The disagreement revolves around the way in which air traffic controllers can use the premium hours they were allocated. “Those premium hours are non-performed hours,” says Skeyes spokesperson Dominique Dehaene. For example, air traffic controllers receive them if they are unexpectedly called up for a service. They then work on a shift, but on top of that they receive extra hours.
“A new arrangement was proposed to the joint committee to include those extra hours allocated,” Dehaene says. Air traffic controllers can save those hours to leave earlier at the end of their career, they can have them paid, or they can convert them into extra leave days.
There is now discontent between Skeyes and the trade unions about the conversion of the premium hours into extra leave days. According to trade unionist Kurt Callaerts, the management had initially promised that air traffic controllers could convert those hours into leave days without limit, but now they only want to allocate a maximum of three days a year. According to the ACV member, the management would also push to have the premium hours “redeemed”.
Socialists don’t strike
The strike notice would still end up on the management desk on Friday. Then a period of two weeks starts, during which an attempt at reconciliation follows. “So it could be discontinued from 29 February,” says Callaerts.
For the time being, the ACV is the only trade union that falls over the Skeyes proposal. The socialist union reportedly approved the proposal. On Friday it was announced that the aviation police also have plans to strike around the crocus holiday.