I was curious in talking about recruitment, what are the maternity, paternity and parental benefits for FSS/VFR/IFR?
Additionally I often read about the "forced overtime" in the above positions. Would someone be so kind as to explain forced overtime? Is it a contractual limitations or simply operating under reduced staff?
I appreciate any info.
A very interesting career path and trying to acertain its compatibility with a young family.
Thank you kindly in advance
The following is what I know about CATCA members (IFR/VFR controllers):
Parental leave and benefits are good and include salary top-up with some conditions around company service prior-to and after parental leave.
I can't find any language in the contract about forced overtime (it might be there, and I just don't see it). Generally speaking, if you're on a day off and don't want to work, don't answer your phone and drink a beer. If you're at work, and half your unit is on leave and the other half calls in sick expect to work a longer day (no more than 12 hours) and have fewer breaks. Some units/specialties have mandatory overtime in the schedule due to low staffing, or to accommodate leave for everyone, or to allow for a different work week schedule. Depending on your FIR and specialty, mandatory overtime may be something you never experience, or it might be a part of regular life. You'd have to do more research into specific units to find out what might apply to you.
Generally speaking, this career offers a great work/life balance and is family friendly provided your family has the ability to absorb your absence due to the shift work. IFR units are staffed 24/7, some VFR towers are too, all controller shifts are 8 hours long according to the contract.
Training is not family friendly. Before you accept a training offer, be sure your family will support you through the 1-3 years of the training process. It's hard.
If you're thinking about this career, I'd suggest you apply. The recruitment process takes time and you'll have plenty of opportunities to revisit your decision to go forward if you receive a training offer. More information about the kind of career you'll have is available once you have a training offer and date in hand.