There is no doubt that supply and demand is a massive factor in what is happening here. The simple reality is that there is an infinite supply of talented young people who are desperate to be airline pilots. They can persuade their parents, who like any good parents want a bright future for their kids, to mortgage their houses and take £100k+ loans for their offspring to fulfil their ambitions. For every cadet that is accepted into the CTC/Parc schemes, there are 10 who are not and who would sell their grandmothers to be there. Given that scenario, why would any airline want to pay them £50k a year, when they will actually pay for the privilege of flying for them? The very people who are complaining about the terms and conditions are the same people who signed up to them in order to get ahead of more experienced non-rated pilots who were frankly infinitely better qualified in every respect to have those jobs. We therefore have the insane and very unpleasant sight of numerous well-qualified pilots unable to work for companies like easyJet. Simultaneously, countless low-houred pilots, who can hardly land the aircraft, get Airbus jobs in order to save their employers money.
Enter BALPA - that much-derided and little-praised organisation who are the only restraining force against voracious management manipulation and the worst excesses of human nature. They have to somehow fight for a deal that no company wants to give, or indeed has any real need to give. And yet countless people (the very same ones who bought their way into the industry) hate and deride BALPA for not getting them permanent contracts. Nonetheless, I do see the excesses of flexicrew misuse as being so vile and unpleasant that they must be fought. I also see that if we do not do so, then everyone will be in the same boat very shortly. I despise the avarice of employers who have taken such advantage of these ill-advised young people. So, despite a significant element of being self-induced, the iniquities of the flexicrew system and the grotesque inequalities it has created simply have to be fought for the greater good. BALPA are indeed about to engage with easyJet on this issue, and will probably come up with some deal that is not as good as the current offering, but one that provides long term security and a permanent contract for all pilot who have worked here more than 6 months. Frankly, given that the economic laws of supply and demand are so against them, any deal is a good one in the current climate. Despite that, I would fight tooth and nail to maintain the present Senior First Officer and Captain contracts - what I would be flexible on is the route to get there as long as a clear path career path is established from Second Officer to Training Captain, but without the ravines in the process that currently exist.
Finally, much is made of the loss of terms and conditions in the airline industry. That is indeed so, but the reality is that many people who once would never have darkened the door of a jet cockpit are now doing so at a very early stage in their careers. Supply will always outstrip demand at the bottom end and that unfortunately means constant pressure on terms and conditions. No one likes that, but these are the rules that pervade in the same way that the laws of gravity apply to us all. If the day comes that we cannot get enough First Officers to join us, and I do not envisage that day in my lifetime or beyond, then we will have to pay a lot more money and offer a lot more to keep them. Given that such a situation does not currently exist and is never likely to, this is the way it is - harsh, but a dose of reality nonetheless.
Anyone still expect BALPA to fight the fight? The way I remember it, a decade ago BALPA endorsed a new deal without putting it to the members. EZY FOs lost upto £14k gross per annum, through a combination of the cessation of annual bonuses, a heavy reduction in flight pay and salary deductions for crew meals (which were subsequently cut in half with no matched reduction in the deductions, which would be theft). We also lost two weeks leave per annum. Not a lot happened to the Captains, except for the leave and crew food, but all the BALPA reps were promoted to TRE, and a month later a memo went out announcing that all company TREs were getting a 25% rise. Nice. Don't ever expect anything good of BALPA - you're just throwing money away. The only way of ever concentrating the minds of managers is when large numbers vote with their feet or if the media start playing rough.
Don't ever expect anything good of BALPA - you're just throwing money away. The only way of ever concentrating the minds of managers is when large numbers vote with their feet or if the media start playing rough.
Which can only be done when you have union representation. Balpa is not perfect, but at the moment the only thing we have got. No union representation would be devastating towards any terms and conditions, so not a solution either.
High Viz, for someone who claims his interests are being bright you are acting like a complete numbnuts. If we go and let the LHS terms degrade now what is going to happen when the debt ridden guys approach command? OK you want a command, lets see. Lower basic, lower duty pay, less pension, permanent flexi and move base every six months to try to keep you out of the local authorities sight. What a career they will have. They may even pay their debt off by the time they retire.
You can have that if you want but I will fight for their ability to have a decent career and come out of it on top and the only way that will happen is if we protect what is there now and even try to improve the RHS terms whilst we are at it.
Management will HALF the LHS wage bill over the next 15 years
It is already happening. Lisbon commands for a two-year contract followed by a LGW transfer have been offered down the list until all the positions are filled. If people are willing to take the reduction in pay and move to Portugal then they jump the queue. Fine, if they need people somewhere, they have to get them from somewhere else. But what is to say the contract in LGW is the same in two years as it is now?
Last edited by The African Dude; 21st Sep 2012 at 15:13.
la-amistad, if you are sitting there hoping that fATPL pilots are all going to turn down the ONLY job offer they're likely to get and thereby magically fix the situation you need to speak to Harry Potter again.
Last year I did actually turn down a selection day because of Ts&Cs, how is the industry looking now as a result of my stand? Any better?
The other attitude which I find particularly naive is that fATPL applicant can do anything about this (other than simply not take any jobs).
The cause of this problem and the solution could be debated (and argued about) endlessly. What you can't argue with is that this WILL impact both seats.
I am speaking as an occupant of the left seat; there are too many captains who are happy hanging onto what they can for themselves rather than standing up to their employers and fighting for what is right and fair for their fellow employees.
Without wishing to get off topic Thomsons is a point in case; they bin over 100 capable pilots 2 years ago and then replace them with pay to fly ctc cadets for this summer and are now interviewing in many cases less experienced pilots to replace them on lesser terms whilst the ones who were forced out have no right to return. Apparently the union couldnít do anything about this because at the time the trade-off would have been a change in the captains terms.
Just because you are in the left seat donít think you are safe from these cuts too, but if you wonít stand up for the guys in the right seat donít expect any sympathy or loyalty from them either.
All employees should be treated on equal terms and with respect, it isnít us and them!
Oh I am we'll aware that new pilots won't turn down any offer......I am well aware they will do almost anything to get that first job.
I, like many of my colleagues are well aware of what's going on and that it's already impacting the T&C's of the LHS and will continue to do so.
We very much agree there. What I disagree with is the assertion that its the alright jack attitude of people like myself and solely our fault we are in this situation.
I would strike tomorrow to stop this. I have been very vocal to the union regarding this. Many of my colleagues think the same. Even if I was to have an alright jack attitude I would still strike because I want to protect myself. To be honest I realise that you are all beyond help. I used to pity those just joining....now I think it's your own fault. You knew the score before starting....and if you didn't then more fool you. However I will still strike tomorrow to improve your lot as it protects my lot. Is that alright jack....maybe!!
The reason for my post is that you seem to think everyone is ignorant of what's going on. Far from it. However the huge problem we face is exacerbated by people willing to sell their souls to fly a jet for free for a few years.
I think it's rather naive if you don't realise you are all part of the problem. You can't sit there and blame existing Capt's for a plight you are all contributing to!!! Once again...get a grip.
I am more than aware that your hero Harry potter won't help us (can I suggest that at your age you perhaps move away from young wizards and get another interest ) and that we need a massive concerted effort from the union and pilots. It's will safeguard my lot and hopefully improve the lot for new starters.
I think we agree on most points, I just totally disagree that it's the alright jack attitude of Capt's that has got us here. Good luck getting a job. If we ever fly together don't bore me with silly Harry potter stories or I will not let you touch the controls. If you start trying to cast spells in the flight deck I will offload your ass.