A three-year $1.8 million Industrial Agreement was signed between the Bahamas Air Navigation Services Authority (BANSA) and the Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union at the Office of the Prime Minister on Monday, August 28, 2023. “Today’s signing ceremony represents the culmination of more than a year of consistent and sometimes intense negotiations between management and the union,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper said during the industrial agreement signing.
“However, I can attest to the fact that both parties would agree that the new industrial agreement affords increased benefits and conditions to union members.”DPM Cooper said the new three-year agreement, which is effective June 1, 2022, replaces a five-year agreement that was in place since June 2017 and covers the 117 employees who were part of the union’s bargaining unit.
He explained that in addition to providing improved salaries and benefits, the new agreement addresses the following:
• The updating of management and job titles to reflect the new organizational structure that was approved and implemented in July 2022;
• The alignment of job titles to reflect new job responsibilities;
• The improvement of training allowances to encourage and increase in the number of certified employees who can participate in on-the-job training of their colleagues;• A more efficient procedure that enables the payment of the company’s obligations relating to retirement from the organization.
The DPM also noted that the implementation of the new industrial agreement will also result in moving the compensation levels for the Air Traffic Controllers closer to full alignment with their regional and international counterparts.He said the 117 members of the union’s bargaining unit will benefit from improved increments and will receive increases as follows:
- Effective June 1, 2022, salary increases of three increments added to base salary;
- Effective June 1, 2023, salary increase of one increment added to base salary and
- Effective June 1, 2024, salary increase of two increments added to base salary.
The DPM said, “BANSA’s management and employees remain committed to fulfilling its mission providing air navigation services safely, efficiently and responsibility to the domestic and international flying public.”The Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union President, Hinsey McKenzie thanked his negotiating team and said he hoped that future negotiations will not take as long to complete.
By: LLONELLA GILBERT/Bahamas Information Services