View Full Version : Virgin Blue Pilots Agreement 2

eisle s
18th Jan 2003, 10:25
Now that the "revised" agreement is out, what do you think?

Col. Walter E. Kurtz
18th Jan 2003, 13:33
How many nights away per week/month can one expect??

18th Jan 2003, 23:23
Is this new one on www.osiris.gov.au yet? Is it this one:

V0535-VIRGIN BLUE PILOTS AGREEMENT 2000? If not, when will it be available on the above website?


19th Jan 2003, 04:18
certainly wont be displayed on any website. Once the EBA has been finalised then I asume it will be on it. Overnights wont change, still 8-10 per month.

19th Jan 2003, 05:45
Does the new agreement mean an increase in Salaries?

20th Jan 2003, 04:27
Do you still have to hand over 20,000 dollars to join the company

Airspeed Ambassador
20th Jan 2003, 21:11

You still require a 737 type rating to get the job. How much you pay for it and where you get it from is up to you. Companies like Ryanair and Southwest employ in the same fashion.

21st Jan 2003, 13:06
Java, short answer, yes.

50 Cal
23rd Jan 2003, 00:02
I have been fortunate enough to have read it , and considering all the factors involved I think it's fair in some areas but the wages/bonus system suck!!

It's just greed on behave of upper management as far as I am concerned. Just my opinion.:D :D

Sheep Guts
23rd Jan 2003, 01:25
Truck Masters
Forget about getting the Type Rating in the States. The DOJ are proving very hard to deal, quite a few people, been turned back or off coursed halfway through.

Good luck anyone trying it via the U.S.


The Baron
23rd Jan 2003, 01:50
Sheep Guts,
Definitely NOT right,
I'm in Seattle at FS Boeing doing a 737-700 command rating right now and it's all been straight forward. The approval from the DOJ takes about 7 days, as long as you have the correct background,
dearer but the most thorough and up to date.

Capn Laptop
24th Jan 2003, 21:44
It is worth reading the history of the dispute between Patricks and the waterfront workers.

I think it was Sun Tzu who said that you should know your enemy - because to underestimate the lengths that this person is prepared to go to would be a major mistake.

I make no judgement either way on the proposed agreement - merely point out that it is a wise man who knows who he is going to be fighting before he steps into the ring.

I imagine that this person has a number of ex AN guys chomping at the bit to get a job in Australia flying shiny new red aeroplanes - and we should not make the mistake of assuming that we are not replaceable.

Make your decisions based on your beliefs, but also make them fully aware of all the facts and circumstances - remember too that the average annual wage in Australia is about $25000.

I believe that overall we need perspective......edited because I can't spell

Al E. Vator
24th Jan 2003, 22:38
Capn Laptop.......some good points there BUT.

Average Australian wage A$42,000 p/a. In any case what is the relevance of this figure to pilots. The average Qantas pilots salary is MUCH higher and even that by global standards (except NZ) is appallingly low. Thus the DJ pilots should be pushing for AND receiving much better salaries.

The waterfront issue is also of limited relevance because those folks were at the other end of the scale (ie: comparative global salaries) vs. productivity.

But yes, some understanding of the mentality of the individuals concerned is a wise concept, as history should show us.

26th Jan 2003, 20:41
Less than QF...by a diminishing margin I would think. If the agreement is voted in and we are to constructively set out to re write the flight and duty/fatigue management rules, take the increase when international ops start, accept the professional retention bonus each year and add to that the incrimental increase in salary each year THEN comapre that to the minimal increase in QF pay over the same three year period I would think the gap is closing and the deal is not actually all that bad. I would take heed of Capt Laptop's words. Consider that a vote of "no" may well be a vote for AWA's whether want them or not.

It suprises me to hear that many pilots arte saying they will vote no and at the same time admit they haven't read the contract. Stupid is as stupid does.

27th Jan 2003, 01:08
I've heard on the grape vine that the new EBA includes carrying out the Maintenance Preflight as per another thread running at the moment. Can anyone confirm or deny?

Capn Laptop
27th Jan 2003, 05:53
As far as I am aware there is nothing specific about pre-flights, but it wouldn't be in the EBA as it is part of our normal duties, regardless of whether a LAME does a walk around as well

28th Jan 2003, 04:33
I said the 'Maintenance' Preflight not as per the AFM.

28th Jan 2003, 04:51
If 'YES' means an increase in salaries, why would there be a contingent out there voting 'NO'?


28th Jan 2003, 06:01
As there always will be there is a contingent who feel that the money is not enough and unfortunately there is also a contingent that listens to the first contingent without really knowing what the EBA says. The comapny has held numerous EBA discussion meetings as has the AFAP and very few have shown. Apathy or happy? We will see. I think the proposal is asgood as it is going to get for now. Besides it gives the pilots all the latitude in developing new flight and duty/fatigue management rules with a substantial pay rise for doing so.

Capt OverUnder
29th Jan 2003, 02:49
Sprucie , most guys working so hard so cant attend the meetings! Remember there is backwards/forwards process in any EBA , the vote will tell if the guys accept the 1st round or not!

29th Jan 2003, 08:23
This is hardly the first round. The first round died a natural death. I wouldn't lose sight of the possible consequences of having AWA's imposed. The current deal is not really all that bad.

Home Brew
29th Jan 2003, 21:18
"Died a natural death!" What garbage!! That previous document was so, so bad, that there was a big "loss of face" when it was obviously going to be totally rejected by the pilot group, apart from those with brown noses! It SHOULD have been voted on in the proper manner.

As for the current proposed EBA, it's just a continuing example of typical management these days - screw the workers so that the fat bosses can have more $$$'s in their pocket. (Gosh for a minute this sounds exactly what's happening with A.A.). As for attending meetings, I think we all see through the fancy dancing show these days. Besides after spending up to 15 nights a month stuck in hotels, I don't have time on my day off to go to the "valley".

The only thing this document has going for it is that it hangs onto ANO 48, until a decent fatigue management scheme can be worked out. The $$$'s are really a professional joke, with no recognition of the long flight hours worked. I guess that explains the recent departures to other airlines!!

29th Jan 2003, 22:06
Interesting comments HB. You are on the one hand happy to keep CAO48 for the flight and duty time limits but grumble on about the long flight hours we work under those rules. Many of us who have worked under the standard industy exemption, and I am in no way proposing that we should adopt that, agree that we are now working harder than we ever have. Are you happy on the one hand to have CAO 48 as your work rule but dismayed in some way by the amount of work you can do under those rules? Why don't you tell us what exactly you think IS a fair deal. I have run the sums as we all have and IF this EBA is voted in and AND we go international AND we hammer out a fatigue mangement agreement that works for us all, and the ball is definitely in our court on that issue, And we get our retention bonus and the profit share AND you include as a rough estimate about $1000.00 a month in allowances tax free then a VB captain will make in the first year of this proposed EBA around $157,000 give or take. Add to that a one off sweetner of $7500.00 for coming up with the new rules and it could go as high $172000.00. No it's not Qantas, it's not Emirates, it's not DragonAir but nobody ever said it would be. Add to that a 4% rise and then a 6% rise in the next two years and the gap will be closing. It's by no means crap money. But hey, we all know where the big bucks are and some are certaintly on their way. Good luck to them. I give them a year and I'll bet a majority will wish they stayed.

29th Jan 2003, 23:08
I know why FO's get 60 odd percent of skippers wage, but why only 60 odd percent of the bri.......... er , sweetener??:confused:

30th Jan 2003, 00:11
I think they should get the full amount on that one because they are working under the same rules ie. hours/overnights ect...as well as helping to formulate those rules hopefully. So I agree there should be no differentiation on that point.

Clearance Clarance
30th Jan 2003, 01:01
The $7500.00 payment, plus the $7500.00 increase to the salary for the new work rules is a joke. Surely they don't think this will get passed?

For the extra productivity the new work rules will give the company, it should be at least 20K, plus 20K to the salaries - considering there is no overtime.

There is also no CPI increases each year, hence you are not even keeping up with the basic cost of living.

Add these to it, and it could be getting close.

30th Jan 2003, 11:02
Spruce you said " I wouldn't lose sight of the possible consequences of having AWA's imposed".:confused:

Is this possible? If you are covered by an award and an EBA is not agreed upon, then doesn't the previous agreement simply continue to operate? i.e. without pay increases?

I don't think that AWAs can be forced upon you. You are covered by an Award and represented by a union.

Sperm Bank
31st Jan 2003, 03:29
If some Virgin pilots think they are better off working under CAO 48 or have some level of protection, they really have no idea what they are talking about. That document was written decades ago for a very basic airline fraternity. Things are far more diverse these days and as such we need a much more flexible and robust system.

Those pilots who have worked under an exemption or overseas know very well that the flight hours you are doing now will change very little. What will change is the duty hours. YOU WILL ALL WORK LESS .

Getting rid of CAO 48 does nothing other than give the airline more flexibility when it needs it. We write our own set of rules that suit both parties, include a fatigue management sytem and also open up a bidding process. That is a far better scenario than we have at the moment. I think sometimes we need to pull our head out of the rear end and take a more objective look around.

3 years ago many people were bleeting on this forum how Virgin would never work. I suspect some of the same now work for Virgin. This new EBA may well fall short of your expectations but keep the big picture in mind. We are only 2 &1/2 years old. Come 2005, only another 2 &1/2 years away and things will have settled a bit. The first thing we should all do is GET RID OF CAO 48 as fast as we can. We all get a pay rise, we all get a better quaility of life and we all get more time to sit here and dumbfound the oratory masters of days gone by with our dialectical bastardary!

1st Feb 2003, 00:22
Callbutton I am not sure the exact process but if as a group we never accept any proposed EBA it will eventually go before the IRC for arbitration. I for one belive at that point they would conclude that the offer on the table is reasonable and probably force us to take it and if we don't then the comany will be free to offer individual contracts. I am not the IR expert so there is bound to someone out there just as opinionated as me who CAN be more specific.

CC the salary being offered for the new work rules agreement is by no means to little. I am personally suprised they are offering anything at all as come 2005 the regulations will require said change whether you like it or not. VB certaintly don't have to pay you a damn thing and could have waited the next three years and forced you to negotiate for that money. Perhaps you might consider donating your $7500.00 to charity seeing as it is obviously beneath you to have such lose change fluffing around in your pocket.

Sperm Bank, spot on.

I'm with stupid
1st Feb 2003, 04:06
Your quality of life may improve with regards to days at home, but with 12 hour shifts extendable to 14, and " flight deck duty " ( thats a ripper that one ) of 10 hours, you may be spending some of that extra time at home sleeping.
Oh, and 10 hour rests on overnites ( sorry, not familiar with what CAO48 is ), which does'nt take into account hotel check ins/outs, and irregular sleep patterns when away from home etc. etc.

Fatigue management programme ???? where I was, the toothless tiger AKA CASA dropped the requirement, as did the company.

1st Feb 2003, 04:58
IWS, firstly you are assuming that any new program will involve the adoption of those area's of what is now the standard industry exemption and nobody has said that that is what VB want or the pilots want. We can start completely from scratch. The comany want some relief from the third tour of duty restrictions and sign on's prior to 0600. Other than that they are quite willing to keep the rest of CAO48 and I am very sure that in return for those concessions we can find a way to prevent excessive use of minimum rest and day after day of long duty periods. I don't have the answers now because we haven't sat down and started to work anything out. What I find amusing is the wealth of assumption that an agenda has already been prepared. It hasn't and the pilots are being offered the chance to write their own work rules. With a bit of reasoned effort I believe the company can get the productivity they want, which I might add is pretty much what it is now, but in less days a month giving us more time at home. As I see it we pretty much have everything to gain and nothing to lose here. My personel goal is MORE TIME AT HOME. ie more days off per month than the 8/9 we get now. If we can write some work rules which keep our productivity where it is now but allows 10/11 days a month off at home then I am willing to bet the dollar value of our EBA proposal will look a lot better than it currently does to many pilots. As I said we have nothing to lose from tackling this problem in a positive light. Forget the exemption, nobody is standing up and offering it as a start point.

2nd Feb 2003, 01:48
So are CASA to give Virginblue a CAO 48 exemption ?

Previously they have stated categorically that there would be no more exemptions, why have they reversed their stance?

One would hope that it could only be on the basis of a thorough fatigue study which seeks to demonstrate that any proposed exemption does not increase overall fatigue levels. This should be regularly updated both through scientific recording (fatigue monitors) and data collection, pilot reports and anecdoetal evidence.

In doing so this could possibly expose existing workpractices and rostering (within CAO 48) to having excessive fatigue levels.

I find it rather curious that CASA would allow this process to be carried out within a carrier who after only 2 years of existence are in the midst of massive change and expansion even by value based airline standards. More 'mature' and stable airlines approach this subject with great trepidation as they contemplate the ramifications of a fatigue caused accident with crew operating outside the 'normal' standards.

If this is the case then I believe Virgin are sticking their necks right out and not even the great PR man himself will save their image in the millstrom of enquiries, lawsuits and general malaise which would follow should a fatigue based accident occur whilst operating under an exemption.

Before anyone lectures me on the fact that Qantas (and Ansett) amongst others operate(ed) to an exemption I am quite aware of this. However, their exemptions were handed out by the CAA without a fatigue study and therefore infer the regulators approval, thereby ensuring the regulator would share responsibility in the event that an incident occurred ( as they would if one were to occur in a strict CAO 48 environment).

Finally, those airlines currently using an exemption have sufficient historical data to argue a case against excessive fatiue in the exemption vs CAO 48, Virgin do not.

From a pilots perspective I have to ask why anyone would want to simply change one or two aspects of CAO 48. This is a pandoras box and if you are going to open it you might as well make it worthwhile. Do not expect that once the company have got you to spread your Flight and Duty cheeks that they will not enjoy it so much they won't come back again and again. Also do not forget that in 10 years time you will not feel as 'sprightly' as you do today. However, in 10 years time the company may be asking a group whose majority is 10 years younger than you for more.

The money may feel good, it may even make your self esteem a little higher, but don't forget you had to open up a previously sanctimonious area for the company to 'give it to you'.

Just think about it.

2nd Feb 2003, 05:54
Whats the hurry to pass the EBA? Why not get it right? ie get all the rostering agreed to and included in the main document. It all sounds very familiar. "Dont worry guys, we will sort it out and improve things later. "..mmm

Capn Laptop
2nd Feb 2003, 05:55
Virgin has had the exemption since day one. Check OPCAM if you don't believe me!

And if people care to read the existing industrial agreement - ie the expired one - they have the means to implement it without consultation and the pilots have NO recourse.

The 2000 pilots award clearly states

Virgin will roster and schedule pilots for duty in accordance with CASA's requirements (including CAO Part 48, as relevant), or any exemption that CASA may approve .

Whilst there are many comment sthat can be made about the industrial process as it has been managed with the new agreement - I believe that we need some perspective.

They had the means to implement the exemption but didn't....the preference as far as I can tell was to get an agreement with the pilot body rather than arbitarily imposing it. I remember a now extinct Queensland regional airline that flew Brasilias imposed the "trial" with no consultation and with no end date - and then promptly got an exemption on their exemption to allow them to do a 10 sector coast run with 2 pilots and 1 FA

Sperm Bank
2nd Feb 2003, 10:03
Longjohn you are a bit, no along way off the mark I believe. CAO 48 ceases to be in 2005. So we are not getting an exemption from anything. Qantas will have to do the same thing. They may chose to stick with this neolithic document. We in Virgin more than likely WILL NOT!

There will be no more flight and duty times laid down in the CAO's. That brings us (with our ridiculous lack of pace) closer into line with JAR OPS sub-section Q. In other words there is no stated limitations to adhere to. It is the responsiblity of the operator to devise a set of working rules and conditions and the appropriate authority (in our case CASA) simply endorse it. The Europeans have been using this system for some time and it is distinctly better than what we have in Oz.

Australian pilot's are unbelievably reticent to change at times and without ANY precedent to qualify their concerns. It is all hypothetical mumbo jumbo, baseless and without foundation. Lets all just assume the worst shall we. I mean this is kindergarden stuff what gets perpetrated by some in this forum.

Hell will not freeze over, the prophets of doom shall not descend upon the masses and the supersticious will not have their second coming to the detriment of all man kind. The mental alienation characterised by doom and depression espoused by some is bordering on farcical.

Bring on the MODERN THINKING brigade before the maudlin minority infect us with their septagenarian ways!

clear to land
3rd Feb 2003, 05:58
If we vote 'NO', then I will not be surprised if the next step by management is to Individual Agreements. This will destroy completely the limited negotiating power we have by remaining as a unified body. If we vote 'YES' then it means we accept that previously agreed promises to the early starters have not been kept (and you are surprised because....???) and wages will not be what we would all like to have, but, as others have said previously, we will have the power to negotiate MUTUALLY acceptable F & D times down track as a unified, thus more powerful body. This can make up for lesser remuneration than we would like, and we won't end up like Flight West. The AFAP is the only protection we have, and Individual Agreements remove them from the loop. You may not be a financial member, but we all benefit from their presence at any negotiation.:eek:

Hugh Jarse
3rd Feb 2003, 07:28
Err, my understanding (having been through this recently) is that if you vote 'no' you have a number of courses available to you.

One of these includes limited industrial action such as a "stop work meeting". That permits as many of your group as possible to get together to discuss the REAL options - not just what the scaremongers are spinning you here about AWA's. Collectively, you need to be as informed as possible to those options. This is also probably the best means of sending a message to management as to how you feel.

Being sent back to the table might seem to be tedious for your negotiating team, but if you're not happy, then you need to send them back to the drawing board. The repercussions of not getting it right this time could be long lasting....

I recommend anybody concerned with the state of negotiations contact the AFAP directly for clarification on AWA's.

Don't believe that you will suddenly have AWA's thrust upon you if you vote against the EBA. You have other options available which are your right under the current industrial laws.

Contact the AFAP.

3rd Feb 2003, 09:16
Why do you think AWAs will be the next step. I believe one person mentioned this scenario and it has snowballed. Dont be so naieve. If you dont like it, then DONT bloody vote for it. If the vote is NO then they would most likely go back to the negotiating table, (after all this is the first EBA we have had to vote for as they YANKED the last one). Do what you want to do.

4th Feb 2003, 02:27
Don't worry about the EB, join Qantas and get paid well!

Sperm Bank
4th Feb 2003, 09:47
Thanks for the offer EPIRB but No thank you! This company is only 2 1/2 years old. In another 2 1/2 years we re-negotiate the EBA again. Things will have settled somewhat and the margin between the 2 companies' pay will reduce. There are a multitude of other reasons for me personally, but to save the tide of invective that will undoubtably follow, I will leave it at that. All the best.

5th Feb 2003, 02:42
Sperm Bank, let's hope you blokes get a sizeable increase so that everyone has a descent rate of pay in Australia. One could be wishful and hope that Qantas Airlink start getting paid well too.

5th Feb 2003, 12:58
I'd suggest to the QF pilots that feel Virgin pilots are selling themselves short to go out on strike for them!!!!

If you guys want to look after your own conditions and not see them eroded, look after the guys below you. (Unlike you have done so before)

C'mon tell me I'm a fool - I've got broad shoulders.

In looking after yourselves you may be helping the other guys out and setting a standard that everyone can look up to.

Otherwise your conditions of employment may be eroded to compensate for the conditions being offered in South Pacific at the moment.

Open for comment.

5th Feb 2003, 20:43
Some of you may like to check out the MODERN EUROPEAN THINKING when it comes to flight and duty limits http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=78788

5th Feb 2003, 23:15

You must be joking!:D

Chimbu chuckles
6th Feb 2003, 00:57
Seems to me VB pay is about where it should be...now the challenge may be to improve Conditions of Service WITHOUT negatively impacting on the productivity which has been, one would assume, the basis of the recent payrise.

And for those of you who believe that a pilot is undervalued if he's not on (current) QF equivalent pay consider this. The world over operations like VB are being hugely successful while operations like QF are not so, leaving aside QFs current good fortune. Look at UAL/DELTA etc...if it can happen there it most assuredly can, indeed will,happen here.

And when, over time, QF mainlines pay is wound back it won't be the fault of VB or her pilots...it will be the world trend catching up dununnder.

Just how many multiples of the Oz average wage do you guys think is appropriate for a domestic jet pilot?

More money, beyond a certain point, fixes no problems if you are never at home to enjoy it...all it does is maximise your (ex)wifes windfall when she takes the kids and 'goes home to Mother'.

But I suppose now that Qlink pilots are the low blokes on the pay Totem they will be scorned as driving pilot wages in Oz into the toilet and VB will be held up as the shining light?


6th Feb 2003, 23:11

Yes airlines overseas similar to VB are successful.......but from what I've read and from what friends who work for some of these bugget airlines have told me, QF pay is not that different from the bugget airlines. (type for type)
To put QF pay in the same league as UAL/Delta/American is way off the mark.
If pilots want to work for VB's pay, well that is up to them.

7th Feb 2003, 07:35
Yes it is up to "them" and the decision has probably been made. Any guesses as to how it will go? I say 75% in favour.

50 Cal
7th Feb 2003, 09:46
Well rest assured, the results will be interesting!!! The problem with EBA voting is that there is a stark difference between what people say on the flight deck and what they REALLY think and vote...I think just to keep the peace [ especially for F/O's] some persons might just agree with the skippers opinion and just let the four day trip roll on!!!!!:p :p

8th Feb 2003, 06:50
Looks like the EBA has been accepted by the pilot group.

Now, about that back pay ..........

14th Feb 2003, 04:28
Just checked Netbank. This month's pay has gone in and it is considerably larger than usual. Looks like the backpay has already been paid!!

16th Feb 2003, 00:22
From information provided by the AFAP-

Total votes cast: 258
Votes For: 172
Votes Against: 84
Informal: 2

Looks like 70 odd pilots couldn't be bothered deciding their own fate!

Z Force
16th Feb 2003, 03:42
So what benefits were there? How much pay rise?