Dreamflight767 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 101 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4071 times:
FAA Hiring Back Hundreds Of PATCO Controllers, Union Says
By Adrian Schofield/Aviation Daily
10/23/2006 09:06:02 AM
FAA in the past few months has begun hiring hundreds of former controllers who were fired more than 25 years ago by then-President Ronald Reagan.
Many of the former controllers are still represented by the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO), the union that locked horns with Reagan. Of the 500 remaining PATCO members, about half have received offers of employment from FAA recently, PATCO President Ron Taylor told The DAILY. Almost all of these controllers have not handled air traffic since 1981 and will have to requalify at the facility where they'll be working.
The PATCO controllers were originally fired after a long-running strike, and the newly hired controllers were organized under the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. The Clinton Administration authorized FAA to rehire the controllers fired by Reagan, but until recently only a handful was actually put on the payroll, Taylor said.
Almost all the PATCO controllers being rehired are over 60, because the current controller retirement age of 56 doesn't apply to them. PATCO will still proceed with its suit against FAA alleging age discrimination. The PATCO controllers will be represented by NATCA in collective bargaining with FAA, but they are not required to join the newer union. Taylor himself has received an offer of employment from FAA to control traffic at the same facility where he was the PATCO representative until 1981.
Separately, PATCO last week severed its ties with the larger AFL-CIO and OPEIU unions. In a letter to OPEIU, PATCO said its "goals, objectives, and future growth...are being suppressed by other unions within the AFL-CIO." PATCO accuses these other unions -- undoubtedly referring to NATCA -- of "laying claim to all non-union ATC facilities throughout the U.S."
PATCO and NATCA are both trying to recruit members in control towers at smaller airports that are run by private companies under contract to FAA. Taylor said PATCO is active in about 20 contract towers.
Anybody know why they are doing this? Does anybody have an idea what kind of impact this might have on us future new hires? Will this odd move push back the hire dates of those on the wait list?
N1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 27340 posts, RR: 74
Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4058 times:
The main reason I can see them wanting to hire back a number of these controllers as the demand for people in ATC facilities is outstripping the supply. As the first NATCA classes are hitting the mandatory retirement age, the FAA seems to be using a loophole to bring back the old PATCO controllers as a stopgap measure until they can train up enough new hires to staff the system. The recent contract idiocy hasn't helped the FAA's case and all the safety issues with understaffing of contract towers in the US and abroad pretty much keeps public sentiment on the side of government controllers.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
Echster From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 400 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3946 times:
Here's the real reasons.
1. The FAA underestimated the number of controllers who would retire. Their numbers were always less than what NATCA and the DOT IG were saying. After implementing the new "contract" folks are leaving immediately when eligible. Folks with 20 years service and 50 years old or 25 years service at any age are leaving before the mandatory retirement age of 56.
2. The FAA overestimated the number of folks they could hire. They told Congress not even 6 weeks ago they had a list of thousands of applicants. Many of them have told the FAA to get f*cked because of the new "contract." You won't find many controllers willing to work the busiest facilities in the most expensive parts of the country for $31,700 a year. I don't have the most current numbers but last I saw 3 weeks ago had roughly 60 resignations by trainees, mostly at centers.
3. Military ATCers would rather work contract towers and DOD than for the FAA. CTIers are pretty much stuck with the FAA if they want to be an ATCer. It's easy to see why when you owe $100,000 for an education and the only job you've trained for is that of an ATCer. Pity the poor bastards who majored only in ATC instead of a minor and not something else.
How dire is it? The next center class has 24 slots but they can only get 7 confirmed people to show-up. Add to this the FAA is re-hiring the RIF'd flight service folks for terminal and enroute, including the ones who were placed in the flight service option because they washed out of real ATC the first go around.
What you're getting is folks with experience (current FAAers and military folks) leaving or staying away. In their stead you're getting folks who have last talked to aircraft in 1981 (PATCO) or, perhaps, never (CTI).
Dreamflight767 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 101 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3831 times:
So in other words the FAA is finding another way to waist away millions of $$. They hire the old controllers back (and as the article mentions most of them are close to 60), spend $$ to train them and get them back up to speed for what...5 MAYBE 10 more years of service?
As opposed to spending that same $$ on CTIers (like myself)/new controllers and getting 25+ years out of them/us?
Deltamike172 From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 67 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3725 times:
I would be suprised if they aren't being a little to vague when they say "rehired". I wonder if its actually to work traffic, or if its to work for WCG, the contractor that does ground school training.
Echster From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 400 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 3677 times:
Quoting Dreamflight767 (Reply 3): So in other words the FAA is finding another way to waist away millions of $$. They hire the old controllers back (and as the article mentions most of them are close to 60), spend $$ to train them and get them back up to speed for what...5 MAYBE 10 more years of service?
How long they stay, if they get certified, will be up to them. It's not unfathomable to think most will stay until eligible for retirement. That said, some may only stay as little as 3 years so they can acquire their high-3.
Quoting TVNWZ (Reply 4): Wouldn't these PATCO guys be too old?
No. Most were hired before the mandatory retirement age of 56 was implemented. As such, they are exempt from mandatory retirement.
Quoting Deltamike172 (Reply 5): I would be suprised if they aren't being a little to vague when they say "rehired". I wonder if its actually to work traffic, or if its to work for WCG, the contractor that does ground school training.