July 24, 2017 // Statement by NATCA President Paul Rinaldi on the Republican Budget Resolution Markup in the U.S. House of Representatives
WASHINGTON – National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) President Paul Rinaldi issued this statement about the Republican Fiscal Year 2018 budget resolution that passed in the Committee on the Budget in the U.S. House of Representatives this week:
NATCA will work closely with members of Congress to improve the House resolution for the 2018 federal budget, but our Union will fight any proposal that would harm or cut the retirement benefits of active, former, or future NATCA members. These proposed cuts would negatively affect the retirements of air traffic controllers and other federal employees. At a time when the United States has the lowest number of certified professional controllers in 28 years, with nearly one-third of them retirement-eligible, such cuts could have a devastating effect on the National Airspace System (NAS).
That we’re having this policy discussion, makes it clear why we need a stable, predictable funding stream to support air traffic control services; controller staffing, hiring, and training; and long-term and ongoing modernization of the physical air traffic control infrastructure.
BACKGROUND: The Committee on the Budget in the U.S House of Representatives passed the resolution this week with instructions directing other House committees to reduce federal spending by a minimum of $203 billion in the next 10 years. The House Oversight and Government Reform committee (OGR) was instructed to produce a minimum of $32 billion of these cuts. Because of their jurisdiction over a wide-range of federal employee issues, these OGR cuts are expected to come from federal employee benefit and retirement programs. Such cuts could include eliminating the FERS supplemental retirement payments, including for those who are subject to mandatory retirement such as air traffic controllers, cutting the take-home pay for federal workers who participate in FERS by making them pay substantially higher contributions, or eliminating the FERS defined benefit pension/annuity for new federal employees and transitioning them to a defined contribution retirement system.
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Certified in 1987, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals.
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