Tuesday, August 31, 2010

SEIU and your union dues!

In today's Chronicle there is an article about how the employee's of Kaiser Permanente will be voting on whether to keep or remove SEIU as their union. That issue does not really concern us since we are not part of Kaiser.

What is interesting in this article is the information about how much SEIU contributed to the California state and local elections in 2008. Well, it was a whopping 30 million dollars! That dollar amount made it one of the nation's top campaign contributors. (There is no mention of how much was contributed for 2009, but one can imagine that it was at least an equal amount.)

With the up coming elections, and the fear that the Republicans just might regain some clout, you can bet that the contribution will be much larger. Is this how you want your dues to be used? We all have a say, to a certain degree, on where and how our dues are to be used. This is one area where we have a say. Let SEIU know where you stand and how you feel. Take control of your money.

If you want to read the whole article follow the link.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Iron Man Returns!

Gerardo Sanchez is coming back from suspension. Uhhh...wait, not suspension, jury duty. Yeah, that's right. The question remains, though, is he coming back to be terminated or will he once again prove that he is untouchable. The latter seems the most likely thing. Any hope that any of us might have of any manager succumbing to any sort of punishment is a waste of one's time. So that is why it's important to keep asking the question: What does a manager have to do in order to lose their job?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A walk down memory lane

People tend to live in the moment. We all generally have short memories as well. But that's where people like us step in. With the re-emergence of Barbara Alvarenga, we figured it would be a good time to refresh or just inform people of some rather recent history.

About a year and a half ago, Covenant Aviation Security posted a job posting for "Certified Assistant Manager." The MIT's at the time, and a handful of supervisors were ultimately cast in that role.

So what was a "Certified Assistant Manager"? Much like the Floor Supervisor, MIT, Jr. Supervisor, Assistant Training Manager, Director of This, Deputy Director of That, it was a Covenant Aviation Security creation. That is, there is officially no such position within TSA.

A "Certified Assistant Manager" was essentially an ATSA (Aviation Transportation Security Act) certified supervisor given a managerial title and all the duties that went along with being a manager. However, in TSA's bureaucratic ways, they busted Covenant Aviation Security for this position while doing one of their audits. Why, you might ask? Well, the problem was that the "Certified Assistant Manager" was listed on the TSA books as an STSO. They were not listed on the books as a manager. What that meant was that TSA was paying for this position out of the same budget that is set aside for all ATSA certified personnel. Where if it was an official Covenant Aviation Security manager, that would have come out of CAS's own budget.

What to do, might you ask? CAS's solution to the problem was simple. They told the "Certified Assistant Managers" at the time that they could either be demoted in title and pay by becoming the CAS created position of Floor Supervisor, or they could find work elsewhere. Naturally, they all gracefully accepted this praise worthy move and gladly accepted the demotion.

Oh, but it gets better. Covenant Aviation Security dangled a promotion in front of these newly designated Floor Supervisors. They dangled the Assistant Terminal Manager promotion to get many of them to take this position. Just in case you did not know, the Floor Supervisors are all salaried STSOs. Not that regular STSOs have a lot of opportunity for overtime, there is at least a chance. These Floor Supervisors have no chance of that. In other words, they have to work actual overtime if their Over Lords deem it necessary without having to pay them overtime rates.

These demotions all took place in November of last year. Lo and behold, in January of this year there was a job posting for Assistant Terminal Manager. The fascinating thing about that job posting was that it was only opened to Floor Supervisors. In this regard, Covenant Aviation Security kept to their word. "Go Floor Supervisor and we'll keep you up there for promotion."

February, March, April, May passed. Nothing. Not a word. Not a peep. Whatever happened to that Assistant Terminal Manager promotion? No one knew. Tick, tock, tick, tock. By now, most everyone had completely forgotten about the promotion. Hell, the Floor Supervisors themselves probably forgot as well.

And then, a little over two weeks ago word leaked out that Barbara Alvarenga was back as the new Assistant Terminal Manager. Well., golly gee willikers! So THAT'S what happened to that promotion! Donnie Filbert brought back his old United Airlines buddy!

The question that remains and should be continued to be asked is why has Filbert been allowed to bring back an absolute incompetent person? Why is Mindy Pengel allowing this?!

We know it might be easy for some of you to dismiss this story because it has to do with STSOs. But we shouldn't be. This is not some atypical thing that Covenant Aviation Security does. This is THEIR Standard Operating Procedure. The lesson to be learned is that if they're willing to do something like this to their STSOs, they're willing to do that and more to the rest of us. And they're wondering why morale is so low?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Oh really!

For those of you that haven't been following what's been happening with TSA lately, not long ago they installed a new head of TSA. John Pistole was finally approved by congress after a number of candidates failed to get the necessary support for congressional approval. Pistole is open to the idea of unionizing TSA. In fact, just recently he was having meetings with the head of AFGE (American Federation of Government Employees) John Gage, the big union that represents most of government workers. They're in talks to allow TSA employees not only to unionize, but to be represented by a CBA.

According to this article from govexec.com Gage has some interesting beliefs in regards to SFO. He is somehow under the notion that morale is high and turnover rates are low! But here's the kicker, in which Gage says:
Workers felt they didn't have to fret, piss and moan about issues because they were taken care of through a union contract, and were better able to concentrate on their jobs without stewing over union issues.
HUH? What pipe has he been smoking? Anyway, this is shaping up to be an interesting story. Considering that there is talk within TSA that TSOs, LTSOs, etc. are starting to become a little too expensive with TSA's current PASS system. What better way to keep the costs down than to make a back room deal with the union. Does that sound a little too familiar with us?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Low morale? What are you talking about?!

Reports are coming in that Gerry Berry has been spotted around SFO. One rumor that is going around is that he is here on the behest of TSA to get to the bottom of why morale is so low. This seems possible, but who really knows. God knows, Berry rarely visits the work location of Covenant Aviation Security's multi-million dollar contract. Let's try to get this low morale thing figured out.

Ok, so first we have the TSA meeting that was about low morale before it wasn't about low morale. Oh wait, it was supposed to be about Engage! and then it got cancelled in favor of some non-controversial topic. Then we had Mindy Pengel doing her own investigation of why morale is low. Perhaps it is time to bring out the big gun of Gerry Berry to get to the bottom of this quagmire.

Donnie Filbert has been making the rounds as well. He's been doing Gerardo Sanchez's job since he's being investigated....errr....on jury duty. Filbert has been trying to make nice while he's been doing this by chatting it up with the work force. Hey, that's fine. No problem with that. Except it seems too little, too late.

So why are all these people that are supposedly so much smarter than the rest of us spending all this time trying to figure out this nagging problem? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that their contract wasn't renewed, instead it was extended for eight months. Oh, which just happens to coincide with the opening of Terminal 2, by the way.

Terminal 2 is scheduled to open April 14. The contract extension was announced on August 11. You do the math. Word has been going around that TSA has not been happy with how Covenant Aviation Security has been handling things lately. The eight months seems to be a "get your act together or else" type of thing.

Management is fond of saying, "don't just bring me problems, bring me solutions." Well, we have some solutions to the problem of the low morale. And it's simple. It's time to clean house.

The first that needs to go is Mindy Pengel. Other than being a figure head, what exactly does she do? Yes, she has to deal with TSA and all the bureaucratic BS that goes along with that. Yet, for someone who not only keeps Donnie Filbert, but also publicly praises the incompetence of his tenure, the question the everyone needs to be asking is why is she here?

Which leads us to the next person that needs to go. In the year or so that Donnie Filbert has been in charge, he has clearly demonstrated he is not up to the task. From the fiasco of the itchy uniforms to the completely screwed up spring bid, he has shown to the work force that he not only is incapable of the job, but he also clearly doesn't care since he rarely interacts with the work force.

The next that needs to go is obviously Gerardo Sanchez. Why this man has kept his job for this long is truly a marvel. How many HR investigations does this man get before it's patently clear that he needs to go?

After you get rid of those three, perhaps the others will have the fear of God put into them and will finally get their crap together. If not, well, there's never any lack of room on the chopping block.

There you have it. An analysis of the problem and a solution to it. What more could you ask for?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New procedure for patdowns coming

According to this USA Today article, it looks as though we can expect a new procedure for the patdowns that we're currently doing. They're currently testing a seemingly more invasive type of patdown at Boston Logan and Las Vegas McCarran airports. We suppose this was inevitable. Yet, this is so typical of a government bureaucracy like this. They take years and years to change something that should have been changed years ago.

Of course, what this really means for the work force is just more work and more annoyed passengers. Security First, always remember that. Now if we could just get Covenant Aviation Security to stop forcing us to do additional procedures that are not required by the SOP.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fool me once

The topic of conversation these days seems to be what is going on with the baggage supervisor promotion. The official word from Donnie Filbert is that the interviews concluded just this past week.

Those that are paying attention know that's utter BS. Someone had the guts to ask Mindy Pengel precisely about the promotion. She had the audacity to ask this person if the promotion should be based heavily on things such as attendance, work ethic, etc. or on the interview. Well, duh!

That was when she passed the buck to Filbert who responded that this promotion is going to be his responsibility to see what's going on with it.

Here's the real reason for the delay. Gerardo Sanchez is out of the picture currently. The PR reason for being out is he is back on jury duty. Those that have served on jury duty know this is highly dubious to be called back two or three weeks after supposedly already serving. So that right there is extremely suspect.

The reason Sanchez is out is because he has been suspended pending an HR investigation. Several people have been called in to HR for interviews regarding Sanchez. We don't know exactly the reason for the suspension or investigation we just know that Covenant Aviation Security is trying to keep a tight lid on it.

Of course there are possible numerous reasons for the investigation, since Sanchez has done numerous things over his tenure to warrant it. We will wait and see what happens.

As usual, stay tuned here for the latest info that Covenant Aviation Security doesn't want you to know.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A little less conversation, a little more action please!

Mindy Pengel had two meetings with supervisors Thursday and Friday. Odd, considering that Wednesday would seem more logical since that is the overlap day for most supervisors. Not much was discussed, apparently. And no other managers were there.

The intent was to discuss the low morale at Covenant Aviation Security. Ok, excuse us for patting ourselves on the back a little, but Pengel would need not look any further than this blog to get a sense of why the morale is so low. Why would she limit her scope only to the supervisors? Yes, they certainly have reasons to be pissed (hey, how is that Barbara Alvarenga move working out for you Floor Supervisors), but they're not the only ones by any stretch of the imagination.

Speaking of Alvarenga, look for her welcome back message from Herr Filbert in today's CAS Info. Yeah, she doesn't need to look very far to get a sense, does she? Why has she allowed Donnie Filbert to bring back someone who was an absolute disaster when she was here previously? Especially when there are probably a dozen or so supervisors that could easily fill that position with poise and complete competence.

It's just more of the same crap! The more things change, the more they stay the same. And it seems we're trying to revert back to the original days of chaos and dismay. Woo hoo!

If Pengel truly wanted to get a sense of why morale is low, she'd be talking to us. She'd be asking for our blunt and brutally honest assessment, and she would be prepared for the slings and arrows she'd ultimately receive. But, let's not forget that Pengel is steeped in the law enforcement culture where there is a definite chain of command and those at the top only interact with those at the bottom in a purely superficial way.

So no, we don't think she really wants to know. We don't think she cares. If she cared, she would have fired Filbert four months ago when those bid lines originally came out. Everyone and their brother knew that Filbert's brilliant idea for those schedules in March weren't going to work. Even managers told him they weren't going to work. And what happened? Well, you all know what happened.

So let's go back and ask the poignant question once again: WHAT DOES A MANGER HAVE TO DO IN ORDER TO BE TERMINATED?!

Friday, August 20, 2010

An improvement

SEIU was around today and they've announced a general meeting that is taking place on Thursday, August 26 at 12:30 and 2:30 PM at T1 Conference Room A.

The stated agenda is going to be over work place violence, winter bid, AIT changes (TSA changed the acronym from WBI to AIT), part time bidding, and USWW (United Service Workers West).

They have FINALLY updated the bulletin boards with more current information. Let's just say this, if SEIU wants to get the work force on board with more things, they're going to have to be more open and inform us more of what is going on BEFORE it happens.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

We are NOT screeners!

We hope that one of the things you have noticed over the last couple of months since the inception of this blog is that we almost never refer to the work force as "screeners." Did you know that it was in December of 2005 that TSA officially changed our title and the rest of our brethren that work for TSA across the country from TSS (Transportation Security Screener) to TSO (Transportation Security Officer). Sure, it's real easy to say that we're screeners, since we screen passengers and their luggage for bombs, weapons, and various other threats. But we shouldn't short change ourselves so easily.

The question to be asked is why did TSA do this? The reason is quite simple. They wanted to add more prestige to our job, and changing our title from Screener to Officer was an easy way to do it.

So why is it that we still refer to ourselves as Screeners? Why do we allow others and ourselves to demean ourselves by referring to us as Screeners. The job title of "Airport Screener" has years of negative connotations attached to it. After all, we just play in to Covenant Aviation Security's mindset that we're "just screeners." A Screener doesn't know anything, right? So it's not nearly as demeaning if management would say to you, "You're just an Officer!" Ahhh...all of a sudden that statement doesn't belittle us!

Covenant Aviation Security still lists us as TSS and DFS in all of their databases and CAS created documentation, even though those titles have not officially existed within TSA for almost five years. Hell, even our own union calls us "Screeners."

One of the ways to get respect from management is by refusing to allow them to call us "Screeners." Whenever you hear yourself, a supervisor, or a manger referring to us as a "Screener," correct them! Until we change the mindset of something relatively simple as what they call us, we'll never begin to get the respect that we deserve.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Overreacting is our game

We got word that if any Officer misses an MPT test bag, that Officer is now off X-ray pending a one hour session of TRX and a half hour talk with a terminal manager. Ok, if this isn't a sign that Covenant is panicking, we don't know what is. The word is that this ever brilliant idea came from the one and only Donnie Filbert. Perhaps this is a reaction to Covenant not getting their contract rubber stamped and only extended.

What we want to know is exactly what that discussion with a terminal manager is going to entail? Every single manager has not been ATSA certified for several years now. So how is someone who never works the X-ray and hasn't been certified for several years going to be able to give guidance to an Officer that fails one of these tests? Frankly, this just reeks of intimidation. In other words, you better perform better or we're going to start threatening you with discipline or worse yet, termination.

Imagine that you do fail one of these tests. You now can no longer operate the X-ray. You then have to go up to the training lab and do an hour of TRX. And then comes the meeting with a terminal manager. You'll get called in to their office. You're afraid of being punished. They start interrogating you as though you're a perp being accused of a crime. How in the hell does that improve anything? How does that make security better? What the hell is a manager going to say to that Officer? WHEN WILL THIS STOP???!!!

Covenant, get your stuff together! The intimidation factor that you have been so reliant on all these years is starting to deteriorate. It's not working and we're not going to sit idly by and let you people get away with it. You may have local TSA in your back pocket, but we're on to you. Enough is enough!


So was that employee appreciation day good for you? Well, we hope that you're not one of the several people that we're getting reports from that are having digestive issues with the oh so tasty hot dogs that Covenant supplied for us yesterday. Take heart! It will pass...literally and figuratively, of course.

It's unfortunate for the Donnie Filbert regime. They just can't seem to get anything right these days, not even something like hot dogs! Perhaps we can be fortunate in that the Filbert regime will eventually pass too.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Open letter to Restructuring Associates

Sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled blog, but I've taken the opportunity to use this space to write an open letter to Restructuring Associates.

Attn. Restructuring Associates:

It's come to my attention through the Washington Post that you've been hired by the Transportation Security Administration to assess the feasibility of allowing Transportation Security Officers to engage in collective bargaining. That is, negotiating with the agency through a designated representative of their choosing.

I've reviewed some of your work, and it seems to be, frankly, without peer.

I know its imposing but since you've been hired by the Transportation Security Administration, I feel that you are working first and foremost for the people - after all, who is the TSA but the people themselves in response to that fateful day in 2001?

So as you review the data, meet the people, mull over the pros and cons (before recommending yes), I feel that there are a few things you should know:

Number one, your website uses the word "stakeholder". If you use that word at a place like SFO, the TSO will hear "everybody but you".

Number two, your decision has the potential to affect not just the TSO's directly employed by the TSA, but also those that are in the employ of private companies in the Screening Partnership Program.

To wit, from a collective bargaining agreement at SFO (Section 9.6, in part):

...In addition, the Employer agrees to reopen negotiations over possible changes to wages and retirement benefits if the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agree upon the terms of a Collective Bargaining Agreement with its employees, and if the documented cost of the TSA economic package for the San Francisco area is within five percent (5%) of the total economic package under this agreement. (end)
Now, you and I both know that the federal government, with few exceptions, does not bargain over wages. Why any wage and retirement reopener is contingent upon the TSA negotiating over terms of employment is beyond me. But I felt it should be brought to your attention. Do they think that the contract will have charts detailing wages in San Francisco?Ha, ha. So, please, keep your audience in mind when you write this report. They may be in the midst of a lot of misinformation.

Here's what I would like to see while this Screening Partnership Program continues its stepchild to the stepchildren act: equivalent wages and benefits as mandated by the Aviation Transportation Security Act. That means an opportunity for bonuses (one of the major complaints of TSOs relates to fairness in the PASS bonus systemthere are no PASS bonuses at SFO), and wages and benefits including retirement that are 100% equal on an individual basis with a similarly situated employee of the TSA.

Thank you for your consideration.

Kamikaze Kid

Food for Thought

We trust that by now you have followed the link concerning the one million dollar settlement that CAS made to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. If you haven't, you should.

Is it too hard to imagine that it is happening here? It has been for years. This behavior has been part of the CAS corporate culture since the beginning.

We applaud our fellow CAS employees, Firstly, in their getting angry enough to challenge this injustice and, Secondly, for the successful outcome that resulted in this settlement and for forcing CAS to change their ways. ( At least for that contract.)

If it worked there, why can it not work here? It is time to lock and load, we are going in to battle!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Stupid behavior

Many have been asking us what exactly happened on Friday at Pier B. They also want to know our opinion on the matter. Normally we wouldn't publicly report on something like this. And we're not going to do so.

We really don't know anymore than the rest of you. So there's no sense of reporting a whole bunch of rumors. What we will say is that if even half of what has been reported is true, then all parties involved with the incident should be terminated!

There really is no excuse for that type of callous behavior and total disregard for their position with TSA and CAS. It reflects poorly upon us all when our coworkers do things like that. CAS will do its investigation and hopefully they'll make the right decision on the matter.

This incident really should serve as a cautionary tale for the rest of us. Do not take your responsibility and authority that has been granted to you lightly. Your job is not worth this risky behavior. Fortunately, most of you know this already. For those of you that don't, just don't do it. Please!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

CAS versus JFK and LaGuardia Airports

And the winner is! The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Funny thing happened in April, CAS paid a settlement of one million dollars to settle this dispute.

But don't take our word for it, follow the link and pull up page 27.


Free WiFi is now available!

An airport worker told us that the free WiFi start date was 8/13 and is available airport wide, but there are restrictions. When you sign on you will have access for 45 minutes and then your session will terminate. You will have to re-sign in to start the meter running again (this can be done immediately, no need to wait.)

Covenant Aviation Security's contract extended for eight months

TSA announced on August 11 that Covenant Aviation Security and four other private companies that their contracts are being extended for eight months. This does not mean that Covenant and the others have been awarded long term contracts, it just means that TSA is extending the current contract while they allow for the competitive process to begin. A spokesperson from FirstLine Transportation Security, Inc. is quoted as saying, "TSA is giving itself some more time to make its decisions regarding the awards. The last time we were awarded a contract, there was also a bridge contract, so this isn’t unprecedented." FirstLine operates security for Kansas City International Airport. If you all remember, Kansas City is one of the other airports that Akal Security was trying to win, in addition to SFO.

I agree with the article and the spokesperson from FirstLine. There isn't much to read into this. It just allows TSA to do its bureaucratic thing as government bureaucracies often do.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It just gets better and better

Hey, Floor Supervisors! You remember several months ago when you agreed to become a Floor Supervisor with hopes of being an Assistant Terminal Manager? You know, that promotion management dangled in front of you in order to get you to take a salaried position? And do you remember that Assistant Terminal Manager position that was posted back in January? I bet you guys wondered whatever happened to that position, huh?

Does the name Barbara Alvarenga ring any bells? Oh, come on! You remember her! By all accounts, she was a disastrous manager from way back when. She left Covenant Aviation Security years ago to take a job with Good Will. Good for her! Oh wait! You didn't hear? That's right, SHE'S BACK!

Barbara Alvarenga is back and she is our new Assistant Terminal Manager! She will be back starting on Monday in which she will be auditing the next new hire class, presumedly to refresh her on the current SOP and what not.

Every time we think there's nothing Covenant Aviation Security can do to surprise us, they go ahead and find something to get us shaking and scratching our heads about.

And this next message is to all of the TSA and CAS management that read this blog. Let's be clear. This blog is not spreading information that the work force doesn't or won't eventually know about. Just because you, the management, know that we know, doesn't mean that we haven't always known about the things that take place. Trust us, we know. And we almost always find out. But since most of you are so out of touch with what goes on, you keep your heads buried in the sand and only when that hole collapses do you become aware. This blog has just coalesced it in to one easy to find place.

Blogspot--- Q&A time

We have decided to post and answer some of the questions that have come to us from some of you.

Question_ I see only three names listed under contributors, are there only three of you?

Answer_ We have many contributors who supply us with information but do not want their identities known. We, as a group or individually, read and decide when, how and if it should be posted. Each member of our group has access to the password for each active contributors name. So, it does appear that there are only two active contributors when in fact there are many more.

Question_What do you hope to accomplish through this blog site?

Answer_Our main purpose is to let you know that you are not alone and that there are many of us who feel the same way. We have come together as a group and actually have a plan for accomplishing our goal towards affecting change for the better. Many of you have expressed a sense of hopelessness and there is a general sense of "nothing will change." We have decided to prove to you that things will change and we are trying our very best to make these changes happen. But, it will take time! Knowing that you are behind us keeps us going. We will succeed!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

No good deed...

Apparently this blog killed the TSA meeting. Once it was discovered that we broadcasted it here, TSA decided to kill the original agenda. Time to get on the rant box, ok we're always ranting here!

This is inane! Why have a meeting with the intention of trying to get at the crux of the matter of why morale is low only to squash it once it's no longer a secret? Why is TSA trying to have secret meetings with the work force and then running for the hills once the word gets out?

As we all know, most of the TSA management here at SFO are former CAS employees. They know what is what. Most choose to remain silent because they're not interested in making improvements, they're only interested in maintaining the status quo. Which, sad to say is SOP for government bureaucrats.

What is important to remember is that we all have to look out for each other. Putting all of our hopes in TSA is obviously a colossal waste of time.

Much ado about nothing

The early reports we're getting is that the TSA meeting was just a waste of time. The topics of discussion were about how to screen PWDs, LGAs, and such. Nothing about what the meeting was advertised.

I wish we could say we're surprised, but we're not. Local TSA is blatantly aware of the situation and why morale is low. Yet, they choose to look the other way. After all, TSA is just one massive bureaucracy looking out for another bureaucracy.

That is why it is upon us to stand up and be vocal about this. TSA won't do it. SEIU certainly won't do it. And we know where CAS management stands in all of this.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Update to the TSA meeting

Found out earlier that the meeting taking place is by invitation only. If you were planning on showing up unannounced, there is a high probability that you will be turned away. No word either on just how people are being selected to attend this meeting.

Frankly, this is bull crap! First off, this meeting was only made known by word of mouth. Second, since we have no idea who is attending and how they were chosen, there's no way of knowing what type of feedback. TSA will be getting from us.

Just like the recent secret meetings that CAS has had with SEIU, these back room deals and conclaves are not right or fair to the work force that it directly affects. When will we all stand up and say enough is enough?!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Baggage sup interviews have begun

As the title states, the interviews have started and apparently it's a long list. That's good that a lot of people applied. And it seems as though the company has changed its stance on CTX 9000 Specialists being allowed to apply. Once again, that is a good thing.

All we can say is that we wish all of those who applied the best of luck. We genuinely hope that Gerardo Sanchez will choose the most experienced and qualified people for how many ever spots they intend to fill. Although if history shows us anything, that will not be the case.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

TSA Meeting this Wednesday

We got more info as to when and where this meeting is going to happen. It's apparently open to the entire workforce to attend, but keep in mind people may get turned away if too many show.

It's taking place at the TSA offices on the 5th Floor above International A checkpoint. There is a long hallway next to the exit that leads to an elevator. Take it to the 5th floor and then turn right down the hallway.

The time and date is 12PM on Wednesday, August 11. TSA wants to hear from you! Let your voice be heard. Keep in mind, though, that it's best to keep the thoughts and emotions at a professional level.

This is our chance to let TSA know what we think of Covenant.

Just how busy are we?

A skycap, for one of the bigger airlines at the airport, was asked, "how does the passenger load this year compare with last year?" His response didn't take us by surprise, he said that his airline has seen an increase in passenger volume of 40% and that they were adding more flights.

With all this extra traffic why is CAS not increasing staffing levels? They are still keeping us at extremely low levels of staffing! Are they keeping staffing levels low to maximize profits at our expense? In case management hasn't noticed, we are all stretched thin! When will this cease?

Remember, we are here to provide security. Don't let the length of the line or the amount of bags waiting to be checked influence your decisions about screening. Do not take any short cuts or rush through the process just because you might think you are doing the company a service. Do not proceed to the next item of business until you are absolutely sure that you have done your job according to the SOP. We are on camera and you are risking your job foolishly. Do your job the way TSA expects us to. Keep security first as the only theme.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Employee Appreciation Day----Ha!

To show us what we mean to them CAS has decided to have another day of hot dogs and sodas. (When it comes to free hot dogs who can refuse?) Now, this one day event on August 17th is meant to show us how much they appreciate all that we have done for them.

Now, what is it exactly that we have done for them? Let's see, hm mm, we have allowed them to keep this contract 7 years, going on 8. We have allowed them to provide some fat salaries to management. We have allowed the owner of this company to make a profit. We have allowed TSA to look the other way, while all this time they knew that we have been getting screwed. We have allowed them to think that they can keep this going because we have no power to change things. Well, we have news for them, we do have power and we plan on using it. We will not stop until some drastic changes have been made. That is our promise to you, our brothers and sisters of the workforce. It is now time for CAS to pay the piper!


We've got two items for you. Let's get to the one that affects us the most.

This current bid is now scheduled to last until November 12. The stated reason is to stay more in line with Daylight Savings Time. The next bid would last until sometime in May.

Day at a time and week at a time bids wouldn't happen until some time in October. Presumedly the bid wouldn't happen until that time frame as well.

The next news item is that TSA is going to be having a meeting with supervisors, TSOs, and CAS management about the morale around this place. That should be interesting.

We're quite positive that CAS and TSA will be free and open with information about this meeting. /sarcasm

We don't know what to think of the bid news or the TSA meeting just yet. We'll formulate more of our thoughts about this later. In the meantime, feel free to discuss it amongst yourselves.

FTP----What does that mean?

Amongst the rank and file there is this battle cry and, in it's shorten version, goes like this- " FTP."

Now, you may ask," what does FTP stand for?" Well, there are those that already have assigned a definition to this acronym, which, at the present time, we will not discuss. On the other side of this coin, we have come to believe that it means, "Friendly, Trained Professionals."

We will leave it up to you, pick which of these two definitions best describes what it means to you. Now, we don't want to influence anyone but,
we, your voice and fighter for the rights of us all, choose the former. We want to hear from you, which one have you picked?

Let your voice be heard!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Employee Appreciation Day

Well, we're having Employee Appreciation Day this coming August 17. It's on a Tuesday. Sorry, if you're off that day you will not be "appreciated." Ok, all cynicism aside, this is not a bad thing. But it's hard for the cynicism not to kick in. Because things like this just reek of insincerity and purely a photo-op for management to say, "Hey we mix it up with the workforce in a fun way! And look, we have pictures to prove it!"

While things like this are a very nice gesture, what would be even better is if they showed their appreciation on a daily or at least semi-frequent basis. Little things like coming down to the floor and just talking with us. Not talking TO or AT us, but WITH us. Saying simple things to us, such as "thanks and glad that you're here" or whatever, shows more that they care than a photo-op. And these things don't cost money. They won't affect the bottom line. And it's easy to do.

Management does read this blog. And if you're one of those managers reading this right now, think about this for a second. Show your appreciation to us, other than just an annual or semi-annual photo-op. A little bit of humility goes a long way.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum...

A relatively new TSO at West checkpoint had to screen a passenger with a brace on a leg wearing very tight fitting pants. Being relatively new the TSO asked their Lead about what to do in this situation. The Lead tells the TSO what to do and the TSO does it.

About an hour or so later, the TSO tells their STSO, Anthony Sanz, about it so that they could get some further and future clarification. Now here is where the story gets ridiculous. Most STSOs would calmly explain to the TSO the proper procedure. If the TSO actually deviated from that procedure the supervisor would probably just tell them to make certain they do it that way in the future. Well, you can only imagine what Sanz did!

Instead of doing precisely what we described above, Sanz instead freaked out and called the SCC explaining to them that he thinks they have a breach! Of course, now local TSA has to get involved and incident reports have to be filled out and so forth. Long story short, the incident became a non-incident.  After much over-reaction, no planes were called back, no terminals were closed. What a way to make a TSO feel comfortable coming to you asking you about something, huh?

Now that the interviews for checkpoint supervisor position have started, let's hope that they pick someone with a little more depth of thinking than said Mr. Sanz. Then again, we still have supervisors around that force PWDs to remove their shoes.

Monday, August 2, 2010

IMAs have begun

As most of you know, the IMAs have begun. Unlike TSA, Covenant does not offer anybody the opportunity to be re-trained and retained if you fail any re-certification tests after your last opportunity. So just remember, it's not as difficult as you may think. Take your time and take a deep breath.

In other news, we're still trying to make heads or tails of what the training department is doing for those unfortunate few that failed the OMAs. Ryan Yee, the director of training, puts incompetent Dena Crawford in charge of something that she is woefully incapable of handling. Perhaps Yee will do more of the magic wand waving, as he often does, and make it all just magically disappear.

And now a word from our former manager Jeff Pugh

When explaining what the company's goals and objectives were, Jeff would tell us that the owner of the company wanted to make a profit. Well, at what point in desiring to make a profit does it become pure greed?

We would want the same thing if this were our company. We would want a "reasonable" profit and we would make sure that our employees were fairly compensated. After all, what is our product? Our product is only as good as the people that provide this service. Without quality people we would not have a quality product.

We know the dollar value of this contract and we also know that things should have been a lot better.

What will the company show us this time? Will they realize that we are the backbone of this company? Will they realize that they should show us that they recognize that we have families that are counting on us? We will be watching!

The final piece of the Pay Band Puzzle

This information will clarify the salaries that should apply to each of us. Follow the link and please make sure to include the locality pay differential of 35.15% to the total.