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Controllers Say Congress Can Provide Final Push to Advance Implementation of New Compensation System - (3/18/1998)

WASHINGTON, D.C. --The National Air Traffic Controllers Association asked the House aviation subcommittee to provide the Federal Aviation Administration support to implement a new classification system for controllers and ensure FAA employees receive fair adjudication in labor disputes.

An updated compensation model is foremost on NATCA's list of priorities. NATCA and its FAA counterparts put in three years of work to develop a reclassification system that accurately reflects the actual activity performed and product produced by controllers.

The GS rating -- the method used to determine controllers' grades for many decades -- is based on a 30-year old model, and is not fair or representative of controllers' work. "The system we've developed is directly related to the volume and complexities at each facility. And our controller classification is based on the knowledge, skills and abilities required to safely and efficiently control the volume and complexity of traffic," said NATCA President Mike McNally.

NATCA is also working to restore the Federal Services Impasses Panel as arbiter in disputes between the union and the FAA. "We need to have access to the FSIP as a result of changes to the 1996 FAA reauthorization bill. We want access because Congress does not need to micromanage labor/management disputes," said McNally.

McNally said changing the current law would ensure FAA management negotiates with its employees in good faith and Congress does not become bogged down in personnel issues. Through the FSIP, disagreements between the FAA and its employees would be resolved in a fair and impartial manner. Other issues in text submitted for the record include staffing, modernization, privatization and Merit Systems Protection Board.

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