Air traffic controllers to strike over pay

Air traffic controllers in the Highlands and Islands are to strike next month in a dispute over pay.

Prospect union said that Dundee, Inverness, Wick, Kirkwall, Sumburgh, Stornoway, and Benbecula airports will be affected by the strike action on April 26.

Air traffic controllers working for Highlands and Islands Airport Limited (HIAL) will also begin action short of a strike on April 1 which will carry on until August 31.

It will include an overtime ban, an instruction to work to rosters and the withdrawal of good will.

Prospect claims members’ pay has fallen significantly behind the rest of the industry due to public sector pay restraint.

The union said it will seek to agree a protocol with HIAL to ensure cover for emergency incidents during the period of the strike.

David Avery, Prospect negotiations officer, said “Prospect members have agreed to delay any strike action until after the Scottish school holidays have concluded.

“Our members do not want to stop their friends and neighbours visiting their families during the school holidays.

“I urge HIAL and Scottish Ministers to use the additional time members have given them to bring forward real proposals to resolve the dispute rather than the same offer which has already been rejected twice.”

Prospect last week said that 88% of controllers had voted for strike action, with 90% backing action short of a strike.