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[Bahamas] Air Traffic Union Willing To Talk On Overtime Pay

Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers’ Union
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[Bahamas] Air Traffic Union Willing To Talk On Overtime Pay

Unread post by bimjim » Sat Aug 22, 2015

http://www.tribune242.com/news/2015/aug ... -pay/?news

[Bahamas] Air Traffic Union Willing To Talk On Overtime Pay
RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter
Friday, August 21, 2015

BAHAMAS Air Traffic Controllers’ Union President Lashan Gray said her organisation is willing to work toward a resolution to the ongoing dispute about overtime pay, but insisted that BATCU would not waive its members’ right to their overdue money.

Mrs Gray said while she is eager to put this matter behind her, the idea of leaving wages on the table in these tough economic times is “not an option.”

“Right now we are still in an argument regarding the employees receiving what is lawful within the Employment Act while they are trying to push public service policies which are in contravention to the law,” she said.

“It appears that there is great resistance within the Department (of Civil Aviation) itself which continues to hinder progress even where agreements are made.”

According to Mrs Gray, despite the willingness by members to resolve matters, the consistent disregard by the Department of Civil Aviation towards employees’ rights are straining negotiations.

“The environment seems designed to frustrate even the most committed of employees,” she said.

Last September, BATCU filed an industrial dispute over overtime compensation.

The union alleged that air traffic controllers across the country are not being compensated correctly in respect to overtime wages.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Transport and Aviation officials have acknowledged the legitimacy of the union’s concerns, citing it as one of many matters that had to be addressed as the Department of Civil Aviation transitioned into an authority.

On Tuesday, a Sunwing Airlines flight carrying 186 passengers headed for Grand Bahama had to be diverted to the Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau because it would have arrived after the 10pm services deadline.

The air traffic controller on duty left his post when his shift ended, causing the flight diversion.

Mrs Gray said while she does regret the inconvenience caused by her union’s actions, air traffic controllers are simply working to get what belongs to them.

“Utilities are being disconnected regardless, even by the government run companies although they owe the employees. Homes are being foreclosed, despite giving tirelessly to the employer in the interest of the country,” she said.

“Essential servants must still be able to live while having to sacrifice so much.”

On Wednesday, Transport and Aviation Minister Glenys Hanna Martin accused BATCU members of “strong arming” aviation officials.

Mrs Hanna Martin also called BATCU’s recent tactics a “leveraging act” to get the government to bend to its way in ongoing negotiations.

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