Monday, April 18, 2011

Funky "Swing Shift" Work Schedule Yields Sleeping Air Controllers

Government Insanity/Stupidity At it's Finest...

Does anyone but me wonder why the government has people that do things as important as controlling Commercial and Private (and even some Military) Air Traffic working weird work schedules which even people that do things like building automobiles or making plastic bottles aren't asked to work.

Where I come from, if you work "shift work" you generally do "first shift" or "second shift" or "3rd night shift" for at least weeks if not months at a time.

Some people spend most of their careers working "night shift" because they like it.

But the FAA's idea of a work schedule?

Check out these details I was surprised to learn this morning about what some of the controllers are asked to do at control towers--particularly those serving smaller airports:

Union spokesman Doug Church said up to now, 25 percent of the the nation's air traffic controllers work what he called a "2-2-1″ schedule, working afternoon to night the first two days, followed by a mandatory minimum of eight hours for rest before starting two morning-to-afternoon shifts, another eight or more hours for sleep, then a final shift starting between 10 p.m. to midnight.

"Maybe we need to work in more time for rest," Church said. "You’re forcing yourself to work at a time when the body is used to sleeping."

I don't know about you, but if I were a controller I'd do like other employees in other industries that  pick a schedule and accept adequate pay to compensate me for working that schedule. 
You can't tell me that there aren't people out there that would agree to work the night shift full time for at least a big chunk of the year rather than having to switch back and forth between daytime and nighttime during the week every week.
Then again, maybe it's the Air Traffic Controller UNION thugs which are responsible for this situation.
Regardless, it doesn't make much sense to me...that coming from a guy that's flown ten flight legs in the past 8 weeks.
Maybe it's just me....

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