View Full Version : British Airways to cut workers' pay

9th Oct 2001, 23:29
from news.bbc.co.uk

British Airways is planning to cut the pay of 36,000 workers, as part of its efforts to reduce costs following the terrorist attacks in the US.
The airline is proposing to withdraw the annual extra one week's holiday pay, due to be paid next month, and to stop the annual increment next year.

Unions say they will oppose the cuts, when they meet management for talks later this week. BA says the proposals would save £37m.

The proposed pay cuts would affect 36,000 non-management staff based in the UK, including flight crew, cabin crew, engineers, administrative and ground staff.

Six hundred senior managers were told they faced a 10% pay cut last week.

The company's directors have agreed to reduce their own pay by 15%.

Thousands of middle managers have been warned their pay is also being reviewed.

Industry crisis

The reluctance of people to travel by air after last month's terrorist attacks has plunged the airline industry into crisis.

More than 100,000 jobs have been shed by airlines around the world as they attempt to cut back costs.

Since the attacks, BA has said it plans to cut 7,000 jobs and it has withdrawn and suspended a number of its regular services.

Last week the company said it had seen a 22% fall in total passenger traffic during September month, and that it expected further falls.

On Wednesday, the European Commission is expected to announce that it will allow some state aid for airlines struggling in current conditions.

10th Oct 2001, 00:20

I am sending my views to BALPA right now.

:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

10th Oct 2001, 00:24
It was only a matter of time before this nonsense emerged.

As someone else on these forums has said, where is BA's monster seat sale to get the cash flowing in?

I will vote against any such proposal whilst the company owns the freehold to Waterside.

Guvnor: try to stay out of this one, eh, there's a good chap? You'll only upset the professional pilots on the forum

10th Oct 2001, 01:40
2 things come to mind on this one.

a ) Exactly, where is the seat sale. Cashflow is king right now.

b ) Companies are putting a ban on all international travel. Not for saftey, but for economic reasons. I work for the 3rd biggest software company in the world and we have put such a ban in place. So have 2 of the big 5 i am told.

10th Oct 2001, 02:19

Whilst I understand your frustration at BA owning Waterside, do you not think that this proposal is "too little, too late ", rather similar to the proposed redundancies ?


rhythm method
10th Oct 2001, 02:47
Haven't personally been in Waterworld, but other members of the family have.

A vastly wasted piece of space with waterfalls, feng shui consultant and other trivial cr*p!!! This is meant to be an airline not a fekkin amusement park (maybe that's in future plans... after the foot and mouth epidemic is definitely over we'll have tourist days at the office!)

Which *ssholes in BA approved such a disgusting waste of company money? Knock the bl**dy building down and flog it as real estate and stop stealing the hard earned salaries of the employees.

:mad: :mad: :mad:

10th Oct 2001, 04:12
"Thousands of BA Middle Managers have been told their pay is under review". Therein lies the problem - those thousands of middle managers.

BA have just put IN extra managers to see them through their recovery - more leeches sucking the blood of the dying corpse.

Come on folks - look at easyJet and the like - lean mean and making money. Your own GO showed the way ahead until you sold it for short term gain.

I have family at BA and desperately want the company to ride this out - but it seems to be "full speed ahead and sod the icebergs" at the moment.

10th Oct 2001, 19:37
Did you ever stop to consider that perhaps the good old sharp end workforce may have more than a little to do with the current crises in BA? With all the industrial relations baggage left over from being a nationalised operation still evident (NSPs for one) I am surprised BA makes any progress at all. Yes, I dare say that there has been a degree of management incompetence but there has also been more than a fair share of workforce intransigence.

As to easyJet and the like they are not successful because they have a smaller management population, they are successful despite it. You can't compare the no frills operators with the rest of us because the comparison is just not valid. If BA were to completely overhaul its route structure and concentrate only on those routes where it could make a healthy profit then you could offer a comparison but of course that would mean shedding staff (both management and sharp end) right, left and centre.

Rather than looking for someone to blame shouldn't we all share the responsibility and start working together?

10th Oct 2001, 20:23
Do not bother sending anything to BALPA they are just a hopeless bunch of lazy beurocratic baffoons living on our money.
I have spent 4 weeks trying to get them to help me with a small problem, the first time i have had reason to contact them in some 8 years of membership [ which i am about to cancel ], and despite talking to neumerous so called "officers" none of them have done ANYTHING for me and worst of all nobody returns your calls, not even Chris Darkes PA! :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

[ 10 October 2001: Message edited by: flaps8 ]

10th Oct 2001, 21:49
So let me get this right....36000 non-management employees. That leaves what, let's say another 24000 or so MANAGEMENT employees if BA employees around 60000 people. So there would appear to be a manager for every 1.5 employees. Have I got this wrong or does that seem to tell the story of BA's probable demise rather clearly?

10th Oct 2001, 21:58
shutit down and re-start with a management that knows how to manage and a workforce that doesn't think the industry owes them a living.

ONLY THEN WILL IT WORK..The last 40 years of baggage needs throwing overboard.

Porky Speedpig
10th Oct 2001, 22:04
Warthog - well said, the sound of a nail being hit on the head but it may be drowned out here.
Diesel - careful how you read the BBC quote - there are many thousands of non managerial staff to which the cuts do not apply hence you can not make the assumptions you have.

10th Oct 2001, 22:08
I am an outsider who has spent all of his life in the shadow of LHR, and who has many friends in the Company.

Nearly all of the most senior people were hired by a nationalised business with an entirely different culture from that prevailing now. As these people retire, the airline's culture will become more realistic. Let us hope that it happens in time to save the airline.

10th Oct 2001, 22:15
Agree with sentiments made about BA management - way too top heavy - Would you believe there is even a manager at Waterworld for --wait for it-- Bread Rolls Europe !!! What Next??

I too desperately want to see things work at BA too.Maybe someone could drop John Harvey Nash off @ WWorld and do a quick ICI job on the place.

It's true too, the lo-cost operators can't compare their product in the slightest sense with BA's, and I am the last person to be elitist-I would probably fly FR/Easyjet if they went where i wanted to go, - but We've already had a barrage of self-conceited vitriol (again) from O'Leary on various news networks today. Does this guy do this to save on advertising or what??!! :o

10th Oct 2001, 23:46
Wot about a "first class chocolate buyer" or the "manager" on board about 3 months ago who was trying to work out if business class passangers liked their danish pastries hot or cold!! Just 2 examples of £50,000+ wasted in pay, pension, healthcare, and NI :rolleyes:

The one weeks pay , yeah company can have it,....... on condition they sack another 3000 so called managers :D

11th Oct 2001, 00:47

All those that feel that BA owes them a very healthy living, and feel very strong about possible pay cuts, then vote with your feet!! PUT UP OR SHUT UP!!

Allow those that want to fight for the company, and are prepared to give a little until better times, take over.

I wonder how many with a Low Sen No (ie <1500, and with total job security) are prepared to tighten the belt?? Sorry if I have done someone a dis-service with my last remark.

This is a time for consolidation, negotiation and compromise, not UNION RHETORIC!! and I am a BALPA supporter.

11th Oct 2001, 01:09
I don't mind personally making cut backs and changes to make it possible for BA to make it through this rough patch but I'll be dead honest I don't want to see BA riding rough shod over their staff because people are too afraid for their jobs.

If they are reviewing their middle management situation how come it is taking them a lot longer to review than it did how many flight deck, cabin crew and routes they needed in the immediate future.

One man to say where the ships going, the rest of you grab an oar each.

11th Oct 2001, 01:20
I think the key points made so far are that Leadership and Teamwork are the way forward. Restrictive practices and negative attitudes will do no good in the long term.
Either we make a step-change to become a modern, commercially driven company or we will be swept aside by fierce competition. This is a great opportunity to secure the future careers of many people employed by BA - are we up to the challenge?

Carnage Matey!
11th Oct 2001, 01:31
Give a little? They're asking for 15% from me! Incidentally, should a senior manager volunteer to give up 10% of his salary for 6 months I'll still be paying the company £800 more than him even though he earns three times what I do!

I dont think that BA owes me a living, but I demand that they address the real issues that affect this companys future. Stealing the pay of those who can least afford (and make no mistake, under this arrangement those who can most afford it will pay very little) is not going to resolve this crisis. We are grossly overstaffed. Nobody can deny this. Our overheads are outrageous. Nobody can deny this. Our managers treat their staff with disdain, and in many cases contempt. They are less interested in saving the company than saving themselves. Whilst this attitude prevails there is little hope for BA. Somebody must cut out the dead wood, but all we see are managers tinkering round the edges or burying their heads in the Waterside sand.

Incidentally, BA has over 50000 UK staff of whom 600 are senior managers and 36000 are 'non-management staff'. That leaves about 13400 junior managers. Thats over 1 manager for every 3 other staff, or over 50 managers per aircraft.

[ 10 October 2001: Message edited by: Carnage Matey! ]

11th Oct 2001, 01:59
We've already given them 30% by working for that much less than everyone else.

I'm not prepared to prop up the inadequacies of a self centered and incompetetent management by giving up more.

If the government or EU wants to subsidise BA managements' shortcomings, so be it, but don't ask the front line staff to do it.

Incidentally, the sought after savings of £37 million are not even going to make a scratch on the £6,700 million debt, but they will be sorely fealt by those making them.

11th Oct 2001, 02:56

I agree. If 37M makes all the difference, then it really is too late!


Fright Level
11th Oct 2001, 03:05
Under the latest proposal, every pilot who joined in the last 5 years will be "contributing" 15% or more to the recovery whilst the most senior ones zilch. Grossly unfair within the group of people who are *all* one of the most efficient and competitively paid group in Europe already.

Let it go bust and start with a clean slate?


Secret Squirrel
11th Oct 2001, 03:29
Warthog and others

Erm, I think you'll find that Sleazyjet and Ryanair pay their pilots considerably more on average than your 1-15 year pilot at BA. Sharp end salaries are not the problem. The problem is that BA is not a lean airline. They have baggage handlers, CSD's, dispatchers and tug drivers on 30-40 G's which is more than a lot of FO's. They need to subcontract these things out and... get rid of CSD's, there I've said it! You think WE don't justify our salaries???!!!!

What's more Ryanair, and possibly EasyJet (the former no question), have enjoyed a series of advantages hardly in keeping with fair competion rules.

These two airlines may get people flying for a month or two at £10 a go but they can't keep that up forever and as soon as they drop the initiative the loads will drop in unison.

You cannot run an airline without your own pilots but you can fly without CSD's (probably better in fact - and I'm not saying sack them, but get rid of the rank!), and the rest you can subcontract out.

rhythm method
11th Oct 2001, 03:54
Squirrel, what's your problem with CSD's?
Been refused an upgrade at some time or something?

Doing away with CSD's will not cure BA's long term ills. Management trimmed to half its' current level would most likely send the company back into the black to start with! Flog Waterworld and you've got the initial £37m and then onwards!. Why employ Feng Shui consultants, chocolate purchasers, Danish pastry temperature consultants (need I go on?). Jobs for the boys and girls to the extreme! Let's look at realistic cost-cutting and overhead slashing, but stop using these trying times to rob the staff working at the 'coal face'. I'm disgusted to think that Sept 11th is being used to justify these managerial w@nkers laying off harding working staff whose salaries will have minimal impact on removing the real overheads and problems of BA.




11th Oct 2001, 11:28
Nice to see that even the FT doesn't do its homework!

BA's 4,000 pilots are among the most highly paid of its employees. Salaries start at about £40,000 ($58,000) a year, with the average pay £80,000. The captain on a Boeing-747 can earn double that.

11th Oct 2001, 12:24
'Squirrel, what's your problem with CSD's?
Been refused an upgrade at some time or something'

RM - I doubt that is his problem, he's just stating a truth but the politically incorrect.
Here is a fact. Ask a passenger when a flight departs with a purser acting as CSD if they noticed any differnce in the service - I doubt it. Don't get me wrong a number do a good job, but there are far too many who are trying to win their little turf battles and honestly believe they are more important than the Captain.

BA has such massive problems, it's mini-empires within the airline all concerned with their own patch and not managing the company as a successful venture. At the top of the heap is the Cabin Crew departments, unless they are sorted out in their working practices it's hard to see how the airline has a future - they really do bleed the company dry. Stil they are asking the pilots to slow down to get their extra payments. On a day return flight to TLV just after the attack, the flight being almost empty going out - they had extra money, hotel and 5 days off after the flight as an inducement - yet they still delayed it over an hour to wait for two crew even though they could have legally gone. This sort of thing is going on all the time, given the current circumstances you do have to question some peoples IQ!

Inspector Gadget
11th Oct 2001, 12:28
Saw it all yesterday. A 737 pulls up at Glasow, large luxury car pulls up along side.Capt and F.O. get driven to airport hotel approx 500m away!!. How can they justify pay cuts and redundancies when this sort of stuff is still going on. I know BA crews think they have earned these perks over the years, but if they ar'nt carful the biggest perk of all will vanish soon.

Norman Stanley Fletcher
11th Oct 2001, 12:44
I do not work for BA but am very pro-them. I really want them to succeed and do well as it has a knock-on effect for all of us. I have just finished a conversion at Cranebank run by BA and it was superb - faultless. However, there was vast overmanning in the groundschool and several layers of management. The 'CSD problem' must be addressed. These people are simply earning too much money (like more than twice what they should do). I am sorry if that offends people but everyone knows its true. The pilots get too many perks and there are way, way too many managers. Before you all go berserk, remember these are relative terms. The question you have to ask yourself is what do everyone else pay their staff, and how many are there? By way of example my last company paid cabin crew £10,000 per year and paid the senior cabin crew £11,000 per year. They all flew 4 sector days, 5 or 6 days a week. The pilots were not much better off but were limited by CAA regulations. The simple fact is that other companies pay considerably less to their staff, have considerably less of them and work them considerably harder. That is the competition that you are up against. I hope the events with Swiss Air, Sabena, etc have removed any lingering doubt about the divine right to exist of national carriers. I truly wish you every success guys, but if you do not wake up very soon and take drastic action at every level then there will be no British Airways. Act now while you still can.

A and C
11th Oct 2001, 12:50
Cabincrew pay is the biggest issue facing BA ask your self how at the end of the month when the total remunaration is counted can a first year cabin crew member get more in pay and alowances that a licenced aircraft engineer ,the skill to reward balance is just not correct and cannot be sustaned in this market place.

So the cabin crew empire must fall or BA will fall ,if that happens then it wont take long for the pilots and engineers to find a job in aviation but the cabin crew training will leave the average CSD well equiped to flip burgers under the golden arches.

11th Oct 2001, 12:51
Whether you like it or not someone has to be accountable and responsible to the Captain and the company for what happens in the cabin. Whether you call them a CSD or a steward, who cares. Let me tell you though when you get involved and really care about BA, being a CSD is not always as easy as some of you seem to think. By the way, Last year neither of us went into the 40% tax bracket, we are not earning the kind of money, that some of you believe we earn.We are both on longhaul.

11th Oct 2001, 13:18
Inspector Gadget: BA crews night stop in the City not at the airport.


11th Oct 2001, 13:21
"Saw it all yesterday. A 737 pulls up at Glasow, large luxury car pulls up along side.Capt and F.O. get driven to airport hotel approx 500m away!!. How can they justify pay cuts and redundancies when this sort of stuff is still going on. I know BA crews think they have earned these perks over the years, but if they ar'nt carful the biggest perk of all will vanish soon."

This is is not an expensive practice (eg. £30). It is cheaper than extending the pilot's duty day. (ie. 2 pilots @ £50 for 1/2 an hour). The cabin crew are deemed to require longer to finish their duties!! - and take seperate transport; often to a hotel of different(lower) spec.

Don't make statements you don't understand

gas path
11th Oct 2001, 13:44
Before you go blaming the cc!

BA manpower numbers and employee costs


Head office............5%...............7%
Sales and marketing...12%..............11%
Cabin Services........28%..............25%
Flight Operations......7%..............18%

For the engineering group there are 7126 employees worldwide.
Approx 12 months ago at a briefing we were told that the number of 'direct' staff would reduce and the number of 'indirect' staff would increase, these indirect staff are all in the 'Technical Manager grade' (with the associated benefits). Just wander in any tech control and see the managers!!
More 'planners' than you can shake a stick at. Most of which are absolutely useless and haven't got a clue.Shift managers that do er...ummm...er.. arhhh! yes! Email.
I dare say other groups are run on similar lines.
BA was at it's best just before privatisation and for the first 5? years, then the staff numbers just began to bloat after wasting millions on consultants and failed BPR and BEP projects.
Rant Over :mad:

[ 11 October 2001: Message edited by: gas path ]

11th Oct 2001, 13:52
Been flying for BA Main line for FOR A WHILE. Now flying(SH)out for BAR. Started on £18,000 have now reached about £36,000. Sat & thought about it and after hearing fellow pilots discussing the issue am totally opposed to the withdrawal of incremental pay for following reasons:
BALPA have shown that we work harder and earn less then some other airlines
We have more ground staff etc then other airlines we should address this.
Please remember back to 1995 when BA had some good profits, but did not increase pay by much as this would create a high staff cost base, this would be a problem during a down turn!! Please see BA news.
Flight crew will be targeted unevenly, for those on pay point 24 no affect!!!!!
Forever one pay point behind in turn affecting pensions (mine).
And if we give in on this it allows BA to come along next month etc and say its going to be a tough time ahead so we need even further cuts as things still look bad. It has been done before it will be done again.
edited due to grammatical errors and tiredness
:mad: :mad:

[ 11 October 2001: Message edited by: Thankyoukindly ]

stab trim
11th Oct 2001, 14:32
Something I wonder, how cab BA justify all these expensive workshops, at a time where the lean low-cost carriers prosper and seem to threten the very existence of 'the all service' carriers like BA.

11th Oct 2001, 14:37
Inspector Gadget if your going to post please try and not make up stories. All BA crew nightstopping at GLA stay in the centre of Glasgow.

Please do tell how YOU know they were driven to the airport hotel, were you sad enough to follow them?

Seeing that you are so badly informed, at almost every slip station (MAN excluded)the transport is subcontracted, in GLA I belive it to be a company called SIGNET. Thus they are paid a fixed fee for which they will have tendered to run their opperation, BA pay no more or less for the size and or distances/frequency of their operation.

[ 11 October 2001: Message edited by: CRP5 ]

[ 11 October 2001: Message edited by: Sick Squid ]

11th Oct 2001, 19:11
Rumour of 5% cut for middle management and no bonus in 2002

11th Oct 2001, 20:59
A&C , For someone in the know , Cabin crew were starting on 7,800 for the last 4 years , until this year when it changed to 9,100.

All new entrants come to Eurofleet, where their allowances approx 500-600/ month on a an average 45hrs+ a week.

So if on £12-14k a year (minus their downroute expenses)they are still earning more than engineers I find that hard to believe.
They also have to be over 20,i guess some apprentice engineers are younger than this.

The CSD role is diminishing,certainly on Shorthaul.
I wouldn't be surprised in the next 3-4 years to see purely a A320/319/321 mix, with only a purser needed in charge.

basil fawlty
11th Oct 2001, 23:37
I was at BA for several years as an engineer before leaving to pursue my dream of flying for a living. So, I have therefore seen it from the inside and outside. Firstly, there are far,far too many managers. Half of them could disappear overnight and nobody would notice any difference whatsoever.(Memories of opening the internal telephone directory at random and seeing such positions as "Manager-job titles"!!!) There was a saying that the key to promotion was walking purposefully around the hanger clutching some important looking paperwork!! Secondly, the SENIOR cabin crew are on a very cushy number, have been for many years. They will argue otherwise, but then they would, wouldn't they?? Thirdly, The IT people are simply taking the p*ss. But then, on reflection, they do everywhere, so thats not a problem purely at BA!!
The company will survive purely because it has a LOT of good routes, valuable slots, and a good (historical) public image. However the company will not thrive in this new age until it stops being "ripped off" by its own employees. Here I am talking about middle management, SENIOR flightcrew (yes people, you've been living in Disneyland compared with the rest of us outside and you know it too!) and SENIOR cabin crew.

Mark Yates
11th Oct 2001, 23:48
The christmas bonus B.A. want to take away from the WORKERS is a payment that the WORKERS have earned during the year and I cannot see how they can take this from us unless they defer it.

If it is broken I will fix it! :mad:

12th Oct 2001, 01:00
I was not aware of quite how overburdened with managers BA was (in terms of numbers) - but it is no surprise. Still, there will be fewer of them when Stelios has bought you out, closed Waterside, sacked thousands of bean counters, expanded the route network and painted the jets orange!.

Most FO's would get a nice little pay rise, too, if on easyJet conditions.

12th Oct 2001, 01:26
Surely the best thing that could happen to the rest of British aviation is to let BA go bust - no, it's not unthinkable. For years they've unbalanced the whole industry. Some good could come from all of this if an efficent replacement for BA could restore some equilibrium to a very unstable situation. As for getting any money from the government to prop up up such an indulgence as the present BA structure, well, don't get me started!

12th Oct 2001, 02:26
gas path - ??

are those genuine BA figures ?
Flight Operations 7% of staffing and 18% of costs......

12th Oct 2001, 02:37
Inlive, I think you may have shown a large part of BA`s problem:

2 pilots @ £50 for 1/2 an hour!

You should be ashamed of yourselves. :mad:

12th Oct 2001, 02:38
At Gatwick they have been so petty as to stop the free vend on the tea machine and to stop canteen subsidy for the workers.We have yet to see our huge management temple (Jubilee House) shed any of the so called management empires (Peter Principle in action)however they have reduced the temperature by 2 degrees to conserve energy. For us there is a ban on overtime and we have seen our night shift reduced from 13 to 6 and now a proposed 2. with upto 80 more staff to go before the end of October.We do however still have our huge team of project managers fumbling over themselves to try and look busy and creating jobs for themselves that a child at kindergarden could do with a few pots and paints and I hasten to add more charm. Now they want to reduce my pay and take away an allowance they conveniently call holiday pay.I have been led to believe that I am paid for a 30 day month and that this pay is for the 7 months of the year that have 31 days minus 1/2 days for Feb. If this is the case which I suspect it is as it is normal practice in most large companies then they have no right to this money they have also already pocketed the Interest. :mad: :mad:

Hand Solo
12th Oct 2001, 03:51
Well lets temper a few of these reactionary responses with some facts shall we?

Senior flight crew are taking the ****

Well given that BALPA figures show that many BA senior flight crew are lower paid yet more productive than most other European rivals, both state and privately owned, I dont think they are. Unless you aspire to have all UK flight crew working for nothing.

Most FOs would get a nice little pay rise, too, if on easyJet conditions

True, about a 25% rise in my case, plus fewer 5 sector days, more days off and better overtime. That said, I would have grave reservations about working for that smug, squealing, repugnant little man after watching him gloat over job losses in the last few weeks.

Surely the best thing that could happen to the rest of British aviation is to let BA go bust - no, it's not unthinkable. For years they've unbalanced the whole industry...

Oh I do love this sweeping statement backed up by not a shred of evidence. Precisely how have BA unbalanced the whole industry? By operating succesfully to more destinations than anyone against efficient private and inefficient state owned airlines? Who do you propose should take over? Virgin? They're in an even worse position at the moment! EasyJet? No meals on a twelve hour flight could be fiddly. Simply put, there isn't anyone who could take over, all you're wishing for is to see 50000 people out of a job.

Flight Operations 7% of staffing and 18% of costs......

Well what do you expect? Flight crew aren't cheap (though they are cheaper in BA). I think you'd find that the percentage cost of flight crew in the low cost operators are much higher. They have a greater percantage of flight crew in their staff and pay them more than most BA crews. there are lies, damned lies and statistics!!!

2 pilots @ £50 for 1/2 an hour!

I wish! Try two pilots on NOTHING for two hours, then on one ninth of a days overtime for each COMPLETE hour following that.
Even if they could make that, why should they be ashamed? Its an overtime deal that the company agreed to. Nobody held a gun to their heads.

I, like many other BA pilots, are continually amazed by how many of our so-called profesional colleagues seem to take delight in spouting uninformed, unfounded BS about us, our pay and how lazy we are. The VAST majority of BA pilots are not on huge salaries, and other pilots out there do not have a monopoly on runnning into legal duty time restrictions, be they hours flown per year, or days off in 7,14,28 or 90 days. Its the classic British syndrome off knocking anyone down thats percevieved to be doing well.

[ 11 October 2001: Message edited by: Hand Solo ]

12th Oct 2001, 04:24
This figure that is being bandied about of pilots being 7% of staff vs 18% of costs comes, I believe from BA's own figures that were released to us a few days before the September 11th attacks. I'm pretty sure that the BALPA pay proposal had very different figures which pointed towards pilots being underpaid as a percentage of the workforce. Does anyone still have those figures or did you all also bin the pay proposal as soon as the second tower fell?

I personally suspect that, as with most statistics, neither paints a particularly accurate picture and that the true situation is somewhere between the two. What cannot be denied, however, is that we work just as hard, if not harder, than most of our colleagues in the UK and Europe and are not recompensed accordingly.

They can have my Christmas "bonus" if they want it, but I am not willing to sign up to a proposal that affects the lowest paid (new entrant CEPs) hardest of all, does not touch the highest paid and takes a major chunk out of the pension for people who are unlikely to reach the higher salary bands.

12th Oct 2001, 11:40
These proposed pay cuts are typical of the Knee jerk way the managment are responding to the crisis, they are by all reports running around like headless chickens, solving one problem and creating 20.

During these difficult times the managment want all staff to pull together and share the hardship of PAYCUTS everyone should contribute....... Fine whats happening to those pilots on paypoint 24???? NO PAYCUT FOR THEM IN 2002 then!! Anyone care to coment :rolleyes:

Jase Neale
12th Oct 2001, 13:23
Totally agree with Mr Solo. A friend in the Big Smoke told me that their analysts were warning BA 3-4 weeks before the disaster of Sep 11th that the s*** was gonna hit the fan unless they did something about it. BA then started to refuse their calls. Now look what has happened! I remember a couple of years ago a cartoon that depicted BA and Virgin in a 'boat race'. BA boat had 6 cox's and 2 oarsmen. Virgin crew had 1 cox and 7 oarsmen. BA was always losing the race. Big management meeting ensued and they were sure they had the answer.....Another cox needed, sack an oarsman and tell the other one to row harder!!!
Unfortunely I feel that we are going down this route yet again. Scrapping the 'holiday entitlement' and putting a pay freeze is going to drive workforce morale to an all time low. I don't mind accepting this action if you first address the problem of mangement over staffing of this dinosaur of a company. Flight ops is one of the only departments that sticks to budget and will be under budget next year! How many other departments will manage that? I hope BALPA will agree and fight for us. If not they are going to be one member short next year!

The Guvnor
12th Oct 2001, 13:33
eeper - do you seriously expect BALPA to say that their members are overpaid? :eek: :rolleyes: :eek:

I think that the only way that one can really work it out is to take the bottom-line pay and bonus levels for a year for everyone and divide them by the number of hours flown. That would give an apples-for-apples comparison.

12th Oct 2001, 13:33
I am shocked by the statistic about pilots being 7% of headcount and 18% of salaries - judging by the salaries of the junior pilots it seems to me that the simple fact is that senior crews are paid far too much and are reliant on terms and conditions negotiated when the airline was state owned and there was no competition. How in heavens name you can complain about the Im dept who are 4% of headcount and 4% of salaries I have no idea. I work in this area and I can assure you that Im has had significant problems retaining skilled staff who for much of the last few years could have left BA (and did)for far higher salaries elsewhere. One of the reasons Im became so reliant on contractor staff was because they simply couldn't recruit anyone with the necessary skills for the salaries they were paying. We ended up in the ludicrous position of paying Contractors huge sums because they didn't appear on headcount figures! To make matters worse we - the already underpaid of Im - are being asked to take pay cuts whilst many flight crew (who we have been assured for years are Managers in the business) are protected.

I am also shocked by the fact that most of you seem willing to throw anybody else out of the organisation in order to feather your own nests. CSD's are people with years and years of experience - they have to manage 400 pax, a dozen staff, work unsocial hours as you do away from their families and are the customer service face of BA more than any of the rest of us. Surely they deserve to earn a decent wage on which a family can be supported? I have to say I have found this attitude by pilots all too common - you see yourselves as the elite and view everyone else as expendable.

As for the Managers - I have read some crap in my time but this takes the biscuit - there is no manager of warm rolls I can assure you! Managers total around 3000 in an organisation of 60000 I make that 1/20 which is small beer and its effect on the wage bill trivial as your own statistics show.

It's time the flight crew (many of whom earn 6 figure salaries and recline in 5 star hotels for much of the year) realised they are at least as much a part of the problem as any other part of the organisation.

This airline is in a mess and we must all shoulder the burden of preserving it.


12th Oct 2001, 14:16

If you have a quick read of the second paragraph of my post you will see that I believe that neither party is providing the correct figures. BALPA will of course understate the pay of their members, but it is also in BA's interest, in the face of forthcoming wage negotiations, to overstate flight crew pay. So (at the risk of repeating myself) the true situation is somewhere between the two.

I agree that some sort of impartial formula is required, but the pay proposal did perform some of these calculations using both BALPA's own figures and BA's. Unsurprisingly BA's figures all painted a somewhat more rosy picture, but they all pointed in the same direction ie that we work just as hard, if not harder, than most of our colleagues in the UK and Europe and are not recompensed accordingly.

Desk-pilot - Thank you for joining the debate (and that is meant sincerely :) ). I think it is important that we see the arguments from the other side, especially how we are perceived by other members of the airline. What you must understand is that a lot of the anger about the current proposal comes from the fact that it does not affect our colleagues equally. A junior pilot is losing out (percentage wise and possibly in real terms) on a much larger increase than the senior guys. If it was suggested that the guys and gals in your department who had been there longest were not to take a pay cut at all and that the hardest hit were to be the youngest / most junior chaps then you could expect a bit of a stink, wouldn't you? You would also expect that when the company recovered that your salaries moved back up towards their previous levels.

Our pilots take the survival and health of the company as seriously as anyone else in the company, if not more seriously. We all tend to stay with the company for the long term and our skills are not as easily transferrable as other staff. No-one on the flight deck has joined BA for "something to do for a few years after college" and how many non flying staff have stayed with the company for 30 years plus?

12th Oct 2001, 14:34
i am an engineer and have been for ba for 6 years, and yes ba techs are one of the best paid in the industry, theres no where else i can earn 25000 basic however before people start we have more responsibility than other airlines. the problem is people need to stop squabbling between the workers and vent frustration at the managers. course senior people on dinasaur contracts are going to be paid more, we were state owned and have only been private since 1987 so the new contracts have only been around recently. GET RID OF THE STUPID 'support staff' that lets face it we can all do without and lets get back to doing what ba does best and that flying a profitable excellent airline
P.S. bring back lord king! :p

12th Oct 2001, 14:55
On the of the subject of CSDs, I don't think that people are saying "sack them". They are just querying whether the roleis necessary when we have a purser for each cabin and no other airline has them. Some of the enmity you see against them may come from the fact that some of them think that they are second in command of the aircraft, and treat F/Os with contempt because they haven't been in the company as long as them.
As far as the 5 star hotels pilots reside in (the cabin crew do as well), where would you have them stay- the local youth hostel? :rolleyes: Hotels may be a bit of a treat for people who rarely stay in them, but they get pretty tedious after a while, when one would rather be at home and be able to go to the bank/shopping/party etc.
Finally, you make out its absolutely brilliant being a pilot- the company hurls huge sums of money at them, they stay in 5 star hotels in sunny locations ( it's never 3 o'clock in the morning, snowing, with the aircraft covered in ice in your little fantasy world)and do hardly any work. This begs the question, why don't you (and everybody else who knocks pilots for these reasons) do it then? :confused: I promise not to stand in your way ;)

Magnus Picus
12th Oct 2001, 15:08
Desk Pilot -

I hope your future is assured within BA. It is understandable that you feel that 'us pilots' tend to blame all else before we turn upon ourselves. That is the nature of the group and this is unfortunately a pilots web site.

IM are probably the most ineffective/inefficient department in BA. None of you individually, are to blame, but the chaotic Database Management Systems that tangle and knot up the company remind of the cliche - "A good workman never blames his tools except in I.T.".

Running an airline is the most chaotic environment regarding data sharing and it would appear that British Airways has never had the balls to take on a long 'down-time' period in order to harmonise the data sharing amongst departments. Unfortunately the dark shadow of system instability bit us firmly on the arse in March when we lost many millions of revenue due to some 'human error' regarding our mainframe back up. Apparently this error was by a contractor, being paid enormous amounts, to do a job that ultimately had as much impact as one of our pilots pranging an aircraft (revenue not lives thankfully).

Pilots have given (according to BALPA) a productivity rise of 25% in the last few years compared to their salary. How do we measure your group?
It is harder to quantify isn't it?
What do we have to show from IM? A miserable March and some nifty E-Commerce.

Instead, we the pilots will continually be quoted by weasel journalists to be earning £50k plus as a new entrant rising to £200k for Senior Captains. I heard some programmers earn more than a Junior Captain. Fair? Who cares...

Allow me to quote a friend, who is a pilot, who was previously an office based manager. Upon hearing he had been accepted at the Oxford Air Training School he sat down at his desk and decided to test how long he could play Patience/Minefield/whatever on his PC before he was discovered to be shirking his role. After 3 weeks the novelty wore off.
That, to me, is the novelty of management. It has many facets but on the whole it is one of enforcement and monitoring. It is the link to the directors/Senior management that changes in business plan are carried out correctly. Our current plan is to do what we do well, with LESS aircraft and consequently LESS employees. That plan requires significantly less management because the plan is not for change but reduction. Our roles will be identical but just a little more work for a little less pay. It is not them and us. We just don't need many managers at the moment.

You keep the systems up and running, we'll fly the aircraft safely and we don't need people to draw graphs to show the senior management/directors how we're coping.

12th Oct 2001, 15:36
A few quotes from this thread...
"Thirdly, The IT people are simply taking the p*ss. But then, on reflection, they do everywhere, so thats not a problem purely at BA!!"

"IM are probably the most ineffective/inefficient department in BA. "
"the dark shadow of system instability bit us firmly on the arse in March when we lost many millions of revenue due to some 'human error' regarding our mainframe back up. Apparently this error was by a contractor, being paid enormous amounts"
"What do we have to show from IM? A miserable March and some nifty E-Commerce."

Well, that makes great reading doesn't it? I've been an interested observer of this forum for a while - it's a great insight into a world which I have no direct contact with. I'm not a pilot, have no desire whatsoever to be one (amazing, eh?) but am fascinated by the area.
One thing I would never do, is to spout forth on the merits of pilots, how to do their job, or whether a CSD is better/more valuable etc etc. So why do people think they know all about IM? Without it there is NO airline, ditto pilots. And exactly how did someone come by the fact that a rich contractor cost the company millions?
Why don't we do a few things - let pilots do what they do best (and deserve high pay for), let IT people do the same, and pull together rather than apart before the industry dies on its feet.

12th Oct 2001, 16:03
Just a few facts for you.

Press Release from BA themselves:

600 senior managers to take 10% pay cut. 600 senior managers equals one senior manager for every 100 members of staff. Each senior manager starts on about £50000 rising to £80000 plus company car, first class staff travel entitlement back dated to date of birth in some cases. Each one therefore is costing the company 100-160k per year in related costs.

Press Release from BA themselves:

24000 management staff taking pay cut That leaves 36000 non-management staff and hence two chiefs for every three indians.

BA fact book on-line:

In the five years since 1996 the company has gone from £640m in profit to a paltry £10m this year which was funded out of £250m of asset sales. Over the five years the profit per 100 employees, hence every senior manager (see above) has fallen from £1.10 to 0.75 p. During that period we have sold approx. £350m of fixed assets. During this period we hired 12000 additional staff who do not appear to have contributed to the bottom line.

During that period £75m was thrown away into ‘Air Russia’, £XXXm was wasted on the tail fiasco (the figure is disputed but I’m sure you all know – the city certainly does). During that period £1bn of loans were negotiated at a fixed repayment rate of 8%. The list goes on, £20000 per year for the pot plant contract etc

I despair. Now they’ve cancelled Christmas and they’re stealing my paltry increment for next year. The Lord Protector must be killing himself laughing. One month ago he was the fall guy brought into face the music over pay, now I swear he must be kissing a signed photo of bin Laden every morning.

If anyone in the city is reading this would you please help us. We have to get rid of these assholes. The gravy train is fast running out of steam and they’re ripping up the furniture to stoke the fire.

I could cry. Maybe we should have left the pot plants in charge for the last 5 years. :(


Porky Speedpig
12th Oct 2001, 16:37
Roobarb - FACT BA Senior Management salries start well below £50,000 - ask my wife!
FACT - Only about half of Senior Managers have a company car - ask my wife!
Sorry if this spoils your views on life but there you go!

Pete Otube
12th Oct 2001, 16:52
"This airline is in a mess and we must all shoulder the burden of preserving it"

You cannot ask the pilots to shoulder any such burden - there's silver braid and chips there already - no room left for burdens I'm afraid.

Harry Erman
12th Oct 2001, 17:02
There can be no doubt but that the aircrew are suffering great hardship and there should be no mocking on this forum of their reduced fortunes.

(And let's not forget the Mercedes, BMW and especially TVR dealerships around Gatwick and Heathrow who report lower than ever sales to BA long haul pilots)

12th Oct 2001, 17:55
Well said Roobarb...... maybe if you could urinate on the pot plants the smell might just drive out the rats!

Porky Speedpig
12th Oct 2001, 18:17
With effect from 1st January 2002, the European Commission has decreed that we must Euronate in the pots in the interests of harmonisation.

12th Oct 2001, 18:24
This figure of 24,000 managerial staff taking a pay cut is misleading as the figure includes a significant number of what were the Admin grades (called A scales, mostly A7's and yes I was one) who changed contracts to APPG (admin performance pay grade, but don't quote me) over the last several years, who are (for the purposes of pay) included in the MG bargaining unit, in that the get a cost of living increase and and a salary uplift, not as such a basic pay rise. These people have been told they they will have a 5% paycut imposed on them on 1st November. Also the figures for managers salaries are misleading in that it all depends where you start and which managers you look at. A new manager who comes through the 'graduate program' can start on as little as £18,000 a year, but if the company recruits a manager from outside the company the going rate may be £50,000 depending on experience and the job role etc. A friend of mine was a manager in the 'e' area of BA an his salary was around £35,000 a year. My point is that you're all right, but it depends what you're looking at. If you look at job sites on the web and look in most industries, the salaries offered vary greatly and depend on knowledge and experience. What BA needs is less 'warm roll' type managers who don't have staff reporting to them and therefore cannot (or at least should not) be able to justify a management grade and salary as these people add little if any value to the company.

12th Oct 2001, 19:12
No-one really enjoys the prospect of pay cuts, but what many of the postings suggest is that if these measures are neccessary then they must be done fairly.

I belive that someone in the Leadership team had this great idea that whilst preserving cash, could be presented to the unions in the format that after removing the issue of holiday pay bonus, actually ment that no-one found themselves with less money because they were currently not earning the incremented amount. win win yeah ... I think not...............

Whether it was realised that this idea would save millions every year from now on I do not know, but unless we jump two points after the proposed freeze many employees will be seriously worse off in terms of how much this costs to them over time.

I belive that the only way that paycuts can be imposed fairly is with a blanket percentage rate applied to everybodies basic salary for a specific period of time, or until a specific criteria is met.

My views have received attention by BALPA and thank you kindly for those who have also promulgated the problem with the current idea.

For those you think life is easy in BA, well it may be better than some airlines but it is hard work too. I am personnally in real danger of violating 90h in 28 days and that will also include about 60 sectors!!!

Also we should be thinking about our profession as a whole. Do we really want to take it to the lowest level or should those gritting it out with the toughest conditions and lowest pay be demanding and fighting for improvements?

Safe Flying :eek: :rolleyes: :eek:

corner speed
12th Oct 2001, 19:57
My father flew for a major carrier in Europe and for as far as I can remember I wanted to be just like him.


:) He enjoyed his job tremendously.

:D He had lots of time off.

:D He made big bucks.

:cool: Numerous other reasons.

I also remember him telling me there are always those who will criticize your salary.
They are always the ones who make less than you and the ones who have no clue what it takes to become a pilot for a major airline.
Well, I’m a wide body Captain now for a major US airline and enjoy it for the same reasons mentioned above.
For those of you who would like to attack my pay situation, pick up an application form and mail it to your own national airline. See what happens.
To my colleagues at BA, this too will pass and your airline will recover. I hope to read about your 20% pay raise in the paper by that time.
Okay, I have to take my BMW 740il to the carwash now.

Fly safe.

basil fawlty
12th Oct 2001, 23:24
I am amazed that nobody has taken issue with my last post!(They usually do!) Obviously I spoke the truth. Believe me, EVERYBODY (with the exception of maintenance engineers) at BA are on a very lucrative gravy train with respect to the ammount of work that they actually do...My father, who was a BA flight engineer for 30 years will readily admit this! The industry has changed vastly over the last ten years and BA's problem is that it has too much history/trade union agreements holding it back. I reiterate, management in general, current SENIOR flightcrew (the biggest bunch of bloodsuckers I've ever known), I.T personnel (the second biggest bunch of bloodsuckers) and SENIOR cabin crew (the third biggest group of bloodsuckers) are screwing what could be (and indeed used to be!) the best airline in the world by far.
About time BA got its sense of values and priorities right. I was, for several years, a maintenance engineer at BA (now flying as F/E elsewhere-thank god!), was licenced , and authorized on 747's. I worked nightshift (less staff, but same clearance expected)and including London weighting I earned £27k pa gross!!! Why oh why do BA flightcrew et al, always come out with the I'm underpaid chestnut??? If you are so unhappy then LEAVE!! I did, and have not looked back. Many have either never known, or have forgotten the "real" world outside.

12th Oct 2001, 23:33
This pay thing is madness!!! There was an earlier post from an engineer being defensive about a 25k salary.

Can I suggest that 25k in the south of England is *not* an extravagant sum, and furthermore I would contend that with house prices at 200k+, rent of £1000pcm, petrol at 80p/lit, fags nearly £5 a packet etc, etc 25k is barely a living wage.

You pay peanuts and you know what you end up with - I don't want monkeys maintaining our aircraft.


:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

rhythm method
13th Oct 2001, 01:35

I wish!!!

I've just done 86.2hrs in 28 days in 85 sectors.
We work pretty hard too in the non-mainline world.

Save yourselves... I'm done for!

13th Oct 2001, 01:50
Seems BA should be issuing Stun Guns to flight crew to help protect them against management, not potential hijackers!a :D :D :D :cool:

Final 3 Greens
13th Oct 2001, 05:52

But how would you be able to tell the difference "before & after"?

[ 13 October 2001: Message edited by: Final 3 Greens ]

White Knight
13th Oct 2001, 12:08
Corner Speed, WELL said mate...
A lot of wannabes who've ended up doing a desk job for a living - haven't got the faintest idea what it takes to make it into the flight deck. Desk pilot and guvvy boy take note here......

13th Oct 2001, 12:45
Christmas bonus my a***.

Some years ago BA paid their staff every 28 days. Some bright accountant saw a cost saving in paying staff by the callender month. This was an implemented and it was agreed that the additional days were paid in November. Not as a bonus but as payment for work already done.

This is not a cozy bonus but hard earned money.

Porky Speedpig
13th Oct 2001, 15:39
Chatham - not so.
The Christmas Bonus originated as "holiday pay" and was paid in the middle of the summer. Some years later it was agreed between the management and the unions that it would be better paid close to Christmas which is when most peoples outgoings peak.

Fright Level
13th Oct 2001, 17:27
Chatham, I heard that urban myth too. In the old days there were people paid a weekly wage or on a salary, paid monthly in arrears. The bonus is not a missing amount as the monthly pay is simply your quoted annual salary divided by 12. Good story though, the cc fall for it.


Hand Solo
13th Oct 2001, 21:04
OK Basil, I'll flatter your ego with a reply. Firstly, I really don't think you should rely on your fathers nostalgia towards his 'easy' 30 year career as a BA F/E. Precisely how many of those years where when BA was a state-owned company? Secondly you claimed to earn £27K gross 'several'years ago. Was that before the south-east property boom? Whats that £27K worth in todays money? Not a bad salary for those days, about equal to the lowest pay scale of the 'blood sucking' CSDs you despise.

As for EVERYBODY being on a lucrative gravy train, I suggest you read some of the other posts on this thread from people who are reaching the legal flight duty limitations. I don't think working to the legal maximum could be described as an easy ride, and many of these people are on salaries lower than they could earn at EasyJet or Ryanair. The reason they don't leave is because they value what is still an excellent pension scheme, roster stability and ,until recently, job security. Despite your distorted view of BA staff, for most people money is NOT everything. You've been outside of BA for a very long time, don't use you're bitter memories of 'the bad old days' to tarnish the reputation of todays staff.

Harry Erman - the vast majority of luxury cars I see in our car parks are driven by the cabin crew. (and usually funded by their divorce settlements before anyone jumps down my throat!!)


[ 13 October 2001: Message edited by: Hand Solo ]

15th Oct 2001, 03:31

I have to agree with you the so called bonus is for work done. Although it is correct that if you divide your annual salary by 12 that is what you get per month, we are actually paid for 371/2 hrs per week you will find that for the 7days extra you work for the 7 months that have 31 days in it minus feb with either 28/29 days that will equate to the amount that was originally given as a summer bonus.Work it by the hours and not the months and you will find that you are only paid for a 30 day month. This is normal practice with such large firms and enables the company to reap the interest. The unions negotiated this then to be paid at xmas for convenience.

17th Oct 2001, 02:07
No sorry ryyham method, CSDs are overpaid and a wast of space- look at No1's in other airlines, they do not just carry out their service more proffesionally but they also know somthing about SEP, standards & leadership. There is a lot to be looked at cost wise before you start attacking your F/O's , most of whome could not raise a mortgage of that given to a longhaul steward / ess.

18th Oct 2001, 02:50
It doesn't really matter whether your managers are really Chiefs or just Indians with the wrong name - there are still too many of them at BA. Since Rod took over, the numbers have in fact INCREASED despite BA's capacity reduction programme. So why does it need more "managers" to oversee an airline that is running fewer sectors?

Porkypig - why should anyone have a company car? The captains who are "aeroplane" managers, some looking after 350 people for 14 hours a day, don't get one. Neither do the deputy aeroplane managers (FO's).

I work for BAE Systems - when we ran into trouble financially, the company laid off revenue earners and employed more admin staff. Sound familiar? The upshot was that our business unit closed and relocated to somewhere that the admin staff could be emplyed on lower wages and still have an equivalent (or better) disposable income. We now have a susatinable cost base that will allow us to ride the coming recession - with NO job losses!

For info: we are the flight training division, fomerly based in Prestwick, now based in spain, that was responsible for training (and still trains) a very large percentage of your pilots who have less than 15 years service to their names.

So here is a thought: Close Waterside, etc. Move BA HQ to Newcastle or Glasgow - damn good deals on property, cheaper living costs by at least 50% if you include the average mortgage, huge number of people looking for jobs anyway so you can save a packet on the pay, give people a good standard of living and selling all the real estate around Heathrow will provide a huge cash surplus to prop up or (heaven forbid!) REFORM some of the company structure.

LHR and LGW could then be outstations - and there is no reason why the pilots who live around there could not continue to do so as that is where a very large proportion of the work, thinking of long haul here, is to be found. The headquarters buildings are where the majority of your personnel are based - so moving this bit to a low cost area gives the potential to save a huge amount. The opprtunity could also be taken to slim down the staff numbers to something more in line with what the company is like NOW rather than WAS 2 years ago.

For heavens sake - something must be done. A change of course will be more effective than re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

[ 17 October 2001: Message edited by: moggie ]

Sunshine Express
18th Oct 2001, 03:45
Don't remember ever getting a contract.

If you can quote staff regs. etc then I suspect that you may have worked for BA for many years as something other than a Pilot.

Or is this a sudden, understandable interest?
Please don't quote, just tell us where to find same on intranet.