Is there anything I can do? Or just be miserable like the rest of us

ClearanceClarence

Legendary Member
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1,362
If NATCA ever re negotiates our contract they should have a time based raised for developmentals that would kick in as a backup to the merit based raises. Stop punishing developmental for not being allowed to train. Every developmental should be given the chance to train and/or washout.
Absolutely. At the very least it needs to apply to the first raise. AG pay for someone with a family has become unlivable with inflation. Most AGs I know are forced to spend at least 50% of their income just on housing right now. And they aren’t staying in nice locations either. No ATCS who’s already passed the academy should be struggling just to get by.
 

jlam105

Member
Messages
13
Talk to your rep. Talk to your crew. Talk to your supervisor. Don't expect much. There are training delays everywhere. Some places worse than others. You aren't going to get more pay. Only hope you have is to be the squeaky wheel and get an earlier class date.
The class above me has already been pushed back too. They were supposed to start august 1, but got pushed down because of the r-side class that is pushing the person who doesn’t have all their d-side certs. Granted, he’s only missing 1 out of 6, but still doesn’t really feel fair. The CPCs are saying that this is the first time they’ve ever seen this.

They also said They said that in order to go to r-class, a trainee technically only needs certification in 2 specific sectors (in my area, unsure of other areas). That sounds absolutely ridiculous, unless you’re so incredibly short staffed that you’ll have someone be r-side certified for only one position (these 2 sectors are always combined)

Ask to transfer to ZJX. Try putting in an ERR somewhere. We're pushing graduates through d schools at a good rate now. I agree that Z's shouldn't be accepting academy grads if they're just going to sit at AG pay for over a year before even sniffing D School. AG isn't as much as it used to be with the rents we're seeing now.
How many d-side classes have been through this year? We’ve JUST finished the first class for this year. Late start because our center went through CPDLC training the first 4 months of the year. In total, they’re expecting 2 d-side and 1 r-side for 2022.

As for transferring, who would you suggest I bring that up to? It seems the union isn’t very helpful. In fact, I’ve heard that the union at my facility worked WITH management to deny hardships.

You're 100% valid in this complaint, it's even more funny considering there's countless places that have 0-1 trainees that would start your training right away and have you full CPC in 4-10 months (depending on skill). But those places almost never get trainees since they are higher than level 7 towers. You're perpetually in a holding pattern really quite useless to the agency... but they will just continue to hold you and others there while other places have 0 devs. For an agency that manages traffic quite well, they are terrible at managing personel resources.
At this point, I’d probably take a tower over staying enroute. As always, it depends on location. But I’m sure there are at least a few locations that would train me immediately that aren’t in horrible locations!

Personally, I don’t think the complaints would go anywhere. I’m not saying they’re not valid, but I’m saying they won’t be validated by management or union. Check the old Covid thread if it’s still up here. Everyone was complaining about training delays but the guys who didn’t have to experience it just said we were whining and bitching and that we should just be grateful that we have a job.
I agree. Doubt they’ll do anything. They can’t give a pay raise because I’m assuming that’s above my facility’s pay grade, and the union just likes to talk fluff to us devs.

Just be grateful we have a job? Oh, how that angers me lol. Glad I haven’t run into someone saying that to me yet.

I would absolutely 100% do something!! It might sound like whining and bitching but that is just absurd.

All I know is that doing nothing will 100% get you nowhere so you might as well try!!!
Any suggestions on who to talk to? As said above, my union doesn’t seem to be a good contact for this, but it also feels like they’ll be my best bet as of now. Some others have said to message senators/reps. Open to suggestions!

I don’t know if it will work, but it’s an option. You are still in the bargaining unit, and can still put in paperwork. Will it work? Probably not, but it’s worth trying. I would try to find some nowhere place that can take people and where no one wants to go to. If you are the only one that is ranked to go there, it could work. Also the hardship process, but that’s another issue.
Since I’m relatively still new to the agency, I’ll need a little more explanation on how to begin your suggestion. What kind of paperwork? To transfer? Should I speak to management for the paperwork to transfer, or someone else first?

Are there resources to find which facilities might be able to take me?

My Z has AGs that hasn't gone through D school that have been here since around September 2020.
Local NATCA doesn't really want to do anything since they have their own agenda and AGs are at the bottom of that.
Regional NATCA has basically just ignored us.
Local management can't really do anything since all the training pauses were mandated at a national level.
And CPCs compare our 1-2 year delay to when they had to wait 2 whole months for their D school.
Sounds like ZNY if I had to guess, since they seem to be the only center that has a delay as bad as ours. But at least ZNY puts their devs in TMU and gets them d2 pay.

The people who finished the academy prior to the pandemic are finally being pushed through classes now for our center. I do believe we have a few who are still waiting though.

A high risk manuever-call some lower level towers and see if they are looking for people. Tell the manager the truth and honestly give em 2 years before you try to transfer.
You could withdraw from training, get to a tower (they can request you from nest)

The risky part is will your atm retain you and will you be sent to flight service
Since I have zero certs at my center, would a tower still take me? Wouldn’t I have to go back to the academy and pass the training for tower controllers?
 

jlam105

Member
Messages
13
Absolutely. At the very least it needs to apply to the first raise. AG pay for someone with a family has become unlivable with inflation. Most AGs I know are forced to spend at least 50% of their income just on housing right now. And they aren’t staying in nice locations either. No ATCS who’s already passed the academy should be struggling just to get by.
Agreed! A fellow dev moved his wife and daughter out here. Said he had to deplete all of his savings to move here. He bikes to work because he has to cut corners on gas in order to feed his toddler. If he washes out of training, he won’t have enough money to move his family back home. Luckily, he just passed d-school. I hope he doesn’t wash out.

It actually is very pertinent to know which shithole ARTCC you are at, in order to formulate a proper plan of action to fight the systemic rot in this post apocolyptic Natca-Sanctioned Covid Fascist world. Except for the facilities that arent* post Covid and still mask up like zombies.

IF you are one of 50+ trainees why would you think posting your bass ackwards ARTCC would come back on u? You arent being a crybaby, this is a very legitimate butt-fucking theyre giving you. You're being a pussy. Let's not half-ass this shit show. head over to r/ATC for the blowbang if thats what u seek

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Sure. I’m at ZOA. What’s your plan next now that you have this knowledge?
 

Rodsmash

Trusted Contributor
Messages
150
If NATCA ever re negotiates our contract they should have a time based raised for developmentals that would kick in as a backup to the merit based raises. Stop punishing developmental for not being allowed to train. Every developmental should be given the chance to train and/or washout.
This. I sat on AG pay for nearly 3 years thanks to datacomm, government, and covid shut downs. D1 after a year of getting to your facility no matter where you are in training and D2 after two years should be the norm. Thanks to the mandatory 4 hours of training a day (conditions permitting) you can't have trainees sandbagging after getting a raise.
 
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If all you’re going to comment is that I’m being a crybaby and to quit, then kindly go elsewhere. Looking for actual help, but I have no problem quitting if there isn’t a single thing I can do.

Otherwise, tldr: looking for advice on if there’s anything I can say to the agency because I’m finding out I’ll probably be delayed about 2 years POST the date they called all devs back for training.

I’m an enroute dev and got hired March 2021. Passed the academy early sept 2021. I chose my facility (not sure if saying which one will hurt me or not) and got here after a few days of change of station.

When I got here, I found out there were already about 40 graduates going as far back as right before the pandemic who were waiting for a d-side class. We were told that training was stopped due to COVID and was starting again. Great, I was hopeful and motivated to study.

Just last week, I was given an update from my article 17 that I should expect my d-side class to be June 2023. I thought I’d get one earlier this year, possibly around October 2022, but it turns out they’re delaying d-side classes to push a trainee into an r-side class, even though he has not completed all his d-sides. I’ll have waited about 1 year 9 months for my class by that time.

I understand COVID delays. I understand I signed up to move wherever the faa needs people. But what pisses me off is why this facility was accepting academy graduates if they’re not going to train them for nearly 2 fucking years, being paid a salary that is just barely above the poverty line here (even after accounting for locality pay). The crappy part is that we get paid just above the minimum amount to qualify for financial assistance.

Can I do anything about this besides complain? Or can I somehow make a case against the agency because they are the ones who hired us, but we have no training class in sight. They made us move and spend money to uproot our lives, but provide a wage that does not scale according to the area’s cost of living. The fact that I have to physically come in to work even though I’m not being trained; instead, I watch controllers work for 8 hours and then go home. Yeah, they’ve got me on a crew, which gives me like +$100 per pay check, but crews are the dumbest schedule ever to be invented. That quick turnaround feels WAY worse compared to that “extended weekend.”
Unfortunately it’s the way it is right now. Been in for 4 years and still on AG. ZNY is really the only place that expedites trainees to D2 before starting D-sides. My advice would be to find a second job while you can (sucks but just the way it is) or find other ways to bring in money. Even when I get to CPC pay, it’ll be nice to have multiple streams of income and not solely relying on the FAA. I had to get a second job to get that extra income and start that cash flow but now, I don’t need the second job. I fortunately picked up a few things that bring in a steady amount of money every month. Depending on what you would pursue if you leave, it may or may not be worth it. I would suggest to keep a long term outlook unless you’re continuously putting your life away. In that case, life is way too short.

Definitely not ZNY. Those guys get pit classes and get bumped to D2 while waiting for their d-side classes. I’ve heard up to a year before you get that D2 raise with the pit certification (About $114,000 with no norm differentials)
 

Bgsbya

Member
Messages
32
Unfortunately it’s the way it is right now. Been in for 4 years and still on AG. ZNY is really the only place that expedites trainees to D2 before starting D-sides. My advice would be to find a second job while you can (sucks but just the way it is) or find other ways to bring in money. Even when I get to CPC pay, it’ll be nice to have multiple streams of income and not solely relying on the FAA. I had to get a second job to get that extra income and start that cash flow but now, I don’t need the second job. I fortunately picked up a few things that bring in a steady amount of money every month. Depending on what you would pursue if you leave, it may or may not be worth it. I would suggest to keep a long term outlook unless you’re continuously putting your life away. In that case, life is way too short.
What are you doing to bring in a steady amount that no longer requires time dedicated to it? I have a property I got at a steal, rent out in a now extremely expensive market, but even after expenses it doesn‘t remove the appeal of still needing to have a second job.

And where are you that you are on AG for 4 years, all while being able to set up these income streams?
 
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All I have to say is your complaints are 100% justified, but good luck getting anything to change. Im not sure where you are, but I know people who made it to ZME in Late 2018 who are just now getting D-Side certifications. If you NEST with no certs they’ll only offer you FSS in Alaska, if you file a grievance NATCA local will say it was due to national COVID policy that is out of their hands (even though that’s only a minority percentage of the training delay), if you ask your local why they can’t try to get a night time D-school they will tell you they can’t find enough contractors to do it. The excuses never end, but keep being the squeaky wheel and maybe somebody will give in and help you.
 

jlam105

Member
Messages
13
All I have to say is your complaints are 100% justified, but good luck getting anything to change. Im not sure where you are, but I know people who made it to ZME in Late 2018 who are just now getting D-Side certifications. If you NEST with no certs they’ll only offer you FSS in Alaska, if you file a grievance NATCA local will say it was due to national COVID policy that is out of their hands (even though that’s only a minority percentage of the training delay), if you ask your local why they can’t try to get a night time D-school they will tell you they can’t find enough contractors to do it. The excuses never end, but keep being the squeaky wheel and maybe somebody will give in and help you.
This is it exactly. They talked about running a night d-class and then NATCA told us they canceled it because they didn’t have staffing. Yet, we heard (not confirmed) that our facility gets a $300k budget for contractors and rpo for the training budget, and then RETURNS $250k of it because there isn’t anyone left to pay. Meanwhile, they have all of us devs rpo for the classes. How about paying us some of that money?

ZMP, is that you?
ZOA, but a classmate went to ZMP and I heard he hasn’t gotten a class yet either. I don’t keep in touch though. Meanwhile ZLC classmate has 5/7 d-sides already, and this is including his “delay.”

Unfortunately it’s the way it is right now. Been in for 4 years and still on AG. ZNY is really the only place that expedites trainees to D2 before starting D-sides. My advice would be to find a second job while you can (sucks but just the way it is) or find other ways to bring in money. Even when I get to CPC pay, it’ll be nice to have multiple streams of income and not solely relying on the FAA. I had to get a second job to get that extra income and start that cash flow but now, I don’t need the second job. I fortunately picked up a few things that bring in a steady amount of money every month. Depending on what you would pursue if you leave, it may or may not be worth it. I would suggest to keep a long term outlook unless you’re continuously putting your life away. In that case, life is way too short.
4 years?! I’m sorry to hear that. I too am curious what you’re doing as a side hustle.
 

MJ

Administrator
Staff member
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2,962
Those guys get pit classes and get bumped to D2 while waiting for their d-side classes.
You know, this got me thinking there might be something worth looking into with an employment lawyer. so much federal employment law is directed at equal treatment, that I bet there’s an angle that could be pursued why this one facility is compensated for the same situation many others are in.
 

jlam105

Member
Messages
13
You know, this got me thinking there might be something worth looking into with an employment lawyer. so much federal employment law is directed at equal treatment, that I bet there’s an angle that could be pursued why this one facility is compensated for the same situation many others are in.
Instead of helping devs on AG, I feel like it would only hurt zny and shut down their attempt at helping their devs make a living.
 

CaptainObvious

Legendary Member
Messages
1,796
You know, this got me thinking there might be something worth looking into with an employment lawyer. so much federal employment law is directed at equal treatment, that I bet there’s an angle that could be pursued why this one facility is compensated for the same situation many others are in.
You could make the same argument about the N90 special CIP
 
Messages
18
What are you doing to bring in a steady amount that no longer requires time dedicated to it? I have a property I got at a steal, rent out in a now extremely expensive market, but even after expenses it doesn‘t remove the appeal of still needing to have a second job.

And where are you that you are on AG for 4 years, all while being able to set up these income streams?
You know, this got me thinking there might be something worth looking into with an employment lawyer. so much federal employment law is directed at equal treatment, that I bet there’s an angle that could be pursued why this one facility is compensated for the same situation many others are in.
You would think so. I’ve thought about it numerous times but that was something the union at ZNY I think negotiated for the trainees and I’m sure has attracted trainees despite it being a hole in the NAS. My facility doesn’t think like that. We’re honestly probably their last priority as they have many other issues lingering.
 

Bgsbya

Member
Messages
32
You would think so. I’ve thought about it numerous times but that was something the union at ZNY I think negotiated for the trainees and I’m sure has attracted trainees despite it being a hole in the NAS. My facility doesn’t think like that. We’re honestly probably their last priority as they have many other issues lingering.
That was a real non-answer to the side hustle question…
 

bomber996

Trusted Contributor
Messages
186
This is it exactly. They talked about running a night d-class and then NATCA told us they canceled it because they didn’t have staffing. Yet, we heard (not confirmed) that our facility gets a $300k budget for contractors and rpo for the training budget, and then RETURNS $250k of it because there isn’t anyone left to pay. Meanwhile, they have all of us devs rpo for the classes. How about paying us some of that money?
Remoting for people ahead of you or even your own classmates is a pretty common practice among all centers. Maybe I'm biased as a former RPO, but I really found it as a great way to practice phraseology, procedures, and a way to learn from others' mistakes. I definitely feel it helped me when I got to actual training. Try and take it for what it is.

Unfortunately in today's labor environment it has to be extremely difficult to fill positions that really are only a stepping stone. There is little to no career progression as an RPO. As far as paying you some of that money for RPOing, that's where the "additional duties as assigned" part comes in.
ZOA, but a classmate went to ZMP and I heard he hasn’t gotten a class yet either. I don’t keep in touch though. Meanwhile ZLC classmate has 5/7 d-sides already, and this is including his “delay.”

Your situation and circumstances sound so similar to ZMP, including down to CPDLC training. Newest folks in the building are not scheduled for d-sides until January of 2023. It's no June 2023, but still a significant delay.

Unfortunately COVID really screwed a lot of stuff up. Our facility has started washing people on their d-sides despite the wildly inconsistent training over the last year. It just doesn't seem fair, but management says they've afforded adequate training.

Some facilities have seemed to weather the storm better than others. I wish you luck, but I don't think you're going to get much. This whole situation is pretty unprecedented.
 

Smitty

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I ♥ pointSixtyFive
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To answer your question, just be miserable. But you better be grateful #bestjobintheworld

ZOA? Panic! At the Cisco. Sins not Tragedies.

Its funny that everyone is just like..."ya man just rly sucks COVID really messed everything up for everyone! " As if we are all just potted plants observing the world go by with no agency, even tho it was actually NATCA that spearheaded the no trainees scam to begin with. Now on the back end its like, gasp! oh my good heavens I can't believe how many years they have ya'll waiting!

Not worth years of your life to wait to train. Resign and live free of that depressing grey cold war era asbestos laden government hellhole full of fat cats and rats.

Call this its true name: Indentured servitude. A rose by any other name wouldn't smell as sweet, but poop patrol in SF smells better than the ZOA trainee hideouts!



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