Brothers and Sisters,
Congress has failed to pass a funding measure to keep the federal government open and operating. As of Saturday, Jan. 20, at 12:01 a.m. EST, federal appropriations authority has lapsed, and the government is officially shut down for the first time since 2013.
While all NATCA members perform duties that are critical and essential to the National Airspace System (NAS), more than 3,000 NATCA-represented employees have been furloughed. These furloughed members work across nearly all of our bargaining units at air traffic control and other FAA facilities. They are among the hundreds of thousands of federal employees negatively affected by the government shutdown. When these professionals are prohibited from working as a result of political brinksmanship, the flying public and the NAS suffer.
We recognize that this is a stressful situation for you and your families. We know that you likely have questions about the shutdown and how it will affect you. Although we may not currently have answers to every question, we have prepared answers to the most frequently asked questions. The Shutdown FAQ, Appendix P-4 from the Slate Book, and the Jan. 20 Furlough Implementation MOU are on the NATCA website.
Please click here
Whether the shutdown lasts one hour, one day, one week, or more, it reinforces our strong belief that the status quo is broken. The NAS requires a stable, predictable funding stream in order to adequately support: air traffic control services, staffing, hiring and training, long-term modernization projects, preventative maintenance, ongoing modernization to the physical infrastructure, and the timely implementation of NextGen modernization projects. The NAS continues to be challenged by the lack of a stable, predictable funding stream. The constant funding crises that arise from stop-and-go funding continue to wreak havoc on our system and perpetuate the current staffing crisis, which has resulted in a 29-year low of certified professional controllers
We thank all NATCA members, as well as their friends and families, who took action to call or email their senators and urged them to avoid a shutdown. NATCA members sent thousands of emails within a few hours of requesting members email their senators. We are always stronger when we stand together and face important issues with one voice.
We will not rest until Congress ends the shutdown. In the short term, we will advocate for our furloughed members to return to work, and for all NATCA members ultimately to get paid for this time, whether they were furloughed our not. In the long term, we will continue to advocate for the kind of change that will ensure the NAS has a stable, predictable funding stream for years to come.
Paul Rinaldi, NATCA President
Trish Gilbert, NATCA Executive Vice President