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Florian Harms

VATSIM Scandinavia ATC Training Director

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Dear members of VATSIM Scandinavia,

Since this is my first posting at VATSIM Scandinavia Forum (I think), let me introduce myself.  My name is Florian Harms, I am the Director of VATSIM Europe Division. Most of you might know me flying through an airspace when I am doing ATC or while I fly with one of the notorious „4df“-callsigns, trying to bring fun and the unexpected to any airport you might control from time to time.

I have been a VATSIM member since the very beginning and despite my different positions I still enjoy our hobby for more than a decade. Especially meeting with and talking to members from all hemispheres and backgrounds is the real plus of VATSIM for me.

VATSIM Scandinavia is one of the largest areas within Europe. You guys, coming from different countries in Scandinavia, have formed a whole and attracted a huge number of new members and also kept the older ones active. The community of controllers is on a very good way and the number of e.g. SAS or NAX callsigns in the virtual air in Europe is high. And let me add: this is recognized also beyond Division level.

As you might have seen in your forum, by mail or in discussions on TS, a voting process was announced to decide, who should be the next ATC Director of VATSIM Scandinavia. This process has raised some concerns by VATSIM Staff which resulted in a two hour meeting last night with your Director and other parties debating the pro's and con's of your current Rules and Regulations.

As an outcome of that discussion I have instructed theVATSIM Scandinavia Director to halt the election process.

The board of VATSIM Scandinavia recently were privileged enough to consider between two great candidates whilst many other VACCs usually have just one. Unfortunately due to the lack of a unanimous vote (6 to 1) automatically your election process kicked in, which in turn caused concerns of certain VATSIM Staff members.

The general consensus is that any ATC Training director, being one of the toughest jobs in a VACC, demanding not only knowledge but also ways to communicate to trainees, members, and staff ought to be above the danger ever being compromised. In addition we feel the task for any VACC of the size of VATSIM Scandinavia is beyond what we can ask for one member on voluntary basis, especially given that we expect seeing the member still flying, controlling and enjoying the hobby that he/she signed up for initially.

In conclusion, and due to not wanting any potential staff member ever to be in a position of being compromised, I as the VATSIM Europe Division Director and as clearly discussed with the participants of last night's meeting and with full support of VATEUR, feel that the position of ATC director of VATSIM Scandinavia shall be held by four rather than two hands.

In other words: I am hereby directing the Board of VATSIM Scandinavia to decide who should be ATC Training Director and who should be Deputy. We will respect the outcome of that decision, but there will be no public vote.

As a further outcome, VATSIM Europe Division will shortly introduce a revised version of the local constitution to make sure it is aligned with all VATSIM regulations. We are absolutely sure that the chosen setup is most beneficial for VATSIM Scandinavia and indeed its members.

If you have any questions and/or remarks on this topic please feel free to get in contact with us at director@vateud.net

Thank you all for doing great work leading to a very successful community.

Sincerely yours

 

Florian

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Florian,

Thank you for giving a good and proper explanation on why this decision is made - It all makes sence to me.

I just have a question, which is in fact adressed to the board of VATSIM Scandinavia - Will we still keep the structure with a training assistant for each country taking care of and coordinating ATC training in his/her home country within VATSIM Scandinavia?

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Best regards

 

Mikkel Lindgren

FIR Director of Copenhagen FIR

VATSIM Network Supervisor

Mentor and Examinator

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Florian: First of all, thank you for explaining, thoroughly, what's going on. I respect you tremendously and always enjoy speaking to you online!

And I know that it doesn't matter what my opinions are, since this is a board matter and probably already decided. 

BUT...

I have some difficulties grasping how on earth a TD could be "compromised" when choosen via election. We choose our director via election, and in my world he's even higher in the hierachy then the TD. So why isn't that a problem?

I'm not sure how I feel about the thought of an TD and a deputy. I can imagine that the two candidates now has their goal set for TD, not deputy. Perhaps make it a shared responsibility like we have with several TA:s? 

Or change the constitution regarding absolut majority in the board. If the votes were 6-1 I don't think anyone would have complained if the canditate with 86% of the votes would have been appointed...

Otherwise, I think the application process should be null and void, and reopened with applications for TD and for deptuty TD (which most likely will have zero applicants...)

In general I think this has been handled quite poor. We have a constitution, no one has complained about it before. We have TWO candidates for TD (and as you said, this is quite rare) which I now can imagine feels quite neglected, perhaps even to the point where they don't have the interest in applying again. So this has without a doubt hurt Vatsim Scandinavia as an organization, which at least makes me pretty sad...

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Hello Martin,

The problem doesn't lie with the hierarchy but with the function as it is. A TD's position requires expertise and an excellent ability to communicate and share his knowledge plus providing guidance to all mentors and local training staff. If you would prefer, a more clear example is to hire a head of Datacenter Development in a company and having him interviewed by the marketing guys.

The Director's position is a different story as he does not run the operational department himself. The position's duties have to do with managing and providing guidance mainly to the staff team and getting involved in a direct communication with members.

I am sure that after this process both positions will be manned too - we are doing our best to make sure Scandinavia remains operationally intact.


Andreas Dermitzakis

Deputy Director,

VATSIM Europe Division

VATSIM Senior Supervisor

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Hi Florian,

First of all thanks for thoroughly explaining your decision. What I want to talk here anyways is the VATSIM Scandinavia constitution and the way we may change it.

So first of all I think we need to agree on two main things: Firstly we need to agree that the current VATSIM Scandinavia constitution was approved by VATSIM authorities and secondly we need to agree on the very basic rule of the law in general, which is latin 'Lex retro non agit ' or in other words 'A law does not apply retroactively'.

Since the first thing doesn't really requite much discussion I will focus on the second point only.

So let's start with an easy example, so we're sure we're all on the same page here. Let's assume a situation that in a given country in a year 2014 legal approved alcohol content in blood for a car driver was 0,5‰, but then at the beginning of a year 2015 it was lowered to 0,2‰. The driver was stopped by a police on 31st Dec 2014 and the alcohol test reveled an alcohol content in drivers blood was 0,4‰. So can he be hold guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol ? I wouldn't say so, because at that very moment it was still legal.

Moving from previous example to the situation we are having over here I must say we have working and approved constitution, that is set of our laws that we have to adhere to. If the constitution says that if the board haven't reached unanimous decision then the election must be held then they indeed must be held. And since it all happened before VATEUD decided to get involved then the election must be held, the same way you can't sentence the driver in the example above.

If we think that the law is not sensible we ought to change it, but only in a way that is allowed by regulations. We can't say that from now on we'll ignore part of the constitution just because we don't like it. In the constitution point 7.4 it's clearly stated how any amendments to the constitution shall be handled:

Quote

7.4 Amendment of the Constitution

Proposals for amendments to this constitution must be announced by the board to all members for  discussion for a period of 14 days. If no objections are received by the board during this period, the  constitution will be deemed amended. If such an objection is made, a referendum on the constitution shall be put in place for a period of 14 days to determine whether the amendment  should pass.

What I'm saying here is that the law quoted above is made in order to prevent anyone from making any valid changes that may affect our community, without the community's approval. The proper way of changing constitution is to 1) propose a change, 2) propose amendment to the constitution, 3) amend the constitution 4) adhere to the new law that is in force.

Although I can't say that the decision made by VATEUD is harmful to the community or the training system, I must say that the situation was handled with no regards to the VATSIM Scandinavia constitution approved by VATSIM authorities and this is the thing that I do not like to see. Allowing any changes to the VATSIM Scandinavia constitution in this way may threaten the integrity of our community in the future.

We all have the constitution, rules and laws to follow, and by 'we all' I also mean VATSIM highest authorities. If you set or approve rules then be sure to follow them too as any other VATSIM member.

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3 hours ago, Andreas Dermitzakis said:

Hello Martin,

The problem doesn't lie with the hierarchy but with the function as it is. A TD's position requires expertise and an excellent ability to communicate and share his knowledge plus providing guidance to all mentors and local training staff. If you would prefer, a more clear example is to hire a head of Datacenter Development in a company and having him interviewed by the marketing guys.

The Director's position is a different story as he does not run the operational department himself. The position's duties have to do with managing and providing guidance mainly to the staff team and getting involved in a direct communication with members.

I am sure that after this process both positions will be manned too - we are doing our best to make sure Scandinavia remains operationally intact.

Thank you for your reply.

As Aleksander mentions above, it must take quite a lot for Vatsim and Vateud govs to engage in this small local matter, where the only persons acctually affected by this are the two candidates whom I can only imagine must feel quite bad about all of this...

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I am hereby directing the Board of VATSIM Scandinavia to decide who should be ATC Training Director and who should be Deputy.

As a candidate, I sincerely hope that myself and my fellow candidate will be asked for our opinions in this matter before such a decision is made. I feel uneasy that I should be appointed a position that I did not originally apply for!

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I am a bit torn as to what to think and feel here.... 

I am also confused as to why it is that an elected "official" can be more compromised over an "official" appointed by a board. I would say the latter has more potential for being compromised as it may not be as transparent why and how that particular individual was elected/appointed. Agreeing completely with Mr. Storma's point about retroactivity, I am wondering why democracy seems to be so scary that members cannot vote for the "officials" representing and working for, with and by them. Above all else, elections are the Scandinavian way of doing things :)

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And Aleksander makes, as Boaz mentions above, another valid point.

It may be that the constitution needs to be changed, but then it has to change AFTER the vote has been finalized and we have an elected TD. None of the two brilliant candidates has any hostile behaviour (to date ;) ).

It makes us (and now I mean Vatsim Scandinavia as an organization) feel extremely small when first one of the highest members of the Vatsim board, and later now even Andreas who's also a "big shot" (intrepet this correct) from Vateud.

I hope that the board reconsiders laying flat, and keep standing up for our current constitution. Changes can be made, afterwards. Right now it makes the two candidates look like fools and it really puts them in an awkward position...

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Hello Gents,

The main issue we have is that the current Scandinavian Constitution that was approved in 2003 or 2004 should have been changed by default when GRP and TVCP came into effect but this was never done. In essence the current constitution is not aligned or compliant with VATSIM´s CoR and CoC therefore we need to amend it accordingly.

When we reach to a point that it is required for a local facility to change its regulations then the supervising facilities have the power to amend them without any limitations from the policy itself. And this is the case now. Alexander, you quoted the amendment requirements as set in the current Constitution, however this does not apply for required changes to get it in line with the rest of the regulations of the supervising facilities; we will not change something that can be left at the discretion of the staff/members of your community.

The example you provided is not applicable here. Because at the time of the announcement there was a set of rules contradictory to the CoR (starting in 2003) in an extend does not mean we can continue with it, don't mix it with a real legal system.

To let you know of the further steps, the process of the amendment and the appointment will be rather fast, probably even faster than facilitating a vote. As I stated on my previous post, operationally the vACC will not be affected by this process.

To clarify though, your vACC's Board still acts as a selection panel for TD position.

Edited by Andreas Dermitzakis

Andreas Dermitzakis

Deputy Director,

VATSIM Europe Division

VATSIM Senior Supervisor

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If there is no vote I'm out of here. I believe in democracy, this WE HAVE THE POWER bs is not modern world. Rule is a rule. As an old fart in vatsim community I can say just this. no big deal as currently i don't have much time for the ATC

 

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But wait a second. I still don't buy that there is need for a deputy. The TD already has a ton of them, one for each country to be exact. Which means the TD doesn't have to micromanage each country, since this is delegated to the TA:s

I can buy that the constitution needs to be amended if it's outdated. But to appoint a new role, the deputy TA, whos work is quite hard to pinpoint, just feels like smoothing things over.

Look at Claus, he managed to be TD and TA Denmark at the same time. THEN I can accept that the workload is to big, but he made an excellent job, and even managed to be online controlling from time to time.

 

In my world, the only thing this has accomplished is upsetting this entire community, and the two candidates. 
My suggestion to the board is to bring the matter to the table again, and make another run at voting. This would save face at least... And then make an amendment to the constitution removing absolute majority and replacing it with qualified majority. If the numbers were 6-1 I doubt that any of the candidates (or other members) would disapprove...

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Dear Andreas,

So I made an effort of going through 'VATSIM Code of Conduct' , 'VATSIM Code of Regulations', 'VATEUR Policy', 'VATEUD Policy and Regulations', 'Transfer and Visiting Controller Policy' and 'Global Ratings Policy'. While going through the documentation I have found nothing that would indicate that our VATSIM Scandinavia constitution stands contradictory to any of above mentioned documents. Could you please point out which parts of VATSIM Scandinavia constitution are contradictory to which points of documents mentioned by you ?

Please, if you mention any regulations give a source, otherwise  we will not be able to discuss the issue effectively. I literally feel like you mentioned all VATSIM regulations that you could, but from my research non of those prohibit a Training Director to be selected by election.

On a side note I'd like to express my feeling that suddenly creating additional board position (Deputy Training Director) will in fact affect operationally our community since the VATSIM Scandinavia constitution doesn't mention such a position, there's only Training Director. Also it will disrupt the well established and well working machinery of our community.

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2 hours ago, Andreas Dermitzakis said:

... In essence the current constitution is not aligned or compliant with VATSIM´s CoR and CoC therefore we need to amend it accordingly.

To let you know of the further steps, the process of the amendment and the appointment will be rather fast, probably even faster than facilitating a vote. As I stated on my previous post, operationally the vACC will not be affected by this process.

Ok, so, first, why are elections against VATSIM policies? Granted I have not read all the referenced documents - nor do I feel I should need to as I would expect the people setting out these rules should be able explain why things are like they are - it seems like a trend opposite the rest of the world. 

Secondly, is speed really the issue here? Let's keep in mind this is a hobby and not a day job. With waiting lists the length they are, the time it takes to acquire he various levels of controlling, is speed really an issue?

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15 hours ago, Kristian Kling said:

As a candidate, I sincerely hope that myself and my fellow candidate will be asked for our opinions in this matter before such a decision is made. I feel uneasy that I should be appointed a position that I did not originally apply for!

Just a note from me about that: I would actually love the deputy position :) The possibility to inflict so much with the training, able to help so many people, make sure everything is running smoothly, and most important of all.... No responsibility :D

 

10 hours ago, Martin Werner said:

Look at Claus, he managed to be TD and TA Denmark at the same time. THEN I can accept that the workload is to big, but he made an excellent job, and even managed to be online controlling from time to time.

Deputy is not a bad thing in my opinion. Claus did a great job, yes! But he worked too much with this, much more then we could expect from one guy. 

I'l post something for you all that I posted in the Board forum:

 

Quote

 

Just shooting in my thoughts here. I see nothing bad coming from having a Training Director and a Deputy Training Director. Two people with the same access (atsimtest etc) and both added to td@vatsim-scandinavia.org etc, can only be better. They can work together and split tasks between them, be available all year long (set up vacations so that they dont overlap with each other and the Director). This is the way the VATSIM community is going, more people on the same job since this is all voluntary work.

In my opinion this (the deputy thing) is a good thing. When it some to all the other stuff about not being able to vote and stuff, I think you all know what I meen about that -_-

So embrace the "future" and make sure that the TD is not overworked like before, and give the TD a "right hand" :)
This should not affect the Training assistants at all in my opinion, they are doing such a great job that there should not be any need to change anything in the respective countries. But the TD has a lot of assignments that usually is "pushed to the back of the head" because normal day-to-day work is enough.

Making sure Training material is up to date is a critical job, that can be overseen by the deputy etc.

 

 

 

And people, the decision is already made. The sooner we can accept it, the sooner we can move forward :) I have had some nights now where I've woken up literally pissed and angry with some people for butting in and destroying something we have worked hard for to build. But you all should know, we will have to change the constitution again, and this time we have learned a lot so we wont make the same mistake again. 

First, i thought this is outrages to deny us the right to be a democracy. But after a week, when looking at some different ways of solving how we proceed from here, I see a few solutions that might actually work even better :) The organization we have in VATSIM Scandinavia right now is an "outdated" kind, so we can modernize the organization without it having affecting anyone. I really hope we can just get this TD business over with (in some way or another), and then over the summer start a thread on the forum to discuss and throw balls together to come up with good ways to "comply" with the regulation set by VATSIM and still be a good community for the members :)

 

Also I would suggest asking the two candidates if anyone of them would like the "job" as deputy training director. I would want it if I had the time :)

 

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Even after taking some time to think about it, I'm still puzzled as to what exactly it was in this situation that caused so much concern in VATSIM staff that they pushed the panic button. It is unfortunate that the board were unable to reach an unanimous decision on the matter, but rather than continuing to spend their valuable time with a deadlock situation, presenting the two qualified candidates for a vote as per our constitution just makes sense (qualified being the key word there, as either of them would - as I understand it - have been chosen had their application been the only one).

Like Aleksander above, I'm also curious as to which document or documents - and which specific part/s of it - prohibit a vote like this? Listing some years (at least 2003 and 2004 have been mentioned) and various VATSIM related documents without any clarification just strikes me as odd. You probably know the documents better than most members here, and perhaps even the reasoning behind the text, so a bit more effort in trying to explain your actions and the rules behind them would probably be appreciated by many of our members.

If a deputy TD position is decided to be added (I have no idea if we need one or if the position can attract applicants, it all depends on the job description), it may be best to halt the whole process until new job descriptions for both the TD and the deputy TD have been drafted. After that a new application period for both positions, and hopefully there will be applicants...

If all else fails, here's my proposal to get things moving again:

We go ahead and vote.

The vote, instead of deciding who is chosen, is a consultative one.

Once the voting ends, the board meets. They review the candidates again, taking into consideration possible new information since their last vote (such as the consultative member vote, if they so choose). Then they vote again, hopefully reaching a decision for us. If not, well, then it's time to think of a new plan.

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18 hours ago, Jouni Pyhajarvi said:

If there is no vote I'm out of here. I believe in democracy, this WE HAVE THE POWER bs is not modern world. Rule is a rule. As an old fart in vatsim community I can say just this. no big deal as currently i don't have much time for the ATC

 

Jouni, I want to believe that this won't be the case. We value the opinion of our membership base and personally I believe in democracy too and you've had this chance once you voted for a Director and all your FIR Chief's. If you want me to give you an example, in RL, you vote for your MP's. You don't vote though for whom takes the Finance Minister position, he may not be an MP either. What my point is, on the expert positions you cannot elect, you can only select. In this case, this selection panel is going to be your Board. We have no intention and will not dictate your team who is taking the position but I want you to understand the importance of such positions. 

 

I hope this helped and you can understand that we are not killing the elections from all positions in our vACC's but for the ones requiring experts that their selections is based on both quantitive and qualitative variables complex enough that we need to be absolutely certain in their selection. This, in a vACC (and not only) applies for three departments, the Training, Membership and IT. It is the ones that handle your training your data and your services respectively.

17 hours ago, Martin Werner said:

But wait a second. I still don't buy that there is need for a deputy. The TD already has a ton of them, one for each country to be exact. Which means the TD doesn't have to micromanage each country, since this is delegated to the TA:s

I can buy that the constitution needs to be amended if it's outdated. But to appoint a new role, the deputy TA, whos work is quite hard to pinpoint, just feels like smoothing things over.

Look at Claus, he managed to be TD and TA Denmark at the same time. THEN I can accept that the workload is to big, but he made an excellent job, and even managed to be online controlling from time to time.

 

In my world, the only thing this has accomplished is upsetting this entire community, and the two candidates. 
My suggestion to the board is to bring the matter to the table again, and make another run at voting. This would save face at least... And then make an amendment to the constitution removing absolute majority and replacing it with qualified majority. If the numbers were 6-1 I doubt that any of the candidates (or other members) would disapprove...

Martin, your thinking is partly correct here and quite obvious. This guy has 5 assistants, why he needs a deputy? First and most important reasoning is that there is a need of redundancy in your setup and not only. If I can use an example on how this works it would be our setup in EUD. You have two guys, with the same permissions and powers so firstly the load is being shared and there is no loss of interest in the longer term, you get always a second opinion in day to day decisions which is absolutely needed and this list can go on for ever. Claus is currently doing all recommendations for rating upgrades, in case of an absence of the TD there is a need for a second person in the Training Department with the same perms to perform those. 

And the solution is what was picked up here. The fact that Claus managed both positions at a time doesn't mean we should ever get someone in the same position which I can guarantee you it should have been rather difficult to manage though. 

For the constitution, we can and we will have a full discussion but we need to close firstly the TD's topic.

In regards of the selection of the TD and the DTD, this is at your Board's level and discretion and will be decided once they reach out to the candidates with a decision. 

17 hours ago, Aleksander Storma said:

Dear Andreas,

So I made an effort of going through 'VATSIM Code of Conduct' , 'VATSIM Code of Regulations', 'VATEUR Policy', 'VATEUD Policy and Regulations', 'Transfer and Visiting Controller Policy' and 'Global Ratings Policy'. While going through the documentation I have found nothing that would indicate that our VATSIM Scandinavia constitution stands contradictory to any of above mentioned documents. Could you please point out which parts of VATSIM Scandinavia constitution are contradictory to which points of documents mentioned by you ?

Please, if you mention any regulations give a source, otherwise  we will not be able to discuss the issue effectively. I literally feel like you mentioned all VATSIM regulations that you could, but from my research non of those prohibit a Training Director to be selected by election.

On a side note I'd like to express my feeling that suddenly creating additional board position (Deputy Training Director) will in fact affect operationally our community since the VATSIM Scandinavia constitution doesn't mention such a position, there's only Training Director. Also it will disrupt the well established and well working machinery of our community.

Alexander, this will be brought a bit latter on. All points requiring attention have been brought to your Board though for further consideration to get in accordance with the rest of the rules and regulations and above all provide more flexibility.

The instruction for a selection instead of an election is coming directly from the Founders and the BoG. 

For the DTD and the operational part it is my reply to Martin just above that you may refer to.

If you have any questions/concerns though about the TD process feel free to express them.

16 hours ago, Boaz Lev said:

Ok, so, first, why are elections against VATSIM policies? Granted I have not read all the referenced documents - nor do I feel I should need to as I would expect the people setting out these rules should be able explain why things are like they are - it seems like a trend opposite the rest of the world. 

Secondly, is speed really the issue here? Let's keep in mind this is a hobby and not a day job. With waiting lists the length they are, the time it takes to acquire he various levels of controlling, is speed really an issue?

Boaz, I have not written that the election process is against VATSIM Policies. The election process of a TD/Membership/IT is not valid though. And this is an instruction directly from the Founders and the BoG we need to respect. 

1 hour ago, Juha Holopainen said:

Even after taking some time to think about it, I'm still puzzled as to what exactly it was in this situation that caused so much concern in VATSIM staff that they pushed the panic button. It is unfortunate that the board were unable to reach an unanimous decision on the matter, but rather than continuing to spend their valuable time with a deadlock situation, presenting the two qualified candidates for a vote as per our constitution just makes sense (qualified being the key word there, as either of them would - as I understand it - have been chosen had their application been the only one).

Like Aleksander above, I'm also curious as to which document or documents - and which specific part/s of it - prohibit a vote like this? Listing some years (at least 2003 and 2004 have been mentioned) and various VATSIM related documents without any clarification just strikes me as odd. You probably know the documents better than most members here, and perhaps even the reasoning behind the text, so a bit more effort in trying to explain your actions and the rules behind them would probably be appreciated by many of our members.

If a deputy TD position is decided to be added (I have no idea if we need one or if the position can attract applicants, it all depends on the job description), it may be best to halt the whole process until new job descriptions for both the TD and the deputy TD have been drafted. After that a new application period for both positions, and hopefully there will be applicants...

If all else fails, here's my proposal to get things moving again:

We go ahead and vote.

The vote, instead of deciding who is chosen, is a consultative one.

Once the voting ends, the board meets. They review the candidates again, taking into consideration possible new information since their last vote (such as the consultative member vote, if they so choose). Then they vote again, hopefully reaching a decision for us. If not, well, then it's time to think of a new plan.

Juha, I must have answered all of your questions above, if not please feel free to illustrate the points you would like to.


Andreas Dermitzakis

Deputy Director,

VATSIM Europe Division

VATSIM Senior Supervisor

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Hi Andreas,

I'm sorry to point out that first you state that the VATSIM Scandinavia constitution is not compliant with CoC and CoR and then about 19 hours later you go on to say that in fact it's VATSIM Founders and the BoG that that ordered TD to be selected and not elected. It's hard to miss the fact that you (VATEUD) can't really keep up with the regulations and point us once here, then there just to mislead us in finding the regulatory basis behind this situation that we have here.

I'm not really discussing the Training Director issue here anymore. What I want to point out is that you simply come in here and out of the sudden, without stating any regulatory background, decide that the constitution that our community have is no longer valid. This time it's Training Director issue, but being prudent I can't stop myself from asking a question 'So what else can they decide for us ?!'. Moreover please keep in mind that VATEUD has no regard to our constitution.

I know that having you here as relatively new members to this forum makes things a bit harder, but please look around and see that whatever is done to change anything in the structure of VATSIM Scandinavia it's firstly discussed with the community and then the change is made. With all the respect it should not be done the other way around. There are many members that actively create this community, they put their own time and effort in order to ensure that things are working well, I wonder why are all of those people omitted  when it comes to making changes to the community they are involved in, and with all due respect are way more involved than VATEUD authorities.

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Alexander,

The fact that VATSIM Scandinavia's constitution is not in line with the Regulations has nothing to do with the fact that there was an instruction from the BoG and the Founders that this change is also getting EUD policy too, in regards of this specific issue which is kept and getting handled at EUD level though. We are not either misleading you neither fail to respond pointing the regulations against your constitution. However, to keep the discussion on its rails, here we are discussing about the TD issue. In regards of the constitution as we have spotted specific paragraphs that need a change and provided that to your Board already I am more than sure that at a point they believe it is proper they will share it with you as well as with the rest of the membership base.

We are fully aware on how the community works and I must admit that it is at a reference level for the rest of the local facilities too. The procedure you are describing works in most of the cases and as you've said, in all those previous discussions you've held none has interfered. However, either if we find something that goes wrong in a facility either something is against the rules and regulations it is the only time we may give a direction.


Andreas Dermitzakis

Deputy Director,

VATSIM Europe Division

VATSIM Senior Supervisor

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Andreas: Thank you for your answers. I appreciate that someone involved in this fiasco at least explains to all us not in the know.

But to clarify: Vatsim/Vateud has ORDERED Vatsim Scandinavia to implement a new board member in the form of Deputy Training Director? Is that a correct assumption or are the board free to ignore that and just appoint a TD and move on like before (but with smaller adjustments to the constitution)?

Because in all reality, I still dont see any reason why we should have two people doing one persons job. One person which, as I mentioned before, already has a bunch of deputys already.

Since I'm not "ITK" I wont continue this discussion, but I want to add that this has made me question my role in this organization, if Vatsim/Vateud feels the need to micromanage such a nonsense as the appointment of a local board member.

I, as well as a LOT of others are annoyed, disappointed and frankly pissed off that a vACC isn't allowed to handle its own business without having some higherups interfering.

Again, I apreciate your work and dedication for our broader community, but this has only stirred things in the completely wrong direction!

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Hello, everyone!

As Director I have tried to keep as good as possible transparency in our organisation in board decision making, where every decision was based on parent organisation or our own constitution and I think I have done rather good. Our constitution has been amended twice and latest amendment was approved February 2016 after ½ year of discussion, survey, proposals and about 4-5 days of late adjustments by VATEUD to get our constitution in line with parent organisations regulations.

Tuesday evening meeting

I was called to meeting with representatives from Board of Governors, VATEUR and VATEUD Tuesday evening, where it became totally clear without any possibility for negotiation that even if VATSIM Scandinavia is in BOG, VATEUR and VATEUD view an "blueprint" how an vACC should be run as administration and with increasing statistics in ATC hours and pilot movements, that "active ATC member" are not allowed to elect executive staff position. The possibility was an oversight in reviewing our constitution during the amendments that have been done over the years.

The process

After discussion in board meeting room over the topic (about 30 posts) I decided to have an voting in board to see if we had an unanimous decision. Board did not reach unanimous decision. Both candidates fulfil every requirement for the position, both candidates is approved by VATEUD in regards of upcoming requirements in VATEUD regulations, to say it straight "many vACC´s would be green of envy" how good candidates we have to the position. With that I had no problem to rely on the constitution and forward this to next stage in application process "active ATC voting". The decision not to negotiate within the board to get an unanimous decision was mine and mine alone, as I am strong believer that each executive staff member has the right to his own opinion.

 The dictate

On ‎16‎.‎6‎.‎2016 at 0:11 AM, Florian Harms said:

I am hereby directing the Board of VATSIM Scandinavia to decide who should be ATC Training Director and who should be Deputy. We will respect the outcome of that decision, but there will be no public vote.

This is straight from Founders of VATSIM and Board of Governors, so please do not shoot the messengers Florian and Andreas.

This is an non-constitutional decision VATSIM Scandinavia board have to take and we have no leverage to change it. If we are not able to get this done (applicants withdraw their application/not interested in deputy Training Director position,.........), I await next dictate from parent organisation, as we clearly are deprived of our election process according to our newly approved constitution.

  Deputy Training Director position

There is different views of the position as Deputy Training Director, is it needed or not. Ideally it would be Training Director that start the process regarding "do we need Deputy Training Director" with the board, but that is not the case now.

I share @Mathias Johnsen opinion regarding Deputy Training Director as there are tasks to be done for two with ease. With that said, we should be extremely happy to have had and still have @Claus Hemberg Joergensen as Training Director, he is also in the category "many vACC´s would be green of envy" of his performance and expertise over the years.

Answers on questions, as best as I can:

On ‎16‎.‎6‎.‎2016 at 0:46 AM, Mikkel Lindgren said:

Will we still keep the structure with a training assistant for each country taking care of and coordinating ATC training in his/her home country within VATSIM Scandinavia?

I do not see any reason why this should change, but still this is Training Director decision to make as it´s Training Departments assistants.

On ‎16‎.‎6‎.‎2016 at 0:12 PM, Martin Werner said:

So this has without a doubt hurt Vatsim Scandinavia as an organization, which at least makes me pretty sad...

Yes, that is absolutely true! In my mind, the deciding parties had and have not an clue how much energy they are taking out of our organisation that could be put on our main tasks to provide our services instead. I am very sorry, but there is at least one head that you have right do "behead", so I am comfortable to receive notice that "Referendum of distrust of the Director" have started, as I was not able to protect our services according to our constitution.

On ‎16‎.‎6‎.‎2016 at 6:30 PM, Kristian Kling said:

As a candidate, I sincerely hope that myself and my fellow candidate will be asked for our opinions in this matter before such a decision is made. I feel uneasy that I should be appointed a position that I did not originally apply for!

I have reached out to @Kristian Kling and @Arvid Hansson by email and will hopefully speak to them both on Skype or TeamSpeak during the weekend. This is an extremely awkward situation and I will make the most to answer every question they have and will try to share my thoughts (positive ones), as we can´t lay down and die! We need to move forward!

On ‎16‎.‎6‎.‎2016 at 8:10 PM, Martin Werner said:

It may be that the constitution needs to be changed, but then it has to change AFTER the vote has been finalized and we have an elected TD. None of the two brilliant candidates has any hostile behaviour (to date ;) ).

There was much communication during the meeting Tuesday evening, so much that I needed to ask Andreas the day after "what happened" during certain questions. I defended the thought you mention @Martin Werner so fiercely, that decision to "throw VATSIM Scandinavia constitution in the trash bin this evening" was evaluated and of course my position also. With that you all probably understand how strong Founders and Board of Governors think about this.

On ‎16‎.‎6‎.‎2016 at 10:01 PM, Andreas Dermitzakis said:

To let you know of the further steps, the process of the amendment and the appointment will be rather fast, probably even faster than facilitating a vote.

Here I must say that this is wrong, unless this will be dictated for us. In normal process it takes at least few months to achieve this! We have done two amendments during my period as Director and both of them took 3 - 6 months to be done.

 

15 hours ago, Mathias Johnsen said:

And people, the decision is already made. The sooner we can accept it, the sooner we can move forward :) I have had some nights now where I've woken up literally pissed and angry with some people for butting in and destroying something we have worked hard for to build. But you all should know, we will have to change the constitution again, and this time we have learned a lot so we wont make the same mistake again. 

Absolutely true! 

10 hours ago, Juha Holopainen said:

If all else fails, here's my proposal to get things moving again:

We go ahead and vote.

The vote, instead of deciding who is chosen, is a consultative one.

That is still an non-constitutional process suggestion, how much ever I like it!

I am not about to breach our constitution more than I have to! We have an non-constitutional decision from the meeting Tuesday evening and if the decision change we have to live with that!

One thing is clear, the parties that have decided/dictated this have to specify clearly how we proceed with non-constitutional process.

 

Magnus   

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So all the talk about our constitution being not fully in line with various VATSIM regulations had nothing to do with the election but instead against something the Founders and/or BoG have decided? I'd say that's an important piece of information to the discussion, why not bring it up from the start to save everyone's time? In all honesty I can't say I'm impressed with how this matter has been handled, but having said that, I appreciate you taking the time trying to explain the actions taken, and I'm still somewhat hopeful for an outcome both parties would feel good about.

In case the instruction isn't readily available for the public somewhere, would you mind revealing its exact contents here? Does it really ban elections like this one? I see the point for ensuring qualified personnel in certain key positions, but when the vote is set up so the membership is only given acceptable candidates to vote from, why is it expected to automatically go awfully wrong? Maybe this should be brought up to the Founders/BoG, it's possible they haven't thought of every possible scenario...

I'm sure both the Founders and BoG realize that in an organization the size of VATSIM, a situation where some of the rules are written down for everyone to read and others are only revealed when you happen to break them, cannot work. When the rules need changing, let's change them - quickly if necessary, but until then the old rules must apply. I think that if in Aleksander's blood alcohol limit example the limit had been lowered to .2 a week earlier without telling anyone, it would be outrageous to prosecute the poor redneck even if he was technically guilty. The community needs to be able to rely on basic stuff like this to function in the long term. Sometimes the drunk gets away with it on the last day of the old rules, but that's a price that has to be paid.

In any case, we shouldn't hurry into any major changes, there's no need to get everything done by tomorrow. If the constitution has been wrong for years, it can surely remain wrong for some weeks until all the necessary updates can be made. The same goes for the training organization. Having a DTD has its pros and cons, we need to decide on what works best and then argue the case further if necessary.

And yes, I would happily vote in a Financial Minister election if it only stood in our constitution that a vote must be arranged should the politicians be unable to make a decision :D

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@Juha Holopainen you most probably understand that this situation is rather overwhelming regarding information and communication all over the place. I still not have had the time to find out what in our constitution is out of line with various VATSIM regulations. I haven´t clearly been presented with any type of VATSIM regulation paragraph that our way of electing executive staff position, so it´s in my mind an clear "ideological" thought Founders and Board of Governors have and that thought is so strong that they will overrun our constitution.

Our constitution was reviewed and amended  by VATEUD as required january-february this year, after VATSIM Scandinavia members had accepted the proposal for amendment, to get it totally inline with VATSIM regulations.

12 hours ago, Juha Holopainen said:

In case the instruction isn't readily available for the public somewhere, would you mind revealing its exact contents here? Does it really ban elections like this one?

I do not have that information or I haven´t been bright enough to find out. @Andreas Dermitzakis or @Florian Harms maybe can inform about that?!

12 hours ago, Juha Holopainen said:

In any case, we shouldn't hurry into any major changes, there's no need to get everything done by tomorrow. If the constitution has been wrong for years, it can surely remain wrong for some weeks until all the necessary updates can be made. The same goes for the training organization. Having a DTD has its pros and cons, we need to decide on what works best and then argue the case further if necessary.

Very well said!

Magnus


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13 hours ago, Magnus Gustafsson said:

I am very sorry, but there is at least one head that you have right do "behead", so I am comfortable to receive notice that "Referendum of distrust of the Director" have started, as I was not able to protect our services according to our constitution.

I sincerely do not think this will be a case here. You haven't been able to protect our constitution, but clearly no one within our community would be able to. I think that within this discussion we have revealed many valuable points, but decision was already made for us- no questions were asked, community's opinion wasn't relevant for VATSIM authorities. To me it's really sad to see that VATSIM authorities may approve a regulation and then have no regard towards it.

As to VATSIM Founders, BOG, VATEUR and VATEUD: If you make any kind of regulations, be sure it's available to every user. If it's not available to everyone then don't expect anyone to follow it.

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I tip my hat to you @Magnus Gustafsson for explaining things from "our" side. I agree with @Aleksander Storma above that the VATSCA board is NOT to blame for any of this, and I have full confidence in you as our director.

BUT...

If VATEUD, VATEUR or VATSIM, after reviewing the new constitution several times, during all the changes over the past few years without finding anything wrong, now forces us to change it, or rather invalidate it all together, that should be THEIR problem! This is THEIR head to bear!

If this ridicoulus decision forced upon us to implement a completely unnecessary board position, just because they say so, then me and @Oskar Sunnanhagen will resign from our position, effective immedeatly, in pure protest. I have a feeling that a few others from our fantastic swedish training team will most likely follow. Our current TD already has several deputys, and we shouldn't accept to be forced to appoint something not needed, making our TA positions even less worth...

It's nothing but a disgraceful behaviour, that has seriously hurt my level of engagement and trust in the organizations above us. Not to mention what this must have done to hurt our two excellent candidates. Two people I now am happy to call my friends, @Kristian Kling and @Arvid Hansson

So now I beg of the board of Vatsim Scandinavia to promptly ignore the demands from above, and schedule another meeting to try to find our new TD as soon as possible. If the voting numbers indeed were 6 to 1, I think it shouldn't really be so hard. Afterwards I also strongly encourage the board to amend the constitution so that absolute majority isn't needed in cases like this, so this will never happen again.

I understand that a vACC must adhere to the mother organizations, but enough is enough. This is (and excuse my language) pure bullshit and nothing but a form of supression technique.

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