...Blakey Proposes Two-Tier Wage System
Blakey also confirmed that the FAA is proposing a two-tiered wage system for controllers that would see newly-hired controllers paid substantially less than existing controllers. "We have [proposed] a very good system of compensation," she said. "It is a two-tiered system." Blakey also stressed that existing controllers' pay would not be rolled back under the proposal. "We are not cutting controller salaries," she said. But more than 10,000 controllers will have to be hired in coming years to make up for a glut of retirements caused by the mass firing of striking controllers 24 years ago and Blakey said the FAA wants their pay to be more in line with other FAA workers. FAA spokesman Greg Martin told AVweb that controllers earn about 45 percent more than other FAA workers and the proposal would narrow that gap for new hires. He declined to name figures. He, too, stressed that current employees would be protected under the proposal. "They're not going to lose anything," he said.