Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We are frustrated to report that Congress and the President have not yet bridged their disagreement on government funding. Consequently, the government will be subject to a partial shutdown. As of Saturday, Dec. 22, at 12:01 a.m. EST, federal appropriations authority for
certain federal agencies and departments, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA),
will lapse, and those agencies and departments will be shut down for the third time in the 2018 calendar year.
However, the FAA has advised NATCA that it has sufficient funds available in the operations budget (Ops) to continue both excepted and non-excepted operations activities through the weekend. Additionally, the facilities and equipment budget (F&E) has sufficient funds available to continue its activities through Dec. 26, and the Franchise Fund has approximately 25 days of funds available. Functions funded out of the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and research, engineering, and development budget (RE&D) are not affected by the lapse in appropriations.
Although all NATCA members perform duties that are critical and essential to the National Airspace System (NAS), approximately 3,000 NATCA-represented employees would be furloughed based upon when their funding source runs out of available money. These furloughed employees 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 who will be negatively affected by this partial government shutdown. When these professionals are prohibited from working as a result of political disagreements, the flying public and the NAS suffer. The FAA determines which employees are subject to furlough and who is excepted from furlough as well as the dates the furloughs begin. NATCA does not participate in that decision making process, however we negotiate procedures for implementation of the furloughs and other shutdown related procedures for our bargaining unit employees.
We recognize that this is a stressful situation for you and your families. We know that you may have questions about the shutdown and how it affects you. NATCA has negotiated with the FAA a procedural
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
. That MOU accompanies the existing Furlough MOU and the associated Questions & Answers.
These documents are available on the NATCA website
. The Dec. 21 procedural MOU and the Furlough MOU apply to all FAA NATCA BUEs regardless of contract. NATCA also continues to work with the FAA to ensure that the Agency's list of "excepted employees" - who are not subject to a furlough during this shutdown - is as accurate as possible.
The Questions & Answers on the website cover a variety of topics and issues including annual and sick leave, use or lose annual leave, holidays, and payroll processing, among many other things. If you have any questions or concerns not addressed by the documents on the website, please contact your RVP. We also have setup an e-mail address: 2018DecFurlough@natca.net.
Whether a shutdown lasts one hour, one day, one week, or longer, 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 30-year low of certified professional controllers.
We will continue to advocate for a stable, predictable funding stream for the NAS for years to come.
Paul Rinaldi, NATCA President
Trish Gilbert, NATCA Executive Vice President