- Published: July 18, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC - The Professional Airways Systems Specialists (PASS), AFL-CIO expressed gratitude to the majority of members in the House of Representatives who voted last night in support of legislation that would have restored fairness to the process by which the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and its unions negotiate collective bargaining agreements. Unfortunately, because last night’s vote took place under “suspension of the rules,” which requires a two-thirds majority for passage, the vote of 271 to 148 fell just short of the necessary 279.
“The fact that a solid majority of members voted in favor of H.R. 5449 should be a wake-up call to the FAA that its below-the-belt tactics regarding contract negotiations are not acceptable to lawmakers,” said PASS National President Tom Brantley. Although, the legislation did not pass, the message from lawmakers was clear. “The FAA should not use unchecked power to impose contract terms on its dedicated employees by failing to negotiate in good faith.”
H.R. 5449, introduced by Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio), would have eliminated the provision of law that the FAA claims allows the administrator to submit impasses with its employee unions to Congress with an implementation date of 60 days thereafter. Under H.R. 5449, if a settlement could not be reached at the bargaining table, the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) would have jurisdiction to resolve the dispute.
“We are grateful to Rep. LaTourette and the other 270 members of the House who supported H.R. 5449,” said Brantley. “We also want to thank Reps. Costello, Frank LoBiondo and Sue Kelly for their support of this legislation and H.R. 4755.Despite this setback, we intend to work constructively with both the FAA and Congress to develop a contract negotiating process that works for all parties.”
While many members of Congress are familiar with the impasse between the FAA and the air traffic controllers, PASS has four bargaining units also at impasse with the FAA—some for more than three years. These four bargaining units represent more than 3,000 dedicated federal employees, including aviation safety inspectors, flight inspection pilots, procedures development specialists and airborne technicians.
“We believe that the dedicated FAA workforce deserves a fair process in which both labor and management are equally recognized and valued,” said Brantley.
PASS represents more than 11,000 employees of the Federal Aviation Administration and the 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 the aviation systems. For more information, visit the PASS website at www.passnational.org.