Gibraltar’s air traffic controllers accept three-year pay deal


Gibraltar’s air traffic controllers accept three-year pay deal

After a long-running dispute and industrial action, Prospect’s air traffic controllers in Gibraltar have accepted an improved pay offer.

The deal covers pay awards due on 1 January 2018, 2019 and 2020 and includes:

  • a 2.7% increase in 2018
    an On the Job Training Instructor (OJTI) payment of £1,200 a year
    a new additional voluntary attendance (AVA) rate of £420
  • a 2.9% increase in 2019
    full consolidation of all basic pay for defined contribution pension scheme members
    a one-day increase in annual leave
  • Gibraltar RPI increase in 2020
    a new ATCO service delivery allowance: £3,250 (dual-rated) £1,500 (single-rated)
    an AVA payment of £600 for extensions beyond 02:00.

The offer is a significant increase in the pay of Gibraltar ATCOs in return for manageable changes in working practices.

Prospect negotiator Steve Jary said: “The new service delivery allowance will increase the pay of a dual valid ATCO on the maximum of the Gibraltar scale by 5% on 1 January.

“This would more than recover the difference between basic pay increases in Gibraltar and the UK in 2018 and 2019.

“There is no doubt that we would not have got to this position had it not been for the industrial action.

“The action demonstrated the importance of our members’ goodwill and flexibility in keeping the operation going – and just how much the airport relies on its ATCOs’ contribution.”

Prospect’s dispute with air traffic services provider, NATS, arose from failed negotiations on the pay review due on 1 January 2018.

“Gibraltar ATCOs hadn’t had a pay rise since 2017. NATS has saved money by reducing the number of ATCOs at RAF Gibraltar in recent years, but with the inevitable result that resilience has been compromised,” explained Jary.

“Until now, the airport had not been directly affected because of the goodwill of the controllers in providing short-notice cover through shift swaps and overtime.

“Gibraltar has been operating on what ‘wriggle room’ the regulations provide through the goodwill of staff. When that goodwill was withdrawn, it exposed the lack of resilience in the staffing of the operation,” Jary concluded.

Prospect represents more than 2,000 controllers in NATS and other providers.

Gibraltar is only the second instance of industrial action in air traffic control in 40 years.