Air Traffic Controllers Getting Reduced Pay Due to Shutdown

Oct 15, 2013

For federal employees it’s payday Tuesday, but because of the partial government shutdown thousands of federal employees are getting a reduced paycheck. Among them air traffic controllers at Sea-Tac airport who are getting paid about half of what they would normally get.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport air traffic controllers received half the amount of pay they normally get because of the partial government shutdown.
Credit Jelson25 / Wikipedia

Air traffic controllers are key to aviation safety. The job requires total concentration.

But local air traffic controller union president Samantha Navarro says right now they don’t need the distraction of worrying about money. She’s trying to keep morale up, but it’s getting harder as the shutdown drags on.

“Just seeing the faces when I walk through the door it’s like ugh how do I do it today. Do I have to be creative? But I’m not but I try. So, we’ll see." says Navarro.

For Navarro and her husband who’s also an air traffic controller money is tight. But she says for some of her colleagues the situation is much worse.

They’re trying to figure out how to put off mortgage payments and other bills.

“When they’re the only bread winners in their families… the stress is skyrocketing right now" says Navarro.

According the Bureau of Labor Statistics the average annual salary for air traffic controllers was $118,000.

Navarro says if the shutdown isn’t resolved by Saturday their next paychecks will be nothing.

Copyright 2013 KUOW.