have not received your fundraising link or if you need additional information.
 
Click here to view auction items and fundraising packages.
Don't Forget to Bid in the Silent Auction,
Supporting NCF and AFSP
A silent auction is now open through the end of October to raise money for NCF and AFSP. NATCA members, friends, and family can bid on a wide selection of great items. Here's a few of the hot ticket items:
Tyson vs. Jones signed gloves - Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. is an upcoming exhibition boxing match contested between Tyson, the former undisputed heavyweight world champion, and Jones, the former four-division world champion. The bout is scheduled to take place on Nov. 28, at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.
Garrison Brothers NATCA Houston Convention Bourbon 3-Pack - Your only guaranteed chance to obtain all three bottles of NATCA’s Houston Convention Bourbon. The pack includes bottles #25 from each of the two Hand Selected Single Barrel Bourbon’s (About 50 bottles of each Single Barrel exist) and bottle #25 from the Small Batch (300 bottles).
Other hot ticket items include:
  • Apple Watch Series 5;
  • Canon EOS DSLR Camera;
  • Various Kenneth Cole, Michael Kors, Dooney and Bourke jewelry, handbags and luggage;
  • More than 100 different items from small kitchen appliances, to jewelry, wine, electronics, drones, and so much more.
Click here to learn more about the auction, register to participate, and bid on items.
National Office Staff Employee Spotlight: Suzanne DeFelice
We have an amazing National Office staff working each day to provide our members with the very best service and representation in organized labor. In this issue of the Insider, we feature Labor Relations Staff Attorney Suzanne DeFelice.

Where are you from or what places have you lived? 
DeFelice: I'm from Rochester, N.Y. I lived in France after undergrad, and have been in D.C. since I came for grad school in 2008.
 
Where did you go to school or what other education do you have? 
DeFelice: I have a BA in Political Science, a Master's degree in Public and Political Communications, and a law degree. I've also both studied and taught English in France.
 
How did you come to work at NATCA?
DeFelice: I was working for the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in their government affairs department and applied for the opening at NATCA to work with Jose Ceballos in Government Affairs. At that time, I knew nothing about NATCA or aviation or air traffic control, and I've learned so much!

Do you have family members who are involved in unions? 
DeFelice: I come from a family of teachers, and my father was local union president, then a regional rep for NYSUT (New York State United Teachers), so I grew up hearing about grievances and contentious contract negotiations and the struggle of teachers to ensure that their expertise and voices were heard in day-to-day teaching and administration. I see that same fight as controllers and Region X members work with the FAA to ensure pre-decisional involvement.
 
What's the most rewarding part of being a member of NATCA’s staff? What's the most challenging? 
DeFelice: I love being a part of the labor movement, especially when it means that I can advocate for change both for NATCA members, and for our staff — I am currently Vice President of our staff union, ONEU, and I believe everyone should be represented by a union as strong as NATCA.
 
Do you have any hobbies or any other activities you enjoy outside of your work for NATCA? 
DeFelice: Outside of work, I love cooking, and have especially loved taking advantage of farmers markets this year. It is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise challenging year.
NATCA Academy Virtual Learning
Building on the success of classes in its first four of months, organizers of the NATCA Academy have announced a new schedule of classes for virtual learning through the end of November. We hope that you will take this opportunity to learn more about your Union, your rights, and how you can become more active in the areas that interest you.


Below is the schedule of upcoming classes in the next few days. Register today.
Presidential Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations
On Sept. 9, the FAA briefed NATCA on the Aug. 8, Presidential Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster. The memo directs the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury to use his authority to defer the payroll tax obligation for the American workforce for the period of Sept. 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020. While private employers may opt of the payroll tax deferral, the federal government cannot do so. 
 
The payroll tax deferral impacts any BUE whose compensation is less than $4,000 per pay period, calculated on a pre-tax basis. This amounts to approximately $104,000 per year. The Agency has calculated that the payroll tax deferral will affect 5,800 NATCA bargaining unit employees. The Agency will determine who qualifies for the payroll tax deferral on a pay period by pay period basis, so an employee’s status could change if their compensation increases or decreases during the relevant time period. 
 
Affected employees will receive higher paychecks while the deferral is in effect, but the withheld tax must be paid from wages and compensation paid between Jan. 1, 2021 and April 30, 2021, or interest, penalties, and additions to the tax will begin to accrue on May 1, 2021. The Agency briefed that a tax waiver is being explored but is not guaranteed.
 
For the FAA, the payroll tax deferral begins in PP19, which runs from Aug. 30 to Sept. 12. The payroll tax will be deferred from Sept. 1 on, so the first two days of the pay period would be excluded. Affected employees should see the information in their next paycheck.
 
The last paycheck that will reflect the payroll tax deferral will be for pay period 1 of 2021, which runs from Dec. 20, to Jan. 2, 2021. The payroll tax will be deferred only through Dec. 31, so the last two days of the pay period will be excluded.
 
Affected employees should anticipate that their PP2 checks in 2021 will reflect the repayment of the deferred payroll tax.
Upcoming Mobile Payment App Training
In September 2019, the NEB adopted guidelines governing the use by locals of mobile payment apps (such as Venmo or Cash App) as the means to reimburse members for appropriate union-related expenses, rather than traditional reimbursement by means of a paper check. Adoption of these guidelines was in response to the recognition that many members now primarily or solely utilize mobile payment apps for their banking.

Before utilizing mobile payment apps for reimbursement, locals must: (1) notify their regional Finance Committee member and (2) participate in a remote training call with the National Office

The next scheduled trainings will be offered on the following dates: 
  • Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 1 p.m. EDT
  • Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 4 p.m. EST
  • Thursday, Dec. 10, at 11 a.m. EST

Please register for the training you wish to attend here. If you have questions about the guidelines or upcoming training schedule, please contact Assistant General Counsel Magen Stevens at mstevens@natcadc.org
Retirement Webinars Scheduled for October
Upcoming retirement seminars have been merged and reformatted to be webinars due to the COVID-19 national emergency. They are open to any member nationwide. The upcoming webinars are as follows:  

  • October 6: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. EDT
  • October 28: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. PDT

IMPORTANT: If you had previously signed up for these seminars and are unable to attend virtually, please consider canceling your reservation as space is limited for virtual classes as well.

To register for both the seminars and the webinars: use the NATCA Portal, portal.natca.org. Click on the “events” tab in the main menu at the top of the screen. 

For questions or any problems with registration, please contact Lisa Head at the National Office: 202-628-5451 or lhead@natcadc.org.
NATCA Member Resources
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) MOU

On May 8, NATCA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding Human Resource Policy Manual (HRPM) Policy Bulletin 115, Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Policy Bulletin 115 and the MOU specifically address the FAA’s implementation of FFCRA, which was signed into law on March 18. FFCRA provides expanded paid leave options for NATCA bargaining unit employees (BUEs) who have been affected by COVID-19. FFCRA provides two forms of paid leave: Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which can be utilized for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave quick reference guide here.

Expanded FMLA Leave quick reference guide here.

FFCRA Frequently Asked Questions can be viewed here.

Download the full MOU here.

Download only the FFCRA leave request form attachment here.
 
Comparison of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Expanded FMLA Leave here.
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