- 02 May
As the aviation industry continues to recover from the impacts of a global pandemic, PASS recognizes the extraordinary efforts of the employees we represent at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Defense (DoD) to ensure that the safety of the flying public is never compromised.
Since 1985, Congress has designated the first full week of May as Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) to show appreciation for the men and women who serve our nation as government employees. PSRW may only last a week, but PASS celebrates its members every day for the work they perform on behalf of the American public. “The workforces we represent are highly skilled, experienced and dedicated to the job of keeping our skies safe,” said PASS National President Dave Spero. “They never missed a beat from lockdown in March of 2020 to the increasing number of travelers we are seeing today,” he continued. “And because of their efforts, essential personnel, equipment and vaccines reached their destinations and Americans are able to resume their pre-pandemic travel.”
This week, PASS joined a coalition of federal labor unions calling on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to move swiftly on the president's nominees to the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA).
"We are well over a year into the Biden Administration, yet the President's day-one commitment to resetting labor-management relations in the Executive Branch and pursuing collaborative and productive labor relations in federal government is hampered by a Federal Labor Relations Authority currently controlled by a 2–1 majority of anti-worker, anti-union appointees" held over from the previous administration," the letter states.
Earlier this month, PASS member and union rep Martha Parish was one of several federal employees interviewed by Gov Exec on the impact of the pandemic on the federal workforce. Parish spoke on behalf of the union and not in her capacity as an aviation safety inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration.
How has your work-life balance changed, and what do you think your “new normal” will look like?
I have to say, I probably worked a little bit more. We were afforded more flexibility in the hours that we could work so that we could accommodate people with kids that were home doing homeschool and my division in particular was very generous in terms of saying, ‘Look, if you have to work from 12 to 8 in order to meet your home requirements or your family requirements that have changed,’ they were very flexible in that. I also found myself reaching out to other folks that weren't used to working from home to sort of help them develop their toolbox and their skills.
From PASS National President Dave Spero:
PASS was surprised as many were when FAA Administrator Steve Dickson announced his resignation last night. We thank him for his steady leadership during a difficult two-and-a-half years for the agency. He valued his labor partners and understood those collaborative relationships are vital to the safety of the National Airspace System and all those who travel through it.
I spoke to the Administrator last night and offered my appreciation for his service. He brought dignity to the position and is a credit to the role of federal service. Not long after he took the helm of the FAA, the Administrator met with the PASS Executive Board at our headquarters in Washington. He took many difficult questions, but it was a mutually beneficial conversation and set the tone for our relationship going forward. He told me he appreciates everything that PASS has been doing in service to the agency’s mission and thanked me for the recent paper we issued around 5G concerns and aviation safety.
Today, the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), released a white paper analyzing the impact that 5G deployment could have on the National Airspace System (NAS) and aviation safety, and offers recommendations for mitigating risks.
“There has been a great deal of media attention and of course a congressional hearing on the subject,” said PASS National President Dave Spero. “It’s important to hear from frontline aviation employees and not just executives and senior leadership.”
PASS represents 11,000 employees at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Defense who install, maintain, support and certify air traffic control and national defense equipment, inspect and oversee the commercial and general aviation industries, develop flight procedures, and perform quality analyses of complex aviation systems used in air traffic control and national defense. The crucial work these employees perform has the potential to be impacted by the deployment of 5G and is why the union felt compelled to turn to these experts for their first-hand experience with 5G and interference. “They have the knowledge and expertise to thoroughly examine the issues around 5G implementation in the service of aviation safety,” said the PASS leader.