My prof at Purdue (who was a PATCO controller) always told us not to worry to much about the new contract, including the pay scale and everything else involved, as it would pretty much even out eventually and get back towards where it was. Even with that said, there were some people I graduated with, including myself, decided not to pursue ATC, the primary reasons being our concern with the new pay scale and with concern about all the negative relations between the union and management and the resulting low morale. On the other hand, pretty much all of us, including myself, have reconsidered.
I should also add that the new contract wasn't my primary reason for not wanting to pursue ATC. The biggest factor for me was the environment in some of the facilities where there's so much animosity and tension between the controllers and management Along with this, there's the historic equipment, equipment failures, odd working hours, not being able to go to family functions and see your wife (and kids at some point) as often as you'd like etc etc. Though, after working in the industry some, I've learned that this just comes with the territory of working in the aviation industry. It's something we all have a passion for, and we're willing to put up with the not so good to be able to enjoy the good.
Most my friends put their paperwork in months ago, ie chosing preferred states and employment history, with the realization that they could always turn down an offer if given one. I chose not too, therefore forefiting being eligible in this round of hiring. Three of my friends who I've talked to recently got tentative placement at RNO, SPI, and BTV. After graduating from Purdue and getting a job in the industry, I decided I may as well put my paperwork in, though now wish I hadn't waited, as I'll have to wait longer. Though eventually, it'll happen.
The one thing that all of us remember, and an advantage of a Bachelor's from Purdue, is that even if we take ATC jobs and decide it's not for us for one reason or another, we have a degee to fall back on that will get a wide range of different jobs in the industry. I just took the opposite path as many of my peers and immediatly took a job in the industry instead of waiting tables or any other odd job while waiting for the FAA to call. Though that's mostly because I thought I'd be staying with that company instead of pursuing ATC. But like I said, we can always get out of ATC if we want because our degrees allow for it.
Sorry if this is long winded. Those of you who've been around the site a while know how I can be.
I intended to write on this a couple of months ago, but my perspective on it has changed since then, as there have been a lot of changes in my life.
One thing I know is that when I do get to a facility and if I do set up a feed, I won't do any adversiting of where I am or that I can be heard on the new feed, in fear of having posts about me like the guys on ground control at JFK.