As you all know, the world of Air Traffic Control is an ever changing and challenging one. So it is with the banking world currently, and EGATS does not remain unaffected. First there was the forced change of banking institutions for our accounts, where we moved from Deutsche Bank back to our former partner ABN AMRO, unfortunately with a resulting change of account numbers. Then came the full implementation of IBAN and BIC banking, bringing with it a new set of rules and formats for the Automatic Incasso contracts we had with a majority of our members. This was the direct debit system that was implemented by my predecessor just about a decade ago, whereby most of you had authorized EGATS to withdraw the money directly from your accounts, thereby saving you the trouble of remembering to do it yourself and us of having to remind you. However, due to massive changes in the European banking system, this procedure has now to be abandoned. The legal and technical requirements, not to mention the cost to EGATS, of using the new SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) Incasso agreements is just too burdensome.
What do we propose instead? Well, we have managed to agree with Eurocontrol that the annual membership fees, currently still 55 €, for those who wish, can be deducted directly from your monthly salary, and transferred to us. This would normally be done together with the January salary (i.e. end of December). For the year 2015, however, because of the timing of the change, this will most likely only be achieved with the March salary (so, end of February).
The EGATS Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on March 2nd 2015, starting at 20:00lcl at the Maastricht UAC Centre.
The preliminary agenda is as follows:
- Opening—President’s Welcome
- Acceptance of the Draft Minutes AGM 2014
- President’s Message
- Executive Secretary
Professional Committee and Technical Committee
- Our AGM is planned for 02.03.15 at 20:00 in D3.13/D3.14 The lottery for the lucky winner to travel to the IFATCA ERM will be done at the AGM, this time.
- The stop of the automatic incasso is our biggest worry at the moment. So far many members didn’t fill out the form to deduct the membership fee from their salary and didn’t pay it via bank transfer either, even after all the reminders send out. If the current situation doesn’t change EGATS would lose about 25% of our membership. We cannot tighten the budget anymore by saving on one end or the other without having to stop some of the work we do. And even more important we would represent a smaller number of OPS staff, which means our voice will not be as strong as it used to be with a powerful and strong membership backing us up. We know that a major factor for losing members is the lack of interesting flight deals, but unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it, no matter how hard we try to get deals. However you shouldn’t forget that our work goes far beyond the flight department. E.g. the new building would not be there without EGATS pushing for it for years in the past. This is just one example for our work and you can follow us the easiest under EGATS.ORG.
- EGATS is invited to start the work on the Lippe integration project and we are very keen to do so.
Our AGM is planned for 02 March 2015, at 20:00lcl
Membership Fees: after talking to Eurocontrol, we managed to have the possibility of Eurocontrol to deduct our membership fees directly from your salaries. We are very excited to have this new option, because we expect it to be easier and cheaper than the automatic incasso, which has become extremely expensive and user unfriendly with the implementation of SEPA banking. Further info will follow very shortly.
Finances: the board decided to merge the bank account of the flight department with the general EGATS bank account. The treasurer will still keep two separate books.
IFATCA: we will organize a lottery to take a member to the IFATCA ERM next year.
This was our first board meeting with the new board constitution. Here is a summary of what has been discussed:
- Task within the board: Kris will be representing EGATS in the Just Culture Project, which just kicked off. As well he will be our new third INREP peer. Steve explains his field of interest to represent EGATS in European meetings and share his experience from working in the union and staff committee. All other tasks remain unchanged.
- Improved visibility vertical exits: We approached the OMT on this and are waiting for a reply.
- New OJTI concept: Viktor is involved as OJTI officer and EGATS board member. However the progress is rather slow at the moment.
- Formation flights: We will push again for an ad-interim solution, since nothing has happened so far.
Due to Deutsche Bank's decision to end its relationship with many thousands of their customers, EGATS among them, we were forced late last year to look for a new banking partner. We have chosen to renew our relationship with ABN AMRO for a number of reasons.
Unfortunately, this changeover will affect your financial transactions with EGATS, especially regarding payment of your membership fee. EGATS will have a new account number. For security reasons, we don't publish that account number here. Please contact the EGATS Treasurer using our contact form - make sure to select 'treasurer, finance, membership' in the category field.
If you are using the incasso method of paying your yearly fee, which means you authorized us to transfer the money from your account ourselves, you need not do anything. We will continue to do so.