August 9, 2010 -
Air Traffic Controllers in
The air traffic controllers’ union, Union of Air Traffic Controllers (USCA) reported that of their 2,300 controllers, 92 percent of its union members showed up to vote, of that number, 98.25 percent voted in favor of a strike.
Under government regulations the union would be required to give a ten day notice if their members choose to strike and the earliest USCA members could strike would be mid August.
Like every country today, government officials worldwide are looking for ways to cut their budgets.
officials learned through an audit that air traffic controllers’
salaries had got out of control and that some of the air traffic
controllers were making as much as $1,067,694.98 United Sates Dollars
(USD) (€810,000), ten times the pay of
Spain's audit of
its 2,300 air traffic controllers pay revealed that
- 10 controllers
were paid between $1,067,694.98 USD (€810,000) and $1,186,331.16 USD
(€900,000) last year.
- 226 were paid
between $593,195.92 USD (€450,000) and $711,851.01 USD (€540,000)
- 701 were paid
between $355,925.51 USD (€270,000) and $474,553.63 USD (€360,000)
That fact that
officials called the "millionaire salaries" enjoyed by the controllers
"incomprehensible”. Under the new government regulations controllers
will be required to work 1,600 hours a year or 30 hours a week at an
annual salary of $260,000 dollars (200,000 Euros), reduce rest periods
and cuts in overtime benefits. The controller’s current contract
stipulated a working year of 1,000 hours and overtime was paid at triple
time. Many of the controllers had over 600 hours in overtime last year.
The government has
reported that they will use the military if need be to man air traffic
control facilities should a strike take place. The government also said
they are investigating sick leave taken by air traffic controllers last
month at their control center in
also said they are investigating sick leave taken by air traffic
controllers last month at their control center in
Spanish Minister announced that the government will enlist military air
traffic controllers to assist in any instance of air traffic controllers
attempting to take any type of strike action. “We are obliged to take
alternative measures to guarantee the air traffic in
traffic controllers at .
.Blanco said he saw "no reason" for a strike and called on the controllers to adopt the new rules "without delay."
reported that the government plans to cut air traffic control by at
least $15 million USD next year through attrition, a hiring freeze and
“I have taken the
decision to take the bull by the horns and end the privileges of these
controllers”, said Blanco before the Spanish Parliament, after it was
surfaced that AENA, which manages Spain’s 48 state run airports, had
recorded a loss last year of $395 million USD.
U.S. air traffic
controllers earn a relatively fair wage and have good benefits. Median
annual wages of air traffic controllers in May 2008 were $111,870. The
middle 50 percent earned between $71,050 and $143,780. The lowest 10
percent earned less than $45,020, and the highest 10 percent earned more
than $161,010. The average annual salary, excluding overtime earnings,
for air traffic controllers in the Federal Government which employs 90
percent of all controllers was $109,218 in March 2009.
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