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IAA Statement

19 Sep 2021

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is aware of a letter, sent to public representatives by a number of Air Traffic Control Officers relating to industrial relations matters between the Company and its recognised staff representative bodies. 

As such, the IAA has provided an update to the Minister for Transport outlining the factual position on the matters raised and refuting the allegations in their entirety.

The IAA has a long-established industrial relations framework within the Company, which these staff and their representatives should now re-engage with to discuss and resolve these issues. 

The IAA’s industrial relations structure and mechanisms have been agreed with the staff representatives FORSA and the AHCPS and include an independent disputes resolution mechanism.  This involves an Internal Dispute Resolution Board (IDRB), which oversees an agreed charter. 

The IDRB is made up of senior, highly regarded industrial relations professionals including; Mr. Peter McLoone, former General Secretary of IMPACT and the Public Services Division of ICTU, Mr. Brendan McGinty, former Director of Industrial Relations at IBEC and Mr. Dan Murphy, former General Secretary of the CPSU (Civil and Public Services Union).

The IDRB listens to the views of both sides and issues determinations binding on both sides. All of the issues raised can be resolved through this fair and independent process.

The IAA operates to the highest standards of respect and dignity in the workplace. We do not comment on individual and confidential staff matters.

The IAA fully complies at all times with European safety regulations regarding ATM safety and we operate to the highest ATM safety standards. At no point has this safety ever been compromised and there has been no risk to ATC services over the last year.

The priority of the IAA and all its staff is safety. This is recognised by international observers who regard the IAA as one of the top air navigation service providers globally and a consistently high performer with regard to compliance with safety standards.  We never compromise on this commitment to safety.

The past 18 months has seen unprecedented damage to the Irish aviation sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The IAA has been losing €375,000 per day during COVID-19.

However, our commitment has been safety of Irish airspace and safety of our staff. We have kept the skies open and safe.

We instituted a cost containment programme which resulted in no one losing their jobs (unlike many others in the aviation sector) with a maximum 10% temporary pay reduction (no pay reduction for a number of staff). 

This unofficial action by a small number of staff does not help the aviation sector and they are urged to use the proper industrial relations channels to have the issues dealt with.

The IAA is committed to working with our staff, trade unions and the industry to bring Irish aviation back to its best and to start the recovery.

However, any staff issues or concerns can only be dealt with through the agreed industrial relations framework of the Company, which the ATC branch Forsa are signed up to. 

We invite those workers who have raised issues to re-engage with the independent disputes resolution process and to work constructively with the Company to find a solution that is satisfactory for staff and the Company and allows us to get on with the important process of rebuilding Irish aviation.

We are confident that if the union members engage fully in the established disputes resolution process, then any issues raised can be fully resolved.