Friday, April 29, 2011

Business As Usual!

It seems that CAS is at it again. Names are being circulated around concerning a position that has not yet been posted and for one that was recently announced.

From the information that was supplied to us, these people are on levels and are management favorites.

When, if ever, will CAS change their ways? We keep hoping that this company will start doing the right thing. But, it doesn't appear to be part of the corporate culture. The sad thing is that it starts at the top.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Employee Appreciation Day Starts Tomorrow!

What happens when you miss getting the work schedule that you want by one slot? Would you be upset? Of course you would!

With the number of promotions that will be announced "after" the bidding takes place there is the possibility that your seniority number would have been bumped up.

Being bumped up one or two slots would have allowed you to get the schedule that you want for the next six months! Once again management has stuck it to the workforce.

So, when thinking of how the company shows their appreciation to the workforce, think about how you missed getting what you want by one slot.

Oh, we almost forgot! What is our wonderful union doing about this?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Case of the Missing SOPs

As much as we love to rail against the ineptitude of the CAS management, we have equal feelings when it comes to TSA. One must remember that the number one objective of any good bureaucrat is to maintain the status quo. A good bureaucrat starts his or her day thinking one thing: "What do I have to do to ensure that everything stays the same?" Because change can not only be frightening, it might also mean that it will require more work and effort on one's part. Which means that the good bureaucrat will do whatever in order to avoid change.  Not maintaining the status quo could potentially lead to opportunities of being terminated.

So what is the deal with the missing SOPs? It turns out that TSA HQ wants airports to lock down the access to SOPs and want a daily accounting of those SOPs. Being the good bureaucrat that Ed Gomez is, and don't let his grandfatherly facade fool you otherwise, he had to deal with this order from his bosses. Instead of making use of the several hundreds of thousands of tax payers' dollars that are spent every year on those TSA suits by giving them something to do, he opted to have them removed from all of the locations. Now that those books are in one central location, it's very easy to have a daily accounting for the SOPs. Simple, yes?

The next time you or or your STSO have a question about SOP and can not easily get an answer, you know who to blame.

We have been asked to explain....

We have been asked to explain just why we feel that the TSA Administrator "caved" in to Rep. John Mica.

Some of our earlier postings outlined the position of Mr. Mica, and even highlighted and challenged his statement saying," “I have also asked GAO to continue to review what other factors gave the all-government model a cost advantage. It is my intent to make certain that TSA cannot arbitrarily deny any future application from an airport to participate in the private screening program. “I am confident that the private sector can not only perform better, but do so at a lower cost to the taxpayers.”

It is very obvious that he is using SFO in his comparisons to the TSA workforce. Or, do any of you really think that he is using any of the other 15?

Mica also stated,
"Nearly every positive security innovation since the beginning of TSA has come from the contractor screening program. I intend to launch a full investigation and review of this matter."

Once again we challenged that statement and asked for proof of the "positive security innovations" that came from us or any of the other 15.

We are still waiting for evidence that Mr. John L. Mica must produced to back up these statements.

A letter sent out by TSA to one of you, asking why TSA has not federalized SFO, generated, almost word for word, the exact position of John Mica. "Administrator Pistole affirmed that the current airports participating in SPP remain a valuable resource to be utilized as a comparison between private and Federal screening operations, as well as a tool to generate innovation in operations."

Notice how quiet Mr. John L. Mica has been after CAS was awarded a new 5 year contract?

The power of Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, The San Francisco Airport Commission and, let us not forget, the substantial contributions to re-election campaigns that SEIU made, and will continue to make, to the Democratic Party.

Money and influence pedaling at its best!

It's not about doing the right thing and it never has been. It's about special interest groups with special agendas. When will someone stand up and put the safety of the flying public first and foremost?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Will anyone ever review the bid lines?

Can we have someone, before it is posted, review the bid lines? How many times will they let this person keep making mistakes before they replace him? And, what is this statement saying that they will put footnotes on Ascent instead of making bid line changes to correct their mistakes?

And where is our wonderful union? Shouldn't they be dealing with this ? Exactly what is it that they do for us? Oh, that's right, they are too busy making campaign contributions, attending fundraisers and making backroom deals.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Can I Get Some Help Here?!

Suppose you're one of many managers in a small department. There's only so much to do in a day. Suppose you also have a lot of underlings to take care of many of your own duties.

This is the dilemma that presents itself to the training department each and every day. A department that has four managers to manage six trainers. Yes, I know. They theoretically manage the "training" of the work force.

As we reported last summer, Dena Crawford found a solution to this problem. So what do the others do?

Well, when Allen Morse isn't busy failing people for CORRECTLY following the SOP on their PSEs, he's busy working on his church activities.

Omar Capulong moonlights as a realtor, except that moonlighting happens during the day and at work.

When Ryan Yee isn't busy doing, wait, he's never busy! Ok, so when he doesn't have his door opened, he's busy working on his Nerdboy TV website. And if he's really desperate to fill the hours, he makes instructional videos that he hocks on Amazon on how to use a freaking web service!

Now you might suggest that Yee does most or a lot of this at home. As anyone that has worked on projects such as making a video or maintaining a website or podcasts or a very active Twitter account, these things require A LOT of time. These activities are not something you can easily squeeze in between your family time and days off. But hey, maybe there's some reason he keeps his door closed all the time.

As we have stated before, if these high paid individuals have this much free time on their hands at work, then it's time to clean house and become a little less wasting of taxpayers' dollars. Jeff Pugh, if you're reading this, it might be time to put some fear into the heads of those bigwigs in the training department.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Does anyone else wonder aside from us?

Just what is the connection between Gerry Berry and Rep. John Mica? How far back does it go? Are they childhood friends? Were they classmates at one time? Are they Vietnam war buddies?

Just what makes "The Mouth that Roared" so pro private contractor? It can't be just campaign contributions, can it? Compromising photos? What's the skinny? And just why did Administrator Pistole cave in? Was he just trying to save his TSA empire?

We shall see what we can dig up and keep you posted.
This might just make for interesting reading.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Welcome to Our New Director of Strategic Planning

After months and months of searching, the Executive Staff of Covenant Aviation Security at SFO finally found their person. It was difficult to find someone to replace our last Director of Strategic Planning, but they finally succeeded.

Oh silly me! That's right. There never was a "Director of Strategic Planning." Perhaps that's the type of job position that you have to create in order to lure someone back. After all, it's not as though you could terminate one of your untouchable management members. Wait, I guess I shouldn't tell that to Rick Tolentino.

Ok, enough with the teasing. If you don't know already, you're probably wondering just who is this "Director of Strategic Planning." It's none other than...drum roll please.........Jeff Pugh!!! As we have said many times before, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Pugh is already making his presence known by instituting a new punishment...err..rule to our dignified team members that wear the yellow lanyards. Perhaps the termination...dammit...I meant "resignation" of Tolentino, was another way to make his presence known and put a little fear into the other managers. If that is the case, more power to Pugh. God knows these managers with virtual invincibility, need a little bit of fear put into them.

Since the "Director of Strategic Planning" is a member of the executive staff, I guess that means that Pugh usurps Herr Filbert's authority. Now, if Pugh really wants to make his presence known, he could do a lot worse than getting rid of Filbert, Terence Cunningham, Shelley Burrell (ahh, never mind on that one. We all know that will never happen!), Larry Perkins, Russ Mackey, Gerardo Sanchez, Anthony Nguyen, Ryan Yee, Dena Crawford, Allen Morse, Indra Singh, have I forgotten anyone?

Now that Pugh is back, will he be insistent on DFOs? Speaking of DFOs, how do those schedules look for all of you? It kind of sucks knowing that people at checkpoint with less than two years on the job were able to get Fri, Sat, Sun off. I fully admit it was a mistake for any of you guys to stay DFO. Oh well, live and learn. You could always complain to your union rep. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

It should be interesting to see what changes Pugh will make. The big question is what exactly does that title mean? Will he be doing more of the same thing he was doing, prior to his previous departure, except with a fancier title and presumably higher salary? If that is the case, then that raises the next question as to why would they insist on keeping Herr Filbert around? Only time will tell.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Nothing but the Best

When speaking in public, it is not uncommon for an executive to talk up his or her product, even when he or she knows that his or her product may not in fact be the superior product or trust the reliability of his or her product. So it's no surprise when someone like Gerry Berry or Jeff Pugh or whomever will say that we are the best and even if we're not, we're definitely better than our TSA counterparts.

So why is it that when issues or problems arise, we are always punished or forced to do more than what is required? Let us count the ways: When people failed hand wand tests, instead of addressing the issue or individuals head on, Ryan Yee's training department response was simply to make us do additional steps in the hand wand regardless if it was required. When people failed certain X-ray tests, we were forced to do across the board bag checks on bags that had certain item/s in the bag. Or not being allowed to do pat downs below the waist while at the walk-through, even though it is allowed by the SOP. Now the latest is TDC. Because individuals failed tests, we now have to do 100 additional steps (ok, I know, an exaggeration) that are not required by the SOP. And we're once again being punished by having our STOOLS taken away! The logic behind it is well, it makes for better security, right? Ehhh...who cares if it really does? Just as long as we can show TSA that we did something, everything's all good!

This is another perfect example of what a bureaucratic paper pusher that Yee is. He doesn't care about addressing real issues and finding real solutions. All that matters is that he does something to address it. And of course, local TSA is complicit in all of this as they don't really care either just as long as TSA HQ is satisfied. Naturally, the argument to all of these additional steps/punishments will always be, "It's going above and beyond. That is better security!" Sure, go above and beyond by doing additional steps that aren't proven to be better security while focusing our collective attentions on unnecessary procedures when we could be missing real potential threats. I guess we really didn't learn anything from Engage!

Anyone that has flown out of a TSA airport will regularly see their TDC Officers sitting at comfortable chairs with a FIXED light, while we have to stand and often use faulty/inferior hand held lights. Just how does that make for better security?

With all of these additional, unnecessary requirements at checkpoint, there really is no wonder why so many DFOs decided to jump ship and go baggage, regardless of what their seniority would be (yes, there were a number that went checkpoint, but mostly because of seniority).

And where is SEIU? They allowed the company get away with being in violation of the CBA fo how long, even though it explicitly requires the company have chairs for us at TDC.

5.3 Employee Seating

The employer shall supply chairs for X-Ray machine operators as consistent with all safety, health and other regulatory requirements. Chairs shall be supplied for exit monitors during non-operational hours, or when employees are required to be at exits for 30 minutes or more during operational hours and as consistent with all safety, health and other regulatory requirements. TDC personnel shall be supplied with access to chairs during non-peak hours, or when employees are required to be at TDC position for 30 minutes or more and as consistent with all safety, health and other regulatory requirements.
So now once again we suffer. SFO Airport commission gets their kickback. Local TSA doesn't have to deal with the day-to-day operations. SEIU continues to collect our dues, and Covenant Aviation Security laughs all the way to the bank while everyone else turns a blind eye.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Silence is Deafening!

Isn't it strange that the mouth that roared has stopped roaring? Of course, we are talking about Rep. John Mica. Was his crusade against TSA just made to deter a federal takeover of SFO? What better way to accomplish your goal than to attack TSA as an out of control agency that had to be stopped!

How many times has he been quoted extolling the value of private contractors in providing airport security? Yeah, the 16 airports that are part of the SPP are a shining example of the best that money can buy. Let's see, Tupelo, MS., Jackson Hole, WY., Sioux Falls, S.D. are just a few of the shining examples.

We all know that his main target was SFO on behalf of his blood brother Gerry Berry of Winter Springs, Fla.

So, was SFO the payment to get him to stop his onslaught? Or, will he help blood brother Gerry get more airports by continuing his campaign? We are certainly surprised, but not shocked, that TSA caved in. To be continued.....

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Lesson that was never learned!

Haven't we been down this road before? Management chooses not to remember the issues that arose when we had no sign in "B" sheet. Of course, we don't want to promote any bad behavior, but weren't some employees in the early days, clocking in, going home, and then coming back to clock out at the end of their shift? (That they never worked.) Hey, wait a minute, this is a great idea, isn't it?

Maybe they have figured out a way to prevent that from happening. We are sure that they have, why else would they be foolish enough to go down this road again?

By the way, the village is calling, they need you back!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Congratulations Covenant Aviation Security!

It was privately/secretly announced last week that Covenant Aviation Security secured the contract for SFO once again. First off, was there really any doubt? I mean, if CAS can keep their contract even after it was proved that they cheated on covert tests, what would it really take for them to lose the contract?

Listen, there are a lot of shenanigans going on. Local TSA loves CAS because they do what they tell them without question. Plus, it's a lot less work for Local TSA to have to deal with. SFO airport commission loves them because CAS gives a kickback to the airport commission for agreeing to keep them there. And local government is probably ok with CAS because we're "protected" by one of the most beloved unions in the nation. More union dues collected for us means more political contributions to the incumbent politicians.

This is why none of us really should be surprised. And let's not forget that TSA won't necessarily be the great panacea that many of us are looking to. A lot of those TSA suits came from CAS. Anyway, I want to focus on a couple things that I found more interesting about this "announcement."

The first thing that jumped out at me about this "announcement" is that it was an email sent to supervisors. You might think that this would be joyous news. Why wasn't there a company wide announcement about it? Why wasn't it announced in the CAS Info?

The other thing that caught my attention in the email sent from Donnie Filbert to the supervisors was that he did not say how long the contract was renewed for. 3 years? 2 years? 1 year? 1 month??? Once again, if they had gotten a long term contract renewal, that would be something you'd want to shout about from the roof tops. So this can only lead me to believe that it was a short term contract renewal. How short exactly is anyone's guess. My uneducated guess would be a year or less.

And the last thing that I have found out is most telling. There is NO mention whatsoever in news reports about this contract renewal. With all of the heat and public attention that TSA has been getting as of late, it seems like this would be mentioned somewhere. If you can find anything, please let us know.

You can choose to read into any of this information however you please. But this is once again another example of CAS trying to keep things private away from us peons.

Our wonderful union is at it again!

Last week SEIU met with some members of our workforce for a fishing expedition. The premise was to gather information as to what we thought would best improve the CBA. We think it was an attempt by them to see how many and how much we, as a workforce, knew about our entitlements.

They don't want most of us to know that we should have shift differential. They don't want us to know about the true pay scales that we should be at. They don't want us to know that we should have family medical coverage, not just us plus one, at no cost to us. They don't want us to know how much they have shortchanged us.

Well, SEIU, it is too late! We know more than you want us to know. It is way past the time for a change.

It just doesn't hold up!

Earlier this week TSA removed a certain item from our screening locations. (Both at checkpoint and baggage locations.) If you don't know what we mean, ask your supervisors. The reason(s) that was(were) given contradict what has been found to be true for the past 8 plus years. Just what is going on?

Is this decision one that was made by local TSA? Or, is it coming from TSA headquarters? Either way it is very controversial.

We shall attempt to get an acceptable explanation, or at least one that bears up under scrutiny.