NATCA and your first probationary year?


New Member
Hello to all,

I am a new "developmental" at my facility (going on a whopping 3 whole months now...) my question is two fold actually.....

First - Is a big deal made of your being in a first year probationary status? In other words does management look at ALL your records (attendance, performance, every little thing etc.) and make some big decision as to whether to keep you on or not at the "one year" mark? Or should I not really worry to much about this, as in if I can do the job and am advancing as planned I should be o.k. (and don't really need to worry about the one time I was a minute late coming back from lunch etc.???) I suppose I am little paranoid but......

Second - I am on the fence still as to whether I should join NATCA or not. My biggest concern is that I have heard it said that during your first "probationary" year NATCA can not really do anything for your cause should the FAA decide to give you the boot for whatever reason. In addition this also happens to be a time when every penny I earn matters the most to me. Is this true? and if so why?

I apologize for all the writing, but am really wondering about these, thanks in advance to any and all who may reply!
for your first question, just don't do anything stupid. thats all that they really seemed to care about at mine. just show up and do what your told. i only had one of the 7 sups we have even mention the probationary period and he happens to be the worst sup we have(very arrogant and an a**hole that no one likes but yet is a sup). i was even late once or twice because my alarm didn't go off and called in sick once. that stuff is gonna happen. so don;t worry about it unless you start continually being late, not showing up, etc.

and second question join it. i thought about that two but i would join it. it's worth the $20 or 25 a pay period to do it. if anything happens they will help you out however they can, even in the probationary period. they will fight for you.
NATCA really can't do much for you while you are probationary. However, you should look at the concept as a whole & not just what it can do for you. The more members NATCA has the better. While they may not be able to do something just for you, it's more important to look at what they can do for controllers as a whole, especially in times like these.