View Full Version : "scope" is it the BA b scale

28th Jun 2004, 14:26
It would seem to me that the "scope agreement" presumably negotiated by BALPA is little more than a back door B scale for BA pilots and I invite opinions from all. As it throws up many concerns and potential problems for the industry especially BA. As I understand it, scope allows BA pilots to bid for positions usually commands, in affected companies such as GSS for example. The terms and conditions are usually worse than would be expected at BA and so are the salaries. if anyone accepts these positions then basically BALPA have proven that BA pilots will indeed work for less on worse t and c's, something that BA management wouldn't have missed I'm sure.
It also makes me wonder if whoever negotiated this agreement for BALPA didn't end up on the management board with BA, after all "what a coup", and if he did by some chance then it makes you wonder exactly what hidden aggenda BALPA has and who is feathering what nests for later in their careers.
After all taking the GSS example BALPA have "acheived" BA pilots working for less, not even in BA, because GSS now has potentially a neverending supply of captains this in turn supresses any arguments for a payrise thus keeping below industry rates alive indefinately, and of course it ruins F/O careers at the affected company as we know. (anyone joining GSS now has a time to command of over 40 yrs mathematically speaking at least, the longest in the world I would think.).
So BALPA have supressed pay indefinately, ruined careers and brought in a B scale for BA. They claim to be making lives better for pilots or at least trying. What are they thinking?

28th Jun 2004, 15:24
My understanding of scope is not quite as you claim. I forget the exact wording but it essentially is an agreement that any future work flown in aircraft above a certain size, in BA colours will be flown by BA pilots. It says nothing about BA pilots going to franchises to fly.

The intent was rather that any such future work would as a result be kept "in house". The GSS situation was as a result of the apparent expansion of that operation. BALPA approached BA, pointed at the scop agreement and the compromise that was reached was the process whereby BA guys can bid to do that work on GSS T and Cs. This is not dissimilar to the situation that existed when BA pilots bid to work at what was then EOG flying the 737 on less pay than at lhr. Slowly that has resolved itself such that the work is on BA mainline pay with only the rostering yet to bring in to line with mainline. It's worth considering that had BALPA simply not allowed BA pilots to pursue this route in EOG the work would almost certainly have moved out of the BA fold permanently.

SCOPE is clearly far from perfect but unfortunately such agreements are not legally binding in UK law so inevitably compromises result....

At least that's how I understood it...

Human Factor
28th Jun 2004, 22:40
The GSS thing is not part of Scope directly. However, it ought to borne in mind that if it wasn't for BA there would be no GSS as the BA World Cargo contract is their only one. Having said that, my personal view is that the GSS work should be brought in house and flown as part of the 747-400 fleet with all GSS pilots on BA T&Cs and the Master Seniority List. That way we avoid this B scale.

29th Jun 2004, 23:46
Scope is the BaCC shooting the BA brand down. It has prevented the brand exploiting market opportunities due to the mainline business consolidation post 9/11. Facts are that BA has used the franchises to its advantages in the good years and mismanaged the opportunity in the leaner years because of fear from the union. Some franchises would now be operating (profitably) out of some of the regions and taking on the competition head on but oh no the union scuppered it and those opportunities are lost. Because BA mainline didn't have the rights or confidence to do the routes others have moved in - net result less people on BA aeroplanes and the whole brand suffers. It's about time the BA CC realised the benefits of the franchises and stopped dreaming that without them mainline would expand by a whole load of aircraft thus giving their members commands etc. It aint going to happen. The travelling public are as interested in hassle factor as well as cost - if you live in manchester you would rather pay an extra 50 or 60 quid to have the convenience of flying from manchester to the most popular destinations rather that travel to the smoke with accom charges, travelling time, parking blah blah. Some franchises own slots into these destinations not mainline but no it couldn't happen. Rumour has it is that at last the BACC are seeing sense - i hope!

PS. I don't need any smart ar*e telling me i can't spell at 0100 either.

The essence of a successful team is realising you are part of a team!

:{ :ugh: :\ :hmm: :ok:

30th Jun 2004, 08:21
Or perhaps another way of looking at franchises is that they allow BA management to avoid the difficult issues of cost control. Without franchises BA would only be able to mintain a presence in the regions if it addressed its cost base. If BA did this to sufficient extent it would soon be an extremely successful company and those shares I paid a fortune for would at last be worth something again!!

Indeed the continued expansion of the franchise network can only be bad for the mainline operation, which while in such deep denial over the cause of its problems, can only whither on the vine in the coming years unless it addresses those costs...

30th Jun 2004, 16:21
Diesel, Reference your remark that EOG or SHAG as it is now is not on the same terms and condiitions as mainline. Even the pay is different e.g they are capped at pp11 for a F/O and pp 16 for a Capt. The rosteringis via Carmen. There is also a raft of different conditions take a look at the pink pages in FCOs re flight time limitations 1450 - 1478 if my memory serves me right. BALPA is a democratic union and the majority rule. The majority of BA BALPA members are at LHR and so Scope and all agreements are devised with that in mind. BALPA has to protect its source of income, thats the real world.
Remember how many BALPA BACC chairman have moved on to management positions. Yes the company welcome such deals as scope as a back door to cheaper operations. They reward such ideas with promotions, real world again.

30th Jun 2004, 16:37
Aaah .... modern 'management' , " No, that's a matter of interpretation" ..... unquote.

30th Jun 2004, 19:58

Yes I accept what you say and I share your suspicion. I know there are differences in scheduling and that increments stop at the points you mentioned. Wouldn't it be fait to say by that point one can move if you wish to move further up the incremental ladder?

Yes, Iknow you may not want to..

Surely it's a fair point to say that the the EOG/SHAG operation has slowly moved toward mainline? I was at LGW when it was mainline and well remember the feeling that EOG was the thin end of the wedge. Instead, by allowing mainline guys/girls to bid in and continuing to pressure BA, it has moved way away from the old Dan Air agreement those of us that were there at the time remember being presented with as our new contract....

Bottom line, yep, you can't trust anyone's motives, but on balance anything that stalls the trend to outsource work (from mainline that is..) has got to be good in my book. BA needs to address its cost base and all the evidence is that it's not in the air...

1st Jul 2004, 06:28
Agree with you on all that Diesel, the feeling down here at LGW is pretty awful though. The company are treating the cc like ..., plus the despatchers and other ground staff. Where does it all end? The point I'm trying to get accross is basically what they get away with at MAN/BHX they try at LGW and then when that has run its course LHR will be next. BALPA are very good at protecting LHR at the expense of the outstations as they are expendable in BALPA's eyes. That is understandable but eventually they will have spent all the T & C's that they have and will have to start on mainline. As regards moving out of LGW as you get to pp11 or pp 16 fine as long as you are able. Not possible if within 3 years of retirement and also not possible if there are no vaccancies. Then again from BALPA's perspective its only a minority that get their pensions capped and so it doesn't matter.

1st Jul 2004, 07:33
The possibility of getting your pension capped for lack of a vacancy at lhr is not something I'd thought of.....sounds a bit unreasonable!

Sadly you are right about the company's attitude. (and BALPAs?) We have to ask whether lgw is better or worse for BALPA's approach over the years? Would LGW be on better Ts and Cs had BALPA stayed out?

Ultimately the aim has to be bid line rules at lgw. Never you may say! However the movement of airbus to lgw provides a great opportunity - it's that or a very small airbus base at lgw, seperate from lhr...with all the problems that will generate.

Well I'm hopeful anyway!!

1st Jul 2004, 13:41
<<Would LGW be on better Ts and Cs had BALPA stayed out? >>

YES!!! They would have been on Dan Air's T&Cs and everybody was as happy as a pig in s**t in Dan and no-one would be complaining. "When I woz in Dan,......"

1st Jul 2004, 15:14
Come now Shamen.. are you serious!? I was at lgw when it became EOG. I remember being given a little blue folder with the new working Ts & Cs. Wherever it said Dan Air I was to read EOG I was told. There was no comparison between that set of Ts & Cs and the mainline ones on which I had previously been working.

LGW was a very happy base, always has been for all kinds of reasons. Certainly within BA at least happiness appears to be inversely related to pay!

Seriously, is the pay higher or lower now than under Dan Air? Tell the truth.....

Yes the rostering is poor. As has been mentioned that is another piece of the puzzle for BALPA to work on.

Oh how many captains did I fly with back then full of stories about how much better life was in dear old Dan... somehow they always omitted the change in income, & career possibilities within (new to them) BA. It's easy to apply rose tinted spectacles looking backwards. Do it myself when I remember my time at lgw. But in honesty I find it hard to believe life would be better there without BALPA's input. I dread to think what the rostering would be like then....

1st Jul 2004, 19:28
Scope issues are tearing US ALPA apart. Hopefully you all will handle it better than we have in the US.
Here is a splinter group of ALPA pilots who are having to sue ALPA for equal treatment.


2nd Jul 2004, 08:39
Diesel, of course pay and some conditions are better now then in the days of the Dan blue book. one has though to consider that its now 12 years since those days and so naturally T&Cs would improve. Personally I believe that they would have been much better if there had been a seperate Union dealing with EOG rather than being lumped under the BACC. Agreed that there would not have been the opportunity to take advantage of those green pastures at LHR. Then again the question that needs to be asked is how many ex Dans actually benefited? I could probably count them on one hand.
The point though of this thread is Scope and I feel certain we have all been Stuffed by BALPA on this one. Its great for short term but will kick us in the teeth in the long run.

2nd Jul 2004, 09:09

It's certainly possible that a seperate company with a seperate union may have produced better Ts & Cs. I too can see that the umbrella union covering so many sometimes contradictory aspirational groups may not always be the best solution.

That said I'd rather have them than not have them these days. I'm sure that any weakness would have been seen as an opportunity by my employer...

So back to the thread - is scope a B scale. I'd still have to argue No. I suppose it depends on your position (as always!). The end game appears to be a desire to force work in to the mainline camp, perhaps even forcing management to address those cost problems. So if like me you are part of BA lhr then such aims are welcome. I guess if you are outside in the regions etc you may argue you would be better off without such a strategy. I'm not convinced such an argument would be correct - as I have suggested Ts & Cs appear better to me in these areas than they would otherwise be - but I can see the argument that perhaps, and it's a big perhaps, a seperate union would have focused more on the bases concerns and got a better result.

However this wouldn't mean it's a B scale would it? I cannot believe that an operation set up outside BA, with no BALPA presence would produce better employment conditions than one with BALPA on board. I accept that BALPA is guarding fortress lhr and to an extent seems prepared to fight less at say lgw with this in mind.

Can it really be unreasonable that employees of a company wish work done in that company's name to be done by themselves and not an outside organisation. Especially if the use of such franchises removes/threatens their own livelihood?

2nd Jul 2004, 16:31
Yes you of course are right Diesel it does obviously depend on where you are based as to the value of BALPA to your own cause.
As regards Scope in theory its a good idea , unfortunately its open to abuse/persuasion (whatever you care to call it). MAN and BHX were good examples of this where BALPA just gave away those bases and work to City Express.
OK its part of the BA umbrella but its not on the master seniority list and BALPA don't appear to be pushing it either.
So scope in these cases has led to a B class salary, standby LGW. All the company has to say is oh dear we can't afford full pensions and salaries at LGW and down will come the portcullis at Fortress Heathrow. We aleady have the capped salary scales so the rest unfortunately will follow.
Scope is a tool to protect LHR and BALPA, as BALPA's main contributors in BA are LHR based (market forces and all that). However once all the outstations have become B class citizens with B scale pay then the attention will turn to the next minority at LHR.

3rd Jul 2004, 08:37
I certainly hope you're wrong!

I would argue that lgw has been prevented from becoming a standalone organisation and should BALPA achieve its aim of BLR at lgw they would have succeeded in reversing the company attempts to set up a seperate SH operation that would undermine Ts and Cs at lhr.With a common seniority list, mainline pay (allbeit capped) and ultimately BLR it will have reabsorbed into BA.....

SCOPE excludes aircaft below a certain size and I suspect much of the regional work falls in to this category.

Trying to stay with the thread though.... looking at GSS is it a B scale? Well only time will tell I guess but I wouldn't be too surprised to see folk arguing here in the not so distant future about grandfather rights for GSS FOs and captains as BA reabsorbs the work as SCOPE has prevented further expansion of BA generated work....

4th Jul 2004, 06:33
Regional work really needs a bigger a/c such as the 737 or airbus. The poor old 146 can't manage the work load at present out of the regions. Where will SCOPE be when BA eventually puts the old 737 out of LGW into the regions? My bet is that there will be a few words said by BALPA then it'll all go ahead. Its an impossible situation for the company to have its hands tied in this way, market forces must rule. The same thing will eventually happen at LGW (unfortunately) but then its already started with the capping which will eventually find its way to LHR. I wish I was wrong in my thinking, but times are changing fast in the aviation world. Scope will bring lower salaries in through the back door.
It was written with the best of intentions, but at the end of the day you will not be able to stop what has been started by the low cost outfits.
The public have seen and sampled the low cost and are demanding lower and lower fares. Scope will be used or bypassed by the company when and how they see fit. It has not prevented LGW from being a standalone outfit. Just take for example the way our cc are being treated, compared to LHR. Look at scheduling, look at the Hotels, look at a whole raft of differences. You must recall the days when you were based here Diesel I can assure you it has not changed that much. Scope at LGW has allowed the company to continue to keep things different or if you prefer a B Scale.

4th Jul 2004, 09:24

As for the future I guess we can only wait and see. If the company do try for 737s in the regions then I daresay that will be the acid test. Nothing personal but I do hope you are wrong!

I agree the customer wants value for money. However they also want to arrive at the city centre and on time - aspects with which we can most certainly compete. Personally I would argue that BA's cost cutting could be most amply rewarded on many other aspects of its operation.

When I say standalone I guess I'm really refering to it from a Flight crew point of view. As a point of comparison the way in which the CC are treated provides food for thought....

There's no way of knowing how the implementation of the SCOPE agreement will work out. The first test was of course GSS. The result was a messy compromise. BA have been left in no doubt that BALPA intend to pursue this agreement. If one day we find GSS being swallowed up by BA or the work generated being flown by BA pilots then that will be the day we know SCOPE worked. The end game is of course to keep BA generated work in house and in this imperfect world that can only be achieved one step at a time.

While conditions at SHAG are clearly not as at LHR they are better than they were, No? Not talking about the CC (that's BASSA's area...) To have started with an operation that clearly set out to undermine pay in shorthaul in BA, and end up with one that is on mainline pay (all be it with a pay cap at what, PP16?) is a step surely in the right direction. I suppose it is true that this means BA pilots on a seperate scale - your B scale? - but that rather masks the fact that without it pay rates at SHAG would almost certainly be lower....a C scale perhaps!

I guess the question is, will lhr move toward lgw or vice versa? If it's the former you will of course have been proved right (ok I'll buy the beer..) but of lgw moves further toward lhr arrangements (say BLR lite) then SCOPE will have justified itself.

Just in case I'll break in to the piggy bank and wait at the bar...



Human Factor
4th Jul 2004, 09:43

BAR made a profit (at BHX) the whole time using the 737 and the Bus with pilots on Mainline pay (slightly different agreement and a pp18 CAP for skippers). Scope would return the status quo.

4th Jul 2004, 14:05
Diesel I hope I don't see you in the bar buying me a drink, I would rather it the other way round! I would love to be wrong on this.
Human factor makes the point on the fact that the company cicumvented scope by chooseing to use a smaller type i.e the 146 at BHX and Man. Surely as they were making a profit with the 737 why not leave the status quo? The answer surely is in a B class system using City express rather than leaving things alone.

Norman Stanley Fletcher
7th Jul 2004, 10:18
There is no point in banging your fists on the table demanding that all pilots in BA-coloured aircraft be flown by your mates when the very company itself is under threat from outside competition. This is simply a case of feathering your own nest while the tree is being chopped down!

7th Jul 2004, 11:42

Guess we'll just have to see how it goes. Meet you at the bar anyway....


Sorry can't remotely agree with you. All in BA are only too aware of the reality of the world around us. Contracting out its work as is happening through the franchises is a way for BA management to avoid dealing with the reality of its cost base. Pilots that feel they have already made great strides to be competitive see their future being undermined by a company management happy to run away from the results of previous decisions and re-invent BA elsewhere. Why should I let that happen? BA has all the advantages a commercial company could want and has grown fat over the years to an extent that threatens its survival. The pilots see SCOPE as a means of forcing a reality check on those that run the show. I would ask again whether it is so unreasonable to argue that people buying BA tickets , and traveling on a BA liveried aircraft, be flown by BA employed pilots? We all now that the cost base could be dramatically lower and not by attacking th pilots..#

9th Jul 2004, 22:50
latest hot poop in the regions is about BACX taking work from mainline @ Lgw over the coming year. Its already happened in the regions, so only a matter of time for Lgw? anyone know more?

Carnage Matey!
9th Jul 2004, 23:03
It'll stay hot poop as I believe scope restricts ALL BA flying at LHR and LGW to mainline crews regardless of aircraft size, with the exception of the pre-existing BACX routes on the 146.

Now tell me the one about the regions getting 737s again.

9th Jul 2004, 23:20

not what i heard today!

besides, i wouldnt put all my money on Scope.

10th Jul 2004, 08:34
I get the impression that the company are always floating ideas and rumours amongst the troops , hoping that they wont get a hostile reaction. As long as we all stick together and BALPA donīt "wobble" or have a BACC chairman happy to sell us down the river, we should be ok.