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Air traffic controllers reject pay offer from Highlands and Islands Airports

By Scott Maclennan

Empty check-ins at Inverness Airport during previous air traffic controller strike.
Empty check-ins at Inverness Airport during previous air traffic controller strike.

The Prospect Union has confirmed that a pay offer by Highlands and Islands Airports (Hial) has been overwhelmingly rejected by air traffic controllers.

Following a ballot, employees will work-to-rule from midnight tonight.

This comes after a one-day strike disrupted operations at Inverness, Benbecula, Dundee,Kirkwall, Stornoway and Sumburgh airports and an earlier period of work-to-rule started in April.

Prospect negotiator David Avery would not give any details about what had been tabled, though the union had been seeking an increase of 10 per cent.

He said: “I can confirm that the pay offer has been overwhelmingly rejected at ballot so air traffic controllers will be going back to work-to-rule from midnight tonight.

“That will affect four shifts starting from tomorrow. There has been no new date set for industrial action.

“Prospect will meet with representatives on Monday to consider the ballot result prior to a meeting with Hial on Thursday to try and resolve this dispute and reach an offer which is acceptable.”

Hial’s managing director Inglis Lyon said: “We are obviously disappointed that our latest offer has been rejected by air traffic control officers, despite enhancing our formal offer following last-minute discussions with Prospect.

“It is unfortunate that the industrial action has been reinstated during the peak holiday period and I would like to apologise in advance to our passengers, customers and local communities for the disruption this will inevitably cause.

“The offer was made within the parameters of the Scottish public pay policy in a bid to resolve the dispute to the satisfaction of both parties. We have encouraged Prospect to meet and discuss an alternative solution within the flexibilities afforded to the company.

“We remain committed to resolving this dispute and a meeting with Prospect will take place on Thursday.”

Hial has not received any further proposals for strike action.

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