In a first-time turn for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), a large majority of employees working as union members have voted to action strikes soon over their pay. 

Employees union, Prospect, have just this week announced to the CAA the decision of their union members to threaten strike action. This comes as a first for the aviation enforcer, put into action in light of the cost-of-living crisis and large disputes over pay.  

Of the employees who voted in the official ballot by Prospect, a large 67% voted in favour of strikes. 87% voted for action short of strikes, according to the union, with a 65% turnout overall.  

Though a date has yet to be set for the threatened industrial action, this could be a big hit for the CAA following the growing number of pay protests that have occurred across the aviation sector over the course of the past few months. 

According to Prospect, these actions have now been declared in response to the authority’s refusal to provide “fair and affordable” salary increases for 2023-2024.  

Despite the fact that members of Prospect only take up around 16% of the CAA workforce, an internal survey has reportedly also shown that 42% of all CAA employees are also considering leaving their employ due to pay, stress, and lack of recognition. 

Mike Clancy, the general secretary of Prospect, said, “More than a decade of real terms pay cuts have left our members at the CAA with no choice but to take industrial action. 

“During the initial stages of the pandemic, they did their part by taking a pay cut to enable their employer to continue to function. This show of goodwill has not been returned and inadequate pay levels are having a serious impact on recruitment and retention at the CAA. 

“The employer can still avert this industrial action by coming back to the table with a meaningful offer that addresses the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. If they do not do so, then the CAA’s status as a world-class aviation regulator is at risk.” 

Rob Bishton, the interim chief executive of the CAA, responded and said, “It is disappointing that some members of the Prospect Union have voted in favour of industrial action. 

“We recognise the cost-of-living challenges that colleagues face, which is why we’ve already implemented a five per cent pay rise, along with a further pay increase for many staff in October.  This increase also takes account of the interests of those who pay our charges and public sector pay policy. 

“With a modest proportion of the Civil Aviation Authority’s workforce who are members of Prospect, should there be any action by our colleagues, we do not anticipate any disruption to the aviation sector. We continue to engage constructively with Prospect.” 

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