FAA, Controllers Reach Tentative Labor Agreement
The long-simmering feud between the FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) over wages and working conditions has apparently been resolved. Union members will have 45 days to ratify the many issues agreed upon through mediation. But five issues decided by arbitrators, including compensation, are not subject to ratification. Natca and the FAA said in a joint statement that the agreement provides employees with greater flexibility in their work schedules, a new grievance-review process, childcare support and a variety of other gains. The two sides have been at loggerheads since June 2006, when the FAA declared an impasse in ongoing labor talks and implemented its last, best contract offer in September 2006. In April this year, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced he was sending the matter to mediation. Both the FAA and Natca said the new pact “restores a more equitable pay standard to benefit new hires as well as veterans nearing retirement.” The associated costs will be phased in over the three years of the contract.