Air traffic controllers reject Hial pay offer

Air traffic controllers have “overwhelmingly rejected” a pay deal in the ongoing dispute over pay and conditions at airports including Sumburgh.

Industrial action including a work to rule had been suspended while members of the Prospect union considered the offer from Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (Hial). It will begin again on Saturday.

The union’s negotiations officer David Avery said: “Prospect members in Hial have overwhelmingly rejected the revised pay offer made by Hial. The work to rule which was suspended during the ballot will restart tomorrow (Saturday 29th June).

“Prospect will meet with representatives on Monday to consider the ballot result prior to a meeting with Hial on Thursday 4th July to try and resolve this dispute and reach an offer which is acceptable.”

Hial says the rejection of the offer is likely to bring more disruption, although the operator has not been informed of any further proposals for strikes.

The company had put forward a pay offer on 3rd June, prompting a suspension of the industrial action.


Hial said it was locked into Scottish government pay rules and the government had said the “pay remit for 2018/19 could not be reopened”. However, Hial was able to offer a “retention allowance” in a bid to resolve the dispute involving controllers at seven Hial airports.

HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon.

Managing director Inglis Lyon said he was disappointed.

“It is unfortunate that the industrial action has been reinstated during the peak holiday period and I would like to apologise in advance to our passengers, customers and local communities for the disruption this will inevitably cause.

“The offer was made within the parameters of the Scottish public pay policy in a bid to resolve the dispute to the satisfaction of both parties. We have encouraged

Prospect to meet and discuss an alternative solution within the flexibilities afforded to the company.”

Hial air traffic controllers can currently earn up to £58,000.


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