Thursday, June 28, 2007

The large print giveth...

...and the small print taketh away.

From the Department of Transportation:
DOT 61-07
Contact: Sarah Echols

Thursday, June 28, 2007
Tel.: (202) 366-4570

Statement from the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters

Over the past 12 days, the Administration has made a good faith effort to negotiate and settle with the air traffic controllers union on current litigation and grievances relating to a contract that took effect last year.

Administration negotiators offered the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) a substantial financial settlement that would have increased pay in some cases by more than 15 percent for a workforce that made, in 2006, an average total compensation of $171,100.

However, union leaders rejected this proposal, choosing instead to push for a rollback of the existing contract.

The union is now turning to Congress in an attempt to invalidate an almost year-old contract that saves the American taxpayer more than $1.9 billion over a five year period, supports investments in new air traffic equipment and provides the flexibility needed to manage record demand for air travel. The Administration opposes legislative efforts that would limit the Federal Aviation Administration's ability to manage its workforce and that would threaten investment in critical aviation safety programs.

For these reasons, the President’s senior advisers would recommend that he veto any reauthorization proposal that includes language to alter the existing controller contract or re-open contract negotiations.

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