I think all of us had a situation in their life when we had to struggle with someone annoying. Someone annoying at work is especially troublesome and can lead to many crises. Air Traffic Controllers at Polish most busiest Airport are currently dealing with that kind of case. And that looks quite serious. 59 employees from Warsaw ATC Tower are demanding changes in managerial positions due to a set of unwanted changes in the organization of their work.
Source of conflict
Everything started a few months earlier when Ground Control Manager resigned due to a poor level of cooperation with the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency. The issues mainly concerned the difference in opinion regarding the choice of the airport radar ground control system. They were working months for implementation of a preferred system and everything was wasted because someone changed their mind?! The successor of the resigning manager did not appeal to employees…at all. The designation was not consulted with anyone. The new manager changed active for years shift plan. From 3 days on 3 off to 3 days on 2 days off. “Improved efficiency” was used as an argument for making so. That decision was met with great anxiety. In addition to these issues, some crucial rules regarding winter season operations are not made up so far. Lack of these basic operational coordinations makes a lot of confusion between Ground Ops staff and ATC at WAW Airport.
What are the expectations?
Expectations are quite clear. ATC controllers want to bring back the old shift plan and most importantly change of current Manager. 33 of them submitted official resignations from additional assigned duties. During last days many meetings between PANSA (Polish Air Navigation Services Agency) and Warsaw Airport Controllers’ Trade Union were made but there is no agreement so far. PANSA promised new managerial elections. But in shift pattern change case they would like to test both propositions for a while and after all, compare them and choose more effective. This seems to be not enough for WACTU (Warsaw Airport Controllers’ Trade Union).
Safety is maintained
Both sides ensure that despite the conflict, the safety of air operations is maintained and any fears in this matter are unfounded. Even though on the morning the 6th of December, planes from Warsaw Chopin Airport did not take off for half an hour. PANSA official reason for suspended flights: indisposition of one of the controllers. WACTU official reason: incorrectly written daily schedule. As we can know from pasazer.com – At some point, for this reason, there was no longer a controller on the tower who could lead the operations without violating the rules on the maximum time of work on the position…I leave the interpretations of the above text to you.
We will keep our fingers crossed for the Warsaw Airport ATC personnel. I hope they will quickly find a solution and make an agreement good for both sides. They are doing a great job out there and deserve fair treating.