The Ministry of Transport and Aviation wishes to qualify comments attributed to the president of the Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union (BACTU), published in a Tribune article on 25 Nov 2014, which allege a lack of attention on the part of the ministry as it relates to the human resource development factor in the aviation sector.
The Minister of Transport and Aviation, The Honourable Glenys Hanna Martin wishes to assure the Bahamian people of her full commitment to the development of the aviation sector, chief of which is the human component in this critical area of our national endeavor. It is for this reason that significant public resources have been invested in training and human development and in compensation and other benefits for personnel within this sector. It is important to note that many of these advances have been achieved through harmonious and cordial dialogue in a spirit of cooperation between management and Union.
In response to concerns raised by the Union, a Health and Safety committee was established and an initial meeting held on the 4 September, 2014, which was attended by various stakeholders, including a representative of the Union. It is important to note that full minutes were taken in that meeting. It was agreed that this newly formed body would meet on a quarterly basis.
As pointed out to the Union in prior conciliation meetings at the Ministry of Labour, all of the then outstanding grievances had been satisfactorily addressed by the Department of Civil Aviation. It is of note that the Union has subsequently filed additional disputes and in those meetings the Union has been reminded by the Department of Labour of the necessity to first seek resolution at the management level before the escalation of a dispute.
Indeed the Ministry is anxious for the Union to provide its comments on the existing agreement and to advise on any changes they might wish to include, so that a new industrial agreement can be concluded. The Department of Civil Aviation continues to await the Union’s response so that the process can be progressed and an agreement arrived at. Management stands ready and willing.
I wish to assure the Bahamian people, and in particular the membership of the Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union that this government is fully committed to, within its resources, do all that is necessary to advance the interest of all stakeholders in the development of civil aviation in our country.