View Full Version : Virgin Australia short haul EBA amendment

13th Aug 2018, 05:59
Dear Virgin Australia pilots,

The company has now closed our virginethics webpage where we used to discuss company related topics.
Now the company wants us to amend the current short haul EBA. Voting is only in a few weeks.

Any opinions?

porch monkey
13th Aug 2018, 06:48
Given the amendments to the disruption clause, I'm happy enough with it.

13th Aug 2018, 06:54
Considering the company and union stressed that we vote considering the document in its entirety I find it rediculous that now they ask us to vote to amend sections on it. What a farce. The disruption clause isn’t enough. Leave the eba as it is.

No Idea Either
13th Aug 2018, 08:40
Iíll vote yes if they hire John Thomas as the next CEO. MM or RS will just be an absolute disaster. Their track records are appalling. Get someone in who has vision and knows what they are doing. Neither of those two impress me at all.
Or maybe we should bring back the business duty travel claim, perhaps they would be more amenable to it now....who knows.

The Bullwinkle
13th Aug 2018, 14:00
Itís a Yes from me because it just makes sense to do so.
Considering who the brainiac was from the companyís negotiating team who dropped the ball on this one, Iím not surprised that there now needs to be an amendment!
And I also wish we were able to stipulate that John Thomas should be hired as the new CEO but obviously thatís not going to happen in relation to this.

Low Pass
13th Aug 2018, 21:42
May I ask what the company is wanting you guys to amend? Do they want to reduce down your DDOs due to pilot shortage/disruption?
also how can they shut down an independent website?

ps hope airnz dont nab JT....

14th Aug 2018, 00:04
I think there needs to be more clarification around the disruption definition. Would the company just say "sectors required for training" and therefore get around it without paying us the credits?

17th Aug 2018, 00:43
Donít give away your vote. The company is stuck with the new rostering.

Letís finally get business class travel like Qantas.

Lets stop being treated as second class citizens.

17th Aug 2018, 01:10
It's a YES from me. It was a NO but I've read the material, asked the questions, listened to the conference calls and webinars and have learned enough to know we gain more by voting YES. Certainly at first glance, it was a "no way" from me. I think getting something in place to deter displacement is very valuable. A good starting point that could be built upon later.

The main morning flights to be affected are a hand full of QLD daylight savings flights and OCM ex Perth. If you feel on the day, that its simply too much or that you are too tired/fatigued then you exercise your right to call "fatigued". As long as you are not some massive abuser of the system, you shouldn't her a peep about it. Meanwhile you've got a bunch of clauses to mitigate against displacement in your back pocket. Pretty good trade. You probably would see the early flights in question once a year yet get displaced every roster. Easy choice.

Low Pass, nothing to do with DDO's its more to do with some early morning flights and in return some gains on displacement. Its a fair bit to get your head around and even if I emailed it 99% would look and decide too much to read/too technical. No idea about the website.

Union, nearly every pilot in the company shares your view on Business class travel but I think its wasted time and opportunity under the current CEO. He's made clear as crystal its not happening whilst he's in the seat. He's also announced the he's moving on so its a battle for later I think.

All the best.

17th Aug 2018, 02:58
A reluctant Yes here as well. I suspect that the potential impact on pilot's rosters if we vote no is somewhat manufactured but the overall outcome seems reasonable. However there are always the magical 'unintended consequences' of these kinds of amendments that seem to pop up years later.

The fact that they obviously didn't run the new EBA through it's paces from a business perspective is somewhat concerning.

17th Aug 2018, 04:58
For me the logic is simple.
Company wants this amendment!


Beacuse it benefits them. Rostering would be more inefficient for the company leading to more time off for the pilots.

We have the upper hand in this situation. It does not hurt to vote NO only to see what else we could get in round 2.

We have nothing to loose because the current EBA covers us for a few more years.

17th Aug 2018, 06:02
Vote no, management can try and rebargain this in the next EBA.

Steely Dan
17th Aug 2018, 07:19
Itís a definite NO vote from me.

The Bullwinkle
17th Aug 2018, 09:19
For me the logic is simple.
Company wants this amendment!

Probably because TH was too smart for his own good!
Still, his mistake needs to be rectified and this seems like an appropriate solution.

17th Aug 2018, 21:47
Dear Virgin Australia pilots,

The company has now closed our virginethics webpage where we used to discuss company related topics.
Now the company wants us to amend the current short haul EBA. Voting is only in a few weeks.

Any opinions?

Whatís the reason for shutting down virbinetics? Seems heavy handed.

Jeff Ucker
17th Aug 2018, 23:12
To any QF 737 Short Haul Pilots out there... Do you have credit protection in your EBA?

17th Aug 2018, 23:20
I think a little more detail is required on the proposed Virgin Short Haul Agreement change.

It is firstly important to recognise that it is the Company that have made an error with the application of the rules of Late Night Operations and Early Start provisions. They came to the Unions 6 months ago recognising that they had made an error and wanting to fix it. No one is shying away from that fact (including the Company). But just because they have made an error, doesn't necessarily mean that everyone should take the 'stuff you' approach to the proposal being presented.Pilots need to keep in mind that if the LNO clause stays the way it is, there will be consequences. What 'Union' says about rostering being more inefficient meaning more time off for pilots is simply not true. To be honest, every time I see inefficient rostering, it is us as the pilot group that cops it in the neck, not the Company, because we do not have a credit system that penalises inefficiency.

Straight off the bat I can see two issues that immediately come up as an if the LNO clause stays as is:

The first issue I see arising is that the without agreeing to a change to the current rules we will see an increase in paxing. I will use a current pairing as an example, as I did this flight a couple of rosters ago. It was the early departure out of CNS to SYD signing on at 04:10 in the morning, departing CNS at 05:10 arriving in SYD at 09:15 and then operating the 10:00 flight from SYD to MEL landing at 11:35. Obviously under the previous of the Short Haul agreement I can do this. Under the current Narrow Body agreement work rules, I could not do this. What I could do instead is operate the first sector, but pax on the second sector (second sector of a LNO can only be a pax up to 120mins). So as 'Union' said, this is inefficient, but it is the Pilot that wears the inefficiency as they now no longer get any credit for the time spent in the aircraft, despite getting home at exactly the same time as under our current work rules (the SH rules). In my personal experience, and from what most guys and girls that I fly with make comment on, is that pilot's hate paxing. Surely anything that will drive up paxing can't be a good thing for pilots? There are a number of other examples of pairings where pilots start early and land at a destination where that pilot would then subsequently be able to pax somewhere else, to continue the trip the next day.

The second issue applies to the early morning Perth departures for the mining contracts, specifically OCM. The current PER OCM flight has a departure out of PER at 05:50, again triggering the LNO clause, meaning that the Pilots would only be able to pax back on the return sector instead of operating. Now the company could overnight a crew in OCM to operate the return sector, but the issue is the OCM charter isn’t a daily service and suddenly you would be forced to overnight crews for a couple of nights instead of sending them up the night before. I am not necessarily convinced if Boolgeeda Airport is where you want to be spending a double overnight! The alternative to this is that the Company transfer over all of the OCM flying to VARA. In an environment where we currently have VARA and Alliance doing a lot of the intra WA flying, and Alliance doing a lot of the regional QLD flying - I think that giving the company any further excuse to take flying away from VA mainline 73 operations and giving it to VARA/ Alliance is an outrageous proposition.

The proposed solution to the LNO issue, I think, is a win for the pilots as extra fatigue mitigation has now been placed around those current early starts. To trade off the fact that we would now be able to operate that second sector, pilots will now no longer be permitted to be rostered more than 3 consecutive early starts or 4 early starts in a 7-day period (certainly a win - especially considering an early start is now anything prior to signing on at 08:00!). The pilot before commencing 2 or more early starts in a row (current SH rules are 3 in a row) must now have a local night’s rest that has them signing off at 21:00 prior. That means now for any consecutive early morning starts signing on between 4am and 5am, you will have to be finished by 9pm two nights prior and that the day before must be a blank day (again, certainly a win!). Finally, there is now a two sector limit for these early starts, which does address concerns pilots had about fatigue. In my opinion, the fatigue protections the pilot group will gain from the proposed rules far outweigh the Company's gain in now being able to roster two sector early starts. So in my first example about the CNS SYD MEL pattern, the pilot will still be able to fly the entire duty, with significant additional protections around those early starts to manage any perceived fatigue risks.

In the spirit of never letting a crisis go to waste, whilst protections were won to allow the Company the flexibility to now operate a two sector early start, there was clearly an opportunity to fix an issue that is a major gripe amongst pilots. I don’t know how many times in the last year where I have signed on for a trip to have that yellow 'duty change notification' appear and it has all but once resulted in losing overtime. Through the work of your representatives, the pilot group was in a position to essentially get roster / pattern protection, something that we couldn't get during the EBA negotiations.

There are a couple of biggish wins regarding the displacement provisions for the pilot group out of this.

Firstly, if you are displaced, you now get 100% pax credit for the displaced paxing duty. This is a first for Virgin - we will now have a 100% pax credit in our EBA. Whilst it is only for displacement at the moment, it doesn’t take too much imagination to think that 100% credit for all pax duties could be a claim in the next EBA; think of it as the thin end of the wedge.

Secondly, you get credit for the duty you do on displacement, or what you were rostered, whichever results in the higher credit. If you were rostered MEL SYD BNE at 3 hours of credit, and get a duty change for MEL SYD pax PER at approximately 6.5 hours credit (including 100% pax credit to PER), you would get 6.5 hours for the day. Alternatively, if you were rostered to operate MEL SYD PER for 6.5 hours credit, and get a duty change for MEL SYD BNE for 3 hours credit, you would keep the 6.5 hours for the day. This has to change the mindset of the Company now when it comes to displacing crew, as it is now a good chance to cost them quite a bit when they start fiddling with rosters. Keep in mind that this happens for all types of displacement (regardless of the reason for the displacement), so in answer to 'Altimiters' question, if you have sectors removed for training, you keep the credit hours for those sectors. If they don’t use you on that day you keep the hours, if your replacement duty has you doing less hours, then you keep the original hours, and if you do more hours, then you are credited with that higher amount.

There are some other wins in the displacement clause as well. When displaced, you now will have 12 hours rest as a minimum when away from home base, any blank day on an overnight (such as a 36 hour layover in Perth) has to remain blank unless you agree otherwise (meaning if you want to go down for an arvo in Freo, go right ahead!), if you are rostered for a single pax sector, then the company must seek your express permission to operate if they need you to, and you can refuse. And the list goes on.

As you can see there is quite a bit to all of this, and I think it requires a little more thought than just simply saying this is an opportunity to stick it to the Company. It is also probably worth reflecting on the fact that the Company came to the Unions, said ‘We have a problem and we need your help fixing it, what can we do?’ The Unions aren't being complicit with their dealings with the Company, but instead used it as an opportunity to ensure that inefficiencies to a pilot's roster were kept to a minimum, that further fatigue protections were put in place, and then used it as an opportunity to try and address an issue that most pilots would have encountered in the last 12-18 months with roster changes due displacement.

I get that people are frustrated, but statements like 'Bring back JT' (it simply does not happen in Australia where a Union would have any influence over whom the board of a Company will choose as CEO), or 'We want J class travel' are not helpful. Make no mistake I am completely of the belief that we should be paxing in space available business class, however the J class argument is something that both unions have fought unsuccessfully over multiple EBA negotiations (Short Haul, NB, WB). The fact of the matter is that this will not change with JB in control. I do however think that this is an argument worth gearing up for in the next EBA negotiations with a new CEO - but that is something for 18 months’ time.

The AFAP and VIPA aren’t complicit/ incompetent/ useless. The simple fact is the company came to the Unions with a rostering problem, a solution was proposed by the Unions with the benefits as outlined above, and the addition of a fairly significant solution to an issue we all have with our rosters. I know I much prefer a situation where the Company comes to the Unions for solutions to problems, and the Company then accepts the Unions solution to that problem in full, as opposed to the adversarial IR model where both parties simply fire off nasty letters to each other with the threat of taking each other to Fair Work or the Federal Court.

People need to take the time to consider some of the Risk v. Reward of voting ’Yes’ or ‘No’ to the proposed change. As professional pilots I would expect the majority of us to be able to take the emotion out of the argument, gather the facts by talking to your representatives, listening to the webinars, or emailing your union’s industrial staff and then making an informed decision. If you decide to vote 'No' based on gathering all the information available to you, then that is quite rightly fair enough. Likewise, if you happen to vote 'Yes'. But if you are just happy to be caught up in the emotions of the situation and having a rant, or are too apathetic to get the information to make an informed decision, then you are doing the entire pilot body a disservice. And finally, perhaps trying to bully or berate people into voting one way or another by calling them ‘piss weak’ is perhaps the perfect example in itself of being ‘piss weak’.

18th Aug 2018, 00:20
Well the unions are good at working with the company. Shame they are useless at working with the pilots. Only ever looking up the list rather than down it. We only ever hear from management when they donít get enough survey responses to fund their Xmas vacations.

If the pilots wanted a change you wouldnít get it.

Come live the life on the lower third of the seniority list then talk to me about Piss weak. And tell SA to take his hand out of your arse, puppet...

The Bullwinkle
18th Aug 2018, 01:58
Well the unions are good at working with the company. Shame they are useless at working with the pilots. Only ever looking up the list rather than down it. We only ever hear from management when they donít get enough survey responses to fund their Xmas vacations.

If the pilots wanted a change you wouldnít get it.

Come live the life on the lower third of the seniority list then talk to me about Piss weak. And tell SA to take his hand out of your arse, puppet...

Iím not really sure what you actually want?
Whilst I have absolutely zero respect for the senior management in this organisation, Iím still able to recognise when a change needs to be made as is the case here.
Yes, I get as angry as the next guy, but I think there has to be some maturity shown by the pilot group in this instance.

18th Aug 2018, 02:41
hawk_eye, great summary that basically what i learned over the last week and what I base my vote on.

As for the "transfer OCM to VARA or Alliance" I say go right ahead, we've seen nearly a decade of "it's not our flying and it won't affect our growth" and are now completely numb to it. Have a look around Brisbane airport.

Regardless, the gains you mention by far outweigh the changes, thanks for the summary.

18th Aug 2018, 04:50
I just watched VIPA's webseminar where its explained that its a bad time to ask for business class duty travel and that during the next EBA they will fight for this..... bla bla bla

its time to get the same duty travel privileges as our colleges in QF

18th Aug 2018, 05:07
Motivation is a funny thing.

If the yes vote gets up, I bet theyíll have this implemented faster than you can say Ďdaylight savingsí.

Goat Whisperer
19th Aug 2018, 04:44
Thanks for the detailed explanation, Hawk Eye.

I strongly feel we need to have a virgin et ics like forum.

Do we know for sure why it's been taken down?

19th Aug 2018, 23:12
Happy to help regarding the summary. Hopefully the emotion was taken out of what I said as I just tried to present the facts as I see them, as opposed to being SAís puppet 🙄

Hoss does have a point regarding motivations. With the new work rules kicking off in early November, this does coincide with daylight savings and an increase to the early starts out of QLD compared to right now.

The weekend just gone has proven to me why the new displacement clause is really important. After the disaster that was Sydney yesterday, and several duty ensuing changes, Iíve lost just under 6 hours OT. The new displacement clause wonít necessarily prevent days turning to crap, but at least I wonít be financially penalised for it.

Plenty of rumours going around as to why virginetics has been taken down - but nothing I have been able to confirm either way. Itís a shame really, because from time to time there was some good debate on it. With a bit of luck it does come back Ďin a few daysí but somehow I doubt that will be the case.

20th Aug 2018, 02:20
The company didn't close anything. Virginetics was hosted by an Ex- virgin Pilot who has been trying to offload it for years. It was costing him money to keep it running.

Short of us actually speaking to the owner of the Virginetics site directly, we will never know the exact and final reason for it closing. Making bold statement that is the companies doing void of actual fact isn't helpful in the least.

As for the Vote, as usual, instead of people actually reading the proposal and weighing up the for and against arguments, they suggest a no vote based on the old argument that a no vote shows the company we mean business. What they are actually doing is screwing themselves in the process.

Having read the document its quite clear that the benefits to the pilot group is far out weighed by any negative aspect. What the pilot group gain is far in excess of what they are trading in return.

20th Aug 2018, 10:37
Yes from me...

23rd Aug 2018, 08:36
Thanks Hawk-eye🤭for the lounge access. Still not filling out your survey....

26th Aug 2018, 00:40
For those interested 83% of pilots voted and the result was 80.1% Yes and 19.9% No. The changes take effect as of 4 November 2018.