NATCA Bookshelf

National Office Week in Review: February 7, 2018

A publication of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association

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NATCA NATIONAL OFFICE DEPARTMENTAL UPDATE January 20-February 2, 2018 LABOR RELATIONS DEPARTMENT AGREEMENT REACHED WITH AGENCY ON SSRI PROGRAM On Jan. 18, 2018, NATCA and the Agency reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the application of the Agency's selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor ("SSRI") program to NATCA bargaining unit employees. The MOU implements the procedures to allow those employees who have appropriately disclosed or will appropriately disclose taking medication to apply for a special consideration medical clearance. The MOU and associated documents, Appendix C of FAA Order 3930.3 and the SSRI reporting requirements for managers that includes direction to maintain the privacy of employees taking SSRI medication, can be found here. Please be aware that while the Parties are continuing to work towards reaching an agreement regarding an amnesty provision, it is important to note that the SSRI MOU does not contain an "amnesty" provision at this time. POCs: Eastern RVP Dean Iacopelli and Director of Labor Relations Ryan Smith. AGENCY BRIEFING ON FAA ORDER 6032.1D, NATIONAL AIRSPACE MODIFICATION PROGRAM On Jan. 11, 2018, the FAA briefed NATCA regarding its intent to make changes to FAA Order 6032.1D. This Order prescribes FAA requirements for developing and implementing modifications to commissioned and pre-commissioned systems, NAS equipment, software, hardware, firmware, assisted documentation, and procedures used in administering the modification program. The changes add procedures for the Modification Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR) to place a modification on hold, cancel, or re-issue a modification. The changes also add guidance for coordinating and approving test modifications, and explain testing and verification activities with Development Test, Modification Test, and Directive Verification processes at selected key site locations coordinated by the Modification OPR. The new Order removes the Limited Scope as a modification type, and also removes special evaluation under issuing authorized modifications. It adds time critical modification (90 days), and implements the Modification History Database (MHD). While NATCA participated on a workgroup for these changes (Paul Griffith was the NATCA representative), no NATCA representative was present for the discussion about whether an SRM was necessary. Ultimately, the FAA determined that these changes are "administrative in nature and do not represent a change to the NAS, and as such, per the July 2016 Safety Management System Manual, Section 3.1.1, SRM is not required." However, NATCA should have had an opportunity to be a part of that determination. NATCA is submitting a comment requesting assurances that we will be included in future decisions regarding whether an SRM is necessary for Order changes. POCs: Don Smith, Denise Nappi, NATCA En Route Technology Coordinator Mark Prestrude, and Labor Relations Attorney Suzanne DeFelice.

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