Legislation Would Change FAA/NATCA Negotiating Rules

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As the FAA and NATCA continue their acrimonious contract talks and debate over staffing, funding, safety priorities, equipment, pay rates and just about everything else, the controllers union last week announced that four Democratic senators are introducing a bill that would prevent the FAA from unilaterally imposing a "last, best offer." NATCA President John Carr wrote to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey that he hopes the move will encourage her to stop making "misleading statements" and trying to "drive our negotiations to impasse." The bill is sponsored by Senators Barack Obama (Ill.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), and Daniel Inouye (Hawaii). Carr says the FAA's apparent goal is to drive the talks to impasse and impose a contract, "gutting established principles of collective bargaining."