Compo row up in air

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Airways denies it’s to blame for not paying out court-ordered compensation to a former Queenstown air traffic controller. 

The Employment Relations Authority found the state-owned enterprise unjustifiably dismissed senior controller Pamela Adams for serious misconduct last year, in a decision released on March 1. 

Compensation was to include six months’ salary. 

Adams, who estimates she’s owed about $50,000, is upset Airways hasn’t paid out despite not appealing the ERA’s findings. 

“They say there’s a dispute over the amount to be paid out but it shouldn’t have taken seven months to work that out.” 

Adams threatened to take “further action” – probably debt recovery – if she wasn’t paid out by yesterday. 

Airways’ spokesperson Nikki Hawkey told Mountain Scene yesterday: “The failure [to pay] has actually not occurred at our end.” 

Hawkey maintains Airways asked Adams to provide information on her salary in July – “because air traffic controllers work on shifts and rosters and have different pays”. 

“It took [Adams and her lawyer] until September to respond and we only received that information, I think, two or three days ago. 

“Clearly, Ms Adams has not been having very good communication with her own lawyer.” 

Hawkey wouldn’t answer specific Mountain Scene questions – to do so she’d need a privacy waiver from Ms Adams’ lawyer.