Prospect members at the CAA to be balloted on industrial action

26 July 2023

Prospect members at the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are to be balloted on industrial action over the employer’s refusal to provide a fair and affordable 2023/24 salary increase.

This is the first time a ballot on industrial action has taken place at the CAA.

CAA staff have been facing a cost-of-living crisis after more than ten years of pay degradation, with pay having fallen in real terms by 37.2% since 2011.

Despite Prospect members facing inflation of 10.7% – and the CAA increasing revenue by £10m this year – the employer has offered just 5%.

This comes after CAA employees agreed to take a pay cut during the initial stages of the Covid-19 pandemic to enable the CAA to continue to operate.

Prospect has expressed serious concern to the employer that the pay offer will worsen the ongoing recruitment and retention crisis at the CAA, and threatens the ability of the authority to fulfil its statutory responsibility for aviation safety.

Poor levels of pay are also impacting the CAA’s performance and risking its reputation for excellence. The recent arm’s length body review identified that, when compared to other international aviation regulators, the CAA’s customer service performance had the highest proportion of negative responses, with 65% of organisations responding negatively.

Prospect General Secretary Mike Clancy said:

“More than a decade of real-terms pay cuts have led to a cost-of-living crisis for our members at the CAA.

“Their goodwill in taking a pay cut during the initial stages of the pandemic to enable their employer to continue to function has not been met in kind by the CAA.

“We will not hesitate to take industrial action to win a better deal for our members and restore the CAA’s status as a world-class aviation regulator.”

Notes to editors

  • Pay at the CAA has fallen in real terms by 37.19% since 2011 compared to RPI
  • RPI June 2023 figure (latest available): 10.7%
  • Civil Aviation Authority review (published July 2023)


Prospect has members working in aviation, road, rail and maritime transportation, as well as regulation and research.