I'm fairly certain that air traffic controllers have been "working" with the FAA on a new contract since airplanes were invented (at least it seems that way), but now there is actually a tentative agreement on the table thanks to arbitration. Amazing, but this isn't a done deal.
New FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt had said that getting a contract agreement with the controllers was a top priority. This is a huge change of tune from the days under the Bush Administration where there seemingly was no interest in real negotiations.
But is this a big win? The former air traffic controller who writes the blog Get the Flick doesn't seem to think so.
No one seems to be happy about the arbitration panel's decision. But in the short term, I don't think there is anything to be done.He admits that his big concern is safety rather than pay, and the arbitration result was mostly focused on pay.
Whether people like this or not is important since they have 45 days to ratify the agreement, but even if they aren't happy, they must be encouraged by the fact that the administration is actually trying to solve this problem. Still, as Aviation Week notes, the controversy is not dead yet. This isn't a done deal.