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Federation involvement at Jetstar and one pilot union

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Federation involvement at Jetstar and one pilot union

Old 29th Jan 2008, 03:47
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Federation involvement at Jetstar and one pilot union

Due to some misinformation published on this site the Federation wants to state clearly and unambiguously our position at Jetstar, also our position as to one union for all pilots in Australia.

First, the Federation has had and continues to have about a third of the pilots employed at Jetstar as members. Our involvement goes back to the days of Impulse and Oxley Airlines. We successfully put an end to the sham employment arrangements that were in place at that time. We did this through many hearings in the AIRC and courts. Ultimately the shareholder process was removed.

Shortly after this the 717 arrived and during one of our visits Capt Chris Manning (AIPA Pres) arrived and also addressed the pilots. He advised that whilst they would assist there was no coverage by AIPA and the Federation did have coverage. Unfortunately that acknowledgement was rescinded when McGowan sold out and Impulse became part of the QF group. This has effectively restricted union organisation to this day. It is ‘spilt milk’ but if AIPA had stuck to its own area then we would have had better organisation in Impulse and now Jetstar.

In recent years we have had involvement on behalf of our members at Jetstar through individual matters and occasionally more general matters.

We acknowledge that the in-house committee (IPC/JPC/JPA) have over the years attempted to do the right thing for their fellow pilots. Occasionally we have disagreed on the best direction.

In the end it has always been the Jetstar pilots who determine their future. We have always respected this. It is why we became a party bound to the current agreement certified (PR963622) under the Workplace Relations Act on 6th October 2005.

In our battles with the Company they have constantly used the Committee as their defence for not resolving matters or making decisions that affect our members. The current simulator case is an example.

We met with the Company last week after many of our members followed advice and forwarded the representation letter to the Company. The meeting lasted 1.5 hours and they advised in writing the next day that no delay was acceptable to the Company on the deal proposed. Accordingly we have advised members of the deficiencies we have identified and would like to see fixed in the proposal. It is fair to say that the money has moved significantly although not enough for some. However, it’s the conditions to be applied over the next five years that will impact. That is why we have advocated a no vote.

It is still not for the Federation or anyone else for that matter to make the determination on the Jetstar pilots that is for the Jetstar pilots alone.

The proposed agreement being voted down will lead to further talks and no change to the existing agreement which does not expire till September this year. We will be actively involved in any further talks because the Company has acknowledged the pilot requests for Federation representation. However if the vote gets up then the agreement is in place for five years.

We have offered to sit with AIPA reps at the same table to sort this out to get the best deal for Jetstar pilots but the response has been deafening in its silence.

Pilot Unions in Australia

The Federation position is clear - we want to see one pilot body in Australia but it takes all parties to be involved.

The outcome of the court case only provides an extension to AIPA rules in respect to Jetstar, Eastern/Sunstate and Qantas Freight.


This means that the issues of competition continue.

The Federation wants too see a positive situation but that will only come from one body that provides equity between the pilot flying in General Aviation and the pilot flying an A380, or the 737/A320 and the Helicopter pilot, or the 777 and the Flight instructor.

The one thing that stops us today is the individuals that refuse to allow such rights to professional pilots no matter what part of the industry you come from.

The Federation has offered a proposal covering all pilots to AIPA on several occasions. This has been knocked back each time. If pilots want this then they should get the leadership of all groups to recognise the requirement to respect a professional pilot (irrespective of the Company they work for or the type of flying they do).

As Australian professional pilots let’s park the egos and get it moving. There can be many opportunities at this time of shortage to establish benchmarks for our collective futures.
We see and hear a lot about unity.
Question is do you want to be part of it or not?

Lawrie Cox
Manager Industrial Relations
Australian Federation of Air Pilots
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Old 29th Jan 2008, 04:04
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The Federation has offered a proposal covering all pilots to AIPA on several occasions. This has been knocked back each time.
What was the details of the proposal, Lawrie?
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Old 29th Jan 2008, 05:31
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Capt K

There were several versions but the basics (please note this is without prejudice to the Federation) related to councils with a Master Executive Council. This enables the group to determine their individual policy direction related to contract and conditions. We also proposed group areas such as Flight Instruction; Aero Medical; Helicopter; Regional airlines where company below say 50-80; Qantas International; Qantas Domestic; Virgin Blue Domestic; Virgin Blue international; Jetstar Domestic; Jetstar International; Eastern; Sunstate; REX; National Jet; Night Freight; Tiger; Alliance.

All would be dependent on a practical number for formation of a council. We also stated for it to work would see both AIPA and AFAP to disappear as entities in their own right.

The funding issue of the overall group as regards Technical needs to be addressed.

The real problem comes down to voting strength and capped terms on the major office bearers (no one group to dominate the positions) to which the card vote structure of IFALPA maybe an option.

The above has been rejected repeatedly as there is no recognition of the non airline group. The Federation position is clear that they are professional pilots and we should be encouraging our future rather than distance ourselves.

Hope that gives a simple answer to the question.

Lawrie Cox
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Old 29th Jan 2008, 06:05
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well this certainly gives all those saying that "AIPA has changed" a chance to ensure that AIPA shows its interest in ALL pilots.

I have spent years flying all over the world to places most AIPA members have never heard of and they never once contacted me to see if I needed coverage as an Australian International Pilot. The AFAP did, from day one.

That aside, I am more than happy to join an enlarged union if it covers all pilots and allows individual pilot groups to determine their own future. That is democracy after all.

Now the next move is in AIPAs court. I await the outcome............
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Old 29th Jan 2008, 09:09
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Don't care WHAT the union is called, as long as they FINALLY grow some F**king BALLS, and stand up to management!
No more of this "ok we'll talk to them" crap, which then comes back as "let's just see what they decide next month" BULLSH!T

When the EBA states a date for a rise etc... ENFORCE IT!!!!!!! it is WRITTEN in black and white, what is there for the board to "discuss"??? I reckon they go into these board meetings, talk about how the union caved again, then piss themselves laughing for the next 1/2 hour whilst drinking moet or chivas.

i'm not bitter. I'm not bitter. I'm not bitter .....

Last edited by apache; 29th Jan 2008 at 09:10. Reason: spelling
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Old 29th Jan 2008, 09:21
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Ok genex. But Until recently (unless you worked for Qantas),AIPA couldn't represent you anyway. There was a well known court case that was talked about on this forum, I believe.
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Old 29th Jan 2008, 10:31
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Excellent post, thanks Lawrie.

I believe the USALPA and BALPA models work well and could serve as templates for AUSALPA (call it APA - Australian Pilots Association) to become the ONLY union representing professional pilots in Australia.

Question is - will enough people in the right places recognise the time has come?
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Old 29th Jan 2008, 20:09
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Lawrie why don't the AFAP put your plan into action, you might be surprised of the number of Qantas pilots who would join a more relevant union, i have noticed that the AFAP seemed to have picked up their game now they have a little competition...
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Old 29th Jan 2008, 20:26
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I would really like to see someone identifiable from the top of the AIPA pile reply to this thread so that the average Australian pilot might learn the stance of the AIPA on this matter.

I suspect Lawrie may well have hit the nail squarely upon its head when he alluded to one of the main issues in play:

...let’s park the egos...
I certainly hope that any selfish notions that a continued situation of fractured industry representative bodies being a good thing for any of us are dispelled quickly and finally and that there is a greater good to be achieved with a single representative body.

Lawrie, I wish you the best with this, but you do need to start raising the AFAP bar higher too if you really want to take advantage of these times here and now. You must build strength through unity and presence.... and that starts at the grass roots of GA. Here's a couple of reasons right off the top of my head, I'm sure others could help both join the dots and expand the list further...

1. No GA pilot ever sees an AFAP rep walk through their employers door "just to check on how things are going in their workplace"- even once a year.

You know, that by seeing to be seen in the workplace (and a little sabre-rattling from time to time), that alone would be enough to raise the awareness level of the people employed in GA and it follows that a person thinks (not misguidedly I hope) that joining an organisation that will do its best for them is a good thing to do, then it will happen.

2. Start enforcing those that are roped-in to the award to pay it.

Sort of goes hand in hand with visiting workplaces there Lawrie. You might find that there is an alternate view on the meaning of the word "collective" held by this government that differs markedly from the previous. I would implore you to explore that further....

3. Who cares what it is called, but I know for certain that it must be capable and willing to represent (not just advise) all members at all levels of this industry. Yes, those at the higher end of the payscales will be certainly helping to support and foster the lower end, but look at it this way... It's altruism and mentorism without getting your hands dirty. By helping the lower end of the industry you will be ensuring that the industry as a whole benefits from greater pay and working conditions across the board for all.

That can only come from one thing.... Everyone pulling in the ONE direction and at the ONE time. Mr AIPA and Mr AFAP, do you think you can manage that together?

All I will say that if you can manage that together, then you will become stronger than in your wildest dreams. The strength lays in the total being greater than the sum of the parts.


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Old 29th Jan 2008, 21:01
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A lot of excellent posts here about a very sensitive subject.

The word "UNION" or "UNITY" is pretty basic in it's meaning. Without TOTAL unity then there will always be a 'leak' in the ability to unify the masses. Remember the employers in any field of employment almost rely on the fact that humans rarely become totally united in anything. You will always find some that simply feel different.
The big boys at the top love the fractured nature of the human workers desires as far as getting things such as T&C's advanced. So as long as we gain momentum here and get total unity thru the efforts of some powerful people/unions then we have a fighting chance. We've seen tactics that nearly bought this country to it's knees, that plan of action we can ill afford to let happen again. We need to do it smarter these days. The so called 'boffin's at the top didn't get there thru idle threats, they got there thru being clever,ruthless whether we like it or not.

'opsnormal' puts together a good post as others have shown also.

Go forth & mulitply, those words couldn't be better said in this case.

Stay strong guys, the pilot world now turns in a different direction, but sheeez, hang on !

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Old 30th Jan 2008, 20:26
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I'm all for it.

Ops Normal for President.
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Old 30th Jan 2008, 20:54
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Lawrie mentioned the removal of egos.
Impossible, in the case of Quaintarse.
The late Captain ******** Westwood led the charge out of the AFAP on an ego trip, basically on the premise that the QF pilots didn't produce stools that stank.
If pilots were such geniuses, each would realise that unity through one union is logical and powerful. Unfortunately they are just as stupid as the rest of the community.
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Old 30th Jan 2008, 21:18
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Good post Lawrie. You have clarified what many have argued hasn't happened. A solid united stance is a must from a 380 captain to a 152 instructor. I'm crossing my fingers and toes that this document goes down and gets filed where it belongs. If this happens, we have the best chance ever to refresh our thinking and start again. Properly.

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Old 30th Jan 2008, 23:21
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Ease up a bit if you please Spaz Modic! Tarring all Qantas Pilots with the same brush is a bit unfair, don't you think? A bit like saying that all young low-time CPLs are prepared to work for virtually nothing, which of course is total nonsense!

The last thing needed in this industry is to get anyone in the various groups of Pilots offside and/or continue the us and them situation that has existed in recent years.

Without TOTAL unity then there will always be a 'leak' in the ability to unify the masses. Remember the employers in any field of employment almost rely on the fact that humans rarely become totally united in anything.
Thank you Capt Wally!
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Old 31st Jan 2008, 00:07
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Something that all might be interested in ( I'm back form the publishers without being proof read) I'm told that the J* pilots are indeed voting via their own forum about this very issue -who and what to join and how in would be intergrated. It is always been in the best interest for all to band together, the ego's need to be left behind
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Old 31st Jan 2008, 00:33
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Airline Management has the pilot movement exactly where they want it. Divided. And the likelihood of any change to that in the short to medium term seems highly improbable.

In September 1981, the then AFAP President, Captain Fitzsimons remarked, “It is certainly in the best interests of all pilots to be represented by one industrial body, For many reasons it is also an advantage to present one concerted view on aviation matters to the rest of the industry and to other interested parties”. In November of the same year the AIPA President, Captain Westwood, noted that the TAA contender for the 1982 AFAP presidency had, “pledged his support for a restoration of relationships with the Qantas group”.

And here we are in January 2008. Divided!

With the formation of AIPA, Qantas pilots were understandably inclined to turn inwards and attend to their own priorities. A cosiness developed between the Company and Association that became unhealthy. A pathway from union leadership to operations management was established and the Company controlled the agenda. But AIPA are now imprisoned by new circumstances – the dynamics of semiautonomous business units that are responsible for their own profitability. The company / association relationship loyalty shown in the past has been dismissed by Qantas in the interest of shareholder value and personal bonuses!

The economic consequences of the semiautonomous business unit have been experienced by the Qantas pilot group who were ‘displaced’ when their high-wage jobs were transferred to cheaper labour. This transformation, and the AIPA president’s gross strategic error not to embrace pilots in the new business units (made almost immediately prior to his move to management), more than anything else is what has led to the declining power base of AIPA. The deleterious impact on pilot wages and conditions is likely to continue for many years to come.

But the economic effects are inseparable from the real world consequences. Global industry competition for cost advantage will not slacken and, not unexpectedly, is the rationale for the Qantas executive promoting fierce competition among the business units. It is this real world behaviour that has effectively weakened the positioning of the Association. If one semiautonomous business unit’s workers are prepared to accept lower wages and conditions, the jobs will move to them! Taken to the ultimate conclusion, all jobs will move to them.

For ordinary Qantas pilots, independent and insular, the challenge requires them to think anew their place in the world.

The only plausible way that we – the total pilot population - can defend ourselves against the “forces” of the of semiautonomous business units is to link our interests cooperatively with the interest of the each other pilot group.

AIPA will have to be prepared to create new alliances with those they view as being less significant but caught in the same dilemma.

The challenge, in other words, involves not taking the meaning of cooperation to a higher plane, but restoring it; restoring it to the plateau where we were prior to 1981. This awesome task does not begin by examining AIPA’s own complaints about the new system, it begins by grasping what will happen to all of us if we don’t impose a united position on management.
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Old 31st Jan 2008, 01:08
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Just heard a quiet whisper than Joyce's new EBA may have been unsuccessful,

more to come.......
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Old 31st Jan 2008, 08:50
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Thumbs down

IMHO the AFAP has well past its use by date.
It is high time we had a pilot body that represented the well being of the pilots and not that of self concerted individuals.

AIPA have made it clear they are not interested in looking after GA, instructors or Helicopters.

So how's it gonna work, boeingmad?
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Old 31st Jan 2008, 08:57
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Thumbs down

AFAP..."It's the best you'll get so you'd better take it."

Too many times have I heard that in the past 10 to 15 years.

And so T+C's all started to go...

Sorry LC the AFAP's history of even just the last 5 years shows little movement, IMHO!!!


P.S DR Smith, what has the Fed's done for GA T+C?.....zip. Hence the number of new pilots coming through are a tenth that of 5 to 10 years ago.

Last edited by Night Hawk; 31st Jan 2008 at 09:08.
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Old 31st Jan 2008, 09:53
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AFAP..."It's the best you'll get so you'd better take it."

Too many times have I heard that in the past 10 to 15 years.

And so T+C's all started to go...

Sorry LC the AFAP's history of even just the last 5 years shows little movement, IMHO!!!


P.S DR Smith, what has the Fed's done for GA T+C?.....zip. Hence the number of new pilots coming through are a tenth that of 5 to 10 years ago.
second that!!!! which is why I am no longer a member
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