View Full Version : Can BALPA be trusted to represent scope companies?

6th Apr 2004, 15:24
In the wake of the GSS outrage, the above question really does need to be debated. Although GSS were not represented by BALPA I'm not sure it would have made much difference anyway. The deal was done without BALPA having any idea of how many members it was effecting. Put in context GSS could have had 100% pilot membership of BALPA, and yet BALPA/BACC forced GSS to accept it's F/Os as captains without even bothering to find out.
This has significant rammifications for other companies potentially effected by scope, such as Bmed and GB. I have already seen postings on the BA forum urgeing the BACC to seek commands at these companies. Will BALPA representation be enough to stop the BACC from taking your commands aswell. I think BALPA needs to be asked what it intends to do when. It represents opposing sides of an argument. GSS were told "you're smaller they will win". Does this rule of thumb apply to all BALPA represented companies aswell?
If it does then maybe BALPA is not the best union to represent these non BA companies, and organisations like the IPF should be considered in the future.

The Little Prince
6th Apr 2004, 17:30
I think BALPA does try to represent evryone's interests when it CAN. Unfortunately, when it CAN'T, it represents BA mainline only. At BACX, they were very clever. They offered us a scope type deal, but one which involved only about 15% of our pilots getting onto the BA seniority list. The rest, all not flying the RJ100 and 146 were deemed not good enough. Our CC turned the offer down, and have ever since been labelled idiots by those who think the deal would have represented a 'foot in the dorr'. Yeah. Well.

How long do you think the BACX CC would have lasted if they had even tried to accept sucha deliberately divisive offer? In the meantime of course, BA got a win/win scenario. They got their scope, they totally excluded BACX pilots, and were able to say it was nothing to do with them or BALPA!!!!!

So your answer is........DEFINITELY NOT!!!!!!!!

7th Apr 2004, 09:34
Well I now know for a fact that some BA pilots are asking the BACC to make it a condition of franchise continuation, that BA pilots should have commands with Bmed and GB. These companies need to start thinking now how they might stop it. Does anyone know when the franchises come up for renewal?

7th Apr 2004, 10:13
You have to remember that all work done by GSS / Bmed / GB / BACX etc etc is BA work and therefore should be flown by BA mainline pilots. At the very least BA mainline pilots must have access to the seats / fleets that fly these routes, regardless of which operator flies the routes.
BALPA will always represent its members. GSS didn't have any members (Doh!), so BALPA could not represent the GSS pilots. Nor should they. If the GSS pilots wanted representation, they should have joined BALPA.
And no, BALPA don't always put BA pilots first - if they did we would have BA pilots where they should be - in BOTH seats at GSS.

7th Apr 2004, 14:51
Hey.what about all the BA work that disappeared to Qantas? Not so long ago, BA pilots used to fly daily flights from SIN to PER and to BNE and MEL as well. Then of course there were the flights to AUK and ADL, all of these are now flown for BA by your friends in Qantas. There was to be a 'quid pro quo' and BA were supposed to get the Qantas JNB/ HRE to Oz routes in exchange. Guess what? The Qantas pilots' union said 'no way' and BA gave your routes to Qantas and got absolutely nothing back in exchange! Well done the BACC at that time - nice one! How many jobs/ commands has that taken away from BA pilots?
One can go on - JNB flights to DUR and GBE flown by Comair; EZE to SCL flown by Lan Chile; flights to DUB, CRK and SNN flown by Aer Lingus....
Lots and lots of jobs that the BACC has let slip over the years.
However, all is not lost - the BACC have gone for the 'big one' - GSS [three aeroplanes]. Well thats all right then! The fact that BA never had the freight work in the first place is clearly a reason to go for them first. Or might it be that GSS is a small, fledgling airline and therefore vulnerable?

By the way Quidnunc, there were lots of fully paid up members in GSS who were VERY active in lobbying BALPA whilst the heist was being perpetrated - its all been documented and recorded. Sadly, the NEC decided to support the BACC - now there's a surprise!l. Exactly what difference being 'recognised' would have made, is open to debate. Logic would demand that BALPA has a duty to represent the interests of all its members, whether they are in a 'recognised' company or not. Is that not why we pay our subscriptions? Anyway, getting BALPA recognition at the time that GSS was being 'shafted', would have been totally impracticable as GSS was then only in its infancy as a new start up airline, so this is rather a 'red herring'.

Watch out BMed and GibAir. with 2006 looming you will be next - 'recognised' or not 'recognised'. The BACC will be after your commands and your work and in the portals of New Road, there is nobody who will be able or willing to stop them. Remember what happened to Dan Air pilots!
Now if you joined the IPA/IPF.......?

7th Apr 2004, 16:41
Quidnunc is just one of many. Expect to hear all the same garbage from the BA community about (wait for it) OUR WORK, or BA WORK!!!!:p

This is the same tired old saw they use again and again. I have to be honest, I guess I might feel differently were I mainline too, byut the bottom line is that BA have more BALPA members than anyone else, BALPA is supposedly democratic, and therefore BA will always prevail. Whether or not one objectively wonders how their spineless and inept management are supposed to actually MANAGE, (assuming they know how) is another thing. One might argue that since BA themselves are incapable of making a profit anywhere outside longhaul and Club, the pilots might accept that the management have a right to reorganise the 'work' so as to allow smaller more cost-efficient operations like GSS or Manx/BRAL/Brymon to make a profir in their various areas of expertise. Unfortunately for eberyone really, the big battalions of BA BALPA always win, even more unfortunately, they completely screw up the cost bases of organisations like the above, cause huge bad feeling, and huge losses. They then retrench, close those operators down, and lo and behold, there's BA again making a loss agian.
Yep, very biased I am, but I've seen it all before, and heard it from the BA community before. I try to be honest, as I say, I might feel the same if I was mainline, but then again, one might think that using such industrial muscle to ****** up such teensy operations as GSS (but those Flt Crew had mortgages, aspirations and lives - just like you and me, and bloody well deserved better!!), or Manx/BRAL/Brymon, where the culture of mismanagement, ass kissing, ruinously awful cost-control and pathetic administration has caused bad feeling and low morale such as I have literally never seen before.

I don't know why I bother really, the subject of BA, BALPA and misuse of democracy always fires me up. And yes, Quidnunc and the rest of you, I know the world doesn't owe us a living, but we might have thought we would have deserved better from our BA brethren. GSS and Manx etc never threatened significantly to affect ANY of your lives or prospects, yet you decided to f#ck everone over in the way you always have done historically.

Nigels eh :yuk:

7th Apr 2004, 17:54
BA printed on the ticket, aircraft painted as if BA - can't you see why pilots in BA get a bit hacked off? We have aspirations and mortgages too. How many times am I told to Line up behind the Bmed, GB such and such only to see a BA painted aircraft taxi ahead. Yes it Hacks me off.

Franchise companies are operating routes as if they are BA - most passengers would have no idea they were not on a BA operated aircraft. This brings beneifts to the franchise - please don't deny that, otherwise why would they be dressed up as BA in the first place?

Sadly those that run BA have allowed the cost base to spiral out of control to such an extent that these routes either make dramiatically more , or make profit as opposed to loss, if operated outside BA. So BA franchises the route. BA pilots, not themselves the cause of our cost problems, see their career aspirations slowly vanishing as work disappears.

GSS work can be done in house - but BA needs to address its monumental cost base. BA pilots fail to see why they should stand by and watch as career prospects fade away. You may not like it but there it is.

Franchise operators are allowing BA to avoid the issue on its doorstep.

7th Apr 2004, 20:10
Well said Diesel

If you guys don't like the attention of BA BALPA, there really is absolutely NO problem AT ALL!

Paint your aircraft as Air Stansted/ Luton/ Crawley/ Hounslow/ Manx/ Brymon etc. Sell tickets, or freight under your own name, dress your cabin crew in something other than the extremely fetching BA uniform, and BA BALPA will wish you all the very best of luck, and have NO further interest in you!

In other words, stop conning the public and I'm sure we can ALL move into sunfilled, profitable uplands!

But while you masquerade as BA, we WILL take a VERY close interest!


Just to remind you all, pilot salaries have absolutely NOTHING to do with the issues preventing BA making a profit from carrying pax OR freight!

If you want a shorthaul comparison, let's compare salaries with Easy/Ryan, or even GB! For longhaul, let's compare with AF, LH, or KLM!

7th Apr 2004, 22:14
GSS is neither a franchise or operates in BA colours, yet it still didn't stop BACC wanting commands, BA was it's first customer if the second is Virgin and the third is say Qantas and they all decide they want commands like BA then what kind of precedent is this going to set for the industry, and how can GSS operate as an airline? Where will BALPA stand then? JAL and ATLAS still fly BA freight so you are missing out on commands there, see if you can get the Japanese or the yanks to agree to let you have a few, if you believe it's BA work. Or are you,as everyone thinks just trying to bully the small companies via BALPA.
I think if BA could have done it in house they would of, for one thing they haven't got any freighters, and getting hold of a 744F is probably not easy in the short term, and secondly have they got the freight handling facilities such as the large scale pallet loaders needed ?This whole thing about it being BA work is a nonsense anyway, it was ATLAS work. Now it is GSS. BA doing it is(and always was) nothing more than a pipe dream, smoked by a few die hard union types.

7th Apr 2004, 22:45
The franchise agreements are unlikely to be renewed so it will no longer be a problem. Quite how well GB and Bmed will do without the BA brand will be interesting. If they fail then there will be a take-over bid, as BA will have already demonstrated a business case with the BA brand they will probably get GB and Bmed at a cut down rate. The fact is that BA have signed a SCOPE deal. Any aircraft over 100 seat HAS to be flown by mainline crew. The exception to this are the current franchise routes (plus those not flown but already agreed). This means the GB and Bmed can't start any routes without them being flown by BA crew( although there are quite a few routes that agreed but not yet flown so small room for expansion).....that's a condition of the franchise. So you have two companies who have to employ BA crew or they will have to stop expanding. That's not up for debate, right or wrong that's the deal that has been signed. Hence the fact the franchises are ending. Then BA and Bmed and GB can all battle in the hard world of Euro travel. But these airlines will have to develop their own brand, their own market and an easy way to sell the tickets. It's a VERY tough world at the moment. Good luck guys.

8th Apr 2004, 06:57
And Tandemrotor, you forgot to state that BALPA with BA will also take around £8.000 pa from your pension if you are unfortunate to be represented by them as the Dan Air pilots were!

8th Apr 2004, 07:53
125 In answer to your last sentence. Yes, the time has definitely come to consider alternatives to Balpa.
Since the unwholesome ousting of Chris Darke (whose agenda was to broaden appeal and membership whatever his vices) one cannot help but notice that strong BA elements have sought to successfully regain Balpa as BA's union. It has become a far more political operation with the General Secretary and Chairman enjoying rubbing shoulders with ministers and engaging in high profile political campaigns (Sky Marshalls, third runways and pension capping) in preference to grass roots issues of more relevance to many non BA operators.
There is of course a gross conflict of interest on the Scope issue and Balpa can only represent the interests of one party.................no surprise that it will be BA therefor.
The result is that many of us are feeling alienated and unrepresented.
IPF has only about 300 members (1800 in IPA) and as a result they lack the resources to provide the PN cover which is needed to help us deal with management. They have a Recognition agreement of sorts in place already with Astraeus and it would only take perhaps another 500 members for them to be able to engage a full time negotiator. It is the classic chicken and egg dilema.
Balpa needs to wisen up that it does not have a God given right to represent the pilot community quickly as I believe that my own reservations about them are pretty representative of how many are now feeling.
For my money £12 a month (yes thats all IPF costs) is a good investment. So lets get this horse running and give ourselves a real choice at the same time deliver a message to Balpa that high profile campaigns about lifting the cap on 1.4 million pound pension pots (If only!!) might be of interested to a few well heeled BA pilots but is a waste of scarce resources for most of us.

8th Apr 2004, 08:40
I have no problem with the idea of seperate unions within individual companies (and perhaps a professional body to represent at govt. level?) - seems fair enough to me. I suspect that a BA pilots union would have taken a Much harder line when faced with the various acquisitions/Mergers(?)/franchises over the years.

GSS is expanding on the back of work provided by BA - BA employees recognise that if that continues unchecked then why stop there? What's to stop the airline simply franchising or contracting out ever more work. Buying capacity from an operator that already exists as a short term requirement is one thing. Nurturing and feeding an airline from the ground up with work generated by BA is quite another.

Sorry guys, but the existence of the franchises - and GSS - represents a serious threat to the prospects of those at BA. I do not need to be "hardline" to see that. I suspect all of you can see that too.

8th Apr 2004, 09:13

You feel that BA should be sitting in both seats at GSS. I believe that if you want GSS commands you should serve your time in the right seat and enjoy a GSS First Officers salary.

8th Apr 2004, 09:31
Just to put the BA pilot's situation in perspective (Don't worry guys, only for information - No sympathy required!)

Since September 2001, BA has recruited NO new pilots!

In that time, approximately 600 pilots will have retired! (Almost 20% of the pilot workforce!)

During the same period, we have seen GSS expanding....

The regional operation gifted lock stock and barrel (including aircraft!) to a wholly owned subsidiary....

Many new routes - both longhaul and shorthaul (some very recently operated by mainline) announced by our pseudos (sorry, airbus franchises!)

Our 'problem', is not really with any other group of pilots, it is with our own inept management, who continually accept the 'syphoning off' of mainline work to disguise their own inability to control the costs of departments that consume spectacular amounts of money, when compared to our competitors!

Detailed research, suggests Pilots are not one of the groups in need of reform!

As another said, "we have mortgages too!"

8th Apr 2004, 10:20

"You feel that BA should be sitting in both seats at GSS. I believe that if you want GSS commands you should serve your time in the right seat and enjoy a GSS First Officers salary."

BA pilots transferring to LHS GSS will have served their time in RHS, but at BA. I'm not clear on why you think these pilots should have to "enjoy" a GSS FOs salary. Maybe you are one of the many who wear your pi$$ poor T&Cs like a badge of honour.

"You're not a real pilot unless you suffer low pay, unstable rosters, poor HOTAC, pay for fuel on your own credit card and reclaim etc etc..."

All very macho.

8th Apr 2004, 10:49
GSS can not be seen as a serious threat to BA as BA have not lost any routes or pilot jobs, have no freighters, and haven't had for some time.
The problem that scope gives birth to, is the potential for serious CRM safety issues, BA crews attending interviews at GSS reported open hostility to them, just wait till they meet the F/Os. I would imagine this would be true if Bmed and GB received BA secondees. What is the point of pilots having to go on CRM refreshers every year if unions and management conspire to throw CRM bombshells into companies? It makes a complete mockery of the CAAs important CRM initiatives. In the case of GSS the Direct entry captain criteria as approved in the ops manual is being completely bi-passed, effectively standards have been lowered in order to allow these guys in.
So should safety issues and approved ops manuals come before or after BA pilot opportunities? It would seem BALPA put BA pilots before safety concerns and have done for some time. If BALPA refuses to recognise these safety and working environment concerns then perhaps it's time the IPF were given the chance.

Man Flex
8th Apr 2004, 11:01
Gentlemen, gentlemen.

The franchises WILL be renewed. The franchise agreement is a rolling agreement and was signed back in the mid 90s under Ayling. The terms of the franchise are already in place and it is already agreed that it will be renewed on a regular basis.

The BA pilots can jump up and down as much as they like. BA are in dire straights financially. Do you really think they will refuse a lump cash sum from the franchise companies to continue as they are rather and attempt to placate a (minority) number of BA pilots by including a SCOPE clause that will risk the very existence of the franchise arrangement altogether?

BA know that GB and BMed will not stand for this. BA have had enough industrial action lately from their own people to know that they can ill afford to deliberately upset a few hundred more individuals and risk both further damage to the company image and a guaranteed income.

BA shorthaul makes a loss, always has and probably always will. GB and BMed make a profit.

Look at the bigger picture my friends. BA management have more on their minds right now than the command prospects of a few dozen F/Os.

8th Apr 2004, 11:15
"BA management have more on their minds than the prospects of a few dozen F/os"
Tell that to GSS.

8th Apr 2004, 11:29
"effectively standards have been lowered in order to allow these guys in"

Err...I think you'll find that sticking a BA pilot in the cockpit of a GSS aircraft will dramatically improve the standard of opertion.
If you boys at GSS aren't up to the CRM issues, then you need to resign and deliver pizzas for a living. Any pilot who is capable of decent CRM won't have a problem. Obviously, by your own words, you are not up to it.

8th Apr 2004, 13:46
Why will it improve the standard of operation, if GSS have Captains who may well have never commanded anything bigger than a seneca before, who are in a totally new environment with unfamiliar sops, who know sweet fa about freight ops, and whose very presence ignites hostility from F/Os who may well have far superior experience levels, and have familiarity with sops and freight ops.
You exemplify the CRM issue better than I ever could with your we're BA we're the best mentality. Which simply is delusion. You may well be hot snot in familiar surroundings but at GSS you will be just another pilot stealing a future from someone else.
Good point about Loganair, BA's inconsistency and weakness in this argument is clear for all to see.

8th Apr 2004, 15:00
Not really. Most BA pilots would prefer to see ALL work that is generated by BA flown by BA pilots. However you simply can't get everything you want in a negotiation and the result was a SCOPE agreement between BA and its pilots. We are seeing the first results of that agreement. There can now be no expansion of non-BA operations flying BA work. There is an agreed list of destinations//routes beyond which the franchise type operations may not be allowed to go without contravening that agreement. GSS expansion breaks our agreement with our employer. BA the corporation needs to get to grip with its cost base rather than hide from reality by passing out business it generates to other organisations.

I sympathise with those that feel such an agreement compromises their own prospects. The fact is though that BA pilots can not stand by and see BA generated work farmed to other airlines.

The Little Prince
8th Apr 2004, 16:46
SCOPE.......ha ha ha. At BACX we are already flying 110 seaters, and operating in and out of LGW. So don't make me laugh with your effing BA double effing standards.
SCOPE, yeah yeah yeah, BACX are OK to fly the aircraft, OK to operate into LGW, but apparently not good enough for your precious effing seniority list, even though some of our guys have (wait for it) flown MAINLINE aeroplanes out of LHR and LGW as part of a normal line operation and operating crew - just to help you out.

Quite funny watching BA pilots say they have mortgages too - where??? - effing France or further. Most selfish pompous navel gazing self serving bunch of individuals I have ever been ashamed to be part of the same professional grouping as. Better standards (re the GSS comments) ? I remember a BA cadet chopped from BACX, had to go back and have another 737 course to enable her to pass a pretty basic ATP course the second time around.

No point getting excited though, it's all about votes and pressure groups. Mind you, I do like the sound of 12 quid a month......

8th Apr 2004, 16:49
Err Montpellier, Zurich, Faro, and Bruxelles to name just a few Diesel, but then of course these were only from LGW so I guess they don't count?

8th Apr 2004, 16:55
"At BACX we are already flying 110 seaters, and operating in and out of LGW"

As per our scope agreement. Even the Almightly BACC can undo what's already agreed between BA and the franchises.
If our seniority list is so poxy, why do you all want to come on to it? Personally, I'd welcome you all on to it (at the bottom as always). The more people below you on a seniorty list the better.
More people to do the dross work, allowing me to go part time, do one, maybe two carribean trips a month and spend a bit more time on my (tax efficient) hacienda in Spain.

8th Apr 2004, 17:30
Nice one mate! You and your mates really are top class pillocks. No wonder our professional standing in the world is going downhill!:}

8th Apr 2004, 17:52
Little Prince

What an erudite posting, and humour too!

You seem blissfully unaware of what the current INTERIM arrangement with BACX, dictates will happen to ALL 100+ seat flying in 6 years time! (That is RJ, or ANY replacement!)

Perhaps you should educate yourself!

Do let us know how your BA application goes later this year.

Captain Airclues
8th Apr 2004, 22:48
We have been over this all before, and nobody is going to change their opinion. This thread is not about whether BA pilots should come to GSS, it is about whether there is any point in pilots in companies such as GSS being represented by BALPA.
When the BACC were making the scope agreement with BA, there were long time BALPA members in GSS whose careers were going to be affected by this agreement. No matter whether BALPA had a representative agreement with GSS or not, it would have been polite of BALPA to have informed these pilots of the possible effects on their future. As it was, the deal was forced upon GSS without the knowledge of these BALPA members.
My view is that it is a complete waste of time and money for any GSS pilot to be a member of BALPA because the BACC will always come out on top. It is much better for the GSS pilots to join the IPF, who have a record of taking on the big guys (who was it who stopped the US Air pilots coming to fly the BA 737's?).
I know that some of you would like to go over the same old arguements again, but let's get back to the title of the thread. Is there any point in GSS/BACX pilots being members of BALPA, or would we be better off paying our money to the IPF?
BTW, the BA guys are already with us, flying on 'look-see' trips. I don't know whether any of them are PPRuNers, but I'm sure that they will tell you that they have been treated with curtesy and respect. I did hear a GSS F/O ask one of the BA guys if his BA pullover was bullet-proof, but he then bought him a beer.


9th Apr 2004, 00:23
"Is there any point in GSS/BACX pilots being members of BALPA"

Yes. They should be members of BALPA. The more BALPA members there are the more BA pilots will benefit. The more BA pilots benefit, the higher the 'benchmark', and thus the better able BALPA is to argue for improved T&Cs at other operators.
BA pilots will happily take on the burdens of higher pay, more time off, better rosters etc to improve the lot of other pilot groups. Never say we don't give you anything. We are prepared to suffer all of the above, in order to give you a higher benchmark. :ok:

dallas dude
9th Apr 2004, 03:09

Please remind me who the chairman of BALPA flies for.

I can't find him/her on the BA roster.


9th Apr 2004, 05:59

Never meant to imply that no work had already been given away. Rather that enough was enough. I'm sure my earlier posting complained about being passed on numerous occasions by BA painted but non BA operated aircraft. I am only too well aware of the happenings at LGW.

9th Apr 2004, 06:35

Point taken, just wantes to put the record straight. This thread being about should one trust BALPA on scope. Certainly not all agreements according to them are "Collective Agreements", this then gives them the right to change any agreement they so choose. Result SCOPE and other agreements are not woth the paper they are written on.
Then again feel free to throw your hard earned 1% down the proverbial drain its still a free country.

9th Apr 2004, 15:24

Not really sure what you mean by "not all agreements are collective agreements".. If you're pointing out the way that some agreements seem to only get partially followed through I take your point. I would have to point out though that our agreements with our employer are not legally enforceable so many companies push at the limits until close to generating industrial unrest in the belief that only at this point are they extracting max value.

BALPA are undoubtedly far from perfect. Most of us here have at some time lost from some BALPA approved deal. However I do believe that were BALPA not to exist many employers would be imposing far worse conditions than they presently succeed in doing. It is sadly an imperfect world. As it stands I believe I am better of IN than OUT so on that basis I do not accept I am throwing money down the drain.

Indeed should I ever be unfortunate enough to find myself in difficulties with my employer I suspect I will be very glad of all those 1 %s.

With regards the point of this thread it has always seemed odd to me that different, competing companies have one joint union for pilots. Indovidual company unions would undoubtedly have fought some cases harder than BALPA. I do however think that some overall professional level representation such as BALPA is a good thing for putting our case at the govt level.

That said if such a situation existed, and us BA folk were as bad as some of you believe, would you have been better or worse off? I suppose you could make the case that in the event of mergers/acquisitions/franchises etc getting something is better than getting nothing and I suspect that seperate company unions would seek to represent ONLY their members resulting in some people losing out TOTALLY in any conflict.

I guess you pays you money (or not...) and takes your choice.

9th Apr 2004, 16:53
Any none-BA pilots reading this thread, particularly those with a franchise or with BACX should wake up, smell the coffee and join the IPF, sooner rather than later. I have no personal gripe against any individual BA pilot, nor do I really blame them as a body for protecting their own interests. I do object to the sleek, arrogant bluster from the usual offenders - BA pilots seem incapable of understanding that many many of us never wanted to join their organisation at any cost. History I suppose, but clearly tact, and a sympathetic understanding rather than the pushy 'my wallet first and always' attitude might elicit a little more understanding and much less rancour between pilot groups.
As a BACX pilot, personally, I would quite like to know what this agreement six years hence over scope is supposed to be about - first I've heard of it.

It might also be instructive and educational for BA pilots as a body - not just the sh1t stirrers on here - to consider the situation in the USA. Over there, there are many major operators, (most big enough to consider BA a tiddler) who operate regional subsidiaries. Funnily enough, there is not the overt dislike and in some cases actual hatred of all BA stand for that we have in the UK. Why?

Well, in spite of lay-offs, extremely variable crewing requirements, furloughs and far worse employment stability, the two groups work together. American 'mainline' pilots do not consider themselves 'better' than their regional cousins, just more fortunate, and the two groups work together to progress as many people into the better paid mainline jobs as possible. And boy, do they ever operate scope in the USA, but not to the deliberate detriment and disadvantagement of their brethren. Perhaps this is because ALPA are more fair minded, perhaps because the American culture is more egalitarian, almost certainly because there is not just one BA type monstrosity refusing to let anyone into the playground unless they jump through some quite quite ridiculous hops. Yes, I know the hoops are a management criteria, however one might reasonably expect BALPA in toto to be pushing for their removal for all Franchise/BACX personnel who wanted to join mainline - obviously at the bottom of this list. If they have the demmonstrated clout to pull off the shafting of GSS, and for the BALPA Chair to suddenly join BA management, then you're not telling me they couldn't do achieve a different joining structure for subsidiaries. Ah, but that would be altruistic I guess, and wouldn't assist in the purchase of many second homes eh?

Such a shame, BA pilots are no different to any other group, some very good, some bloody awful, and the vast majority just average - ie like the rest of us.
(And that is some admission from someone who has been trained by the best of the best i.e HM Forces)

Not to lose the message of this thread, join the IPF guys. BALPA are not going to change, so it's no use grumbling about it and provoking the same of bullsh1t from the same old BA tossers who like winding everyone up.

Corny. x x x x


9th Apr 2004, 17:32
I am sure that the owners of BMed and GB would be quite happy to have BA pilots flying the franchise companies' aircraft. I'm also sure that the inevitable higher cost of the flight crew could be 'squared away' in a lower franchise fee to BA. - i.e. no net extra cost to the franchise companies and Rod at BA buys peace from his pilots. But, quite simply, BA cannot afford to run franchise routes. BA has debts of £5 billion and is struggling to even make a day to day profit on routes that other airlines would kill to get hold of. BA cant afford to take on the capital costs of running the franchise routes themselves. Nothing at BA gets approved unless its going to make a return of at least 10% on capital.
At GB and BMed there is a high proportion of Balpa members, and of those there is a high proportion who would be prepared to become BA employees. The condition would be equal treatment - merged seniority lists. The companies, the aircraft, the personnel, the routes, the slots - none of these belong to BA - BA merely owns the name, the logo and the style of service.
If the BA pilots could swallow merged seniority lists, then they could be involved in an expanding world and help to take the competition head on - something BA can't do with its horrendous financial situation and straitjacket method of operation.
If the BA pilots can't accept a merged list there will be 'no deal' - there will be a static franchise situation, which may dwindle or drift by the franchises signing up with some of the competition. Those guys presently at the bottom half of BA will have a very long long wait to get near the top of a receding seniority list - they may not even make it.

The crew councils from the three companies need to use Balpa to resolve the issue, and the more Balpa members in all the companies involved, the better. Ideally the franchise companies have to get a larger proportion of their pilots as members, in an attempt to persuade the BACC to deal fairly with minnows. All that the ordinary members in all three companies ask for is fair and equal treatment But the BACC history is to draw lines in the sand, put shackles around commercial progress, and I fear that yet again the younger BA guys will loose out to the BA atlantic barons.

dallas dude
9th Apr 2004, 23:26

Sorry mate but you're 180 out of touch with reality in your US mainline/regional partner summary.

If the feeling was as cozy as you paint there'd be no need for scope clauses in the first place!

ALPA is being sued by a group representing regional carriers' pilots claiming that ALPA does not offer them equal representation (ie. ALPA has a conflict of interest).

Scope agreements are designed to limit flying being transferred from mainline carriers to third parties. Ironically, the mainline career most regional pilots aspire to is disappearing before their very eyes as regional carriers pick up these former mainline routes. What used to be a stepping stone is now very possibly a permanent career.

At AA, American transfers routes to American Eagle and the Eagle guys think they've "won". Until Eagle flights are transferred to American Connection whereupon they cry "foul!". There's always someone who will be "cheaper".

Mainline management, knowing that regional pilots are paid less than they are worth, consistently violate scope agreements. At some point wannabe pilots have to ask themselves whether the expense and effort may be better spent chasing another more desirable career.


Hand Solo
10th Apr 2004, 01:17
What an erudite posting from dallasdude. He has summarised the problem perfectly. I suppose there's a lot to do with the 'tall poppy' syndrome in the UK, whereby anybody who 'has it better' than anybody else is a target to be dragged down to their level. "Got a stable roster, decent income and quality of life? Well wait 'til you have it as bad as me, then you'll know something". Unfortunately many people in the UK have failed to recognise the point that there is always someone willing to do it cheaper, and theres always a management willing to exploit that. I don't pay my 1% to BALPA to allow them to conspire to reduce my pay and opportunities to give work to people who are willing to do it for peanuts. If GSS pilots want to join the IPF, then so be it, but don't think that the IPF would give you a better deal than BALPA in BA Scope negotiations. Remember GSS only has ONE customer and thats BA. If they don't like the way you want to do business with them, they can always go elsewhere, and what will the IPF do for you then?

10th Apr 2004, 08:34
Do you guys really believe that anyone who doesn't work for BA works for peanuts? That's madness - BMed and GB have salaries that, although not the best, are a good average. The suggestion here is that we should all rather stay unemployed until our big break to join BA comes. But, with the state of BA, that's not coming very quickly, is it? I also contest the earlier view that the franchises have many people keen to join BA. Who would benefit from that? Certainly not F/Os with more than a year's service - their command prospects would look very poor indeed. Not captains with many years to retirement, because they've seen what happened to Cityflyer captains who didn't want to uproot their families to follow their 'grandfather right' on the RJ. The point of this thread was a good one, and it shows that the whole scope thing will benefit a few BA senior F/Os and disadvantage at least two more whole company's worth of pilots.

The Little Prince
10th Apr 2004, 16:33
May I apologise unreservedly for the intemperate nature of my last post. The trouble is simply the conflict caused by the attitude of the BA barons and would-be barons.

I endorse wholeheartedly the views put forward far more eloquently than my own capabilities, written by fiftyfour and HoleyMoley. Its as simple as that really, until BA pilots realise they are not really in a position to make the same demands that thet their forebears did, and that their Company is groaning under such a mountain of debt that things will HAVE to change - they are on a loser. Basically, none of us like change, the human condition likes stability, however it is the one constant that be relied upon "events, dear boy, events!"

BA pilots admittedly have such a hopeless management structure it is difficult to see how things can return to a properly geared business model - certainly it won't happen with the constant sniping all the employee groups in BA do at each other - and yes, they have successful introduced that habit into their wholly owned subsidiary.
However, evolution works in industry and business as well as nature - that's how old Stelios came about. Things which cannot - or will not change -.............ask the mammoth, the sabretooth and the dodo. I think the latter might best represent the likes of quidnunc, tandem rotor and hand solo etc

IPF - a big argument for a massive monthly saving. BALPA have done a lot of good for us in the detail, but the broad brush strokes are still on the palette, and the painter is controlled by the likes of - hmm, tricky to tell BALPA from BA management sometimes.

10th Apr 2004, 22:04
dear quidnunc

By a soupcon of misfortune, the real world beckons, with it come the franchises and the low costs. You see, the passengers pay the wages, not BA, despite how it may seem in your own little protectionist racket.The reason BA had to franchise was to protect market share and maintain a profile on routes that you and your ilk thought were below you. You are, I would guess, pretty low on BA's seniority list or you wouldn't be so keen to protect your position.

In the company I work for, we work with our management, not against them, this is why BALPA membership in our ex franchise operation is less than 50%.

In your operation, you and your management do not co-operate which is why you rely on BALPA. Remember the miners and the printers and the photolab guys at Grunwick. You won't win in the end.

Look at BHX, where BA has let several routes go to code shares and ex franchise carriers, not to mention the trade that has been lost to the low costs because you and your head have kept your appointment with the sand.

Thank you for reminding me that the good thing about being with an independent airline is that I don't have to spend a couple of days down route with an obvious twit such as yourself.

'round midnight
11th Apr 2004, 03:48

Re: the INTERIM 6 year scope deal on the RJ

After a few preliminary enquiries with BACX management, none of them knows anything thing about an interin deal. Of course 90% chance they're lying but, for my peace of mind, share with us the details of the deal, won't you?

11th Apr 2004, 08:32
Dear hec7or

I think Quidnunc may be teasing & winding us all up...:D Please don't give yourself a coronary infarct!

All the best,


PS If some of our T & C's improve then that will gradually improve them all & we shall all benefit?

Jet A1
11th Apr 2004, 10:22
So when the Nigels get their mitts on GB and BMed - Please don't moan when you are doing a there and back Paphos and night Malta and a quick Beirut night stop !

Mind you - you lot would probably run crying to BALPA and make the foresaid trips several days -- Forget the cost base !

Hand Solo
12th Apr 2004, 19:50
I think you'll find Gatwick do some night charters already. No great shakes. Nor do I think a quick nightstop in Beirut is likely to be any less palatable than a prolonged slip in Saudi or Kuwait where people are actively trying to kill Brits.

Hec7or - perhaps a soupcon of reality would do you some good. I think you'll find all the BA routes at BHX were transferred to a subsidiary, and the result has been something of a disaster. Passenger numbers and satisfaction down significantly, loss of many major corporate contracts, huge reliability problems, appalling punctuality (BACX now one of the least punctual airlines in UK) and the operation transformed from being profitable to loss making in less than 12 months. All that without any significant increase in low cost competition at BHX. As for routes that we thought 'were below us', I think you'll find that almost all the subsidiarys routes at BHX were former BA routes, many of which were still served, and all of which were removed under protest by BA crews.

In your operation, you and your management do not co-operate

And you basis for this unsubstantiated garbage is what?

Perhaps in future you should actually do some research into what goes on in BA before you come on here spouting your preconceived notions and stereotypes?

Man Flex
13th Apr 2004, 10:56
Fifty Four

With all due respect, merged seniority lists are NOT the answer to the whole SCOPE issue. Many pilots (F/Os) who are with franchise companies and anticipate a command opportunity within five years would have that time extended to perhaps ten or even twenty years if such a merger were to take place. As someone else posted previously, "we have mortgages too you know".

Tandemrotor summed up the situation when he stated that BA have not recruited for several years so for this reason alone there has been very little movement in the seniority list. The franchise companies of course HAVE been recruiting since September 2001 (some on a large scale) and as such a BMed F/O with three years or more seniority would still find himself at the bottom of a very large BA seniority list instead of being near the top of a relatively short one.

I don't know how many BA F/Os would benefit from a SCOPE agreement but I can hazard a guess as to how many franchise F/Os would be disadvantaged by it.

Question : When the idea of setting up franchises was first suggested during the mid-nineties I don't believe that many BA pilots had an issue with it as they were glad that the less prestigious and loss making routes were being thrown out. Is that not the case? The only reason that SCOPE has come about is as I have outlined above.

Maybe if BA start to recruit again (as has been rumoured) then that will be enough to placate BA F/Os who in turn will decide to leave the franchise pilots alone.

September 11th 2001 hit EVERY industry to a greater or lesser extent. It seems to me that because of the events of that day and how it has affected BA then their pilots feel that the world should owe them a living and because the franchise companies have continued to recruit and flourish then they are entitled to some of that success.

I have digressed slightly from the original thread but should it happen that Balpa fail to protect the interests of the franchise pilots by allowing senior BA F/Os to steal (yes steal) their commands (as has happened at GSS) then I foresee the IPF gaining a significant moral victory as well as a noticeable increase in membership subscriptions.


I think my words echo your previous post.

13th Apr 2004, 11:08
Thanks, mate. I'm looking forward to more Robbie Williams impersonations in the karaoke bar in Torremolinos this summer! (That's if you're not flying an RJ out of Manchester then!)

Human Factor
13th Apr 2004, 19:23
I have digressed slightly from the original thread but should it happen that Balpa fail to protect the interests of the franchise pilots by allowing senior BA F/Os to steal (yes steal) their commands (as has happened at GSS) then I foresee the IPF gaining a significant moral victory as well as a noticeable increase in membership subscriptions.

At the risk of repeating myself, because CitiExpress exists at BHX, my BA Regional A319 command which I would have been senior enough for next year has been stolen has it not?

Stop accusing BA pilots of stealing your work when you took it from us in the first place.

The mismanagement of CX is a seperate issue, however BAR (at BHX certainly) always made money with BA pilots on the Master Seniority List so we can't be that expensive.

14th Apr 2004, 10:36
Man Flex. I agree that the problem that BA pilots have could be solved if BA were able to expand their profitable routes and hence create a demand for more pilots. This is almost impossible in the current competetive aviation environment that BA have not yet adjusted to. They are also dragged down by the profligate attitude of the past that leaves them with £5billion of debts: compare that to Lufthansa debts of £500 million. Debts don't come without a cost - they have to be serviced, and of course eventually the capital has to be paid back: both are very onerous problems which severly limit expansion for at least 5 to 10 years.
BACC can't do much about it now - apart from live out the past.

14th Apr 2004, 16:17
BAR made a profit at BHX?!! Are you sure?.

I remember them flying 2's &3's as their pax loads in the airbus alot of the time; why do you think BA was so keen to get rid.

I always have to laugh when I see these comments about franchisees taking the work/promotions from mainline. When are you guys going to realise. B.Med, GB & Maersk (when they were around) did NOT do BA work it was their own work. They flew the routes well before they became franchisees.

The deal was to get more pax by using the BA name & in return BA got a fee and was able to claim a bigger route network than they really had. Offering routes they could not make pay by themselves given their huge overhead structure.

For proof look at Duo (used to be Maersk) at BHX. Are you going to accuse them of taking your work? they are still flying the same routes. BA only came onto the STR and MXP after the franchise ended. MXP wasn't paying anyway so Duo dropped it and they are beating BA behinds on STR because they offer a better service cheaper.

Everyone knows BA want to slim down mainline regional & consolidate on long haul its been the direction for years now. It's not the fault of franchisees that this is how they choose to do it.

'round midnight
15th Apr 2004, 14:50
Tandemrotor didn't elaborate on the 'interim' nature of the RJ100 scope agreement and how it affects BACX. No wonder:

The agreement that BALPA and BA have reached is that after June 2010, provided the RJ 100 leases are extended, all RJ100 flying will revert to BA mainline flight Crew. If the lease are not extended but BACX acquires other RJ100, that flying too reverts automatically to BA pilots after June 2010.

I wonder if anyone has told the BACX RJ100 pilots?

15th Apr 2004, 15:13
The facts:

BA shorthaul is pretty much farcked up.

The LCCs have nabbed most of the bread, the private jet operators a lot of the jam. London Airways is still trying to operate a European network at a premium product level which very few people want. With massive debts and inefficiently overpaid managers and crews they are loosing money.

Longhaul London Airways is making money and in 2 years time will be making an obscene amount of money. Just like they have done in every economic upturn.

The answer - split to BOAC and BEA. Except BEA would be shagged without those Golden Heathrow slots. So. Give a lot of it to the Franchises who make a decent go of it without the debt burden and overpay/idle managers.

When the time comes for them to renew the contract hold a gun to their head and force them to take what would be BEA crews - although at the time it looks like making the franchises agreeing to let BA pilots in. Crews join, BA then announces it wishes to divest itself of its European 'division' and splits it off to a wholly owned subsidiary. In a few years time said subsidiary is sold off to a 3rd party.

Hey presto BA got rid of shorthaul and now makes tons of money doing the only thing it knows how to.

15th Apr 2004, 15:20
BAR made a profit at BHX?!! Are you sure?.

Absolutely positively definitely.

BA mainline leaving BHX was a political issue, not an economic one.


15th Apr 2004, 17:34
Holy goodness etc.

'round midnight, are you sure abut that agreement? I don't think many of the BACX RJ crews know about that? Is that fact, or just another rumour. Most of us are expecting that BACX will continue to contract till it just has BHX and MAN. At that point, we reckoned the props would be gone, and the Company slimmed to the point that BA took the remaining pilots (RJ and Emb145) onto the master seniority list, albeit at the bottom, but with grandad rights, and that then we would probably continue flying on a 'regionalised' salary but with jobs.
What you outline is a blasted disaster, the Embs are already being returned as the leases run out, and I think the first RJ goes back in less than two years.
Do you mean to suggest that we will be effectively out of a job????? We have taken so much of a shafting from BA over the last two years, most of us are only still here because we believed by any standards the worst MUST be over. Spill the beans, is this for real?:(
What would happen if the Emb 170/90 were acquired? Yes, I know maybe a pipedream, but would that be affected in like fashion, given it's below alleged the scope threshold??
It really would be nice to be told some of this by our so called Company, they're very good at communicating job cuts, SOP changes and the penalty for taking food off the aircraft (dismissal), but t important things like agreements which f#ck our future, they are awful.

15th Apr 2004, 18:00
It would be interesting to know the truth of this one.

It will cause total mayhem within BACX if it is indeed true.

I don't think anyone expects - or ever expected a free lunch, just fair treatment. The worst thing about this latest 'factoid' is unfortunately that it fits entirely with the way BA management and BA BALPA have treated us ever since BA bought us. Nobody will be surprised, but a lot will be quite ropable.
Sorry, I suppose this is off thread a little, however, even if only partially true it shows that BALPA membership is completely worthless unless one is a member of Big Airways, and thus nicely puts the thread back on message.

'round midnight
15th Apr 2004, 19:16

Unfortunately what I have said is printed black on white. On the strict interpretation of the document, if BACX acquires Emb 170/190 BA pilots have no claim. It is also clear in this document that the BACX 146 fleet will not be replaced by an aircraft of 100 seats or more. The spirit of the document tends to point towards BA pilots doing all 100 + seat flying from 2010 onwards.

So the answer is that I do not know what happens to BACX RJ100 pilots in 2010, but if they stay on this type they won't be flying for BACX.

If you want confirmation, let's here from Tandemrotor. He let the cat out of the bag and I did a little bit of research. He knew about this deal when he was seconded to BACX. Bacx pilots knew nothing about this and BACX management have said nothing about it either, I understand.

Also Re: GSS
The document makes it clear that command positions of any additional freighters contracted by BA Cargo will be available for aspirational bidding by mainline flight crew. That's excalty what happened (and will happen again if GSS acquire another BA 747), so the veracity of the document is unquestionable.

And now I suggest you go to Tim de la Fosse at BACX and see what he has to say about this.

I'll finish with the second stated goal of BALPA:

"To inspire membersí confidence by demonstrating real concern for their needs."

So is big Balpa still working for your needs????

16th Apr 2004, 21:58
'round midnight

Well done.

Just a couple of clarifications:

"if BACX acquires Emb 170/190 BA pilots have no claim."

Not strictly true. It would of course depend on which variant. The 195 has over 100 seats!

"The spirit of the document tends to point towards BA pilots doing all 100 + seat flying from 2010 onwards.

Not strictly true. It's the letter of the document!

All I would say is, don't worry too much! 6 years is a VERY long time in aviation.

"He knew about this deal when he was seconded to BACX."

Not strictly true. Much remained undisclosed (possibly even undecided) until after the secondees arrived!

Just to balance the equation, anyone familiar with the BACX RJ operation will already know that much of what my 'colleague' Hand Solo has to say, is also, not strictly true!

Hand Solo
17th Apr 2004, 01:02
I'm intrigued Tandemrotor. If Ive not been strictly accurate then please feel free to correct me, either on this thread or by PM. I certainly don't want to be spouting half-truths (or even outright fibs) on this forum, but the info I get is definitely first hand.


BA shorthaul is pretty much farcked up.

Breaking even according to the latest from the Directors.

which very few people want. With massive debts and inefficiently overpaid managers and crews they are loosing money
My flights have had load factors in excess of 70% this week, and with 83% of my duty hours this month being actual flying I think I'm pretty efficient as far as any LHR based operator goes.

. Except BEA would be shagged without those Golden Heathrow slots. So. Give a lot of it to the Franchises who make a decent go of it without the debt burden and overpay/idle managers
And BOAC are shagged without the 30% of their customers they get from short-haul European transfers. The overheads on shortahaul are leaner than you think, and shorthaul revenue is affected by the policy of splitting the revenue of transfer passengers with longhaul on the proportion of total mileage flown. That has a big impact when up to 50% of your passengers are transferring, an impact that few franchises would be willing to accept.

I remember them flying 2's &3's as their pax loads in the airbus alot of the time;
I've got 1000+ sectors on the Airbus at BHX that say the loads were a lot better than you claim.

17th Apr 2004, 01:57
I totally agree with you on the unrepresemtative accounting techniques apparently used to split feeder and longhaul revenue. I recall LBA being "uneconomic" on Viscounts with 100% load factors! Getting 200/8000 of the fare to HKG was not the right proportion.

Sheikh Zabik
17th Apr 2004, 20:00
Thread creep..................

Around Midnight you are right on the money.

Balpa cannot be all things to all men and there is the proof. A cosy deal struck to keep BACC happy and $od the rest of the infidels.

Nothing wrong with Balpa looking after its main customer but lets get real. It cannot be all things to all men (gross conflict of interest) and whilst Champagne Jim and Raffles Merv sip Bolly with their millionaire pension potters and concern themselves about non resident tax breaks the real world of scabby Commercial aviation needs proper independent and impartial representation.

IPF is too small for effect now but at least it is a start. So lets start stoking its coffers and see what can be done.


'round midnight
17th Apr 2004, 21:06

Your absolutely right.

More sleuthing reveals that 'any BA passenger flying anywhere in the UK, in aircraft purchased or leased by BA with 100 seats or more will be flown by BA mainline Flight crew.' And your answer is that 2010 is a long way away... I despair.

What happens to your colleagues at BACX in 2010, when the Emb 170/190/RJ100/146 are still around? Answer: they're forced to leave the BA group and continue their career elsewhere? That's acceptable to you, is it?

It's acceptable to you that most BACX pilots, if not all, have never been told that their furture on type or within BACX ends in 6 years time, because by then it will be time to make way for a BA pilot (who may still be doing his 'A' levels and not even be a brand new cadet yet)?

What is it with you? Does every flying job in the UK frigging belong to you and your BA mates now and in the future? When will you take a good look at yourself and stop bleeting that the world owes you a living for the rest of your life in the company of your choice because you wear a BA badge?

Next you'll be suggesting that if BA lay off pilots, then BACX/GB and Bmed should make room for those made redundant in mainline?

And with all this destructive scope agreement afoot, BACX pilots cannot even have access to mainline... We don't even have the same travel benefits as BA pilots.

All this under the watchful and caring eye of BALPA...

17th Apr 2004, 22:01
'round midnight

You may THINK you know me, and my attitude! But you don't!!

I fully anticipate that, the only way BA can handle the situation in BACX in 2010, is to 'incorporate' ALL RJ/100+ seat pilots onto the master seniority list!

Quite a result wouldn't you agree?

ie. NOBODY loses a job!

FULL grandfather protections, etc!

This was offered, but rejected by your CC, already!

What can YOU possibly lose?

As for mainline access, haven't you realised that BA have recruited NO pilots since the creation of BACX?

Let's see where we stand when the time comes, eh!

Please educate me on how your staff travel benefits differ from mainline (even though you work for a totally separate company!)

"Does every flying job in the UK frigging belong to you and your BA mates now and in the future?"

Why are you surprised that BACC takes an interest in the MANY jobs 'DONATED' to BACX, when the RJ fleet, and profitable BAR routes and bases were 'given', lock stock and barrel, to BACX?

That's NOT 'every flying job', it's flights masquerading as BA, but now a VERY different product to mainline! (As Hand Solo has alluded to!)

PS. The world owes nobody a living! Not you, and not me!

Question: How many BACX pilots are now employed on the RJ?

Somewhere around 100 I reckon, so perhaps BALPA didn't do too badly in negotiating that 'expansion' for BACX.

18th Apr 2004, 06:50
FULL Grandfather rights Tandemrotor? I presume you mean like those given to the ex Dan Pilots, who then had them taken away by "Collective Agreements" over the ensuing years. BALPA can not be trusted with its word as they don't even make any effort to keep it. I recall a BALPA senior BACC member informing the ex DANs that this was what was going to happen and tough luck they did not matter and BALPA were not interested in them only their 1%. Well so be it!

20th Apr 2004, 11:13
To bring this thread back to the original topic:-

BA pilots are naturally worried about the serious loss of commands in 2006 and they will most certainly lobby the BACC to secure commands in any Scope company that they can get access to. GSS was first - who will be next?

Who exactly inside the portals of 81 New Road will be able and willing to fight a battle against the wishes of the BACC? It is a simple matter of numbers and numbers equals power. As Sheik Zabik rightly said :-
'BALPA cannot be all things to all men'.

What happened to GSS proves without doubt that those us outside of BA Mainline who might find themselves in opposition to the BACC, need to have another union to represent their interests.
The IPF must be the way forward. Join and make this a viable alternative union - a union that does not have divided loyalties and can represent pilots without being constrained by always having to firstly consider the wishes of the BACC.