Monday, October 01, 2007

A Social Contract



About a month ago I mentioned that the way the FAA’s Flight Service Specialist’s were treated when the FAA contracted out their jobs would make a good “human interest” story. Well, somebody wrote one.

As you read it, I want you to remember this; The FAA is currently running out of controllers. The controllers from the FSS option have many of the skills needed to be an air traffic controllers in a Tower. The FAA could have transferred them into the Towers if they were truly concerned about their employees. That would have helped their employees, helped themselves and helped the country. The FAA -- more specifically the Bush Administration -- chose not to do that. They chose instead to help a contractor -- Lockheed Martin. Without a trained and trapped workforce, Lockheed Martin would never have been able to take over the Flight Service Stations.

There’s a social contract --an understanding, a promise -- between you and your employees. You may not know it but your employees do. If you go to work for the government -- as a career -- you won’t get rich. You’ll have a good job and decent benefits. And if you don’t get yourself fired, you’ll have a retirement. Controllers (including FSS controllers) give up their weekends, their holidays and watching their kids grow up because of the strange hours and days off, just like other controllers. In turn, they are (for the most part) fairly compensated. Right until they were contracted out.

The FAA sold them out. They know it, I know it and now you know it. Think about what kind of employees you’ll be left with if you (via your government) keep breaking your promises.

Read the story.

Rough landing for FAA employees

Don Brown
October 1, 2007

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