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Mega Merged: AsA ATC staffing levels

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Mega Merged: AsA ATC staffing levels

Old 29th Jan 2008, 07:38
  #241 (permalink)  
 
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Management wonders why the failure rate has increased at the college over the last few years- could it be that ATC is actually a bloody hard job??????????

And ATC has now become even more difficult to learn because not only are you learning how to separate aircraft but you now have to learn and contend with the emormity of TAAATS itself.

The difficulty of the job is often and readily dismissed by all levels of management to some degree and overshadowed by the buzz words - THE BUSINESS.

If ASA wants to attract sufficient numbers to apply they need to act as if they're in the business world and pay them accordingly.
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Old 29th Jan 2008, 07:42
  #242 (permalink)  
 
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There is an old reasoning that Air Traffic Controllers make terrible managers
Hempy, much as I respect your opinion, I believe this is a furphy. Plenty of good managers in the past have come from within the ATC ranks.

You'll find that most ATCs complaining about management decisions on PPrune are talking about the management in Canberra. In nearly all cases, those decisions are made by managers who have never held an ATC licence.

It is also interesting to note that the complaints about the middle level management made in posts are about persons who have held an ATC licence for only a relatively short time, before becoming managers (usually less than 10 years).

Very often the most "popular" managers are those that had a long history within ATC ranks. Phil Faulkner springs to mind as an example.

Your suggestion that ATCs don't make good managers because of their requirement to make quick decisions is flawed. Perhaps its the selection process, that is, the wrong controllers are chosen to be managers on too many occasions.

It seems to me that many of our best managers, operational or otherwise are the ones you never hear about. Many brickbats on this forum, not too many bouquets.
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Old 29th Jan 2008, 08:03
  #243 (permalink)  
 
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DirtyPierre, don't get me wrong, I totally agree that there are "good" managers at ALL managerial levels. There are also terrible ones. These seem to be the ones making the bad decisions every day. I certainly meant no personal slur on your immediate work area supervisor or classmate who's a good bloke, and I will try not to generalise in the future.
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Old 29th Jan 2008, 10:30
  #244 (permalink)  
 
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If you asked an AsA manager if he was doing a good job, he would say yes; he is achieving the targets set by his superiors (and for years, these targets have all been fiscal). I think people are confusing what it means to be a "good manager". IMHO, what the posters here are lamenting is the lack of any good LEADERS. Thats a manager who can achieve the aims of the organisation, sometimes getting the staff to do things they dont want to do (in a positive way), and sometimes either standing up against things they see as wrong (convincing those above that they are wrong), and sometimes achieving things in a different way to what was planned.
Convergent thinking in AsA has led to years of promotion of people who are career bureaucrats/mandarins, whose focus is far more about self-preservation. Certainly dont want any leaders, rocking the boat.

I'm pretty sure if manager's KPIs were highly skewed (ie. changed) towards staff retention and service provision, you would see results pretty quickly.

Note; there has been even the odd manager/bureaucrat who stood up against a directive/policy, and had their heads lopped as a reminder to the rest on how to get ahead (pun intended).
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Old 29th Jan 2008, 13:27
  #245 (permalink)  
 
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OJK,

Your Brain Extinguishers seem to have come to the rescue again.

I have been with ASA for a similar period of time. I have the benefit of having worked for several corporations - both large and small - before joining the sheltered workshop.

As I sit here reflecting on that period I realise that the places I most enjoyed were the ones where staff were appreciated. The managers went to great lengths to look after the staff.

Interestingly enough these companies were also the most successful and grew the quickest. My brain is not the size of the universe and I can't bend spoons with will power but f*&$ me if there isn't some coincidence in there somewhere.

Since joining the salt mines I have been astounded at the YSCB based gravy train's lack of ability to tap into the passion that most ATC's have for the job.

The reality is that you have a profession that only a limited number of people can actually do. The ones that you have managed to capture and train by a stroke of luck actually like doing it and are prepared to do it for a long time.

Now as a company do you a) look after those people, encourage development, respect them and within economic reason ensure that that they are well remunerated or do you b) take every opportunity to alienate them, create friction, fail to listen and generally cock it up???

I saw an ad in the local rag here last weekend. Company wanting a Graduate Engineer. Offer??? $100,000 PLUS bonuses PLUS further training PLUS wash your socks!!!

ASA are not able to compete for the skills they need right now. We are not at FAA levels yet but it seems that the Alan Woods crew are determined to get us there one way or another.

If I didn't give a s#$& about the game it would not worry me. But I have seen the SDE farce in action. I have seen some of the "people" getting rated. It is not making me very confident or proud of the organisation or the profession.

I hope that TFN jumps soon. His rhetoric is demeaning and contradicts itself. But who are we going to get??? I hope the new board members that are due soonish bring some pressure to bear together with the new Yes Minister....
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Old 29th Jan 2008, 18:32
  #246 (permalink)  
 
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Part of the "management" problem is the focus on performance pay.

When Airservices introduced new management contracts several years ago, it mistakenly introduced the notion of 'at risk salary' as a package component - where all super contributions, and other associated deductions were based on a notional gross salary, even though the actual in hand salary was up to 30% less.

This built a mind set that there was some entitlement to the 'at risk' component as it was already being factored in certain calculations, and so, at minimum effort, and with [no so ] stretch targets, they were really entitled to recieve a large chunk - if not all - of the at risk component every year.

It might actually be beneficial for Airservices to scrap the at risk salary concept, and actually introduce management bonuses, because people might actually have to perform to get those bonuses.
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Old 29th Jan 2008, 20:02
  #247 (permalink)  
 
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WELLCONCERNED, you said:

"It might actually be beneficial for Airservices to scrap the at risk salary concept, and actually introduce management bonuses, because people might actually have to perform to get those bonuses."

Can't argue with the principle, however, I think the general feeling here is that the Airservices definition of PERFORM is the problem.

Is their definition of perform:
... cut costs?
...cut staff numbers?
... do more with less?

If we could change their definition to something that includes more of FLIGHTFOCUS' goals:

"look after those people, encourage development, respect them and within economic reason ensure that that they are well remunerated"

...then, yes, fill ya boots with bonuses.
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Old 29th Jan 2008, 22:19
  #248 (permalink)  
 
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Civl Air is a union run by its members. If you thought that the Prez's statement about the last CA offer was weak, then tell him. He is man enough to take it. Better still, go see the VP in aisle 3 who is on the current CA negotiating committee and let him know your feelings.
Already been down this road Pedro. Usual response was forthcoming. The 'If you don't like it you step up and run the show' defence.
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Old 30th Jan 2008, 02:06
  #249 (permalink)  
 
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Ballarat closed all day! Now we're in trouble!

I hope all the controllers in this thread venting their spleens are also taking the time to read and post constructively on our own civilair forums.

Cheers!
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Old 30th Jan 2008, 02:06
  #250 (permalink)  
 
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Enrooter
I hope you are agitating your supposed "piss-weak" colleges at the coal face and not just sledging them anonymously here if you want some change to occur
.

U-ATC,

I maintain anonymity on this site because I want to be able to speak my peice without copping the juevenile threats from management. Having said that I think a few people in ML (ATC's) have worked out who I am. No problem with that but I wont be confirming who I am.

I have always spoken my piece openly within my group and outside of it for that matter. People know my thoughts.

I think the way ATC's have sold out their junior colleagues is breathtaking, both in it's stupidity and its immorality. And all for a grand sum of CPI and a bit. I make comments to the affect of 'next EBA will be no different, CPI and a bit' hoping that it will not be, but............

At least one thing will change, we wont shaft our new-comers because there's nothing left to shaft them with.

The so called FPC fix is an embarrassment but only the new people who never got a say care.
Mate, I actually give a sh!t about this, do a straw poll of the people that voted away your entitlements and you will NOT find anyone admiting to voting for any of the last couple of CA's. But they were all voted up?? You're sitting amongst liars as well.

I had dealings with a union official who spoke words to the effect of 'it's easier to stop things from happening than to fix things that have happened' WTF is that supposed to mean?

Until this union starts to listen to it's members and motivates the greedy amongst us to fix this disgrace it's as bad as the management of ASA.

At least the FPC shafting will achieve one thing. ASA's bullsh!t 14 tier salary scale no longer comes close to competing with other professions and for that matter trades or manual labour.
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Old 30th Jan 2008, 02:42
  #251 (permalink)  
 
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One of the reasons we are in the poo is the decimating of our training area, the manager got an ASA Australia Day award last year. This is the citation.

BJ
Manager, Training
People & Change
B enthusiastically set about reforming the training function in Airservices. He restructured the function significantly, reducing costs and eliminating waste and duplication. He selected and recruited new staff into Training to reinvigorate the area. He set in place activities which will result in a sustained long-term improvement in training quality at a lower cost.

And here we are 12 months down the track.

Also to those who have been here 2-3 EBAs who are chucking rocks at the top of FPC, old guys who you believe have feathered their own nest to your detriment.
I can't talk for the lately arrived at the top of FPC guys, however the great majority of SY people and the 20+ year BN people I know would have voted NO. We have a long history of professional pride and not selling out those coming behind. When I joined in the early eighties the SAAC (Senior supervisor) in Sydney was on less than a Qantas or Ansett F/O. The conditions you now enjoy were won by Civilair and the controllers of the time.
I suggest you talk to your contemporaries, with big mortgages who live above their means and REALLY would like to vote NO but can't afford to.
All I hear around me these days from guys who have been in the job 2-3 years is that they should be on the top of FPC, and that Civilair , who a lot of them haven't even bothered joining, should fix this up for them. They have lifestyles above their means, (nothing new there, so did I ) however they seem to honestly believe that others should achieve this for them. Maybe its a generational thing?
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Old 30th Jan 2008, 08:23
  #252 (permalink)  
 
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Ironic isn't it?

Enrooter,

Your last point is rather ironic but strangely may finally work for the newbies, if they can wait long enough??? i.e. now the ATC profession, especially in the early and mid years get paid quite poorly in comparison with other professions in a growth economy.

Perhaps, as an eternal optimist, AsA may realize the commencement salary does not compete not just with OS controllers but also with other jobs in Oz.

If AsA is currently paying staff other than controllers higher starting salaries within a band why is it not doing it for the people who do the core business.

The hypocrisy is astounding!! Seems our managers have it in for the profession, nothing new there though.

Now, where's the red pill?
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Old 30th Jan 2008, 20:02
  #253 (permalink)  
 
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If you guys want to get anywhere, stop the bickering ... you are starting to fight amongst yourselves ... Airservices is rubbing its hands together (again)

My suggestion ... forget the past (whilst still retaining the lessons learnt) and move on towards your future goals
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Old 30th Jan 2008, 23:34
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Brothers, brothers! We should be struggling together!
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Old 31st Jan 2008, 01:31
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I don't disagree that some ratings are harder to obtain than others but that is a separate matter again. I don't think it's fair however that two people with the exact same endorsements can sit next to each other with on earning 60k more pa regardless of experience.

As for why we have such poor managers at the moment I think the answer is simple. When choosing managers AsA has a pool of people who are all quite intelligent and possess similar qualification and experience levels. When upper management are hostile to the workforce who will be chosen?
a) The most experienced
b) The most qualified
c) The sycophant who will sign an AWA, shaft their ex-colleagues and can suck a bowling ball through a straw?
Look at your ALM/SDL manager and decide.
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Old 31st Jan 2008, 02:29
  #256 (permalink)  
 
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I think there is a simple reason why our managers atm are not as good as we would like - what training do they receive? About 6 days if they are lucky.

Last time I looked, university courses in business management were at least three years; it takes 4 months to train a junior RAAF officer (let alone those who go through the Academy!)..... Anyone else picking up something not quite right here?

If you are going to short change people in their training, you gotta expect they will short change you in the real world. Just look at the global recruitment results! If AsA trained their managers appropriately (probably also using periods of 'OJTI' mentoring, etc) then we would be better managed. If we are better managed (at ALL levels), morale would surely improve and we would be out of our staffing mess sooner.
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Old 31st Jan 2008, 02:54
  #257 (permalink)  
 
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old guys who you believe have feathered their own nest to your detriment.
They have, I was speaking to a couple of them that accepted AWA's. 'Only gotta coupla years to go mate, you know, boost the ol final average salary' I thought accepting AWA's would be against union policy?? This is just a single example.


however the great majority of SY people and the 20+ year BN people I know would have voted NO.
My itallics, 'would' being the operative word. Is that what everyone told you?

Bullsh!t mate, I was there from the late eighties.


We have a long history of professional pride and not selling out those coming behind.
Oh really? Are you kidding mate?? So we haven't sold anybody out?? Have you got your head in a bucket??


All I hear around me these days from guys who have been in the job 2-3 years is that they should be on the top of FPC, and that Civilair , who a lot of them haven't even bothered joining, should fix this up for them. They have lifestyles above their means, (nothing new there, so did I ) however they seem to honestly believe that others should achieve this for them. Maybe its a generational thing?
A case of 'F@ck you Jack, I'm alright' if ever I've seen one! How the f@ck can they fix it up mate, YOU traded it away?

You're gunna tell me you voted no to the last two EBA's right?
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Old 31st Jan 2008, 08:27
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As Rome burns...

I was there from the 80's and the hierachy of shafting amongst our ATC brethren was significantly more then than it is now... the contempt and abuse thrown across the room from those who perceived themselves to be far superior to those they perceived to be far inferior was caustic and unfettered.

That was until the day that one SAAC had the strength of character and understanding of law in the workplace to write in the Journal, verbatim, what was hurled across the room... and then all hell broke loose. The SAAC was vilified for daring to challenge the "accepted" code of behaviour amoungst the controllers, the established hierachy of social status and power within the male controller group, and everyone else in the room stayed quiet. No-one stood up to the "senior" controller and told him to back down. No-one stood up and said that it was wrong. Everyone just stayed quiet.

You may wonder why this is relevant to the FPC salary debate above, but I leave that for you to decide. Ponder it though, as it is an example of where some of our values, our norms and mores of behaviour as a collective of controllers have come from. The culture that exists in the Centres now, the underlying bitterness and recrimination, the absence of trust, the lack of unity, of integrity, of common respect, of compassion... is the legacy of our older controllers, the culture passed on from our elders. It is the legacy that we who followed have failed to change, or have only changed in part.

It is the legacy that we now pass onto the next generation of controllers, who I hope will have the intellect, maturity and strength of character to change for the better... some day.

As Rome burns... the walls crumble... and anarchy descends upon us, we turn on ourselves. But when the ashes are buried and the bitter have departed, what follows will be a chance to build anew, to build something better... if you do one thing... try.
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Old 31st Jan 2008, 10:41
  #259 (permalink)  
 
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and here i am, in the middle of the recruitment process, being told about the personality types required,.. confident, decision maker, independent, team player.... must be able to work well in a team environment (clique?)
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Old 31st Jan 2008, 12:54
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Fair call Ultralights.

You guys need to get the cr@p infighting off this site and take it somewhere more constructive. Professionals, remember?
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