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Decline in Pilot Salaries Survey

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Decline in Pilot Salaries Survey

Old 19th Sep 2011, 00:54
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Decline in Pilot Salaries Survey

Given that arguably the Aviation industry is experiencing the most significant pilot shortage in the last 30+ years, without factoring in the normal market laws of supply and demand why is it that Pilot salaries are in the vicinity of 40% less in real terms compared to those of 20years ago?
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 01:29
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Operators are expected to provide better services at lower costs. Said operator still has to maintain his flash life style so the first place to obtain funding support grand living is take it off the flight crew. We all know that we are overpaid so can afford a lower salary.

A survey recently done in the US shows that airline pilots are being paid less than window cleaners! Now imagine what general charter and helicopter pilots are earning.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 01:41
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And they are trying to figure out why the industry is struggling to attract the right type of people. Go figure.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 01:57
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All for the love of flying.

From the airline management team of crooks from HR, it's plain and simple.

BUDGET.

Now just do a simple search to see how many doctors, lawyers, accountants and etc are contemplating self funding to start their flying careers. Let alone thousands of unemployed in both western hemisphere and india who will almost work for free just to be given a chance for a seat in the cockpit.

There's really one direction of our pilots' salaries would go, DOWN.

I'll be overjoyed if my airline just keep adjusting upwards for real inflation.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 02:04
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Angel

As with the banking and finance industries, we have all been conned. Industry has allowed itself to be hijacked in thinking by the bean counters to suggest there can be a continued reduction in the price per seat per mile, to attract more people onto planes, and hence make more money. Industry doesn't have to sell ridiculously cheap fares at a continuous rate, but chooses to do so. It then looks to compensate itself in the process through wages and conditions. That's not to say that in all circumstances there were not areas that wages or conditions could or should not have been looked at, but only if senior managment had the same microscope applied.

Funny how it's a one way looking glass.

The day is coming my friends but let us not get too carried away with wages growth here in Oz. There is a disparity (IMHO) between a S.O getting $180K on an A380 and an FO on a REgional getting $45K, and working his arse off in VERY demanding conditions. When it all does turn around we as professional aircrew should look at this with a big picture in mind. We will all be happier in the end, and our industry happier and healthier place to work, if we all get a reasonable remuneration for our skills base. We must make some gains for the lowest paid, but keep in mind that some are already pretty well off.

Just my 2 cents worth
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 02:05
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salaries

Is there really a pilot shortage Mr Proach?
There seems to be too many kicking around so they can pay them crap money.
Just my take on it anyway.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 02:23
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The first time I heard about the impending pilot shortage was in 2003 (I assume it was talked about long before this) it was going to happen in just a few years. And every year after that, the pilot shortage was coming (and still is) in just a few years
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 03:35
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All that happened in the last pilot shortage around 07-08 was that airlines just lowered all their minimums ably assisted by CASA.

The only people who struggled were the ones who had insurance company imposed requirements.

No a good look when a insurance company is more stringent than the regulator.

Remember too that aviation CEO's are generally selective capitalists. They only like it when it works in their favour. When there are 1000's of pilots they love to remind you that there are plenty of people around who want your job and that's why you'll be taking a 2% pay cut in real terms this EBA. When the labour market turns against them they all come out in the press blaming everyone one else about how they have a crewing problem and start pointing the figure at the government for not training enough people. So the government responds by lowering the requirements.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 04:25
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I made the same $$s last financial year as I did in 1996-'97

There are probably many reasons for the decline in salaries however I came to realise some time ago that Datal Seniority serves to regulate labour supply in favour of the employer. I know that this is not a popular perspective to hold, however, I must speak what I see as the truth.

If there was such a shortage of pilots in recent years, or salaries should have gone up. In fact, during this period, I left a Datal Seniority company for a direct entry command and scored a $50,000 per year pay rise to boot and they supplied type rating.

Merit based employment and promotional practices allow people to move between employers and chace superior T&Cs. The employer benefits from being able to source the required talent from either within or outside their organisation.

Datal Seniority means that you cannot vote with your feet. The employer knows that they can jerk you around because you wont leave because either you are close to a command, get all your rosters that you want or will go onto the 'WonderJet Mk. IV(-ER )'very soon. Your employer knows this and this facet has become part of the IR landscape with respect to their negotiation strategy for quite some time.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 04:38
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Anthill. That is a great post. Some of the pilot body in our last EBA negotiations (medium - large EMS helicopter rescue company) wanted to introduce a seniority system similar to our competitors.

I for one am thankful that this was knocked back by the company for the reasons that you have put forward.

The end result in the EBA negotiations was a 25.5% or 27.5% (I can't remember) increase over three years and backpayed for one year (the EBA had expired for approx 12 months at this time.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 04:41
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As I said in another thread my salary has increased 96.5% since October 2006, so from my perspective I am not seeing a decline in salaries.

While I don't think there will ever be a general shortage of pilots, there certainly will be occasional shortages of experienced pilots. This has occured twice in the last decade or so that I have witnessed, 2000/2001 & 2007/2008. I suspect we are about 18-24 months away from a similar situation again, once QF/Jetstar get their intra company movements/wranglings sorted out.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 04:44
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If you abolished that then salaries in Australia would tank as you would be invaded by Britts, Kiwis, South Afrikans, and expat aussies
How do you get past the immigration issues? Or do you propose they would be flying from an international base?
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 04:45
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Datal Seniority serves to regulate labour supply in favour of the employer. I know that this is not a popular perspective to hold, however, I must speak what I see as the truth.
If you abolished that then salaries in Australia would tank as you would be invaded by Britts, Kiwis, South Afrikans, and expat aussies who are working for foreign airlines. It would be an employer's dream! Just take a look at Jetstar and VOz.

At least seniority gives some value to living in Australia and protects the locals from cashed up expats who will undercut the local market just to get back to Oz.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 06:24
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Come back by all means, but don't undercut us all back here because you are desperate.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 06:53
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I left Australia after the late 80's debacle and lowering of conditions. I would never come back there and accept the conditions J star offer and have serious doubts as to whether I will even retire there now.
Its a shame as it is a great place, but find it now hard to come to terms how you let it lower to the the level it has!!!! I'm sorry to say, but you have some amount of responsibility for what has happened over the past 20+ years.
Don't blame returning expats, although I do agree with seniority, but harden up and fight for the conditions you should be getting. Don't go buying ratings and flying for peanuts. I love this saying....."Harden up princess"
DO NOT blame us "expats" for your conditions, you guys did it!!
Now time to stand behind our QF (longhaul) friends, they are doing a great job
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 07:05
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Datal Seniority means that you cannot vote with your feet. The employer knows that they can jerk you around because you wont leave because either you are close to a command, get all your rosters that you want or will go onto the 'WonderJet Mk. IV(-ER )'very soon. Your employer knows this and this facet has become part of the IR landscape with respect to their negotiation strategy for quite some time
A very wise observation Anthill. If only our unions would see this too...

PG
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 07:53
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I think Aus did see a pilot shortage starting a few months before the GFC hit, then well...

In a few years I think there will be a shortage, given that the mining industry takes a lot of people on good money.

Been to your local training field lately? With the odd exception, I'd say they are pretty empty.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 08:26
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If you abolished that then salaries in Australia would tank as you would be invaded by Britts, Kiwis, South Afrikans, and expat aussies who are working for foreign airlines. It would be an employer's dream! Just take a look at Jetstar and VOz.

At least seniority gives some value to living in Australia and protects the locals from cashed up expats who will undercut the local market just to get back to Oz.
Neville, you're talking about the short term which I agree would be a blood bath but when it all settled down we would all be guns for hire and go where the $$$ was, companies would have to pay to get skills and pay to keep them from leaving.

We can't have a half and half system it's got to be all or nothing as you said Jetstar and VOz caused a bunch to leave, but they had to be replaced and cost EK and whoever else $$$. Imagine they didn't like VOz and could go straight back to their old job it's that sort of choice that would cost companies a fortune.

I had an F/O say he'd never get a command as if no seniority suddenly meant current commanders would live forever

As an example CX's recent pay rises gave S/Os a 30% pay rise (they're at rock bottom now - no expat terms) Junior (1st yr) Capt 5%, Senior Capt (>5yrs) 0%. Inflation in HK was quoted as being 16%

And the kicker rumor, S/Os may be getting another 25% pay rise!

Get em in the door and then seniority will mean they will never leave.

Last edited by SMOC; 19th Sep 2011 at 08:48.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 11:45
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fellas, the pilot shortage HAS arrived. I know it from current personal experience with 6 interview sheduled or completed in the last 2 months. If wages and conditions aren't what your after, let them know and take another bus. I'm amazed how quickly it has turned around but turned around it has. All that needs to happen now is for the pinch to reach the rarified air of managment, and aircraft start getting parked up against a fence, and watch the salaries improve. It is happening already and I am witness to it.
A post from 'big brother' in the 'JetStar NZ pilots vote for industrial action' thread, which gives a different point of view regarding 'the pilot shortage'
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 12:01
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Interesting SMOC. The current EBA at Voz has gone from merit based promotion to a common datal system with Virgin Blue. This means that the Senior FOs will probably not see a B777 command. Instead, they are all now datally aligned within a common group.

However, the company knows that many SFOs have the experience and ability to easily get a job elsewhere. Most have had previous jet commands and could be tempted by a direct entry position in another company (ie the LLC that SQ plan to start with B777s). The result has been that current SFOs will get command by-pass pay after 5 years under the new EBA. Their salary also went up by about $22k.

Here is an example of a salary incentive brought on by management (it wasn't AFAP or VIPA behind this) in an attempt to retain staff. The lure of command pay, if not a command, will probably not ensure that all SFOs stay, but goes a long way to retain existing staff. This could only happen in an industrial environment where people have the scope to move on into other positions and not have to start at the bottom each time.
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