View Full Version : john frohnsdorff elected BALPA General Secretary

17th Jun 2002, 18:33
The votes are in, and counted, with no dimpled chads i might add, and the winner is ....
John Frohnsdorff 2935 votes
Christopher Darke 1414 votes
with 7750 sent out
and 4363 returned
and 14 spoilt

:D :D :D

17th Jun 2002, 19:16
Wonderful news - Good luck in your search for suitable candidates to replace yourself, JF!

You are an honourable man with honourable intentions and without your efforts my faith in democracy would have hit rock bottom.

Finally, BALPA is once again a pilots union back in the hands of pilots.

17th Jun 2002, 19:25
Hear hear...

The main question now is "Do we want a Pilot / ex-Pilot to lead our union, or 'a specialist Union leader' ??

I believe this was the issue before CD was sought out, and the vote shows we have not been happy with the result. I notice (one of?) the Nurses' unions are now coming to a similar dilemma, having elected a (highly paid) American to lead their union... with questions about the direction of the union (as well as its finances)


17th Jun 2002, 20:51
While the euphoria runs wild, may I re-assure ALL members that BALPA will be in good hands with the deputy, Graham Fowler, looking after 'the shop' while the 'new boss' goes out looking for new stock.

I understand a few of the staff at New Road are quite happy with the result too.:eek:

Big Kahuna Burger
17th Jun 2002, 21:13
I wonder how some of the Airline management guys see this?

I would have guessed that they would have preferred dear old uncle Chris to have stayed in place, for the chances of an easier life. ;)

17th Jun 2002, 21:20
exellent news
well done JF


17th Jun 2002, 21:34
Congratulations, J.F. I look forward, in the fullness of time, giving serious consideration to joining your organisation.

All the best, P.P.

17th Jun 2002, 22:14
Just wonder what CDs pay off will be?

fred peck
17th Jun 2002, 22:18
When do we get to hear this officially?

Martin A
17th Jun 2002, 22:23
Well, as someone who has been paying my subs for a while and doesn'y mind who knows my identity, a fact I find interesting from those contributing anonymously I would like to ask the questions of where does BALPA go from here? What is the immediate plan and what is the long term one? It would certainly NOT be in BALPA's best interest to be headless, thus a FULL time person would seem to be required, not a part timer, even whilst what seems to be search for the real candidate seems to be going forward. Does JF intend resigning from BA to devote his time to BALPA during this difficult period for example?
I would have thought that the companies out there are counting their luck, as FULL TIME leadership at BALPA will apear to not be available, which will make life somewaht more difficult for all on the employees side and enable any determined mangement anopportunity to make a strategic strike at us
Qiute why the real candidate did not stand in this election puzzles me? After all, given the complaints about finances from some as the reason for CDs removal, the cost of two elections rather than one will now be incurred, hardly helpful to the finance case !
As to outside accountants monitoring balance sheets from the BALPA report, well given the foul up and cover ups at Andersen I would have thought that a degree of humble pie would be in order. If you need the real in depth numbers, there is surely an executuve oversight via the NEC, which are they not the elected officials who oversee what BALPA does ?
Let us hope that this situation is resolved quickly and with an inclusive solution, for any divisions within BALPA due to sectional self interest will be exploited to the full by those who wish to see BALPA weakened.
Martin Alder

17th Jun 2002, 22:26
Good luck John! Never before in all my years as a BALPA member have I felt so excited to be a part of this group. My heart flutters by excretions of adrenalin in anticipation of a leader that is accountable to the good of its members! Now lets get some hard-hitters and quit pussy-footing about. (consult APLA)

17th Jun 2002, 22:27
Does this mean we can finally look forward to a more proactive approach from BALPA to the issues that affect us all and have been begging for action for years?

For example, flagging-out, employment of non-EU crews, levelling the JAA playing field, over-liberalisation of FTLs etc.?

BALPA have had it nice and comfortable for a long time. If a union is comfortable, chances are the members aren't, and the officers are not doing their jobs.

17th Jun 2002, 22:33
Good news indeed, even if long overdue. That is a very decisive vote by the pilot members.

I no longer fly, so the vote does not affect me individually. I was however a member for a good number of years when I was flying and served on my own airline council. I resigned, in disgust, from BALPA when I became privvy to what the union had done to it's own members over the Dan Air fiasco and failed to get satisfactory answers from CD who was the GS then. That was a dark day in BALPA's past and maybe one that can be exorcised forever now.

You guys now have a real opportunity to change the ethics and previous practices of the union and once again start to represent the true membership, without the back door politics that previously existed. Seize this opportunity and make it happen. There are a lot of good people who give their time freely to assist, who previously did not get represented in the way they deserved. A good union can bring real tangible benefit to aviation by curbing the excesses of both sides, i.e the airlines and the pilots equally. It should also serve to enhance the recognition of the profession as a whole, if in wise hands.

I'll have a drink to your success.

17th Jun 2002, 22:53
Martin A

<It would certainly NOT be in BALPA's best interest to be headless, thus a FULL time person would seem to be required, not a part timer, even whilst what seems to be search for the real candidate seems to be going forward.>

As I said above, Graham Fowler - the 'FULL TIME' DGS - is more than capable of stepping into the void to run BALPA in the interim.

I am sure that JF will be addressing some of these issues shortly.

Send Clowns
17th Jun 2002, 23:33
At the opposite end of my career to Horatio I read this with interest. My associate membership of BALPA lapsed when I was no longer a student, and my idea was to join the IPA (I only really wanted legal cover in case my professionalism is ever called into question) when I find a flying job, as I felt that BALPA did not do enough to help British pilots. With such excitement I will have to seriously consider teh alternatives. Well done JF.

18th Jun 2002, 05:58
<<Just wonder what CDs pay off will be?>>

Hopefully none, since his term ends at the end of a fixed period between elections. I would expect that his contract was also only for this period - and renewed as and when each election goes in his favour.

Wonder how long MG will be around for (in BALPA terms) as well, given his "unbiased" approach to the election.


18th Jun 2002, 07:18
Nice one, John. Now go and kick some, while you search for your replacement.:)

crusin level
18th Jun 2002, 09:01
Taking your word for the fact that JF has been elected:

Do we now have a vote of confidence/re-election for all those reps that backed CD? Most of their names can be found on CD's website

The Little Prince
18th Jun 2002, 09:10
Many many congratulations John, thank God for Democracy. Hi ho etc and off to the Augean stables!
Good luck - even though this result now means I cannot in conscience award myself a 1% pay rise.

I'm going to have more than ONE drink to celebrate.

ps It will be interesting to read MG's statements from herein!

18th Jun 2002, 09:46
Don't get carried away gentlemen !
7750 ballot papers, only 56.4 % returned. The vote for JF represents 37.8 % of the ballot papers issued.
Our employers will be ecstatic - they will smell a disinterested,headless,rudderless set of pilots !

18th Jun 2002, 10:53
As an aside, by way of an interval, Mark Young, (the Late), was the first totally trade union chief of BALPA.

Capt H Peacock
18th Jun 2002, 12:12
I shouldn’t start knocking the electoral system if I were you. Everyone had the opportunity to vote, if you didn’t then there should be no complaints at the outcome. Mr Frohnsdorf has been elected by a clear majority of those who could be bothered to vote. The problem is not the fact that such a small proportion voted for Mr F, but that such a small proportion of UK pilots are interested in the effective and democratic conduct of their professional association.

Good Luck and congratulations John, I hope this marks a turning point in all of our fortunes.;)

John Frohnsdorff
18th Jun 2002, 12:21
Dear All,

Many thanks for your support! I will not let you down!

I have asked for a meeting with all the staff at New Road on Friday to discuss the transition. I will be GS from 2nd July but intend to start the process now to find the best permanent GS. My team and I will be consulting with the NEC to progress this issue in a positive and consultative manner. It is my intention to reflect the desires of all our members regardless of which company they happen to work for. I want to leave BALPA, in my retirement, knowing that it is in good hands and will not repeat the mistakes of old.

Good communication has been a vital component in this election and I don’t think I would have been able to express my points adequately without PPruNe. Thank you Danny Fyne; and all the PPruNe people!


18th Jun 2002, 13:04
Congratulations John F.

Willoman's quips hold some truth but are of little consequence as you have secured the support of 67% of those who care about our future.

Perhaps we can turn things around and make BALPA a union to be respected once again.

Big Kahuna Burger
18th Jun 2002, 17:14
<<Don't get carried away gentlemen !
7750 ballot papers, only 56.4 % returned. The vote for JF represents 37.8 % of the ballot papers issued.
Our employers will be ecstatic - they will smell a disinterested, headless, rudderless set of pilots !>>


I think that you really could not be further from the truth in this instance.

Voter apathy with low percentage turn outs have ALWAYS been the case in most elections.

I believe this to be especially true when it comes to the multitude of papers we normally get shoved through our letterbox concerning manifestos, votes, committees, elections blah blah blah, from BALPA.

56 % is a great return rate.
67% vote for a candidate is EVEN BETTER.

The 44% that did not vote, it has to be presumed, would not be bothered who ever won.

I think that this signals EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what Willowman has stated.

Two thirds of the membership that bothered to vote, were not happy with the performance and leadership of CD.

And now JF will find a replacement to the members liking and not to the liking of MG.

This is not just about having a Union that is prepared to stand up and start to correct the continual decline of our conditions of service, that has been occurring for over a decade now. Hugmonster reminds us, its not just about remuneration...

<<For example, flagging-out, employment of non-EU crews, levelling the JAA playing field, over-liberalisation of FTLs etc.? >>

No more cosy deals under the table, that the members cant see hey...

18th Jun 2002, 19:15
John F,

I have been against the way you have conducted yourself and the effect that this has had on the public profile of the association - however I congratulate you on your victory which even I have to admit is clear. You have three months to convince me that this is NOT a BA conspiracy simply to regain control of the association to the detriment of the other airline members. If you don't then I look forward to a 1% pay rise, at BALPA's expense. Perhaps you could name the people you have in mind to take on the role of General Secretary after your resignation - there is no time like the present !

I wish you luck !

Lou Scannon
18th Jun 2002, 19:41
Clearly a democratic result and an interesting democratic result at that. The facility for communication that Pprune provided in this election must be a first in union elections.

Methinks the beneficial effect of Pprune may well last longer in the history of the trades union movement than the result itself.

Congratulations John.

Mini mums
19th Jun 2002, 13:06

I must say thanks and congratulations to you. You have the support of the members to find a suitable GS and I now feel excited that we can look forward to a stronger union which will protect the pilots. We can turn our backs on the last ten years of being sold cheap and address the many issues which will improve the situation for all UK pilots.

Knowing you personally, I can vouch that you genuinely do have all our best interests at heart, and I would like to dispell any fears that those outside of Big Airways may have.

Glad you had a medium such as PPRuNe to increase your exposure.

Well done and good luck.

Mini mums

19th Jun 2002, 14:34
Congrats JF
More exciting result than 3-0 in the footie !

Fuzzy112 - it's not any sort of BA conspiracy to regain control of BALPA for BA members. It's to regain control of BALPA for every single member, whoever they work for. Glad to see you concede that this is a very strong vote for JF, give him a chance and judge him (or new GS) on the results.

Sir Kitt Braker
19th Jun 2002, 15:17
It matters not a jot whether you are in Union or not, nor does it matter whether your company recognises one. Life as a pilot is no better or worse for being in or out, except in some usually minor and transient ways.

Market forces always eventually prevail - they sometimes take a little longer to do so when there is a Union involved, but the "reality arrival" is usually somewhat firmer to balance that.

19th Jun 2002, 15:17
John F
Congratulations on your election. I was not one of your supporters, but I am happy to respect the democratic result. I am a little concerned by the following post:

While the euphoria runs wild, may I re-assure ALL members that BALPA will be in good hands with the deputy, Graham Fowler, looking after 'the shop' while the 'new boss' goes out looking for new stock. I understand a few of the staff at New Road are quite happy with the result too.

I would not accept that popularity with the staff is a realistic criteria for choosing the head of an organisation, but that is not my main point. You made the following statement on another thread:

John Frohnsdorff
I would not be happy myself if BALPA where to be left rudderless; this will not happen. We do have qualified people that will be interested in applying for the GS position; additionally it is the intent to advertise the position to make sure we get the best person for the job. I will fill the position in the interim; please remember I have extensive NEC experience.

Do you intend to fill the position as you stated, or is Graham Fowler going to do so? Presumably, Graham has a job of his own to do.

And while I have the floor, (and not addressed to JF):

crusin level
Taking your word for the fact that JF has been elected:

Do we now have a vote of confidence/re-election for all those reps that backed CD? Most of their names can be found on CD's website

Is this really your interpretation of democracy, crusin level? Of course, it has been tried before, but the Nazi party in Germany and the Communist party in Russia did not stand the test of time. I believe that Zimbabwe still practices this type of philosophy.

19th Jun 2002, 16:26
Pom -

<I would not accept that popularity with the staff is a realistic criteria for choosing the head of an organisation>

I quite agree. I'll leave JF to answer your main point. Let's agree perhaps that a 2-1 vote 'for' might be a better criterion?

(PS I'm fully with you on the concept of democracy)

19th Jun 2002, 16:34
What about the bloke who sent us all those 2 letters at the start of the whole episode, telling us how great he thought Dark Chris was, wasting thousands of pounds of our money in the process? (Can't remember his name, or his job title, I think he's a First Officer with the White Hatters)...will he now be shown the door as well? (Here's hoping)

19th Jun 2002, 16:59
Perhaps the entertainment expenses will now be addressed. I am told (Third hand) that meal expenses for four often reached £1000. best wine etc. Hopefully BALPA is no longer a cash cow for its management.

Add one to the count for members retained by te democratic process.

19th Jun 2002, 17:11
Well Done JF.

MG save yourself some embarassment later, resign NOW, you won't be re-elected after a result like this. Although I should thank MG for his part in getting JF elected.

Democracy alive and well........thanks in part to the Internet. I have said it before, those in positions of power who fail to harness the Internet for the powerful Communication tool that it is, do so at their own peril. Power to the People.

Now lets remember that the Internet can be used just as affectively in Industrial disputes. Look out BA.......it's going to be a hot summer.

John Frohnsdorff
19th Jun 2002, 18:17

I will fulfill my campaign promises. I do not legitimately take office until 2nd July.

We are already receiving encouraging contact from qualified individuals for the position. It would not be appropriate to say more on this subject until more evaluation is done.


19th Jun 2002, 21:40

Many thanks for your prompt reply.

20th Jun 2002, 07:58
Personally I would be more than happy if we could borrow one of those guys who manages to do the deals for the boys at United,Delta,American,etc,.............even if only for a week!
I didn't hear from over the pond that "3% is a very good deal and as your union we recomend that you accept it...!"

Max Sectors
20th Jun 2002, 08:59
What does all this mean? and why are all you BA guys so excited?

The silent majority of BALPA (Yes, the non BA guys) are still nonplussed and wondering what is going on. Would someone please take the time to explain to us in terms of non-BA issues.

The election result reflects the fact that most of us didn't vote because we weren't aware of the issues. If you don't play this right, we might all get organised and outvote you in the forthcoming election.

I'm not anti-BA (because the pay and conditions of us charter pilots largely reflects what you are paid, except less) but I would like to know what is going on.

20th Jun 2002, 09:42
max sectors
this isn't a BA issue it's a BALPA issue.
I assume that you have'nt been monitoring the events leading upto this election very closely.
Chris Darke has been in post for 10 years,during which time the terms and conditions of ALL proffessional pilots in the UK have eroded.I include the low cost operators in this equation,for although their pay seems fairly good,I would seriously question their overall quality of life,particularly medium/long term.
There are other serious issues which effect us all,such as flagging out etc.
Of course BA has a significant number of members in BALPA and what happens in BA does,I think,effect the community as a whole.
That said,the BA membership is in an overall minority within BALPA.That underlines just how important every one of the contributing company councils actually is.
JF happens to be a BA pilot.I am sure,however,just like this BA pilot,that his interests and concerns are toward the whole community.That is ,after all,what BALPA is all about.

20th Jun 2002, 09:58
Max Sector - what's your point ?

Balpa intended to rubberstamp the re-election of the GS.

JF objected and stood as a candidate.

All relevant info was provided by BALPA / CD's website and JF.

Those who cared about democracy read the info and voted.

Those who didn't care didn't vote.

JF / democracy won.

In what way do you consider this to be a BA conspiracy?

Regards , leander.

20th Jun 2002, 11:43
To reiterate John stood with the express purpose of clearing the decks for other candidates to feel free to apply for the position of GS. John is not intending to remain as GS.

I believe he is well aware of concerns that this whole business would be seen as a BA takeover and is as keen as the rest of us to see a new GS who will allay the fears of those in BALPA from outside BA. I am sure he will wish, as I believe most of us will, to see a strong and effective replacement able to unify the entire membership and be seen to be giving good value for our hard earned subscriptions.

It is worth noting that a considerable number of non BA members must also have voted for JF. As BA membership is in an overall minority now and we could not force change without help from non-BA members.

Ultimately BALPA will be the better for the change.

A little like the chief executive losing the confidence of the shareholders CD had lost the confidence of a goodly proportion of the membership. Not least because of the appalling stewardship of the finances.

The Zombie
20th Jun 2002, 11:59
A new day dawns, now that the Darkness is going ? :D

John, well done and good luck in your searching.

The Zombie...........zzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZ ;)

20th Jun 2002, 14:12
Didn't vote but wish John good luck. My father who was a long haul skipper for 20 years until retiring recently has constantly questioned why I am still in BALPA. He was involved as a REP for one of BA's acquisitions and felt let down frequently by some of the hierachy at New Road to the point that he eventually resigned and left BALPA for good.

I'm hoping the Union is going to be returned to the pilots whose Union it is, not for confrontation but to protect the terms and conditions that have over the years, been whittled away.

20th Jun 2002, 14:16
I just hope the process does not take too long to find a new decent GS.

A leaderless union will not work for long.

dallas dude
20th Jun 2002, 14:47

You don't need to look so far. Grab some help from your cousin's across the Irish Sea. They have recent "battle" experience.

You've got to turn your organisation from a club into a union first. Then you might be taken seriously by your management.

No matter how bright your leadership, the rank and file need to become a part of the process.


20th Jun 2002, 17:00
Dallas Dude,

There is much more to it than that ! Remember that in the US (assuming that is where you are from) you have legally enforcible agreements. In this country agreements aren't worth more than a handshake at the best of times. Many company's simply make agreements and then, when it doesn't suit the situation anymore, walk away and break them. The management of one company, with a 3 letter name starting with b and ending with i, in particular, are past and present masters of the art. Also, and correct me if I am wrong, at the likes of United you have to be a member of a union. The numbers give the pilots power that we can only dream of. Whilst I agree that we need to become a union rather than a flying club, there are real legal issues which have to be addressed to make this possible.

Have a good day

Slobber Chops
21st Jun 2002, 09:40
Fuzzy112. I assume you are talking about the Bishops string of companies?

It amazes me the way your workforce just rolls over and takes it. :eek:

If history tells us anything it is that management in the company will always shaft the employees, yet the union is weak, what 65% membership? :mad:

Time you guys did an Aer Lingus.

21st Jun 2002, 09:48
And another thing...

JF & Co: Please please please can you arrange NOT to take the new incumbent on, on a 10 year contract this time, just in case he (or she) makes the same pig's ear of the whole thing like the last contestant???

Notso Fantastic
21st Jun 2002, 09:56
Just got back- bad news with the football, but we were outplayed. But good news- congratulations John. I would prefer it this way round! We got the important result. This is not a BA takeover- John has no intention of keeping the position. The important thing was to unseat the wrong person who seemed to be in the job for life. Now we can set about improving the lot of ALL British professional pilots in the UK!

Martin A
21st Jun 2002, 19:11
Been busy , so first time to reply. Lots of interesting comments. Before I start, it is not the persons that matter in this, it is the functions and how to achieve them.
Firstly, comments about the peerage and good life at BALPA HQ.
If only ! I can’t speak for company reps etc, but I expect it is the same for them. You do get the odd day off to do stuff for BALPA, but it does not come for free. Loss of FHR, allowances etc, means a net financial loss for sure. Because so few want to do the work, the few that do have more to do than time to do it, hence doing it on days off etc. Not very popular with the “domestic authorities” ! That is probably the biggest reason why things don’t happen or don’t happen sooner. So the answer is the in the phrase ”don’t think of what BALPA can do for you, but what you can do for BALPA” and things will happen quicker!
As to finances, one was under the impression that a finance committee was the oversight for that, the NEC being the “big cheeses” who watch over them., but obviously some think otherwise.
As to degradation of terms of employment etc. Apart from a few lawyers and that select bunch who inhabit the FTSE 100 directors circle, just about everyone has had a relative decline in things, but an absolute increase as well. Over the last 10 years, most have gotten better conditions for most things. Anyway, the negotiation and so forth is as I mentioned, done by your elected reps, not the staff, who merely support and advise. That has to be advice in a UK legal context. After all, how many of us here in the UK think that the US FTL’s are safe (8 hours rest, 16 hours duty I believe) why have the US unions not managed to get a UK type FTL? Probably because it is not possible legally etc, perhaps someone can answer.
On to flagging out, I can only say, how many of you pay over the odds for something you could get elsewhere for more ? Anyone here refusing to buy a personal import car because it is 25% cheaper ? It is not nice, but it is the real world. And if it is legal to do so, business owners will do it in shareholders interests. We as employees don’t count, but shareholders do. We sit and whinge about it and then as group go and vote for the party that believes it should be that way ! An interesting thought.
As to the comment about JAA FTL’s . BALPA is at the front in this issue and it is MG who is banging the table for us, as he has done for years, but unless you happen to have put your own time into coming forward and doing the pretty thankless task, you would not know about it. If any of the commenters here would like to devote some of their OWN time to helping , I am sure he would be more than grateful ! By the way the same goes for the technical bit at BALPA too, any warm bodies with an interest and knowledge and mainly enthusiasm, welcome !
As to negotiating what, for who and when. My own understanding is that the Gen Sec, whoever they are, are merely professional supporters and advisors (there are others in the team too) to the Company Councils etc, who are elected by us. The role of the BALPA staff, headed by the Gen Sec, who is responsible to the NEC (not vice versa!) is to provide us pilots with professional advice so we don’t screw up and land the membership with a huge legal bill from time to time, as would certainly be the case if some of the more “off the wall” ideas were followed! A word of warning about this, you cannot transfer what happens in other countries directly to the UK, because legislation is not the same. Thus, aspects of scope clauses are enforceable in the US but certainly not in the UK. There are others too, hence you need to be careful.
What do you want in the Gen Sec. Well firstly define the job and then you can find someone to fill it. Probably need a person who knows their strengths and weaknesses and knows how to overcome them. Administration is important, but knowing “the man who can do it” whilst at least understanding what needs to be done, is probably good enough. I say this because I feel that the most important characteristic is that they be someone who can mix and represent BALPA at the highest levels, whilst keeping them organisation running along the lines that the various elements of the NEC have instructed him/her to do. You need someone for example, who can walk into a room full of airline chiefs of varied backgrounds and speak as an equal in a language they understand, whilst at the same time understanding what your leaders (the NEC) want you to achieve. They need to be someone who will give the best advice, even if you don’t like it when the brown stuff is about to hit the fan, so you don’t end up standing there with something worse than mud on your face! That is, knows when we need to stop before we make prats of ourselves! You need someone who, when the part timers are not around (the whole of the pilot input to BALPA I hasten to add!) can fire fight and keep the organisation positioned as well as it can.
How you select and appoint that person will be an issue. How do you job interview someone with a potential 8000 interviewers ! Given it is really a staff position, one wonders if an election by the membership, based on a manifesto and some political lobbying is really the best way to go. I did not see BA shareholders get a vote on Skippy ! A decent in depth selection process would be a better bet.
There is democracy though, as the NEC is elected and more frequently than any Gen Sec and they are a suitably sized body with access to information and expertise to enable a rational and robust decision and appointment process. I am amazed that the new Gen Secis under the impression that he will be handling the selection of his successor. This is unusual to say the least in any organisation and seems at odds with the concept that the elected representatives, the NEC, as the board of directors so to speak, give employment to the Gen Sec and thus direct the operation of the Gen Sec, not vice versa. The concept of junior staff being the ones who select candidates within the organisation for selection and election by the BALPA members as their boss seems a bit odd to me. One hopes that there is no concept of a “by grace and favour” of the previous incumbent here. By the way it is only a 5 year job, so not for life for anyonw Perhaps therein lies some of the answer as to the fate of the last one, a misunderstanding of what the job was by a lot of people and who really calls the shots. I suppose the comparison is, that we don’t vote on who the Head of the civil Service is going to be, the Government we elect just appoint them. Limited term contract give an opportunity to say ”au revoir” if things go wrong.
A bit long, but may get a few reasonable comments and get people thinking logically rather than emotionally !

P.S A psychologist would have field day with all of those aliases , I mean “BOAC” does leave much to the imagination as to their leanings, or does it. I suppose Hugejet could be an AN124 driver though!!!

John Frohnsdorff
21st Jun 2002, 19:19
Dear All,

Thanks for all the support on the forum.

I will be communicating with you via log, Balpa mail and email from now on. You will hopefully appreciate my work load has gone up too much to constantly monitor the PPruNe forum but please contact me via New Road if you have any questions.

The search for a new GS has begun and we have made a good start.

Best Wishes,

Big Kahuna Burger
21st Jun 2002, 21:46

whilst on this subject , could you please ensure that your successor, or the staff at New Road REALLY review BALPAs **** poor performance record on communication methods.

The BALPA website is of NO USE to me as a regular member.
It does not tell me anything I dont already know. There are SO MANY functions that the net and email could used for.

As has been said many times, The Log is more of an old boys mag, than a sharp, current, punchy union publication.

The whole Union/Membeship communications system need a complete overhaul.

22nd Jun 2002, 09:41
Martin A:

IMO, an excellent post and worth reading to the end - well, almost:eek:

<A psychologist would have a field day with all of those aliases. I mean “BOAC” does leave much to the imagination as to their leanings, or does it?>

In my defence, MA, I have to refer your comment on the psychology to the good Captain PPrune who thought the name a jolly good 'wheeze' when he chose it to help me set up the BA forum here.:cool:
(PS Not a very BIG 'alias' when you look at my profile)

BKB - you may be interested to know that the BA CC have just (finally) set-up an excellent and long overdue internet forum which runs inside the 'screen' of the BALPA website security. You may wish to press your CC for them to have a chat with the BA guys about it?

22nd Jun 2002, 10:07
Removed by M.Mouse!

22nd Jun 2002, 10:27
Dear John,

Congratulations now the union is back in the hands of the members. There are a number of issues in our industry which have been left untouched for years. The most significant I feel is the slowly downward spiraling pay, every year payrises (if they occur) don't meet inflation. I would guess over the past 10 years this accounts to a 20% cut, particualy for those in smaller companies. Please inform the new GS when found that there is alot to be done and not just for those at the top end of the pile. All the effort spent on negotiating BA 777 crewrest facilities is great for those at the top I'm sure, but when reading log those at the bottom feel somewhat disenfranchised! Espesially when our (the bottom of the pile) rest facilities are a portacabin with no heating.

I believe a five year post for the new GS is fine but a ballot should be called after every five year period, that's democratic. A select few behind stuffy closed doors should not be able to re-appoint the GS.

just a few thoughts.

22nd Jun 2002, 12:58
M Mouse - reciprocated, thanks!

22nd Jun 2002, 13:06

Read biography of Martin A and address.

Seems M Mouse has not revealed anything he should not have or one would have deduced.

22nd Jun 2002, 13:26
Whoops! BOAC I misread your post. Point taken although I had read MA's profile before posting.

Capt PPRuNe
22nd Jun 2002, 17:03
Martin, a very nice and eloquent post. Please let me state a few of the reasons that I have allowed PPRuNe to be used in the run up to the election for the GS.

I have been a BALPA member since I started my flying career and was even on the Airworthyness Study Group and so have some insight as to what BALPA does behind the scenes. As you have pointed out, there are many pilots who have an opinion on everything without having the 'big picture'. As can be seen by many of the responses in this thread, there are many who assume that 'BLALPA' do all the work on our behalf. Thankfully, posts like yours mamange to go some way to explaining what actually happens behind the scenes.

Unfortunately, as has been proved by this exercise, is that it doesn't matter how much good you think you are doing if the perception of the majority is different. Many people, especially in BALPA are very quick to criticise PPRuNe as a 'pilots chat room' or whatever. Yes, there are many people who fail to engage brain before making a post and there are plenty of people who show themselves up by trying to sound authoritative when in fact their posts show them up to be quite the opposite. It doesn't matter though. If BALPA's communications to its members and anyone else is below par and the majority believe that the GS or whoever in BALPA isn't doing their job to the best of their ability with the members best interests, then, even if they are wrong it doesn't matter becuase there is obviously a problem that needs addressing. It is no good preaching that everything is actually running normally and so many things are going on in the background if the majority of the members and everyone else 'thinks' or 'believes' it not to be so.

There are many in management who use PPRuNe as a tool to gague what current perceptions are about their performance. These managers are clever enough to realise that if there is any perception that their performance is poor, even if it isn't, there is a problem because everyone else thinks it is. When asked about my involvement with PPRuNe, especially when asked if my managers ever give me any grief about it I tell them that most are able to realise that I am only the messenger but they should treat PPRuNe like a hidden bug in the crew room. They may not know who is saying the things about them that they don't like but at least they know what is being said. They, the managers or whoever, now have the opportunity to set the record straigh or communicate their policies in a clearer fashion in order to make sure that the perceptions of the beraters are changed. Unfortunately not too many in positions of responsibility are able to get this concept into their heads.

In the case of BALPA, I have believed for years that they have had a terrible communication problem with not only their members but also their detractors. From the way their website is run (and the amount of time it took them to adopt the internet) through their publications and other communications they fail to get the important messages across. Now, the classic case has been this election process for the new GS. I will say it again, 'pooh pooh' PPRuNe at your own risk. It may be full of trivia and whingeing a lot of the time but those who have a better grasp of the power of communication and information control know that they can use it as a gague. Not the total solution but certainly one of the tools that will help people in the business to get a better picture of what is going on.

The information doesn't have to be true as long as the perception that it is true prevails. Too many people in positions of power have used this fact to their benefit and all we try to do here on PPRuNe is give everyone the opportunity to put the facts in front of everyone and the objective is to make sure that our perceptions are based on the true facts.

Martin A
22nd Jun 2002, 20:13
I could not agree more with what you say about the problems of perception and reality. It would be sad if what happens is a vote based on what may be a false perception due to little research should have left BALPA weakened in the eyes of those who would wish us to so be, i.e. "the bosses" That those perceptions of whatever accuracy, became firmly planted is a reflection on the levels and sophistication of communications today. Like all good things it can be a mixed blessing. Stoppping a good rumour is , well difficult to say the least ! Reality that tries to stop it usually looks pretty pathetic.
You are quite right about the perception issue, reality is often quite different and can sometimes "stand in the way of a good story" as the press would say. That is something of a shame and does perhaps reflect on us (pilots) as a group who would like to think that we only deal in facts.
Whether the BALPA can get it's act together on communications and get an easy to use website for the varied desires of users is another question. That it should is absolutely vital.
The needs range from boring stuff that we Techies like to spread around, like the odd specialist reporting form for ATC deficiencies in Africa (hot topic for all you fellahs, if you don't report it in writing, we have no ammunition to get it fixed, rumour and word of mouth no matter how accurate , does not impress the politicians involved, so please help!) to indusdtrial information and discussion forums.
The benefit icould be that such discussion can be closed if desired, as the warning says on these pages, anyone can read and you may not want that either. Always surprises me how many discuss this stuff on the BA compuserve forums, better than having a bug in the oppositions dining room !
BALPA cannot go back to what existed on the day before the result, it can only go forward. some painful lessons learned as they say.
One should also add, neither is it realistically possible to go back to those days of 5 or 10 years ago in terms of employment conditions, no matter how idyllic they may seem from a distance, as the world has moved on. One can only try and get the best deal that is possible now in to-days conditions. The mint sauce will never again appear with lamb in the Karachi rest house ! or the shorthaul cheese tray grace the centre consol of a three engined jet built near Potters bar, to name but a few of those cherished iconss of an earlier era. However one hopes that on todays very cut and thrust and increasingly global industry, that BALPA gets a General Secretary who as a full time official working under the direction of the NEC and its constituent members drawn from the membership by democratic ballot, can deal with the necessary cut and thrust environment within which the movers and shakers of airline management operate. He or she, must provide the necessary support to ensure that when BALPA representatives negotiate our future terms and conditions, that they are the best that can be realistically be obtained with a view to our long term security of employment and professional standing. They must not be those which may give a short term headline boosting ego trip for the negotiating team and a long term disbenefit to the members who may have to pay the ultimate cost of loss of employment, howver unpopular this may be in the short term to some people.

Thanks for the opportunity to reply, off to bed now, another set of happy trainees to deal with at 6 am!

Martin Alder

23rd Jun 2002, 19:37

You make you viewpoint very clear, obviously a little dissappointed in the Election Results.

I see you have resorted to the old;
”don’t think of what BALPA can do for you, but what you can do for BALPA”. I agree with the sentiment this expresses but is insufficient as an arguement every time a member expresses discontent with the union. Although it sounds like a logical arguement, it fails in it's basic premise by ignoring the fact that we are doing our bit, simply by using our VOTE to elect those able and dedicated Reps who have volunteered to represent our viewpoints. That is why we pay 1% and have a structural organisation, including HQ, in the first place, so we don't stumble around BALPA as an aimless group of 10,000 individuals. Gov't works in the same way....we elect those who we hope will make the necessary decisions for the benefit of society. We don't all have to be Prime Minister's just so society can get it's act together. In fact the more of us who did, the worst the results would be.

The majority of members felt a change was necessary in the way BALPA HQ supported the CC's. They felt that as GS over the past 10years the end result on T&C's of pilots has been degraded and as ultimate head of our union surely CD had to take some responsibility for this as our full-time Guru? We as members have "done what we can do for BALPA" and that has started by voting for a new GS. Whether myth or a symptom of the late 90's, we know our T&C's have detriorated and as our reps are Part-time as you suggest, then surely it is the professional guidance that they were getting that was insufficient. At the very least we felt it important enough that we should have been properly informed(maybe by a letter from MG without being prompted first by concerned members)that the position of head of our 10,000 strong union was up for re-election, and that a fair and non-discriminatory Election process would be carried out if necessary. Big Oversight !!!

Your comment about flagging out, although persuasive is also flawed. Buying an imported car is legal if not nice, flagging out longterm is not legal so your arguement doesn't hold water. If you are in BALPA(NEC perhaps) then I would expect anyone in that sort of position to realise the difference of legalities between the two. If not then is there any wonder why flagging out exists to the extent it does. If MG has done a great job in this area then I would like to thank him personally. Good or not, it is irrelevant to the fact he overstepped himself in the recent elections. His actions were unrepentant and unapologetic despite being thinly legal(according to whose lawyers?)and certainly not Nice. I can only suppose which of his actions are forefront in members minds the next time his position is up for re-election. Another victim of the modern world I hazard to guess.

I must also say that I resent your comment "You need someone who, when the part timers are not around ". This smacks of the sort of arrogance that got the members upset about our union HQ in the first place. Our dedicated Part-time and unpaid BALPA reps also carry out a Full-Time flying job. If anyone should be questioned about being part-time it should be CD who we paid handsomely yet still found time, to our recent amazement, to sit 1.5 days/week on the Competition-Commission.

In fact most of your post has hints of HQ/NEC arrogance throughout. You seem to think that you know best for us and that we should sit back, pay our money and take your word for it yet contradictorily you spout "ask what you can do for BALPA" responses. You act as if BALPA is the father-figure for us poor stupid adolescents who don't know better. This would be all the more acceptable or believeable if BALPA had been delivering consistently for the past 10years. As this is far from the case, perhaps you don't know whats best for us. Perhaps in your arrogance you have gotten side-tracked or comfortable in your positions so that you feel less likely to stick your head above the parapet. Perhaps a change of viewpoint is needed. Perhaps we're willing to get a little mud on our faces to acheive what we think we deserve. At the very least you've failed to understand what it is that we do want.

As for the appointment of the new GS. I am more than happy for JF to put the candidates to the general members for election. If we would have let the CC's elect the GS this time around CD would have got in with a resounding victory. But would this have really been a better judge of what the general members wanted..... at 2-1 against, I would say not. What reassurance can you give me that the same error of judgement would not occur at the NEC level ? You are the one telling us to stand up and take an active part in BALPA. Alright then, so why do you think it beyond us to participate in the GS appointment ?

You are right that the world is changing. If CD was the best man for the job we will never know it. He did fail however in not sufficiently keeping in touch with the desires of those under his remit. BALPA at the highest levels need to realise the importance of Communication in todays world and this has been it's wake-up call. We never used to have mobiles, e-mails, forums, Internet. It can be used as a very powerful and effective tool if used correctly, ignore it and the ease of Communication it provides, at your own peril. Used effectively and it should send shivers down the executives of any comany with an established union. The world is no longer FLAT. There is no excuse or mercy for losing touch with the people whose careers you have agreed to protect and advance. The days of "daddy knows best" is finished as BALPA emerges from its adolesence. I hope we have learned our lesson and are calculating how best to navigate this new circular world of Communication.

PS: Has your psychologist helped you figure out what my alias might represent ? Heres a hint the "rage" part does not mean contemptment with the present state of affairs.

24th Jun 2002, 21:33
"That is why we pay 1% and have a structural organisation, including HQ, in the first place, so we don't stumble around BALPA as an aimless group of 10,000 individuals."

The trouble is that you and others like you expect FAR too much for your 1%. Many people expect to part with 1% of their salary and then do nothing. What is being said is that you get back what you put in and that is fair - would you be willing to INCREASE your contribution level to 2% ? What effect do you think that would have on the membership level.

I for one was surprised to find out that John F expects it to take 2 months to get a new BALPA GS in place. This is a ridiculous amount of time. I only hope my employer does not decide to take advantage - if I were him I certainly would. From the letter I got today from BALPA HQ it is clear to me that John F supports change for the sake of it and not just because it is needed.

Martin A is absolutely correct - we need to make sure that our expectations are not completely out of synch with the industry. Most of all, you get out of BALPA what you put in.

Think about it and stop talking complete bull****

Hand Solo
24th Jun 2002, 21:51
Yeah, think about it, you're lucky to have a job! You're lucky your employers didn't sack you after Sept 11th and you're lucky you have the chance to work 25% harder next year for the same or less cash. CD did all he could, there was no need to get rid of him. You should accept things can only get worse, never better. Spend more of your time on making what you have go further instead of stirring up trouble. 'Flagging out' is a fait accompli, there's nothing you, I or BALPA can do about it and you should hunker down and do as much work as you can now before all aircraft are operated that way. Be happy with what you've got, you've never had it so good.

sarcasm = off

25th Jun 2002, 00:09
Hear hear.

Fuzzy112 - If you want to be sold further down the river then be my guest and get eaten by Atilla the Hun. Change is what is absolultely necessary. As a professional body, we have been shafted for far too long now.

I'm getting sod all from my employer this year in terms of a pay rise whilst having to work harder and watch some colleagues being made redundant. I don't think its unreasonable to expect something for my 1%. Balpa has had a large membership increase since Sep 11th and instead of having a continual erosion of terms and conditions, its time a fresh Balpa hierachy said "no" and started earning our contributions.

25th Jun 2002, 10:39
Fuzzy thank you for that extremely well thought out and eloquently written response. Another person dissappointed by the Election results I take it.

If you read my post correctly you would have noticed that I said I agree in principle with, "you get out of BALPA what you put in". But I said it fails as an adequate response if used continually to quell a BALPA member simply because they are dissatisfied.

I am not DEMANDING anything for my 1% other than what BALPA represents. This is stated clearily on their website;

Employment Benefits
Financial Benefits
Enhanced careers
Quality of life
Improved salaries
Better pensions
Personal representation
Technical and Medical
Pilots Advisory Group

BALPA can help pilots and flight engineers secure jobs, get better jobs, and improve
their salaries and pensions.

In short, enhance their careers and their lifestyle.

BALPA offers personal representation and a wealth of technical and medical services.
And there is formidable legal and expert back-up in cases of incident, accident, loss of
licence and any discipliniary procedures.

Just as important is BALPA’s pursuit of flight crew interests with the Government and
with all the regulatory bodies in the UK, the rest of Europe and the world.

Back to my rant;
If as you say, I am demanding too much for my 1%, then perhaps it is BALPA trying to act like Father again and keeping it's financial difficulties from it's stupid children. If BALPA need to increase subscriptions to 2% or higher to provide for BALPA's activities then they should try Communicating this to us. As long as the funding requirement could be seen as necessary then I am sure we would accomodate this, like we've accomodated our employers for the last 10years.

You say;
"JF supports change for the sake of it and not just because it is needed." Re-read my last post.....change was needed. No one is denying CD probably worked as hard as he could for us, he failed by not establishing proper 2-way communication with members and if he did he would have realised we wanted stronger action. If our 1% was insufficient to accomplish our goals then he failed to Communicate this as well. Bob Ayling was probably a brilliant man who worked hard, with a great bussiness mind, yet he failed as a leader. Do you see any parallels. In todays world, it is just as important how you are perceived as what you accomplish quietly in the background. With all of the cheap tools available to one today, failing to Communicate is now defined as Arrogance or Ignorance of the changed world .......they call it the INFORMATION AGE.

Our expectations are not out of synch with the industry. BALPA's expectations/goals have been out of synch with it's members, this is now being rectified. I suggest that if you are a BALPA rep and believe the goals of the general membership are unattainable that you do us all a favour and resign immediately.

As for JF taking 2months to find a new GS, its better than having the wrong guy in place for 10years don't you think ? In the meantime I'm sure the BALPA HQ structural efficiencies will fall into place as they have been designed. I'm confident Graham Fowler is equally if not more competent than an absent GS off on the milk run at the Competition Commissions HQ's.

AS an aside;
I am wondering about the bitterness and anger being expressed by those who obviously never succeeded in getting their preferred GS candidate elected. What is it that those who voted for CD dislike the most about having a viewpoint considered in the minority ? Is it simply that you don't like getting your own way ? or is it the uneasiness caused by suddenly realising that your viewpoint is actually that held by the minority and not everyone ? by the way, does your spouse accuse you of always having to be right? you must be great CRM advocates. Elections over, the people have spoken, lets get on with the future.

25th Jun 2002, 13:34
airrage Why don't you stand for election to the BALPA NEC.

That would make it easier for you to carry out your masterplan, benefit us all and save all this verbiage.

Just a suggestion ;)

Martin A
25th Jun 2002, 17:44
Reply on its way, must spell check it first !
Martin A

25th Jun 2002, 21:36
Boeingman, I could never run for any BALPA Election, they limit your Election address to under 200 words.

Martin A, I'm getting really worried, you've been spell-checking your post for nearly 4hours now. I don't want to lose out on the word counting competition.

My shortest post yet.

Martin A
26th Jun 2002, 07:05
Sorry it has been longer than 4 hours. She who must be obeyed returned ! Had to hold conversation over meaningful things, so the reply is behind schedule ( foretaste of planned 35 min turnrounds at LHR?)
Trying to create short reply to throw word count contest into confusion and give the backers with the best odds a chance of winning !

Martin A

Martin A
26th Jun 2002, 08:06
A yes, the “doing our bit by simply voting”. As someone else has said already, that is only part of it. No need for 8000 Prime ministers, just need someone to do the work. Much as BALPA would like to have large Technical Section , the reality is it is not. We do have some very good people who are employed by BALPA to give us our secretariat ( A Tech Sec, Assistant Tech Sec plus small support staff) but the meetings etc are attended by good old volunteers who write up their own reports etc, for out of pocket expenses only, so no benefit from your subs. Of course they also lose FHR allowances whilst doing this “part time “ job, as they are only full time at flying, as you pointed out. Not to belittle their contribution as “part timers”, they are all committed, but merely to point out that if a JAA, or other meeting comes up at short notice, you cannot always get someone there, no matter how vital it is that you do, an inherent limitation. Full time paid staff would do it, but at a vast increase in cost. I will see if we can get an idea of the number of man days the Technical Section uses its volunteers for in a year. The same limitation applies to any other section i.e. industrial and CCs etc, using full time pilots to do Association work, including the Gen Secs post.
As to negotiations etc, I understand that they are all done and accepted by the CCs locally not by the Gen Sec. The advantage if that is correct, is that the CCs own the result, after all who would like as an alternative to a management imposed solution a BALPA head office imposed one ! The solution may not suit all within a company constituency and may have been agreed as a result of advice from the Head Office, but the acceptance of it is down to the CC and that is surely where the aggrieved should seek a solution. I would think that having access to Head Office advice is useful in that inevitably there is a risk of an emotional and hence illogical support developing in “local” negotiations for some courses of action. A Head Office able to look at things a little more distantly has its advantages.
As to where some spend part of their time, i.e. Competition Commission. Well it gives access to the politicians, who in the end, are the ones who decide if “flagging out” is legal or not. Probably looks good on CD’s CV, but why not if it gives BALPA another “in” to influence the politics of commerce that affect our lives? By the way BALPA is constantly writing to DTLR and raising this issue.
I only mentioned MGs bit about FTLs, for which he has spent a lot of time over the last 10 years or so, no idea about his bits on flagging out ! We , as an Association are fighting for decent FTLs in the EU, but it is not easy and needs people to go to lots of meetings arguing a rational and supportable case, all in their spare time, at a considerable personal cost in money and time.
As to the continuing change in our conditions over 10 years, sure things have changed, read what our forebears in the early 50’s had, , lots of trimmings with the job and god like status. However if that were to apply now, remember that probably only about 10% of us would have a job to service the size of industry that would exist ! Not to be complacent, but economics are a fact of life (apart from FTSE 100 Directors it seems !) and changes happen. Relative to some we have declined and to others improved. Always nicer to improve, but there are still (at the current money) lots of people wanting to do our job for less than we get paid. This gives downward pressure on our economic status, just as we do it to others we purchase services.
As to JF seemingly picking his successor, as he states,. Well, this is not healthy, as it sets a precedent. Who you have been happy with CD picking his ? I think not ! No the Gen Sec cannot logically be involved in choosing his successor, it becomes a “grace and favour” post or dynasty then. No better than the NEC supporting any single candidate over another.
As to the apparent support that CD had from MG in the letter. Well given the near unanimous support at a recent ADC that I observed, one would hardly be surprised! It took 18 months to find CD in the first place, not 2 months it is proposed we will be able to find his replacement in. I could imagine that there may have been a bit of shock at the concept we ditch the one we have, elect someone who merely wanted to remove him, ( I assume resignation is imminent as promised) and then go out and find another one, all whilst a number of CCs are about to enter battle in regaining lost money etc as a result of 11/9 et al needing good industrial relations advice and the like. Kind of like sends out the wrong message in terms of strength and unity perhaps ?
I am not saying Daddy knows best ( but we all say that to our teenagers !), just some of what circulates may not be the best information on which to formulate a position. Yes communications are important and technically interesting, but volume is no alternative to content. Some stuff is sensitive and probably best not in the public domain, hopefully your reps can be trusted and you have the confidence in what they do with it. Other stuff, just takes time to get out, adds nothing to the debate and costs someone time (their own sapre time , not popular with wife and kids !) to do it. How many do read the Log ? Some obviously don’t and yet it does at least come in an easy portable format and doesn’t crash when to you turn the page ! Just filling up the internet with more of it would not be the answer, so ideas please?

Martin A

26th Jun 2002, 09:31
Martin, As an aside, I was under the impression the reps get an average of FHR for their BALPA credit......As for the main issues, just tell us when the strike is and we'll be right behind you!

26th Jun 2002, 11:10
Martin, Thanks for your reply and the tone it set. Having spent an hour typing my reply I tripped out my power cord without my battery in place, so I am repeating a shorter version(was that a sigh of relief I heard?)

- BALPA short of resources - I knew we ran a tight ship but if it is getting to the point of providing inadequate coverage then we need to review where we spend our time and whether dues should be raised or some areas covered less intensively. Perhaps the new GS review will be an opportune time as any. If put to the members to decide, do you want to lose the following services or increase contribution you might be surprised how many people suport the increase given the facts. an Independant review ? Please don't struggle in silence when this might not be needed.

- CC's do own the results of negotiations(777 bunk rest exception to the rule perhaps)but support from HQ should be firm and forthcoming with advice. They are the hired guns after all. A militant GS puppeteer perhaps.

- GS of BALPA should not have to take a part time job(1.5days/week)with the Comp. Comm. just to get a hearing with politicians.

- MG - I misunderstood your original post referred to him working on flagging out not FTL's. I will re-read it.

- JF picking his succesor;
I was talking about preferring that he choose candidates for gen.members ballot rather than NEC selection alone. I am not opposed to NEC refining the list with him.

- "MG reason for writing lettter stemmed from unanimous CD support at a recent ADC."
Why was the ADC vote so out of touch with the gen.members Election results ? Is it because the ADC could see personally the great job CD was doing, and we couldn't - communication ? How can such a diverging viewpoint exist and doesn't it cause concern that the ADC might not accurately be aware of the gen.members viewpoint on issues ? Either way a lot could be learned from the entire Election past, and to not review it in detail creates further risk in the future. It is worrying that possibly a large number of members threatened leaving in disgust, and utilising the new UK union recognition laws to bring in another or their own union. The reasons behind this must be reviewed to avoid a repeat.

- "About to enter battle without GS sends message of disunity or weakness."
My viewpoint is exactly that of The FT article yesterday that says the Election results have actually sent fear into BA and uncertainty. Confirms our renewed militancy. See article (http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1024578204073&p=1012571727263)

- Some info sensitive and adds nothing to the debate for its cost.
Agreed, however things could be improved using the new BALPA forum - perhaps there should be some threads used for posting by BALPA reps only for info updates(BA trial at the moment) and also perhaps considering e-mail broadcast lists. Members opt-in to receive email upates(fleet, company, etc). I would be happy to assist in setting this up, as I did offer to set up a forum a year ago. The problem with closed door negotiations and sensitivity is that often the members are unaware of the intervening steps. They see negotiations beginning with PLAN A, they don't see the logical progression until the rep emerges with PLAN D. We would be happier to have seen A-B-C-D and to participate in those steps. time consuming YES. Example, pay deal; Rep presents company with manuscript of deal and says if anything needs changing consultation with members will need to take place, not open for lengthy closed door discussions. Perhaps more militant but it would then put the pressure on the company and not unduly on the rep. I still think temporary professional hired guns are the best solution for pay deals only, not worth budgeting expense here as an extra 10% in pay that wouldn't normally occur, means members could happily afford an extra 10 years of 1% BALPA dues with the first year of extra dosh. Perhaps a one-off charge to that companies members (decided by ballot)who want the Pros hired for that years pay deal.

- I do read the log.

- As for ideas.
In the run up to negotiations no doubt GMM's will be forthcoming. Poor turnouts should not be construed as poor support but more a symptom of a tired workforce unwilling to drive to the airport once again, people downroute or using their few days off for personal issues. They might not be the best way to gauge opinion and probably give BA a false sense of security and first advantage in the negotiations. If people could log on to the Internet when they find the spare time and view a videotaped presentation(digital handhelds can suffice), followed by a secure and accurate voting system(one vote only and verified BALPA member from relevant comapny) then you might gauge support before having to officially ballot. The company would no doubt see the results as well. I know one could say the members are just being lazy, but there are many reasons why someone can't go to a GMM, the end result is what we are after and so we should accomplish this in the most accomodating fashion available. It doesn't have to be an expensive videoconference, just a Realplayer/Windows player download, ajoining forum and a POLL. Just for thought.

I would be happy to continue this via email or postings. If ppruner's here are sick of these lengthy posts or want it to continue, Please tell us either way.

26th Jun 2002, 11:15

You’re already on the NEC; so you could relay Airrage's messages yourself!

But perhaps that would be too close to real membership imput for the NEC’s comfort!


26th Jun 2002, 12:14
Of course I listen to all members concerns and not just minority interest groups. airrage has been very elloquent getting his views across and I applaud him for that. However not all of us are that good with the printed word. Debate has, to a certain extent, been stifled by this elloquence.

I suspect airrage was one of the candidates at the last NEC election but failed to get elected this time and I am sure he knows that you get to have 400 words for that manifesto. ( If he wasn't I apologise and hope he will stand next time. )

XFO1-11 don't demonise the NEC now the election is over. It's all you've got at the moment. What we need now is to stand together and get the best representation at all levels for all members.

26th Jun 2002, 13:34
I can confirm that I have never ran for BALPA in any position whatsoever. I thank those who do the thankless task and support them with info whenever I can.

26th Jun 2002, 14:34

It is good to know that the NEC is now listening. I presume that you pass on the messages at the meetings.

I do not seek to demonise the NEC members however it is apparent by the stance taken by the Chairman that he is out of touch. I would refer you to the election result for confirmation.

We all hope for better representation in the future from the NEC.


26th Jun 2002, 20:21
All this talk of Big Airways matters (777 bunks,where's my b****y 20% pay rise, strike action, etc), rather than just BALPA matters , i.e the whole membership (of which BA are in a minority as we all know) is perhaps becoming just a bit selfish don't you think.
John getting elected is more for all of us rather than just one company's membership , and while he has only ever been in BA i'm quite sure he's hardly going to be just fighting for 777 bunks, it's a bigger issue than that.
whilst i understand the concerns of BA's members they are certainly going about fuelling the fire of "this is just an attempt of BA to hijack the union" in the right way, my view as a BA outsider is that they are only concerned about their own company. it is indeed a certainty that improvements in their t&c will help the rest of us but we need to act more as a union rather than a lose association of pilots, only by being all together on matters can we really get the management by the short and curlies. this will become especially true in roughly 12 months time when the pilot shortage really begins to bite- that is exactly when we need a strong union to be behind us. the problem with CD was he would concede too easily. we need a union/CC to galvanise all the members.
if we act as a cross-company group in the case of ballots for improvements it will have a far greater impact. whilst if airline X want a pay rise it would be rather silly for the crew of Y to also go out on strike, in the case of FTL improvements it affects every single one of us.

as an aside i wonder what BA think about John having two jobs- i'm willing to bet they hate the fact that the GS is one of their pilots! could be interesting

if anyone wants to know to save you asking of course i voted for John.

Martin A
26th Jun 2002, 21:41
Rumour has it that Airrage is a Manchester based BA pilot? Is that correct?
I have no idea whether members want to pay more or not, I suspect most would want someone else to pay more but not themselves! Why not do a poll on it, it would answer your question right away and save your CCs the time and cost.
As to never having stood for a BLAP post, why not ? you seem to have lots of ideas, so why not come along and see what it is really like ? It may not be at all as it seems from the distant foothills off the Pennines, or is it the Scottish Lowland, some say your accent hails from north of Hadrians Wall.
You will probably find that there is lots of talk of militancy, but the reality is most of us have mortgages to pay etc and the cost of a strike is not to be undertaken lightly. Juts how many do you think would have supported a strike over 777 bunks given the circumstances involved? Probably fewer than supported the Cabin Crew strike one thinks. By the way remember, that the agreement over the bunks was signed by the BA CC Chairman, with CD merely counter signing. Why ? because a compromise was reached, just as most things are a compromise. If you get on a 777 that needs a bunk because it is flying far enough to need both a 3 man crew and a bunk (the two are not connected) I understand that it is there. The head office might be the hired guns, but has to be the CC that do the biz so to speak. Head Office can only advise and certainly should not override CC, to do otherwise seems just like shouting threats and when the going gets tough getting your big brother in, which seems nice until you realise you don’t like what he is doing anyway!, Hence the answer is really only the CC, and head Office advice only.
I understand that the part time job for the Competition Commission was agreed as part of personal development or similar. It certainly was the right thing to do, or should BA only hire in Captains already qualified and save the time on staff training we put into making first officers into commanders? Any decent employer does this kind of thing, so why should BALP not set a good example of how we would like to treated to our own employees, which is what the Gen Sec is. Having an online connection politically, if that is what it gave us is a lot more effective. Who do you listen to, the guy who turns up once, knows nothing about how things work and makes an accidental pratt of themselves , or someone you have had a good working relationship with and who appears to know what they are talking about because you have seen them in action over a period? ( I have witnessed this done by an airline manger at an external meeting, it will take him some time to be accepted as a valid contributor I think !)
Please tell me and others reading this, exactly what skills and experience JF has had in either selecting or employing staff who will be operating at this level? Am I correct in thinking that JF is only a recent joiner to the NEC, has no management training, or experience and is basically a bog standard airline captain ? Has he had any experience in dealing with MDs of large companies, senior government officials, ministers or the press? These are all skills he will need and need quickly. As an airline pilot, will he be familiar with employment and industrial legislation so as to be able to advise, or be present and carry through on behalf of a CC an argument with an airline MD who wants specifically to deal with the BALPA senior official ? Will he be able to discharge he responsibilities of Gen Sec from either the 747-400 flight deck or France, where he lives? These are after all the tasks of a Gen Sec who as I state again works as directed by the NEC, who are the controlling body of the Association and not the other way round !!!!
Could be difficult I think, but we must wait and see.
The ADC result reflected what people working with CD saw in him. Some of it in areas that newcomers to the running of the organisation are maybe not aware of. Others who had seen Head Office support enable them to achieve an acceptable outcome for their circumstance. Of course not everyone was happy with it, the private members motion that was basically anti CD, put forward by Ian Saunders of Manchester, got a fair hearing , but was even to my untrained ears pretty poorly argued and smacked of angry young man lashing out at anyone for reasons I am sure that if he reads this he could explain, because I lost the plot !
As those who have spent time in the “hallowed halls” of New Road know, some of what goes on is pretty low profile and influential, like visits to the House of Lords, PACTS, meetings with heads of industry etc. Some has to be low key, because that is what the participants want ,it does not make them any less effective and broadcasting some of the things that go on would be downright counterproductive. So not all of what is going on is spread around, or not in detail.
The members elect the organisation leaders, the NEC and they answer to you, the members. The NEC directs its staff (including the Gen Sec). If you don’t trust them they come up for re-election, so stand for election yourself. You cannot have an elected body and then by means of anonymous and untraceable communications denigrate them and expect anyone else to want to do it as their replacement .It becomes almost like trials by peoples courts in Russia of the 30’s. based on rumour and half truths with those fomenting staying well, away from any risk themselves.
What would be a disaster is, if due to some grievance that we know not of, the association is run by remote control by those who would wish it run in their chosen manner, but without the desire to take the responsibility for the actions that are taken and the results thereof. It is a risk of the availability of powerful communications that are available today, that is they can get used in manner which effectively seems to become trial by the tabloid press, sometimes, barely any better informed and which is unbecoming the profession.
So if you don’t like what the NEC your elected reps are doing, put yourself up for it. For those who don’t want to do this, just think how hard it would be to hold to account persons who will not put their names to the information they spread or who wish to wiled this power without responsibility.
Bye for now
Martin Alder chairman BALPA Tech (if you don’t read the Tech Log !)
Volunteer, not paid elected by other study group chairman, but this is all my own view not anyones elses, as I said What You See Is What You Get
P.S Do get some FHR, but it is not straightforward, you can lose it all again. Lats non BALPA time off roster, but to do a BALPA job lost two days FHR and allowances to get off roster to go to essential CAA meeting, net loss best not told to her indoors !, 9 hours credit out of my hard won bank, about 7 hours FHR and a night stop in Madrid. Dare not think how much that came to !

26th Jun 2002, 23:11
I can confirm that aside from my blood & genes which comes from Liverpool, I have never resided in the North. I do appreciate a Northern outlook on life perhaps and my Grandfather and Uncles spent many years in the Dockers unions(not as GS). So please recall the letter bombs enroute to that poor northern bloke, you got the wrong man. My name would mean nothing to most people here so you can eliminate any of the major players.

Please don't lecture me for daring to mention the B777 bunks in parenthesis as a small aside to Martin A saying that the CC's make all the decisions(as proof that this has varying degrees of truth). I won't go into the details here because it is a BA issue only and those who do know the details admit freely that the CC's did not get what they wanted because CD felt it necessary to make a compromise to move the issue forward. That resulted in all but 2 of the LH CC resigning (again don't want to be drawn into lengthy discussion about how many withdrew resignation, etc.) It was a tiny but truthful fragment to a lengthy post and for those interested the final stage bunks agreed have still not even begun production(18months to complete, whilst the 777 has been in BA now 6years)vindicating the opinions of the LH CC.

invinoveritas, agree wholeheartedly that we should be acting as the sole suppliers of pilots in the UK and co-ordinating our actions and focus on the group as a whole. If not then what the heck did we spend so much time increasing our membership. Of course one cannot use the word of that famous boardgame MonoPoly in this manner but heck they get away with OPEC (Only Pilots in the EC ? why not). Apologies if I often call on BA issues as examples to highlight my opinions but that is the firm I work for(presently)and could not to begin to discuss other outfits. Does not mean I don't support pilots rights regardless of uniform.

Both of you comment as if JF is taking the position of GS and are ignoring his manifesto. As for being qualified to find an appropriate candidate/s I am of the opinion that he appoint a professional head-hunting organisation;
1. alleviate suspicions from non-BA BALPA members.
2. they have 1000's of the best candidates in this country on their books ready to roll tomorrow and the headhunters are the most experienced of any people to appoint suitable people. Does any here think someone in our org better qualified than that.
3. a lot of the cost for this service absorbed by the candidate.

I appreciate that many people have mortgages etc and militancy wanes quickly. That is why I started 2threads(1 on the BA Pprune section 2months ago and 1 on the New BALPA Forum - because its more relevant to BA right now) that deals with the issue "Preparing for a strike". On the BALPA Forum thread I discussed ways and costs of raising equity from ones home to finance any missed paychecks during a strike. Without repeating the details here; the first option was a mortgage holiday agreed with ones manager, followed by a Home Improvement Loan which came to an additiional £60/month for every £10,000 borrowed. Theres no point in complaining that everyone doesn't want to risk strike when most people haven't been told how to financially prepare for one so that their families don't miss a bean. Perhaps the BALPA financial services could draw up a more detailed lengthy "Financial Crisis Plan"or "How to survive 6months without a paycheck"(don't have to call it strike preparation if fear of litigation)and print it in that LOG, that I do read. You might even find your readership #'s increase Martin. Think Pro-Active. How will BA feel if they know ahead of any strike that all pilots have secured 6months worth of strike money. Might tighten their sphincters a little wouldn't you agree ? Please feel free to use this idea Martin, can I look forward to the Aug/Sept issue......all I ask is that you sideline airrage as a co-contributor for the article. Quiz: what lasts longer.........a BA pilot on strike with a £15,000 Home Improvement Loan or BA with a £6 billion loan and pilots on strike.

I have discussed the merits of AESOP share options in lieu of cash if BA claim they can't survive the increase in cashflow a pay rise would cause. I devised a tidy way of turning £300 take home pay today into £1000 tax free shares 2years down the road. That could be another article for the LOG. Sorry getting sidetraked.

Martin, I have never criticised the NEC, I think you must be addressing this to me when you mis-identified me as that man Adrian building a wall(joke pleae). I have stated the many reasons why I believed a GS Election was necessary, the way it was handled and do not feel it necessary to repeat them here again. I have never spoke a disparaging word against any of the reps, CC or NEC. In fact I only have praise for their efforts.

I would just like to say that I have noticed the defensive reaction shown by reps(NEC or otherwise) to the recent upsurge in activisim. I think we as members are perhaps just as guilty in not communicating upwards to reps as we accuse them for not communicating with us. I know being a rep must be a thankless job and you don't get many stray e-mails just to say, hey wanted to say thanks and keep up the great work. How many trips downroute do you get not discussing BALPA issues? Doesn't mean the majority of us don't realise or appreciate the work done. It's a bit like accepting a flying managers job except you get the same amount of crap yet none of the perks.

Oh well, heres to the new OPEC ! (Only Pilots in the EC)

Peter Skellan
27th Jun 2002, 00:03
I support airrage.

The way to win the upcoming pay and benefits demands is simple

1) In The Log print advice on income protection strategies.

2) In The Log print suggested non-industrial actions which flightcrew might implement immediately without risk.

3) Ballot on industrial action. +ive ballot.

4) Take limited industrial action on a particular day/issue/base/fleet.

5) Resolve having been demonstrated and a media pre-show achieved - ballot on a a full blown strike. +ive ballot.

6) Achieve all moderate aims of T&C+P demands.

7) Watch entire UK aviation industry follow suit with egg all over their face with regard to Sept 11th cuts.


Hand Solo
27th Jun 2002, 00:33
should BA only hire in Captains already qualified and save the time on staff training we put into making first officers into commanders?

Wasn't this staff training cancelled to save money? Do we send Rod on a 'personal development' course? Personal development is for the underlings to improve themselves within the company, not for the top nobs to improve their future employment prospects.

You will probably find that there is lots of talk of militancy, but the reality is most of us have mortgages to pay etc and the cost of a strike is not to be undertaken lightly.

Some of us are faced with a stark choice: accept a month without paying the mortgage now, or face a career struggling to pay it. I'll happily forego a few days wages in order to avoid lying awake at night for the next few years worrying about the inevitable rise in interest rates. Or perhaps you haven't noticed the surge in house prices in the south east lately?

Who do you listen to, the guy who turns up once, knows nothing about how things work and makes an accidental pratt of themselves , or someone you have had a good working relationship with and who appears to know what they are talking about because you have seen them in action over a period?

For 'good' read 'cosy'. If the working relationship was so good then why does deep mistrust of CD exist? Do you genuinely believe that CD was bigger than BALPA, that had he been indisposed for whatever reason we couldn't get by with a deputy?

The ADC result reflected what people working with CD saw in him.

I'm sure it did, but the election result reflects what the electorate saw in CD. Frankly we're not that interested in behind-the-scenes manouvering, we're interested in what's in our pay packet, our job security and how much time off we have. CDs had ten years of mingling at the House of Lords, dining with MDs and helping out the Competition Commission, yet we're still earning less, working harder and watching flagged out aircraft in our airspace while UK flight crew are on the dole. Ten years of practicing without delivering is too long. I don't feel inclined to gamble on another five years of CD making it better. The time has come when most of our members want action, not promises. CD was no longer the man for the job.

27th Jun 2002, 15:28
I was surprised to see the BALPA notice put out by JF. I would have thought that he is right out of line to talk about appointing a new GS who will "closely follow the mandate given to me". From 1st July he will be GS and answerable to the NEC. If he then resigns and there is an election for a new GS he will not be in a position to appoint a new GS let alone propose one.

27th Jun 2002, 16:04
JF has never given me the impression that he was 'standing'. He is a Trojan horse wishing to open the way for democracy in BALPA. Forgive him for the grammatical errors, Sky 9 and start to practice drawing your BIG, indellible X's for the proper democratic election of a Gen Sec late summer.

It's not my idea, but someone mentioned a while back the possibility of GS salary being linked to the members salary, so Performance Related Pay could rid the very aspects that got CD rejected? Perhaps JF could bring about that change whilst he sits in the post?

27th Jun 2002, 16:13
Sky9 is absolutely correct. BALPA may be blindly accelerating into deep and uncharted waters led by a temporary GS who has assumed his powers to be greater than they really are.

27th Jun 2002, 17:26
JF doesn't even assume his role until 2July, give the guy a break, you gave CD 10years worth.

beaver eager
27th Jun 2002, 18:21
Wow! Airrage... I'm impressed. You can do it if you really want to (make a short post, I mean).

Martin A,

I really think you're wasting your time continuing to defend an out of date position. The deep distrust amongst the membership was caused mainly by a lack of openness from BALPA about the fact that CD was due for re-election in the first place.

JF and others were simply not happy to "rubber stamp" another five years without the membership being consulted on the issue. Ultimately, democracy has prevailed.

The rule book should specify that an election be held EVERY FIVE YEARS without fail, even if the only opposing candidate is a stalking horse standing merely for the sake of democracy (a bit like JF just did). At least the membership would ALWAYS be given the opportunity to vote against the incumbent, even if no suitable candidate were standing against him. A message from the membership can therefore be sent, even if change does not prevail.

Come to think of it... Many executive positions are granted on short term contracts these days, One and two year contracts of employment are not uncommon. Maybe such a contract for the new GS would concentrate his/her mind on their performance?

I have taken Airrage's advice... My home improvement loan forms are winging their way to me from the Nationwide as I type!

29th Jun 2002, 11:51
It's not for nothing that for years I thought BALPA stood for "British Airways Line Pilots Association"... and whatever so called evidence I hear to the contrary my experiences bear this out.

Martin A
29th Jun 2002, 15:24
Just a few words before Saturday siesta (6 am Sim !).
It is not the person ( CD) I am defending, he is big enough and old enough to do that himself. Anyway, he is gone and you cannot go back.
What I do defend, is good governance and process. A democratic organisation, with democracy, freely elected representatives, responsible to their electorate, but just like MPs, they are free to discharge that responsibility without threat. Poor performance is rewarded at the ballot box ! Decisions to be based on accurate information, backed with facts and evidence rather than tabloid type hype and which must comply with the Law. People who will speak up and be identified, taking responsibility for their decisions, rather than those who hide behind pseudonyms etc, throwing questionable facts and not taking responsibility, an easy task for a wrecker with today’s easy communications one might say. Perhaps some are that, who knows, as they say the contributors to this may not be who they appear to be !
It is a very sad state of affairs, for whatever reason , when the people you have elected as your CC reps etc, had one view of an individual that they work with and the constituency , i.e. members who had probably no direct contact, had another. Given that there seems to be some confusion in the memberships as to just what each part of the organisation does and who and what it is responsible for, then that should be where it starts. It already exist, but it seems many don’t bother to read it. Perhaps the odd page three girl, some pages out of FHM and for older members, instructions of how to employ a plumber in France, would spice it up a bit!
Any real ideas?

As to the previous incumbents failings. A lot seems to have been said, but just so readers are clear as to what sort of failings a Gen Sec might make and why a Gen Sec, who after all only provides advice, might have concluded that a strike might be a bad idea in some cases, please give us some hard fact examples of what it was that was not done and what should have been done. As an example, why not tell us ALL about the 777 bunks, after all it seems so important to some, in fact enough to want to get a lot of people on strike, so let us have it, warts and all, plus the corresponding BACC minutes, which should explain the story. It was after all being quoted as a major reason for the previous Gen Secs removal, because of his flawed judgement in not calling for a strike, or rather it seems recommending a strike to the BACC, where responsibility for that decision lie. It seems like some think the Gen Sec"orders" the members out on strike like Red Robbo of Longbridge , not sure we are all prepared to someone’s “ego fodder”!
I am concerned about how the association deals with its current situation. We have lost a member of the team. The remaining members will have an increase in workload, as the previous member DID spend time dealing with issues. Ask any of the CCs about how much support they got by whoever it was, add it up and divide by persons available then and now. Any complaining about 25 % more work this year than last for no extra pay, may like to think about the remaining workload shunted on to others at New Road with the change of people. This is because of the candidate Gen Sec, who will be unable to deal with it, unless he resigns his current full time work and moves back to the UK, so he can discharge the responsibilities he sought and obtained with the vote he received!
By the way how come someone has got time to do 25% more work this year ? You must have been flying less than 680 hours a year to do that, or it’s illegal (900 hrs per anum. max ).Seems a cushy number to me when some are busting 900 hrs long haul BA and even short haul gets me up to 75 hours per month block time!

As to style of operation of the Association, well that is an issue that we need to address. Do you work together, or do you have guerrilla warfare ? The choice is yours, just remember though, it is not a war we (pilots) can win unless, we own the companies we work for. Probably a good idea, but then we become the bosses which , as some find out, is not quite the same as being a worker. Thus, there will always be an us and them. So the issue is how to deal with it, bearing in mind the UK law which basically requires the directors to maximise the shareholders return and has absolutely NO DUTY to increase the employees pay, no matter how worthy they may be. They only pay us anything, or more because if they did not, we would go elsewhere (if we could )

So, you can either continue at war, which as any historian tells you, costs a fortune and destroys a lot, including what was not intended to be, or, you can realise that you both have mutual objective, like getting paid as much as you can for whatever service you offer and trying to do that to mutual advantage. By the way, comment was made about geese and golden eggs somewhere. As a former chicken keeper, a more productive line would be, to get as good an output of eggs for as long as possible, because if you threaten or frighten a chicken, sure it drops the eggs(or other stuff !!!) when you do it, but then the little b***** doesn’t lay anymore for a while, while it recovers from the shock! This can leave you feeling good about today’s two eggs instead of the former one per day, but is no consolation when you have to wait a week for the next one and you kill the odd one learning how much pressure you can apply to their neck and not kill them!( reminds me of an MP somehow!)
You have to have a working relationship, the concept of open warfare that is espoused by some is not sustainable on either side, after all, how big is British Leyland now ? Don’t think it could not happen to any airline in the EU, as now it is EU, there are definitely more options available to any of the big fish, including any weak and wounded other big, or bigger ones!
Flagging out by the way, is as I said, continually raised by BALPA, but if it has an EU or certain other registrations (Iceland is one I believe) it is allowed. It is a Government not CAA issue and we constantly attack it, but are any of you also writing to your MP? It is the only way you will get anything done as volume of protest counts. By the way, night flights continue at EMA due BALPA input, plus or minus for that is personal, depends if you want to work for DHL or live on the approach!!
As to the simplistic remarks about mixing it with the Lords etc. Well I am certainly no royalist or the like. However, the laws of the land are made in Westminster. If you want to get your word in, it has to be done in those circles, it does not, I am afraid happen here, or in bars down route, though it might be easier for us to attend if it were, but it isn’t.
What now. Well, unlike the picture painted by some of thousands of potential Gen Secs, I suspect far fewer real ones exist. Even if a team manage to get one, two or more candidates, an election will be needed and then notice worked, so if we see another Gen Sec in under say 5 or 6 months we will be lucky. Before we start looking, we do need to decide what their role is and make it clear to all members what it is, so that no doubt exist in anyone’s mind just as to where responsibilities lie for any action or event.
Martin Alder

29th Jun 2002, 17:40
Martin A,

Lord you go on! It's over already; Wakey Wakey!

Let’s look to the future now and make it better!


Hand Solo
29th Jun 2002, 18:31
Martin with stated views like that you're days as a BA BALPA rep are surely numbered, regardless of the good work you do at the Technical committees. Its attitudes like that which got Chris Darke trounced in the election. I'll say this once and I'll say it clearly - YOU ARE GROSSLY OUT OF STEP WITH YOUR BA MEMBERS ASPIRATIONS. We've tried the 'lets work together'/guiding principles approach, and the majority of the membership recognise that it has been more hinderance than help. We want a new approach to dealing with the company, and we expect our reps to recognise and act upon that desire instead of faintly patronising us with statements that they know best and we should stop meddling. Don't liken us to Leyland, they were inefficient, unproductive, expensive, delivered a gash product and walked out on strike at the drop of a hat. Thats why they went bust. We are a very different group.

To return to the 'Golden Goose' analogy, you're quite right to suggest its better to have a daily egg than to choke its neck and get two today and none for a week. However it seems to have escaped your attention that the BA goose has stubbornly refused to lay an egg for us for several years, and moreover when our backs have been turned its been nicking the eggs we've got and been sucking them right back up its own a rse!

29th Jun 2002, 18:43
Martin, theres nothing new in your post from what has not already been flogged to death, so there is little I can comment on. I also know very little about chickens and how they lay eggs.

You say
"What I do defend, is good governance and process. A democratic organisation, with democracy, freely elected representatives, responsible to their electorate, but just like MPs, they are free to discharge that responsibility without threat. Poor performance is rewarded at the ballot box !"
- So you must be happy then that we all got the opportunity to participate in the GS Elections and did reward poor performance at the ballot box. Where were these Democratic principals when BALPA tried to quietly re-instate CD without an election process. Or when MG decided to try and alter a fair electon process. Seems like not everyone in BALPA shares your good governance morales, I bet they do now. I don't recall hearing anyone being threatened.

You also say;
"It is a very sad state of affairs, for whatever reason , when the people you have elected as your CC reps etc, had one view of an individual that they work with and the constituency , i.e. members who had probably no direct contact, had another".
AGREED ! Perhaps more communication with the constituency will bring reps into line with the thinking of those they represent and vice versa.

You do continue to go on about JF commuting from France ignoring completely his manifesto. Give him a bit of time please. Don't say what a crap GS he will appoint, and how long it will take before he has even officially taken office. At least he has reinvigorated the democratic principles in BALPA so much that it is even included in your posts now. I don't think this would have occurred a couple months ago.

As for New Road and 25 % more work this year than last for no extra pay.............Sounds like the kind of pay raises pilots have had to endure over the last few years. I hope they get the help they need to do an effective job soon.

I've never harped on about the 777 bunk issue and I discussed why it was even mentioned in my last post. I can assure you it was not a major factor in my voting for JF.

As for people not being who they appear to be, I can't speak about others but I can assure the conspiracy theorists here that I personally have never held or ran for any BALPA office. I have also never met or talked with JF or his team. All this can be verified by those on either the BA-Pprune section or the new BACouncil BALPA Forum where my identity has already been revealed. I am merely a BALPA member and line pilot who enjoys the new medium created by the Internet to express ones views. Great isn't it !

29th Jun 2002, 19:00
Martin, I don't recall you dispondantly saying you are considering leaving BALPA committee. That is surely not want anyone wants to lose it's many fine elected reps. A shake up of the head office shouldn't be confused as animosity directed at the reps.

From my previous post;
"I would just like to say that I have noticed the defensive reaction shown by reps(NEC or otherwise) to the recent upsurge in activisim. I think we as members are perhaps just as guilty in not communicating upwards to reps as we accuse them for not communicating with us. I know being a rep must be a thankless job and you don't get many stray e-mails just to say, hey wanted to say thanks and keep up the great work. How many trips downroute do you get not discussing BALPA issues? Doesn't mean the majority of us don't realise or appreciate the work done. It's a bit like accepting a flying managers job except you get the same amount of crap yet none of the perks. "

Don't force me into starting a, "Please Don't Leave Martin A POLL." just to show how much support you would receive. No airrage POLL jokes anymore please.

29th Jun 2002, 19:14
I think that Martin A and others are way out of touch with the general feelings, and as he says they will be held accountable at the ballot box.

What a pity that it may be some time before this opportunity arises. They should take careful note of the result of the GS election and realise how out of touch with the members' feelings they are.

To me the overwhelming result is an indication of how fed up members in many companies are with the continual decline in the status, renumeration and conditions endured in the profession and how they are eager to fight for improvements instead of giving continually and having a union interested in cosy arrangements with management.

The dinosaurs need to make way for some fighters.

29th Jun 2002, 20:48
Martin A -

I will be brief. As has been (well) said, wake up, the result is in, your man has been beaten, accept the democracy of the whole thing and move on.

That said, take a moment for me and reflect on the wider message it should convey to those of your ilk. Their softly softly, don't rock the boat, be grateful you have a job style which is exemplified by the manner in which you drone on without saying very much, has got us nowhere.

The troops have spoken; if the result isn't to your particular taste, tough. Such is the framework within which we work (and vote).

Martin A
29th Jun 2002, 21:23
Sorry, not a BALPA elected rep, just a member who volunteers do some work on a frequent basis and prepared to say who I am, what I do in BALPA added in case anyone wants to find me and speak to me . I have no more power over what goes on at NEC etc than anyone else who is a member of BALPA , I speak when asked and I speak what I feel is right, not what fits politically, but I do try not to wind people up by making unjustified personal attacks. I have found it does not get the job done so to speak and just creates a situation where someone wants to settle a personal score instead of actually dealing with problems and real issues.

As mentioned earlier, I am prepared to say who I am because I believe that you cannot have a democratic debate in a secret society, the very thing that some accuse the NEC in doing over the election of the Gen Sec ! If you read the minutes of the NEC meetings, which are public, you can deduce what, when and why the whole thing happened. Note, have just read the BALPA site, which quite clearly states that the Gen Sec is elected by law every 5 years, so that answers one of the comments made by someone earlier about "BALPA should have to elect the Gen Sec every five years! It is already done, the comment merely revealing how some seemed unaware of the process’s within BALPA which is a shame, because it means that some may have made choices based on less than accurate assumptions. Going back to candidates, this time and the one before I suppose, only one candidate was assumed at least I cannot remember anyone else’s name on a ballot paper 5 years ago. This time a second one came forward at a relatively late stage. That’s the way it goes and the system provides for that, as it rightly should. Had no other candidate been put forward the system suffers like other elections we participate in, that is, not having a "I don't like this person” or in a multiple candidacy, “I don’t like any of these, please start again” option, perhaps it should? As it doesn’t and the NEC had no apparent reason to sack, or otherwise terminate the contract, the status quo would not have seemed unreasonable.
As ANY Gen Sec is not responsible for local negotiations, it is hard to see why the relative position of us a group in the pay relativity league tables should be wholly the responsibility of a post holder who doesn’t actually do the job (i.e. the local negotiations unless invited to support) and make the final decision on acceptance. A degree of responsibility for that must lie at CC level surely ? If the CC don’t think you can squeeze the goose any harder, perhaps they decide to quite whilst ahead. Perhaps in some larger CCs, they had persons with no personal emotional stake take a look at the situation and decide that personal ego and pride had taken over and was running the risk of becoming a personal virility battle at the expense of the members ? It happens in trade unions, so no reason why we ware exempt

As to borrowing for a fund. Ask some of those at the bottom of the pile, i.e. in my case BA CEPs/DEPs with 20 to 60k of debt, if they can go out and borrow another 15k to tide them over? Yes, it is only £60 or £70 pcm, over 25 years, making somewhat over £30k to repay, but these people are already stretched enough for one of them to ask me if they could stop paying their pension contributions . So they would need to be a big rise to cover that expense, assuming we are going to be doing this every , say 5 years. Practical for some of us, but not so for many. Someone could do a quick spreadsheet answer regarding the balance of salary lost via each strike versus frequency and economic impact on an individual. There is a trade off and the gain has to be positive , not only financially, but in terms of relationships. Those at home as well as at work, because having been involved in a strike scenario (ATC early 70’s), it is not for the feint hearted for sure and does not make life easier, either before during or for some time after.
There is talk of is of talk of big pay rises and percentages. Quite keen on 20% myself , but looking at the numbers for industry, it does not seem to be the kind of rise it could stand in the overall pay bill. Yes BA has a demographic bonus in view and that issue is being addressed, i.e. how to keep the existing cash in our half of the equation not some one else’s! One can only hope that as we get into a position where we can attack this issue, that we get our just rewards. The final percentages that are likely to be achieved have to be somewhere near realistic and sustainable, note that after that big pay rise last year, UAL pilots are taking the 10% pay cut, but getting a stock option reward. A good idea and one which I understand, several people are looking at. You just have to avoid buying the shares, so to speak at Enron or World Com boom price time I suppose! Of other interest is, that that pay cut is happening, i.e cash conservation by UAL even though the US carriers have access to 15 billion dollars of US government money to help them with the economic downturn connected with Sept 11. In the UK we have had very little help, as have many other EU carriers.

As I said, I am not industrial, it is not what turns me on ! (steam, after burners Fenders and ,well the other sex thanks!), but I do want to see us work in a logical manner. The risk associated with power so to speak, being devolved down and applied in a pretty uncoordinated manner are not to be dismissed lightly. If we are to operate in terms of start a rumour etc on the basis of less than complete info and probably a degree of emotion, makes it easy for the opposition to take you out. e.g. Napoleon and Russia!
All I point out is, that there is a lot of possibly hot air is being spoken about what we can achieve and how to do it, which may not prove to be achievable, or have been shown to be achievable in a UK context. How much is being spoken by people who have experience of the finer points of industrial negotiations and the like? There are also some unfortunate misconceptions regarding governance of the association, tasks and responsibilities. we do need to communicate what is happening, but there is a risk you reveal to the opposition waht you are going to do, soas long as it is enough, let's not go over the top. as to members feelings etc, we need some better way of getting the measure it, but even now, are people talking to their reps?
There are issues that worry me and some real ones to tackle, like for example, the pay cut that some people get when their pension stops being contributed to arbitrarily, as seems will happen at for some at BA and other companies. Hard facts are there to get to grips with and fight over. However, as you know the law in the UK makes it much less easy to fight on the industrial front than in the past. The warning you give the other side, because the law says you have to, makes it easier for us to be lined up and shafted if the strategy and tactics are not well considered and within the law. That requires logic and not emotion.
Quite what anyone could have legally done over Dan Air, please state? It was a great sadness to see it go. A friend ended his life due to it. BA did itself absolutely no favours at all over how it handled it. No idea what the BALPA solution if any presented to to BA was. Did hear that BA presented an ultimatum accept or we let it sink, so what should have been done and how?
This is my own personal view, it is not anything to do with the NEC or anyone on it. I am not an industrial rep, so am exactly the same as any other member. I just try to get a little logic into an emotional debate !


Martin Alder

Stan Woolley
29th Jun 2002, 22:03
Is this the same Martin A who wrote 'A Question of Duty' in the latest log?

Convenient if it is because I was about to let rip a snottogram to Balpa about it. I think I'll vent my spleen here instead.

Never mind telling us about resting properly on our days off, what are you doing about the appalling rostering and disruption we are presently suffering?

We voted Balpa in at the end of last year and quite frankly they have so far managed to achieve exactly ****** all! If a company proves ' impossible to deal with' does that mean we just shrug our shoulders and plod on?

The CAA is right about one thing, CAP 371 is not effective at preventing fatigue when companies continually take the p*ss, perverting any spirit of goodwill and common sense the document needed to be effective. The CAA know it is being abused but are doing nothing to prevent it, 'because its legal.'

As for 'fatigue' not 'tiredness, a very clear difference.' !!!
Well, my Oxford English Dictionary doesn't make the difference clear, and my GP doesn't know either. This is more spin than new labour! If the next unfortunate driving home after yet another thirteen hour epic kills somebody while only 'tired', it won't count, will it!!:mad: :mad:

29th Jun 2002, 22:48
" am merely a BALPA member and line pilot who enjoys the new medium created by the Internet to express ones views. Great isn't it !"

You are typical of those who don't have any other way to express their views other than the internet and a drivel board such as this one. You have made something like 250 posts which only says one thing to me, you need to go and get a day job. Your employer is clearly not keeping you busy enough. I doubt you would have the ability to get an elected position within BALPA even if you wanted to (thank god you don't). Thank you for your gracious comments about my last posting - praise indeed from someone as clever as you ! I guess that one way of getting a good level of exposure for http://www.0800taxi.com/ is to include it as your homepage in your profile. As of 2nd July - JF becomes the GS of BALPA. It matters not that he is just a Trojan Horse and has no intention of being a proper GS - he will be the GS and have all the responsibilities associated with that. I think he is going to find that difficult as someone who lives in France and is a BA line pilot. Lets hope that his term is office is a productive one.

I hope I never have the pleasure of sitting behind you on an aeroplane !



29th Jun 2002, 23:18
Any chance somebody could set up a separate BBS where Martin A and Airrage can compose long and waffling replies to each other, using 50 words where 5 will do?

Fuzzy, you really ought to go on an anger management course.

Anybody caring to read the debates knew JFs intentions from the beginning. If the whole episode is a disaster then you will have the pleasure of saying I told you so. He and those that voted for him were not prepared to allow the status quo to continue just because it was the easy option.

I will take the pain for, what I perceive as, the greater long term good.

Robert Ayling was perceived as a disaster by those at the coal face and was ultimately unceremoniously dumped. I see many parallels with CD. He lost the confidence, rightly or wrongly, of those with the power to remove him.

29th Jun 2002, 23:43
I've tried to be patient trying to explain to you that maybe things aren't exactly as you perceive. People did not vote CD out because of a few false rumours or emotional pleas on the Internet. They voted CD out because frankly they are less than impressed with the last 10years under his directorship. Nearly 3000 people felt and voted this way Martin !

I have said many times before, that ultimately CD must bear some if not most of the burden for the way things have gone. Otherwise why the heck do we even bother re-appointing anyone into the vacated position. You are the one posting how lost we'll be lost why JF finds someone then you tell us CD is not responsible for anything thats happened, make up your mind. You seem to think it is out of ignorance of how BALPA works(with the CC's etc.) that people mistakenly voted out CD. WRONG, once again I am telling you that people just weren't happy and wanted NEW LEADERSHIP.

To be honest I think this will be one of my last posts on this thread because it's like talking to a brick wall. You ignore any posts despite being logical and well versed unless they agree with your viewpoint.

Most people do know that the post of GS is up for re-election every 5years, or they will now. The problem is most people don't remember the exact month or even year by the time it next comes around. Instead we rely on our union to inform us, maybe in letter form(from MG) to all members. BALPA failed miserably in this simple task, and the only logical conclusion in association with all the other letters from MG is that BALPA had every intention of keeping CD in power and that the NEC felt it knew best what was good for the members. They were wrong. Is this the democratic process you say you support ? It is only through the vociferous and yes anonymous minority(that you continue to criticise) that an election even took place.

As for criticising my mortgage loan plan to replace ones paycheck during a strike what do you suggest ? I am only trying to generate a PRO-ACTIVE approach so that with a little thought now we can avoid a mass exodus from the picket line because people weren't prepared. I clearly said it is not ideal but perhaps the best of a bad situation. It is better than your approach just to moan that militancy will die very quickly in a strike and people aren't getting paid. People need to be prepared financially before you ask them to go on strike.

As a very conservative workforce, pilots are not "INDUSTRIAL" either but having tried politely under our breaths to ask for a pay rise for the past 10years whilst continuing to get it up the backside, the time has come where we won't accept it any longer. We've seen the exec's come and go with their huge payouts and the share options granted even this month to the incumbants during this time of great difficulty. How long are we going to believe that the company hangs in the balance of our pay when our managers fly out to watch the World Cup in Japan with 50 other guests, etc, etc. the examples too numerous to type.

You say "the law in the UK makes it much less easy to fight on the industrial front than in the past." WRONG
Mr Duncan Smith(during recent multiple rail strikes) says the government has wrongly watered down much of the laws controlling trade unions introduced during the Thatcher years. He told the reporters: "We felt that the balance was OK before Labour came in, in terms of requiring pre-strike ballots and allowing employers to dismiss employees who bent the rules."
Full article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk_politics/newsid_1790000/1790244.stm)

For those who want to personally get to know the UK union laws and specifics, they can be found here;
Dept.trade and Industry (http://www.dti.gov.uk/er/union.htm)
You see Martin how much easier it is to actually let people view the laws themselves rather than just say how ignorant of the "finer points of Industrial Action" we are ? You see how your post might be consider arrogant.

You see Martin it's very easy to distribute knowledge to people so that they can make up their own mind. You keep telling us how we don't know the uk laws, blah blah blah. Stop taking the "we know best attitude" and start spreading this information to all of us. It's like you enjoy the feeling of having superior knowledge. In the last few weeks, with nothing but an internet connection I would like to think that I have;
- contributed to JF's victory, or at least spread the news an election was even occuring.
- given people an idea how they can afford to stay on strike if necessary. and at least get them to start thinking about how they individually might do so.
- discussed the various strategies for pay negotiations including a detailed share option alternative.
- just given people access to the exact UK union laws above, that you seem to think we are too ignorant to handle.

Yes I am not elected by any members and I am not trying to take over the union, just posting enough information(with proof) and ideas(mortgage loans) to let people make up their own minds, they're not kids. Perhaps if I was a union rep then I would have been prohibited from doing so. I like to think someones benefitted however and its more than what I've received from BALPA(most likely reasons why) to prepare me.

I'm not doubting you are a good man, but you are taking a very defeatest view to Industrial Action which may be FORCED upon us very soon by a company that understands nothing else. BALPA members are tired of people with this attitude in positions that can affect our results. Why not help prepare the members for Indutrial Action with your knowledge rather than mumble to us how difficult it is, people don't really want to strike and will cave in early, economics are dictating things(but obviously not for our managers who received their share options Jun 19, 2002), we don't know how good CD was, etc, etc.

You talk as if all other posts but your own are illogical and just emotion based. I disagree. You need to take a serious look at how well you listen to other peoples inputs. This is not a personal slanging match between me, you or anyone else. Don't just critisice my efforts on preparing people for a strike if you have better ideas please let us all know, we're going to need all the help we can get. BALPA members don't want to hear about hard something is to do, if it was easy we wouldn't need a union in the first place. It's time to stick our heads above the parapet, it won't be easy but we're never going to benefit if we don't. Martin your posts epitomise the attitude of failure that has existed in BALPA over the last 10years. We want change, that is why CD lost.

Finally just so you can quit your suspicions that I may not be who I claim to be(I think you mentioned a disgruntled man north of Adrians Wall) and stop going on about its ok for anonymous posters , etc, etc, I am.......

Kevin Judkins
SFO 777.

Not that the name means anything to you or anyone else here probably. Now lets get on with the business of preparing for the coming "Negotiations".

High Volt
30th Jun 2002, 00:22

Nothing personal mate but I hope that that was your last post as I'm not broadband.

Peter Skellan
30th Jun 2002, 00:26
Lets just be honest. We in BA want a strike. We want a 20% basic pay rise accross the board to put us back to where we were a decade ago.

easyJet and Ryanair are paying their pilots more over the first 20 years of their careers than BA are.

For the standards and hassle and working environment that BA imposes they should pay a premium. We are never going to get that by being nice. So lets be nasty.

Damn it. Their aircraft don't fly without us. Their revenue stream dies without us. BA is weak at the moment they have no cash and a lot of analyst focus upon them. NOW is the time to strike.

BA are not going to go bankrupt over a tiny increase in their operating costs which a 20% pilot pay increase impose. They aren't.

I say Balerics to Waterside and all the scum therein. WE run this airline. WE move the pax from A to B which generates the ticker sales. WE should dictate - yes dictate - what goes on in BA. Not BASSA. Not Rod.

If the removal of communist unilateral dissarminst socialist Darke makes us more militant then so much the better.

The cadets have been screwed for years. Eurogatwick have been crewed for years. Regional have been screwed. CitiExpress are being screwed. Golden Runways will be next and they must not stick their heads in the sand. Forunately with the retirement of so many LHR barons the balanace of opinion and militancy is changing.

Johns stalking horse will result in a more combatitive GS who will in turn alter the position of all CC's.


Peter - yes I do work for Mainline but champion the low costs.

Martin A
30th Jun 2002, 09:12
As Mr Judkins,( thanks for saying who you are, can at least find you for a beer now!) says we could go on for ages, so I am not going to fill up broad band ! View points differ, long may it be so. I was not saying anyone was ignorant and I am no guru on industrial law either, so thanks for the reference ! If all have read it (I have not!) great, you know what is coming. All I feel is that it is not something you do lightly, you have to be smart and use logic or you get taken to the cleaners. If there is a good plan , great, but just a "lets have a strike" is probably not a sound basis for one. "We need something and we have tried all else to no effect and have now gotten to a brick wall and this is the only way we can express our determination and we are prepared for it so as to have every probability of succeeding" , now that is something else!
As to no election for CD, until JF came along as an alternative, it is pretty average practise in most outfits like BALPA to continue on with what you have and if uncontested not bother with a members vote. You would have all been pissed of to have had a ballot expense that gave an option of zero choice I assume ! Anyone who reads the rules and wants to put forward someone as a candidate can, there is no veto. Perhaps it being done at the very last moment so to speak, caused some of the perceived problems. As it was contested, rightly a vote was taken.
As to the mechanics of replacement, the time issue is just mechanics. We must and no doubt will get a new Gen Sec of high calibre, I never said that the ultimate replacement was going to be a crap candidate, but even JF admits that he is not a candidate for permanent Gen Sec so whatever his skills, they are not intended to be the ones we use in other than the short term. So, 2 months as JF says to find someone, then go through the ballot process, production, voting etc, I think that takes about 2 months based on the last one. So now 4 months from now we have an elected candidate, who we assume has a job to give up. Minimum notice, probably a month , but could be longer, 3 or even 6, hence the basis of my statement that we have at least 5 months to go before ewe get the person in place. Nice if we members actually get a choice on the ballot paper , otherwise terms like "stitch up" may start re-appearing!
As to the article in the Log about rest. It was written the way it was to deal with off duty activity and was the result of concern expressed to BALPA about off duty activities and adverse effects on rest. It was not intended to address the duty aspects at all. That is an FTL issue and your CC, who negotiate your FTL scheme, which all of us hope does not and should not lead to you becoming fatigued due to your working practise. If it does then we need to do something about it and fast! By the way, there is a definition ofr this which is broadly that there is tiredness, which happens after say a normal day , whether just up late at a party or working and fatigue which cannot be countered by normal rest. However the article was not written about duty, read it again, it is about what people do on their days off. It is written to encompass everything for a definite reason. That is because if certain activities which could be tiring and of interest to some, who for example read this forum, were to be specified, then some others would have them included in duty time. As most of us seem to be working hard anyway and have little spare time available to legally increase our duty times, then some of those specified activities would be effectively stopped! If you want to send me an E- mail I can more directly answer what I am getting at, but who knows who reads this ?
Hopefully the last communication from me on the Gen Sec issue !! Thanks to all the readers, fly safe!!
Martin Alder

30th Jun 2002, 10:57
High Volt,
I do have broadband, sorry to be long-winded. I can reassure you I am taking up residence in the new BACouncil Forum. Just felt the need to wrap things up a bit here first.

Agree BA are no-where near going bust. Before we boar non-BA people here, I am trying to move posts on this issue to the BACouncil Forum. However this might be slightly interesting for everyone including doom monsters, Rod in todays paper says;

"Would even a mini-repeat of 11 September kill BA?

Eddington reckons BA's buffers are so strong that it would have to be 'twice as bad as 11 September or the Gulf War' - if that is imaginable - in order to scupper the carrier by blasting a £2bn hole in its revenues. He reckons BA has £1.2bn of cash reserves 'to hand', £600m in available (banking) facilities together with 'substantial assets that we could liquidate if we wanted to' - and is nowhere near even contemplating a rights issue.

Martin, keep up the good work in the LOG.

Bye ye-All !!!!!

30th Jun 2002, 11:10

Your naivete is touching. Do you expect the CEO of a major public company to say that it is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy?

The share price is a reflection of how strong the city view BA (under £2.00 again).

It will be a brave soul who goes on strike at the moment and despite all the rhetoric how many would actually strike? I often hear the opinion that many would vote for a strike but when push comes to shove they say they would not actually walk out.

Didn't Sabena pilots strike the day before they went bankrupt? Then there was Swissair.

But it couldn't happen to BA now could it?

30th Jun 2002, 12:18

Let me ask you, "Do you expect the CEO of a major public company to lie about his balance sheet when it is easily verifiable from results announced last month." RE is not lieing in this case, I can assure you.

Naivete would be someone who believes his managers that a pay rise is not possible whilst their balance sheet proves otherwise. The price of ones share is not directly proportional to it's balance sheet or asset value. That is why some growth shares trade on a value 100times their earnings and multiples of asset value whilst other value shares(manufacturers)can trade at as little as 4times earnings and only 40% of their asset value. The city's view and BA's share price is irrelevant in discussing how much BA can actually afford to pay its pilots as opposed to what it says it can pay. In this respect I can assure you I am not naive.

I could spend ages discussing Sabena or SwissAir with you, but again it would be as irrelevant a discussing Pan Am or Freedy Laker. Either you work for BA as a manager(doubt it with your knowledge of finances)and want to spread fear or you suffer from small-airline syndrome. I am willing to hear and debate any logical-based arguements about BA's finances, I'm afraid Mouse you haven't provided any.

As for how many people will go on strike, I wonder how many people thought CD wouldn't get voted out. Activism is alive and has reared it's ugly head.

30th Jun 2002, 13:51
Can I make a plea please for discussion of 777 bunks, BA profit & loss/financial strengths & weaknesses/BA pilot industrial action etc etc drone drone to be discussed EITHER

on the BA forum on pprune (on which I am a moderator) OR preferably

on the BA BALPA Council Internet site?

This is boring the pants off ME, and I hate to think what it is doing to the rest of the world!

This whole re-election process and JF's decision to stand was undertaken to allow a democratic choice for ALL BALPA members, and that is what should be discussed here on this thread.

Pages and pages of soporific BA stuff do nothing for the above!

30th Jun 2002, 20:55
"BA profit & loss/financial strengths & weaknesses/BA pilot industrial action etc etc drone drone to be discussed....."


This is a perfect place to discuss the above. I can't see what harm it could possibly do. I am looking forward to the day when BA pilots decide to go on strike - they will have my full support. If you find it boring then simply do not tune in ! I for one would not miss this for anything !

Stan Woolley
1st Jul 2002, 07:53

Thanks for your response. I am completely aware that the article was highlighting the responsibilities of not resting properly on days off.

My point is that I found this annoying at a time when our rostering is a MUCH bigger problem and Balpa is finding it difficult if not impossible to even discuss the subject with the company.

I posted here because I too believe that a much harder line is needed to stop them contemptuously ignoring this and practically every other issue.

I will email you.

1st Jul 2002, 10:46
More of the same, please, Mr F!

Airlines warned - FT article (http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1025204335328&p=1012571727310)

Sick Squid
1st Jul 2002, 13:13

Just want to take you on over a bit of procedure, here... you said earlier that it impossible to have a democratic debate in a secret society; forgive me, I would have cut and pasted your exact words but, er.... couldn't find them up there!

You may well have a valid point, but unfortunately that is the nature of the lions den you've entered (very strongly, I may add) into here. If people wish to remain anonymous then please learn work around that. Working out the level of veracity, or it's opposite, of contributors speaking apparently knowledgeably on boards such as this is simply one of the skills one acquires to use them most effectively. It is not learnt overnight, it is learnt through exposure.

So whilst you have chosen to shake off the shackles (as you see them) of anonymity, please respect the wishes of others to remain thus. Often such a strategy can lead to people raising points they otherwise would not have done. I pulled completely out of any meaningful debate on the Compuserve forum many years ago due to an increasing feeling of justifiable paranoia about attaching my name to any views of "militancy."

Yes, you do know me, by the way, you did a couple of my 320 conversion sims. I will, and do tell people over a beer who I am if they exhibit any interest in the site , but it a/ isn't exactly rocket science to work it out within the company, and b/ I choose not to broadcast it too publicly

Despite the long-winded nature of many of the posts here the underlying quality of the debate is very high indeed.

Regards, £6

Martin A
5th Jul 2002, 10:06
As a newcomer to these, have not yet worked out who is who, hopeless at cross words too ! Anonymity has its plae, e.g. CHIRP, but one would hope that in thsi debate we would keep a reasonable tone, which as you mentioned , was just a tad aggressive ! That seesm to be aproblem with anon. debates, as you can make all kinds of wild and unsubstantiated claims which you cannot be called to task on. For example the BALP yacht, which I belieev was paid for ona BAPLA credit card as the most convenient way at the time and all costs FULLY re-imbursed after wards and recorded as such. Have we all not had to do something similar, even if it was only borrowing the change given to us for an errand set by our parents and re-paying it when we got home ?
Looks like this debate is about over. I will now get time to do some more technical stuff ! By the way, for any readers, if your company does not have a technical section for BALPA , BA has a Technical Liason Committee, then please encourage people to let us know at BALPA tech what ails you. We cannot mind read, but if you can contact us we will do our best to get something sorted or offer the best advice we can. I ahd not realised this was not happening until one of you kindly wrote to me in an E-mail , mentiong the issue almost as an aside, but it was an serious issue which I am now tackling.
Martin A

P.S keep the debates going, try not to get aggressive, get hard facts whenever you can, does not look good if we get worked up on modified rumours. Perhaps a way of indicating level of confidence of what you have heard, As an example. Sunrise in East level 1, Britney Spears is still a virgin, level ? with a symbol to alert us?