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NATCA Calls for Mediation in Contract Talks With FAA - (2/23/2006)

WASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association, in its efforts to reach a voluntary agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration, today has called for a mediator to join the talks when they resume on March 6.

“After a meeting this afternoon with Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director Arthur Rosenfeld and Deputy Director Scot L. Beckenbaugh, we came away convinced that mediation is the appropriate next step in our contract talks and we have made an official request for the involvement of the FMCS,” NATCA President John Carr said. “We are unhappy with the pace of the negotiations in the last two weeks. Our goal from the very first day of talks was to reach a voluntary agreement with the FAA and we still believe that agreement is possible. But we now believe a mediator can help get us to that goal.”

The FAA had called for a mediator earlier in these talks, but Carr said that at that time, “it was not appropriate because the two sides were making swift and strong progress.” However, Carr said, the pace slowed considerably over the past two weeks, with the parties agreeing to only one article. “We believe it would be fruitful for the FMCS to now join us and we look forward to such involvement.”

The parties this week wrapped up a two-week bargaining session in Seattle. The next session will begin on Monday, March 6, in Washington, D.C., and is scheduled to last two weeks.

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