Federal Board Dismisses NATCA Charges Against FAA
The Federal Labor Relations Authority has dismissed charges by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) that the FAA engaged in unfair labor practices related to negotiating and implementing the 2006 air traffic controller contract, the FAA said on Monday. "This decision validates our new contract, which is saving taxpayers $1.9 billion over five years," said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. NATCA President Patrick Forrey, in a statement sent to AVweb on Tuesday, said the FAA's news release was "at best factually inaccurate and at worst intentionally misleading." NATCA will submit an appeal, he said, and he expects the dispute will eventually be heard by a bipartisan three-member board of the Labor Relations Authority, which so far has not weighed in on the issue. The FAA said the Authority's decision "affirms that the FAA followed the process enacted by Congress for resolving bargaining impasses." Forrey said NATCA is lobbying for the FAA reauthorization bill now in Congress to include language that would send both sides back to the bargaining table. "Right now, the massive exodus of controllers is eroding the safety foundation of the system and delaying flights," he said.