Merry Christmas to Me From Uncle Sammy

It’s nice to know I’m a valued member of the organization I work for…

It’s another Christmas where almost every other government employee (and all the managers where I work) got a raise except for me and many of my air traffic controller coworkers (except for the newly hired/lower paid “B” scale air traffic controllers whose base pay was cut dramatically from the older “A” scale).

One of them wrote this blog entry that summarizes the situation nicely.

Allegedly the pay freezes and “B” scale for new hires were needed to fund NextGen, the name given to a pie in the sky system to overhaul the entire air traffic system; parts of which haven’t even been specifically defined yet.

Of course the unionized air traffic controllers were the only ones who had to have their pay frozen or cut to realize the cost savings for NextGen.  Now, as we’ve heard many managers tell us (all of whom are getting pay raises this year – did I mention that already?), the FAA is “flush with cash” and is using that money at my facility for non-NextGen projects such as big flatscreen TVs to display motivational “quotes of the day” and to re-landscape the grounds outside the facility.

In addition the FAA is using all that extra money to create wonders like this propaganda video (which I initially thought was a joke) created by the FAA that in part proclaims that in 2008 the FAA apparently delivered “satellite navigation” under the NextGen program.

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However, that claim is an outright lie, because the satellite navigation system for aircraft in the U.S. (the Wide Area Augmentation System or WAAS using GPS) was commissioned for aviation use years ago in 2003.

The FAA has been doing a lot of lying the past few years including calling the the imposed work rules the controllers have been working under since 2006 a “contract“.

That’s not to mention a few years after freezing my pay the the last FAA Administrator (Marion Blakey) left the FAA to take a job with Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), whose members stand to make millions of dollars from the American taxpayer for NextGen systems, a move many have called a blatant conflict of interest.

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