View Full Version : BALPA advertise for a new General Secretary - pilots need not apply?

16th Sep 2002, 11:15
Good to see that things are moving towards appointing a new General Secretary. The Sunday Times ran an ad yesterday with a six figure salary. Significantly the qualifications would seem to rule out a pilot. They seem to be targeting a commercially experienced individual. The words 'proven experience in industrial relations' are somewhat ambiguous. A poacher turned gamekeeper or vice versa? One thing is certain: it is very important that we get a committed individual who is passionate about safety issues and terms and conditions. For my part I would have loved to have seen a rebel pilot front up BALPA. Someone who all of us would instantly identify with and respect. I hope for our sakes that we don't get someone who just feathers his nest . . .

See what happens !

Read on:

BALPA is the second largest Flight Crew Association in the world. As a qualified specialist Aviation Association it successfully protects and improves the professional status, pay and conditions of its members. It has great influence in companies, the Civil Aviation Authority, Government and Parliament, the European Commission and international civil aviation bodies. The Association now seeks to appoint an outstanding General Secretary to lead the organisation through the next critical stage of its development. Contract is for five years renewable, subject to membership ballot in accordance with the provisions of the Trade Union Act.

Reporting to the BALPA National Executive Council act as the CEO of the Association providing leadership, strategic direction and day-to-day management. Act as chief negotiator and spokesperson in dealings with external bodies and the media.
Provide advice to the NEC on the development of polices to protect and advance the interests of its members and the professional interests of flight crew generally. Create and communicate a vision for the future in a deregulated Europe.
Build strong relationships with operators, regulators, legislators and other Trades Unions, raising profile and influence. Increase membership density whilst preserving the values and unity of the Association. Provide effective leadership to the current team.

Highly motivated and commercially orientated general manager with at least ten years' proven experience in industrial relations and Trade Union negotiations. Respected throughout the aviation industry with extensive experience working at a senior level.
Charismatic visionary with experience of leading change in a varied and highly complex environment. Personal maturity, clarity of thought and intellect to build credibility quickly with key internal and external audiences.
Excellent leadership skills with ability to inspire and motivate others. First class communicator with well developed interpersonal and negotiation skills. Energetic and enthusiastic with an ability to deliver results through others.

To find out more about this opportunity, and us, visit our website. Please reply with full details to us, quoting Ref. 32213-00. Email: [email protected]

A and C
17th Sep 2002, 09:04
The last thing BALPA needs is a pilot running it , pilots are to close to the problem ( and I include myself ) to see the big picture , in general pilots will trust the people they work with untill provern otherwise and are not "political beasts".

What we need protecting the pilots interests is a hard headed business person who has played all the dirty industrial tricks on an unsuspecting work force , keep this person in line and he/she will serve us well by being one if not two steps ahead of the airline managments.

If the right person for the job has not the first idea about flying then send them off to do a PPL/IMC then at least this would give them an insight into the problems on the flight deck and that is all the right person for the job should need.

I now await the not a free PPL with my money comments from the more myopic members of this forum.

Hand Solo
17th Sep 2002, 11:49
Hmmm, a deafening silence from the conspiracy theorists who claimed this was all a plot by BA pilots to take over BALPA and install a BA man at the top!

17th Sep 2002, 14:35
Hand Solo,

The debate to which you refer to has a long way to run yet ! There is no evidence yet to suggest otherwise.

17th Sep 2002, 16:50

I can assure you that I belong to the large community of BA pilots that don't care where the next BALPA GS comes from as long as he is effective, not in the Government's and company managements hands and protects all of our interests.

I find it quite insulting that someone like yourself who obviously doesn't know many BA flightcrew lumps us all, and that's 3500 of us, in a very narrow minded category and doesn't credit us with a shred of understanding for the FC community at large. Personally I've worked for Streamline, JEA and run my own aerial photography comapany, I wanted CD out, I also believe that what has been achieved will benefit us all in the entire aviation community. The sooner we stop whingeing about each other and confront the larger issues such as jobs for overseas pilots when none of us could get jobs in their countries, the sooner all of our situations will improve.

Save your enegy for REAL issues. I hope you will be grateful to John F for having the guts to get off his arse and unseat CD. If I'm wrong I'll be prepared to admit it but until then I believe we will ALL be better off.

I'm sure you are a great person!

17th Sep 2002, 18:09
Arthur Scargill has just retired from the NUM, maybe he'd like the job.

17th Sep 2002, 18:20
A and C you may have a point about pilots not being 'political beasts'. This may apply in general but some are very astute politically. Typically those who rise to be DFO! Such an individual would be an asset to BALPA if, and only, if they were proven to be committed to the cause of the Union.

A 'hard headed business person' sounds like a plausible idea. But, might not such a person take BALPA for a ride? After all, what exactly did we all get from Chris Darke? Not much in my books but he must have done very well for himself. By pilots standards he had an excellent salary and the opportunity to make many influential contacts in high places.

Running a Trade Union must be a conflicting ethic with that of business. Are the Firemen run by a business person?

Ultimately, the BALPA General Secretary must be prepared to take pilots out on strike. This, in the final analysis, is our only reall bargaining stance.

In sum, I think the right individual could come from any background but he must be a trade unionist at heart.

Watching with interest, Caractacus.

Wig Wag
8th Nov 2002, 11:07
Does anyone know the latest on this one? The only rumour I heard is that Graham Fowler may be getting the job based on the fact that they just cannot find a suitable candidate.

Whatever, we do now need someone to give BALPA some leadership and sense of direction.

8th Nov 2002, 22:02
The only rumour I heard is that Graham Fowler may be getting the job based on the fact that they just cannot find a suitable candidate.

Well here we have it. The bunch that ousted CD have been unable to get someone to fill his boots. Now there IS a surprise. After 7 months of trying the job remains unfilled. What is even better is the complete disappearanc of JF. After all his promises of a better BALPA that we can all look forward to he promptly vanished at a critical time - thanks John and all who support you. MG is doing a great job in the meantime but BALPA must get a proper GS ASAP. I am not surprised that no one wants the job - after all why put yourself at risk of being treated the way CD was by your membership. There must be better ways to make a living. Come on all you CD bashers, lets have your opinion now. Tell us all how BALPA has been made better by the events of the last six months.

stormin norman
9th Nov 2002, 08:00
7 months without appointing a new leader. Former NUM leader in the frame. Whats next the return of the flying pickets?

9th Nov 2002, 11:00
the shortlist of candidates is down to 5 people;

there are two from within balpa, both very experienced-
and three external candidates , all from other unions' senior positions

9th Nov 2002, 15:48
I hear that Bob Ayling's got time on his hands.......

Sunshine Express
10th Nov 2002, 02:48
Flappless : 'The bunch that ousted CD' is called a majority.
Finding the best replacement is left to BALPA.
JF did exactly as promised.

10th Nov 2002, 11:03
Sunshine Express, whether JF did as promised is open to debate. I don't accept that he did but that is my own opinion. If, at the end of this process, we end up with someone who is already working for BALPA as the GS then you'll be happy cos you won't hear from me again - I'll be voting with my standing order. Given that the 'majority' wanted this change I can't believe for a minute that anything other than some charismatic union leader from another organisation would be enough to make the changes that the 'majority' seem to want. For what it is worth I really hope it works out and someone from outside BALPA is brought in.

17th Nov 2002, 14:25
Perhaps we need someone like Andy Gilchrist? Whatever your views on the firemans strike (I am a supporter) they have a Trade Union leader who shows leadership and courage.

Did we ever see Chris Darke getting ovations at rallys?


I hope they get someone soon who will give BALPA a bit of a lead. I just can't see them finding a commited leader via an executive recruitment consultant.

Isn't it time we had an election and encouraged a pilot to step forward?

After all, it is a political appointment as opposed to a career management post.

Time for some action please.

17th Nov 2002, 18:26
Perhaps we need someone like Andy Gilchrist? Whatever your views on the firemans strike (I am a supporter) they have a Trade Union leader who shows leadership and courage.

For leadership and courage read crass stupidity for backing himself into a corner and refusing to negotiate over what must be the last remnants of 1970s working practises.

If we get somebody like him I'm off.

Because it has gone quiet don't believe that things are not progressing.

17th Nov 2002, 19:04
The thought of having someone like Andy Gilchrist is appalling! The only thing someone like him, with his bullheaded attitude, would do is to bring our profession into disrepute. I agree that we need someone who shows leadership, which is exactly why we don't need someone like Andy Gilchrist who by his actions has led to his members' popularity with the public declining. If we get someone like him then I foresee a large drop in the membership of BALPA, and if that's not the case, then I'm glad I'm retiring soon while our profession still has a modicum of respect in the eyes of the public.

18th Nov 2002, 11:28
I had heard a rumour that a new GS had been appointed at the last ADC - anyone know who got the job and why no one has been told about it !

18th Nov 2002, 15:46
You are absolutely correct I seem to think that his background was in the Inland Revnue (union?), but I cannot remember his name.
Only time will tell whether he is more effective than the last at galvanising the troops. It is interesting to see the mess that the UK Government has got itself into over the firemen; "2Jags" having tea with the "troops" and pulling one way, "the pickpocket" pulling another and "Our Tone" checking the latest poll returns to see what camp to jump into.

18th Nov 2002, 18:44

Do you have access to Air Transport Intelligence? There's a news report naming the new GS there.

Captain Airclues
18th Nov 2002, 19:10
John Frohnsdorff was elected as GS until such time as a replacement was found. Next Sunday (24th Nov) the reasons that John was prevented from accepting the post are no longer valid. Will John be taking over the reins until a new GS is found?


stormin norman
19th Nov 2002, 16:59
Understand a new Gs is on its way.Is anyone aware out there that the flight engineers have been stuffed by Balpa ,and have been excluded from any BA pay deal.Any info anbody ?

19th Nov 2002, 19:17
The E/Os have not been excluded from the BA pay proposal. The deal involves them being on identical terms to an SFO but capped at pp16. Personally, I don't see why the cap. (Especially when you bear in mind there are only 12 flying and 10 non-flying E/Os left in BA).

Apart from that, fine job by the negotiators in BALPA, IMHO. S'what we pay them for.

stormin norman
20th Nov 2002, 15:46
Thanks NW1.Does anyone in BALPA know why the Pay was capped at Pay point 16. The F/es i know have so far been kept in the Darke ! (Whoops) Not a happy bunch.

21st Nov 2002, 12:56
I think you'll find the FE CAP @ PP16 has been addressed. Rather than the alleged "BALPA stuffs FEs" I think you'll find that, after the initial proposals, a consequence for FEs that had been overlooked was pointed out... and that it was now being addressed.

In that the final details have not been sent out yet, it is a bit early to say that x y or z has "been stuffed"... However, given the task, the package BALPA seems to have negotiated is great for almost all the present and future pilots of BA...


Hot Wings
22nd Nov 2002, 13:54
Those of you who are against Andy Gilchrist need your heads examining. In asking for 40%, the FBU know that they will probably end up with 15-20%. BALPA, during the Darke Ages, would have asked for 5% and negotiated that down to 1.4%. We may have white collars but we are (especially at BA) the ultimate piece-rate workers. Finally, in Britain, a union leader has stood up and said that his members are worth a professional wage for a professional job. Gilchrist has displayed conviction and leadership, which is far more than can be said about our last GS.

M.Mouse - have you swallowed the Daily Mail? What would the papers make of our working practises? "Lazy pilots that only work 20 hours a week, have 2 weeks off a month, anyway, the computer does everything, retire at 55 to a chateau in France, kids in private school, daughter has a pony, etc..."

2nd Dec 2002, 08:10
Well, still no General Secretary.

The point about the FBU is that they ELECTED Andy Gilchrist. We are wating for an appointee who, as such, will be a politically weaker Gen Sec.

My view is that we should have an election and get things moving again.


Lou Scannon
2nd Dec 2002, 14:07
Would the supporters of Mr Gilchrist please explain why the highly paid representative of the FBU should attend a left wing anti-war protest, spout off about "bombing the innocent women and children of Iraq", announce that he wishes to change the government of the country and then still be allowed to keep his job?

If the FBU want that sort of representation they should call back Arthur, "everyone that disagrees with me is a class traitor", Scargill.

I can now see why he displays a photgraph of a dead Marxist over his desk.

At least Chris Darke was sensible enough to keep his politics out of his job.

2nd Dec 2002, 22:41
Is Bob Ayling still out of work? :cool:

3rd Dec 2002, 10:14
Hot Wings

With you on our side at least we don't need enemies.

8th Dec 2002, 19:33

>>> Well, still no General Secretary. .....
.... my view is that we should have an election and get things moving again. <<<

That process is well underway. After some months of interviews and following the final selection of a prime candidate, Jim McAusland at the ADC, the NEC is continuing to comply with the Rules meticulously.

The next step is to ask the membership if there are any other candidates who wish to stand for Gen Sec. If there are, then there will be another election including the newly selected man.

8th Dec 2002, 20:14
Flywheel, Have you any information on Jim McAusland? A short biography or perhaps manifesto?

Is the Gentleman a pilot, trade unionist or industrialist?

9th Dec 2002, 01:09

Not a lot of info other than that he is 48 and believed to be the current Deputy General Secretary of the Inland Revenue Staff Federation.

9th Dec 2002, 08:46
You might find more information if you spell his name correctly. There's no 'd' at the end. :D

Wig Wag
9th Dec 2002, 08:55
Where can we find more information?

9th Dec 2002, 18:13

Absolutely right, its Jim McAuslan - Deputy General Secretary of the PCS ( Civil & Public Service Union)

He was the candidate recommended by John Monks.

stormin norman
9th Dec 2002, 22:42
Spoke with John Monks a couple of years back when Balpa was in dispute with BA .He seemed disinterested then and now he's reccomending people for the post of GS!.
Where's Arthur Scargill when you need him.

20th Jan 2003, 08:01
Having been the originator of this thread its nice to conlude it by pasting the news from the BALPA website about the new General Secretary. Perhaps history will show that John Forhnsdorf was sound in his judgement when he stood against Chris Darke.

It surprises me that Ppruners haven't taken this issue more to their hearts. Many of the issues on this forum would be addressed by a strong pilots union. Lets hope that Jim McAuslan is the tough, principled leader we need and wish him all the best.


The new leader of the British Air Line Pilots' Association (BALPA), Jim McAuslan, took up his post 13th January 2003. Jim is one of Britain's most experienced union officials, and was the Deputy General Secretary of PCS, the UK's main civil and public services union. He is elected at a time when flight crew - pilots and flight engineers - face a time of enormous challenges and opportunities.

Jim was unanimously nominated by BALPA's National Executive Committee and was elected unopposed.

Whilst at PCS, Jim developed a section for professionals and managers and secured growth in the union from 250,000 to 285,000 members. He was previously Deputy General Secretary of the Inland Revenue Staffs Federation, and has overseen two mergers to create PCS - he is used to managing big change programmes.

Jim McAuslan, 48, said: 'With larger, faster airliners, crowded skies and stretched air traffic control and ground facilities flight crew face increasing pressures. BALPA members have the lives of thousands of passengers in their hands every single day.

'It is vital that the experience and expertise of pilots and flight engineers is used to shape the future of civil aviation. Their views must be the ones that are listened to, and heeded, not only throughout the industry but in Westminster and Whitehall, where I'm determined that BALPA will have a still greater presence.'

One of Jim's first tasks will be to lobby for BALPA's position on future airport expansion.
'Aviation in the UK has huge potential for even further growth. With the right investment it can grow by at least an extra 15 billion. UK plc. Needs airport expansion or we will find ourselves losing out to cities like Amsterdam, Paris or Frankfurt,' Jim McAuslan said.

He will also strengthen links with the European Union and European Commission where BALPA will lobby hard to resist pressure from airlines to increase flying hours, a move which experts say will put existing high safety standards at risk.

Jim McAuslan will use his experience of securing union growth to help BALPA build on the expansion it has seen in the past few years. With membership at 8,500, BALPA has the overwhelming majority of UK flight crew in membership. However, there are still a few companies with which the union has yet to sign a recognition agreement.

'My number one priority is to make sure BALPA members share in the growth of aviation through improved terms and conditions, career development and quality pension schemes,' said Jim.