[Bahamas] Optimism Over Deal For Air Traffic Controllers

Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers’ Union
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[Bahamas] Optimism Over Deal For Air Traffic Controllers

Unread post by bimjim » Thu Apr 04, 2013

http://www.tribune242.com/news/2013/apr ... ntrollers/

[Bahamas] Optimism Over Deal For Air Traffic Controllers
NATARIO McKENZIE Tribune Business Reporter
Thursday, April 4, 2013

THE AIR traffic controllers’ union is headed back to the negotiating table today, its president Roscoe Perpall telling Tribune Business that plans to ‘corporatise’ the air traffic service would be “progress” and would help alleviate a number of issues.

Mr Perpall, president of the Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union (BATCU) was optimistic that a deal could be reached on a interim agreement until the union was able to secure a long term deal.

“The meeting is on tap for Thursday afternoon and we are going to try our best to arrive at some form of agreement. Right now we are still dealing with the interim agreement,” said Mr Perpall.

Before Easter the air traffic controllers’ union had rejected the government’s proposal on an interim industrial agreement. The union, which has been operating without an industrial agreement since 2008, was looking to secure a long term deal with government as well as have other outstanding issues addressed.

“We are still hoping that would happen. The government wants to put in an interim agreement and that is what they have been doing with all of the unions. They have asked us to consider that and we are trying our best to work within those limitations to arrive at a short term agreement but we are looking to get a more comprehensive agreement sometime after July 1. While we still have an uphill battle I think we will get a long term deal in the not too distant future. There are a lot of developments within the air traffic service to come in a year or two,” said Mr Perpall.

Mr Perpall said that the corporatisation issue has been raised before but with new radar equipment set to be installed along with other policies the government was looking to adopt, the issue was live again.

“The government is looking to corporatise the air traffic service. If the government decides to divide the air traffic service in accordance with some policies they have adopted, instead of being an extension of the public service, the air traffic service would probably be brought into a new corporation or be absorbed into an existing one like the Airport Authority. Once that happens a lot of the problems like compensation and expansions within the service will be simplified. We see it as progress and we are waiting for those things to happen. A lot of those things are going to come on stream probably within the next year or two. Those discussions were ongoing for a number of years but because the government is acquiring new radar equipment, as a part of the acquisition of the equipment and an improvement to the entire air traffic service some of these conditions will be in place. The government is looking to adopt some of these policies because that’s the way the world is going. It will provide more flexibility and greater efficiency,” said Mr Perpall.

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