View Full Version : Ba Engineers Reject Pay Offer

13th Sep 2003, 07:04
BA's 5000 Engineers today rejected a 3% pay offer by 70%. This is the second time that the offer has been rejected. A similar offer was rejected by 97% a few months ago. :hmm:

13th Sep 2003, 07:29
So - they have received NO increases at all and the percentage against is slowly falling. Sure looks like a win for BigAirways to me.

Jet II
13th Sep 2003, 17:34
Sure looks like a win for BigAirways to me.

Any more of these 'wins' then Big Airways can call it a day - Engineers now on 2 weeks 'cooling off' period then vote on industrial action - if the vote is in favour senior management estimate loss of revenue of 30 Million even before any actual action.

Nobody 'wins' when staff walk out, I would have thought that was obvious after last time.

13th Sep 2003, 18:49
OK SF I know you are an engineer .. so how about some support mate ? The signing in and out is a small proportion of what the management want to sh@ft us with..... you really need to look at the whole package to see the " Big " picture ! ;)

13th Sep 2003, 19:19
Remind me was it Sabena went on strike the week before going bankrupt?

13th Sep 2003, 19:43
One has to wonder if BA is not moving towards a terminal phase. Lets not forget that most BA staff are on incremental pay scales so they get a raise every year in addition to anything that comes from a pay deal. Its pay rates are probably the best in the UK industry, like for like, its allowances higher than anyone elses and , whatever anyone says , it is generally a " soft" employer in a very tough world where its costs remain resolutely too high right across the board, management, staff, facilities, the lot. Everybody is included.
This years result on its massive capital and revenue could well be a loss which means that the money would be better off in the piggy bank where it would at least earn 3% or so. If ,against that background, its staff feel that this is a time for a pay war,- which will destroy customer confidence ,-then its probably time to call it a day and move to the new world. If neither the staff nor the customers are going to love it as a service business then it has a very doubtful future.

13th Sep 2003, 20:02
Do you get broadband on Mars or are you on one of Jupiters moons? You certainly are not on this planet!

Incremental pay rises? They are capped, so if you have been with the company more than about 7 years you don't get any more. Also each incremental band takes you into a different grade with more responsibility and also requires that you are trained up to take on more work. They are not automatic..not these days anyway.

This current dispute is more to do with introducing more responsibility and increasing workload than a pay rise, most of the engineers I talk to would, considering the financial position of the company, forego a pay rise as long as the working practices were not so brutally altered.

Other depts in the company have had a 3% pay rise without any strings attached!

Come on BA pull your finger out. I like many other employees am a shareholder and don't need another 40M knocked out of the company.

Get it sorted!!:mad:

Nearly Nigel
13th Sep 2003, 20:59
I would like to express support for the Engineers, they are safety critical, professional staff who need their working practices to be on the safe side of the fatigue scale.

Anyone who ever reads a CHIRP report can see that engineering departments are constantly chipping away at their employees trying to increase their productivity.

Airlines need Pilots, Cabin Crew & Engineers to enable them to get the aircraft airbourne. What they do not need is endless middle managers trying to feather their own nests by vainly trying to screw those under them into working themselves silly.

The Engineers, like the Pilots are not the problem in BA. Their own management however, is part of the problem.

The airline world is a victim of modern living to some extent. Leglislature ensures that large companies have H&S departments, employment lawyers etc. who contrubute little to the bottom line other than prevent the company being sued every five minutes. I can think of at least one low cost carrier operating in the UK (but with an AOC based elsewhere, I think) that appears to care less about such issues and therefore finds it easier to improve their bottom line. I bet they doen't have feng shui consultants and rivers running through the supermarket in their head office either.

13th Sep 2003, 21:50

Waterworld does still have a river in its head-office, and I've no doubt that feng-shui consultants were brought in to advise on the supermarket's location. However...

That was all many years ago, when Waterside was first built. In the days BA made profits, the staff were proud to wear the uniform and BA was the one offering its consultants to Olympic - because BA knew how to make money. Let me assure you, they're not there any more and haven't been for many years.

These days the whole aviation environment is very different. I'm not denying that there is probably too much middle management, too much interfering and poor TU relationships, but on the opposite side there are still large number of people who work at BA who are unwilling to change their working practices and still want to carry on in the same way.

That's not to say that BA should be able to do what it likes, just that change must occur within BA for it to survive and whatever department you work in, from HR to IM to Enginerring, staff are most reluctant to change. On some occasions I would agree they are right to resist, but the fact still remains that as a company, BA staff are still very slow to change.

Every time news about Concorde FE's or Engineers or Check-in staff (or in previous years CC and IM staff) proposing to strike comes out, it must be music to the ears of BA's competitors. For those of us left within the firm who aren't striking, it just makes the future recovery all the harder. We have mouths to feed and mortgages to pay too you know!

Spearing Britney
14th Sep 2003, 01:42
Why can't we as an industry ever stand shoulder to shoulder over pay and conditions for anyone other than me, myself and I?

When will people understand that when others improve their pay and conditions it will filter down to them eventually? :sad:

When will we realise that when others have their T's and C's eroded that affects us too, eventually?

Row in and back up your buddies, comparisons to Sabena are financially very mis-matched and should be left out of this. :(

14th Sep 2003, 03:45
ojs there aren't many engineers in waterworld . mate ! :D

14th Sep 2003, 04:43
Sounds like they're a bunch of greedy, whining d :mad: cks who need to join the real world....

All strikes and unions do is bankrupt the companies that pay the mortgages for the employees, oh and don't forget the honest innocent customers.

If you don't like it ,vote with your feet and leave and enter the real modern world that the rest of us live in......or are you all scared to!!!!!

Good luck anyway, i think you're all gonna need it

Egg Mayo
14th Sep 2003, 06:14
"Sounds like they're a bunch of greedy, whining d cks who need to join the real world...."

A tad harsh. I think if you ask any BA engineer, there has always been a 'them and us' culture at BA where the engineers, who at the end of the day, keep the big jets serviceable, often in conditions the rest of us wouldn't enjoy (fancy clearing a blocked B747 toilet?) to enable everyone else to do their job, are looked down upon.

I think you'll find that their a bunch of realists at the end of the day, who no doubt think, (dare I add, like the majority of professional pilots on this forum who often have not got a kind word for any of the inhabitants in Waterworld), that BA are shooting the ammunition at the wrong people.

14th Sep 2003, 09:18
Perhaps a few of the pilots here would like to be handed a wrench (opps...spanner) and told to go on out and fix the aeroplane, in the driving cold rain...only to find out that the boneheads in the pointy end did not put the discrepancy in the tech log properly in the first place.

In my experience, ground engineers are worth every penny they are paid...unlike some pilots I have personally known over the years whose only claim to fame is warming the seat...and cashing the often too large pay check.

In short, give 'em the next pay raise that was intended for pilots.
And to pilots...if these mechanics don't fix the bird right...you're toast.

14th Sep 2003, 11:02
411A , too late - the pilots already had their payrise earlier this year.
A rebalancing of what went to who, but some ended up with an 18 % rise .
makes 3% look paltry in comparison, huh?

And M.Mouse, as far as i understand it, it was Swiss not paying back a loan , not the engineers , and i quote :
"Further to this SABENA was owed 84 million by the Swiss airline Swissair. After Swissair stopped operations on 2nd October 2001 and refused to repay the money SABENA was forced to stop flying. They filed for legal protection against their creditors on 3rd October."

14th Sep 2003, 15:34
Yes 411 I agree

It is interesting to note that Sabena and SR Technic continue as profitable concerns.

I regularly interact with the engineering departments of just about every airline in the world and I find the people not only more informed but more friendly than their head office colleagues
Their CEO's pick up the phone and call you rather than delegating some flunky. CC could learn a lot from them in how to talk to people
Engineers as always never get the respect that is due them but through third party work, engineering departments are often the only profitable part of an airline, but that is never mentioned.

I will be at MRO Cardiff this coming week where Ron Eddington is scheduled to speak. Given this latest news it should be a lot more interesting

14th Sep 2003, 15:49
Sabena was in debt for whatever reason. Sabena staff went on strike. Sabena collapsed.

BA is in debt (around 5billion at the last count). BA engineers are now threatening to strike. BA is immune to market forces.

The 18% that BA pilots achieved was such a good deal that over 1000 BA pilots needed pay protection to avoid losing any money. Unlike many they almost unanimously voted to accept the deal because it was a massive restructuring which the company wanted and was beneficial to all long term. Oh, and by the way pilots didn't threaten to strike for it either.

14th Sep 2003, 17:38
Surely this is a rejection of a pay offer and not a vote for strike action. So it's a bit premature to talk about strikes.

I would imagine that over the next few weeks there is going to be a bit more dialogue between the unions and the company and a deal will be struck.

I think the company has been working all departments very hard and their style of management seems to be one of pushing people to the wire. The're only playing the game like the staff , by seeing how far things can be taken and when to ease up.

Sometimes people and organisations misjudge when to stop and that's when the tears and recriminations start.

14th Sep 2003, 18:49
NearlyNigel,you are dead right.Here at Ryanair we have none of the BA 'Bollockology' [as our illustrious leader calls it],just an engineering dept full of well paid and,in the main,contented engineer's.
I would love to see the ratio of office worker's to hands on engineer's and mechanics at Ryanair,compared to the same ratio at BA.Also,before anyone starts about the quality of the [engineering] product,I think our list of deferred defects across the fleet would stand up to comparison against any airline in the world.

Jet II
14th Sep 2003, 20:56

I would imagine that over the next few weeks there is going to be a bit more dialogue between the unions and the company and a deal will be struck.

One would hope so - but remember this is the second rejection of the pay offer - after the first rejection, the offer was tweaked slightly (almost nothing changed) and then management stated that this was their final offer and refused to talk any further.

So hopefully management will come back to the table, but I wouldn't bet my pension deficit on it.;)

Begs the question from other employee groups - what would you do if management refused to enter into negotiations about your T & C's? - roll over ?

Anyway look on the bright side, next month we start discussions on the 2004 pay claim:{

15th Sep 2003, 05:49
Bet your deficit Jet II,

they'll be back, lets come back here in a months time, I hope I can be proved right.

Max Angle
16th Sep 2003, 06:14
Even just the slightest rumour of a strike is music our ears here at bmi. Keep it up please guys, the phones at the res. centre will soon start to hot up if it makes the press.

16th Sep 2003, 16:20
To the dickpullers hanging sh#t on pilots,why not pick on cabin crew.Ever seen their pay checks, and ever seen them gp that extra mile,l doubt it.

18th Sep 2003, 03:20
frangatang - where did all that come from and why?

18th Sep 2003, 09:18
Mainfrog 2

"Surely this is a rejection of a pay offer and not a vote for strike action. So it's a bit premature to talk about strikes."

You are so right, Engineers don't have to go out on strike, they have more ways of making a point than just walking out the door.

As has already been stated just the threat is enough to alter adanced sales and we know how important that is to the bottom line. ( scheduling, rostering, supply etc.)

If you are not intending on stopping an Airline there is always the option of slowing the operation down and what group of employees can do that as easily and lawfully as engineers. You see Engineers are very much focussed on Company performance and usually go the extra mile in time and effort to get the A/C on line for an ontime departure, but why bother if the employer can't see the value in it, or you.

You chaps that sit at the pointy end and think that every thing is working O.K. well........................................................ ................... Don't panic I am not implying that you or the passenger are not safe but with every defect that is actioned by Engineers there are many ways to increase the down time for its rectification, and on time departures would be a thing of the past.

Engineering groups all over the world have been cut to the bone to improve company profit, ( we can thank the worlds best practices for that) ( thanks USA). Overtime is an essential part of any Engineering operation, but only a reasonable amount should be allowed for unforeseen peaks not rostered for, and not to con the bean counters into thinking that the same work can be done with fewer staff. Overtime is not mandatory and engineers can refuse to work it, then what happens to ontime departures; a thing of the past.

You may not be aware but all work should be scrutinised and certified by appropriate qualified Engineers. It is the companies intention to reduce the number of these highly trained Engineers and employ trades people with out the appropriate qualification, just another way the company is trying to stretch resources.

I say BRING IT ON!!! Engineers are not as stupid as those collegues of yours in Australia ('89) who walked out and then could never come back.

18th Sep 2003, 14:52
You are so right Orville, in all the industries and all the companies I've ever worked for a 'work to rule' policy was far more effective at bringing the company around to your way of thinking than any strike action. I feel what your stating has to be the way forward.

18th Sep 2003, 23:41
Hey 411a, fantasy boy, you are like weeds in a garden, you get everywhere if your not careful.

Engineers are critical to the operation and every pilot knows it. BA's have been messed-about by the company to the point where I doubt they care what the outcome of a strike is.

As to your remarks about pilots: do you ever stop? Find something genuinely positive to say, I challenge you.

How's the start-up progressing, by the way? How many down-trodden dolts are you hoping to employ as flight crew for your "outfit"? With your reputation you'll have 'em queueing round the block to get in (not!).

19th Sep 2003, 20:26
To any BA reader this topic has gone quite, I hope your not getting cold feet.

Now is the TIME to make a stand.

Could somebody give an update as to the present status with negotiations.

26th Sep 2003, 19:38
According to Airmech, negotiations broke down yesterday 1 day before the end of the 2 week cooling off period. Management are refusing to budge on the 3% plus strings offer. Staff side asked that the strings be removed and discussed seperately. No dice!

Looks like the slippery slope, no wonder the shares dropped this week.:{

the egg man
27th Sep 2003, 02:03
striking is not the way foward ,it will only give the engineers a bad press.and ba will use the strike as an excuse for the slide in the share price,blame the engineers and take away any flak from the mis-managers.

KLM engineers went on a wild cat strike last year,which cost KLM 22 million euros for 1 days strike.wild cat strikes in the netherland is against the law,and KLm took the unions and the striking engineers to court,KLM won.
each striking engineer was fined 10,000 euros.after the court hearing the dispute was not resolved,but the engineers made damm sure every defect was done by the book to the letter of the law.no flexiblity at all, no overtime ,no hil items.the delays lasted two weeks and the management gave in.
the engineers got there 16% payrise.

stormin norman
27th Sep 2003, 03:10
Rumour has it the EWS project is now running towards the 100m
mark .

Does this have anything to do with the Engineering director
being a bit short of cash and staff. ?

His name suggests where he should work !

28th Sep 2003, 02:02
Actually over 125 MILLION and counting............It doesn't work and SAP (the software designers) have almost washed their hands of it because BA have been messing around with it , in a desperate attempt to salvage something for their money.:} :ugh: :ugh:

28th Sep 2003, 04:59
Cirrus, do you mean that the SAP software doesn't work, or the implementation of the software hasn't worked: I get the impression it's the latter...

I'd be surprised if it were the former bearing in mind the SAP standards and the amount of time (and money) that was spent on its implementation.

Many firms seem to have difficulty in the migration to a SAP environment - not just BA - so I'm not surprised that we keep reading reports of productivity declining since it went in. The question is what can be done about it - because there's absolutely no way SAP / EWS is going to stop now.

Answers on a postcard?

Jack The Lad
29th Sep 2003, 03:09
<engineering is often the most profitable part of the airline> ??

Lloydm where on earth did you dream that beauty of misinformation from?

Sorry...worse still, I miss quoted you ...'the only profitable part of an airline'...????:hmm:

6th Oct 2003, 05:02
Jack the Lad

Well..........Since giving up flying em (sort of), a little bit of fixing em and some shootin em down I became a beancounter

Now I know its all in the reading but if you can interpret a set of books properly which takes......yes seven years to be qualified to do .If you look at the books, and know how to,it will become self and intuitively evident


What do Air Canada and Virgin USA ( you heard it here first) have in common?

I hope the above question asserts my validity