Information disseminated by some mass media with regard to a hunger strike launched by ATC controllers in a number of Russian cities does not reflect the reality.
12 April 2010, Moscow
During the global financial and economic crisis, the Federal State Unitary Enterprise "State Air Traffic Management Corporation in the Russian Federation" has been almost the only enterprise in Russia that managed to retain a considerable social package stipulating a wide range of guarantees, benefits and compensations, and consistently improve material incentives and real wages of its employees.
In 2008, the average wage of an ATC controller was increased by 47% against 2007, and in 2009, by 12% against 2008. The total increase in wages of ATC controllers during the period between 2007 and 2009 was 65%.
The State ATM Corporation's social package guarantees reduced working hours for an ATC controller – 36 hours per week. ATC controllers, who are responsible for the provision of air traffic services in the areas with high intensity or complexity of air traffic, receive early retirement benefits – men at the age of 50, and women at the age of 45.
After 7 years or more of continuous work at the Enterprise, free air travel to any part of the world is granted to the employees once a year with 50% off the ticket price for one member of the family.
Besides, the social package covers healthcare services, sanatorium-and-spa treatment and non-governmental pension benefits. The Housing Programme is being implemented in line with the Enterprise Action Plan.
On the whole, social protection and remuneration of the employees made up almost 70% of the total amount of expenditures of the State ATM Corporation during the pre-crisis period. The global financial and economic crisis caused a decrease in air traffic in the Russian Federation airspace and, consequently, in air navigation service provision. A number of Russian airlines ceased to exist due to heavy indebtedness for air navigation services rendered to them by the Enterprise.
All these brought the deterioration of financial and economic position of the State ATM Corporation and delayed the wage indexation, stipulated for April 2009 by the Collective Agreement 2007-2010. Later that year, in October, the wages were indexed, and in December all the employees received merit bonus pay. The previous Collective Agreement expired on 31 March 2010. Collective Agreements in the State ATM Corporation's branches for the period 2010 to 2013 came into force on 1 April 2010.
An attempt to provoke protest actions did not find support in any of the branches of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise "State Air Traffic Management Corporation in the Russian Federation".
At present, the social and working environment is stable with no threat to air traffic service provision in the airspace of the Russian Federation.
The State ATM Corporation's Head Office is continuing to enhance social security system in strict compliance with the current economic realia.
Andrei Pryanishnikov, Assistant to Director General, Public Relations, State ATM Corporation