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Follow-Up Statement From John Carr: "Negotiations Are Over... FAA Knows It." - (3/31/2006)

Statement of NATCA President John S. Carr concerning NATCA/FAA Contract Talks:

We have been made aware that the FAA is now claiming that contract talks have not broken down. It is true that the parties will meet next week for the formal exchange of proposals, but as anyone with knowledge of bargaining knows, the meeting scheduled next week is nothing more than a technicality. Final offers have been exchanged and rejected and negotiations are over – the mediator knows it, NATCA knows it, and the FAA knows it.

The FAA is now trying to deny its responsibility for the breakdown in these talks. The reality is that the FAA caused this breakdown by rejecting a NATCA offer that would have saved taxpayers $1.4 billion dollars. Any claim to the contrary is simply not based on the facts of this situation. The mediator released both parties from mediation and no further talks are scheduled or contemplated. This breakdown was caused by the FAA.

The FAA’s childish foot-stomping notwithstanding, they bear complete and total responsibility for today’s unfortunate conclusion. There is absolutely no reason for NATCA to end talks. The current contract is better than our last, concession-laden contract proposal at the bargaining table, and our current contract stays in effect until there is a new contract. We could literally talk forever and continue to enjoy the contract we currently work under. NATCA made the mistake of bargaining in good faith with an employer that is more interested in pursuing a political agenda than it is in public safety.

The FAA’s desperate hypothesis that “talks continue” is more tired rhetoric from an agency that has never been known for its credibility. Now that the FAA is hell-bent on becoming “FEMA with wings,” there’s really no telling what they will say, but you can be certain of this: not too much of it will be true. The American public will have an opportunity to hear both sides in the coming weeks, and we are confident that when they hear us, they will respond.

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