Air traffic controllers reach preliminary agreement with employer

Poland's air traffic management authority and the air traffic controllers' trade union have concluded a preliminary agreement on changes to the work and remuneration regulations proposed by the latter, both parties have announced.

The majority of air traffic controllers in Warsaw were protesting in the first months of the year and threatening to quit their jobs from May 1 after a drawn-out conflict with the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PAZP) over working hours, pay and the PAZP's financial transparency.

On April 28, the deadlock was first broken when the demands of the Air Traffic Controllers Trade Union (ZZKRL) regarding safety procedures were accepted by the PAZP and their implementation agreed. Under the then deal, Polish air traffic controllers said they would keep working until July 10. In the meantime, the parties were to work on the final agreement.

On Friday, PAZP and ZZKRL said in a joint statement that "as part of the collective bargaining negotiations, both parties initially agreed on changes to the work regulations and to the remuneration regulations" proposed by air traffic controllers. According to the statement, both proposals will now be presented for consultation with the union's side and the Ministry of Infrastructure.

Ruslana Krzeminska from PAZP has told PAP that the consultations were to take 30 days.

"The new annex to the work regulations limits the increase in allowances, changes the rules of remuneration of controllers not only in Warsaw, but throughout the country, reducing the disproportions in the levels of income between employees," the statement read.

It also said that the changes proposed by the trade union "organised the workplace issues and are aimed at minimising the number of overtime hours for traffic controllers."