Celebrating NATCA's 29th Birthday

On Sunday, June 19, we proudly celebrated the 29th birthday of our great Union. Twenty-nine years ago, NATCA National Coordinator John Thornton ushered in the birth of our union by setting a tone of collaboration: "We are looking for a constructive relationship with the many people in the FAA who understand that the system needs improvement and that a good relationship with NATCA can help improve it. Can we be successful? We feel that we can by being an active participant, not a spectator, in the decision-making process."
Those words ring especially true today as we vote on the 2016 tentative agreement. Four of our bargaining units, 13,000 NATCA members, are voting on an agreement that contains collaboration principles throughout. We have come a long way from the imposed work and pay rules. This contract will provide stability for our workforce and ensure continued collaboration. 
In February of 2012, we fixed Title 49 in the FAA Reauthorization bill and restored basic collective bargaining rights to tens of thousands of union members within the FAA. Collective bargaining rights are the very heart and soul of a union. Collective bargaining is as fundamental to unions as it gets.
Your skills and professionalism are on display each and every day as millions of people rely on us to help provide safe air travel and for that we thank you.
We also want to offer a special thank you to our Contract Negotiating Team, our National Executive Board, our facility representatives and local executive boards, our committees, our workgroups, collaborative process representatives, our hundreds of safety and technology representatives who are helping us deliver big successes in our commitment to modernization, our National Office staff and every one of you who has contributed your time and energy to our collective efforts.
Everybody has a piece of this confluence of commitment, achievement and progress.

In Solidarity,
Paul Rinaldi, NATCA President
Trish Gilbert, NATCA Executive Vice President

The website for the ratification of the 2016 Tentative CBA covering the ATC, TMC/S, FSS, and NOTAMS units is open for voting. If you have not already voted please do so. You may access the voting website using the following link: 

You should have received a letter containing your Unique PIN and instructions on the online voting process. You will need that Unique PIN and your NATCA Membership Number to log in to the voting website. 

If you have misplaced your Unique PIN or have any other problems logging in to the voting website, please contact Global Election Services via telephone at 877-455-9367 or via email at natcahelp@electionservicescorp.com. If you do not know your NATCA Membership Number, you may retrieve it by using the NATCA Portal "Forgot Your Membership Number" function. Access the NATCA Portal.
Voting will close at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. If you have any questions regarding the contract ratification voting process, please contact NATCA General Counsel Marguerite Graf (mgraf@natcadc.org) or Assistant General Counsel Lauren Schmidt (lschmidt@natcadc.org). 

Please send an email to 

On Wednesday, June 15, Paul testified before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation. Witnesses at the hearing, "A Review of the Federal Aviation Administration's Air Traffic Controller Hiring, Staffing and Training Plans," included Teri Bristol, Chief Operating Officer, Air Traffic Organization, FAA; Rickie Cannon, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Human Resources Management, FAA; Matthew Hampton, Assistant Inspector General for Aviation Audits, Office of Inspector General, Department ofTransportation; and Randolph "Randy" Babbitt, Senior Vice President of Labor Relations, Southwest Airlines.

Subcommittee on Aviation Chairman Frank LoBiondo opened the hearing by highlighting that the National Airspace System (NAS) is operating with the lowest staffing levels in 27 years. Looking forward, he worries that due to projected increases in airline passengers, that the FAA may be forced to reduce air traffic services.

Aviation Subcommittee Ranking Committee member Rick Larsen said he hoped the hearing would highlight the need for a timely FAA Reauthorization bill. The current authorization expires on July 15. Larson said that while there is no evidence of safety lapses due to critical staffing at the busiest facilities in the country he is, "concerned about understaffing in critical facilities," adding that the FAA must hire enough controllers to make up for projected retirements.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster commended the dedication and professional work of air traffic controllers across the country, adding that it is "unclear why the FAA has dropped the ball" on hiring. Shuster went on to describe his concern over the FAA's history of poor hiring practices, including ensuring there are enough certified professional controllers (CPCs) to deploy a modern air traffic control system.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio addressed the challenging reality of mandatory six-day workweeks and 10-hour work days that controllers across the country face, saying, "that's not sustainable."

In his opening remarks, Paul described current staffing levels as a "crisis" that puts the status of the largest, safest, most efficient, most complex, most diverse airspace system in the world at risk. He said that staffing is one of the most critical problems facing the NAS.

"Further staffing reductions could have an immediate detrimental effect on capacity, meaning fewer planes in the sky and greater potential for delays," said Paul. "Likewise, the FAA would continue to fall further behind in its development, testing, deployment and training for NextGen modernization programs, procedures, and equipment."

Paul also highlighted the successes of collaboration with the FAA in addressing staffing concerns but urged immediate and decisive action from Congress to pass bipartisan legislation H.R. 5292, The Air Traffic Control Hiring Improvement Act of 2016, that would streamline the hiring process by ensuring a path for experienced controllers to be hired quickly with fewer bureaucratic hurdles and allow military Veterans and graduates of colleges and universities that participate in the FAA's CTI to be hired more expeditiously without causing any additional delays in the hiring process.

In her opening remarks, Bristol highlighted the FAA's four areas of staffing concerns as hiring, training, placement, and collaboration with NATCA. She also explained the two tracks of hiring for candidates, those with no air traffic experience (CTI and off-the-street-hires) and those with air traffic experience (military and FCT). While this does not explain the FAA's 2014 decision to merge CTI and off-the-street into the same pool and the addition of the biographical questionnaire, Bristol did stress that collaboration with NATCA is the key to their success.

Hampton explained that despite efforts to address staffing, the FAA lacks metrics on how long it should take candidates to make it through the hiring process. He said that the FAA introducing standardized minimum qualifications for all candidates in the short-term does not necessarily address controller training, hiring, and staffing issues - which are long-term concerns.

Babbitt stressed that despite staffing challenges, safety has never been in question. Instead, his main concern centers on capacity of the airspace.

While the hearing was called to address staffing, funding of the NAS is a part of that conversation. The inability to make long-term plans because of unreliable funding streams has hindered the FAA's ability to meet its hiring goals.


For more information on staffing:

June Pay Increase


The first full pay period of June ran from June 12 through June 25. Effective that pay period, in accordance with NATCA's contracts, bargaining unit employees will receive a length of service adjustment of 1.6 percent, up to the band maximum. If the length of service adjustment will cause the employee's Basic Pay (not including locality) to exceed the band maximum or the employee's Basic Pay is already equal to or exceeds the band maximum, the employee will receive a pay increase up to the band maximum and the remainder as a lump sum payment.
The length of service adjustment was developed and negotiated by NATCA as part of the 2012 extension to the Red Book. Since then we have negotiated it as part of all of our other FAA collective bargaining agreements and contract extension MOUs. It is also included in the 2016 successor to the Red Book. 

NATCA Convention: Registration is Now Open!



NATCA members planning to attend the convention in San Diego this summer (Aug. 30 - Sept. 2) can now register using this  link .

To access the local convention subsidy form, click  here .

NATCA has secured child care for the 2016 Convention. It will be available to all families attending, at no cost, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 31, Thursday, Sept. 1, and Friday, Sept. 2. NATCA will also host child care during evening events from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30 through Friday, Sept. 2. The cost is $40 per child, per night, and it includes dinner. For more information on the company, please visit  www.KiddieCorp.com . You must register your child beforehand to use the child care at convention.  Register your child today!


The proposed constitutional amendments and resolutions package should have arrived in the mail to your address on record with NATCA. Here are electronic versions:

NATCA Academy Schedule 2016

Training Review Board
September 13-14
Las Vegas, NV
Secretary/Treasurer Training
September 13-14
Las Vegas, NV
Basic Legislative Activism Training
September 19-20
Las Vegas, NV
Basic Representative Training
September 26-30
Las Vegas, NV
Advanced Representative Training
October 17-20
Las Vegas, NV
Arbitration Advocacy Training - II
November 28-December 1
Phoenix, AZ
Basic Representative Training
December 5-9
Las Vegas, NV
Basic Legislative Activism Training
December 7-8
Las Vegas, NV

Internet Reimbursement Reminder

As a reminder, in accordance with SRF-22, locals that are covered by SRF-12 (annual dues less than $4,500) are entitled to $50 per month for internet access. 

SRF-22 Internet for Smaller Locals 
NATCA shall reimburse up to $50 per month to locals covered by SRF-12, for internet access. Wireless cards, hot spots, and internet in the facility are reimbursable, home service is not.

If you have any questions, please contact your Regional Vice President.

FCT Rep Class at NATCA Headquarters

We were proud to host the Federal Contract Tower Reps at NATCA last week.  

On June 7, more than a dozen NATCA reps joined us in DC for Media Training at the National Press Club. 

N90 membership meeting

We joined Eastern Regional Vice President Dean Iacopelli at a New York TRACON membership meeting on June 8. 

On June 9 we joined Southwest Regional Vice President Andrew LeBovidge in Dallas at a membership meeting for the North Texas locals.  

We answered questions from many of the members in attendance, and spoke about issues facing NATCA and the National Airspace System, including FAA reauthorization, funding, the staffing, the tentative CBA, and more.

North Texas area member meeting

On Thursday, June 23, Trish spoke at the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Contract Tower Workshop, hosted in conjunction with the U.S. Contract Tower Association (USCTA). Earlier in the week she participated in a panel at the Technical Women's Organization conference in Texas and the OKC student meet and greet.

This week, Paul attended the New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association (NZALPA) conference, where New Zealand air traffic controllers are also members. He addressed conference attendees and participated on a panel about collaboration from a global perspective, which included the presidents of other countries' air traffic control unions. 

From left to right: Jonathan Brooks, ATC Director New Zealand Air Line Pilots Association; Daryl Hickey, President Civil Air Australia; Peter Duffey, President CATCA; Paul; Paul Winstanley, Chair of Prospect ATCO's Branch UK; and Jeremy Thompson, New Zealand Air Line Pilots Association and IFATCA EVP of Finance.
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