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Air Traffic Management face issues over training


Air traffic controllers have voted against an £8,000 cash offer from National Air Traffic Services (Nats) management, in a bid to continue a normal operational service while staff are being trained on new IT systems at a new En Route training centre at Swanwick, Hampshire.

The aim was to provide a reserve of controllers by buying their holiday or days off in lieu from them to cover those that were taken off normal duties to attend the training at the centre over 40 miles away.

In a ballot, 98% of air traffic controllers rejected the leave buy-back offer. The reasons for staff voting against this offer were to protect their days off, which they felt are extremely important taking into consideration the stress and pressure of their jobs.

The idea of the management presenting leave buy-back was to try and ensure by having a reserve of controllers that a normal service could be resumed for airlines and passengers. The union stated that this only highlights the serious shortage of controllers.

The management are disappointed with the ballot results but hope it will not affect the scheduled plans for training their staff on the new IT systems. They will now be talking with the union and staff representatives about providing sufficient cover during training.


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