I'm going to break from the norm on this blog and make one comment on the new contract:
We've all heard the arbitrators' results by now. Truly bittersweet. I know many were hoping we'd see the last three years of the White Book erased and everybody made whole again. That's obviously not what happened.
Yes, I'm happy that myself and the other new guys are getting a phased raise over the next three years. That'll be very nice. I'm looking forward to many of the other changes in the TAUs as well.
However, I am not happy that the people who have the most to offer - both to the public for safety and to us neophytes who need them to pass on their decades of experience- are getting the short end of the stick. They stuck their necks out for us three years ago in fighting the B-scale, and now they get shafted.
Given the economy and the need to compromise, I wasn't expecting everyone to walk away completely satisfied. Would I have liked a full, immediate raise? Sure. Would I have liked back-pay for the thousands of dollars of per diem myself and my classmates rightfully deserved - and did not receive - during our Tower class in early '07? Of course. Who wouldn't? But such is the nature of compromise. You lose one thing to gain another.
But the old guys and gals? They really didn't gain a thing. There was no compromise. And it sucks - for them, for us trainees, and for the flying public. They no longer have a real reason to stay past retirement.
We have two people eligible to retire. We have two more eligible within the next few months. We just lost one person to a staff position. Another one just got promoted to supervisor. Since I've been here, we've had an additional seven people either retire or transfer to other facilities as supervisors. Insofar as I know, there are no new developmentals scheduled for this year, though there is a rumor of one or two transfers.
If those four potential retirees decide to go, that leaves us with nineteen CPCs and six Developmentals to run a nine scope, 24/7 operation. The six day weeks and 10 hour days many other facilities have been living with are almost certainly in our future.
Am I looking forward to the pay and other changes? Sure. But I think in some ways we're losing more than what we're gaining. Some things - like experience - just can't be replaced.
4 days ago