FSS jobs in Alaska

Extrarely

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Probably just missed something on the application
I thought that perhaps I did, I put them side by side and the only difference was that the FSS bid had me rank the order of FSS locations I'd prefer. I did reach out to Wendy in HR to see if she can provide me any insight.

Spoke with Wendy from HR and she said that I wasn't eligible because I claimed Pool 1 / Vet pref but the DD-214 I accidentally attached is over 3 years old so I am no longer eligible for VRA... I attached the wrong one :( lesson learned. I assumed it would've automatically placed me into Pool 2 though too.
 
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Itsallgucci

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I thought that perhaps I did, I put them side by side and the only difference was that the FSS bid had me rank the order of FSS locations I'd prefer. I did reach out to Wendy in HR to see if she can provide me any insight.

Spoke with Wendy from HR and she said that I wasn't eligible because I claimed Pool 1 / Vet pref but the DD-214 I accidentally attached is over 3 years old so I am no longer eligible for VRA... I attached the wrong one :( lesson learned. I assumed it would've automatically placed me into Pool 2 though too.
Wait we can't claim veterans preference if our DD214 is over 3 years old? I got out in Aug 2013 and was able to use mine.
 

Extrarely

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Wait we can't claim veterans preference if our DD214 is over 3 years old? I got out in Aug 2013 and was able to use mine.
I'm not 100% sure of the rules on it but she told me that I didn't qualify if my 214 was over 3 years old. I got a new one last month but didn't upload it cause I didn't have it from my unit yet.
 

nbk14

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You'd be stuck in alaska if you accepted this right? Absolutely no transfers?

Can someone give an honest description of this job..
 
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adub

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You'd be stuck in alaska if you accepted this right? Absolutely no transfers?
Correct. You would need to apply for an OTS/Prior Exp bid to transfer. All ATS job postings are worded in a way that exempts FSS experience. Usually "facility and/or area rating in an [ATS facility / ATO terminal/enroute facility]". Grievances for not following NCEPT are ignored.
 

EJayGunns

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I'm not 100% sure of the rules on it but she told me that I didn't qualify if my 214 was over 3 years old. I got a new one last month but didn't upload it cause I didn't have it from my unit yet.
It’s not that the dd214 is too old, just the file you may have uploaded to usajobs. Your veterans preference doesn’t expire.
 

KEEPER4560

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Correct. You would need to apply for an OTS/Prior Exp bid to transfer. All ATS job postings are worded in a way that exempts FSS experience. Usually "facility and/or area rating in an [ATS facility / ATO terminal/enroute facility]". Grievances for not following NCEPT are ignored.
I’ve heard from people I know who are in FSS in Alaska that you actually are able to ERR out to ATC facilities since FSS are considered in that same realm.
 

adub

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I’ve heard from people I know who are in FSS in Alaska that you actually are able to ERR out to ATC facilities since FSS are considered in that same realm.
You are SUPPOSED to be able to. As someone who is actively fighting our inability to, I can attest that no... you cannot. Most HRs you submit ERR packages to will kick it back with an ineligibility statement, or it goes silent. Because we have no staffing numbers on the PPT, NCEPT cannot, by SOP, even look at us for transfers in/out. So no, atm, you are not able to transfer from Alaska FSS to ATS at all. Transfers in via ERR are treated as "new hires". I have a grievance dated Feb 2018 on it, that has yet to be answered by anybody.

Yes, we are in the same realm. Same job series, same title, same dept (ATO), same pay scale, and some of the same rules, same contract, same union.. but we're not.
 
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KEEPER4560

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You are SUPPOSED to be able to. As someone who is actively fighting our inability to, I can attest that no... you cannot. Most HRs you submit ERR packages to will kick it back with an ineligibility statement, or it goes silent. Because we have no staffing numbers on the PPT, NCEPT cannot, by SOP, even look at us for transfers in/out. So no, atm, you are not able to transfer from Alaska FSS to ATS at all. Transfers in via ERR are treated as "new hires". I have a grievance dated Feb 2018 on it, that has yet to be answered by anybody.

Yes, we are in the same realm. Same job series, same title, same dept (ATO), same pay scale, and some of the same rules, same contract, same union.. but we're not.
It makes sense. From what it sounds like, however, it just seems the reason that you aren't able to ERR out is just due to the low staffing numbers at the FSS? Which is the same situation a lot of people are in at low level towers as well. I'm not trying to argue more as I am just trying to understand the big picture. That until staffing numbers increase at FSS... you pretty much just need to wait.
 

adub

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It makes sense. From what it sounds like, however, it just seems the reason that you aren't able to ERR out is just due to the low staffing numbers at the FSS? Which is the same situation a lot of people are in at low level towers as well. I'm not trying to argue more as I am just trying to understand the big picture. That until staffing numbers increase at FSS... you pretty much just need to wait.
We don't have staffing numbers established, at all. And unlike towers with low numbers, we get "you aren't eligible" responses from HR upon submission of ERRs. They literally tell us we cannot transfer.
 

KEEPER4560

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We don't have staffing numbers established, at all. And unlike towers with low numbers, we get "you aren't eligible" responses from HR upon submission of ERRs. They literally tell us we cannot transfer.
Wow. That really has to be frustrating.
 

MJ

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We don't have staffing numbers established, at all. And unlike towers with low numbers, we get "you aren't eligible" responses from HR upon submission of ERRs. They literally tell us we cannot transfer.
Have you looked into outside resources? ULP, congressmen, etc? You're not going to get help from within.
 

GulfBravoPapa

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I'm not sure the best way to phrase this politely but other than being run by the same organization and having the same job code why would flight service and air traffic be able to transfer amongst one another? The job functions are fundamentally different and unless you have prior air traffic experience why would any ATM be willing to select essentially an off the street candidate? Would you go to the Academy? Could you fail? Most terminal training departments are not set up to teach someone from the ground up... I just can't imagine it would be an overly successful program unless you went to the Academy. But then is that really an ERR or simply a back entrance into an OTS bid?
 

adub

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Have you looked into outside resources? ULP, congressmen, etc? You're not going to get help from within.
Yes, and it boils down to: I want to voluntarily get back to ATS the same way I got to FSS. Being 4 years in, do I really want to piss off everyone so early in my career? Western Service Area recommended applying for an OTS or Prev Experience bid as the way back. 3rd attempt, finally have a referral on the May bid.

I'm not sure the best way to phrase this politely but other than being run by the same organization and having the same job code why would flight service and air traffic be able to transfer amongst one another? The job functions are fundamentally different and unless you have prior air traffic experience why would any ATM be willing to select essentially an off the street candidate? Would you go to the Academy? Could you fail? Most terminal training departments are not set up to teach someone from the ground up... I just can't imagine it would be an overly successful program unless you went to the Academy. But then is that really an ERR or simply a back entrance into an OTS bid?
FSS take the same ATC Basics course, which is a requirement for our academy (our guys go through OKC for basics before heading to Alaska for the FSS course). Granted, not full training but at the same time it's not ground up, either, and could be handled the same way transfers from tower to center and vice versa are.
 

Maintainvfr

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FSS take the same ATC Basics course, which is a requirement for our academy (our guys go through OKC for basics before heading to Alaska for the FSS course). Granted, not full training but at the same time it's not ground up, either, and could be handled the same way transfers from tower to center and vice versa are.
Honestly, basics is barely barely barely above ground up. If you fail basics may God have mercy on your soul. It's not even close to the same as going tower-center or center-tower. Those people have shown through some form of evaluation that they are capable of learning something.

I think that it's a valuable job and maybe should get some kind of preference on an OTS bid? Like similar to the points vets get? But if you think FSS should get more than that, you're grossly misinformed about the difference between the two jobs. If FSS is ATC why do they have to say "ATC clears" and we don't, y'know? Truthfully I think if there was enough noise made about this, the change would be making FSS a different job series and you would get a much worse contract and compensation plan. Based on the facilities I've worked at, most controllers would equate your job closer to the national weather service or something.
 

adub

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Honestly, basics is barely barely barely above ground up. If you fail basics may God have mercy on your soul. It's not even close to the same as going tower-center or center-tower. Those people have shown through some form of evaluation that they are capable of learning something.

I think that it's a valuable job and maybe should get some kind of preference on an OTS bid? Like similar to the points vets get? But if you think FSS should get more than that, you're grossly misinformed about the difference between the two jobs. If FSS is ATC why do they have to say "ATC clears" and we don't, y'know? Truthfully I think if there was enough noise made about this, the change would be making FSS a different job series and you would get a much worse contract and compensation plan. Based on the facilities I've worked at, most controllers would equate your job closer to the national weather service or something.
Having done "the other side" for 8 years and voluntarily switching over to FSS (some Navy, some not), I'm not misinformed on the job of ATS. And good question, I issue SVFR clearances within the confines of the 7110.10 and do so without getting the clearance from ZAN (by LOA). So I say ATC Clears without actually doing a relay.

And we have shown through some form of evaluations the ability to learn to learn something as well. Do you honestly think we just show up and they hand a headset and say. "here you go, have fun!" ?

And I'm not saying they should go straight to a tower or center. From what I've heard, some get sent to a tower or center course in OKC when changing options. That's what I meant by handling like an option change.

And they've actually been working opposite what you said, converting us TO the same job title, series, etc. as FSS used to be completely separate like ATAs. I don't think you really know what we do, which is fine.. even many at ZAN do not know and we work hand in hand with them.
 
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Gern Blanston

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Actually, FSS has always been 2152 series and separate from ATA's which were 2154's I believe. The same 20/25 year retirement benefits stood for FSS and they were considered as ATC's and all the time on the floor was good time. I started in FSS in 1987 and transferred over to ATC in 1990 and retired in 2017 after moving up through 3 tower/radar facilities. FSS was a great place to learn about the national airspace system, weather, how the fight data system works and just generally a good place to get your feet wet. Worked out really well for me and I always thought that in a perfect world with unlimited funding a person could start at FSS, move to a VFR tower, then to an up/down to learn radar, move up as far as you were capable, and as long as your were semi competent, you could not fail. Example=me.

FSS was a great start for me at age 23 and if I was thrown in the grinder of a level 10 or so at that time I probably wouldn't have made it. Turned out well though, I'm retired after a thirty year career and enjoying a great pension. It's a damn shame that the FAA sold out FSS to the highest bidder and screwed over those that were still working. By the time I left, FSS in the corporate world was so bad that we rarely dealt with them at all, The Alaska FSS's are all that's left of the old school and now they are being dealt a dirty hand, if I was an ATM I would give a person a chance.
 

adub

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The Alaska FSS's are all that's left of the old school and now they are being dealt a dirty hand, if I was an ATM I would give a person a chance.
Yup.. and the people deciding our fate are the corporate people brought over from the LH/Leidos system. There are no Alaska FSS or even FAA FSS people in DC deciding our future, they are all people brought over from the LH/Leidos side. And I wish ATMs could pull us, but the SAs are blocking them from being able to do so. It's aggravating.
 
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