Dispute ends as air traffic controllers accept revised offer

Highlands and Islands Airport Limited (HIAL) confirmed ballot had resulted in "overwhelming acceptance".

Air traffic controllers in the Highlands have accepted a revised pay offer from their employers – resolving a long-running dispute.

Highlands and Islands Airport Limited (HIAL) confirmed a ballot of the union Prospect’s membership had resulted in “an overwhelming acceptance”.

Inglis Lyon, managing director of HIAL, said on Friday: “I’m pleased to advise that the air traffic controller pay dispute has now been resolved.

“Prospect has confirmed today that, following a ballot of their membership, there was an overwhelming acceptance of our revised pay offer.

“Acceptance of this offer sees air traffic controllers receiving the 2019/20 pay increase already awarded to other HIAL staff, along with a commitment to a similar award in 2020/21, assuming that Scottish Government’s pay policy remains broadly the same.

“In addition, they will receive a retention payment for a three-year period.

“This now draws the air traffic controller industrial action to a close and we look forward to working with our air traffic control staff as we strive to maintain and develop sustainable airport services for the future.”

Prospect had agreed to lift a work-to-rule approach in November, while a deal was being considered.

Prior to that members took industrial action in May and were scheduled to walk out again on June 12 but called off the strike after HIAL put forward a deal which was also later rejected.

Other strikes then took place at Inverness Airport on July 21, at Sumburgh, Kirkwall and Wick airports on July 22, and at Dundee, Stornoway and Benbecula airports on July 23.

Air traffic controllers then rejected a HIAL offer in September before the latest was accepted on Friday.

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