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UK union ends dispute with NATS at Gibraltar airport

Passengers at Gibraltar International Airport. Photo by Brian Reyes

UK union PCS has ended its dispute with NATS, the company that provides air traffic control services at Gibraltar airport, after its members here accepted a pay deal part-way through a strike ballot.

The union represents assistants and medical staff who provide essential support services to air traffic controllers, and without which the airport cannot operate.

Earlier this year PCS launched a strike ballot arguing its members in Gibraltar were employed “on less preferential terms” than the UK counterparts against the backdrop of rising inflation and living costs.

The ballot was due to close on Friday this week but on Thursday, the union announced it had reached a deal with NATS acceptable to its members.

“PCS members at Gibraltar airport have voted to accept a pay offer which ends our dispute with NATS Gibraltar and provides members with a pay deal which protects their wages and terms and conditions against unprecedented levels of inflation,” the union said in a statement.

“The pay deal will see an RPI match by the end of 2025 backdated to 2022 and a lump sum payment of £5500.”

“PCS had previously refused to negotiate with NATS when they tried to attach unfair caveats to the pay offer, but the latest offer relates only to pay and allowances and we were therefore able to recommend acceptance.”

PCS NATS president Simon Campbell-Gurry added: “This deal is an excellent deal for our members, and we were only able to achieve this on behalf of them due to members showing strength and solidarity by standing together.”

“Our members were willing to take industrial action and a ballot was due to end in May.”

“This deal concludes the pay dispute for PCS in Gibraltar, and we are happy to bring an end to any uncertainty for people living in Gibraltar regarding the possible closures of the airport."

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